Me and My Nine Iron

January 4, 2012

Movie reviews


As the new year rolls around, I made what are hopefully, improvements to my grading scale by just offering more grades. My ratings alone are subjective, undefined and don’t hold a lot of merit so I’m acting like a reader for screenplays and marking each one with a Recommend, Consider or Pass as well as what the IMDb ratings should be.

50/50

A good yet not outstanding movie. It was an all-around solid dark comedy that was hardly dark and not the most hilarious shit in the world, which was fine. The comedy worked because it was derived from the story as it should be, something that Hall Pass failed miserably in. Was it better than Funny People, a cancer comedy also starring Seth Rogen? Probably not for the simple fact that the emotional complexity wasn’t fully realized, but it stood on its own.

For those that found Anna Kendrick‘s relationship predictable, I bet you didn’t expect the movie to end on that line. I found her the most intriguing character and her quirkiness adorable. If you’re looking for something to pick on, there was a sort of breakthrough near Plot Point 2 that was unoriginal (think Knocked Up).

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 8.1
What it should be: 7.1

Consider

Contagion

With five household names and several more notable stars, Steven Soderbergh delivered this perfectly-executed pandemic thriller. What was also great about it was that it was praised by those in the field of science for its depiction, something that never happens with Hollywood films, and it didn’t sacrifice the enjoyment one bit. Absolutely loved the ending.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.9
What it should be: 7.4

Recommend

Hall Pass

If ever a movie had empty laughs, the first act of this movie was full of it. The vulgar jokes had nothing to do with the story, and it sure as hell didn’t move it forward – a fatal sin in any genre. I’ll admit I laughed throughout the entire movie, but god, it was so unfulfilling. I stopped caring about the two protagonists in the first act, and the third act was just ridiculous. High-concept but low-scale, but I guess that’s how most Farrelly brothers movies are.

By far the most vulgar of their movies, it was a surprising attempt to mimic a Judd Apatow film with all the one-liners, and it failed miserably.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.0
What it should be: 6.0

Pass

Midnight in Paris

A stark contrast to Hall Pass, this was one of the most surprising and delightful journeys and my favorite movie this year. It wasn’t perfect, there was the cliched troublesome relationship and it felt unbelievable at times (the relationship, not the story), but it worked in this fantasy romance set in Paris.

While I would definitely use a simple conversation to turn the tide in my own screenplays, it doesn’t always feel as impactful on the big screen as it might not have here so that could be another knock, being as how you could’ve blinked and potentially missed Plot Point 2. Some of the characters’ decisions are questionable and I didn’t root for the way things played out, but like I said, it worked. An instant classic of Woody Allen‘s and remarks as it being one of his best.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 7.8
What it should be: 7.8

Recommend

The Rum Diary

An interesting story of a man’s life, I don’t know if it was significant enough to warrant higher praise…or even a movie. He accomplished nothing and left that part of his life, giving it a feeling more of a crazy vacation that might have been better off being told at a house party.

Giovanni Ribisi is wild as an unhygienic looney, and I’m looking forward to him giving Mark Wahlberg a hard time in Contraband, which comes out on 1/13. Johnny Depp, one of the highest-paid actors, bombed at the box office, making just $22 million against $50 million.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.7
What it should be: 6.7

Consider

Childish Gambino – Camp

I heard two songs from this guy (Heartbeat, Freaks & Geeks), and I was sold. The album surpassed my expectations. The vibrant, animated rapper with above-average lyrics and euphonic choruses was an absolute sleeper with his studio debut album. I don’t even skip a track from the actor better known on Community.

Favorite tracks: Bonfire, Heartbeat, Sunrise

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Recommend

Childish Gambino – EP

More a four-track bonus material that comes with the purchase of his album than a separately released EP, this one includes Freaks & Geeks. The allure isn’t quite there like it is with the album, but it grows on you. And the lyrics are exceptional.

Favorite track: Not Going Back

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Recommend

If you’re sure you know what the meaning of this video is, drop a note in the Comments. Probably the best ‘thinker’ music video I’ve ever seen.

BJ

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2 Comments »

  1. Happy New Year, Dan! So blessed to have a loyal follower.

    As much as I agree with your suggestion, I don’t think I can not look at the IMDb rating beforehand. It even sometimes influences my decision to watch a movie. So, I find it easier to alter the ratings in increments of .5. Hope that helps!

    Comment by Bryan — January 4, 2012 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  2. happy new years bryan!

    I like your new rating system. I have a suggestion tho. You should make your IMDB “should be” ratings before you look up the actual ratings. Unless that is what you’re actually doing and you just match up perfectly with the IMDB hivemind.

    Comment by dan — January 4, 2012 @ 3:35 pm | Reply


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