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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shutter Island

When the credits rolled on my first viewing of Scorsese's latest, Shutter Island, I couldn't help but think to myself, "is that all?"

Don't get me wrong, the movie had me hooked from start to finish. But then, it finished. And then, I was angry.

Are you telling me I sat through two mind-bending hours of build up, and this was the pay off? This was how they were going to leave it? Marty don't do this to me!

I simply could not believe it. I didn't want to believe it.

What I failed to realize at the time, was that that was the point of the movie.

After my initial disappointment faded, I started to question my opinion. Okay it wasn't what I expected, but does that necessarily make it a sub-par effort? C'mon it's Marty and Leo. Let me give this flick another shot.

Watching it for my second time was like watching a different movie. Every shot, every character interaction, every flashback, all serve a purpose.

DiCaprio is on point, as usual, and Kingsley holds his own as the sinister Dr. Cawley. However, I gotta give my Most Valuable Player award to Mark Ruffalo. Maybe I don't keep my ear to the ground as much as I should, but I really don't think this man gets the credit he deserves as an actor (ex. Brothers Bloom, Zodiac, Eternal Sunshine). Sure, it's not the flashy role. And yeah, considering the time of its release, I wouldn't put money down on him being nominated for a statue next year. But the entire movie hinges on his performance, which in less capable hands, could have easily been disastrous. His performance is somehow both subtle, and upon a second viewing, also completely obvious. I realize this sounds stupid, but watch the movie, stupid.

I'm scared to say too much in this review.

Don't listen to your idiot friends, they're not your real friends anyway.

Listen to me. Go see this movie.

Wait no, see it twice.

Final Verdict- 8/10

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day

Okay, in my defense, when a movie with the title Valentines Day is released on Valentines day weekend, it's damn near impossible to tell your girlfriend that you refuse to watch it with her. With that being said, if I had a girlfriend I imagine this inaugural post would be way less embarrassing. However, the dark and scary truth of the matter is, I rather enjoy romantic comedies. I like it when they make me laugh. I like it when they make me cry. I like it when they tell me that I'm the prettiest girl in the whole wide world right before I fall asleep at night... or something like that.

The point is, I am not someone who wrote this movie off because of its subject matter. Quite the contrary, after gazing over the cast list, I was kind of excited. Don't judge me. I mean come on, they assembled the rom-com dream team: The wily veteran: Julia Roberts, the up and coming hot shot: Bradly Cooper, the talent: Jamie Foxx, the looks: Jessica Biel, and the pound for pound champion of the romantic comedy world: Ashton Kutcher. How could this movie not deliver?

Where there's a will there's a way.

The movie tries to do way too much at once, attempting to tell the stories of over twelve different characters, that somehow manage to all intertwine, even if only barely, by the closing credits. I literally found myself forgetting about certain characters mid-movie.

The multiple stories are weak. Really weak. There was absolutely no structure in the jumbled up plot. About an hour and a half into the movie I was certain it had reached its, obligatory airport scene included, climax. I was wrong. We still had another forty-five minutes to go.

The dialogue is weak. Really weak. Even a cast full of savvy actors fail to pull off some of the stuff in this one. (though I do give Mr. Kutcher credit for delivering the line, "she's like sunshine" with a straight face) Seriously, you will cringe. You will cringe a lot. (every single time Taylor Swift is on screen)

Taylor Swift aside, the star power is this romantic disasters only saving grace. Each of the main actors pack enough charisma to keep even the worst of movies afloat. Honestly, I can watch Jessica Biel watch paint dry for two hours and be pretty okay with it. Unfortunately, pretty faces and swagger aren't enough to make a movie work.

It does have its genuine moments, but much like the holiday it pays tribute to, most of it is forced, cheesy, and mildly engaging at best.

I like my women overstated and shallow, not so much my movies.

Final Verdict- 4/10