Very short movie reviews

In brief, because I’m posting this quickly on Tuesday morning:

1. War Horse. Seriously? This Disneyfied schlock is potentially a best-picture nominee? As my very wise Uncle Red Dog noted, Joey the Horse, with whom every man in the shire fell deeply in love, actually seemed like a jinx: “Everyone who came in contact with him either died, were maimed, had their turnip crop ruined by a monsoon, their jams and cooking pots stolen or went blind.” Poor turnips!

2. The Artist. Loved it. As befits a silent film, the less said about it, the better.

3. The Descendants. Didn’t love it. Perhaps it was a mistake to watch it on DVD at home rather than in a theater, but my overall impression was, like, whatever. Every time George Clooney goes through a movie looking pained and confused, people think it’s the greatest acting job in history. It makes me feel pained and confused.

4. Young Adult. Wanted to like it. But couldn’t find a single character to root for, except maybe Patton Oswalt. His scenes with Charlize Theron felt true and sad, and he was a genuinely good dude. But she… she… was a monster. And the high-school crush she pined for was cardboard. I squirmed throughout the second half of this movie, anxious for it to end.

5. Mission Impossible. I was in the mood for a good popcorn movie. So sue me! But this was just too much. Sometimes, action movies build stunts around the plot. This one built the plot around stunts. I never understood why they had to do half the wacked-out, super-dramatic things they did. Climb the outside of a glass skyscraper in Dubai? Why not! It makes for a good trailer. Also, Tom Cruise looks completely ridiculous now doing his stiff-arm running thing. Everyone in the theater snickered during that part.

Movies I haven’t seen but wanna: Hugo, Moneyball, The Iron Lady, My Week with Marilyn

Movies I don’t really wanna see: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Shame, Albert Nobbs, J. Edgar, Drive

On the Fence: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

And, in preparation for awards season and all the blathering by critics and reviewers, here is the best film commentary I’ve seen in a very long time:



8 responses to “Very short movie reviews”

  1. F. P. Smearcase says:

    I suspect the one-line review of Albert Nobbs is “Yentl, without songs, in Ireland.”

    Extremely Loud got milquetoast David Denby to be mean so it must be beyond bad.

    As to The Descendants, shall we say pistols at dawn?!

  2. AWB says:

    I saw the play of War Horse and it made several people, including myself, wonder if I have some sort of sociopathic disorder. All I saw was crowds of anonymous human beings lying dead and wounded, and then everyone rending their hair and beating their breasts over a horse getting its ankle stuck in a fence for maybe 15 seconds and then going home without a scratch. Why is everyone crying? Nothing in the play is even a little difficult for the boy and his horse, despite the fact that the boy proves himself to be pretty lazy and cruel to his mother. How am I supposed to connect with a young man who doesn’t have time to learn to read because he’s “busy” riding his worthless horse, so his mother has to read everything to him? A boy who fuels his weak little libidinal trickle into saying “Atta Boy!” 4000 fucking times.

  3. LP says:

    Smearcase, I fear your pistol-wielding self. Also, in fairness, I probably would have liked The Descendants better if I had not (a) watched it at home and (b) been so tired that … yes … I dozed off about 3/4 of the way through. I blame fatigue, not the movie. Although, in my defense, the movie did take its own sweet time with pacing.

    AWB, this issue has gotten a lot of ink, as I’m sure you know. Amid all the terror and tragedy of WWI, we’re supposed to feel sorriest for… a horse? I am given to understand that the theatrical version had a different, more allegorical feel, though it obviously didn’t work for you. All I can say is, it certainly didn’t work in the movie.

  4. josh k-sky says:

    Hugo is lovely. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is very good in many parts. Drive is best appreciated through John Moe’s tweets about it or the illustrated review at The Hairpin. Moneyball is pretty good.

  5. josh k-sky says:

    Actually, I think I originally saw that Hairpin review over here. Circle of life.

  6. Andrew says:

    Couldn’t agree more about War Horse. What a ridiculous pile of garbage! I love a good epic, but the dialogue was just ridiculous. If you want a good Spielberg movie, check out Tintin. Seriously.

    Hugo is indeed lovely. And the first time I’ve been sort of ok seeing a movie in 3D…I also loved The Descendants.

    I liked The Artist, but not enough to write home about. It was pleasant, and an interesting experiment, but honestly I didn’t feel much magic. AWB, not loving it made me feel like I had a sociopathic disorder. It’s supposedly all about the magic of cinema, but I didn’t really find it that inventive. In terms of films about the beauty of cinema, Hugo won big time.

    Young Adult. I agree. Although I must say, it’s a ballsy move to make a film about a terrible human being who achieves no growth by the end of the film.

    Also, LP, Shame is definitely worth your money. It’s not an uplifting movie by any means, but it is fascinating…

  7. PB says:

    I second Hugo loveliness although I am not a great judge since I adore tinkering, movie homage, period, orphan coming of age, “impossibly romantic” films. Dragon . . . Damn sexy girl, damn sexy guy, gross cat and I had to leave for two scenes because did I mention I gravitate more toward the not violent rape movies. Artist, I agree, once the novelty faded, I was was, um, well, kinda bored. And Mission? I liked everyone but the star. And why didn’t they just fix the glove thing, just saying’. Can’t . . Quite . . . Get . . . To . . . Warhorse. Yet?

  8. Marleyfan says:

    Marleyfan recommends The Way.