March 22, 2010

My Month in Movies: February 2010

Yeah, I know. I'm a little late. But I have watched so many movies in the past 2 months I felt it was too much to be in just one post. So I am posting this one now and then the March one next week.

SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009)
Robert Downey Jr. brings the legendary detective to life as he has never been portrayed before. Jude Law stars as Holmes' trusted colleague, Watson, a doctor and war veteran who is a formidable ally for Sherlock Holmes. Rachel McAdams stars as Irene Adler, the only woman ever to have bested Holmes and who has maintained a tempestuous relationship with the detective. Mark Strong stars as their mysterious new adversary, Blackwood. MY RATING: **** (I loved Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in this movie. And I can't get that tune out of my head!)

HAPPENSTANCE (2000)
When wide-eyed Irène (Audrey Tautou), a horoscope-believing, hopeless romantic, exchanges glances with a young restaurateur on a train, it's love at first sight. But they'll continually intersect -- through dozens of other people's lives -- before they meet. French writer-director Laurent Firode's fanciful, "What if?" film co-stars Faudel, Eric Savin, Lysiane Meis, Eric Feldman and Nathalie Besançon. MY RATING: ** (First Audrey Tautou movie I haven't cared much for. Sad.)

NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (1984)

This movie adaptation of George Orwell's eerie, dystopian tale -- filmed during the year for which it's named -- follows the "reeducation" of two people who break the law in a totalitarian state by falling in love while Big Brother is watching. The film turned out to be Richard Burton's last, but it's also notable for its intriguing technique of shooting specific scenes from the novel on the exact dates they were specified in print. MY RATING: *** (A great novel made into an okay film. But I imagine it would not be an easy one to pull off anyway.)

MADE OF HONOR (2008)

Happy-go-lucky playboy Tom (Patrick Dempsey) finally decides to propose to his best friend, Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), when she returns from a trip. But when she gets home, she announces that she's engaged -- and asks Tom to be in the wedding. Can Tom work his way back into her heart before it's too late? Sydney Pollack and Kadeem Hardison co-star in this whimsical comedy from director Paul Weiland. MY RATING: **** (I didn't hear good things about this one and it was a predictable romantic comedy, but I totally laughed my head off at a few parts. Patrick Dempsey in a kilt? Check. Trying to lift a tree in the Highland Games to impress a girl? Check. Opposite other Grey's Anatomy star who can kick his ass? Check, check.)

BEYOND THE SEA (2004)

Kevin Spacey directs and stars in this film biography of singer Bobby Darin, a hipster in the Frank Sinatra tradition and singer of pop hits such as "Splish Splash" and the titular tune, "Beyond the Sea." Darin eventually moved on to performing jazz standards that culminated in his signature gigantic hit, "Mack the Knife." Kate Bosworth plays Darin's wife, movie star Sandra Dee. John Goodman, Bob Hoskins and Brenda Blethyn co-star. MY RATING: *** (I thought this movie was definitely worth watching. Spacey is such a good character actor.)

LOVE AND OTHER DISASTERS (2006)
Director Alek Keshishian unspools a charming tale that finds a young American (Brittany Murphy) attempting to play matchmaker for friends and co-workers -- with mixed results -- while interning at a major British fashion magazine. Problem is, she's so busy hooking up everyone else that she can't see her ideal match right under her nose. The supporting cast of characters includes Matthew Rhys, Santiago Cabrera and Catherine Tate. MY RATING: **** (I liked the quirkiness of this movie and it was just different enough to make it really interesting. I am sure I will watch it again.)

NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST (2008)
Norah (Kat Dennings) wants to prove to her friend Tris (Alexis Dziena) that she's capable of having a boyfriend. So at a concert, she grabs the first guy she sees, Nick (Michael Cera), and asks him to pretend they're dating -- but it turns out that Nick is Tris's ex. Despite the fact that they started off as a fauxmance, Nick and Norah's relationship turns real as they traipse through Manhattan, sharing their love of music and all things weird. MY RATING: ***
(I liked this movie but I am still not sure why exactly. It had very odd elements for me but somehow they all worked together. Cera should do more work like this and less slapstick. He's actually a decent actor.)

THE BIG CHILL (1983)

Never trust anyone over 30 … except this group of erstwhile buddies and former college radicals. After years apart, friends who've followed divergent paths reunite at the funeral of one of their own. Watch as the top-notch ensemble (William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, JoBeth Williams, Mary Kay Place, Tom Berenger and Jeff Goldblum) reconnects and cavorts to an irresistible soundtrack of 1960s hits. MY RATING: ** (I don't get why people think this is such a classic. I was way turned off by the surprising turn of events at the end. Ick.)

CADILLAC RECORDS (2008)
The sounds of 1950s Chicago spring to life in this musical drama based on the true story of Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody), a bar owner turned record mogul who signs a lineup of future legends to his fledgling label, Chess Records. He eventually crosses paths with the likes of Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Chuck Berry (Mos Def) and Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), changing the face of popular music forever. MY RATING: **** (I just love Adrien Brody.)

13 comments:

  1. Sherlock Holmes is on my list, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I wasn't so into Made of Honor, but the tree-lifting was pretty funny. And I had a similar reaction to Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. I liked it, but I wasn't sure why. I guess I like the idea of two people finding each other and sharing an amazing night.

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  2. The Big Chill and Beyond the Sea are the only two I've seen. Yikes!

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  3. Loved Sherlock and Nick and Norah. Both were big hits at my house. Loved the quirkiness of Nick and Norah. Bummer about the Audrey Tatou movie, though. I love her!

    If you haven't seen it already, try Whip It. It's Drew Barrymore's directorial debut and it was really cute/funny.

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  4. I really need to see Sherlock Holmes, but I'm a little disappointed to hear the Nick & Norah movie has Norah asking him to kiss her. That's completely opposite of the book! The book was excellent, though.

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  5. I really want to see Sherlock Holmes. This is a very interesting mix of films.

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  6. I've just signed back up with Netflix so now you have given me some to add to my queue!

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  7. I thought Made of Honor was adorable!! Loved Beyond the Sea...kevin Spacey is just a great actor! I liked Nick&Norah movie version wayyyyyyyy better than the book. Sorry, I love The Big Chill! But I'm old...maybe that explains it!?

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  8. The only one of those I've seen is Sherlock Holmes and it looks like you enjoyed it more than I did.

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  9. The Big Chill is seriously one of the most pointless movies I've ever seen. Great soundtrack, though.

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  10. "Robert Downey Jr. brings the legendary detective to life as he has never been portrayed before."

    You mean portrayed as incredibly sexy and attractive? Sorry .. I just have a thing for Robert Downey Jr.

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  11. Sherlock Holmes would have rocked without Robert Downey Jr., but damned if he didn't make it even better. What a sexy sexy man. ;)

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  12. I really liked Sherlock Holmes and I'm not a big fan of Downey!! I think I'm in the minority on that one!! :)

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