Archive for the 'Recent DVDs' Category
Everyone Has One
Ever since his breakthrough with 1997’s Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson has been a fascinating director to follow. Whether it be a sprawling, multi-character drama, or the story of how wealth and power can corrupt an individual, or even an experiment with Adam Sandler, his movies are always worth watching, whether you ultimately enjoy them or not. The same can be said for The Master, the director’s examination of the powers behind belief systems akin to Scientology. It’s a fascinating examination, but whether or not it truly says anything is still up for debate.
Not Quite the Anti-Moneyball
Bringing him out of acting retirement, Trouble with the Curve is the first movie that Clint Eastwood has acted in, but not directed, since 1993’s In the Line of Fire. Instead, the movie is directed by first-timer Robert Lorenz, Eastwood’s longtime assistant director. Assuming the pupil has been paying attention to his mentor all those years, Trouble with the Curve has the potential to be this year’s anti-Moneyball.
The Plagiarism Movie
Finally, it’s the plagiarism drama for which we’ve all been waiting. Remember all those years in school when your teachers would warn you about the consequences that would come if you plagiarized another person’s work? Well, The Words is the movie version of those consequences… and you know what? The consequences don’t seem so severe. Essentially, this is an after-school special with a bigger budget for more recognizable stars.
What Just Happened?
Walking into Cosmopolis, this writer had no idea what the latest movie from director David Cronenberg was about. Walking out of Cosmopolis 108 minutes later, this writer still had no idea what the latest movie from director David Cronenberg was about. Was it really happening? Was it just a dream? Were all of these characters real? Is Robert Pattinson acting like that at his director’s instruction, or is he just a bad actor? The movie doesn’t really explain anything, leaving that up to the audience. Some may buy into it, but this writer did not.
Growing Up Green
Real-life mom Jennifer Garner seems to have trouble having babies of her own in the movies, always looking for alternative options. In 2007, she convincingly played a woman looking to adopt a child in Juno and now she takes an alternative approach: growing a child in the garden. The Odd Life of Timothy Green starts off well with that original idea, but unfortunately, it fails to really go anywhere from there.
Will vs. Zach
Will vs. Zach. No last names were required in the promotional material for The Campaign, a political farce starring two of today’s most popular comic actors. Their names perhaps overshadow a key figure in the movie’s production, that being director Jay Roach. Having directed both comedy (Austin Powers & Meet the Parents) and political drama (Recount & Game Change), Roach is the perfect director to spoof political campaigns. The final product leans more towards outrageous comedy than political satire, but that’s okay. After all, it’s got Will and Zach.
New Bourne is a Talker
The original Bourne trilogy starring Matt Damon stands alone as one of the better trilogies in movie history. Now, writer/director Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of that original trilogy, introduces a new protagonist in The Bourne Legacy, which lives somewhere between sequel and spin-off. Jeremy Renner is the new protagonist, but unfortunately he was not given nearly as much to work with as his predecessor.
Mr. Allen Goes to Rome
The new Woody Allen movie, To Rome with Love, is exactly what its title suggests: a love letter to Rome. An ensemble piece, the movie tells four different stories. The stories all take place over a different timeline and never intersect; they are connected only by the fact that all four stories take place in Rome. When Allen’s character talks about how much he is struggling with retirement, you can’t help but wonder if Allen is expressing his own feelings about retiring from acting, explaining his return here. He does well, playing the same character we have seen for decades.
Change Your Fate
Pixar has been making feature films under the Disney brand for seventeen years now and they have finally delivered their first female protagonist. And guess what… she’s a princess! For those keeping score at home, that makes Merida a Disney princess. So, not only does Brave come with the high expectations that have been earned by the Pixar name, but Merida will also undoubtedly be compared to Disney’s great line of princesses. As entertaining as it is, however, this Pixar effort seems to lack that special kind of Pixar magic. Still, a subpar Pixar movie is not the worst thing.
Good Music, Poor Movie
It’s time to go back to the 1980s—1987, specifically—a time of big hair and hard rock. Adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name, Rock of Ages is a musical made up entirely of hair rock songs from the era. Everyone from Poison and Joan Jett to Bon Jovi and Journey lend their songs to this movie that is heavy on music, but light on plot. Essentially, Rock of Ages is a concert film, allowing time for only about five lines of dialogue between each of the musical numbers. Although that probably worked very well on stage where the audience is essentially watching a concert anyway, could have spent a little more time developing its story and characters.
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