Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday, 8/21/09

Inglorious Basterds - 3 stars

Parts of this movie are a lot of fun. Every time Brad Pitt is on screen, I was laughing. He does such a great job creating this southern good old boy character. My favorite part was when he was pretending to be Italian.

The other standout performance is by Christoph Waltz, playing Col. Hans Landa, aka The Jew Hunter. He was such a great villain. I had never heard of him before, but he won an award at the Cannes Film Festival and I wouldn't be surprised if he got an Academy Award nomination for his part.

I do think the movie could have used a good trimming. It's 2 1/2 hours long, and it could have easily lost 1/2 hour. As much as I like Pulp Fiction, there are segments of that movie that I always fast forward through (the scene with Bruce Willis, then the scene at the hotel with Willis' girlfriend). Same with this movie. There are scenes that I love, and scenes that bored me. But overall, I recommend the movie.

Shorts - didn't see

X Games 3D - The Movie - didn't see

In The Loop - 4 stars

One of my favorite movies of the year. I'm not going to describe it, just trust me. It's hilarious. And profane.

Humpday - 1 1/2 stars

I know I am probably in the minority on this. I have seen 4 star reviews, and I just don't get it. It was interesting and original and all that. The performances are good. But I would never watch it again. And not just for the content, which is not as uncomfortable as you would think. No, the movie just bored me. And I didn't buy the premise at all.

See, these two straight male friends are at a party one night. They are drunk and high, and they figure they should enter the local amateur porn contest called Humpday. But they figure they have to do something different if they are going to enter, so one of them says "how about two straight guys having sex with each other?" They decide to do it, and the next day when they should have said "wow, we were really drunk and stoned last night", they say "I think we should go thru with it." It becomes some kind of game of chicken between them. "I'm not going to chicken out." "Well, neither am I."

One of the guys has a wife, and when she finds out about it she is not too happy, as you can imagine. But he decides it is so important to him that he is willing to risk his marriage. I just didn't buy it.

The Merry Gentleman - 2 1/2 stars

Not a bad movie, just not a great one. Michael Keaton directs and stars as a hit man. He meets and befriends a lonely Scottish woman living in Chicago played by Kelly Macdonald. The movie is unusual in that it's all about the characters. There is no action. We only see him kill two people, and that is in the first 10 minutes of the movie. There are a couple of cops that keep talking to her, and there is a little bit of tension there (will they discover that her new boyfriend is the killer?), but more attention is paid to the one cop who wants to date her. It gets a mild recommendation from me.

Post Grad - 2 stars

This movie can't decide if it wants to be a quirky independent movie or a mainstream comedy. Some of the humor is very broad (and doesn't work at all). But up until the last 15 minutes or so, it is unpredictable.

Alexis Bledel plays Ryden Malby, a girl who has just graduated from college. She is so sure she has a job lined up, she writes a check for her new apartment before she even has the interview. She is shocked when she doesn't get the job, and she has to move back in with her parents (played by Michael Keaton and Jane Lynch, with Carol Burnett playing her crazy grandma). There is a movie here, exploring how hard it is for college graduates to get their careers started. I know a lot of college graduates end up not even using their degree and end up working in a completely unrelated profession.

Ryden has a friend named Adam played by Zach Gilford. Adam has liked Ryden for years, but she has made it clear that they are just friends. He keeps making jokes about the fact that he likes her and she doesn't like him, at least in that way. He should have figured out by now that she is never going to come around. But at some point in the movie, he gets mad at her and says that he is done waiting around for her. He says "I know what my future looks like, and you are not a part of it."

The movie really lost me at the end, when she decides that she is in love with Adam after all, and leaves her job (she finally gets the job she wanted all along) to go to New York to live with Adam at college. Yeah, I was with the movie until this point. If she did love him, she would have hooked up with him years earlier.

The movie almost worked as a story about a college graduate who can't find a job. But any time the movie tries to be a quirky comedy, it fails miserably.

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