Movies 2012: Weeks 18-22

Week 18: April 29- May 5, 2012
67) Gentleman's Agreement. Gregory Peck plays a newspaperman who poses as a Jew for an exposé on anti-semitism in this 1947 film. Like the Jewish film version of the book Black Like Me. It serves as a steady eye-opener in all of his relationships. Toward the end, it got long-winded and heavy-handed. Still a decent watch. 3.4 stars
68) We Bought A Zoo. Matt Damon stars as a widower who spirits his city-bred kids away to the country after he buys a decrepit zoo. Rather implausible in some unexpected ways even though it's based on a true story. Wouldn't you meet the staff before you bought the place??? Scarlett Johanssen was unbelievable as a zookeeper. As in I didn't believe she was 28 or a zookeeper. For a kids movie it also had too much profanity. One of the most heated scenes felt the most forced. Kind of pitiful, actually. The female child actors were charming. 3 stars
69) Friends with Benefits. Stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in this obvious film. Dumb. Rashan liked it. 2 stars

Week 19: May 6-12, 2012
70) The Italian Job. Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron are the principals behind a gold theft gone wrong. Though the intricacies weren't necessarily predictable, they were all a little too sure of themselves and the end? Definitely predictable. 3.2 stars
71) Copycat. Holly Hunter, Sigourney Weaver and Dermott Mulrooney star in this film about a copycat serial killer and the people who want to stop him. Hmmm. I liked it... bu it didn't completely move me. Some scenes just rang false. 3.4 stars
*I also tried to watch the documentary Chasing Madoff but it was so overproduced and full of reenactments that I didn't make it past the first half hour. The story didn't catch me either.

Week 20: May 13-19, 2012
72) The Interrupters. A documentary about a group of former gang members who go into Chicago communities trying to stop deadly violence at the source. They go so far as to enter conflicts as they're happening. Some pretty gripping events. It was a little too long but a solid film. 4.1 stars
73) One for the Money. Katherine Heigl stars as a bounty hunter whose first attempted find is her hated ex-boyfriend. Awful, awful movie. Heigl was COMPLETELY unbelievable as a Jersey girl. She would trot out an accent for two lines every 4th scene. The music was also heavy-handed. Skip this. I should have. 1 star
74) Albert Nobbs. Glenn Close stars as a butler in a 19th century Dublin hotel. After spending years disguised as a man, a young painter makes her reconsider her life. Really really intriguing. I could watch this as a miniseries. As a film I want to watch it again. 4.2 stars
75) Prefontaine. The story of Steve Prefontaine, the cocky Olympic racer who captured the nation's attention and made the 5,000 meter (5K) race interesting in the late 1960s and early 1970s before dying young. Shot in a documentary style by a documentary filmmaker, this fictionalized account was interesting, though long-winded. If you don't like "inspirational" sports movies (Rashan), you will not like it. I did. But it could have been stronger if it was even a little shorter. 3.5 stars
76) Tiny Furniture. Lena Dunham (creator of the HBO series 'Girls') directs and stars in a film about a college graduate who comes home and has a series of interactions with strange friends and stranger men. Very stream of consciousness also known as random But interesting. I might not have liked it if I wasn't used to her style (and some of the characters) from watching 'Girls.' And really, her character was essentially the same character as her character in 'Girls' but with a roommate instead of living at home with her mother and younger sister. 3.7 stars

Week 21: May 20-26, 2012
77) Lucky. A lottery winner also happens to know a thing or two about a serial killer in the area... he has a close relationship with the killer... extremely close. When he gets married, things go a little awry. Why was this movie so LONG??? It was technically only an hour and 45 minutes but it drags and drags and DRAGS. It is wryly funny but needed to be cut by at least 25 minutes. 2 stars
78) Pariah. Kim Wayans stars as the mother of a closeted lesbian. This coming of age tale is rife with tension but with moments of peace. The acting was good if at times the story was lacking. A solid 3.5 stars
79) Lovely and Amazing. A mother and her three daughters deal with their insecurities about their bodies and careers. Tedious and kind of racist, too. How stereotypical is it that the adopted black daughter had a crack addicted mother? Give me a break. And I have little patience for people who don't like themselves so intensely that they self-destruct. I really don't want to see it in a movie. 2 stars

Week 22: May 27- June 2, 2012
80) Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Pedro Almodovar directs this Spanish language film about a womanizer and the women in his wake. Very telanovella-like. Messy, dramatic and great fun! 4 stars
81) Night Catches Us. Anthony Mackie stars in this film about a former Black Panther who comes home years after he was at the center of a deadly controversy to a neighborhood still at war with the police. Great score by the Roots. The plot left something to be desired. There was a great base but it just didn't carry through. 3.4 stars
82) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. A little boy finds a key after his father (Tom Hanks) dies in 9/11. He uses this key to go on a mission to find what the key unlocks. Weird little kid. Extremely slow start. I almost quit on the film it was so slow. It got better but still meh. 3 stars
83) We Need to Talk about Kevin. Tilda Swinson stars as the mother in this film adaptation of a popular book about a horrid boy, a bad seed if there ever was one, who becomes a school killer. The back and forth through the timeline was utterly useless in establishing the story. If I hadn't read the book I'm certain I'd be completely lost. They picked the perfect kids to play the killer. Extra creepy. But John C. Reilly as the dad? The INSTANT I saw him I groaned. Incredibly horribly miscast. I've never ever reacted so strongly to a casting decision so immediately. And he never got better. 3 stars

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