Time for some brief film reviews:
For those unfamiliar, rather than a rating system based on stars or thumbs, I have devised my own. Here is an overview:
Go see this movie right now, no matter the cost – I find the movie worth full first run theatre price. (If it is a movie that is already out of theatres, it means I suggest it is rented and viewed immediately by those who have yet to see it). The only thing that is better than this rating is if I call a film an absolute classic.
Worth viewing as a matinee – the movie is worth shelling out a couple of dollars for but not worth paying the absurd full price.
Wait til it hits the cheap theatre – this type of movie is worth a viewing but not worth more than a dollar or two of your money.
Wait for the DVD release – the movie is worth a viewing, but not worth any of your money as I assume you would be renting it via netflix and so viewing it wont cost you anything over what you already pay for netflix. Or you could just borrow from a friend who buys it, as we all know people who buy almost every new release.
Avoid at all costs – reserved for the worst of the worst, its not even worth your time to watch the movie. You should only be caught viewing this type of movie if you are a) drunk and it happens to be on TV and you are struggling with the remote; or b) are paid handsomely to view it.
Hot Rod– the Andy Samberg vehicle that from the trailers seemed like it might end up being a very long SNL sketch that would drag on and on. I was pleasantly surprised, as it featured some very funny moments; specifically everything involving Bill Hader. He completely stole the movie. At times it does lack direction and the plot is obviously ridiculous. It felt like Napolean Dynamite and Talladega Nights mixed into one movie, so it features some legitimately hilarious moments and some stuff that misses entirely. This would have been rated as a wait til it hits the cheap theatre movie, but it is already out of theatres; so I would now rate it as worth a look on DVD but I wouldn’t put it up too high in your netflix queue.
Superbad – I think everything that could have been said about this Judd Apatow production has already been said. I thought it was hilarious. It did drag at times and could have been shorter, but it was still better than most comedies that come out. The reason to really dig Apatow/Rogan’s work is that their characters are far more grounded in reality than most characters in anything else Hollywood released and they manage to feature hilarious comedy along with enough heart to make the story hold itself together. It’s to the point where the name Apatow or Rogan being on anything will instantly get me to watch it. Definitely worth a viewing at matinee prices, boarding on full price worthy.
Balls of Fury – the movie about ping pong. Not very good. In fact, it featured very few laughs. The only real laugh is from frequent Reno911! guest Toby Huss as the groundskeeper of a cemetery. He is great and should be featured in more stuff. Almost everything else about this movie bombed. I don’t want to do it, but I have to rate it as avoid at all costs.
3:10 to Yuma– I thought this had potential to be the film that brought westerns back into style, ala Unforgiven in the early 90s. It wasnt quite that good, but was a very solid effort. For quite sometime I didnt like Christian Bale as an actor, mostly due to Reign of Fire, but in the last couple years he has really turned it up a notch (Batman Begins, The New World, and The Prestige) and my opinion has completely turned. He is good, I give in. He was what you thought he was. I have long been a fan of Russell Crowe. I think he brings great screen presence to a film. Also, be on the lookout for the great Luke Wilson cameo. If you like westerns, you will like this movie. Recommended for matinee viewing, possibly full price viewing depending on how into westerns you are.
Shoot Em Up – I thought this tongue in cheek action film starring Paul Giamatti and Clive Owen had some real potential. The action is way over the top on purpose, or at least that’s what it seemed they were going for. So, it is entertaining and doesnt feel like you run of the mill pointless action fare. Also, it is rather short, clocking in at under an hour and a half, so it never drags. It just felt like it was lacking something, and the crazy action gets less funny as the film goes on. Definitely worth a look in the cheap theatres, or a rental if it happens to already be out of the cheap theatres.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – this Elizabeth Taylor film from 1966 is an absolute classic. I am really glad it made it onto the new AFI top 100 list because it deserves that acclaim. This is a must see film. I cant say enough good things about it. Also, it is quite racy in terms of language and implied acts for its time period. It holds up amazingly well for being 41 years old.
Until next time, as always comments encouraged.