Movie review : Shorts

Shorts

I sort of like kids movies but this one was really horrible. I even asked three kids coming out of the theater what they thought. Two boys – 8-10 years old I guess – said that it was okay and a little girl said, “It sucked“. I laughed harder at that than anything in the movie. In fact I don’t recall anyone in the theater laughing during the film. If anyone did laugh it wasn’t loud enough to be heard over the soundtrack.

It’s hard to pan the acting of these kids but it was bad. I seems as though the director, Robert Rodriguez, asked the kids to act like kids. What you get is like kids doing a parody of what kids are like.

The worst thing about the movie is the non linear story telling. That can work great in some instances but here it seemed really forced and there was no point to it. Besides, I really wonder if kids are going to care or even be able to follow it.

Even if the story had been told sequentially it still would have been bad. I’m not sure what we were supposed to learn from this movie.

Perhaps to be careful what you wish for. But that doesn’t really work too well, because most of the time people were using the rock unknowingly. For instance, when the sister says, “I wish you would grow up” to her boyfriend. Of course we know what happens, but that’s just a cheap trick. And it isn’t what she intended.

By the way, can someone explain to me why that stuff about the brother and sister playing the don’t blink game was in this movie? What was that all about?

I could go on but it would be a waste of time. There’s nothing meaningful, entertaining, surprising, or funny in this movie.

What did you think about Shorts? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Buy the RunPee Mobile App for 1.99 at iTunes

Movie review : Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds

[ No Spoilers ]

This is classic Quentin Tarantino. It’s violent but not horrifically so. If you’re just a little squeamish then there are probably only two scenes that you’ll want to glance away from. ( One being when Sgt. Donny Donowitz brings out the baseball bat. I can’t tell you the other without spoiling the movie. ) Most of the violence is just your standard blood splatters from getting shot with a machine gun. If you could sit and watch Saving Private Ryan you can certainly watch this.

The movie is about 2 1/2 hours long and kind of feels that way. There were a few times in the movie that I thought, “Can we get back to the Basterds now?” Some of the scenes seem to run a bit longer than really necessary. But that’s just Tarantio’s style. He’s in no hurry to tell the story. So the long scenes are either going to annoy you or make you appreciate the story teller’s method of giving details that aren’t essential to the plot.

Brad was wonderful as Lt. Aldo Raine. His opening speech to the basterds was reminiscent of George C. Scott’s speech in Patton. In this case I wish he would have taken a little more time in his delivery. Otherwise it was fantastic.

The rest of the cast gives perfectly good performances. Christoph Waltz stands out as Col. Hans Landa and probably has more screen time than anyone. Much of the credit goes to Tarantino for doing a great job of directing. Great actors can really suck with poor direction but give them the right support and you’ll get their best. Fortunately the cast is very tallented and Tarantino brings that out.

There were a good 4-5 scenes that the audience laughed at. Nothing hilarious but some good chuckles. If you laughed during Pulp Fiction, and I was practically rolling in the floor a few times, then you’ll get a good snort here and there.

For my part the most annoying aspect was the subtitles for the German and French lines. Normally I don’t mind but it makes it very difficult to take notes since I can’t tell what is being said unless I look at the screen and I can’t look at the screen and take notes at the same time.

What did you think about Inglourious Basterds? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Buy the RunPee Mobile App for 1.99 at iTunes

Movie review : (500) Days of Summer

(500) Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer is the best romantic comedy I’ve seen in a long time. I’m going to put it in that group of great romantic comedies that sits right under When Harry Met Sally, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

It was funny, but not hilarious. There were a handful of laugh out loud scenes that were funny to the audience but not funny to the characters ( I think we call that ironic comedy from now on).

What really surprised me is the effectiveness of the non chronological storytelling. The movie begins with day 500 and then skips around through the days non-sequentially. But it isn’t as if the story skipped around for no reason. Each jump was based on what the characters were thinking at the time. At no point was I lost thinking, “Is this the before or after breakup? Where are we?” The entire movie is a sequence of flashbacks but you hardly notice. And it seems obvious why it is written that way: it’s because this is how we actually remember things. So kudos to the writers and director for a job well done.

Zooey Deschanel was a perfect cast for this part. She is cute and quirky without being too beautiful for the role – just beautiful enough is more like it. 🙂 ( Yes, I’m a Zooey fan. ) It is fun seeing an actor like Joseph Gordon-Levitt go from the brother in G.I. Joe to this role. Even though I just saw G.I. Joe last week I didn’t recognize him. He played the role superbly by not overdoing it. He’s just an average guy who got his heart broken.

And let me add that this movie has the best post first-sex music montage ever.

What did you think about (500) Days of Summer? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : The Time Traveler’s Wife

RunPee - PeeTimes link
The Time Traveler’s Wife

When I go to the movies I like to sit back, relax, eat popcorn and wash it down with that monster diet soda, especially now that I don’t have to worry about missing key parts of the movie while making a trip or two to the ladies room. (RunPee.com). The Time Travelers Wife is not a movie that allows one to do that. Even though it’s a nice love story, it is confusing. I spent way too time tying to figure out if Henry,the time traveler, was the Henry of the past or the future. However, I did enjoy the scenery and Eric Bana was easy on the eyes.

What did you think about The Time Traveler’s Wife? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Bandslam

Bandslam

Bandslam reinforced a lesson that I’ve learned many times: never judge a movie based on it’s genre. I’m not a fan of horror movies but I’ve seen many horror movies that I love. And I’m not a big fan of cop/gangster movies yet I think some of the movies in that genre are great. And since I’m more than twice the age of the oldest teenager you would think that I wouldn’t like teen movies, such as Bandslam.

But I’m happy to report that I’ve found another instance of a movie that I loved from a genre that I generally don’t care for.

Bandslam is just an old fashioned good movie. It’s solid story telling and avoids the common cliches that teen movies are prone to have.

What did you think about Bandslam? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : District 9

District 9

You can tell from the previews that District 9 is slightly atypical. Much of the movie is shot as a documentary. Especially the first 10-15 minutes. After that it begins to stray into a more conventional filming style while retaining a hint of the documentary camera style. The director Neill Blomkamp finds a nice balance – meaning he didn’t use it so much that it became irritating.

As a science fiction fan I’m always hoping that a movie like this will become an instant classic. In that aspect I’m quite disappointed. However I did enjoy the movie. It was good. Not great.

What did you think about District 9? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra

GI Joe - CollectionaryIt’s good to keep in mind that G.I Joe is a movie based on action figures. The good guys are good guys and want to be even better. The bad guys are bad guys and want to be even badder. There is no internal conflict. No questioning motives. Okay, maybe a tiny bit but nothing like the internal conflict of X-Men or Spider Man. But that’s okay. G.I. Joe is from a generation that didn’t have that whole conflicty thing going on. The most recent generations – you know who you are – just thrive on internal conflict to the point of inflicting it upon Superman – which is really just wrong on so many levels.

No, G.I. Joe is pretty much what you might get if you gave a 10 year old Spielberg the entire action set and then stuck electrodes in his head that could record his imagination. Lets have big fights between teams of fighter jets underwater. And then lets have these two guys fight each other a lot because they both fight with swords. And of course the bad guys inevitably must capture one of the good guys so that there can be a rescue.

There is nothing wrong with G.I. Joe if you want lots of action and a shallow and easy to follow plot. If you’re big on intrigue, twisty plots and the ubiquitous internal conflict then you might be a bit disappointed in this film. This might be an action film that baby boomers like more than twenty somethings.

BTW, anyone know where I can preorder an accelerator suit? 🙂

What did you think about G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia is a story driven film and pretty light on plot. But that isn’t a bad thing by any means. The script by tells a good story that the director put together masterfully. Which shouldn’t be difficult since both jobs were done by Nora Ephron: Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, et al. Combine that with exceptional acting and you have a good film. I’m not saying it’s great or not. That takes time and rewatching to discover. But there is that potential.

Most surprising is the number of times the audience laughed. There were at least 6 scenes that got a goodly percentage of the audience to laugh out loud. A few times it was enough to miss the next few lines of dialogue. While I wouldn’t label this movie a comedy it was funnier than most of the moves that do so.

Of course Meryl Streep’s performance was what one would expect: perfect. She is astonishing in her abilities and we see it here. Amy Adams does a fine job as do the supporting men playing their husbands. There really isn’t a weak link in the film.

What did you think about Julie & Julia? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Aliens in the Attic

Aliens in the Attic

Reviewing kids movies is really hard. I doubt if there are many adults out there who are seriously thinking about seeing this unless it’s to take you kids to see it. And honestly this isn’t the sort of movie that does anything for the mature crowd. Men in Black it aint. 🙂

Aside for looking for PeeTimes during a movie I try and keep track of the number of times the audience laughed. I counted 5 solid giggles out of the kids and a few laughs for the adults.

I’m going to give it a 6 out of 10. It didn’t suck but it really wasn’t very good.

What did you think about Aliens in the Attic? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.