G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I had read everywhere that this was truly awful, but it's just another summer popcorn movie that could have used a larger budget to make the special effects special. My eleven-year-old and I shared some Twizzlers and bonded.
Get Him to the Greek
Last summer around this time, The Hangover struck me as a really funny movie with a really strong storyline. Get Him to the Greek has a couple nice performances and some funny bits, but the storyline just doesn't move you through the material very well. Also—for what it's worth—in the theater I was in, there were two older couples and they couldn't stop talking about all the bad language in the film. So, if you don't like bad language, you might want to watch something else.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Saw this one with Sue and another couple and I was more comfortable with it than the other three people. I thought it was reasonably funny for the first half and then started moralizing more than was appropriate or necessary. I think that most of us know that being a player is not an exemplary lifestyle. At any rate, this one had some funny moments and I certainly preferred it over Matthew's last, Fool's Gold.
It is close to heartbreaking that millions of parents will take their families to The Fate of the Furious and The Smurfs, and miss this smart, honest, emotional, nearly-flawless story about what it means to raise our kids as well as we possibly can. A
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
This is the third movie adaptation of the Stieg Larsson trilogy. The reviews I read were all pretty bad but I actually thought the movie was pretty good. The pacing is slow however, and the film has subtitles.
Fabulous, uplifting film that I loved. Julianne Moore is terrific in this Americanized version of Gloria. The movie is somewhat of a downer. B-
Absolutely terrific performances by all the monsters. But cover your eyes and ears—especially your ears—for most of the scenes with humans. I don't know what was scarier—Godzilla, or Bryan Cranston's hair piece? Monsters A-, humans C-.
Total humdinger of a movie—but the book was better. Over time, 40, or 50, or 60 million Americans will see the film; only 4, or 5, or 6 million will read the book. I think we have this movie-book thing ass-backwards in this country. A-
The Good German
Looks, feels, and sounds like black-and-white film from the 40s. I absolutely loved the way it sounded, didn't have any real probably with the way it looked, but unfortunately it wasn't as sharp a story as a lot of the better films from the 40s. I kind of liked it overall, but I'm not sure if most people will-certainly, the critics didn't.
The Good Shepherd
A rare movie indeed, because it is as intelligent as a very good book about the CIA might be. The acting is fine throughout and Matt Damon continues to show tremendous range. Having said all that, this flick will be too slow-paced for a lot of people. It's also mildly confusing in that it jumps back and forth between the 40s and 60s.
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Somebody, maybe the studio, might have considered saying to the screenwriter for The Goods that his script has an incredible number of really funny lines but as a studio, they have to make money on their movies and can't give away profits for, say, Transformers, for a film aimed at about a quarter of a quadrant of the general population. Maybe the studio should have made a movie like The Life of Mother Theresa (if they wanted to make a quarter of a quadrant movie) and maybe the screenwriter for The Goods could have turned the movie about Mother Theresa into a comedy starring Tina Fey. Or, maybe something happened on the way to production and they lost Will Ferrell for the lead so the studio should have said to the screenwriter that they were going to cancel, but they wanted to see his next script so instead they said, "Seriously dude, we love you! You're funny as hell!"
From what I've heard, audiences seem to like Goosebumps, but I am not sure I feel the same way. The light comedy and the eerie scares felt like they belonged in two different movies. And the lead seemed like he was too old for the part. The books were for 7-11 year olds. I'm not quite sure what the audience for the movie is supposed to be. C+
Here's hoping Clint Eastwood keeps directing movies for the next twenty years, and acting in some of them, too. His latest is probably my favorite—a terrific story about bigotry that is honest, tragic, and frequently very funny.
Every once in a while a miracle comes along at the movie theaters—this is one of them. Crazy thought: if everybody in Congress and the Executive Branch saw this film—maybe they'd restart this country's engines and head on back to earth.
The Greatest Showman
The critics didn’t like this one, but I found it a lot better than I had imagined it would be. A couple of staff at the movie theater raved about it to me on my way in. B+
Maybe this movie was not socially correct enough for a few critics, but probably my favorite movie of this year. Mortensen and Ali are both flawless. The film was funny and moving, and captures the way prejudice worked when I was growing up. One negative is the movie totally stereotypes southerners. A
It just misses being a terrific movie. The big miss (for me) revolves around the problem of a Jason Bourne-like plot, trying to meld with important historical events. The film's craft is first rate, but the storytelling doesn't quite gel. Neither does all the shaky camera work in the dark. Still, this was close to being really good.
I don't get the Rodriguez film personally. I don't think he can parody a parody and have it be all that terrifically funny or entertaining. Tarantino as always is clever and a good writer so that half of the double bill works well. Catch that half on DVD when they separate them.