Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Movies

Here are a couple more movies I recently saw to add to the review thread.

Jesus Camp (7.5/10): It's a little freaky to see how some completely right wing Christians are teaching their kids religion, not so much because they're so religious, but because of how their religion manifests itself in their everyday lives. Kids are home schooled and taught that science is wrong. They're taught that those who don't believe as them are enemies. They're made to feel extremely guilty for any small "sin". They use religion as a tool for exclusion, judgment, and hate. It's a total perversion of everything that Jesus taught. And it happens every day somewhere in some backwater hick town. Scary.

Hot Fuzz (7.5/10): Sean of the Dead was a hilarious send up of the zombie movies that had come before it. One of the best qualities of the film is that it never got less funny the more times you watched it. Hot Fuzz was funny, but not nearly as clever as Sean of the Dead, and I also think it wouldn't hold up over multiple viewings. The movie was also a little disjointed with the first two thirds being focused on the comedic while the last third was focused on being completely over the top in regards to action. It's still better than most comedies you'll see this year, so that's a definite plus.

Wolf Creek (5/10): I tend to go pretty easy on horror movies because they're a guilty pleasure of mine. All you need is a decently engaging antagonist, some clever deaths, and a couple of twists and I'll have a decent enough time watching it. When a horror movie, such as Wolf Creek, is 75% boring set up and only 25% actual horror... well, then what you have is a very uneven and near unwatchable horror movie. I was honestly so bored for the first hour plus of this movie that I thought about turning it off. The final third of the movie is perfectly fine and has a wonderfully demented antagonist, but the arduous path a viewer has to take to get there is excruciating. For all the accolades this film garnered, I found it very lackluster.

Fearless (7/10): Martial arts movies, much like horror movies, usually adhere to a checklist of needed ingredients. With martial arts it is usually a few awesome fights (usually with unique set pieces), a lot of talk about honor, stilted acting, and a protagonist that learns something about himself. Fearless has all of these elements in spades. The story is pretty basic, with there being a little bit too much heavy-handedness in the message, which happens to be "you don't have to be bad to be a bad ass". The fights, especially one epic one on one battle in a restaurant, are exquisite. It's too bad they all take place in the first two thirds of the movie. The final fight at the end is more of an acted out scene than a fight, but it fits the plot so it's not all bad. Still, this is a solid martial arts flick, it a little bittersweet knowing that it is Jet Li's last martial arts movie.

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