Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tons of Movies

With the rainy weather the last week or so, I managed to pound down a few movies. For all of my 2007 reviews, head here.

Bridge to Terabathia (5.5/10): Talk about a movie that takes a monster of a detour halfway through. The movie starts off as a fun, light tale of a blossoming friendship with themes of being imaginative, not conforming, and being open to new ideas permeating the narrative. Then at about the 2/3 mark of the movie, it shifts completely into a depressing, downtrodden, and listless examination of how to deal with the loss of a friend. It was so promising... and then so disappointing. It's not the happy-go-lucky fun film the previews portrayed and will probably make kids feel a little uncomfortable and sad when watching it.

Vacancy (8.5/10): A short but tense thriller. The standard horror plot macguffin of having a couple get stranded in the middle of nowhere with only one particular hotel/house/area to go to for help is used to get the story going, which made me wonder if it would even be worth my time. Thankfully the execution of the movie is what kept it afloat. Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale were both very real and did a nice job of playing such typecast roles. A couple of interesting "surprise" moments kept the movie flowing quickly and kept me very interested.

Stardust (8.5/10): Some critics have hailed this as a modern Princess Bride and I would agree that this is a very apt comparison. As opposed to many of the recent fantasy movies to be released, Stardust is all about fun instead of trying to be overly serious or about some huge, world changing event/item. Everything about the movie simply screams "fun"! It is definitely geared at a younger crowd, but there is plenty to enjoy for adults. The cast had wonderful performances all around. True, Robert De Niro's character did feel a little forced at times, but it was still a hilarious character. Claire Daines was magnificent as the fallen star. And everyone else was solid as well. A great family film.

Superbad (9/10): Superfunny is probably a better title. I don't think I've laughed so hard during a movie in a long time. The cast is phenomenal, the story is crazy, yet believable, the one-liners are infinitely quotable, and you won't stop laughing the entire time. Sure, it's raunchy and contains mostly crude humor, but that's really the point of the movie--to be crass, but in a hilarious manner. Seriously, go see this movie and laugh your ass off.

The Good Shepherd (8/10): This is a movie I'd wanted to see since it hit theaters, but never took the time to dive in because of its extreme length (it's 2.5+ hours long). All of the run time is put to good use, focusing not only on what it was to be a spy in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, but on what the implications were on the characters' relationships, personalities, and lifestyles. There is little to no action as the focus is so much on the characters, which gives this movie a more contemplative feel as opposed to simply running through another thriller/mystery plot. The cast is exceptional as well. If you have the time to dedicate to it, this is a fairly good movie.

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