Movies 2012: Weeks 9-11

Week 9: February 26- March 3, 2012
35) If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front. In this Oscar-nominated documentary, Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman use an inside connection to a so-called eco-terrorist to take us inside a group known for burning properties in the name of environmentalism.The naivete of these kids going out there and burning things, trying to save the world. It wasn't the environmentalism it was the ignorance of consequences and lack of forethought. Absolutely baffling. I love the subjects of Curry's films and many of the ways he tells them but I'm always bothered by the way he inserts himself. It often feels unnecessary and distracting. Still a worthwhile film. 3.9 stars
36) The Guard. Don Cheadle stars as an FBI agent sent to Ireland to break up a drug ring and the guard (local cop) who helps him. Quirky comedy. Amusing at times, kind of boring at others. It was difficult to pay attention sometimes through the oddities. 3.3 stars
37) A Complete History of My SexualFailures. A documentary about an independent filmmaker who goes in search of his old girlfriends to find out why he's single. He's definitely a loser. You have no problem seeing that almost immediately. His despondence is unintentionally funny. Some bizarre nudity. I liked watching his train wreck, though. 3.5 stars

Week 10: March 4-10, 2012
38) Happily Ever Afters. An Irish screwball comedy about two weddings booked at the same time at the same reception site. Of course it was silly but still watchable. 3.3 stars
39) Hugo. A 12-year-old boy living behind the clock in a French train station meets a girl who holds the key to his deepest desire. So cute! I understand why this was nominated for and won so many Academy Awards. Fantastic cinematography. Engaging story line. Directed by Martin Scorcese. 4 stars
40) Like Crazy. A couple meets in college in the U.S. but things begin to unravel when her visa expires and they have to navigate a very long-distance relationship. Meh. Just kind of there. I wish they'd gone handheld with the cameras less. There were some shots that were shaky for no reason other than to show this was an indie movie. I guess to make us feel like we're just in on their lives? But there were plenty of effects that freed us of that illusion. 2.9 stars
41) The King and I. A musical with less than engaging music. Set in Siam around the time of the American Civil War, a British teacher heads to the country with her young son to teach the Siamese king's children. I usually like musicals but this one was boring. I could have skipped it. 2.8 stars

Week 11: March 11-17, 2012
42) Jockey. A 2004 Emmy-winning documentary about the horrors of being a jockey in competitive horse racing. Really, really disgusting what these men do to their bodies to meet highly restrictive 112-pound riding weight limits. Many essentially become bulimics. Very difficult to watch. 3.6 stars
43) Babies. A documentary about babies around the world. Some ridiculously cute new humans!! Set among some stunning vistas with limited adult speech, it's quite a fun watch... for the first 20 minutes or so. Then it's like is this supposed to be a commentary on life? On how we raise our children? How alike we all are even in our differences? Even still we can probably do that in less time, no? Yes. 3 stars
44) My Week with Marilyn. Michelle Williams earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. The script feels plodding. Like after every memorable moment for the writer behind the story there's a huge pause. "Reflect! Feel the memory! Wonderful, isn't it?" Well... when you MAKE me reflect, less so. Williams and Monroe are both too well-known for me to separate them... or make them the same person. I see Williams with only short flashes of Monroe. And some people seemed like they were over-acting in an attempt to earn themselves an Oscar. That list decidedly does not include Dame Judi Dench who may have been the best actor on the set. 2.9 stars
45) Young Adult. Charlize Theron stars as a divorced former homecoming queen who returns to her small hometown to win back her high school sweetheart... a man who happens to have a wife and a brand new baby. She plays a truly awful character... and I loved it! An unlikeable train wreck. Don't expect to guffaw, more like smirk. Definitely a dark comedy and worth watching. 4 stars
46) She's Gotta Have It. Spike Lee's first film centers around a woman juggling three men who know about each other and vie for her attention. There was some terrible acting. And yet... the story line was an engaging one if not outrageously sexist while exposing double standards. You still wanted to know the outcome. I did wonder if liking Spike Lee made me overly forgiving of the film's faults. 3.8 stars
47) Heaven Can Wait. 1943 comedy about a dead man telling his life story to the devil. It's amusing that this dude is actually trying to talk his way into hell. Wait, what? Cute film. 3.7 stars


Mrs Count said...

39. Now I want to see Hugo. I'll make that happen soon.

45. I hated this movie so much I wanted to die.

47. What? I think I want to see this!

Jameil said...

39. You should! I think you'd like it!
45. LOLOL It is EXTREMELY polarizing. There are no middle grounds in people's reviews. Even for those not prone to exaggeration. LOL You slay me!
47. Do it! It was cute!