Saturday, January 23, 2010

Viewing log: 22/1/10

New Releases

Armored B–
Yay for Walter Hill throwbacks this businesslike, even when the plot's creaky

The Boys are Back B
Far more sincerity and detail in the relationships than you'd think

One fake moment after the next, thanks to Benioff and the glum leads

It scrunched my face into a dyspeptic rictus from start to finish

Brutal and tender, unshakeably real and daringly surreal, epic and confined

Still every bit as glorious, and Pixar's real benchmark for story construction

Other Adventures

Some great imagery, but the script's too patly diagnostic

The Invasion (2007) F
Did aliens make this, or Nokia PRs? Literally nothing goes to plan

88 Minutes (2007) D–
Might be Pacino's nadir, and I've seen Righteous Kill

The Unloved (2009) B+
The parent scenes don't work, but everything else is compassionate magic

A chintzy, Neil Simon-ish simulacrum of hell, absurdly up itself

Borderline drudgery, but improves towards the end, and Vera's great

Nine Lives (2005) C+
Liked the early segments, before it slides into softcore Guillermo Arriaga

*denotes a repeat viewing


Guy said...

Ugh, isn't Brothers the dreariest? I'm not as big a Susanne Bier fan as some, but she deserves better than THAT. In a long season of questionable awards decisions, that Golden Globe nom for Maguire has to be the most mind-blowing.

I've literally been afraid to see The Invasion ever since it came out, and that sorry 'F' obviously does nothing to change that. But I'm glad you dug out "Down to the Bone," even if the film itself is borderline -- I tracked it down the day after Vera so wowed me in The Departed, and was suitably impressed. When is her equivalent mainstream lead role coming? Post-Oscar nom, I hope.

Colin Low said...

Re: Toy Story 2, THANK YOU. I can't tell people this enough. I love how every character's doing the right thing, based on what he/she knows, even if the final treatment of the Prospector is a lapse in this regard.

tim r said...

@Guy -- Yeah, I'm not that huge a fan even of the Bier film, but it sure didn't stink up the joint like this one. Couldn't believe the Maguire nod!

@Colin -- Quite right about Stinky Pete. The other moment I'm not crazy about is Buzz #2 patching things up with his dad, the Evil Emperor Zurg, and really the whole Luke/Darth riff there and the ball practice. Feels jarringly cheap and overlaid in a Shrek-type way, where most of Pixar's cultural references have a more offbeat resonance -- love the thoroughly unmenacing Rex in the wing-mirror, for instance.

NicksFlickPicks said...

"Softcore Guillermo Arriaga" is a dire genre, but a fantastic nomenclature.

I thought I watched and reviewed Same Time, Next Year so that you would never need to? I really tried to take one for the team, but now you know. Egads, right? Still, it's one of those reviews that I hear back about a lot, and only once in a blue moon is anyone writing for any reason except to excoriate me for my heartlessness.

tim r said...

@Nick -- Well, you know, it's been on my low-priority lovefilm queue for the longest time, and I must have never got round to removing it after your memorable F... so there it lay on my doormat last week. I had to split it up into three late-night chunks to survive it. Can anyone literally stand to hear that song more than once in a sitting?

I agree with every single particular of your review, except perhaps that I found Alan's relentless bluster even more aggravating than Ellen's ditzy shape-shifing... Still, it's close. A Best Actress category dusted off, and I certainly hope never to have to see a frame of the damn thing again!

Michael Parsons said...

Have you seen Mary and Max? Brilliant