Oct 2, 2008

Movie Review Redux

I have no idea if I used that word correctly, but it sounds good to me. We rented another plethora (or plethorati to you academic types who don't know grammar) of videos, and I had enough fun reviewing the last bundle, so I thought I'd flex my critical muscles again. That picture of Roger Ebert looks kind of like my dad. Anyway,

Idiocracy: This was our token R rated movie. We're young, stupid, rebellious, and I've wanted to see this movie ever since I heard about it. It was rated R solely for swearing, and it is maybe one of the few times I felt it was justified. The plot of Idiocracy (written and directed by Mike Judge, creator of Office Space and Beavis & Butthead) is as follows: The military creates a hibernation or cryogenic freezing process to reserve their best soldiers for war time. They test it on an average Joe, (Luke Wilson, who despite his nerdiness and uncomfortable persona, you can't help but love) named Joe, and freeze him for 1 year. But, of course, something goes wrong, the project is forgotten about, and he stays frozen for about 500 years. Unfortunately, because of mass media, poor breeding control, the world is now dumbed down so much they can't control garbage, crops, or society. The president of the U.S. is a professional wrestler, and they're irrigating their crops with Gatorade, because it's what plants love. Joe is now the smartest person on earth, and, to ruin the plot even more for you, saves the idiots from destroying themselves. The profanity and vulgarity is a symbol of society's stupidity, they have vocabularies of a few hundred words, mostly swear words. But it was very funny, very smart, and a little scary, as it does seem to be the way our society is heading. If you don't mind frequent profanity and potty humor (the best picture of the year is 2 hours of someone's butt) I recommend Idiocracy, if nothing else, as a cautionary tale almost akin to Farenheit 451 or 1984. But funny. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Hellboy
: I've seen this before (with Ammon, I think) but Tracie's never seen it, and we both are interested in the director, Guillermo Del Toro, because 1) he has a frickin awesome name, 2) He directed "Pan's Labyrinth" a cinematic work of art, and 3) Because he's going to direct "The Hobbit" of course! Hellboy is the story of a demon from another plane come to earth and works for a secret government group of superhero/freaks defending earth and America from supernatural threats, a la Rasputin and a Cthulhu type deity. For a movie about a 7 foot tall sarcastic, cigar smoking demon working for America, it's a very good movie. It's a super hero movie without being a super hero movie, if that makes sense. It's just a dang good movie, and makes me want to see "Hellboy II," which I may write about in my NEXT movie review blarg. 5 out of 5 stars.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
: I've wanted to see this movie for a VERY long time. I've had friends whose (who's? whooze) opinions I respect recommend it to me, as well as my favorite college professor of all time give it a glowing review. Did I love it? Yes. Do I recommend it? Wholeheartedly. Will I tell you the plot? No, as that would ruin it. Just know it's a film in French and about the triumph of the human spirit. And try not to expect a super happy ending. As Tracie said, "no foreign film ends happily". I think it all started with Ingmar Bergman. But, having never seen a film by Ingmar Bergman, I'm not one to judge. Still, 5 out of 5 stars.

2001: A Space Odyssey
: Stanley Kubrick's greatest film ever. Also known as the most boring film ever. Here's my synopsis of the classic sci-fi written by Kubrick and Mr. Arthur C. Clarke. Monkeys. Ooh ooh ahh ahh. Giant black monolith. Monkeys. Go ape-poop. Hey, I can use dead monkey parts to kill monkeys. I am the first man! Giant black monolith. HAL 9000. I am the smartest computer in the universe, though I never say 42. I can read lips. I must kill you all, except you Dave. I can't let you do that Dave. Don't kill me, I'm special. Dave. Dave does drugs. Big black monolith is back. Psychedelic. Ooohhhh. Dave is an alien baby. The end. Despite it being a "classic" I give it 2 out of 5 stars, if I gave it 1, I'd just prove my ignorance even more. ;)

Cloverfield
: For some reason we didn't feel like watching it, it was the last movie we rented this time from Hollywood, and I considered just returning it unseen. I heard it was good, but we never were in "the mood" to watch it. We were in the "mood" to do other things. Like... reading. But, two nights ago, we bit the bullet and watched it, telling ourselves we would turn it off if it got to boring, scary, sickening (we heard about the handheld camera element in it). Once it started, we were hooked. Extremely frightening and intense, great characters, effects, and it led me to believe J.J. Abrams really CAN do no wrong. Quick synopsis without giving away too much: something is tearing New York apart, and our heroes need to find a way out. Great, I just gave the whole movie away. Watch it anyway. 5 out of 5.

Definitely, Maybe
: Our first rental from Tracie's parents in quite awhile, we've wanted to borrow it from them since they got it. If you don't know the story, I'll be vague. (Am I ever anything else?) Ryan Reynolds is divorcing wife, his daughter wants to know about how they met, so he tells her a story, but doesn't tell her which woman her mother is. We're presented with 3 choices. It was a lot of fun, great performances from Rachel Weisz, (does she ever deliver anything else) Elizabeth Banks and Isla Fischer, but the person you really fall in love with is Ryan Reynolds. He is a very talented actor and by far the best part of the movie. A great twist on the formulaic romantic comedy genre, one of the first in a long time where I didn't know where the movie was headed. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

We've also rented The Fifth Element, which we've both seen several times before, but Tracie, who's seen it MUCH more than I have, wanted me to watch it again so I'll get more of her references to it.

Anything you've seen lately you can recommend, or advise to stay away from?

3 comments:

lynette said...

Ammon and I LOVED Cloverfield--I'm so glad you finally saw it.

Here's another good one--The Kite Runner. Incredibly sad, but also very uplifting. ***** (5 stars)

Laurie said...

Austin! Hey how are ya? We just saw Ghost Town in the theatre. It was so funny, I think you would really enjoy it. I didn't read all your past blogs, so maybe you already have. Thanks for all of your movie suggestions!

Charity said...

X-Files Movie - I'd have to give it maybe 2 out of 5, and most of its points come from just being about the x-files. But it was just sort of vaguely disappointing the entire time. Oh well.

Persepolis - rented this from Netflix and it was actually really good. Really thought provoking and taught me a lot about a part of the world I really know nothing about.

We are getting Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day from Netflix soon, I'm excited for it after your review. :)