Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
As I previously mentioned, this week was a bit of a cheat. I’ve already seen Zodiac and was pretty sure I would like Sherlock Holmes. But then again I had not watched “Zodiac” with a reviewer mindset and I had not actually watched “Sherlock Holmes” yet, so it’s fair. With all that being said, I must admit I still have not finished Lawrence of Arabia or had time to watch “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (which is just as long as its name). I still have both movies from the library, so I should have them for next week. I will say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the first half of “Lawrence…” and I have seen “Assassination…,” but once again not with a reviewer mindset. Since I only watched two movies this week and enjoyed them both, I will write (and recommend) an extended review for both.
The movie stands out in all the little things it does right. The movie is about a serial killer, but the murders are never shown in an overly graphic way. The murders are shown, but aren’t the focal point of the movie. The characters are all extremely interesting, especially when you think about the fact that they are real people. Some of the relationships between the characters are fictionalized, but this is used more as a way to bridge the narrative. Finally, the pacing of the movie is just right. The movie covers a long period of time, which can sometimes doom a movie to being more of a montage, but “Zodiac” never misses a beat while it moves throughout the life of the investigation. It is this combination of skillful direction, on target acting, and attention to detail that makes “Zodiac” a cut above the rest when it comes to true crime dramas, and many other movies. (Netflix) (157 minutes - Rated R for Some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images - 2007)
One of the biggest fears I had going into watching the movie was that they would “modernize” Holmes and Watson. The trailer only exacerbated this with its quick cuts, fast music, and pithy remarks. Once I was able to sit down and watch the movie, my fears quickly subsided. Downey plays Holmes with a fantastic wit and energy with Law’s Watson playing off him perfectly. Many envision Watson as the fat, bumbling sidekick to Holmes’ stiff, intellectual detective. However, as evidenced in the source material, Watson was a trained, fit army doctor and Holmes definitely something of an eccentric. The movie does have a bit of a “modern” feel to it in little touches here or there, but not to the extent portrayed by the trailers.
Sherlock Holmes’ latest case pits him against an aristocrat who delves into the mystical arts in his quest to unite and strengthen London under his power. The case itself is probably the weakest aspect of the movie. In the end the character story as a whole is satisfying, and the mystery is wrapped up well. This take on Sherlock Holmes is not for everyone, but most will probably at least enjoy it as a very good action/mystery. (Netflix) (128 minutes - Rated PG-13 for Intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material - 2009)
Monday, April 12, 2010
(Netflix) (93 minutes - Rated R for Language, some drug content and brief nudity - 2009)
(Netflix) (88 minutes - Rated PG-13 for Some sexual humor and language - 2008)
“The Blind Side,” while it gets close to falling into the same traps as most sports movies, manages to stay “in-bounds” enough to make it stand out. One word of caution is that this movie is PG-13 due mainly in part to the background of Michael Oher, the player the movie is based on.
(Netflix) (126 minutes - Rated PG-13 for One scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references - 2009)