Recap: 17 May 2009

Not much to report, so let’s get straight to…

What I Watched

  • Intolerable Cruelty (3½ stars): Amusing and quirky; pretty much what you’d expect from a Coen Brothers romantic comedy. Nice chemistry between the leads (George Clooney & Catherine Zeta-Jones), fun dialog. I enjoyed it.
  • Star Trek (5 stars): As for the Star Trek canon, I thought they found a way to make this film fit perfectly. My mom, a very devoted TOS trekkie, disagreed wholeheartedly. So, take from that what you will. Outside of the Trek canon, there’s not much to say about this one that hasn’t already been said. I absolutely loved it. It’s not perfect, but, in my opinion, it blew last year’s The Dark Knight out of the water. Heart-wrenching at times, heart-warming in others, thrilling in its fair share of moments and funny in the others, it may just be a perfect summer movie.
  • The Soloist (3 stars): Sweet story of friendship and of the art of acceptance. Some things (like the orchestra filling in when Ayers was playing a cello solo, and the weird, potentially seizure-inducing light show during their trip to the orchestra rehearsal) took away from the impact of what should have been really moving scenes. There were also some issues with the definition of relationships outside of that between Lopez and Ayers. Still, very solid performances all around.
  • Chinatown (3½ stars): I’m still sort of processing this movie, to be honest. It was a bit meandering at times, and I’m still not quite sure what the true motive of the villain was. That being said, the great performances and interesting storytelling certainly made it compelling.
  • Teeth (3½ stars): Ah, what to say about this movie. It’s a very, very dark horror comedy. And it’s pretty graphic without being overly gory. Certainly not something you want to watch with kids around. I had a great time watching it. My main complaint is that every single guy turned out to be a douche, but, hey, I didn’t expect this movie to be perfect. Bottom line: it’s loads of fun, and you should check it out if you’re in the mood for a very, very dark horror comedy (though, guys be warned, there are a number of scenes designed to make you very, very uncomfortable).
  • Taken (4 stars): Luc Besson (who co-wrote the screenplay) delivers another solid action flick. There are a few moments where you’ve got to suspend disbelief, but nothing jarring enough to make you care. Liam Neeson is fantastic and, in my opinion, totally believable. Truly, it’s his movie to make or break, and he sells it with no problem.
  • Angels & Demons (3 stars): I realize it’s the popular thing to hate on this movie, but I actually thought it was a perfectly acceptable summer popcorn thriller. It’s entertaining, the acting is fine enough, and I was never bored. Plus Ewan McGregor. I didn’t like The DaVinci Code, but Angels & Demons delivers a couple of hours of solid entertainment.
  • [Guilty Pleasure Movie Night] Lethal Weapon (4 stars): The movie that shot screenwriter Shane Black into the big leagues. I hadn’t seen the first installment in this series in a long while, but it really holds up quite well. Riggs and Murtaugh are… well, they’re awesome. The banter, the teamwork, the balance, and, well, the love. They’re great. Watching the film in this Age of the Bromance, it’s easy to see how they’ve served as the basis for many an archetypal buddy flick since.

That’s it for now. Have a good week, folks.

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