With nothing but time on my hands lately, I have mostly been entertaining myself with books and an exceptional number of movies. In the past 5 days, I have seen 4 new movies. I think that's some kind of record for me.
So, with nothing else to blog about, here are my brief, un-professional reviews:
Basic Premise: Famous comedian (Adam Sandler) finds out he is terminally ill, so he hires a young protege (Seth Rogen) to be both assistant and friend as he tries to mend the wrongs from his excessively vapid lifestyle.
Review: Okay. It had a lot of funny parts, and a lot of touching parts that were appropriately acted, but in the end, I thought it fell short on many levels and it was too long. It was 2 hours and 40 minutes, and those 40 minutes could have easily been chopped. Don't waste your money on it in the theater, wait for it to go to DVD.
Basic Premise: Based on the play, which is based on the real life interview that David Frost conducted with Richard Nixon in 1977, this film is excellent. It is directed by Ron Howard and features a slew of quality actors.
Review: Excellent, excellent movie. Who knew that an entire film based around dialogue could be so tense and contain so much excitement? Watching the climatic moment when Frost is drilling Nixon to try and get a confession and an apology from him concerning Watergate was like watching a verbal boxing match (later, I watched the actual interview, which was available as a special feature on the DVD, and it evoked the same level of excitement). So, I give this high marks: Superb directing, wow-factor acting.
Basic Premise: Michael Moore's documentary about the failures of American healthcare.
Review: While I think the material was good, at this point, it's nothing shocking or revelatory. Also, I am tired of Moore's style. It was unique and bold with "Bowling for Columbine," but by now, it feels tired and trite.
New in Town
Basic Premise: A high level Miami executive (Rene Zellweger) gets transferred to New Ulm, MN to run a failing manufacturing plant there where she inadvertently finds herself attracted to the plant's union manager (Harry Connick Jr). Guess what happens next?
Review: I thought this would be cute because I live in South Florida, and I have lived in Minnesota (and know where New Ulm is), and I thought that the play on the differences of the two regions might be fun to watch. It was not. Nothing about this movie was appealing. It was only 90 minutes long, and I fast-forwarded through about 30 minutes. Everything about it was cliche, and even Harry Connick Jr's undeniable charm and good looks couldn't improve it. After watching this and the terrible "He's Just Not That Into You," I think I can declare the genre of romantic comedy dead. No, I don't even want to peek at this summer's "The Proposal" or "The Ugly Truth" -- both look awful. I wish that someone in Hollywood could put out a romantic comedy (a la "When Harry Met Sally") that has snappy dialogue, dynamic characters (that actually have depth and are not just form-fitted stereotypes), and a truly engaging/convincing romanticism.
So, I guess I'm the next Roger Ebert, right?
Good lord, I wish this baby would come: I have cleared my Netflix queue, I have seen most of what's in the theaters, I finished my book earlier today, and lord knows that summer TV is crap. Soon, I may have to take up knitting or something!