I’ve watched a ton of movies over the past few weeks, tucked here and there between my flights and bus rides and being sick before and after my trip. I don’t have time to give full reviews of each of them, but I thought it would be worth your while to at least get my general read on them all. Ready? Here we go:
The Dark Knight Rises–I finally caught the final Batman flick in less than ideal circumstances. Edited, on the plane home from Europe. And I was sick. So it says something that I enjoyed the movie as much as I did. It wasn’t quite up there with The Dark Knight, but it was a very solid movie, and I think Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is one of the best superhero trilogies out there. I loved how this one completed the arc. Three and a half stars.
Moonrise Kingdom–Wes Anderson isn’t for everyone, but I tend to really like his movies, and this is one of his most accessible. It’s a child’s love story, with two tweens running away together on a small island. Very quirky, but very well done. And it’s got Bill Murray. Three and a half stars.
Bottle Rocket–Wes Anderson’s first movie, which tanked at the box office, but launched his career, as well as Owen and Luke Wilson’s. Quirky to the extreme. Three friends plan a heist. But it’s not much of a real heist movie. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my favorite Anderson. (That goes to The Royal Tenenbaums.) Three stars. Rated R for language.
Get the Gringo–Mel Gibson in a gritty Mexican prison movie. He’s a thief, and he escapes to Mexico, where he’s immediately thrown in jail. An awful, hell hole of a jail. It’s an “I want my money back” sort of movie. Good enough, I guess. Though I have to admit watching Gibson these days usually makes me want to wash my hands afterward. Two and a half stars. R rated.
Out of Sight–George Clooney breaks out of jail and connects with Jennifer Lopez, a US Marshall he kidnaps during his escape. Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, and directed by Stephen Soderbergh, this one was a delightful surprise. Fun throughout, well acted, well directed–a few bumps here and there, but I really liked it. Three and a half stars. Rated R.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown–I had no idea there was an animated version of the musical. This one brought back a lot of old memories, since I played in this show in Middle School. Really loved it. Four stars, but for personal reasons.
Iron Sky–What if some Nazis fled to the dark side of the moon, started a moon base, and plotted their ultimate return to conquer the world? Yeah. This is That Kind of Movie. Pretty insanely stupid. I think I was feverish when I watched it. A surprising one and a half stars. Because any movie that can scrounge one and a half stars out of that premise is . . . commendable? R rated.
It Happened on Fifth Avenue–Fantastic Christmas movie. A homeless man moves into an empty mansion on Fifth Avenue, and bit by bit, he invites other homeless people to live with him–including the home’s actual owner. Really liked this movie. Three stars.
A Black Adder Christmas Carol–Rowan Atkinson plays a reverse Scrooge–a man who’s the kindest person imaginable, only to be visited by spirits who start to show him that maybe there’s something to be said for being mean and nasty after all. Loved the twist on the tale. Three stars.
The Watch–Ben Stiller leads a group of men who are out to protect their neighborhood, or at least use that as an excuse to goof off without their wives. And then aliens invade. Yeah. Pretty stupid. Saw this one edited on the plane. Two stars.
Total Recall–The only recall I had watching this was that I’d seen it with Schwarzenegger before. Updated with new setting and effects, but not much to write home about. Saw it on the plane. Two stars.
Bourne Legacy–Another plane view. This was better than I expected. Not my favorite Bourne movie, and I’ll probably forget most of the plot, but diverting enough. Two and a half stars. Maybe three? It’s been a while already. The fact that I can’t remember probably is a clue in and of itself.
And I think that brings me up to date, more or less. Phew!