April 25, 2010

#075: The Blind Side 3/10

When you are telling a story based in reality, you have to keep it grounded and make it feel real.  Most of the time The Blind Side rang completely false.  Each time I started to get drawn into the story it did something to remind me how foolish it was.  This movie had enough decent moments to make it watchable, but overall felt contrived, trite.  I might be accused of being too cynical, but this film barely manages a 3 out of 10.

When a movie takes on a story like the one told in The Blind Side it has to be very careful not to come over as being racist.  At times if feels like the story of a bunch of gracious white people who go out of their way to rescue a poor black kid that would never have been able to make anything of his life on his own. For the most part this film avoids that "whitey saves the day" vibe, but not entirely.  I realize Sandra Bullock's character has taken this boy in as her own son, but she treats him like an infant.  He is a teenager, yet he is treated like a small child; too stupid to know better.  

April 22, 2010

#074: Up In The Air 5/10

Up In The Air is probably supposed to make you evaluate your life or something.  It just made realize how much I hate the business-type pricks that are always trolling the airports. My mind had a lot of time to wander while it was not being stimulated by this bland film.  The middle was decent, but it was sandwiched between annoying characterizations and trite storylines.  This underwhelming film still manages a 5 out of 10.

Up In The Air tells the story of Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a loner who spends most of his life traveling around the world firing people.  He avoids human connections, and his main goal in life is to collect 10 million frequent flyer miles.  His company brings in a recent graduate Natalie (Anna Kendrick) who pitches the cost savings of conducting the firings via webcam.  This will ground Ryan and turn his life upside down.  Before they clip his wings he is tasked with taking Natalie under one of them and showing her the ropes.

April 17, 2010

#073: How To Train Your Dragon 7/10

Dreamworks adds another solid animated film to their library with How To Train Your Dragon.  The story didn't feel all that original, but it was fun to watch and done really well.  As a person who doesn't like to spend my money to go to the theater very often, I left feeling satisfied with the value this film provided.  It's probably not going to blow anybody's mind, but it will surely entertain.  I give it a 7 out of 10.

How To Train Your Dragon tells the story of a young viking named Hiccup.  Every viking in this village grows up hating the pesky dragons.  They train from a young age to hopefully kill one someday.  Hiccup is the son of the fiercest dragon slayer, and of course he is an awkward nerd with an unimpressive physique.  He dreams of gaining the approval of his father by one day proving himself as a dragon hunter.  When he finally gets his chance he finds that he cannot complete the deed, but rather develops his own strategy for dealing with the dragon problem.

April 10, 2010

#072: We Live In Public 3/10

We Live In Public is a 2009 documentary about Josh Harris, one of the many nerds that got rich during the internet & tech boom of the 90's. While he is an interesting character, this doc fails to put together a cohesive narrative. In other words, the story seems pointless. Enjoyed parts of it, but will give it a weak 3 out of 10.

I had never heard of Josh Harris, and most likely neither have you.  This film tries to paint him as an important and influential figure during the rapid rise of the internet.  I never quite bought it, but I cannot deny this guy was smart.  He had good ideas, and the knowledge to turn them into cash, and a lot of it.

April 5, 2010

#071: Fantastic Mr. Fox 8/10

Filled with all kinds of quirk, this stylized stop-motion animation film packs in a lot of charm.  It has the unmistakable Wes Anderson vibe, yet it is still a lot of fun to watch.  Fantastic Mr. Fox received a lot of critical praise, which left me wary going in. Now that I have seen it I can say that this film really does work well from beginning to end. I would give it a solid 8 out of 10.

Most people would not hesitate to crown UP the award for best animated film of last year.  I really enjoyed UP, but in my opinion Fantastic Mr. Fox edges it out.  UP has some really great moments, but Fantastic Mr. Fox worked better from beginning to end.