Friday, March 21, 2008

Movie Review: "The Bank Job"

Who's in It: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows and Daniel Mays (who I recognized from Atonement, but spent the whole movie wondering where I knew him from.)

What It's About: The title pretty much says it all.

What I Was Expecting: Given that it's Jason Statham, I was assuming that it was going to be a heist film version of "Transporter".

What I Got: Something very unlike the "Transporter" films. In fact, there's only one fight scene in the whole film and it seems totally out of place when it happens. The movie is actually a surprise. It's well acted. It's never obvious. It's not perfect by a long shot. But very good and never boring. There's a long scene in which the police learn a bank robbery is occurring, but only have a vague idea what part of London in which it's taking place. And how our "heroes" manage to escape is truly inspired and unexpected. A few too many sideplots. I could have done without the undercover agent in Trinidad. I don't know how much of the film really happened, but it would be hilarious if it did happen that way.

Grade: B

Oscar Potential: None. The art direction isn't bad though.

Five Random Thoughts:

  1. There are several stories going on at the beginning. Stay with it. They all tie in together.

  2. Holy crap. Jason Statham can act!

  3. Lots of actors you recognize but can't quite place. Ignore it and go to imdb later.

  4. Stay for epilogue. There's an amusing title card at the end. For those who don't plan on seeing the movie, highlight between the arrows. >>>The names of the people in this film have been changed to protect the guilty.<<<<< It's a shame there wasn't more of that humor in the film itself.

Trailer Park:

Shutter – I know with every fiber of my being that this film will be crap, but man, did that trailer give me the creeps.

Ruins - I've been hearing rumors that this one is really well done. Have to wait and see. Creepy trailer.

Forbidden Kingdom - This movie is either going to really suck or it's going to get a huge following. This trailer kinda made me think the latter.

Midnight Meat Train - My jaw dropped when they gave the title. Followed by hysterical laughter. Number of Clive Barker movies that were any good: ZERO. That Brooke Shields was the best they could get for a lead, says VOLUMES!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Movie Review: "Be Kind Rewind"

Who's in It: Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover

What It's About: Two video store clerks recreate movies for customers after an accident erases all the tapes.

What I Was Expecting: Not much, to be honest. Sort of seemed like a one-joke film.

What I Got: A movie that knows it really only has one joke, so it tries to keep improving on the joke to some degree of success. The film takes a little too long to start telling the joke and goes on a little too long after the joke is done. But the ending did get to me a little bit. It's similar in tone and pace to last year's "Lars and the Real Girl". Jack Black is reigned in a bit from his usual manic self. He actually seems to be playing a part at first, but starts to stray towards the end. Mos Def gives a more genuine performance. Danny Glover reminds the audience that he can still deliver a good performance, even in a pimple of a part. The recreations of other movies are consistently funny and clever in how to reenact scenes on no-budget. Might have been more interesting to see a Kentucky Fried Movie style film of the two of them redoing more films.

Grade: C+

Oscar Potential: Zero, but art is not really what's being aimed for here.

Five Random Thoughts:

  1. The film opens with a LOUSY special effects shot as the camera swoops down into the town. It's very obvious the freeway isn't there and the cars frequently changing lanes aren't real.

  2. Mos Def should be hired more often. The range in doing Ford Prefect in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and this role here proves he has a lot of talent and, more importantly, pathos.

  3. Are Mos Def and Jack Black supposed to be slow or are they actually disabled?

  4. Why is Mia Farrow here? Are her children Danny Glover's?

5. The subplot involving Sigourney Weaver's character is not only pointless, but completely unrealistic. If what Def and Black are doing is copyright infringement, why do Bunny Theatre and Thumb Wars get away with it?

Trailer Park:

Never Back Down – Thankfully, the title is practically advertising that this is a film devoid of thought and should be avoided.

Run Fatboy Run - I was a little lost as to what this film was supposed to be about. I've read a plot synopsis and am even more confused. But it's got Simon Pegg and I'll go with it.

Get Smart - Lord, they need a new trailer.

Baby Mama - Tina Fey's new comedy comes out April 25, just before the summer movie season launches. A real shame. If they'd bumped it up a month, they could have ruled the box office for all of April and made $150 million. The trailer looks hilarious.

Sex and the City - I'm a fan of the show. I'll see it the first weekend. I just don't see how this will be little more than an elongated episode of the show. We will see.