Monday, April 30, 2012

This Week at the Movies: 'Five Year Engagement,' 'The Raven,' 'Sound of my Voice' and 'Bernie'

It was a busy week at the movies as you'll see from my latest piece for Patch.

This weekend, I saw three films I liked - the affable romantic comedy "The Five Year Engagement," Richard Linklater's oddball "Bernie" and "Sound of my Voice," a strange indie about two journalists attempting to infiltrate a cult.

I wasn't as excited about "The Raven," which had a few good set pieces, but was weak in other departments. Gotta keep it short this week. I'll let the reviews speak for themselves.

This coming weekend, I'll be seeing "The Avengers" and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Good Directors, Not So Great Movies: 'The Moth Diaries' and 'The Lucky One'

I was a little let down by Mary Harron's "The Moth Diaries" this weekend, especially being such a big fan of her brilliant adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's "American Psycho." The film felt curiously flat and lacking in subtext or substance.

The same can be said for Scott Hicks's "The Lucky One." I've enjoyed some of Hicks's other films, most notably "Shine," but his latest was pretty blah. Granted, the picture was based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. I can't say I've been particularly crazy about any of the Sparks adaptations I've seen thus far.

Here are this week's reviews for Patch.

I also finally caught up with "Bully," which I found to be moving and mostly successful. If the film has any problems, it's that it is a bit anecdotal, rather than bringing together its various victims' stories into one narrative. Nevertheless, it's an effective documentary.

This weekend, I have a lot to see: "The Raven," "The Five-Year Engagement," Richard Linklater's "Bernie" and the acclaimed indie "Sound of My Voice."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Genre Bending Exercises: 'Cabin in the Woods' and 'Damsels in Distress'

I gotta say, I had a lot of fun at Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's "The Cabin in the Woods." It's not particularly scary, but it's a whole lot of meta fun and pretty clever to boot.

The film not only lampoons the horror genre, but also people's expectations of it.... and even a little something more, I'd say.

I was a little let down by "Damsels in Distress," the first film from Whit Stillman in 14 years. It has the same witty banter as his previous efforts, but it's often too twee and light on substance. It's not bad, but just sort of middle of the road.

Here are my Patch reviews.

The week's other - more significant - letdown was Guy Maddin's "Keyhole," which I'd heard was good as well as described as Lynchian. Alas, I thought it was one of the director's weaker efforts as of late. It has some good atmosphere and some expected loopy moments, but overall lacking.

But the fact that this season of "Mad Men" has been getting so increasingly fantastic almost makes up for a few cinematic bummers. I thought last night's episode was another knockout - and you'll hopefully appreciate my choice of words if you saw it.

Also, I decided to have a little fun this week. If you're linked to me on Facebook, search for my photo album titled 'Amazing Photos.' I know, not the most ingenious title, but I think it could provide you with a laugh. Be sure to read the captions.

This coming weekend, I'll catch up with "The Moth Diaries," which is the latest from Mary Harron.

So, what does that leave? There's a new film from Lawrence Kasdan and that Zac Effron picture, "The Lucky One." I also wouldn't mind catching up with "Bully." We'll see, I guess. But you can count on the Harron film.

Monday, April 9, 2012

This Week at the Movies: 'American Reunion'

I was out of town doing wedding preparation this past weekend, so my viewing was light. I managed to catch up with "American Reunion," which I occasionally found charming - catching up with a couple of characters I liked from the previous films, for example - but also unnecessary.

Here's my review for Patch.

This coming week will be one for catching up - first and foremost with Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress" and Guy Maddin's "Keyhole."

Next weekend, I'll definitely see "The Cabin in the Woods" as well as "The Three Stooges."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hollywood Blahs: 'Wrath of the Titans' and 'Mirror, Mirror'

Needless to say, it was not the best weekend for movies. My reviews for Patch this week were "Wrath of the Titans" and "Mirror, Mirror," of which neither was I particularly fond.

The first was a by-the-numbers sequel to a mostly unnecessary remake of "Clash of the Titans," while the second was a visually lavish, but under-scripted take on Snow White.

Take a look at my reviews.

On a brighter note, I finally caught up with "Friends with Kids," which I enjoyed. Much credit is due to the film's able cast. I didn't review the picture because it has been out for several weeks. But it's a solid indie dramedy.

This coming weekend will find me knee-deep in wedding preparations, but I'm planning on catching "American Reunion" for the sake of my Monday movie column.

The weekend's other releases - Guy Maddin's "Keyhole" and Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress" - will have to be viewed during the following week. I'll either post an update with my thoughts on those movies on this blog or will include them in my Patch roundup for the following week, which will also include "The Cabin in the Woods."