Aided by a pair of 5-hour flights and some rainy weather, I have watched seven movies in the last seven days.
The Hollywood Complex (imdb | hot docs) was our final Hot Docs screening. I expected a movie about the desperate lives of aspiring child actors and the parents who push them to evoke a little more emotion, but it felt flat to me. Not bad, but a let-down compared to others we’ve seen at Hot Docs, this year included. I gave it a 3 out of 5 in audience voting.
TRON: Legacy (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was an in-flight movie, watched somewhere between Toronto and San Francisco. I watched it mainly because I have vague memories of both the original TRON movie and the video game, because I will watch Jeff Bridges in anything and because I am mesmerized by Olivia Wilde. And light cycles. It was rubbish, but that’s what I expected, and it served its purpose — to kill two hours. But what was with Michael Sheen channeling David Bowie?
The Green Hornet (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was another in-flight movie, and not a good one. Maybe the worst one. It just felt scattered and random and several steps below what I’ve come to expect from comic/superhero revivals in recent years.
The Next Three Days (imdb | rotten tomatoes) seemed like a good way to kill some time on a plane, given that it was over two hours. That was about the best that could be said for it, unfortunately. I just have no time for Russell Crowe playing anyone other than Jeffrey Wigand, and they did a poor job making us care about the plight of the characters, rather just jumping right in to the action-y parts of the plot. Elizabeth Banks was, as she often us, the only good part of the film.
Dinner For Schmucks (imdb | rotten tomatoes) should have been so, SO much better. I mean, with a cast that included Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, David Walliams, Ron Livingston, Larry Wilmore and Kristen Schaal, I expected something so much better than the bizarre, faux-zany mess that turned up. On the other hand, I suspect this movie would be HIIIIIII-LARIOUS if watched when stoned and/or not on a plane.
Bridesmaids (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was more like it. I was off the plane now, obviously, and seeing this one in the theatre. A very cramped theatre, by the way, full of people who would laugh at every single thing which happened in the movie. Which was kind of annoying. But still, it was a funny movie, and sweet too. That formula has worked for under-appreciated comedians before, and there’s no doubt this was Judd Apatow’s attempt to give Kristen Wiig her own 40-Year-Old Virgin. There were parts that made me laugh very hard, and parts that made me smile for other reasons entirely. Like I said, it’s just a funny, sweet movie…at least, as sweet as a prolonged scatological scene would let it be.
The Fighter (imdb | rotten tomatoes) accomplished the amazing feat of making me hate — not dislike, hate — several of the central characters. I suppose credit is due to the actors (especially Melissa Leo and Christian Bale) for that, but I fear it will have a halo effect and make me hate Toni tonight when I watch Treme. The movie itself was fine…typical Oscar bait where you know exactly what will happen, but the actors were all so good (especially Bale and Amy Adams) that you found yourself caring even if you weren’t emotionally invested.