Monday, January 04, 2010

Seen any good movies lately?

I watch a lot of movies. I mean A LOT of movies. This weekend I decided to keep a list of every movie I saw from Friday morning to Sunday night.

That's every movie I've seen in the first few days of 2010.

Believe it or not, there were two we had planned to see that we didn't get to - Sherlock Holmes and the Fantastic Mr. Fox. We'll see at least one of those next weekend.

Up in the Air - George Clooney is amazing. Critics have rightfully praised this movie about a man who is detached from everything, including the ground. Jason Reitman directed and wrote, with Sheldon Turner, from a novel by Walter Kirn. Damn, this is great.

The Hangover - I don't think I want to know anyone who doesn't find this movie funny. I love Zach Galifianakis.

500 Days of Summer - I'm not a big fan of romantic comedies. This one was good. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick) and Zooey Deschanel, this had enough quirk and intelligence to make me happy.

Avatar 3D - I mention the 3D because I wouldn't have seen it otherwise. I hadn't seen a 3-D movie since the 50's and wanted to see how far the technology had come. Meh. It didn't put me to sleep, but the story is Dances With Wolves except this time the Indians win.

The CGI, with its cutting-edge motion capture, is supposed to be the biggest leap forward in filmmaking technology since Star Wars, but to me it just looked like animation. Good animation, but still. I liked Up better.

James Cameron is the socially-acceptable Michael Bay. He's the director you'd be OK taking home to mom.

It Might Get Loud - I love documentaries. I love the guitar. I love two out of the three guitar players in this love-letter to rock's iconic instrument. Great stuff.

How We Get By - This snuck up on me. It's a little film with huge heart. The filmmakers spend time with these three people who have dedicated themselves to being at the Bangor, Maine airport when troop planes come in or leave for Iraq and Afghanistan. If you don't choke up, you're not human.

Triad Election - A Hong Kong crime flick about choosing a new boss. Like Florida in 2000, things don't go well.

The Unforgiven - Yeah, I've seen it about 100 times already. What's your point? One of the best westerns ever made.

Right at Your Door - A small movie about terrorists blowing up a dirty bomb in downtown LA. Most of the film is shot inside a small, sealed in house, making much of it feel like it could have been a play. Not bad.

The Thin Man - Yeah, I've seen it about 100 times already. What's your point?

Red River - This was directed by Howard Hawks and like his contempoary, John Ford, Hawks shoots big men doing big things against a big sky. This is all about a river of beef being driven by men who haven't had a bath in a while. Joanne Dru, not a strong actress, is given no help by a truly dreadful romantic subplot with Montgomery Clift who probably wasn't much help in the sexual chemistry department, either.

John Wayne plays almost as much of a social misfit here as he is in Ford's masterpiece, The Searchers.

It's a Gift - Finally, late last night I watched W.C. Fields in one of my favorites. If Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm could trace his lineage, it would reach back to Fields who, throughout this movie, battles gamely with the world's women and children.

There it is, 12 movies in 2010. No wonder our house is such a wreck.

What about you? See anything good lately?


The Nephew said...

I started the year with Cocoanuts. Certainly not the best Marx Bothers film, but I was just trying to set the proper tone for the year ahead...

Kate Hathway said...

Besides Sherlock Holmes, which I loved!, I watched a nice little Canadian film that I enjoyed a great deal called, A Simple Curve, about a young man finding is way out of his father's orbit. I also watched the 'documentary' or rather 'interviewmentary' F*ck, which was quite interesting. Pat Boone shows he's got an odd idea about swearing, and Billy Connelly is delightfully happy about the word, to show two sides to that concept.

Joe Saundercook said...

Just watched (for the umpteenth time) the original version of "The Italian Job," with Michael Caine.

Harmless campy fun, really flies by. Caine fans will love it.

Anonymous said...

I love Netflix. Just watched Children of Men for the 4th time (I recommend the book, too), and the night before I was pleasantly surprised by Pineapple Express.

Happy New Year, Dave. Glad you're back.

Chris Harrington

Graham Powell said...

"Sherlock Holmes" was really pretty good. The only other movie I've seen this year, Zack Galifianakis was in it - but it wasn't The Hangover.

Nope. "G-Force".

norby said...

Sherlock Holmes is great, I also recommend It's Complicated. Just saw Avatar today-It was good, but not something I want to see again. Cameron was good at one point, but I think he's a little overrated at this point.

Gerard said...

I saw G-Force with my kids. It was awful for me and my older son got too scared.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for mentioning IT'S A GIFT. One of my favorite films and it never gets mentioned.

Rae said...

Gotta say, I liked "Avatar" a lot. You had to be REALLY willing to suspend your disbelief, but it was just so darned pretty ;-)

With you on "The Thin Man" - and "After the Thin Man", but I thought the rest weren't great.

I saw the new Star Trek over the holidays, and thought it was fab. Also finally saw and loved "Up".

canadian52 said...

Here are a couple more movies I’m covering on my blog that look pretty good.
Extraordinary Measures and Daybreakers Hope you’ll go see them.

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Good animation, but still. I liked Up better.