Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catching up on Movies

Here are some of my thoughts on movies new and not so new that i have just seen;

"Zack and Miri Make a Porno"; Probably the weirdest date movie ever.....definitely the only date movie that Katie Morgan will ever be in...Kevin Smith seems to have learned how to get more from his actors than just smart-ass rejoinders...despite the fact that apparently it stays below zero in Pittsburgh from November through March, everything works in this truly funny film...Justin Long had me laughing so hard I thought I was going to need an ambulance...Elizabeth Banks is just great in everything...if it was possible to steal this film, then Craig Robinson (Darryl from "The Office") does just that.

"Atonement"; How many drawing room dramas would not exist if British people would just TALK to each other?....James McAvoy is always believeable and charming and just right....with the exception of McAvoy and Saoirse Ronan, who plays little Briony, the rest of the cast seems to be decoration, even Keira Knightly, who does her best Helena Bonham Carter imitation...the tracking shot at the beach in France is a monumental achievement, and I heard nothing about it in any review that I read....I can't imagine how long the setup was for it, and how much of it was CGI...the score got on my nerves more than once.

"Hamlet 2": Nothing like satirizing a classic film style (teacher wins over students, see "To Sir With Love") only to find that in the end you've actually capitulated to the formula...best spin in the satire was at the home of the most troubled student, where the parents are successful, caring and attentive...lots of great laughs in this film, but I am not big on Coogan's slapstick...the kids from "Spring Awakenings" were really good...there is much to love in this cute distraction.

"Michael Clayton"; described as a courtroom drama, it never actually goes to court...I waited the entire movie for Clooney to crack a smile, and he almost does at the very end..one gets the feeling that he is just too good looking to be this character....the pacing and story-telling are absolutely top-notch...Tom Wilkinson has the juiciest part and he nails it, as does Tilda Swinton in her turn...but tell me someone, why does Michael pull over and look at the horses? Couldn't they have set something up? He's supposed to be a gambler--couldn't it have been the track he was into instead of poker?....the confrontation between Clooney and Swinton at the climax of the film is worth the wait....by the way, a great and subtle score.