Saturday, February 24, 2007

Five Mini Movie Reviews

Not to be confused with five reviews of mini-movies, here are some short reviews of movies I recently saw on DVD.

The Departed
: I can now say I've seen two of the five Best Picture nominees (the other being Little Miss Sunshine). I enjoyed this movie. The performances were top-notch. The story was pretty good and even with all the plot twists, it never felt confusing. Another thing I liked about this film was how fun it was to watch. Even as all sorts of terrible things happened, I didn't feel down. Scorsese did a very good job with this film, hands down.

Over The Hedge: When the nominations for Best Animated Feature were announced, I wondered why this movie wasn't on the list. Now, I see why. This isn't a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. It has good voice performances, cute characters, and some pretty funny moments. However, something just didn't click overall for me. Maybe I am really starting to feel the effects of all the similar CG movies. I mean this movie has a hyperactive squirrel...and so did Hoodwinked. This movie will probably get better with another viewing but as it stands, it's a decent movie.

Clerks II: I was kind of surprised by this movie. This was actually quite good. It has that Kevin Smith combination of raunchy/gross humor, excellent dialogue, and a lot of heart. You have to love a movie that can fit in a critique of the Lord Of The Rings films, a dance number to “ABC,” and an incredibly shocking sequence involving a donkey without batting an eye. This is probably my favorite Kevin Smith movie and one that I may buy on DVD someday.

Barnyard: You know how many animation fans call the current crop of animated movies too talky? This is the movie that they probably were referring to. I swear that there is more dialogue in this movie than Clerks II. Unfortunately, it's not laugh-out-loud hilarious dialogue but rather that “comedian” dialogue that has characters saying a lot of nothing. The plot of Barnyard is a tried-and-true one and it's predictable. While this movie isn't without its funny scenes and moments (why did I laugh at Biggie Cheese?), this is a clear example of some random person saying “Dude, I can make an animated movie!!” and somehow getting the money to do so.

Idlewild: For some reason, black movies are rarely called “quirky.” However, I would use that word to describe Idlewild. At its best, it's a lot of fun to watch and director Bryan Barber has a wonderful visual flair in his first feature. At its worst, it's a little too dark, unusual, and annoying. Although I wished there was more music from the actual Idlewild album in the movie, it was nice seeing the songs from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below put to good use. Big Boi and Andre 3000 do a good job in the film and I think the two of them could have a nice side career taking the right roles. Overall, Idlewild is a movie full of potential. You can see the potential in Bryan Barber as a film director, the potential in Dre and Big Boi as actors, and the potential for it to have been a very good movie.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say I had extremely high hopes for "Idlewild," but just found it to be a disappointing mess .. Though Barber did show some visual flair, the gangster story line was just tired .. and if I remember correctly, Andre didn't even get a big music number until the closing credits ... You're right that it had potential, but for me, it just didn't deliver