Give Em Hell Malone
Frankie the Crooner: Suck my Sinatra.
It’s been a long time since I’ve cringed so consistently at a film. It’s like someone watched the Usual Suspects, read a bit about the noir genre, and then got a shitload of money from their uncle to finish their first draft script.
Judge Dredd: Negotiation’s over. Sentence is death.
An almost bafflingly pretty and well crafted film given the source material. The story is simple, and it reaches exactly the conclusion you expect, but its a fun ride, and a very stylish flick.
My Neighbor Totoro
Tatsuo Kusakabe: Trees and people used to be good friends. I saw that tree and decided to buy the house.
A movie that has the capability of being imaginative, cute, and fun when it sets out to be. The real issue, and perhaps this is a cultural difference, is that those moments were too few and far between, and the rest of the plot was far too sparse to hold it together.
Rodrigo: Besides my money? A new life. And a new wife.
The movie features some brutal and really compelling fight scenes paired with a fairly rote espionage/double-cross style plot. The cinematography techniques that worked so well in most of Soderbergh’s films just do not fit this one though, and all of the performances seem purposefully muted and flat for whatever reason, creating a really strange tone.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Steve Gray: Your skin makes me cry.
It’s always a pretty strong sign that you’re watching a mediocre comedy when they’ve exhausted all the decent joke material by midway through act 2, and decide that the audience really just wants to see the emotional plot resolution and redemptive arc. This was clearly a paycheck to most of the talent involved, and it was almost entirely forgettable, but not in any sort of aggressive or obnoxious way.
Gabriel: Do you know how you got that dent, in your top lip? Way back, before you were born, I told you a secret, then I put my finger there and I said “Shhhhh!”
It’s a movie that looks very much like your mental image of a 1990s film, complete with overly dark sets and flat performances by the protagonists. The film is largely salvaged by two of the leads trying to best each other in scenery chewing, and a willingness to have a bit of fun with itself, in spite of the morbidly supernatural atmosphere.
Tree of Life
Mr. O’Brien: Toscanini once recorded a piece sixty five times. You know what he said when he finished? “It could be better.” Think about it.
Like all of his other movies, this one is breathtakingly beautiful (aside for some ill-considered CGI) and deeply philosophical/poetic. Unfortunately, it’s also breathtakingly dull and decided to belabor it’s point for half an hour after it became exceedingly obvious.