Monday, April 12, 2010

Everybody’s Four Blind Goats

Finally caught up on missed reviews. All of these movies were watched this past week. I didn't have time to finish watching "Lawrence of Arabia," so I will review it this week. Next week's movies are a bit of a cheat (and also a slow week in terms of DVDs in from the library). I'm almost positive I will thoroughly enjoy "Sherlock Holmes" (I've seen clips of it) and I have already watched "Zodiac" and 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" before. However, for the sake of people who haven't seen them, I am officially reviewing them. Enough about next week, here is this week:

The Men Who Stare At Goats – (2 ½ Stars) - Based on a true story of a very strange division of the military focused on harnessing the “hidden” talents of soldiers. Ewan McGregor plays the straight-man journalist to George Clooney’s “Jedi.” While the movie was funny in parts, by its drug-induced conclusion it is more ridiculous than anything else(Netflix) (93 minutes - Rated R for Language, some drug content and brief nudity - 2009)

Everybody's Fine – (3 ½  Stars) – After his wife passes, Frank Goode (Robert De Niro) tries to reconnect with his grown children by traveling cross-country to visit each one. De Niro does a fantastic job as the distant father being kept in the dark by his kids regarding how they are doing. The supporting cast is also top notch (Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore). Has the feel of an “indie journey” movie. (Side Note: I couldn’t resist thinking that besides being “fine,” they were also all “Goode.”) (Netflix) (99 minutes - Rated PG-13 for Thematic elements and brief strong language - 2009)

Four Christmases – (1 ½ Stars) – If you have seen any comedy that revolves around a dysfunctional family, you have in essence seen “Four Christmases.” The movie is predictable and chock full of almost every comedy cliché known to man. That’s not to say that there aren’t parts that were amusing. Even at just under an hour and a half, I felt like my time could have been better spent. (Netflix) (88 minutes - Rated PG-13 for Some sexual humor and language - 2008)

*The Blind Side – (4 Stars) –

I have a love-hate relationship with inspirational sports movies. Being a sports fan, I enjoy watching great (usually true) stories that include the sport(s) I love. I am also partial to great stories of redemption or struggle. The problem I usually have is how these stories can be handled. Usually they are opportunistic, sappy, or downright cheesy. However, “The Blind Side” manages to take an inspiring story and tell it in a way that isn’t any of these things.

Another thing to note about the movie is Sandra Bullock’s performance. I haven’t seen all of the other movies that included the “Best Actress” nominees, but Bullock does a fantastic job. Her character is different than any of her previous roles, and I think this is why she does so well with it.

“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)

Movies For This Week:

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