Saturday, February 13, 2010

February Movie Reviews Part 2

I'm feeling better now (Part 1 has all the details).  I'm still continuing towards my goal of watching one movie for every weekday in 2010.  So without further ado, here's the rest of what I've seen so far:

12 Monkeys

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about a man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Rated #172 in the Top 250 films on, and nominated for 2 Oscars.

1995, Mystery/Sci-Fi/Thriller. Dir. Terry Gilliam. Rated R.

This was less of a "my kind" of film. It was harsh and bleak to watch. There were plot twists and turns, time travel back and forth, and it wasn't always easy for me to follow. Perhaps not the best choice for a delicate flower with a brain injury like myself - but a good film for someone else. Bruce Willis is very much in a role that seems made for him. Brad Pitt wasn't bad - perhaps it was that I just didn't care for the character. He was at times too over-the-top in a way that was distracting me from the story - and plot is something you need to pay attention to.

3:10 To Yuma

A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Nominated for 2 Oscars.

2007, Western. Dir. James Mangold. Rated R.

I love this film. The first time I saw it on a SAG preview screener back in '07, I was so impressed with Ben Foster's performance as Charlie Prince, I could hardly contain myself. He was that movie for me. This time, it was Russell Crowe as Ben Wade who had my attention. I did not see the 3:10 to Yuma from 1957 - but I can't imagine it being as good as this version. If you want to see actors bringing multiple levels to their roles, and you haven't seen a good Western in ages - this is a must-see film.

A Good Year

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

2006, Comedy/Drama/Romance. Dir. Ridley Scott. Rated PG-13.

After being so impressed with Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma, I decided to watch this film. I found this to be an enjoyable film - vaguely reminding me of Under the Tuscan Sun. I can connect with the theme/plot - it's not dissimilar to my own path through life. And once again, after hearing stories of what Russell Crowe is like when he plays himself, I thought he brought something special to his role in this film. Maybe I wouldn't want to be his pal off-set, but from what I've seen, I'd be happy to watch him in other films.

Alien Nation

Aliens, known as Newcomers, begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine but are victims of a new type of discrimination.

Won a Saturn Award.

1988, Crime/Drama/Sci-Fi. Dir. Graham Baker. Rated R.

I have to be honest, I only saw this film because I know Kevyn Major Howard (Rudyard Kipling) - and it was really cool seeing him as an Alien. Some films from long ago "age" well, and some seem a little dated when one sees them many years after their release. There were times where I was reminded of just how long ago 1988 was - and yet the issue of racism is always something I like to see explored in film, then or now. Characters can grow, learn and change - can't we (mankind) also? If you loved the 80's, watch this movie and be taken back to that era.

Angels & Demons

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican.

Nominated for 2 Teen Choice Awards.

2009, Mystery/Thriller. Dir. Ron Howard. Rated PG-13.

And exciting film to watch, picturesque and full of action. It's a great date movie - leaves you with a lot to talk about. I was surprised by the plot twists, no surprise there. There's a lot I don't see coming. I liked the The Da Vinci Code too. I'm not sure which of the two films I thought was better, but Tom Hanks is always brilliant to watch.

Annie Hall

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.

Rated #132 in the Top 250 movies on Won 4 Oscars.

1977, Comedy/Drama/Romance. Dir. Woody Allen. Rated PG.

Four Oscars, and you know what? It didn't tickle my fancy as it did everyone else. There was something about Woody's character that I just couldn't quite get why Annie liked him to begin with. I'll put some more thought into it some day as to what it was exactly that rubbed me the wrong way, but for me - I'd have rather seen something else.

Death at a Funeral
Chaos ensues when a man tries to expose a dark secret regarding a recently deceased patriarch of a dysfunctional British family.

2007, Comedy. Dir. Frank Oz. Rated R.

This is a dark comedy with odd characters in shocking situations. Complete chaos ensues, and the Brits do this type of film best, I think. And the end..! But I don't want to give it away. :)

That's all I'm going to do for this entry. Many more to come! If you have a suggestion for a film I shouldn't miss seeing this year, let me know on Twitter @cybercat19.

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