Friday, February 25, 2011

February Movies

Once again, a roundup of all the films I saw in a month. Not reviews, per se, just a sentence or two about my general feelings about the films. This time: February!

Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (D+): I watched this movie for all the cameos from old time Hollywood stars it has. Thank God for those cameos, because this was once of the worst films I've seen in a while. Every joke fell flat. A total slog.

True Love (C): A short collection of films about love. Some were crap. Some were mildly enjoyable. All are forgettable.

Restrepo (B+): A interesting documentary following a year in the life of an Army troop at a remote outpost in Afghanistan. Tense and thrilling most of the time. It does suffer from a slight case of "the sames" after a while. "The sames" being that you've seen it and heard it before. Doesn't make it bad, just that it isn't totally fresh.

Film Geek (D+): A movie nerd finds love. Or at least I think he does. The movie conceit kept coming and going throughout the film as the need dictated. Otherwise you were left with a unlikable main character essentially stalking a woman. Fun.

Cold Weather (B+): I'm not the biggest fan of mumblecore, but this movie had just enough jokes going for it to keep me entertained. The grade would be higher, but the director decided to make the ending about one thing when it should have been about another. You'll have to rent it to see what I mean, and it's definitely worth a rental when it's out in a few months.

Biutiful (C-): Javier Bardem does deserve his nomination, but besides that, Biutiful is watching a man die very slowly for 2h20m. And you feel every minute of it. It doesn't help that the film essentially tells two parallel stories that should interact at some point but never do.

Strapped (B-): A hustler tries to find his way out of an apartment building, but keeps running into various residents who prevent him from doing so. At the end, the hustler learns something about himself. The interactions with the residents aren't anything surprising and I'm not exactly sure what the hustler learns; but he was attractive and I'm human, so that's good enough for a B- in my book.

Even The Rain (B): A Spanish film about a film crew trying a film a Columbus movie in Bolivia while the 2000 water riots are going on. A little heavy-handed at times, but filled with good performances and an important message. And who doesn't love Gael Garcia Bernal?

The Wolfman (C): I saw this for its Oscar nomination. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, but perhaps that was because I saw the extended version which put back in some explanatory scenes. Still, it was all pretty rote. And it took over half the film to get to the first Wolfman transformation.

The 2010 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films (B-): I'm not going to get into a discussion of each film individually here. Just that this year it was an underwhelming lot.

The 2010 Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films (B-): Repeat the above.

The 2010 Oscar Nominated Short Documentary Films (A-): This was more like it. Usually, this category is a three hour depression fest, and while the topics this year aren't cheery, each film ended on an uplifting note. This gives the viewer a peek into an aspect of life on Earth they might not know about and not leave them wanting to forget about it, as the more downbeat documentaries have done in the past. A tough category to call this year.

Toast (B+): A fun little BBC telefilm about about the childhood of British chef Nigel Slater. Nothing too Earthshaking here, it was all predictable and pleasant. Helena Bonham Carter was a hoot and the food made me hungry.

The Eagle (C): I saw this solely for Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell. Something about having to go rescue a Eagle standard from evil blue painted people in Scotland. Needed less emoting and more wrestling.


Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (C): I've decided to finish watching all the Stanley Kubrick films I've missed. Started off with this British documentary about what was contained in the 1000 or so boxes Kubrick left on his property after he died. The answer is: nothing special. Photographs and other assorted research that one would associate being done with any film. Only two things of note: 1. Four minutes of behind the scenes footage of Kubrick on the set of Full Metal Jacket. 2. A fan letter that Kubrick labeled as being written by a 'crank' read by that person years later and their current thoughts about it.

Stanley Kubrick Documentaries: No grade here. They were all very basic docs. The type you'd find playing before any movie in the 1950's.

Fear and Desire (C): Everyone has to start somewhere. While there are some flashes of promise in Kubrick's first feature, it really isn't all that great. A war film told mostly in voiceover about how war is bad. Checked off.

Killer's Kiss (B+): Kubrick's second feature is a tight (67 minutes) film noir featuring the good guy, the femme fatale and her brute of a boyfriend. Plays out exactly as you'd expect it to. A good final fight and some fantastic views of 1950's NY make this one to catch.

Full Metal Jacket (B): I didn't find this to be the masterpiece that some others claim it is. The training camp scenes are fun, the Vietnam scenes are done well, but I just didn't see a point to everything. you have a 45 minute film followed by a 65 minute film, neither of which seem to have anything to really say. Still, it's not boring by any means.

And there you go. What have you seen of these? Which ones do you want to rush out and see? How right or wrong am I?

1 comment:

Polt said...

" but he was attractive and I'm human, so that's good enough for a B- in my book"

This is perhaps the funniest and yet at the same time totally true, thing I've read in a long time. I'm still laughing. :)