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.
In Theaters Now
21 Jump Street, (March 2012)
Do the math. Old, plus sexy, equals money. Depends on how you define sexy but still.
First and foremost the story works and there are a few surprises that keep things interesting. On top of that the comedy is smart and some great casting put this movie over the top. It’s one of those rare comedies you could watch more than once.
Recently Released on Disc
The Muppets, (November 2011)
Genre: Comedy, Kids
I’d pitch the sequel as The Wire meets The Muppets.
The movie has charming moments and is clever here and there, but I couldn’t shake the feeling this wasn’t a full blown movie but a TV show. Maybe it wasn’t big enough in scope, but it’s still a good movie. The songs are well done.
House of Pleasure, (November 2011)
If you adapted a painting into a movie this would be a good model.
Character and plot come second to setting and cinematography in this sad and tragic film about women in a brothel circa Paris 1900. The life these girls live is disturbing on a few different levels, but the lazy nature translates to a slightly boring film.
Knuckle, (December 2011)
Sometimes brutal, always sloppy. My kind of woman…I mean fight! I meant fight!
Irish folk of two families bare knuckle fight. The most wins in a day gives the winning family bragging rights for three years. Basically these people are hicks and are rather poor. The most interesting aspect isn’t the families though, but the fear folks have when really fighting, but this grows stale about halfway through. The brutality and honesty is welcomed though.
Young Adult, (December 2011)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Every man has felt this stare, otherwise known as the “oh no you didn’t”.
This is an enjoyable nugget of a character study. Essentially a gossiping popular girl goes home to steal her boyfriend away from a wife and newborn baby. The movie has a couple laughs, but it’s absorbing and enjoyable to watch her break down. The third act is especially heartbreaking considering she has an opportunity to change.
The Ides of March, (October 2011)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Drama
This poster is totally misleading. To think I thought it was the sequel to Face/Off.
Well acted? Sure. Well paced? Almost. There isn’t a lot here that’s meaningful, particularly because it appears director and actor George Clooney just wanted a movie to showcase a young actor to pinball between himself, Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie also cheats on character development to showcase a message by taking Ryan Gosling’s character, morally sound person, and forcing a change of thinking to show why politics is crooked. If you dig good acting take a peak, but the story is weak.
In Time, (October 2011)
Genre: Suspense, Science Fiction
When will designers get over the fact that cars in the future don’t have to look like rocket ships.
The most frustrating experience is one that could have been great but fails. Problems with the technicalities make this science fiction seem false. The devil is in the details, especially in science fiction of the near future. Timberlake is too nice and the cinematography isn’t big enough, think a cheap TV series, and the sets and locations don’t convey the despotic future its supposed to be. The fact that this is the same director of Gattaca, which I loved, makes me hate it more.
A Dangerous Method, (November 2011)
Notice the vertical line bisecting the middle of the frame. This makes the actor in the foreground seem disproportionately large visually playing with subjectivity and perception.
New on disc this week! At the end of the day this is a movie about people talking about psychology. If that doesn’t do it for you look elsewhere. You do get to see Keira Knightley topless albeit when she’s either angry or being spanked. It’s pretty amazing how ugly she can look when she juts out her chin. Aside from those freak show events you do get some top notch cinematography laying the mise en scène on thick.
Oldy, But Goody?
Monte Walsh, (October 1970)
There are at least 5 reasons why this image proves Westerns are awesome.
It’s a real Western because it’s so damn slow, oh, and it has cowboys. People should relate to this film, as the cowboys are running out of work and feeling the economic pressure. Lee Marvin’s character watches the world crumble around him and it’s entertaining to contemplate it with him.
Lars and The Real Girl, (October 2007)
You should see them play tennis.
A man falling in love with a blow up doll is strangely believable, yet slightly droning as the main characters attempt to be normal around such abnormality. What saves this film is the reaction of the people around Lars, they’re love and helpfulness, that spring this from what could have been a psychological film about a man trying to work out his childhood issues, into a feel good film about togetherness. I can see why Gosling didn’t get an Oscar nomination, his acting is very subdued, and it’s the supporting actors that make the role so important. Definitely a strong step for him, but then again he was very subdued in Drive as well.