Movie Madness

My movie reviews and rants at your fingertips.

Monthly Archives: January 2010

Best of the Decade

These aren’t my favorite movies of the decade, that’s a completely different list. These are movies that blew me away the second they started and I feel into its world. I’m not gonna give a specific number. I’m just gonna list as many as apply to the criteria.

District 9

Wendy & Lucy

The Hurt Locker

All the Real Girls

Elephant

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Jesus Camp

My Blueberry Nights

The Prestige

Roger Dodger

The Woodsman

Bully

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It’s Complicated

Few women can make a movie that connects with all the key demographics. Kathryn Bigelow is no doubt one you can cater to the men, but lose a lot of women in the process. Nancy Meyers, the director of It’s Complicated, has managed in the past to make a movie that speaks to women but doesn’t repulse men. This time around, I didn’t feel it worked.

We follow Meryl Streep (AKA Oscar’s favorite lady) as a recently divorced woman trying to put her life back together as her son graduates college. This means her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) and his severely younger new wife (Lake Bell) are constantly around. She takes solace in fulfilling her dream of finally adding a new addition to her house. This brings Steve Martin as Adam into the show as a kind and relatable man. A man who feels right for Meryl’s character, except that she’s sleeping with her ex-husband.

With the exception of some well executed jokes and John Krasinski, the movie just falls apart. I found myself rooting for something that the movie made believe was possible, only to repeatedly tear me in the opposite direction. Maybe love triangles in film just bug me, or maybe it’s just that I expected more from a wonderful cast, but this wasn’t all that fun to watch. It’s mediocre throughout. I found it hard to have any feelings after the movie one way or the other. It left me indifferent. It isn’t a bad movie, but I’m definitely not the target audience. 2.5 out of 5 stars

Daybreakers

This is not your girlfriend’s/daughter’s/wife’s vampires. This is in no way Twilight. They are almost Victorian in their diplomacy, especially Sam Neill. Taking the concept of a Vampire dominant race and Human minority is something I found truly interesting. Of course, a plot like this is bound to be accused of political subtleties, but it’s up to the individual viewer to interpret things in a way that they can understand. But here I am off topic.

Daybreakers follows Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) as a Vampire Hematologist (a special way of saying he studies blood) who is working for a pharmaceutical company that is looking for a blood substitute. This leads to him constantly being pushed by the CEO (Neill). After a chance accident brings him in contact with humans, he finds himself recruited to help the humans endure and repopulate. This culminates in a climax that is quite bloody but with a smart twist to rationalize such carnage.

Hawke, and the underestimated Dafoe, both carry their lines and even elevate the otherwise quick and harmless script. Though Hawke is reduced to nothing more than a vampire version of his caricature, he still has an alluring way around his character that draws you in. This movie plays like a good B movie in parts, and a horrible Uwe Boll movie in a few spots. Fortunately, it’s mostly the former that makes this movie move at a brisk pace. Once it’s over however, you feel like you missed something. Like you need to rewind and look at it again. A lot of great movies have this effect, but so do some truly horrible movies. Overall, it’s a straight up the middle horror movie, but one I’d see again 3 out of 5 stars.