Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Out of hibernation

Whoa! I haven't posted here since November. That would suggest a winter hibernation, and that's kinda what happened. During the busyness of the holidays, I was dealing with a cold, then 2 days after Christmas, I got a nasty stomach bug, followed promptly by the flu which it took me almost all of January to really get over. And then I sort of just forgot about this blog.

But I've still been consuming media products and I hope to get back in the swing of things this spring. First, let me get out of the way a bunch of movies I saw between December and now, at least the movies I can dismiss in just a few words, or just a "thumbs-up/thumbs-down" manner:

I'm Still Here, the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary/hoax: Though I was prepared to hate this one as a product of an over-privileged celebrity, I enjoyed it. It's not exactly fun, but it's not painful and it's even a little thought-provoking at times. Phoenix does a nice job playing an asshole (that's meant as a compliment, I think). Pictured are Casey Affleck, who directed, Sean Combs, who contributed a nice cameo, and Phoenix.

Inception: Hated it. Interesting plot germ (fiddling with people's dreams), executed in a silly, heavy-handed fashion.

Devil: Handful of people in a stuck elevator, and one of them is a demon. OK, though I have since forgotten how it all came out.

Dinner for Schmucks: The dinner party scene is fun, the rest is painful, despite Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell.

Zombieland: Zombie apocalypse comedy; OK, with Woody Harrelson very good, and Bill Murray in a cameo that is almost worth sitting through the whole movie for.

Red: Thumbs down. Even Helen Mirren can't save everything.

Never Let Me Go: Clone romance drama; good acting especially from Carey Mulligan who is shaping up to be a fine actress. One problem: why don't the clones ever think of rebelling?

The Kids Are Alright: They get over the same-sex family thing quickly, and it becomes a fairly typical family melodrama about fidelity and weariness and interlopers. The script could have used some sharpening, but the acting all around was fine.

The Social Network: Loved it. Great story (not really about Facebook, but about people and relationships), solid acting (though between this and Zombieland, Jesse Eisenberg may be a bit of a one-noter), sharp dialogue, wonderful camerawork, and a great score that didn't exactly draw undue attention to itself, but excitingly propelled the movie forward. I haven't seen The King's Speech yet, but I was really pulling for this one to win the Oscar. Pictured are the handsomest men in the movie, Armie Hammer and Max Minghella