Me and My Nine Iron

December 26, 2010

Movie reviews


Another quick month, and as the year winds down, it becomes harder for me to suppress my stress from the disappointing progress of my work, as evidenced by the white hairs that slowly permeate my full head of hair. I am surprised that I’ve managed to keep up to date with this though. Here’s to hoping my messed up priority does me any good down the road.

Buried

I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie for days. If you’re tired of the mindless action and overdone effects, look no further. There isn’t one shot that leaves Ryan Reynolds in a box and a few items meant to help him get out, albeit not on his own. His job: to be found and rescued before the oxygen runs out. A very low-key movie with under a $2 million budget, Reynolds showcases his acting ability with a raw and embarrassing-to-film performance in the type of role the Academy should but won’t consider for top actor.

The controversial ending didn’t sit well with any of the dozen high school kids I sat in the theater with, giving such remarks as, “I could’ve been studying” or “Ryan Reynolds, you suck.” Yeah, because actors have control over how they want the movie to end. If you yearn for great storytelling, check it out.

Con: Less than 90 minutes long.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Easy A

I was surprised to hear so many friends and people I know interested in watching this female-led comedy. They all loved it and when I finally caught it, I realized what all the buzz was about. It’s a feel good movie that has just enough laugh-out-loud moments to make it a solid comedy. Critics hail Emma Stone as a stand-alone star now, and I have to admit my attractiveness to her is growing.

First-time screenwriter Bert V. Royal claims to have written the entire screenplay, except for the last ten pages, in five days, which is just jaw-droppingly impressive. He also stated the word “fuck” appeared 47 times in the original draft, but it wasn’t used once in the final cut. Director Will Gluck put forth a solid sophomore movie, his first being Fired Up!, and I can’t wait for his next writing/directing project to come out next summer, the star-studded Friends with Benefits.

It’s funny that Penn Badgley is shown as one of the stars of this movie when he probably has a total of five minutes of screen time. Lisa Kudrow gives a performance as awkward as Amanda Bynes looks, and local Aly Michalka (Hellcats) looks bangin’ in this movie.

Con: Less than 90 minutes long.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let Me In

Chloe Moretz is hands down the best actress of 2010. No female has had three more solid roles this year than the 13-year-old in Kick-Ass (8.1 IMDb), Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Let Me In (7.4). As much as I liked this remake of the 2008 Swedish movie, the critics loved it. Hear from none other than Stephen King, who said, “Not just a horror film, but the best American horror film in the last 20 years.” Wow. Surprisingly, it never found an audience and barely covered its $20 million budget.

I loved the simple and innocent dialogue between the two kids, but therein lies the problem. The superficiality of their relationship failed to engage me emotionally. Regardless, Moretz is so sought after she could release eight movies in the next 18 months. Ridiculous.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Other Guys

Adam McKay‘s fourth collaboration with Will Ferrell is along the lines of the first three, solid with a few hiccups. The first half of the movie is non-stop hilarity and then just like Step Brothers, it finishes with a slower pace of laughs. I don’t understand the nature of McKay’s formula, which is the only thing keeping him from producing 5-star comedies, but that’s what it is for now. Mark Wahlberg, who was also in Date Night earlier this year, is now a proven comedian while Eva Mendes gave an awkward performance as Ferrell’s counterbalance.

This movie was given a whopping $100 million budget and maybe more surprisingly, turned in $169 million at the box office. This is the movie that knocked Inception off the No. 1 spot and if you didn’t know Adam McKay before, hopefully, now you know. He is among the king of one-liners in the game right now, and Richard Roeper had this to say about his film in comparison to Cop Out, “”Note to Kevin Smith: THIS is how you do a spoof of the buddy-cop genre.”

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

TRON (1982)

Another movie I was hooked for days on. I didn’t even know the new one was based on an existing movie and I thought the idea of killer frisbees was dumb, but now I’m pumped to see it. If you can get over the concept of computer machines resembling human life form and fighting each other and the impressive-for-1982 special effects, it was a well-made movie in being based on a video game.

I really liked the cast in this groundbreaking film to which the head of Pixar’s and Disney’s animation group said, “without Tron there would be no Toy Story.” Scary. You can play a flash game here:

http://www.classicgamesarcade.com/game/21670/Tron-Game.html

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops & Hooligans

A solid debut album for the already well-known artist, with versatile range from R&B (Our First Time) and reggae (Liquor Store Blues) to pop rock (Count on Me) and pop (Just the Way You Are). I’m just disappointed with the lack of new material, only seven new tracks, and he may have turned some people away with the wrong choice for his first single, the sappiest song on the album.

Favorite (new) tracks: Grenade, Just the Way You Are, Runaway Baby

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Who said pianos aren’t portable?

BJ

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2 Comments »

  1. Maybe, we could rent it when I’m over.

    Comment by Bryan — December 26, 2010 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  2. Pretty much agree with you on the movies i’ve seen (Easy A and The Other Guys). Double ditto on the awkward looking Amanda Bynes. She either had botched plastic surgery or a secret meth problem.

    Buried and Let Me In are on my to-watch list, though I want to see the Swedish Let The Right One In first.

    Comment by Chris — December 26, 2010 @ 10:11 am | Reply


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