Wednesday, April 13, 2011

10 '10 quick movie reviews

1. The Town - This was one of my top ten movies of 2010 along with Black Swan, Toy Story 3, How To Train Your Dragon, True Grit, Scott Pilgrim v. the World, The Social Network, Buried, Harry Potter....Part 1, and The King's Speech. Ben Affleck stars and directs in this film about four bankrobbers from Charleston, the town in question, which is a part of Boston. He ends up falling for the bank manager of one of the banks he and his gang robbed (while his face was covered in a mask, of course!) and they start a relationship. The FBI is also involved and it's a very good, very intense film which I highly recommend.

2. Knight and Day - Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in this action movie that's a fun watch for a Friday night. There's lot of (pretty much ridiculous, but fun) action and the movie takes you to different locations including Boston, the Azores, and Seville. The title doesn't really make any sense, though. The Knight surname isn't explained until more than halfway into the movie and nobody has the name Day. Also (slight spoiler) I don't think you can just drive from Mexico all the way down to the tip of South America. Maybe there's a road that takes you all the way down there? IDK!

3. Going the Distance - Real-life on-again/off-again couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star in this R-rated comedy about a couple in New York who just met, but once Drew has to go back to San Francisco to finish grad school, they must keep their relationship long distance. There were a few funny bits, but for the most part I thought this movie was trying to hard to be raunchy and edgy. Also, is it me or has Drew Barrymore played the same exact character since 2000? Skip it.

4. Grown Ups - Adam Sander, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider play childhood friends who were on a basketball team and reunite after their coach dies. They meet up at a gorgeous lake house with their families. (Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Maya Rudolph play the wives of Sandler, James, and Rock respectively). The movie just looks like an excuse for the five actors to hang out at a really cool location because the movie isn't that great. The funniest part is Steve Buscemi in a body cast. If you like juvenile movies, this one is for you.

5. Unstoppable - This film about a unmanned runaway train was inspired by true events, that, (according to Wikipedia) happened in Ohio in May 2001. I had never heard about the incident until the movie came out, probably because there was no damage or fatalities. But'd think a runaway train would get a lot of news press! The train becomes unmanned when the conductor steps out to flip a switch or something and the switch on the train falls so it starts going faster and he can't hop back on to stop it. Enter train vet Denzel Washington and rookie Chris Pine who are conducting another train and have to connect their train to the back of the runaway train to stop it. I call BS when Chris Pine had to jump from the truck that one dude was driving onto the train which was going about 50 mph at the time. I'm sure that didn't happen in real life. The movie is entertaining, though, but maybe Denzel Washington and Tony Scott need to stop making movies about trains and subways for awhile!

6. Shutter Island - Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for the fourth time to make this psychological thriller about a detective who goes to an insane asylum located on an island where it storms all the time to search for a missing patient. Now I knew what the big twist was already, so I was just curious to see how they were going to do the big reveal. Even if you've never seen the movie, the twist is VERY obvious is you think about it. I mean, it's Sixth Sense obvious. I didn't really like the movie; it was too weird for me and normally I like movies set in mental wards like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Girl, Interrupted. The moral of this story? Never marry a crazy person!

7. Eat, Pray, Love - Julia Roberts plays writer Elizabeth "Liz" Gilbert who takes a year off after she and her husband divorce to travel to Italy (where she eats), India (where she prays), and Bali (where she finds love) to "find herself". Probably only really rich divorcees in their 40s can relate to this movie. There were some beautiful shots of the different locations and while the Italian food they show did look good, it really didn't look much different then something you can find at any Spaghetti Works. This doesn't make me particularly want to read the memoir of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert.

8. Morning Glory - Rachel McAdams gets a job as a producer at a morning talk show (think Today or Good Morning America) that has awful ratings and it's her job to get them up. Diane Keaton plays the perky Katie Couric-esque co-host to Harrison Ford's stoic, no-nonsense retired evening news anchor who was brought aboard to help boost the ratings. I assumed the name of the show was called "Morning Glory", but it's actually called "Daybreak". I think "Morning Glory" is a better name for a morning show. Cute movie, but very predictable.

9. Cyrus - This is an indie drama with a dry sense of humor. The previews make it out to be this hilarious comedy, and while there are funny scenes, it's more about dysfunctional relationships. John is played by John C. Reilly and his ex-wife invites him to a party because she's getting married and wants him to quit moping around the house and meet somebody which he does. Molly is played by Marissa Tomei and becomes smitten with John's quirkiness and honesty. They have a couple of dates before he finds out that she has a son. Twenty-one-year-old Cyrus who still lives at home is played by Jonah Hill. He's a really weird kid and he and his mom have a relationship that's a bit on the creepy side, but never crosses that line.  For instance, they always leave their bedroom doors open, even when John is sleeping over. John realizes that something is not right with Cyrus and confronts him. They get into an argument, but when Molly is about to enter, they pretend like they're getting along great. The funny thing is while Cyrus keeps coming between John and Molly, John keeps coming in between his ex-wife and her new husband because he keeps going over to their house to ask for advice. One of the funniest/strangest scenes is when Cyrus is playing this computerized music he composed for John and John goes, "It sounds like that one Steve Miller Band song!" and Cyrus goes, "No, it doesn't." I don't know why, but that made me laugh.

10. Salt - I really liked this movie probably because I loved Alias which had Jennifer Garner kicking ass and wearing cool disguises. This movie is exactly like that - only it's Angelina Jolie kicking ass and wearing cool disguises. She's Evelyn Salt and works for the CIA...or does she? A Russian man exposes her to working with the Russians and being a mole, but like Sydney Bristow in the first season of Alias, she's more of a double agent. There were a few surprises I didn't see coming, so kudos to the film for that. There was one scene where AJ was disguised as a man and I wondered if she ever went out in public like that because it looked nothing like her. I also wondered how her character had time to get such an elaborate disguise! Evelyn Salt kinda reminded me of a female Jason Bourne and I'm wondering if they're planning to do a franchise of these films because the ending just sort of...ended. If this were a TV show, it would be a cliffhanger.

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