I have been trying very hard to catch up on all the films that I missed seeing in the theaters...here are my thoughts on some recently viewed DVD's...
1. Up - Super cute film, unique characters and plot - however I am still not a Pixar film fan. I think the biggest reason that this film has such high reviews is that it is an impossible film to hate. The dog was obviously the best part - "It's funny because the squirrel dies". Hilarious.
2. Drag Me to Hell - Another film with an impossible high rt rating (92%) - it is actually one of the best reviewed films of the year. The film is definitely creepy and quite disgusting - I am sure it probably is scary as hell if seen in a theater. Unfortunately, I don't think it translated well on DVD - it was never really scary at all. I absolutely hate Justin Long - no particular reason, I just think he is really bland. The acting was saved by Alison Lohman (loved her in Big Fish and Matchstick Men) - she did a great job at creating a distinct and grounded character in such a non-believable film. Was it really necessary to kill the cute, innocent kitten?
3. Extract - Jason Bateman and J.K Simmons must have it written in their contracts that they only do films together (Up in the Air, Juno and this film) - no complaints from me. I just wish this script served their combined comedic talents justice. This is a mostly forgettable film, with no character or plot developments worth remembering.
4. The Ugly Truth - I can't believe that I would actually admit this, but this film is not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Don't get me wrong - it was dumb and predictable but it was also very cute and watchable. I hate Katherine Heigl, but Gerard Butler is delightful - he is very natural on-screen and macho (but in a good way). I also loved him in that awful film with Hillary Swank.
5. Adam - It was a decent film, but I expected it to be much better. The trailer was actually really quirky and funny - which is misleading because the film is not funny at all. Hugh Dancy did a respectable job as someone living with Asperger's Syndrome - although I don't know anyone with it so I guess I can't compare it to anyone. I liked that it was a love story where there was an actual "difficulty" to overcome (and not just he lives with his parents or he is a womanizer but love will change him - I am pretty sure I just described 2 Matthew McConaughey films...).
6. The Burning Plain- So my favorite films are 21 Grams, Babel and Amaros Perros. The writing and directing collaboration between Guillermo Arriaga and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was one of my favorite partnerships in film history. I was really sad when I read a few years ago that they would no longer be working together. I hope that they get over their difficulties and re-team soon. That being said Arriaga’s film (that he wrote and directed) was incredibly disappointing. Anyone educated in his writing will immediately be putting the pieces of the films together – and unfortunately it isn’t hard ( I think I figured it out after about 45 minutes) and once you know the story, there really is no point in watching the film. However, Charlize Theron is amazing (I am surprised that she really hasn’t received any recognition for this or her performance in The Road).
7. The Taking of Pelham 123 - I was right about the over-acting. I was right about the predictableness (is that a word?). I was really hoping for a surprise ending, but it never happened. It is a complete waste of time.
8. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - Oh Jennifer Garner – you can do so much better! Ditto for Emma Stone! Why would they participate in this absolute piece of crap film? This was one of the films that my mother forced me to sit through and even she thought it was pretty bad. And speaking of Matthew McConaughey, I actually liked Matt’s attitude in the beginning (the idea of love and marriage is ridiculous) but of course by the end he realizes the errors of his ways and changes his entire personality for love.
9. 9 - I didn't even do that on purpose - I swear. This film was absolutely awful and boring with absolutely no character development. The plot has been done several times before (humans vs machines) and it offered absolutely nothing new.