RECENT MOVIES – CRITIQUES

 

However unsolicited, here’s a few comments about some recent movies. Granted, we all have differing tastes, but these are the best and the worst, in my humble movie-lover’s opinion. The summer selection was pretty bad this year with one, perhaps, worthy of any Oscar contention, that being Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep will probably get another nomination, her performance was amazing.

Rating on a scale of 1 – 10

Pelham 1-2-3

One of those remakes that got it right. Exciting, suspenseful shared with a human drama. Excellent performances by Travolta and Denzel Washington. Give it an 8.

My Sister’s Keeper

A cancer story that pulls at the heart strings. A departure in parts from the book, but I like the movie ending better. Cameron Diaz transforms into a heavy role, believable and sincere. Abigail Breslin, child actress, is powerful and charming…as always. Stealing the spotlight, is the victim herself, Safia Vasilieva. Give it an 8 ½. Rent it, you’ll be captured

 Public Enemies

Another John Dillinger flick to heap onto the pile. It’s actually a good movie, but I had a hard time with seeing Johnny Depp in his character. Give it a 7

 The Proposal

Light comedy, stupid plot, but entertaining if you’re interested in lightening up. Sandra Bullock is, the usual Sandra Bullock. No Oscar contender here. Give it 6 ½

 Funny People

We walked out after twenty-five minutes. Adam Sandler, who could not share the same stage with greats like Jackie Gleason, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, and more, should be more discriminating in accepting roles that are beneath him. Pure, unadulturated crap trying to pass as humor. Give it a Zero = 0

Julie & Julia

By now, movie lovers certainly know this is a cleverly written story about a modern woman who idolizes the life and works of Julia Child, and goes about trying to duplicate all her recipes. Thus the film flips back and forth from back story of fifty years ago, to today. Streep is incredible, and so is Amy Adams who is blooming to become one of the greats of the silver screen in this century. Give it a 8 ½

 Orphan

A not-so-innovative script about a couple who adopts a little girl, then finds she is mentally disturbed, causing havoc and misery to their lives. It’s acted fine by Vera Farmiga, Peter Saarsgard and Isabel Fuhrman (the child), but falls short by over dramatizing and photographing the horror scenes. Give it a 7

 500 Days Of Summer

Based in Ireland, a warm and loving story about a woman (Summer) and her newfound lover, and the relationship that spans 500 days. Good movie. Not a great movie. Give it a 7

Inglorious Basterds

Not for everyone, but I enjoyed the setting, the story, the humor and most of the acting. Set in WW II, a group of military Jews set out to kill all the Nazis they can find. My one problem, was accepting Brad Pitt in the role of a Tennessee Jew with a southern accent. Give it an 8

Perfect Getaway

The best part of this movie was the spectacular scenery of Hawaii. A weak plot about a pair of newlyweds who go on a hiking trip in Hawaii, only to find themselves in the middle of a murder story. Meanwt to be suspenseful, but it falls short. Acting is substandard, as is the directing. Might be entertaining to the younger set. Give it a 5

Gamer

Hi-tech, sci-fi thriller with zero plot and lots of kerky jerky camera action and stupid dialogue. At least, that’s the way it was for the first 30 minutes, because we walked out. Video game nerds might like it, but not the mature set. Gerard Butler is generally good, but not in this one. Give it a 2.

 The Informant

Based on a true story about a frumpy executive who turns in his corporate echelon to the FBI, but gets caught up in a series of his own stupid lies. Matt Damon does a remarkable job of transforming his usual macho persona into an intellectual nerd. Interesting, but no Oscar contender. Give it a 7

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Trapped by evangelicals. No..that’s not the plot of the movie. It’s the dilemma for the audience. I should have vetted the movie better, but we were simply going by a few by-lines and promo pictures, which made it look interesting. Once inside, we were subjected to a story line which was nothing more than an old man evangelizing to three young boys the way of Jesus Christ. While devout Christians may have found this movie to their liking, others who are not so inclined will walk out, as we did…and then complain to the management, that if we wanted a sermon about following Jesus, I’d attend a church service. Give it a Zero

Whiteout

The best part of this picture is visiting Antarctica and the south pole. By the time the movie was over, we had to put on our sweaters, though the outside temps were in the 80s. An old story plot about crazies and murder, hand held cameras making it hard to discern what the heck is going on, and fair acting by Kate Beckinsale and others. Give it a 6

Surrogates

Far out. If you don’t like the movie, you’ll still walk away remarking about the incredible imagination of the creators. A futuristic film about humans living their lives through surrogates (robots)…with some suspense and excitement built in. Bruce Willis is good. Might be nominiated for special effects, but not much else. Give it a 6 ½

Enjoy.