Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mini Movie Reviews

I haven't reviewed any movies since Fast and Furious 6 back in early January.  Why?  It's not that I haven't watched any movies.  I have a Netflix subscription and I have to watch 3 discs every 2 weeks to make it financially viable.  I say "discs" because not all discs I watch contain movies (just finished up Season 4 of "Justified," for example).

The reason I haven't reviewed any is because none of them were bad enough or good enough that I felt I just had to blog my feelings.  So I'm going to do "mini reviews" of the movies I've watched since Fast and Furious 6.  Luckily, Netflix keeps a list of the movies I've rented, so here goes, in the order I watched them (there may be spoilers):

Lee Daniels' The Butler
I didn't like this movie much.  It seemed to be a gloss on actual history as viewed through a very distorted lens, that of Mr. Daniel's politics and prejudices.  The coincidences of this White House butler being present at the momentous decisions of various presidents stretched the credibility of this film.  I know I'm suppose to fawn over this movie but I did not like it as I thought it was not serious at all.

Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks did an amazing job in the role of Captain Phillips.  He is not your typical hero.  He is a common man thrown into extraordinary circumstances that does what he can to protect his crew.  And Hanks performance carries the movie.  But I found the movie boring once the pirates got onto the lifeboat.  I may even have drifted off because I never did figure out how the Americans captured the one pirate.  The movie was apparently very accurate about the events that happened in real life.  But that is not very exciting.  But it's worth watching just for Hank's performance.

In this intense and sometimes brutal movie, Hugh Jackman plays an American working-class father who's 6-year-old daughter and her friend disappear on Thanksgiving Day.  This is a movie with twists and turns and you're never, ever certain what the truth is until the end.  Not an easy movie to watch, especially if you have kids, it is very well done and very good.  But it's not a feel-good movie by any means.

Fight Club
Yes, this is the first time I've seen this iconic film that is nearly 15 years old.  And I figured out why I've avoided it.  It's just a bit too weird for my tastes.  It's well-made and the actors have fine performances, but it's just . . . bizarre.  Glad I watched it, can say that I've seen it, now I don't have to watch it again.

Ender's Game
The problem with this movie is that if you've read the book, you're going to long for all the nuance and layered motivations that Orson Scott Card put into the book that are missing from the movie.  Card was a producer so the movie was probably made to his specifications but it either had to be six hours long or a lot of the book had to be cut and/or simplified and, of course, they went with the latter.  If you haven't read the book, the movie is a good movie but it feels spread thin.  Ender's character is not very interesting as he his written and portrayed.  Harrison Ford's character is the most interesting (to me) but had little screen time.  This movie did have one of the more accurate portrayals of free fall movement I've seen in on film.  It still had problems but it was much better than most.  Again, perhaps because Card was a producer.  Worth seeing, but if you've read the book, expect to be disappointed.

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