Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Few Recent Viewings

Vicky Cristina Barcelona Pictures, Images and Photos

While I keep a running list over to the right of films I have seen theatrically this year, I don’t often write on them here, as typically reviewings on DVD alter my opinion of them at least a little bit. However I thought with the thankful arrival of fall I would give a quick run through of a few films I have seen on the big screen in the past couple of months. Thankfully I am planning on moving to a more foreign friendly area within a few months so this time next year my viewing lists will surely be much more interesting.

THE GREAT:

Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Put simply, Woody Allen’s newest film is my favorite of the year and to my eyes his best in over fifteen years. A stone cold Rohmeresque classic.

Tropic Thunder: Landing in at number two so far is Ben Stiller’s savagely funny satire that as far as I am concerned places him amongst the smartest and most daring American filmmakers around right now. In a perfect world Robert Downey Jr. would get an Oscar nod for this and Iron Man.

Pineapple Express: I’ve climbed on board twice and am already ready for another trip. Fall down funny, exciting and oddly very profound.

Ghost town movie Pictures, Images and Photos

THE GOOD:

Ghost Town: While he might never reach the heights of The Trigger Effect and Stir of Echoes, I continue to find a lot to admire in the films of David Koepp. This sweet and moving little work offers up a terrific Ricky Gervais and the best role Tea Leoni has had since Flirting With Disaster more than a decade ago.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: I suspect it has been toned down from the book, but I quite enjoyed this Simon Pegg-Kirsten Dunst film and am a bit baffled by the critical pounding it has received.

Death Race: Speaking of critical poundings, Paul Anderson’s film gave me exactly wanted I wanted…a great big adrenaline filled ass-pounding mindless modern action film that I will take over any recent Michael Bay pic you care to name.

The Duchess: A nicely composed, slightly overlong, period piece that goes another step forward in establishing Keira Knightley as one of the great actors of her generation.

Quarantine: Surprisingly well done and honestly I found it more enjoyable than Cloverfield. I would like to punch the studio though for including the film’s final bracing moment in the trailer, surely one of the biggest marketing missteps in recent memory.

Righteous Kill Pictures, Images and Photos

THE SO-SO:

The Appaloosa: I know this deliberately old fashion Western from Ed Harris is really doing it for a lot of folks but it left me cold…really cold. Shame, as I greatly admire both Harris and Viggo Mortenson.

Righteous Kill: Jon Avnet’s tv-movie of the week isn’t as bad as I feared but it is downright tragic that this is the picture that two of our biggest icon’s finally substantially landed in together.

HELP ME GET OUT OF THIS THEATER:

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: I can’t remember the last time I hated a film as much as this one. Badly written, terribly acted and poorly directed, if this is what the ‘modern New York film’ is going to look like then I hope they start shooting everything in Ontario. Seriously there is a moment in this film when Michael Sera mumbles something about not washing his jeans because he wants to keep the night on them that actually made physical violence seem a viable option to me.

There were a few more but I won’t go into them right now. All in all not a bad summer but I must admit that I am looking forward to soon landing in a town that isn’t terrified of showing more independent and international productions.

6 comments:

Keith said...

Man, I need to get out to the movies more. The last film I saw at the theater was The Dark Knight I do plan to see the new Bond film at the movies. Thanks for your quickie reviews of these films. There are quite a few there that I definitely want to see once they hit DVD.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith,
Those top three are just killer. Can't wait for the Bond film.

Steve Langton said...

I'm in the same boat as Keith in that I haven't managed to see any of these. Finances and travelling distance mean I'm stuck on one theatre trip per month. May see the Stiller film tomorrow (my wife is a fan of his, I'm not)though I'm batting for us to see Burn After Reading. I'm def panting to see the Woodster's latest and will look out for some of the other stuff you mentioned on DVD.

Lastyear said...

I know i'm in the minority but I was very dissapointed in the Woody Allen. I thought Scarlet gave a terrible performance and was very unconvincing. Thought Woody was just channelling Eric Rohmer in this one. Haven't seen Tropic or Pineapple yet. I liked The Appaloosa better than you but by no means a classic. Renee Zellwegger looked positively horrible.

Brandon Colvin said...

I hated Appaloosa, man. Hated it.

Bob Turnbull said...

>"not washing his jeans because he wants to keep the night on them"

As much as I like Cera, I can't quite imagine how anyone could get that across without at least an eye roll coming from the audience. Ugh.

As for Quarantine, I absolutely agree about the marketing. I recently saw the original Spanish film [rec] and knew little to nothing about it so the ending (which is that same shot) and it was really effective.

As others have said, if the original Empire Strikes Back were being released today, they would've included "Luke, I am your father" in the trailer.