My Long Overdue Movie Reviews

I've watched several movies over the past couple of months both on DVD and in theaters. Here is a long overdue review of some of the more memorable ones.

Prince Caspian
Maybe it was the over hype of everyone saying this film was better then "The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe", but I left feeling a bit disappointed. It was nowhere near as good as the first Narnia film. My main problem with "Caspian" was it seemed to be one of those movies that tried to hard to please every movie goer instead of focusing on one thing and doing it well. The fight scenes were much more intense in this film compared to "Lion" which was fine by me, but then I suspect the directors thought they might be too intense for younger viewers so they would stop the action to allow a silly, childish comment by one of the actors to lighten the mood. Either be a kids film or an action / adventure film. Don't try to do both. LOTRs pulled it off and Narnia could have too. 2 1/2 Stars

Juno
I had been wanting to see this film since I first saw it previewed before "Into the wild". Unlike "Caspian", "Juno" lived up to my expectations and all the hype my friends had given it. Ellen Page (Juno) and Micheal Cera (Bleeker) were as perfect of actors as there could have been for this film. Not only was the acting top notch, but so was the story and dialogue. Each situation in the film is weighed to have the highest impact, and the movie never resorts to petty plot scenes or silly comic elements. The movie quite simply shines with authenticity at nearly every turn. At the same time however, Juno is still a REAL movie. It evokes charm, laughs, excitement, and some very touching moments. This is far from being your run-of-the-mill teen film. This is a movie with real grit and the performances are enough to sustain its story. These are the sorts of movies I truly enjoy, the kinds that feel alive and are charming throughout. Also, the soundtrack of mostly original songs is equally as terrific. 4 Stars

The Bucket List
Beth and I had the opportunity of watching "The Bucket List" on our eight hour flight from Houston to Honolulu. It was one of those films I had wanted to see when it came out in theaters but soon forgot about. What it turned out to be when I finally got to see it was the BEST film I've seen in 2008. The Bucket List stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as two old men dying together as they share a room in the local hospital's cancer ward. After deciding they still had many things they wanted to try before death arrives, they create "The Bucket List", a list of all the things they want to accomplish before they die then set out to do it. The acting was perfect. Think of two of their best film-roles (Shawshank Redemption meets As Good As It Gets). You will laugh out loud, cringes at some mishaps, and then feel the power of the message to your core, and yes, you will cry. It is a good cry though, not a manipulated, calculated, date movie, tear-jerking cry. Back to the stars of the film...Morgan Freeman is amazing. Any movie Morgan acts in and narrates is always a hit. And Jack? Perfect. Teamed with Rob Reiner again, this performance rivals A Few Good Men. Different tenor, but right there as one of his finest. Also Sean Hayes surprised me completely. His role fits perfectly with the big two. 4 Stars

27 Dresses
I'm not a chick-flick movie goer so the only reason I ever would have watched this film was the fact that I was stuck on a plane for eight hours and had nothing better to do. Maybe it was the lack of sleep or jet lag but I actually enjoyed this movie. To be honest I really liked it. Katherine Heigl stars as a codependent, perpetual bridesmaid whose sister steals the man of her dreams and then expects her to plan the wedding. This movie is lot like the old pie in the face gag: light, frothy and predictable, but still funny and cute. For me this is so far the surprise of the year when it comes to movies. 3 Stars

Dan in Real Life
Steve Carrell is the perfect blend of goofy guy, lovable oaf, grieving widower, and witty single dad. While the story line is a little predictable, there are enough surprises along the way to make it a real treat. You get sucked into a pleasant family scene and start feeling all sentimental then Dan would manage to get himself into such a horrible predicament that it was hard not to turn away and cover your eyes. The comedy was laugh out loud funny in many, many, parts. But there were also scenes, just touching enough, to bring a tear to the eyes without being overly corny or melodramatic. The perfect blend of laughter and drama. The scenes with his daughters are hysterical (esp. the middle child) - and touching. Those of us who are parents (esp. with girls) know that if we haven't gone through it already... we will. The supporting cast was great and even Dane Cook toned it down a bit. There is not one thing I can say bad about this movie! 4 Stars

Super Bad
This is one of those movies I feel guilty for enjoying. It's vulgar, crude, rude, and very real. After working with teens for the better part of the last 12 years, I can totally see high school guys thinking and acting this way. Most of the situations are over the top but that doesn't stop the one theme that is the DNA of the entire film and that's the power of friendship. Michael Cera was great just as he was in "Arrested Development" and "Juno". 2 1/2 Stars (would have been higher if the language wasn't "super bad")

Evan Almighty
Not sure why it took me almost a year to see this film but in the end it was as advertised. A nice follow-up to "Bruce Almighty" and a perfect family film. Steve Carrell carries the film's comedic points and Morgan Freeman was again amazing as God, giving little words of wisdom at just the right times. Even for a movie based on a man becoming a modern day Noah and building an ark, the ending was a bit to over-the-top for me but other then that it's a great film. 3 Stars

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
I'm starting to believe that I'll never see another classic Adam Sandler movie again. "Chuck & Larry" was right in line with his more recent comedies that lack an entertaining storyline and creative dialogue that makes you want to quote lines or scenes from it like his previous classics did. If you liked "Click" or "Anger Management" then you'll enjoy this film. If you are like me and still consider Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, The Wedding Singer, and Waterboy, Sandler's best then you'll be disappointed. 1 1/2 Stars

Black Snake Moan
One word - terrible. This may be one of the worst films I have ever seen. Samuel L. Jackson was better in "Snakes on a plane". 0 Stars

Comments

Kristie said…
Darryl and I rented "Dan in Real Life" and "Bella" this past week... You MUST go rent Bella... it is a beautiful story about love (but not the kind you would think) and redemption... Darryl said that the director was at the Thirsty Convention (?) because he had seen the previews somewhere... well WORTH the rental... let me know what you think! Also have you seen "Once"... another great breath of fresh air "indie" film with amazing raw music


PS if you liked 27 dresses then you must have been drinking something on that mother f'in plane... haha.. sorry couldn't help myself

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