Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
and all unarmed prophets have been destroyed.
Posted by not eb at 3:37 PM
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The King's Speech - 7.5/10. Geoffrey Rush plays magical negro to the king's speech problems. Well-done, occasionally very funny, and it doesn't seem to let accuracy get in the way of telling a good story. Everything builds up well, leading to the final speech, and a man becomes a king. But weirdly, and unnecessarily, it brings up tangents that it never tops off. We learn that Geoffrey Rush is a failed actor. Nothing comes of it. People keep saying that Colin Firth is the bravest man they know, if he'd only get over his fear. Presumed fear of his family. Never arriving at a realization, or some understanding of why he is so brave. So it just ends up this movie about friendship. Which isn't bad. It just seems like it's trying not to be.
are comfortable in unfamiliar realms of learning and experience because they learn best by using indirect connections to known information, even if the details of the skills are not exactly related. They try things out until they figure out how to do something.
Posted by not eb at 8:33 PM
Monday, January 10, 2011
Greenberg - 6/10. I hate how Ben Stiller moves his face. Greta Gerwig! and Rhys Ifans are interesting and both people, with less screen-time, have more defined (and more interesting) story-arcs, while Greenberg himself seems to start and finish at the same place, despite what the last scene would lead you to believe. OH, SHIT, Y'ALL – MAYBE THAT'S THE POINT???
The Corsican Brothers - 4.5/10. 'The Count of Monte Cristo,' but instead of being locked in prison for twenty years, they live generally good-to-great, carefree lives not knowing of the tragedy that befell them. And when they find out, they have to get revenge. Because they have to. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. is a charmer in one of his two roles, and that's all that's really worth watching. One of the last scenes in 'The Princess Bride' is a little bit cribbed from one of the last scenes here.
Winter's Bone - 8.5/10. Oh, I thought it was great. Fighting for your little piece of nothing. Natalie Portman will probably win Best Actress, because her movie's *about* acting, but Jennifer Lawrence is my favorite performance of the year.
The A-Team - 6/10. This movie enjoys the presence of its own company. Bradley Cooper's personality distilled into a two-hour movie. In smaller portions, that's okay. Things go boom. Pet peeve with characters who have given up violence, only to decide that they have to be violent in order to succeed. Generally convoluted, and gradually becomes more so. Jessica Biel looks weird.
AVP: Alien Vs. Predator - 3/10. Because I talked to a guy at work and he took that as an invitation of friendship. The more Predator movies they make, the more I feel like I'm watching 'Battlefield: Earth.' These characters are both archetypes who do not need an added mythos to make them seem more interesting. I also hate when popular culture takes popular villains and turns them into anti-heroes. Too many people. There's a lot not to like.
The Muppets Movie - 6/10. I think I've worked up the myth that these movies only started to suck over time, but they sort of sucked from the beginning, didn't they? A few solid jokes during long stretches of nothing special. Steve Martin is great.
Afghan Star - 7/10. Fascinating for the little bit of perspective it brings. Singing and dancing was banned in Afghanistan. With the Taliban no longer in control, people can sing and dance again. And it's fascinating that, for what a huge victory that is ideologically, the culture itself will only let themselves go that little bit. They don't see freedom and say 'fuck it, let's run for it,' they say 'no, that's it, that's all we can handle.' So it's greatest success, in showing how cultures hold themselves back, is undercut by its commitment to its narrative. Rather than following the tangent that Setara brings when she dances and removes her scarf on national television, she and her death threats and what she represents are relegated to the background as we try to find out who wins the damn thing.
Tangled - 8/10. Aside from being generally great, one of its biggest successes is creating a Disney villain who isn't somehow evil to the core. By no means a good person, but she's one of the more true representations of what mothers can be. It's one failure that I can tell is dismantling her like she was a Disney villain, rather than giving her the nuance she deserved.
The Expendables - 4/10. An action beat every ten pages. A complete misunderstanding of catharsis.