Friday, June 16, 2006

Tons Of Brief Movie Thoughts

More movies from the video store means more thoughts on movies:

-Disappointment #1: Match Point. Let me say how underwhelmed I was by this movie. With all the talk about it being a “return to form” for Woody Allen, I didn't really care for this movie that much. This is a movie that didn't really seem to get started until after the first hour. It wasn't too bad after that, but the first hour nearly bored me to tears. While the performances were very good (especially that of lead Matthew Goode), this just wasn't a film that translated very well to home video.

-Even though I have no problem with classic films, it seems like I always see the remake before the original. After I recently watched the musical remake of The Producers, I ended up watching the remake of The Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thornton. I have not seen the original film, but I must say that I enjoyed the remake. It was the kind of raunchy “kids” film that doesn't get made much anymore. Billy Bob Thornton was in full Bad Santa mode and it was great. There were a lot of great lines and good performances. I know that Billy Bob Thornton is no Walter Matthau, but his version of The Bad News Bears was certainly a lot of fun to watch.

-Sometimes a movie is exactly what you expect and nothing more. Glory Road is one of those movies. That's not to say that it's bad. It's nowhere near bad. It has good performances, very good basketball sequences, and that nice uplifting feeling that good sports movies give you. However, nothing really takes this film from good entertainment to great drama. It does its job over two hours and afterwards, you'll feel satisfied that you've been entertained...and there's nothing wrong with that.

-After watching A History Of Violence, I don't know why it wasn't up for more awards. It's a great movie that packs quite a punch into its short running time. It's a brutally violent film at times (I said “Ooooh!” more than once while watching it) but it's also a very good drama. Everyone in the film is very good. I really liked William Hurt's performance late in the film. His portrayal of a gangster is one of the strangest (and best) I've ever seen. I really enjoyed this movie and it's one that I may eventually buy on DVD.

-Disappointment #2: Chicken Little. I wanted to like this movie more than I did. I have been a Disney fan for a long time and I even like some of their “lesser” movies. However, their first foray into CG animated features wasn't all that great. It proves that the message is more important than the medium. The voices in this film were all very good. Zach Braff, Steve Zahn, and the always great Joan Cusack all stood out. Everything else, though, was mediocre. With the exception of Chicken Little (and maybe Runt and Fish), the character designs were ugly. While there were a couple of funny scenes, many of them kind of fell flat. As I watched, I kept thinking that this movie needed some more tweaking in the story and script departments. Chicken Little wasn't as bad as some made it out to be but it's not something I'm going to rush to watch again.

-Last Holiday is yet another film that I'm seeing first in a remade version. I watched the recent version with Queen Latifah and found it pretty enjoyable. Quite simply, it's a light, fun movie. While it's not exactly realistic (most sane people would have gotten a second opinion if they found out they were dying), it's sweet and probably a good date movie.

-Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is a funny, shocking, and strange movie that I really enjoyed. Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer have great chemistry and the script is a goofy delight. The Emperor's New Groove-esque narration helped keep things from getting too serious and the twisty crime aspect kept things from getting too stupid. It's probably one of the best post-Tarantino-style movies I've seen.

-Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit was just as charming and fun as I hoped it'd be. It was essentially just like watching a long Wallace & Gromit short film. I've always liked the shorts' combination of dry, subtle humor with action. The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit did not disappoint. In the end, I think it ultimately did deserve the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature although upon rewatching Corpse Bride, I think the race was pretty close.

-Big Momma's House 2 is a movie that's just as bad as everyone said it was. This movie was sort of a low-rent combination of Mrs. Doubtfire and The Pacifier. While I like Martin Lawrence, damn near every scene in this movie made want to either slap my forehead, cringe, or just feel ashamed for black people. Let's all hope and pray that Big Momma's House 3 never ever gets made.

-I was surprised at how good The Family Stone was. The movie is just another holiday comedy-drama about a large family. However, the cast is very good and the script both subscribes to (and subverts) some of the tried-and-true elements of these movies.

I should be watching In The Mix and The Greatest Game Ever Played soon but if we don't rent any more videos, I'm not sure if there will be enough for another Brief Movie Thoughts post.


  1. You're not the only one who was sadly disappointed by "Match Point". My boy Jim Wolcott was also underwhelmed and his review touches on why all the critics were so WRONG on calling that stinker a winner when it was first released.

    I also agree with you on "The Family Stone", it was one of those movies that kept tugging at my memory days after I'd watched it, brining giggles and belly laughs as scenes were recalled during my day-to-day toil. A sweet, wonderful holiday film.

    I'll take your word (and everyone else's word) on BMH2... yeesh!

    LOL... the last letters of my word verification are 'imo' ;)

  2. I have to agree with you on History of Violence...