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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Cove (2009)

Another angry-mentary (angry documentaries) with a message - this time about the slaughter of the dolphins in Japan.  Sad, effective and surprisingly suspenseful at time.  It is informative as well as entertaining - though, no in the let's watch this during a party or with the kids kind of way...this ain't Flipper.  Winner of Oscar for Best Documentary.  8 stars out of 10

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

A Wes Anderson animation with George Clooney playing a fox - need I say more to entice you?  A charming, smart film that will probably be enjoyed more by adults than children.  This stop-motion animated fox feels more real than most human characters do in live action films.  Unlike most animations the visuals and the characters are imperfect, rough and not always pretty - more like real life.  You get to see them, mole and all.  The Good stuff.  8 stars out of 10

The Damned United (2009)

For some reason I enjoy soccer movies.  This one was no exception.  Even if you are not a fan of the sport, Michael Sheen performance will keep you watching.  He takes an character that is tough to like and keeps makes you root for him.  It is more about a man than the sport - will satisfy both audience.  Sheen is one of the under appreciated actors of the last decade.   8 out of 10

Monday, March 29, 2010

Women In Trouble (2009)

A day in the life for an ensemble of very attractive, somewhat interesting, tough to believe exist women in a story that is so thin it lacks any feeling of cohesion.  The director is in love with the physical beauty of his cast - though not enough to choose a better script though.   4 out of 10

Friday, March 26, 2010

Public Enemies (2009)

Over-produced gangster film.  It is fine to try hard to be something you just can't let us know you are trying hard - it ruins it.  This film is trying too hard to be a classic gangster film and fails.   Comes across like playing pretend...with bad accents.  With this cast it is too bad it is a shame the screenplay don't come through.  6 out of 10

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beer Wars (2009)

An inside look at the American beer industry.   Depressing, as most documentaries on American business are.  The little guys have to fight to even get distribution (held back by archaic laws from the times of Prohibition) while the bug dogs are raking in the cash for selling swill,  Still, worth viewing.  8 stars out of 10.  If you are not a beer fanatic as I am take away a star or two.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The House of the Devil (2009)

A young college coed in need of cash gets more than she bargains for when her babysitting job leads to a run in with satanists.  As a horror film it works well, tension filled and creepy.  The real reason to watch is to see how they emulate the style of horror films from decades past.  By recreating that style they make a better horror film than the majority created in the last decade.  7.5 out of 10

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Julie and Julia (2010)

aka "meh and Julia" - half a good film, half a sugary sweet storyline that is hard to stomach.  Meryl Streep plays Julia Childs picture perfect; not just an imitation, real acting.  Amy Adams plays Julie, the woman who is making every recipe in Childs' book so she can write about the experience on her blog.  Yep, that half sounds as boring as it is written.  If you are a fan of Streep or Childs watch it, otherwise try cooking from "The Joy of Cooking" instead.    5.5 stars out of 10

Friday, March 5, 2010

Crazy Heart (2010)

A country singer with his fair share of problems in love, life and music tries one more shot at redemption.  The story doe not break any new territory, but Jeff Bridges breaths life into into a character that could have felt too familiar.  His performance just feels real - so much you root for this character you probably would not be willing to spend time with.  The resolve is a little too happy, but I'll take it - life is sad enough.  7.5

Inglourioius Basterds (2009)

Tarantino's take on World War II told through a small group of Nazi-hunting killers.  Every great movie has one great film, this film has several. Christoph Waltz's performance is chilling.  Bold and bloody - not going to go over well with all audiences.  BTW, don't grow attached to any characters.  9 out of 10 stars

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

An average Disney animated film that will please the young ones, but probably will not make many of their favorite film lists as they grow older.  The southern setting adds characters, but the characters themselves are not all that memorable - overall they played it too safe.  I do love the traditional animation...just not as potent of a spell as other Disney films.  6.5 out of 10

Monday, March 1, 2010

Legion (2010)

A ultra-cool premise about near apocalyptic world where God has sent angels to wipe out the no longer worthy mankind...with a terrible execution.  Weighed down by loads of hallow exposition.  My guess is most of these scenes were created when a producer enjoying a couple drinks said "that'd be cool."  It is true, the best scenes would be cool if they were part of a better film.  Next time write a story before coming up with the "cool" scenes.  3 stars out of 10