The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I’ve been watching lots of movies these past three weeks. iTunes makes it so easy to rent or buy them and they’ve got a fairly good selection too. Here are a few reviews I wrote on iTunes.

Chariots of Fire
How it is that I managed to miss this movie since it first came out in the cinema I’m not sure, but having finally rented it I can say that it deserves all the praise it has gotten over the years. An interesting look into the morals of post-WWI England and many profound insights on what drives individuals to compete in extraordinary feats such as the Olympics. My only wish is that I had actually seen it on a cinema screen for the full impact. A must. ★★★★

In Bruges
With Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes
Not What You’d Expect
Very slow for what I expected to be a fast-paced action movie about two hitmen hiding out after a job gone wrong. I’m no big fan of Colin Farrell, who mostly seemed to wonder what the heck he was doing in this movie, but once I let go of expectations I was able to enjoy the beautiful Bruges scenery and empathize with the characters who, as it turns out have more substance than at first expected. ★★★½

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Like a Rotten Candy Apple
I guess if you’re a fan of either Matthew McConaughey or Jennifer Garner and you have the mind of a 16 year old you’ll get your money’s worth. I like my Friday night movies on the light side but this somehow left me both unsatisfied and nauseated—a feeling you might get after chewing into a rotten candy apple. I gave it three stars because of the participation of Michael Douglas who manages to steal the scene by actually ACTING as opposed to just showing off his pearly whites and strutting around like a pig in heat (I take that back: I’m sure pigs are much more subtle than “I’m too sexy for my body” McConaughey). ★★★

Beauty Shop
With Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Andy McDowell, Kevin Bacon, Djimon Hounsou
Is this supposed to be funny?
I rarely find American comedies funny (British comedy is more my thing), but at 99¢ for the rental I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Boy was I wrong. Maybe it’s a cultural thing? Maybe my funny bone needs more tickling? I don’t know but even with gorgeous Djimon Hounsou playing the shirtless musician/electrician neighbour I couldn’t be bothered to watch it till the end. Zzzzzz…. ★

Fight Club
Much Better than Expected
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie, which was much better than I had expected. I hadn’t gone out of my way to watch it before because thought it was just another dumb movie filled with nothing but violence. Instead I found a profound reflection on what it means to be “successful” in our society and great performances by Norton, Pitt and Bonham Carter. Good chance I’ll end up buying it to watch it over a few times. ★★★★★

The Illusionist
Masterful
Gorgeous period piece with Edward Norton playing a convincing role as Eisenheim, a magician who just might have sold his soul to acquire supernatural gifts. His childhood love Sophie (Jessica Biel) a woman of noble birth forms the apex of a love triangle with a ruthless Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) who has every intention of marrying her as part of an elaborate plan to overtake the monarchy. Paul Giamatti, the chief inspector is ordered to find any excuse to arrest Eisenheim, but his loyalty is divided when he finds himself fascinated by Eiseheim’s masterful tricks of illusion. An enchanting movie in which there is much more than meets the eye, and which you’ll want to watch again if only to figure out where illusion overlaps with reality. ★★★★★

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4 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. mum: no great loss there, to be sure. If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time with anything I gave less than four stars to either. But I'm sure you already figured that out for yourself.

  2. technodoll: not sure I'll make it to HUNDREDS of viewings, but it's worth buying for sure. It made a huge impression on me, which was the last thing I expected.

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