Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brief Holiday Movie Review

During the break I spent time with friends and explored the city a little. But I also saw a bunch of movies. This was a rather disappointing Christmas movie season. Almost nothing popped out. There were a couple of very good movies, but that's it.

Avatar - the winner of this season according to the whole world who went out in droves to see, talk about it, blog about it, argue about it and then see it again. To quote a friend it was "spectacular". Uninspired narrative though. Like everybody said the it was a weak story and screenplay, a mash-up of "Pocahontas" and "Dances with Wolves". But doesn't matter, it was the cinematic experience of the year. I bow to Cameron and the world he created.

It's Complicated. Lots of fun, exactly what I expected to see, no surprises but immensely enjoyable. What a joy watching Meryl is.

Sherlock Holmes
. Why was this movie so long? It's a popcorn movie, so why does it take two and half hours? Robert Downey Jr was charming and his banter with Jude Law was coy and cute. However the plot was convoluted and made no sense. My head hurt from following all the twists and turns.

Crazy Heart
. Predictable, predictable, predictable. "The Wrestler" as a country western song. But it also a lot better than I expected. Both Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal were fantastic. And the story and how it was told was moving and poignant in so many ways.

The Messenger
. Very good, full of emotional scenes. While there were so many great scenes and an a very contemporary story that is truly moving, something was missing. It didn't completely grip me. Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster & particularly Samantha Morton though, are in fine form.

Fantastic Mr Fox. Meh, oh well. Why was this movie made? It had fun scenes but was not very interesting. Maybe I just don't like animation.

Another disappointment in a year full of them. It just didn't work. It had no plot and made no sense. Daniel Day Lewis was completely miscast. He was humourless, I kept wondering why all these women were in love with him. We needed someone charming, maybe Clooney or Hugh Jackman. Nicole Kidman's role oh so brief and Kate Hudson was terrible and as my friend said "extraneous". Even Judi Dench could not pull off her big number. And while Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz were very good, they couldn't save this stinker.

The Lovely Bones.
Terrible. I was bored. Even Stanley Tucci, who is getting a lot of accolades, was way over the top. Skip this one.

Broken Embraces
. Quintessential Almodovar. Lesser Almodovar. Very recognizable story, style and images. Could not be mistaken for any other auteur. I enjoyed it a lot. Penelope Cruz was very good but I loved Blanca Portillo, wow what a performance. If you love Almodovar, see it immediately.

1 comment:

Candice Frederick said...

ouch, definitely gonna check out broken embraces, regardless. i liked the lobely bones--thought it was interesting. avatr was a good experience, it's complicated is probbay a rental for me. definitely wanna see the messenger. no desire to see fantastic mr. fox or nine or sherlock holmes or crazy heart (which looks like a cross between walk the line and the wrestler)