Friday, December 21, 2012

Quick Movie Reviews

Here's some mini-reviews of movies I've seen recently. Rated on the 5 smiley face (☻☻☻☻☻) system. I fall asleep easily while watching movies so I will tell you how much sleep I got during the course of the movie and you can interpret that however you'd like.

Life of Pi 3D - ☻☻☻ 
Visually spectacular. Epic journey. At times it was a bit sentimental. Definitely illustrated the difficulties of being stranded at sea with a tiger. One of those movies that I wasn't raving about when I left the theater, but that stayed with me over the next few days. I think I might read the book, which I also hear is 3D.
Sleep Factor: zzz - 3 or 4, 30 second power naps sprinkled throughout.

Looper - ☻☻☻
If you can get past Joseph Gordon Levitt's weird face, Emily Blunt as a blond, and Bruce Willis in yet another time travel movie, this one is pretty good. I have a soft spot in my heart for time travel movies, but I don't really dig telekinesis. So this one was a little lukewarm for me. Also, not a great time to watch movies where toddlers are killed.
Sleep Factor: z - didn't get much sleep if any during this one. so I was either well rested or it was very edge of your seat engaging.

Ted - ☻☻☻
This teddy bear reminded me of a lot of friends that I've had in the past. You know, the type that will twist your arm just a little to blow off work and smoke pot with your teddy bear. Overall it was hilarious. I'm really sick of Mark Whalburgh  Wahlburg  Marky Mark, but not sick of Mila Kunis at all. So it balances out. Throw into the mix a hard-partying teddy bear that sounds like Peter Griffin, and you're pretty much ok with the 20 minutes you spent downloading this this legally from legal sources.
Sleep Factor: z maybe dozed off for a second but recovered easily. I think I even staid up late watching this one.

Moonrise Kingdom - ☻
I haven't been super into Wes Anderson since Rushmore, but I see all his movies anyway. Wes Anderson is like the Kevin Smith of the 2000s, except Wes's Jay and Silent Bob are a downtempo Bill Murray and mandatory Jason Schwartzman. I really loved Rushmore, but I think that was his Sixth Sense. Basically he figured out some kind of cool thing and how to capture it and then made an endless string of movies trying to recapture that, with diminishing degrees of success. At this point, when I watch a Wes Anderson movie, I can't figure out if it's a movie, or an Etsy storefront that sells artfully crafted Bill Murray dioramas.
Sleep Factor: zzzzzzzzzzzzzz I fell asleep 20 minutes into it and Slept the entire time. One of the best 2 hour naps I've ever had. I kept waking up from dreams where I thought I was Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Sleepwalk with Me - ☻☻
I was pretty disappointed in this one. I am a fan of Mike Birbiglia and stand up comedy in general. I also really like This American Life and Ira Glass, who produced this movie. There were a few good laughs in this one, mostly from Birbiglia's stand up sets, however in the end this movie left me feeling pretty non-plussed. One problem was that Mike Birbiglia's character name was Matt Panapiglia, which I guess was supposed to be a joke, or at least the set up for a joke (people kept calling him Panda Piglia), but it was just distracting and kind of annoying, especially since we all know from his stories that this is pretty much an autobiographical film. Secondly, he's a real self-centered miserable sack of shit (as many comedians are) and his girlfriend in the movie Lauren Ambrose (Claire from Six Feet Under) is way too good for him but he treats her like shit and cheats on her, and generally ignores her. Also he's such a coward that even though he wants to break up with her he ends up proposing to her, and lets her go on planning a wedding that he has no intention going through with. If you've ever planned a wedding you know this is tantamount to somebody forcing you to clean their toilet with your bare hands and then throwing the toilet away once it's spotless. In general it's just hard to root for Birbig's character in this, which makes it a shitty movie experience since he's the protagonist.
Sleep Factor: zz I don't remember falling asleep in this one, but if I had it would have been better.

Defiance - ☻☻☻☻
This movie is pretty bad ass. I watched it because this dude I work with was telling me that his grandparents were part of the resistance camp in Belarus that this movie is based on. The courage and resolve that the Bielski Otriad showed is a true triumph of the human spirit. Daniel Craig's character said it best when he said "Let our survival be our revenge."  Next, let me send a big FU out to all the Nazis in the world. Dead ones, living ones, bigots, tyrants, and all the rest. Go Kill yourself, the world will be better for it.  Every time I watch a holocaust movie I cannot believe that people can be that disgusting and cowardly. If anyone ever tells you to do something that you know is wrong, immoral, or inhumane, don't do it even if they threaten your life. Better to die with your integrity than to be party to an atrocity. And don't think that this is something that happened over 60 years ago. It is still occurring. Look at Darfur, Rwanda, Yugoslavia in the 90s, etc.  Do not let down your watch, tyranny is all around us.
Sleep Factor: None you can't sleep when people are starving in the woods.

Liberal Arts - ☻☻
This is one of those movies that was definitely written by someone who just graduated college or something. It is full to the brim of cliches that only someone with no life experience could dream up. It's about a dude who is 35 who works in admissions at some college in NYC, presumably NYU. Get this, he's from Ohio originally, as is almost everyone in every movie that lives in New York or LA. Ohio is a place people are from I suppose. I live there now. Feel free to write a screenplay about me moving to the big city. This guy is an admissions officer because the person who wrote the movie has never done anything but go to school, and doesn't know what people do if they aren't in school or working at school. The only person in the movie that has nothing to do with school works in a bookstore which is presumably where 100% of the population works if they aren't in school. No Starbucks was shown in the movie, but there is a cafe.The 35 year old dude goes back to his college for the retirement of one of his favorite professors. Then he meets a 19 year old sophomore who is into improv and Twilight. He also befriends a random dude on shrooms and a depressed kid who likes David Foster Wallace. At one point he ends up sleeping with Alison Janney which is the most imaginative part of the movie, since I never would've guessed that people would sleep with Alison Janney. SPOILER: In the end he ends up with the chick who works at the bookstore.
Sleep Factor: zzzz i got at least a good 20 minutes of z's during this one. Best 20 minutes of the movie.

The Giant Mechanical Man - ☻☻☻
This is just your run of the mill romantic comedy, but it's really good. Jenna Fisher, Chris Messina, and Topher Grace star. I think I liked it because it romanticized directionless wandering through life. Chris Messina is with some chick that no longer digs his robot on stilts street busking routine, and Jenna Fisher is just depressed or something because she's adopted. They both end up taking shitty jobs at the zoo and falling in love. I really like it. What? Screw you. It was cute.
Sleep factor: zzzz Some intermittent z's here and there, but when I woke up I rewinded to see what i missed.