Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Movies I've Seen Recently

Rather give unpaid reviews (not that I expect to be a paid critic, but because I have a great deal of respect for paid critics), lately I've been giving loose impressions of films I've seen rather than actual reviews. I don't know if there's a real difference there, but I like to think there is.

Well, since my back has been out of commission, I've done lots of movie-watching, and not a whole lot of blogging. So here are my brief impressions on several flicks I've seen in the last couple of weeks.

Julie & Julia - I was pleasantly surprised by this novelty dual-character study. It's well acted, thick with snarky and snooty wit, and it works almost exclusively because the actors hired to portray married couples have such a rich chemistry together. Also, Meryl's Julia Child is spot-on.

Jennifer's Body - The whole is definitely less than the sum of its parts... there are several amusing vignettes all strung together into a resounding "meh" of a film that almost sort of works. I never wanted to turn it off, but I'm glad it's behind me now.

Paranormal Activity - It's a genuinely creepy film that illustrates better than anything else how much fear truly resides in the imagination. Kind of a Blair-Witch-but-done-better sort of thing. Watched both the theatrical and alternate endings... not sure which I prefer.

Avatar - Big and fun and 'splody, but yeah, it's Pocahontas with smurfs. It doesn't quite live up to the hype, but it's still a fun ride.

Up In The Air - Re-affirms everything I've grown to love about George Clooney and Jason Reitman. An open and honest exploration of things that trouble real people.

Sherlock Holmes - Downey is great, Law is great, and it's nice to see Ritchie not sucking. The film overstays its welcome by about fifteen minutes and I would have appreciated more resolution and less setting up for the inevitable sequel, but I had fun.

The Quick and the Dead - Okay, this is a fifteen-year-old Western that my wife insisted I watch. It's an interesting story, albeit it has all the grace and subtlety of... well, of a fifteen-year-old.

Daybreakers - This was actually an incredibly fun (and gorey) take on the vampire stories that have been romanticized to death by Twilight and True Blood. Vampires have taken over and are now facing overpopulation. Very inventive and well-executed with some good ideas, good splatter, and a handful of decent scares.


No comments: