Mid-Summer Movie Reviews

Over the last several weeks I’ve either gone to see or rented eight movies.  While not a shabby number for a self-confessed movie addict, that’s also not even close to my record which usually occurs in late winter.  Dark dreary days combined with the desire to watch as many nominees before Oscar night as possible usually lead to double my summer tally.

Also, my Sherlock DVDs arrived from Amazon and I’ve watched those six episodes so many times that there hasn’t been time for more movies.
But, on to the movies I’ve seen lately in order from love to hate:

1.       Moonrise Kingdom – Sweet, quirky, delightful film but you have to love Wes Anderson (which, luckily, I do) to enjoy it. The premise is that two misfit kids run away together while the even more screwed-up adults in their lives hunt them down.   The kids who starred were terrific and the adults – especially Bruce Willis and Edward Norton – were top-notch.  Another thing I loved was that until the last moments of the film I didn’t know whether it was going to end happily or break my heart.  I love to be surprised.
2.       The Dark Knight Rises – Really good and Anne Hathaway was especially amazing, but I thought the torture and fight scenes could easily have been cut down by half.    That said, it was clever, fun to watch and worked both as an ending to this trilogy and a springing board to another franchise if they choose to go in that direction.  
3.       Magic Mike – I had the feeling they just turned a camera on Matthew McConaughey and said, “go.”  I knew I’d enjoy the scenery, but the story was better than I expected.  The only weak point (which was VERY weak) was the woman who played Channing Tatum’s girlfriend.  Is she some producer’s daughter or something?  She can’t act and as a viewer I had no idea why Channing was interested in her at all.
4.       Rock of Ages – Let me be very clear:  This was a horrible movie.  Bad, bad, bad.  But I LOVED it because it embraced the badness and ran with it.  It was fun, the music was great and the actors looked like they were all having a good time, knowing they were in a corny, foolish movie.
5.       Friends with Kids – The original title to this movie was, “When Harry Met Sally and they had a Kid, but Said the Word ‘Fuck’ a Lot More Than They Did in the 80s.”  It was fine, but I’d seen it all before right down to Harry’s speech and the Christmas montage of New York.  PS – One part that really bothered me was a scene where some friends said HORRIBLE things to each other over a dinner in Vermont, but in the next scenes all was forgiven after apologies and blaming the nastiness on a little too much wine.  This does not happen in real life.  When people say ugly, ugly things to each other, all is not forgiven so easily.  I couldn’t get past this.
6.       Madagascar 3 – It was cute.  I liked the Giraffe.  It made my nephew happy and the popcorn was delicious.
7.       Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter – I wanted to like this movie SO much.  It was just a sloppy mess that took itself far too seriously.  If you’re going to make Abraham Lincoln fight vampires, then for heaven’s sake, camp it up.  Don’t try to convince your audience with a semi-straight face that Jefferson Davis was actually a vampire.  I still love Dominic Cooper though, who continues to do no wrong, even counting Mamma Mia.
8.       21 Jump Street – Awful. Just god-awful.  I didn’t like the characters, the plot, the car chases.  Nothing.  The one moment that could have redeemed it was when Johnny Depp made his cameo, but he sashayed onto the scene acting like a pirate.  I don’t think even he thought the movie was worth switching characters.  He just donned a new costume, said his lines and picked up a hefty paycheck. 

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