Sunday, April 12, 2009

out Friday, 4/3/09

Adventureland - 3 1/2 stars

Easily my favorite movie of 2009 so far. It reminds me of a John Hughes movie from the '80s. The only problem is the advertising is all wrong. It stresses that its from the director of Superbad, and it makes the movie look like a comedy. While it does have some very funny bits, its much more a drama. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are very funny as the park managers, but all together their scenes barely amount to 20 minutes of screen time.

Fast and Furious - 1 1/2 stars

I admit - I haven't seen the original, or either of the previous two sequels (2 Fast 2 Furious or Tokyo Drift). I have no idea how this one measures up. But it bored me to tears. I kept looking at my watch hoping it would end. The acting is terrible. All Vin Diesel can do is furrow his brows and look menacing. And the less said about Paul Walker, the better.

Crossing Over - 2 1/2 stars

Everyone is going to compare this movie to Crash. It does have some similarities. But I was never a big fan of Crash. I think I liked this one a little bit better. This still isn't a great movie. The Harrison Ford storyline was good, at least the part where he is trying to help a Mexican woman take care of her son. I lost interest in the murder myster part of his story. I also liked Summer Bishil's storyline. She plays an Iranian born teenager who writes an essay about the 9/11 hyjackers. But her essay is more about trying to understand their motives than condemning them, and her classmates are so enraged that one of them calls immigration on her and her family.

There are way too many stories that aren't as good. I didn't really care about Ashley Judd's character trying to find foster parents for an orphaned African girl. I also didn't care about Jim Sturgess trying to get jewish people to sign his papers confirming he needs a religuous visa. I thought the Ray Liotta character agreeing to trade a visa for sex with Alice Eve's character could have been interesting, but it was done in such a predictable way. He will give her a visa if she sleeps with him? No way. After its done we see her crying in the shower. Didn't see that one coming! The one part of their story I did like was how it ends. (spoiler alert) When he tells her that he wants to start over and have a real relationship, she tells him how much she hates him. Instead of threatening her or trying to blackmail her, he accepts this and leaves her alone. He honors his part of the bargain and tells her that she will never see him again. For that one moment, he is a stand-up guy.

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