Thursday, August 30, 2007

Worthless Movie Post?

I haven't posted anything in a bit, and I'm holding onto my Mike Vick post until everyone else stops talking about him, or at least stops talking about him every five seconds. I start my new gig next week, and my mom is visiting this weekend, with her perfect timing. So I needed to hold you off with something. Here's a summer movie recap cut-and-pasted from my Flixster account! I don't do this often, but chili dog nonetheless. Hey, did you catch that LSU game? I think I'll judge these flicks on a scale of zero-to-five Michael Henig interceptions.

Spider-Man 3
2 of 5 Henig INTs

It tries to do too much and in the end doesn't have the sense of wonder the first two movies did. Parts of it are completely absurd, such as the club sequence that was straight out of the Coco-Bongo part of The Mask. Venom was so undeveloped he shouldn't have been in the movie at all. There are still some thrilling sequences that move with a sense of dangerous speed.

Knocked Up
4 of 5 Henig INTs

This is a movie that pretty much everyone across the board is going to like, and with good reason. Besides being funny, it has a real sweetness and the characters behave pretty realistically. However, it seems as if most Judd Apatow movies come to the conclusion of "Well, I guess to grow up and get some tail I have to stop doing things I enjoy. It's impossible for people to like me for who I actually am." Is this Apatow guy playing for the other team? Big up on Celtic Pride, bro.

That cougar Leslie Mann is his wife by the way. Wonder how he snagged her...oh, probably giving up everything he likes I guess.

Ocean's Thirteen
2 1/2 of 5 Henig INTs
Al Pacino is pretty much a caricature of a cartoon of a caricature by now. And watching Ocean's Thirteen feels like that sentence: it's very stylish and hip and quick and jazzy, but it doesn't amount to much. It's a lot of fun, but by now there are too many characters and too many setpieces to move around with comfortably.

Paris Je t'Aime
4 of 5 Henig INTs

Since it's short films from eighteen very different directors, everyone should be able to find something with which he connects. Some of the films miss the mark, but in general they're drunk with affection for the city and establish real range and emotion in just a few minutes.

Personally, I thought the ones by Alexander Payne, Isabel Coixet, and Tom Tykwer were the best though. They were equally dynamic and poignant.


3 1/2 of 5 Henig INTs

It's a Michael Moore film, it's foregone conclusion that the picture is completely manipulative, and there's no pretense of it being objective at all. But that being said, it's deeply affecting and entertaining, if not as funny as his previous work. Moore knows exactly what he wants to say and covers a lot of ground in two hours.

Live Free or Die Hard
4 of 5 Henig INTs

The best pure action summer movie in years. It's nearly as good as the first film and, like it, there's danger around every corner and every character, no matter how minor, seems fully-formed. We've gone through a lot with the John McClane character, and the movie does a great job of recalling what we like about him without re-hashing it in a douchey way. There are some fine details in here, and perhaps New York's 21st century state of constant paranoia and communication breakdown is the perfect setting for the franchise.

I just checked, and I can't believe I never mentioned this when it first came out. This broke my record of watching a YouTube video over and over. Come'on.

2 1/2 of 5 Henig INTs

Slightly above average for a movie of its type. There's just too much: it's too long with too many characters and too many changes in tone. As in most Michael Bay movies that are horrendously long for no reason, some episodes could have been cut in half. (OMG! My parentz might see ze robotz!) But you can't really deny the spectacle of it. It looks like a million bucks (or a hundred and fifty million, I guess). We'll be laughing about this in ten years when Shia LaBeouf is the new Tom Hanks.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
1 1/2 of 5 Henig INTs
The most homophobic movie I've ever seen. The jokes are old, the characters are thin, and the editing is choppy. The Dan Patrick and Lance Bass cameos, along with Jessica Biel in glasses, brought my rating up one star. Otherwise, this is pretty lowest-common-denominator.

3 of 5 Henig INTs

It's nothing earth-shattering--about half the film The Incredibles was--but Ratatouille is charming and endearing to all ages without being condescending. Some of the human characters could have been fleshed out more, but I laughed a good bit, despite an intense phobia of rats. It's a film that starts off with a bang and never wears out its welcome.

The Simpsons Movie
4 of 5 Henig INTs

Exactly what I wanted. Like the "South Park" movie, you can tell that everyone involved wanted to pull out all the stops and make one grand, definitive movie that can stand alone. Consistently funny but also human and touching without losing its edge. Of course, they've built such a detailed universe over the past eighteen years or whatever that there are going to be elements left out, (Where's the love for my man Snake?) but overall it's worth the wait.

3 of 5 Henig INTs

John Travolta is embarrassingly bad and distracts from what's a mostly pleasant experience. The quality of the music varies, but it's not often you see a film this exuberant and sweet. It's derivative, but so fast-paced and cheerful that I didn't care. No liking Hairspray.

It was interesting that, like its '60s musical counterparts, the White stars (Pfeiffer, Travolta, and Bynes most notably) warble through their songs, only to be blown off the screen by the unknown Black performers.

I must just be tired, because every picture in this post is on some lame "Hey, she's pretty hot, right?" bullshit. But, hey, now that she's eighteen, hasn't that Amanda Bynes grown into herself nicely?

Talk to Me

2 of 5 Henig INTs

The film derails in its second half, becoming sanctimonious and unfunny--basically everything it wasn't in the first half. The roles are over-written, but Cheadle and Ejiofor are both good. And I like that the businessy straight man is glorified just as much as the loudmouth.

4 1/2 of 5 Henig INTs
Of course it's funny. Achingly, constantly funny. But the real thing that impressed me was how tight the script was. The structure and pacing are planned so well, and the characters grow believably, weaving in and out of balance. And it all ends on the perfect note. Michael Cera is incredible. There were several times when one of his reaction expressions got more laughs than any of the big setpieces. Plus, I have a thing for movies that take place in the course of one day. So there.

Rocket Science
3 of 5 Henig INTs
I felt as if it didn't really nail the tone it was attempting to achieve. It's far less bitter than it wants to be at the beginning and far less sweet than it thinks it is by the end. The third act catches some interesting momentum, and the movie concludes hopefully but not unrealistically. Reece Daniel Thompson turns in a strong lead performance, but it's still difficult on a basic level to listen for an hour-and-a-half to someone with a debilitating speech impediment. Writer-director Jeffrey Blitz is obviously indebted to Rushmore and Thumbsucker, at the expense of his own voice. But he shows potential here. There were some laugh-out-loud lines of dialogue, and the supporting roles are wry and unique. Nice use of Violent Femmes music too.

The Ten
4 of 5 Henig INTs
Sometimes a comedy can be measured by how many lines you and your friend quote on the ride home. If that's the case, The Ten is the greatest movie of all time. Some vignettes are much funnier than others and some miss the mark completely, but what always keeps The Ten focused is that everyone in the cast--even the ones you don't expect to be funny, like Gretchen Mol--is on the same page and willing to take matters to the most illogical, absurd extreme. And if you don't think that's a compliment, you probably won't like the movie. Basically, the cast is more important to the film than anything else, and every single one (okay, not Winona Ryder or Jessie Alba, but almost every one) just gets what they're trying to do. That's kind of rare.

Other big movies I haven't seen:
- The Bourne Ultimatum- I plan on seeing it, just haven't gotten around to it.
- The Pirates of the Caribbean: At the End of Me Giving a Shit- I've never liked these movies, so why waste my dough?
- Shrek 3- The reviews scared me off. It's the type of thing I would have snuck into after another movie, but, you know, I don't do that kind of stuff.
- Harry Potter and the Blah Blah It Just so Happens That My Favorite Books and the Only Books I've Read in the Past Ten Years Are Children's Books- Why start now? "Fuck Harry Potter" is the new "I'm reading the first one."

- Rush Hour 3- When any franchise needs to move to Paris, it's over. As much as I like playing ignorance of race for laughs, ("Man, I don't understand your culture at all! It seems very different from mine! Rather than learning more about it, I'll just sterotype! In the end, I'll accept you, but only because you became more like me, not because I've accepted you on your own terms! Where's my chicken wings!") I don't think I'll be pacing this.
- Evan Almighty- My bad. This isn't a big movie that I missed.
- The Nanny Diaries- I probably won't see this, but it presents another great opportunity to post a picture of ScarJo.

See what I mean about the photo comments. I'm not even going to try. Good night.

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