Me and My Nine Iron

June 12, 2012

Movie reviews

The Artist

The French black-and-white silent picture that took awards season by storm was all that it was cracked up to be. A family-friendly classic like the Best Picture before it (The King’s Speech), it was a warm film that moved me without uttering a single word. A brilliant score accompanied the silence.

Winner of 5 of 10 Oscars–including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Score–it was on numerous top 10 lists for critics, including No. 2 for Richard Roeper and Peter Travers and No. 10 for Roger Ebert. I have it as No. 2 for the year.

Go watch it if you already haven’t: it’s different, beautifully made and a real tribute to the silent era.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 8.2
What it should be: 8.2


The Grey

An entertaining movie with a lot of unlikable moments personally, from extended talking scenes to how the best scene of the movie–the end, and also shown in the trailer and TV spots–is not shown. While there are some bright spots and honest character traits with our protagonist (Liam Neeson), I just hated the idea that the main and only conflict to this group of plane crash survivors in the blistering Alaskan snow were grey wolves. With a little worse execution, it could’ve bordered on an animal slasher film.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 7.0
What it should be: 7.0


Project X

Yes, the ultimate party movie actually has a story. Todd Phillips‘ project starred mostly first-timers and was shot home video-style, showing crazy antics, hot girls and fun times. At times, it’s like you’re watching a music video (like to Eminem‘s W.T.P., but an entertaining 80 minutes throughout.

The sequel is in development after the original grossed just shy of $100 million.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.6
What it should be: 7.1


The Secret World of Arrietty

I had high expectations for this animation after its high IMDb rating and concept, but I was immediately held back by the unlikable animation. Just to be clear, I don’t need Pixar-quality art, but it had that signature Japanese style that doesn’t translate well onto the big screen for me.

Just as bad for me was Arrietty’s voice in the English dub, which was that of Saoirse Ronan (Hanna); I found it annoying. And despite an intriguing story filled with some pretty neat missions, the end was largely unsatisfying. But it was critically and commercially successful and won Best Animation in Japan.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 7.7
What it should be: 7.2


War Horse

I scoffed at the idea of a movie about a horse…until I saw it. Steven Spielberg‘s epic war film (no, not Saving Private Ryan) had a lot of sappy moments, but it still played well. That damn horse made me ball…twice.

The movie got six Oscar noms, including Best Picture, with Ebert calling it “surely some of the best footage Spielberg has ever directed.”

Spielberg’s next project: Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis in December.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 7.2
What it should be: 7.7


Patrick Stump – Soul Punk

Fall Out Boy’s frontman made a transformation both physically and musically, shedding excess weight and providing dance music and uplifting lyrics, in his solo debut. Impressively, he wrote all the lyrics, played all the instruments and handled all the production in a pretty solid album – on top of possessing one of the most amazing voices.

Favorite tracks: Explode, Run Dry (X Heart X Fingers), Coast (It’s Gonna Get Better)

Rating: 4 stars out of 5


The Pretty Reckless – Hit Me Like a Man

This 5-track EP has only three new songs (and two live songs from their album) and takes a heavy shift towards slower beats and more of their gender-conscious lyrics. A more soulful listen to the amazingly mature voice of 18-year-old Taylor Momsen.

Favorite track: Hit Me Like a Man

Rating: 4 stars out of 5





  1. Love the premise. Tell me how it is.

    Comment by Bryan — July 10, 2012 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  2. Re: The Artist: It probably took me about 10 min. to really get into it. Hahah. You’ll come to embrace the score being the only thing you hear.

    I remember your FB update about Arrietty; I thought you loved it. Anyway, that animation made me cringe. Hahah. Personal preference.

    Comment by Bryan — June 12, 2012 @ 9:25 am | Reply

    • Naw, after a repeated viewing of Arriety it didn’t hold up.

      Comment by Ja-Hon Suh — June 13, 2012 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

      • I haven’t watched it again since I first watched it either, and I usually like to watch Ghibli movies like a million times. Time to check out From Up on Poppy Hill.

        Comment by Ja-Hon Suh — July 10, 2012 @ 1:22 am

  3. War Horse and The Artist are in my queue to watch, although admittedly I watched 10 mins of the Artist and turned it off because I was completely taken aback by the silent thing. I’ll give it another try.

    Interestingly, the one thing I did raise my eyebrow at was your comment of Arriety’s animation being unlikable. This was easily one of Ghibli’s mediocre films(I commented about it on FB a long while back), but the actual animation itself is sublime and hand drawn, I don’t think CG animation like Pixar (who actually learned to take their cues from Ghibli) compares to their execution. You should watch it in the original Japanese dub with subtitles, although it won’t ever improve the weakly stillborn suspense and plot.

    Comment by Ja-Hon Suh — June 12, 2012 @ 1:21 am | Reply

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