Sunday, April 17, 2011


The last 11 movies I saw via Netflix:

Mesrine: A two-part biopic of France's greatest bank robber and prison-break artist, topping out at about four and a half hours. Vincent Cassel is a terrific lead, sporting a hilarious array of hideous '70s couture, not to mention wigs and various facial hair options. His forays into pseudorevolutionary political blather barely seem to convince him, let alone the people he's shouting at; only his rampaging ego seems truly heartfelt. Highly recommended, but take a break between Parts 1 and 2.

No One Knows About Persian Cats: An Iranian movie about two musicians—a boy and a girl—who want to get out of the country so their indie rock band can play some shows in England and Europe. In their search for passports, visas and permits, we get a tour of the Iranian underground music scene, in the process seeing and hearing about a dozen bands playing various styles from jam-band funk to thrash metal. Every single one of these bands is better than the piddly-ass music being made by our putative protagonists, which makes it very hard to root for them to succeed.

Micmacs: I'll watch anything Jean-Pierre Jeunet directs. This one is a little darker than Amelie, but not by much, and the cast (jam-packed with people who look like cartoon characters, as always) is up for just about anything. If you like his stuff, you'll like this.

Animal Kingdom: An inexplicably praised Australian crime drama. It starts in the middle, if not the final third, of the story of a family of brothers and their eeeeevil mom, and proceeds to go nowhere special. The only surprise the movie sprung was killing the most interesting character early, and once that happened, it was all downhill. The guy we're supposed to be rooting for/identifying with is a personality-free meatball, and the criminals are about as exciting as figures on a surveillance feed.

Morning Glory: Seems like a girly-girl romantic comedy on its face; turns out to be a pretty funny workplace comedy. Harrison Ford seems like someone woke him up before turning the camera on, which is a welcome change of pace.

Tron: Legacy: I never saw the original, and now I never will. What could have been 90 minutes of neon chases and laser explosions turns into two hours of father-son bonding. And no, the soundtrack doesn't save it.

Green Zone: Better than I expected. Matt Damon has become extremely reliable for a certain kind of bullheaded, get-the-job-done character, and that's what he plays here. The actors whose characters are standing in for real people (Greg Kinnear as Paul Ryan, Amy Ryan as Judith Miller) are less offensive than they'd have been in the hands of, say, Oliver Stone and/or Sean Penn, and Brendan Gleeson is excellent in the Brendan Gleeson role. Director Paul Greengrass keeps things moving.

All Good Things: Based on a true story. Ryan Gosling is very impressive (he's starting to become a draw for me) and Kirsten Dunst is tolerable, which she hasn't always been in the past. Twisty in an unpredictable way, unless you know a lot about the real case (which I don't, but I think I saw an episode of one of the Law & Orders that was also based on this story).

Tangled: Yes, the Disney Rapunzel movie. Yes, there are songs. No, they don't suck. I enjoyed this quite a bit, actually. Donna Murphy, the woman who plays the villainess, is so good I was a) surprised they didn't have someone more famous in the role, and b) surprised she's not more famous herself. Worth seeing just for the horse.

Ondine: A Neil Jordan movie about fisherman Colin Farrell rescuing a woman from the sea who he and his young daughter decide to believe is a selkie (seal-turned-human). Naturally, all is not what it seems. Some good gags, especially one at the expense of Sigur Rós.

Countdown to Zero: An okay if ultimately ineffectual documentary about nuclear proliferation.

Movies I have recently seen in theaters:

Source Code: Duncan Jones is gonna be another director whose movies I'll see on faith, I think. This is a creepy sci-fi/horror thriller about military callousness, about which I will say no more. Jake Gyllenhaal was a good choice for the lead, as an actor with greater gravitas would have made the plot totally soul-crushing instead of just depressing.

Hanna: A chilly Euro-thriller with a terrific soundtrack and only a few logical leaps getting in the way of its general headlong awesomeness. The lead girl is terrific, and the action sequences are very well-shot.

The Adjustment Bureau: Another Matt Damon movie. He's good, as is John Slattery, but the words "magic hat" will forever induce gales of derisive laughter in me, and should replace "jumps the shark" as pop-culture shorthand for "this book/comic/movie/TV show goes off the rails in a major way."

1 comment:

forex said...

I loved Hanna soundtrack too! Thought the end wasn't quite right but would definitely recommend it.