Dec 7, 2008

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Transporter 3 - Ok, in case you don't know, I have to admit to a man-crush on Jason Statham, so my opinion may be colored here.  It's gotten so bad, in fact, I went and looked him up on netflix to see what movies I HADN'T seen (hint: not many).  But, let's get to the bad stuff.  This movie is stupid, the basic premise doens't make any sense, the whole criminal plan is dumbnity.  There were at least two moments where I laughed out loud at something, and it's not cuz it was funny.  Also, I had to see Jason Statham's boobies 4 times, I got to see the red head's boobies 0 times.  That seems wrong - my man-crush extends only to his punches and kickes, not to his boobies.  Nonetheless, there's lots of driving and punching and kicking and shooting and it's all great and it was totally worth going. (yes, that's the whole "good parts" section).

The Architect - This is a weird little movie.  It's a good movie, I think.  It feels a little small, I kept thinking I was watching an episode of a TV show, like it just wasn't big enough.  That changes some by the end, though not a lot.  But you can't critisize something for being focused, it's not as if its aimless or pointless, it's just a short movie with a short story.  It's fairly well done, the actors do alright, though I'm not sure the chick from Heroes really has the skill to be much past pretty.  The writing is fairly tight for what seems a small budget movie.  It's filmed really simply, maybe that's why it feels like a TV show.  I'm reading on RT that people hate it pretty bad.  Seem to think its too big for its britches, and lacks overall structure.  It's based on a play, I guess, which explains a bit of it's narrowness.  I see what the people mean, it's what lead to my TV feeling.  But it just doesn't seem overdone to me, it's not big enough to be overdone, the events aren't dramatic enough.  It's got a simple plot and simple character arcs, which isn't great, but it's not bad, it's just simple.  Overall I'm good with it, it's better than a lot of other ways to spend an hour and a half, it's just not that important, not worth endorsing with much energy.

Dan in Real Life - Huh.  This movie is surprisingly not horrible for the reason you would think.  Surprisingly, it's not because Dane Cook is in it.  He goes most of the movie without making me want to kick him in the nuts.  Well, that's not true, he said bro once and I almost turned it off, but mostly he reins it in.  I assumed it would be a lame comedy, turns out its a lame romantic comedy slash family movie.  Steve Carrell plays Steve Carrell as ... Steve Carrell.  He's basically Michael Scott without the overt personality, just the sadness.  His character is pretty pathetic, so much so that it's not enjoyable to watch.  I know it's not supposed to be, in that sense, but so what?  Just cuz he's supposed to be hard to watch doesn't make it ok that I'm uncomfortable the whole movie.  Most of the dramatic conflict that makes him sad is too forced, it's like a sitcom.  The dynamic between him and his daughters is good enough, if overly structured, but it's nice I guess.  Still, I was either bored or annoyed most of the movie, with the occasional laugh or sweet moment.

Step Up 2: TAKE IT TO THE STREETS - Ok, we all know what this movie was about - the part where they dance in the water.  It was all over the trailers, the ads, and my expectations.  The whole movie is a build up to that part, it may as well have been called Step Up 2: The Scene Where They Dance In The Rain.  The rest of the movie, when they aren't dancing, is truly horrible.  The acting is, without exaggeration, porn-worthy.  It is flat and the dialogue is straight high school play.  It really is amazingly bad.  The dancing however, is great.  Nothing that will make your jaw drop if you watch So You Think You Can Dance (or America's Best Dance Crew), which you totally should be watching.  But still very good dancing, the choreography is pretty great.  And the scene at the end is pretty much worth the previous hour plus.  It's just a damn fantastic idea to dance in the rain like that.  It's a good movie for DVD (or bluray) extras too, as its pretty much all dancing, which is kinda the point.  You even get to see Jabberwocky in the extras, which was neat!  Anyway, don't think, just watch, it's good.

Be Kind, Rewind - Yeah, it's kinda cute.  It's not really good.  But it's certainly not bad.  It's just a cute story that's pretty much what you saw in the trailers.  I didn't know it was Michel Gondry, which I guess makes sense, but its relativley toned down.  But it obviously that home-made fantastic thing he likes to do.  The last 30 minutes adds another layer of sweetness that's not in the trailers (I don't think) that's cool.  But, in the end, it feels pretty forgettable to me.  A cute idea, nothing wrong with it, just not that special or memorable.  Sorry!

Call Northside 777 - This is a pretty traditional reporter story.  Course, it's 1948, I dunno if it was traditional yet.  But it being traditional does not mean bad.  It's Jimmy Stewart investigating a wrongly accused guy, at first he doesn't buy it, then he's doing everything he can to save him.  It's not brilliant, it's too normal to be brilliant, but it's a perfectly good reporter movie.  Worth seeing if you are in the mood or like Jimmy Stewart.

Even Money - First impression of this movie is HORRIBLE.  The title graphics are amateur, the opening narration is trite.  Plus, ray freakin' liota is in it.  Then all of a sudden, people start acting!  Surprisingly good performances from people like Jay Mohr, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Basinger, Danny Devito, and yes Ray Liota.  Forest Whitaker is classing the joint up being good as always.  It's not much of a story, a few lives intersecting around this bookie bad guy.  I wish they hadn't pulled out the narration for the ending again, was annoying.  But it was still worth it, believe it or not.

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