Movie Reviews

August 05, 2007 By: erik Category: Reviews 858 views

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I thought I’d throw together some opinions about some movies I’ve seen lately.

The Astronaut Farmer (imdb)

I understand the whole “You can do anything you want if you really set your mind to it” myth that we tell children. I’m fine with that. But the physics, plot, and general science behind this movie was atrocious. It wasn’t even that entertaining. Thumbs down.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (imdb)

I watched five minutes of this movie and then turned it off. Absolutely nothing about Harry Potter is interesting to me, with the possible exception of the mass mob psychology of the fans. I’ve seen two other Potter movies, and they both seemed loud, silly, and boring to me. I just don’t “get it”. I’ve never really liked the “fantasy” genre or any book or movie involving magic or excessive paranormal activity. A big muggle thumb down.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (imdb)

This was just as I expected. Good, happy comedy by two good comedy actors, with Sandler calling in some of his SNL buddies for small parts. Apparently Will & Grace didn’t actually exhaust the entire spectrum of gay jokes. It made me wonder if homosexuality will ever be so commonplace and homophobia so eradicated to the point where gay jokes are no longer funny. I suspect not. Thumbs up.

Fracture (imdb)

I had never heard of this movie when I saw it. I can describe it in the simple phrase, “Hannibal Lecter meets John Grisham.” This was the first movie I’ve seen where Anthony Hopkins was trying not to be British. He should stop that immediately. The leading role was played by Ryan Gosling (who looks a lot like David Arquette). Gosling is awesome! He’s got a great career ahead of him. Very good movie. Thumbs up.

The Simpsons Movie (imdb)

Exactly what I expected. If you like the television show, you’ll love the movie. It’s nothing fantastically new. The seemingly oxymoronic phrase “clever slapstick” came to mind. Thumbs up.

The Number 23 (imdb)

Who knew that Ace Ventura was such a fantastic actor!? Jim Carrey is very impressive in this movie. I’ve always thought that psychological horror was way better than screaming ax-murderer ghost horror. Apt Pupil is the scariest thing Stephen King has written, in my opinion. Plus, I loved the simple arithmetic numerology that the movie is based on. The plot is based on the lead character going insane because he sees the number 23 everywhere. He was born on February 3rd, he got married on the fabulous date of October 13th (10 + 13), etc. While I’m completely aware that the same game can be played with any number (just ask the 9-11 conspiracy freaks), I couldn’t resist some 23 play as I lay in bed after watching this movie. I was 23 when I abandoned my homeland and emigrated to England, shortly after 9-11. Of course 9-11-2001 is 9 + 11 + 2 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 23. 🙂 See how I specifically chose to break up the digits of 2001 but not 11? That’s how you play the game. It’s a good movie, but there’s a bigger risk of resulting insanity than any movie I’ve seen, so be careful. There’s nothing special about the 9th prime number, composed of two digits from the Fibonacci sequence. Thumbs up.

The Messengers (imdb)

I’ve been “watching” this movie while I’ve been writing this blog entry. It’s exactly the kind of “screaming ax-murderer ghost horror” that I don’t have time for. The only positive thing I can say about this movie is that the little girl from Panic Room has grown into a very pretty teenager. I’m gonna turn it off now. Thumbs down.

  • In the last year we have stopped watching movies almost entirely. I think the last time we sat down and watched a full-length film was “An Inconvenient Truth” sometime in May (yeah, way behind the trend). I attribute this to three causes: 1) our atrophied attention spans/lack of time once the kids are asleep; 2) the relative wealth of excellent television choices, many of which are cinematic of themselves; 3) unacceptably high odds that whatever film we watch will flat-out suck. We’ve been burned so many times over the last year or two that we’ve been turned off Hollywood. (My intention is not to sound elitist, just annoyed, with Hollywood and myself for choosing films I should KNOW will suck.)

    Oh, and reason number 4: we’re waiting for “You, Me, and Dupree Two” to come out. Case in point.

  • That’s why I’m selflessly providing this service to you, sgazzetti. I’m sort of like your royal food taster…

    One thing that I’ve noticed lately, particularly in watching the movies I’ve listed above, is how I feel absolutely no pressure to continue to watch a film that I don’t like. This freedom, due to not being in a cinema and how effortlessly movies are acquired these days (I’m referring to NetFlix, of course), greatly raises the bar for a movie to get fully consumed by me.

    I do highly recommend Fracture, if you like anything to do with Hopkins or Grisham.

  • Uncle Neil

    It is amazing to me that almost every “new” movie is actually a remake of a movie theme that could not be made better released in 1938. I have seen one really fascinating new film called ‘Primer’. It is science fiction about an interesting side effect produced by a couple of computer geeks in their garage. It won a couple of Sundance awards. Check it out.

  • I’m with sgazzetti on watching films. Even things I think I’ll like I go into with great trepidation. Prior to seeing The Simpsons last week, the last movie I saw was The Hitchhiker’s Guide (which I LOVED).

    I’m now being badgered by a friend to see Shakespeare in Love (which was made, what? a decade ago?) and I am positive I’ll hate it. Still, I will give it a try. I predict I won’t get more than about 12 minutes into it.

  • If you aren’t a bard historian and have a romantic bone in your body, then Shakespeare in Love is a pretty good flick. Most movies with 7 Oscars are at least worth sitting through (except the English Patient).

    Having low expectations, but an open mind, is the key to enjoying anything, from movies, to food, to people, to life itself.

  • Uncle Neil, I just watched Primer. I enjoyed it a great deal. I can’t say that I completely understood it, but I might watch it a few more times (or maybe I already have?). I can say for certain that it is temporally awkward and that my mother and Marga would despise it. It’s actually a rather believable scenario for a time machine discovery. If I wanted to be really funny, I’d record this comment as if it happened four days ago. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation. It scores a perfect 10 on the geeky scale.

  • Uncle Neil

    Maybe it cloned plain shirts and ties. The DVD special features are helpful with that film. Amazingly original for a first and essentially homemade movie. When you get tired of that one I have one you and your mother will both like. Check out ‘Atanarjuat’. It is a lot more down to earth or ice.