Monday, September 20, 2010

Capsule Reviews

Dear John - C+

Well, it's no "The Notebook", as desperately as it wants to be. Both are based on books by Nicholas Sparks. But what is seriously missing here is threefold: 1. Anything resembling a sense of humor or even an attempt at it. 2. A much more compelling leading man. 3. Lead actors who have actual chemistry. That said, there were some genuine surprises in the story. Plot twists that you don't see coming, but are true to the story and its characters, so it was refreshing in some aspects.

From Paris with Love - B

A surprisingly entertaining action flick. John Travolta is some sort of spy. CIA? I don't think they made it very clear. Essentially, it's a spy version of Training Day with Travolta showing the ropes to Jonathan Rhys-Myers in what would probably go down as the worst day in Myers' life. But it's exciting. Moments of genuine high tension and a couple of gotcha plot twists I wasn't expecting. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Kick-Ass - B-

Fun flick, but not nearly as cool as it thinks it is. And more than a tad over the top with some of the violence. Particularly the fight scene in which a grown man beats the tar out of an 11 year old girl. As a parent, that kind of thing is a little hard to watch. But there are plenty of funny moments and, despite its premise, probably isn't too far off from what it would be like if someone actually tried to make themselves into a superhero today.

The Wolfman - B+

Nearly everything you could possibly want from the Wolfman story. Terrific acting from Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving (although the accents tend to stray). A very moody feel with great special effects. The score and costumes are top notch. Great writing. So why only a B+? Well, I blame director Joe Johnston. I don't know what it is exactly about his movies. "Jurassic Park III" is, let's face it, basically the same as the other Jurassic Parks, but just isn't. "Hidalgo" was an entertaining movie, but just seemed to be missing that certain something. The same is the case here. Some day, I will figure out exactly what Joe Johnston is doing wrong. The really funny thing is that I thought Guillermo Del Toro had directed this and actually said at one point, "It's missing something. I can't explain it. It's like a Joe Johnston movie." Just making a movie nerd joke to myself. So you can imagine my laughter when the words "Directed by Joe Johnston" appeared at the end. Here's to hoping he figures out what's wrong before he's done with Captain America.

No comments: