102 Articles


8 years Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2012.4

Published by marco on

Contraband (2012) — 5/10
Mark Wahlberg does his level-best to save this flick, but it drags on and only the last half-hour or so is anything like exciting or worth watching. The attempt to make it look like Kate Beckinsale shared any genes whatsoever with Caleb Landry Jones was a lost cause from the very start. As the screwup/plot-driver brother, Jones’s face seems perfectly designed to express an utterly self-centered vacuity and “douche-bagginess”. With all of his Macgyver-like cleverness,... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2012.3

Published by marco on

The Adjustment Bureau (2009) — 7/10
Matt Damon stars as a congressman from Brooklyn whose future is bright. On the eve of his first election bid, though, he stumbles and loses to a stronger opponent. The woman who inspires his offbeat concession speech disappears soon after. He spends years looking for her as he ramps up his next campaign. It turns out that neither their initial meeting nor her subsequent disappearance were determined by fate. They were determined by the Adjustment Bureau.... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2012.2

Published by marco on

Observe and Report (2009) — 2/10
Seth Rogan stars as a bipolar mall cop. It’s as bad as it sounds. Written and directed by someone named Jody Hill, it’s hard to believe that the ordinarily quite genial Rogan was in this movie for any reason other than that he lost a bet. None of Rogan’s fellow mall cops are in any way endearing. His quote-girlfriend-unquote is appalling and nothing recommends this film.
Cowboys & Aliens (2011) — 5/10
Daniel Craig stars as an alien abductee from the old... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2012.1

Published by marco on

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) — 9/10
This movie is dedicated to Heath Ledger—he died halfway through the filming—who stars alongside Christopher Plummer as the eponymous Doctor Parnassus. Ledger was very good; Plummer was spellbinding. The remainder of Ledger’s role was filled seamlessly by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and finally Colin Farrell, who played the character in the “imaginarium” scenes, where reality was slippery anyway. It’s never possible to predict how a Terry... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.8

Published by marco on

Machete (2010) — 6/10
This movie is—and I never thought I’d use this phrase—a Danny Trejo vehicle directed by Robert Rodriguez (of Once Upon a Time in Mexico fame), so it’s got lots of blood, lots of flying appendages and lots of buxom, armed babes. Machete continues Rodriguez’s homage to Russ Meyers and proves relatively entertaining, no thanks to Jessica Alba’s wooden acting. Good thing Lindsey Lohan was also in the flick or Alba might have looked bad. Lohan plays a tweaking daughter... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.7

Published by marco on

Talking Funny (2011) — 8/10
A four-person round table about comedy starring Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Louis C.K. Lots of laughs and some interesting points made—though Gervais seemed to be far ahead of the others in pure erudition, trying to delve deeper into the philosophical and perhaps philological implications of humor and what it means to say that something’s funny. The others seemed more into gut feeling that something was funny and weren’t too interested in... [More]

9 years Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.6

Published by marco on

My Life in Ruins (2008) — 6/10
A cute comedy about tour guides in Greece. Almost totally formulaic but still somehow entertaining.
Crimson Tide (1995) — 8/10
An excellent submarine thriller with Denzel Washington as Captain Gene Hackman’s executive officer as their sub heads toward a showdown with Russian rebels with their fingers on the nuclear trigger. Viggo Mortenson is excellent as well, and James Gandolfini plays a small-minded kowtower so well that one wonders whether he’s acting at... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.5

Published by marco on

Changeling (2008) — 8/10
Angelina Jolie directed by Clint Eastwood about a woman’s struggle to find her abducted child. However, the struggle is more against a patriarchal and corrupt LA police department, who cover up their ineptitude by returning to her the wrong child and then commit her to an insane asylum when she refuses to accept that the child is hers. She was clearly suffering from “the vapors”. Dark, infuriating and very well done.
Black Dog (1998) — 4/10
Patrick Swayze is a... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.4

Published by marco on

Fireflies in the Garden (2008) — 8/10
A decent film with a strong cast—Willem Dafoe and Ryan Reynolds are very good, with Carrie Anne Moss and Julia Roberts in smaller roles—about a family with an overbearing (asshole) patriarch (Dafoe) whose son (and wife, actually) has eluded his grasp. Think Death of a Salesman where Loman has a sadistic streak and a wicked temper instead of a pathetic air about him. Ryan Reynolds is more subdued, adapting his trademark rapier wit and coolness to the... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.3

Published by marco on

Salt (2010) — 6/10
Angelina Jolie (or what’s left of her after what seems like an exceedingly strict diet) stars opposite Liev Schreiber as a deep-cover Soviet/Russian agent. It meanders along predictably, jolts you with a couple of neat plot twists and then ends predictably (with a mini plot-twist right at the end again). It’s a pretty uneven movie overall, with a lot of gung-ho bravado and idiocy as well as seemingly pathetic aim on the parts of the antagonists (read: police, naturally).... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.2

Published by marco on

Goodfellas (1990) — 8/10
I finally saw this mob movie after all these years of hearing it quoted again and again and again. Though it was nice seeing the origins of the quotes, it kind of took the edge off of the surprise a bit. I don’t know what I was expecting and the film wasn’t bad, but it didn’t blow me away like The Departed. In a way, I felt like I’d already seen part of it in Blow.
Cop Out (2010) — 5/10
Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, with a nice smaller part by Seann William Scott... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2011.1

Published by marco on

Late December/early January are what I call “guy movie month” here because the wife is away.

Inception (2010) — 9/10
Fantastic film from start to finish with an exceedingly interesting storyline and well-put-together concept. Excellent effects, excellent cast and challenging material make for a film that you’ll want to watch again.
Zombieland (2009) — 8/10
Woody Harrelson is always entertaining, but the kid doing the Michael Cera schtick of being absolutely pathetic and neurotic got old... [More]