Monday, August 04, 2008

Summer Movie Catch Up

The Dark Knight in IMAX - Well, since everyone has already seen this already, there's no point in reviewing it now, so here's my Grade: A

Though I will say, as good as it was, it was truly a disturbing film. I know that's what made it work and emotionally powerful and gripping but I'm not sure I want future megablockbusters to be THAT disturbing. (Though it didn't help that I just saw it after this past week's sickening Greyhound bus beheading over in Manitoba which just reminded me of something so pyschotic that only Joker's logic could do). I had my fist in my mouth for about 80% of the movie. The other 20% it was probably just covering my eyes as they tried to peak through my fingers to watch Heath Ledgers mesmerizing but frightening performance.

WALL*E - The first half is PERFECT. Absolutely PERFECT. The second half of the animated film was a bit... well... cartoonish. Still good but slightly diluted and too smooth, almost like the rendering of the fat humans' skin. Still, Pixar makes a film that's better than most animated AND live films out there.

Also, I want that little robot that cleans up things. So cute. I NEED IT. (Yes, that's partly a joke about the anti-consumerism the movie is trying to convey, but I actually do really want that cute little sweeping robot!)

Grade: A-

Mamma Mia! The Movie - Cheesetastic! The singing could have been better. The lighting should have been better. The choreography could have been better. The filming and photography should have been better. The editing should have been better.

But when you have an A list cast of Meryl, Pierce, Stellan, Firth, Bryanski and Julie Walters, in addition to two hot young up and comers Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, all dancing and singing to the music of Abba in a B list movie, it's so much fun to watch them have fun that the imperfections barely matter. It's watching A listers performing summer theatre up at the cottage, or in this case, on an island in Greece.

In fact, I almost wished it went on longer. It's not like the plot REALLY mattered anyways so they could have made some stuff up to fit a few more songs in.

And how cute was Stellan and Colin Firth totally losing their dignity with this movie? Loved that!

Grade: B

I also caught up with a few movies from earlier this year:

Charlie Bartlett - I loved Anton Yelchin's performance even though it also didn't feel at all like he was correctly cast for the part. I know that doesn't really make sense but I thought he was totally miscast yet I loved how he played it still.

I loved thinking about Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and then playing the down and out teacher here!

Also love Kat Dennings. Can't wait to see her with Michael Cera in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

I know Charlie Bartlett is really a 21st century rehash of Ferris Bueller in emo mode but I enjoyed it a lot.

Grade: B+

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who - The most Seussian of the recent Seuss movie adaptations and at least they didn't totally bastardize it but it still felt slightly unSeussical to me. I almost wanted them to stick in "Alone in the Universe" from Seussical The Musical".

Still, a lot of fun to watch and Jim Carrey actually made a GREAT Horton though Steve Carrell was good as The Mayor of Whoville but I it felt miscast somehow so it felt off for me. Did you know Jesse McCartney was Jojo?

Grade: B

Cloverfield: There was the buzz, the mystery, the backlash, the opening, the hit, then another backlash. And that's just the publicity around the movie.

The movie itself is one jittery disaster film with some whinny (yet attractive in the white waspy yuppie way) young unknown people (unless you watch TV like me and then recognize Marmaduke from Carpoolers (T.J. Miller), Lizzy Caplan from The Class, Jessica Lucas from Life As We Know It, Michael Stahl-David from The Black Donnely's, and Mike Vogel from movies Rumor Has It and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) but the movie itself was surprisingly not a disaster and I actually thought it was a pretty good movie despite wanting to scream at the silly young people for their dumbass moves (whatever, there's a huge mysterious monster on the loose and your girlfriend might already be dead and you're STILL going to try to cross town to save her?).

Grade: B+


Esther said...

I'm glad you liked Mamma Mia! It was fun and I didn't check the time once, which is more than I can say about some other movies. And yeah, the plot doesn't really matter!

I haven't seen Wall-E. It seems like the kind of thing I could watch on tv and not really miss anything. And The Dark Knight sounds too intense for me.

Vance said...

Oh No Esther! If you can catch WAllE on the big screen though, its worth it. I mean, all of Pixar films are visually stunning and this is the same. the first half is breathtaking on the big screen and worth the price alone.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Vance, I also enjoyed "Mamma Mia!" despite all those things you adroitly pointed out.

As for Firth? Dignity Schmignity. He was fun.

International Jock Crocs, Inc. Bare Necessities>