June 30, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the latest sweet film in the film sub genre straight, sensitive men being introspective on relationships (including all Judd Apatow related films). Jason Segel has put his penis front and center by writing (and starring) in a believable script about a guy being dumped and getting back on his feet. Solid support from Kristin Bell, Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, and Paul Rudd add to the gentle humor, lovely Hawaiian scenery, and effective emotion manipulation.

June 29, 2008

...Strait-Jacket (1964)

Joan Crawford does her best Bette Davis impression as the redeemed axe murderer home from the asylum in Strait-Jacket. Joan's schizophrenic performance brought on by the flip of a wig is a barnstorm and Diane Baker's is subtly underplayed as they slog through this unintentionally funny script with a story that has half the tension of writer Robert Bloch's far superior Psycho. But, if one does not expect more from the movie than the one we get here, one will still be pleased.

June 28, 2008

...The Reaping (2006)

The Reaping is X Files-lite with Hilary Swank as the non-believer and, Idris Elba and David Morrissey adding support as the believers. The story, centering on the ten plagues (yes, THOSE ten plagues) raining down on a bayou town is interesting and the actual plagues are not too transparent in their digital imagery but the script loses any good will it had earned by the film's surprising end with a cheesy denouement and a typical Hollywood coda. Not bad enough to laugh at and not good enough to really enjoy, it's ultimately (sorry, Hil, I love you but...) a small, insignificant movie.

June 27, 2008

...Teaching Miss Tingle (1999)

Helen Mirren is over-the-top excellent as the horrid high school teacher getting her comeuppance in Teaching Miss Tingle (the directorial debut from the writer of Scream) and Katie Holmes as the student meets her head on. Between these polar opposites, there is a mildly entertaining film with some attempts at humor (although The Exorcist parody went on far too long) but it was nice to see supporting actors Molly Ringwald, Vivica A. Fox, Marissa Jaret Winokur - and an uncredited (?) Leslie Anne Warren marvelously cast as Holmes' mom. Then Helen played the Queen and Katie played Tom.

June 26, 2008

...Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield is the story of a Godzilla-type thing (which we see minimally) transported into New York City, and told using the methods employed in The Blair Witch Project (and more importantly Cannibal Holocaust before it). With this lineage, one might think J.J. Abrams (of Lost and MI:3) would be able to fashion a scary and fun movie but instead it is bogged down with a bunch of twenty somethings about whom I could care less. And the digital video gimmick gets old quickly (unlike the aforementioned precursors) ultimately becoming an annoyance rather than an enhancement - and this is in a movie that is barely 75 minutes long!

June 25, 2008

...Get Christie Love! (1974)

Originally broadcast as an ABC Tuesday Movie of the Week, the kitsch factor is high in Get Christie Love as Teresa Graves earns kudos for breaking through a few glass ceilings with her genre-busting line, "You're under arrest, sugah." A pot-smoking lesbian teen and an abortion are some interesting aspects of this otherwise lackadaisical time capsule. And don't get me started on the relationship between Love and her boss Harry Guardino who, despite his lack of pigmentation and his workplace harassment of the titular cop,


gets the girl.

Watch this movie free.

June 24, 2008

...V for Vendetta (2005)

V for Vendetta is a discombulated slip of a movie that never takes off - though not for lack of trying. Natalie Portman straps on a crooked British accent and does her best to transport us into this quasi-political/science fiction send-up of a tyrannical, dictatorial future - to no avail. Maybe writers Larry Wachowski and Andy Wachowski should've directed the film (as they did The Matrix) or pulled in the reins on first-time director James McTiegue - at the least.

June 23, 2008

...Sex and the City (2008)

It's not the television series but I enjoyed immensely Sex and The City, the movie despite it's length and abusive product placement. Some supporting characters get short-shrift (although everyone makes an appearance), Carrie continues her idiotic infatuation with Mr. Big (annoying), Jennifer Hudson is bright but mundane, and Miranda comes out of the closet to have the best tale in the film. Despite it all and because of it all, it sure is fun to watch Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis having sex again even if it will never top the original (pun intended).