Sunday, December 5, 2010

the one where i review movies and you all tell me if you agree, disagree, and what you've watched lately...

'Tis the beginning of the season.

You know which one I am talking about. Not holiday season, Christmas season, or gain-20-lbs season.

Movie season.

Last weekend I caught (count 'em) 3 flicks in the theater. I think that was a personal record for me. Then I saw another movie on Friday night with a friend, got a Netflix via mail yesterday and watched 3 more via Netflix super-cool-instant-gratification-via-computer thingy today. (For the record, I'm not a complete bump on a log, I went to brunch, saw the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, took a brisk walk through Central Park, and went grocery shopping today as well.)

What can I say? When temperatures dip (and even when they don't!) I can get in running around the city and loafing around like a drain on society in equal parts. Now on to the movies. I've done book reviews but this is my first movie "review" attempt. Here goes:

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (a Swedish film)

For those unfamiliar with the book trilogy (who have been living under a rock, really), this is the last book-to-movie installment in the series, the way God intended it. That is NOT starring James Bond (who will be featured in the American versions). Not that I have anything against Daniel Craig, I just don't see why the US has to do its own version when the Swedes did a very good job. That said, I found the last one to be a bit on the slow side and they cut out some really good and suspenseful parts and changed others so they could cut out chunks of the book. I would have liked it if Noomi Rapace played a more interesting part in the first half of this movie. But I felt the same way about the book. I also think that she's an awesome actress. By and large I did enjoy the movie but not as much until the last third.

SEE IT (but read the books and see the first 2 first).

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Believe it or not, this is the first HP I've seen in the theater. And I hadn't seen movies 5 and 6 until just recently. I knew that this was one not to miss on the big screen as the books kept getting darker and darker as the series progressed. So when BFF mentioned she wanted to see this in the theater, I happily agreed. And I'm thrilled I did. The film did not disappoint, except at the end when we both were lamenting about how we didn't want to wait until next summer to see the end of it. Having read the books, we knew how it ends and it was disappointing not to see it right then. The actors have really come into their own and (as I mentioned before) the teenaged love stuff got my former teenaged heart all a flutter.


3. Tangled

The last Turkey Day weekend movie I saw was simply just to satisfy the little girl in me who LOVED Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. Tangled is the Disney cartoon story of Rapunzel (but with a twist) and aside from the parents, I think BFF and I were the oldest ones at our Sunday afternoon showing. While I have more to say about theater etiquette (yes, even at kids movies!) than I do about this one, it was cute and funny and the animation was good. (My one complaint is that Rapunzel had GIANT eyes that made her look like those crazy stuffed animals with giant heads and eyes and really small bodies.) The music did not compare to the princess movies of yore but over all it was enjoyable.

RENT IT (to satisfy your inner princess)

4. Love and Other Drugs

I saw this one this weekend and I must say I liked it a lot more than I thought I was going to. It was funny and watching Jake Gyllenhall for 2 hrs is never that bad of a time, but more than that it was an insightful and touching look at love and relationships sans sap. The characters in the movie are reluctant and resistant from the get go but I saw that as more realistic than a lot of the rom-coms out there. A word to the wise, there is a lot of s-e-x so if you're squeamish, hide your eyes. But like I said, JG... ain't bad. The ending was a bit predictable and mushy but overall I did not exit the theater thinking, "It is so obvious. A woman wrote that."


5. Sex and the City 2

I knew this wasn't going to be Oscar worthy but I put it on my queue yesterday. The first one wasn't amazing either but I enjoyed it and found it satisfying. Half way through SATC part duex I almost shut the TV off to read instead. Very little about this movie is satisfying. In fact, it is just bad. Really bad. Now I can get past the cheese and the cliches. The series wasn't exactly my cup of tea until I actually moved to the city and found all the NYC-isms infused in SJP's narration to be charming. But in this one I just found her annoying. It was like they couldn't get the regular (good) writers to participate in the project and a decent screenplay written. Instead it was an exercise in everything over the top to beat the original movie. I mean Liza? Miley Cyrus? the United Arab Emirates? Yes, I knew what I was getting into after I saw the first commercial of them strutting through the Arabian sand like it was Fashion Week to the background tune of "Empire State of Mind" but c'mon people. At least get decent enough writers. You could have taken a cut of SJP's money. I'm sure she's not hurting for it.

SKIP IT (unless you are THAT die-hard of a fan in which case you won't care that the movie is crap.)

*These next few are oldies...*

6. My Girl 2

Don't laugh. I loved this movie as a kid so I was happy to see it make the insta-queue. The best thing about it was probably the romp down childhood lane. It's cute. It's good for a Sunday morning. It's not as good as the first one. (But it doesn't make me burst in to tears while watching it the way the first one does.) Even without Maculay Culkin, I wasn't disappointed.


7. Curly Sue

Somehow, I escaped seeing this one when I was younger. But I remember that the preview for it was on my Home Alone video tape and my brother and I watched that one 1000x so somehow I thought I'd seen it. It is about a little girl (Curly Sue, duh) and her con man guardian (Jim Belushi) and how they swindle people out of money and how cute she is in the process. And I agree. She's cute. I looked her up on IMDB and she's older than I am but she was a convincing little actress. Beyond that, I didn't like the story line. And I'm not THAT picky. I watch Lifetime movies, for crying out loud.


8. About a Boy

Another cool thing about Netflix viewing via computer is that they have all the movies that are currently playing on Starz, including this one, which I had never seen but had always meant to. Despite my best efforts not to, I really enjoy Hugh Grant and find him incredibly charming and witty. I think it is mostly the British accent and wit, really. Gets me every time. I loved this story and might actually make a note to read the book. Toni Colette was great. The lead kid (don't know his name) was also wonderful and end damn near had me a giant blubbering sobbing mess. It is one that I would buy and watch frequently. Two thumbs up.



Jen said...

Great reviews!! I saw Love & Other Drugs last week and boy, are there a lot of topless shots!! Just don't bring kids to this movie ;-)

Happy Monday Dear! xo

Little Match Girl said...

Thanks for the reviews! I am so excited to see "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" afetr seeing the first two and reading all three! And I agree, the US version is not needed, these are great!

Jenny DB said...

I saw HP7 and I LOVED it. I saw the girl with the dragon tattoo and was very impressed. have read all the books but didn't know they had made the other 2 movies already, just thought they were making in the US. How was #2?