So like any good procrastinator I always tell myself I will write my reviews ‘later’ then never do them. Whenever I think of writing them I always find something else for me to (not) do instead like clean my room. Well Folks… Today I cleaned my room and have the whole rest of the day free… so here it goes, another mass movie review post…
The Social Network
Story: Mark Zuckerberg lies and steals his way to the ultimate Social Networking website ever created.
Review: While not quite the ‘Rashomon’ multiple versions of one story Writer Aaron Sorkin promised, the fast talking ultra witty characters of TSN are (probably) far more entertaining then their real life counterparts. The direction is crisp and sharp, using its two hours wisely.
Its a shame that this will be ‘The Facebook Movie’ to most as it certainly is more. Some people are saying that they liked how it showed how much Facebook has impacted our society but that’s not the movie I saw. I saw a great discussion on the property of Ideas and who owns them. Mark Zuckerberg comes off as a total Asshole in this movie (yes even in the last five minutes, to me at least) but here’s the thing… he probably did a far better job with everyone else’s ideas then they would have…
Story: Robert Downey Jr. has to get cross country to see his baby-be-born and needs the help of idiot/not-friend/loveable-goofball/friend Zach Galifianakis.
Review: Basically a giant teaser for Hangover 2 but not quite as fun. The movie sacrifices some of the fun and pacing for dramatic turns, only to end them with corny punchlines. Its not all bad, just not all good.
Story: Denzel Washington and Chris Pine try to stop a runaway train.
Review: Its a train movie. It has Denzel Washington and Chris Pine in it. Its exactly what you would expect. Tony Scott is always visually impressive, I just wished he picked something other than a train movie…
Story: Matt Damon is a troubled psychic. Cecile de France is a news anchor/reporter who had a near death experience. Some kid loses his twin brother and is really sad. They all meet up at some point or another.
Review: A very slow moving three character study of death and everything crappy about it. Here’s the thing… Clint Eastwood is awesome… love him as an Actor and Director. But when is he going to create another iconic character again (The Man With No Name/Dirty Harry) instead of just ‘real life’ characters? With him at the helm, this movie is better than it could have been, but I wish he would do something else…
Story: Natalie Portman is a ballerina who is obsessed with perfection. She dances.
Review: By far the best movie I saw this year. Loved every minute. Look for a more in depth review after I see it again (for a third time).
Story: James Franco gets his arm stuck under a boulder and he must try to get out.
Review: I appreciated the ‘commercial’ style of Boyle and making this otherwise very static story a kinetic one, but the flashbacks were just too much for me. Everything here is pounded into you… sometimes for the better (showing how thirsty Franco is) and sometimes not (Flashbacks of him with people/what could have been).
Franco is good… in this movie, but I don’t see why everyone is so in love with him all of a sudden. Ultimately… ‘the scene’ that everyone knows is coming really isn’t worth the whole movie and would have been better as a made for TV movie. Like with Eastwood, love the Director, just wish a different story had been done.
Story: A Samurai meets Cowboys and they don’t get along and then Ninjas come in and they all fight.
Review: A movie made by people who love Samurai movies and Westerns. Its cheesy and corny which means a lot of fun. It knows its genres well, but I just wish it had better pacing. The whole movie was basically a giant buildup to the end fight which was great.
Final Grade: B
Story: The Rock gets out of jail and hunts his brother’s killers.
Review: The Rock is awesome. And he is Awesome and badass in this movie. But the storyline with the crooked cop and silly hitman took up way too much time without amounting to much. (Although the hitman does have an awesome bit about yoga.) In the end, Clint Mansell’s score turned this otherwise average revenge story into an awesome epic-at-times thrill ride. He definitely saved the day.
Story: Real life story of how Wife-Husband combo Naomi Watts and Sean Penn were screwed by the government after Penn said the gov’t lied about the War in Iraq.
Review: A great in depth detailed look at how the Government used certain information and bullied certain people into getting exactly the stories they wanted so they could justify going into Iraq. The story seems to fall a little flat in the second half when it becomes about the marital problems with Watts and Penn, but their performances make it worth while.
Just wish there was more to do with Scooter Libby (David Andrews was Oscar Nod Worthy in his couple minutes as Libby) but at least the movie doesn’t end on the ‘Matt Damon will solve all our problems’ note that ‘Green Zone’ did.
So there ya have it. Some/Most of these are probably gone from theaters but are worthy of a rental.