Tag Archives: film review

Have you heard of this movie?

the imax screen at southdale is not as big as the zoo or science museum one, but feature films don’t take up the full screen there anyway. my point, for $9 at southdale, a 3-d imax is awesome. And I bet the glasses are as big as the ones you may find elsewhere. look at these blu-blockers:

Avatar. I loved it. still working up what I want to say about it and what it does for the action movie moving forward. being immersed in it, bullets whizzing by you. like a FPS. like the virtual reality…or we are jake in an avatar with our big ass 3-d glasses and thrown into the action on the imax screen. very meta. and now the biggest movie of all time. can you imagine being the “king of the world” and having the #1 and #2 top grossing films of all time?

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Filed under Take a Chance

Fave Films 2009 (so far)

A list most definitely in progress. Everyone seems to love going to the movies around Christmas. Pick a good one. I still want to see Avatar 3-D, among many others like An Education, Nine, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. No. No. I will not. Doodles was begging to see more Alvin today. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t own it. Why we had only rented it. And I can’t believe I just admitted we even did that much. It was so bad, but the kids laughed so hard. Belching + farting + helium voices = surefire children’s movie hit.

Here are some of my film faves so far in 2009:

The Invention of Lying
Inglourious Basterds
(500) Days of Summer
Up (3-D)
Up in the Air
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Funny People
The Hangover
District 9
I Love You, Man
Star Trek


Filed under movies

Whatever Works film review & Woody Allen works

It’s not easy to be a fan of the Woodman. It’s not popular to count him as a fave these days. There’s little denying his stellar stand-up and TV writing in the 60s or his classic films of the 70s and 80s. Even in the 90s he had some gems. Woody Allen is 75 next year and he still makes a movie every year. What other auteur has/had this kind of output and quality?

But the oughts have been unkind to him or rather his sense of humor has started to seem stale or old-manish.  Let’s look at this decade of Woody Allen.

Whatever Works (2009) – good, not great, but worth it for fans

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) – top ten Woody, loved it

Cassandra’s Dream (2007) – slight, not a fave, not horrible, but not rewatchable

Scoop (2006) – fun, light, nothing new

Match Point (2005) – top ten Woody, excellent

Melinda and Melinda (2004) – pretty good, interesting to see Will Ferrell do Woody, but not great

Anything Else (2003) – Unwatchable, maybe his worse. Terrible casting, just ugh.

Hollywood Ending (2002) – mildly amusing, but kinda that old manish, unfunny bit

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) – I don’t like Helen Hunt or this movie. One of the worst.

Small Time Crooks (2000) – fun, goofy slapstick, kinda like a early 70s one, good enough.

So, I see two of his best, two classics in this decade. He’s not done. I have high hopes for his next:

Untitled Woody Allen London Project (2010) (pre-production) with Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas

He has had success shooting in London and Europe lately.

So back to Whatever Works, playing now in many cities or coming soon near you…I’d probably rank it around #4 or 5 of his ten this decade. I don’t think it will win any new fans, but for his old fans, it’s pretty good. Judging from those who saw the advance screening, it was evenly mixed. Some said one of his lesser works or just didn’t like it all, especially Rachel Evan Wood. Others laughed a lot and liked it and Larry David especially.

Overall grade: B or B- for those who care. B- or C+ for those who don’t.

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Filed under Adults (kid-free), art, movies

Away We Go – film review

All I have time for today (sorry no links or clips, but you’re savvy enough to find)
is a brief review since it was an advance screening which releases here today. I should’ve loved this movie. Thirty-somethings, pregnant, written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, directed by Sam Mendes, quirky, funny, indie-ish. It seems like it was made for me and my ilk. I liked it enough, but something was missing. Something didn’t work. It’s not funny enough nor do you care about the characters to be emotionally affected by the drama. There are a few really funny scenes, but overall it was many shots of the two leads with a folky soundtrack by Alexi Murdoch playing over their sad faces. (Not a big fan of the weepy slow acoustic stuff. He’s overrated and the soundtrack is just jammed with his music over the dialogue.) It’s trying to be Garden State and Juno. Many of the characters are unbelievable and not very funny stereotypes. And I wanted to believe. I really did. Is it the ones you have higher hopes for that let you down more? Wish I could be more enthusiastic, but can only say wait for video.

Overall grade: B-, maybe a B…I’m torn about whether I’ll see it again on video and like it more or less. Hmmn.

Summer movies so far:

1. Up 3-D
The Hangover
Star Trek
Away We Go
Terminator: Salvation

Next ones to look forward to are Whatever Works (Woody Allen directing Larry David) and Funny People (Judd Apatow).

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Filed under movies, writing