Saturday, June 19, 2010

Movie reviews

At a friend's request, I'm doing some more movie reviews. As always, * ratings are out of a possible ***** (five stars)

"7 Up" Series ***** - a series of documentaries that followed a set of children in different parts of England every 7 years into their adulthood. The premise was that the kids with different social advantages would turn out differently as adults, a bias that became increasingly annoying to some of the subjects. The last one was "49 Up" and I suppose there will eventually be a "56 Up".

Enchanted *** - a cutesy fanciful movie about Disney-esque characters accidentally wandering into the real world. Enjoyable fluff.

Emmanuel's Gift **** - documentary about a young man with a disabled leg who embarks on a campaign to inspire better lives for his compatriots in Ghana. His story was very impressive and the influence he has made in his home town was very hopeful.

Crazy Love **** - Wow! This one was weird and fascinating. About a very strange relationship featuring overbearing possessiveness descending into abuse. The thing that was fascinating was to hear both parties justifying their actions and choices. This kind of film reminds me how capable the human mind is of committing heinous sin and denying it.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly **** - another documentary. Are we seeing a pattern here? This one is an amazing story of survival.

The Lady Vanishes **** - Black and white Hitchcock. Nice!

Julie and Julia **** - I really enjoyed this movie. How could you go wrong? Meryl Streep does a very endeering portrayal of Julia Child. We learn about how she built her remarkable career. Amy Adams is always nice to watch, though her character was rather self-absorbed. And lots of cooking. Made me want to go out and buy Julia's original cookbook. (but I didn't)

Doubt **** - Meryl again, this time with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is one of our favorites. Did he or didn't he? (the priest abuse the boys in the school) Surprisingly, Denis and I came to different conclusions!

African American Lives **** - This was a television series special. A handful of stars trace their roots back in time through the slave era in the US, and for some back to a specific region of Africa. This was quite interesting.

Pixar Short Films *** - some of these were really cute and funny! Some were less so. But it was also an interesting look at the evolution of computer animation through the years.

The Blind Side **** - This one is rather main stream for our tastes, but it was a good film with a positive plot. Nice.

12:08 East of Bucharest ** - Gosh the critics loved this film, but what a dud. So slow, Denis fell asleep pretty quick. I stuck with it to the end, but there was no payoff.

My Sister's Keeper *** - Ok, we actually quite liked this movie. But a disclaimer - we found the medical situation quite unrealistic. With suspended disbelief, what we enjoyed was the character portrayals and acting. It was an interesting dilemma for the characters to be in and we went along for the ride.