Sunday, April 03, 2011

Movie Survey: April 2010!

(UPDATED: 4/10/2011).

Every couple of weeks, I like to visit the Apple Movie Trailers page and check out what movies are coming soon to indie theaters and mainstream theaters. Earlier this year, I wrote a blogpost about the "Best Movies To Look Forward to in 2011 & 2012," but now that I've seen the spring crop it's time to review them.

1. The King's Speech: Yes, I am a year behind the rest of the world it seems, but I finally did see The King's Speech and I liked it. Yes, it deserved the Best Picture oscar, yes, Colin Firth deserved to win Best Actor. Representing King George VI, his struggles with stuttering and the frustration of trying to make other people understand, made me cry. My advice: see it in theaters soon!

2. The Adjustment Bureau: I was not disappointed in The Adjustment Bureau. It had just enough of the "see behind the screen"/Matrix feel, and a believable love story, I did enjoy it...until the end. Dare I say it? The ending was too happy. It irritated me. (It got me wondering about focus groups probably not liking an original, sadder ending, and how due to not testing well, the producers changed the ending. It was a total cop out.) However: I did really enjoy watching Emily Blunt's saucy Elise fall in love with Matt Damon's character. Their chemistry sizzled from their first meeting. Few movies can say that! My advice: Rent it on DVD.

3. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES 2011. If you don't like "shaky/close up/loud battle scenes" this is not your movie. I saw it in the D-Box seats (NOT worth the $18.00 ticket) and I swear if it had also been a 3-D movie, I'd have PTSD. The Pros of this movie: (1) Aaron Eckhart's totally heroic (to the point of suicidal) bravery, (2) the realistic and scary special effects, (3) the behind-the-scenes look at the Marine front line. The cons: this movie is exhausting...and it never ends... My Advice: Rent it on DVD.

4. RED RIDING HOOD: Definitely my favorite of the bunch. It's not a "scary" movie Mom, it's a "thriller" style, a 'who-dun-it' that keeps you guessing and hunting the Wolf until the very end. I can appreciate a film that deliberately works hard to include striking visual images, camera angles that don't make you dizzy or sick, beautiful scenery and settings and gorgeous and authentic looking costumes. The greatest part of the whole movie, all things considered, is still the plot: the way Hardwicke includes references to the "classic story" in a way that's not cheesy but haunting. This is a movie I will buy on DVD to watch all over again, especially now that Nicole told me about the "meat stew" she eats at the end: sorry Grandma. My advice: Buy it on DVD. 

5. I AM NUMBER FOUR: Surprisingly awesome: due in part to it's 'Shia-LaBoeuf' style banter between the male leads. A good series launch, with believably scary bad guys, a beautiful hero to look at (Alex Pettyfer- who came out of nowhere), a beautiful, smart and competent heroine in Diana Agron (Glee), and two cool side kicks. I was sad to see Timothy Olyphant's character leave- as he was snarky and funny. My advice: Buy it (or definitely rent) on DVD.

6. SuckerPunch: SuckerPunch bombed in the reviews, so I shouldn't have been disappointed in my already lowered expectations, but I still was. The science-fiction scenes, were vivid, violent and lush, reminiscent of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, in both nonsensicality and steampunk (neo-Victorian) imagery. It wasn't the superfluous fight scenes but the horrors of the dehumanization and human misery and sexism of the actual reality storyline that were disappointing. While I was glad to see the female action stars fight back, the film made me angry on a Girl, Interrupted level- mostly at the misuse of power by men and the inequality and inherent methods of defense that these women were degraded to in the mental hospital. My advice:  Skip it.