Sunday, July 05, 2009

Movie Guy

Finally updated the movie portion of the sidebar, which I'll re-post here for easier commenting.

Up
Absolutely charming and lovable and beautiful and moving as has been promised, and with about 30% less hectoring peer pressure from the entire universe to find the whole thing brilliant beyond all understanding, it was much easier to sit back and enjoy than WALL-E was. I'm still not sure how Charles Muntz went missing in South America when Carl was a child and yet ended up apparently younger than Carl in the present. Botox? A-

The Proposal
Not an especially good movie, but it goes far on the collective charm of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I'd like to throttle the music supervisor, though, as that hokey, tootling score intruded on the events approximately every three minutes or so. Weirdo highlight? It involves Betty White AND Lil' John, but I won't ruin it for you. Also of note, after watching the credits: Zoe Bell was Sandra Bullock's stunt double. ZOE BELL? Somehow I think falling off of a boat doesn't quite compare to that Grindhouse car chase. C+

Whatever Works
I'll say this for Woody Allen's latest: It didn't end up quite as awful as the first half-hour would suggest. It's the faintest praise I can manage, though, because the best the movie gets is dated amusement. I've been told the movie is based on a decades-old Woody script, and despite Age of Obama gussying up, boy does it feel like it. The stereotypes, the worldviews, the tired depictions of avant-garde New York are all positively moldy with age. Evan Rachel Wood and Patricia Clarkson do yeoman's work with terrible characters; Larry David, less so. D+

Away We Go
The movie paints in broad strokes, especially in its first half, and the point of it all often seems to be "Please tell me we're cooler than whoever it is we're talking to now," but that being said, I found it very funny and, in the end, quite moving. Krasinski's really great, and way cuter than I've ever found him. I really loved the way the movie painted him as decidedly a nerd but didn't exaggerate it or make him feel nobly superior because of it. Seeing as we're now living under a nerd-talitarian regime in pop culture, that's something. Maya Rudolph is somewhat impenetrable, probably by design, and I can't decide whether that works as well as it should. Maggie Gyllenhaal is awesome (as a total cartoon character) and Catherine O'Hara is the absolute best, playing a character named What If Kathie Lee Gifford Were a Hippie? B+

Humpday
Low-key and funny without being cheap or reactionary. OR preachy and message-y, for that matter. Big fan of all three leads, including Blair Witch Project alum Josh Leonard but espcially Alycia Delmore, who drew more laughs with a sideways glance than anything else. I can't say anything else without completely spoiling the movie, but read on if you don't care SPOILER LOOK AWAY Okay, not to be immature or juvenile, but I paid to see awkward, ungainly man-fucking and ultimately, I didn't get that. So it drops a letter grade. Sorry, them's the breaks. END SPOILER ALL CLEAR B

Were the World Mine
How do you make a movie about a high-school rugby team full of 18-year old underwear models suddenly making out with each other under the influence seem so fucking BORING? I dunno, ask the makers of this movie. I normally tend to brush off the "why should I care about the problems of young, pretty white people?" criticisms as pointless whining, but even I couldn't get into the all-consuming angst of a boy this cookie-cutter cute. Like, boys that good looking don't need creepy drama teachers with Shakespeare spells to hook up with straight boys. Anyway, a total wasted opportunity made notable only because it featured Opal from "All My Children" singing and going momentarily sapphic. C

Spring Breakdown
Funny, if dated in its depiction of Lilith-era feminine dorkiness. But Amy Poehler and Parker Posey sell it well enough -- and an honorable mention goes to Amy's cornrows, which got about 20% of the movie's laughs on their own -- but best in show honors absolutely go to Missi Pyle who transcends "cougar" and steals every single scene with ease. B-

4 comments:

DuchessKitty said...

You captured my sentiments exactly regarding "Away We Go" and "Humpday".
I was considering seeing "Were The World Mine" but now, not so much. Eh, maybe one night when I'm drunk.

BeRightBack said...

I just could not get past the condescending core of Away We Go. The performances were pretty universally good (and this made it watchable), but the writing was so tonally inconsistent they seemed to be acting in different movies altogether from scene to scene, and that made the ending seem utterly unearned for me. And the songs were used in such a leading way it was distracting (the lyrics frequently spelled out the things the characters were thinking as they were thinking them, like in the scene when they arrive at the house at the end and get out of the car).

I dunno, the more I thought about it, the more I ended up in the A.O. Scott side of things (not a place I usually find myself!). It felt smooth going down due to the likeable cast, but the aftertaste really curdled for me the more I thought about it.

anthonycw said...

The fact that "Were the World Mine" was so-so for you but one of its highlights was seeing Opal from "All My Children" cements my growing adoration of this blog. Keep it up, amigo.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should actually read A Midsummer Night's Dream and then you'll get what Were the World Mine is. You lost me on that review.