Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s weekly movie review roundup. I’ll be posting a slathering of movie reviews each week to give folks a healthy helping of what’s good and not so good. New and old, the reviews cover anything from the pleasantly innocent Winnie The Pooh to disturbingly twisted Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom.


Recently Released on Disc



Hugo, (November 2011)


Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Kids & Family


Notice the blues in this shot. Nearly every shot feels magical, although that also adds to the artificial nature the films imbues.

Out this week on DVD just late enough to miss the ability to slap all those great Oscars wins on the box. That being said, I’d wager this is a masterpiece. Music, acting, pacing this movie has it all. Can anyone argue Martin Scorsese isn’t the greatest active filmmaker today? Things do come together a little too nicely in the last act, but can you blame a movie when it has so much magic? One can argue there’s too much CGI and lighting tricks, but I think it helps make the film feel magical for young and old.

Grade: A


Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, (October 2011)


Genre: Documentary


In the sequel, Katy Perry documents what it’s like for her boobs to be Elmo.

A short but sweet study of the puppeteer behind Elmo. It’s a joy to see how a boy who had a dream worked to get what he wanted to be when he grew up. It’s also serves as a cliff notes to the career of Jim Henson and Muppet history. Feel good documentary for sure.

Grade: B+


Our Idiot Brother, (August 2011)


Genre: Comedy


This poster just screams, “look I’m Juno only with Paul Rudd!”

The dangers of being nice. Paul Rudd is good as always and the movie is funny with a few laugh out loud moments. It’s not so much a straight comedy but more an indie drama.

Grade: B+


The Dead, (October 2011)


Genre: Horror, Cult Movies


Interesting equation even if it’s a tad lazy.

The movie has a raw nature that hurts and helps it. I’m not sure if a movie has ever pit man versus zombie in Africa but it’s definitely a unique take on the genre. B-movie goodness, but it’s never too scary or too referential of the racial implications of a story set in Africa starring a white man.

Grade: C+


The Whistleblower, (August, 2011)


Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense


Rachel Weisz, at left, plays the real whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac, at right. Once again Hollywood uses an ugly actress to play an amazing beauty. Oh wait, that’s not right.

A pretty heartbreaking film that is a better script than it is acted. Don’t get me wrong, Rachel Weisz is great, but she’s doing the same things here she always does in her roles. She empowers the film with humanity, but the direction lets you down with emotional resonance.

Grade: B


The Lincoln Lawyer, (March 10, 2011)


Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense


Trying to capitalize on the Transformers, Hollywood producers made a lawyer-car movie, using an actual Lincoln Town Car rather than an alien robot.

Not a bad peach. Matthew McConaughey plays a lawyer so it’s a familiar peach, but it has a nice bite and it’s got sweet taste. Now the ending is a bit tart, but that comes with these court room dramas.

Grade: B+


Oldy, But Goody?


Don’t Look Now, (April 1973)


Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

dont-look-now-julie-christie
Famous for a shockingly real sex scene, the director was noted as saying on the set: “I just want to be sure I have the coverage.” Producer: “His dick is moving in and out of her. That’s beyond coverage.”<- True quote.

The Venice locale really hammers this puppy into a visceral place. The concepts and story are great too. Sadly it being made in 73 dates it a bit, but aside from hair and clothes, old world Venice helps this seem timeless.

Grade: A-


Blue Valentine, (December 2010)


Genre: Drama, Romance


Michelle Williams should have won an Oscar for this role.

The movie is good, but in a smaller more honed emotional way. Its not surprising it didnt get much Oscar recognition since it doesnt feel complete. But thats part of its allure, having to fill in the pieces and figure out why the relationship is so broken. Gosling is just amazing. The guy can’t do wrong.

Grade: A-