Posts Tagged ‘2010 movie reviews’

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Catfish (2010)

February 17, 2011


Starring: Real People?
Director: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Quick Thoughts: My first question was: is this for real? Catfish is a story so outrageous and conveniently conceived that it’s a fair question to ask. A duo of amateur filmmaker’s start documenting their friend’s relationship with an 8 year old girl named Abby and her family that he’s met through a social networking site, or more specifically, Facebook. Yes, in the same year that The Social Network, a movie that details the creation of Facebook, is likely to win Best Picture, we get a documentary that shows just how far some people will go to fulfill missing elements in their lives via the internet. What starts out as a seemingly harmless relationship turns into something darker and… sad. Without spoiling where the story will take you, I’ll just say that everything isn’t as it seems. Like I said earlier though… is it for real? These guys just happened to start filming these somewhat meaningless events that wind up turning into a completely compelling story? That’s pretty lucky and pretty tough to swallow, but if you can’t choke that down, then you have to admit these people with absolutely no acting credits under their belts are giving some pretty convincing performances. Personally, I find the latter harder to believe because as unbelievable as the story might be, none of the people involved give any indication that things are being staged… and that extends to the bonus features I watched as well. I haven’t done a lot of research on Catfish, so if it winds up being a known fact that this is a hoax, then I guess I’m an idiot, but after watching it, I think it’s legit. And that makes it creepy. And good.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: A film that definitely draws most of it’s strength on that first viewing. Once the cat is out of the bag, the intensity and mysteriousness disappears.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: No Best Documentary nomination? Fishy… Catfishy.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 7/10 (Must See)
Recommendation: Regardless of whether Catfish is a legit documentary or clever storytelling, it’s an interesting movie that explores the depths of the human psyche and the lengths someone will go to in order to cure their own loneliness or dissatisfaction in their life. Impressive filmmaking either way and the best documentary from 2010 I’ve seen.

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Easy A (2010)

September 28, 2010

Plot: Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) makes up a story about losing her virginity to a community college student instead of admitting what she really did all weekend: sing along with her Hallmark card. After her story circulates around school and her reputation changes, other students come to her and ask her to pretend like she hooked up with them to improve their images as well.

If you can look past the fact that a high school girl losing her virginity isn’t really a big story in any high school I’ve ever heard of, Easy A is actually a pretty funny and charming movie. If nothing else, Emma Stone should come out of this as a legitimate leading lady. I see some real success in her future and she proves she can carry a movie by herself. Lisa Kudrow seems out of place as the school counselor on some Mary Kay shit, but the rest of the adult cast is phenomenal. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are particularly hilarious as Olive’s parents. The cast of teenagers isn’t nearly as strong. Outside of Olive, none of them are memorable, except for her best friend’s rack… it’s a beauty! I didn’t even realize Amanda Bynes was in this movie until it was over. She plays the uber-obnoxious leader of the school’s Christian group and is virtually unrecognizable. Did she put on some weight? Overall, Easy A is a solid, but not remarkable high school comedy with a breakthrough performance from Stone. It was funny, but not as good as I was hoping it would be. A DVD rental in my opinion.

Grade: B-
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Comedies have a tendency to grow on me over multiple viewings, so maybe this will too. Right now, I’m not sure I’d watch it again.
Sequel Potential: Pretty unlikely.
Oscar Potential: None.
Nudity?: None.

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2010 Movie Reviews

July 6, 2010

Alice In Wonderland – Tim Burton takes the Lewis Carrol tale and makes it his own by filming it in 3D with live actors. The combination of Tim Burton, the story, and Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter sounded promising at first, but the end result was disappointing. Perhaps animated characters don’t translate well to real life actors because most of the acting in this film was driving me nuts. I really had a hard time not turning it off and moving on to other things. I’ll note that I didn’t watch the movie in theaters or in 3D, which may have considerably increased my enjoyment, but alas, I’ll never know. D

Hot Tub Time Machine – Skipped this in theaters and heard it was pretty funny, so I was looking forward to its DVD release. It wasn’t quite as funny as I thought it would be, but it was still plenty enjoyable with a number of solid gags and laughs. The story was a little corny, but that was to be expected given the film’s title. Overall, I liked it and it’s quite possible this movie will be a grower like a lot of the better comedies of the past couple years. B-

Iron Man 2 – A solid follow up to one of the most surprising movies of 2008. Not as good as the original, but still a lot of fun. It seemed like Mickey Rourke’s character wasn’t given nearly enough screen time and never really felt like a major threat to Tony Stark. Downey was great once again and Don Cheadle was a fine replacement for Terrance Howard. Funny, with good action, and War Machine was a welcome addition. Not a great sequel, but certainly not bad either. B

Kick-Ass – I was really anticipating this one and the results were mixed. It had a fun feeling to it, but the main character really didn’t move me at all and almost all the other characters were pretty hollow as well. Kick-Ass never felt like a superhero of any sort to me… just a nerdy kid in a bad costume. Hit-Girl is what made this movie borderline awesome despite all its flaws. Not only is the character well written and an utter bad ass, but the young girl that plays her displays a ton of acting talent. The movie has some good action and is funny at times, but the story wasn’t executed spectacularly and the casting was questionable. C+

Nightmare On Elm Street – I’m a big old school horror franchise fanatic and Freddy Krueger has long been a fascination of mine. Unlike Jason Vorhees or Michael Meyers, a Freddy reboot was something I was looking forward to and thought could be well done. This remake is a fair attempt at updating an old classic. I liked the news of Jackey Earl Haley taking on the role of Krueger and although several critics disagree with me, I liked him a lot in the role. He was scary in a way that Robert Englund arguably hasn’t been in over two decades. The story leaves something to be desired, but so do the majority of slasher film scripts. If this isn’t a step in the right direction for the franchise, I don’t know what is. B-

Toy Story 3 – Review coming soon…

Youth In Revolt – Michael Cera stars in his normal role of a geeky and awkward adolescent trying to figure out how to succeed with women. Only this time there’s a twist! Cera’s character creates an alter-ego in order to become a bad ass. Needless to say, it comes off cheesy and doesn’t really provide any laughs. Cera’s star is starting to dim and this movie was a snoozer. F