Thoughts on recent movies


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It's been a while since I've bashed some movies so I know that duiu has missed my scathing critiques. I've been on a big movie watching kick lately, so I figured now's a great time to get some hate out of the way.

Movies still in theaters

Juno - Let's start this off with a bang - or rather, a whimper - as Juno was one of my most hyped movies of the past while and it ultimately disappointed me big time. You mix some Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, add some quirky characters, sprinkle indy music, and you have a recipe for a pretty solid flick. I was hoping for the next Little Miss Sunshine, but instead I got a something inbetween a lost Gilmore Girls episode and The Office goes suburban. The movie was just sooooo in love with itself and tried way too hard to have witty dialog and quirky settings. Everything is just about the one liners such that there's no real CONVERSATIONS actually happening. Both conversations, and the narrative itself suffer at the alter of supposed wit. People just aren't that witty in real life, so it comes off really forced and fake.

Similar to a Zach Braff flick it really emphasized the music. This isn't a bad thing, it's just that I didn't really like most of the music as it's more folky with the vocals being very clear. It was actually quite grating, especially during the intro sequence. I did enjoy the last song though, and the song from the trailer.

I must say that Ellen Page is a fantastic actress and I'm hopeful she's in more films that respect her talent. Seeing the new generation of comedian actors like Michael Cera and herself give me hope for the future. I must also say that it's a fantastic date movie as the end had the theater filled with "aww that's so cute" so take note guys, it's a movie the girl will love and you won't hate it. It's not a bad movie, it's just not great. And damnit, I wanted great!

Lars and the Real Girl - another slice of life quirky comedy. This time focusing more on the quirky than the comedy. I wasn't expecting too much from this movie, and it was pretty good. Again, nothing earth-shattering, and I wouldn't run out to the theaters to watch it, but it's not bad. Again, not a bad date movie. For me this movie suffered the same fate as Juno as the trailer made me super hyped which inevitably led to disappointment. People making trailers are just getting too good at it as they create unrealistic expectations. I guess that's what happens when you condense the best parts of a movie into a 2-minute segment with appropriate music.

No Country for Old Men - one of the best movies I've ever seen. Wow. Wow. WOW. Violent, disturbing, haunting, beautiful, brilliant, eye-opening. I can use a lot of words to describe this movie as it accomplishes so much. The acting is un-friggin-believable. I usually don't care too much about acting unless it's really bad, but in this case it was just so damn good it's actually noticeable, which is quite the feat. Javier Bardem plays the part so damn well man... they should just give him the Oscar now, anything less deserves an oxygen tank to the head.

Now, I know the film has been getting mixed reviews from the general public, and I'll be totally honest. Right after the movie ended I had a big WTF? look on my face and felt rather unsatisfied. But after reading about the movie, and what it was REALLY trying to say, then I thought about it and it just started getting better and better until now I'm in love with it. So yes, the ending is messed, but it makes sense! If you're unsatisfied with the movie after you watch it then I recommend reading the Wikipedia entry for a decent analysis.

Go watch this movie. Now.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - I didn't think I'd like this movie as much as I did. But here we are. It's actually very funny, and at times ridiculously hilarious. I went in with low expectations because I hated Telledega Nights, but this one overall is just way better on every level. Definitely recommended.

Home video

Shooter - A very cool film. Marky Mark plays a bad-ass Marine Force Recon sniper that is setup by some jerks and has to clear his name. Nothing fresh about the story, but I love movies that deal with snipers and this one has a lot of technical details in it which is cool.

Grandma's Boy - a stupid and silly movie about a video game tester. It's about video games, so naturally I love it. Very VERY raunchy.

Art School Confidential - made by the same people as Grandma's Boy with mostly the same cast. This one however just wasn't that funny. It was more serious, and had some funny parts to it, but the main character was just so annoying. His friend says it best, he's the class douchebag. So why do I want to watch a movie dedicated to him?

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OK. I'll post a little more later, because typing on an iPod touch is a pain in the ass, but here's the basics:

Juno and Lars

Not planning on seeing either. A friend of mine went to see Juno with her boyfriend and said almost everyone was crying on the way out So yeah, it's a good date movie. I have never heard of Lars. Maybe it's just a Canadian thing, or maybe I just missed it. I'll hit up the rest later.

This post was edited by dialupinternetuser on 1/10/2008 8:05 PM
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Is Lars a Canadian thing? It has some decently big name actors in it like Ryan Gosling, who is incidentally a Canadian. Same with Michael Cera. WHOO! Oh ya, the other thing about the Dewey Cox story is that there are some pretty graphic scenes in it. I mean at a certain point some guy's lower half, completely uncovered FRONT part just sits there chilling in the screen for a full 60 seconds. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable.

I forgot this movie that I saw that nobody will have heard of.

Black Eyed Dog - a hardcore indy movie about a small Canadian city in the maritimes and the harsh lifestyle. It's a pretty depressing movie as these small-town films usually are. I don't like depressing movies too much, but this one was alright. I appreciated the role of the serial killer and how he modified the settings without being a major focus of the film. They definitely used the line "This isn't how I imagined it!!" way way too much. We get the point: you have aspirations and dreams, and things are working out the way you thought, and it's the common theme throughout the film. Don't bash our heads with it! Recommended if you're into depressing movies, or Canadiana.

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National Treasure: Book of Secrets

One of those action movies, but is more family friendly. It has a lot of history in it, but overall was just OK. I liked the first one better. A sequel to a Da Vinci code spin off.

No Country For Old Men  

I have not seen yet, but really want to. I probably will end up waiting for it to come out on DVD or downloading it because right now where I live it's only on really late at the theaters. It should be pretty good, and the Cohen (Coen??) brothers make good films. Which leads me to my next movie,

The Big Laboweski 

A movie about a man by the name of Jeffery Laboweski (a.k.a. "The Dude") who is mistaken for another Jeffery Laboweski, a millionaire who's wife owes money to a man by the name of Jakie Treehorn. Treehorn sends men to get the money from Laboweski, but the honchos try to get it from The Dude. They shove the Dude's head in a toilet and then one of them urinates on The Dude's rug. The rest of the movie is about him trying to get his rug back to new. It has some major plot twists and is freakin HALARIOUS. One of the best movies I have ever seen. Watch it, or at least watch "The F**king Short Version" on YouTube.

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I haven't heard of the home videos, except for Shooter, which looks good. The rest I will not comment on.

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I left out

Walk Hard

It looks like it could end up being really good, or really dumb. We'll see. I will probably wait for the DVD.

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I love The Big Laboweski "We are Nihilists we believe in nothing!" Definitely a modern classic.

As for Walk Hard, I thought it was going to be really dumb just like Telledega Nights, but it wasn't. I mean, there are some parts that are dumb, but overall it's actually pretty smart and there are some friggin HILARIOUS parts to it. It's not like you need a theater experience to appreciate the movie, so waiting for DVD or downloading it would be fine.

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I recently rented Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts (directed by David Cronenberg)--really well done.  Great acting and filmmaking.  I don't like graphic violence, so I had to look away during a couple of scenes since it looks realistic.  The bonus features on the DVD talk about the history of the Russian Mafia in London and meanings of their tattoos.  Viggo Mortensen says he lived with mafiosa in north-eastern Russia for a month to prepare for the role and research the tattoos.  I would recommend this movie for sure.

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I loved Me and You and Everyone We Know. Kind of odd, but interesting. The "poop" thing is weird, but very funny.

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Just chuckling to myself about the misspelling of "Lebowski". How you guys spelled it would be LAH-BO-WEH-SKEE.

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It is actually spelled with an 'e'. Look it up, I thought it was really weird. And on Juno, I mistook it for P.S. I Love You earlier, so I don't have much to say. I have heard Juno was good and P.S. was sad and not so good.

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