May 18, 2008

Big Fat Movie Review Weekend

Saw a bunch of movies that were on my NetFlix queue this weekend. I also ate at a great Barbeque joint, went to another wake, spent Sunday in NYC and attended one of the Yankee/Met games at the Stadium. But this post is about the films. Thought I would give you my quick 10-second reviews of each of them. Watched some on the laptop and some on cable TV. I'm bi-viewal, I guess. {{Insert joke here.}} Here goes:

nnnnn - Loved it.
nnnnx - Really Liked it.
nnnxx - Liked it.
nnxxx - Didn't Like it.
nxxxx - Hated it.

nnnxx Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) - I hope I'm not giving away anything, but the movie opens up will fully-nude Phillip Seymour Hoffman giving it doggie-style to an equally nude Marisa Tomei while looking at himself in the mirror. If that isn't enough to pique your interest, then you are much more grown up than I give y'all credit for. The rest of the movie is a story of a heist gone wrong and the consequences suffered by one family, in particular. The performances are decent, Marisa Tomei is naked a lot, the story is so-so, and not much else can be said for me to recommend this to anyone. It was okay...I mean I didn't hate it. The Tarantino-esque playing with the timeline was more annoying than helpful. I found myself waiting for it to end more than hoping it wouldn't. I would have given it 2.5 stars out of 5, but NetFlix only lets you vote using round numbers. So I rounded up. You know...for Marisa Tomei being nekkid and all.

nnnnx Rocky Balboa (2006) - I initially saw this one in the theaters with Slyde, but it's playing again on cable so I gave it another view. Call me a sentimental old fool, but I really liked it. It succeeded in evoking the feeling of the first Rocky film where most of the others in the franchise failed. I liked the inclusion of many of the characters from the first film...that helped a lot. Even the old neighborhood was back. The premise and the fight at the end were kinda ridiculous, but it's a movie...fuck it. I think that most of you can tell without watching it whether you are going to like it or hate it. I was the same way. I was pretty sure I was gonna like it, and it delivered on it's promise. To me, at least.

nnnnx Seraphim Falls (2006) - I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I only watched it because it was available online and it was a Western. I'm a huge fan of Westerns and this one stars the vastly underrated Pierce Brosnan and the, um, tall Liam Neeson. It's the story of one man who is running from an atrocity that he is partially responsible for and another man who blames him for the act while seeking a reckoning. It strays into some moral and ethical fantasy toward the end, but I enjoyed it on the whole. Some may be turned off by the pacing of the's slow. I reveled in it. Left me wanting more.

nnnnx The Man From Earth (2007) - Imagine if a man were able to live for 14,000 years. How would he accomplish that, how would he be able to handle the changing face of humanity and/or God? How would he develop relationships, advance artistic development, find the truth? In this film, a college professor spends a night with his colleagues and admits to just that. Some decent writing and acting are the high points, plus one nicely-done plot twist that ratcheted the whole thing up a notch. Not your standard fare, but if you enjoy Science Fiction and thoughtful discussion even a little bit then it may be worth your while.

nxxxx Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) - I was hoping to fall into a nice little slumber while watching this pappy piece o' crappy popcorn. No such luck. I made it all the way to the end. Yup...all 168 minutes. I deserve a prize or a lobotomy or something. Hmm...a lobotomy may have helped. Let us all hope that Johnny Depp can move on to something a little more in tune with his talent now that this trilogy is over. It's over right? Please God(dess), let it be over!!! When the final tally is done on movie trilogies, this one is gonna wind up being "fail" along with The Matrix and the second Star Wars trilogy. The "wins", by the way, are the original Star Wars trilogy and Lord of the Rings. The jury is still out on the rest of 'em.

Way to end on a high note, eh?

PS - I'm still having spacing issues with new posts on Blogger. This time without including any pictures. And now it's changing the font size at will. When will the madness end? - Earl


Slyde said...

Hey, what about the terminator trilogy?

1 and 2 rocked, and even tho the world at large gives 3 alot of shit for being sub-par (it was), it was still WAAAAY better a film than i thought anyone would do without James Cameon at the helm.

Avitable said...

I loved Rocky Balboa. Haven't seen any of the other films you reviewed.

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - I don't necessarily consider the Terminator films to be a trilogy, per se. There was never an initial focus on making a there was with Star Wars, The Matrix and LoTR. Cameron didn't have a plan to make the second and third movies right away. We can see that with the long delay between the 2nd and 3rd films. Even if you considered to to be a trilogy, I still think of it as "fail" because the 3rd movie, while not awful, wasn't even close to the first two. And read the message boards...many fans of the first movie have tons of issues with the second film. I liked both.

Avi - You may enjoy "The Man From Earh"...interesting little film.

Poppy said...

I loooooooooved Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Watching Mr. Creepy fuck Marisa was hot and disturbing at the very same time. She is gooooorgeous, and he's a freaky pig.

That Hank said...

The Pirates movies work great, as a whole, when taken as the bedtime stories that what's her name tells her bastard son to explain why he hasn't got a dad. "Oh, your pop's a magic pirate on a magic ship, and that's why all the kids in the neighborhood call you names."

Bruce Johnson said...

The man from earth looks interesting. You have my sympathies for being able to sit through the rest of them....(although Marissa Tomei naked is an interesting premise...I keep thinking of her topless in the court in 'My Cousin Vinny' now.)

limpy99 said...

OK, your response to Slyde pretty much covers my comment about the Indiana Jones trilogy, which I really liked. I am, however, awaiting in somewhat morbid fascination to see what the 4th one is like. The first time Indy swigs from a bottle of Metamucil, I'm outta there.

Verdant Earl said...

Poppy - it sure was an eye-opener.

Downtown Guy - exactly. Did we need it to last 9 hours?

Lotus - the only one that was truly painful was Pirates. And Marisa Tomei is worth it.

Limpy - I'm eagerly anticipating/dreading Indy 4.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

i liked before the devil knows your dead, but the pirate of the carribean movie i fell asleep before the end. but that's because i was shitfaced too.

Verdant Earl said...

Tequila - Shitfaced and asleep was probably the way to go with that movie.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Before the Devil Knows You're Dead!

Verdant Earl said...

Bobgirrl - I guess I have to be in the right mood for a film that has pratically no characters with any redeeming features. I just thought it was so-so.