Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stardate 62722.31 - Movie Reviews

Cheryl and I have watched a bunch of movies through NetFlix over the past few months but we just haven't had the time to post a review of anything. Here is a quick summary of some things we watched this summer with just a short highlight and recommendation for each.

Sicko was pretty good, although is typical with Michael Moore films the pugilistic morality was a bit hard to take. But he makes an excellent point - in a country this wealthy there is no reason people shouldn't have health care. How we, as the human race, can permit people without insurance to be dumped into a taxi so that they are dumped at a free clinic so that the hospital doesn't have to take care of this is abhorrent. When I am benevolent dictator for life, we'll have socialized medicine in this country. Two thumbs up.

Talk to Me was one that I had heard about, but really didn't know what to expect. Excellent, excellent film. Don Cheadle is always fantastic, and this movie is no exception. The fact that it is based on an actual person and actual events makes it even more poignant. We watched this one pretty late on a weekend night and Cheryl stayed awake for the entire thing, which is a tribute to how much she liked it. Two thumbs up.

The Upside of Anger was described by a co-worker as a "chick-flick" but even Cheryl was disappointed in this one. There was a pretty good twist near the end that we didn't see coming at all, but that didn't make up for this movie that believed it was teaching a lesson but in reality just made us annoyed at most of the characters. Two thumbs down.

No Country for Old Men was, in a word, over-rated. I couldn't figure out if it was an incredibly violent movie mascarading as an artsy movie or an artsy movie mascarading as an incredibly violent movie. We didn't even know it had ended. I won't spoil it, but at the very end one character is talking and we were so busy making fun of the scene than when the movie faded to black and the credits rolled we said simultaneously, "That was the end?!?" We had to back it up and watch the scene again. Two thumbs down.

Attonement has Keira Knightley in it, and she is on my list making this a must-watch film. Not a feel-good film for sure, but well-done. I'm a sucker for big English manors and domestic servants and all that, so I have to say I really enjoyed this one--even with the non-hollywood ending. Two thumbs up.

Bad Education (La Mala educacion) was one that Cheryl had picked out, so I knew it was probably foreign, well-acted, and potentially strange. It was foreign, well-acted, and had some interesting twists and turns but I felt it was ponderously slow. Cheryl gave it a thumbs-up, I gave it a thumbs-down. I think we discussed it afterwards and I had more reasons for not liking it (and no, the homosexuality was not one of my reasons), but I cannot remember them (other then the feeling that lots of stuff could have been cut for pacing).

I am Legend was one I'd been looking forward to seeing if for nothing else, to see the empty NYC shots. Turns out that was pretty much all it was worth. Lots and lots of missed opportunities to give the bad guys much deeper, complex motivations. Lots of me saying, "wait a minute...". Simply, not good. Cheryl fell asleep early in the movie, so two thumbs down.


1 comment:

Trailing Male said...

I haven't seen many of the films, so can't comment overall. "No Country" is in a group we got recently, fairly cheaply, but probably won't watch until we are in Albania. I'll let you know.
I enjoyed "I am Legend" but didn't even attempt to analyze it much. One question: How the heck did they get off the island if all the bridges were blown? It had loads of problems, but was still fun in parts. They did break Tom Hanks's post-Turner&Hooch rule, though: don't kill the dog!

Like Don Cheadle, like Keira, so I'll add them to the list. "Sicko" addresses a topic I agree with you on, but I also agree that Moore goes over-the-top and can be hard to stomach. I'll catch it at some point.