Monday, August 27, 2012

Smorgasbord o' Movies

I had one of those hard work weekends where I saw four feature films in the cinema.  It was a crazy ride.  

As everyone knows, I am a dope about movies.  It's not my wheelhouse.  Nevertheless.  My capsule reviews:

The Awakening (2011) – well, one of those atmospheric ghost movies, this one taking place in a castle in England.  Post-war (the Big War, you know – the one to end all wars) England has a lot of folks looking to talk to their dead, and one woman debunking the séance industry.  She’s called out to a boy’s school, where the boys are terrorized by a ghost that they’ve seen.

Let’s see:  a murder took place in the house/castle before it became a school, it’s got a creepy housekeeper (Imelda Staunton) who is plainly identified as creepy in the second second you see her, noises, etc.

Had I seen it beforte?  A gazillion times. 

Nevertheless, it wasn’t awful.  I liked Rebecca Hall, I liked Dominic West (the leads), and it waited until at least 2/3 in before it started having things leap from out of frame into view.  This was an improvement on 94% of the “horror” or “thriller” movies now being made.

Plus, Rebecca Hall had a brief turn in the nude – always a game-changer. . . ..

Thum lamely lifted.  Nahh – parallel to the ground.

The Myschievous Monkey and I attended the cinematic debut of Hit and Run (2012).  I had never seen a commercial for this film; I'd only read reviews.  I hear the commercials are horrible.

The movie was not.

I dislike Dax Shephard, and I dislike Kristen Bell.  In most movies.  Not here.
Same Tom Arnold.
Same Bradley Cooper.

The movie was engrossing, believable (well, mostly; the performances were believable), action-packed, and best of all, it was
funny and clever.

Not great, but was worth attending.

The Myschievous Monkey was shocked that all of the characters talked, and that we heard them.  And loud cars.

To quote a fellow named "Roger Ebert" [plainly lifting my name for his own nefarious purposes]:
They [Shephard and Bell] work convincingly together, and the movie is ever so much better than a film titled "Hit & Run" has any right to be.

Thums up.

Easy Money (2010), originally titled Snabber Cash.

I probably should have gotten my dread underway early.  This Swedish film was made a few years ago, but in its current U.S. art-house release, it’s got “Martin Scorcese” plastered all over the credits.

It’s gotten really good reviews.  Just not here.

It was great, being in Swedish and Spanish and all.  I love movies with subtitles, taking me to new places and forcing me to concentrate and work to move along with the characters rather than read.

The lead was good, the villains were good, the female “lead” (not) doffed her clothes for a moment (I’m sure I mentioned “game-changer” back there, didn’t I?).

‘twas propulsive.  Kept me in the world of those people for two hours.

I didn’t care.

I sorta hated the movie.  It was well-done, but I just wanted my money and time back.  Should’a seen “Searching for Sugarman,” dammit.

Just so you know: the lead is a good guy, smart with money and finance, who is dragged into the underworld because he longs to not be a poor schmuck, but to hang out with and fuck rich people. Have you ever seen that before?  No?  Yeah; I get it.

Thums Down

The Third Man (1949).

Movies were made to be seen in movie theaters, with other people.
Great movies – more so.

Thums Up.

1 comment:

Fred C. Dobbs said...

See "Searching for Sugarman."