January 6, 2008 at 7:22 am #297
So yeah, guys, it’s that time of year again, where I watch a whole bunch of movies and review ’em for you. It turns out that this year, unlike many years before, the ones that are going to be up for the big awards are totally watchable movies. Of course, these reviews will not contain any spoilers, so you’re safe in reading them if you haven’t seen them.
First, let’s start with one I saw not too long ago…
American Gangster: You can say what you want about Ridley Scott, but regardless of the material, his movies are a feast for the eyes. I recently saw Blade Runner for the first time all the way through, and I was very impressed with it, even if it doesn’t totally hit me. Anyway, American Gangster is beautiful to watch, in all its grittyness, if that’s even a word. Denzel is definitely good in it, but the real reason to watch is because of how damn good Russell Crowe is. He plays the cop to Denzel’s bad guy, but he’s just so damn likable. And the dude’s got some serious flaws, but he plays it so you can’t help but root for him. The movie’s not without its flaws, however — once the ball starts rolling toward the end, it seemed to be in too big of a hurry. Good ending, just a little too quick considering what came before. But yeah, great flick. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Zodiac: Not many have discussed this for awards, but it totally should be. I don’t know how accessible it is for the average watcher, since the focus of the story is not on the killings themselves but on the investigation and the way the media was involved in it. For me, it was riveting. I want to say it’s like two and a half hours, but it didn’t seem like it. David Fincher’s movies are similar to Ridley’s — any movie of his automatically gets three out of four stars to start with because they look so damn good, and yes, I’m including Alien 3. Anyway, Robert Downey, Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo — great cast, great flick. Should be up for something, dammit! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Charlie Wilson’s War: So I went into this movie thinking that most of it would go over my head, since I’m not a political type of guy, but it’s probably the most entertaining script, just in wittiness, that I’ve seen all year. Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman (my hero!) — another just awesome cast. And it helps that it has tons and tons of beautiful women all the way through it, including Amy Adams (that cutie pie!). Surprisingly entertaining and funny is how I would describe it. I don’t know how many times I could watch it because of the heavy subject matter, but since this is the one I’ve seen most recently, it’s hard to talk about it with that couple of day stew that it usually takes, if you know what I mean. But it really was just damn entertaining. 🙂 🙂 🙂
No Country For Old Men: I don’t know how many of you have seen this, but it’s the Coen Brothers, it’s action packed — how can you not want to see it? All three leads, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and the totally-new-to-me Javier Bardem are simply fantastic, and would not be surprised at all if all three of them got nominations for their work here. Bardem is completely scary, seriously. There are tense scenes, and there are tense scenes — I haven’t been this nervous in a movie in I don’t know how long. Just amazing filmmaking. Now, people have been talking about the ending, and I won’t discuss it here, but I think it’s fitting now that I’ve seen the movie twice. The first time, I was a little shocked, and even a little mad. But I started thinking about the movie as a whole, and it’s the one time that I could say that it didn’t matter as much to me that the ending wasn’t the way I’d done it, simply because it had some of the best scenes ever. And then I watched it again, and I have to say, it took on a whole new meaning. All three of the characters could be viewed as the main character — and that’s all I’m saying about it. Now, if you’re reading this and wondering where it fits in the rest of the Coen Brothers movies — I don’t think it’s my favorite Coen movie, but I think it’s their best movie, if that makes sense. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
So there you go. I don’t know if this is entertaining to you guys at all, but I love reviewing movies, so get off my back about it. Up next will be Gone, Baby, Gone, the child-kidnapping movie directed by none other than Fashionably Male himself, Mr. Ben Affleck, He Was A Quiet Man, a little sleeper starring Christian Slater, and hopefully, There Will Be Blood, if I can find a place to go see it..January 6, 2008 at 7:19 pm #4657BuchoParticipant
I haven’t been too excited to see Zodiac in a hurry, even though I like Downey and Ruffalo a lot, and Fincher. It just feels too dry to me, from what I’ve seen in trailers and reviews anyway.
But the other three I’d be amped to see, I just saw Charlie WIlson’s War trailer a couple of days ago and it looks aces, Hanks back in the game after the balls-up of Da Vinci Code. No Country For Old Men looks superbadass too, I’ve liked Brolin for a while, just waiting for him to find a hit. It’s like his face was made for brooding, and surely there’s some pedigree there.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.January 7, 2008 at 2:54 am #4671OctaviousParticipant
Bucho, you’ve got to see Zodiac.January 7, 2008 at 3:05 am #4670
Yeah, Bucho. Like I said, this year’s not like last, like The Queen and movies like that that don’t have much of the mainstream audience in mind. These are all the cat’s pajamas.January 7, 2008 at 7:17 am #4669
Atonement: A big-budget Lifetime movie. Really. The acting is top drawer, but it’s just — it’s like The Perfect Storm, where it’s only at the end of the movie when you realize that everything that came before was just made up. Apparently, I’m in the minority — on Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 83% favorable rating, and I just don’t get it. I was pretty bored with it, and more than a little annoyed. So okay, it probably is better than 83% of the crap that came out this year (Underdog, anyone?), but I still don’t, and absolutely refuse to, grade on a curve. I’ve seen commercials about it, comparing it to Titanic. Sure, okay, and it will probably be forgotten as quickly, too. 🙂January 11, 2008 at 5:20 am #4656
Rob, did you say you didn’t like I Am Legend?January 11, 2008 at 6:06 am #4682El RustirinoParticipant
I Am Legend was cool. Ending sucked though.January 11, 2008 at 7:00 am #4667
No, I didn’t like I Am Legend. CG vamps don’t do it for me.January 11, 2008 at 7:10 am #4668
He Was A Quiet Man: Small little movie about a guy wanting to blow away all the people he works with. Very eh. Elisha Cuthbert is in it, and looks very yummy. Pretty sure her nude scene is a double. Just not worth it, really. 🙂 🙂
Gone Baby Gone: Another kinda eh. It was good, sure, and directed by Ben Affleck. Casey Affleck did a pretty good job, but the story was just eh. I can see why people like it, because it is very well done, it just didn’t hit me like it should, really. To me it felt a lot like Mystic River — good, but in that I’ll-never-watch-this-again kind of way. 🙂 🙂 1/2
There Will Be Blood: Singlehandedly saved by Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis. This guy is purely amazing. I think it is probably the best performance in at least ten years, and that’s putting it lightly. The movie lives and dies at his hands, and he never faltered. The movie itself is overly long, and rather depressing all the way through. I can’t really recommend it unless you’re into watching an actor at the top of his game with the performance of his career. 🙂 🙂 🙂 1/2January 11, 2008 at 7:21 am #4677FrankParticipant
I’ve heard it’s going to be between No Country, There Will be Blood and Atonement for the Oscar this year (hell, if they even have the Oscars this year). I still haven’t seen No Country yet, mainly due to me having to drive to Charlotte to go see the damned thing. Atonement looked like it would be something from the Merchant Ivory collection.January 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm #4666
No Country’s my movie of the year, but I can’t see it winning an Oscar, because it’s so damn bleak.January 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm #4655
On the subject of “I Am Legend”: I just wasn’t sure what you thought of it (Rob). The CG was weak in the whole move… even some bad reflections on the Mustang in the beginning and stuff. The ending didn’t suck for me, was just plain weak… but I think they just lost direction at that point and needed to get out. So, they did it with a dull meat cleaver, and shot some junk the countryside and went home to contract with their budget special effects house. I really liked a lot of the character stuff, I think there was some decent thought put into who he would become in that time. I enjoyed it some, but I wouldn’t call it good.January 11, 2008 at 8:17 pm #4665
I just can’t forgive the bad CG and the super-religious ending. A movie like Signs has religion all the way through it. The sudden introduction was a mistake. I thought Will Smith was great in it, but the fact that he is saved by two people in a car on an island with no way onto it — pretty big plot hole, there.January 11, 2008 at 10:01 pm #4654
Yeah, I laughed about the island bit. I didn’t think it got really religious, I just thought it was the 1 character. I think a lot of movies manage to introduce a character that think they are guided by faith, and even though they end up being right, they don’t manage to make it about the faith that makes it so. After she popped him a few times with her bible, I really felt like it went away. Maybe I was just sleepy.January 11, 2008 at 10:27 pm #4676FrankParticipant
Ah, but let’s remember Will Smith’s a Scientologist now, so be careful when talking about Will Smith and religion … you might get sued.
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