This week, Alli and I set out to see 10 movies during our time off. It was a fun experience and overall, most of the movies were good.
I thought that it would be fun if I gave you a quick personal review of each movie. I would list them chronologically, but that wouldn’t be any fun. So I’ll go from worst to best-ish.
This movie was crazy. Not particularly good, either. No one is going to be asking Taylor Kitsch to lead any more movies anytime soon. Or Blake Lively. Aaron Johnson is the only saving grace of this movie. My tweet might explain it best:
Hereâ€™s the scoop on Savages: sex, weed, violence, bad mustaches, violence, money, violence. And, say â€˜savageâ€™ as many times as possible.
— Shane Adams (@shaneadams) July 6, 2012
To Rome With Love
Anyone expecting something like last year’s charming Midnight in Paris will be sorely mistaken. (I was in that crowd.) Whereas Midnight in Paris was focused, To Rome With Love tells 5 different stories at the same time and none of them make any sense (including one where Woody Allen stages an opera with a man singing in the shower, literally).
A box-office hit for Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, Ted is exactly as offensive as the hilarious red-band trailer suggested. It just wasn’t that funny. Sure, there were funny parts, but it’s an equal-opportunity offender. It really wastes the talent of Mila Kunis, too. I just wanted it to be funnier.
Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D
This was the first movie that I thought could be classified as “good.” A pretty interesting concert film about a girl that is surprisingly a more talented musician than I thought. A much more impressive songwriter (despite the fact that I don’t particularly care for her music) who has plenty of her own issues to deal with (including the meltdown of her marriage to Russell Brand), but has managed to emerge as one of the most successful female artists…ever (5 number one songs from a single album).
People Like Us
Nice feel-good movie based on true events. But what the crap happened to Michelle Pfieffer?
The Amazing Spider-Man
It’s basically Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie, just done better in almost every way. Andrew Garfield is a much better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. Emma Stone is head-and-shoulders better than Kirsten Dunst. Aunt Mae and Uncle Ben are portrayed by Sally Field and Martin Sheen. Do I really need to name who played them in the first movie? The only thing that was really lacking in the reboot was a decent villain. Rhys Ifans’ Lizard just isn’t nearly as menacing as Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin. But besides that, it is a really entertaining reboot of the franchise. I hope they try to tell a different story in the next one, though.
(tie) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Safety Not Guaranteed
I put these two together because it’s difficult for me to choose between these two terrific indie films. In fact, my top 4 of the 10 are all considered “independent” movies. Seeking a Friend is story about Dodge (Steve Carell) coming to grips with the end of the world and loneliness when he meets Keira Knightley’s Penny, who’s in pretty much the same situation. Their friendship develops as the world spins faster to its demise.
Safety Not Guaranteed was probably the movie I was most looking forward to. Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson all shine in this great little movie about wanting to go back and believing that the amazing can happen.
I don’t love everything that Wes Anderson makes, but he’s got a very specific style. In Moonrise Kingdom, he takes that quirky style and tells a really straight-forward, honest story about first loves. The adult actors (Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and others) are all just fine, but the child actors are really great and earnest and they really are what make the story work.
Your Sister’s Sister
Without giving too much away about this story, you may have to just trust me on this. Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass and Rosmarie Dewitt deliver really powerful performances in this fresh story about a guy (Duplass) dealing with the death of his brother with the help of his best friend (Blunt). I really loved this movie. It was a toss-up between it and Moonrise Kingdom, but I had to make a call. Don’t expect to be fully satisfied with the resolution. Just enjoy the ride.
So that’s it. 10 movies in 3 days. We actually planned to see 11, but Lola Versus with Greta Gerwig was in a really limited run and we didn’t see it before it exited all theaters in the area.
Here’s what I found: independent movies intrigue me much more than anything else right now. Fresh, interesting, new stories just aren’t coming out of the major studios right now. Focus Features and other small studios are doing some great work to bring these stories to the screen, even if it is in smaller runs. Sure, the majority of these people are a mess, but that’s OK. In fact, that’s another blog post entirely.
Disclaimer: I saw all these movies for free because I work for AMC.