Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Film Reviews: September, 2009


Every movie has a moral, though sometimes it is secret. But no matter how cleverly it is hidden, SUPERBLOG!! always finds it. This time around, I will expose the morals of a bunch of films for all the world to see! Like last month, I'll be ordering the films by how good they were, and not, as you might have expected, by how good they weren't. Oh wait, that's basically the same thing. Anyway. We'll start with NOT ALL THAT GOOD and see what happens. Click on the links for better reviews and/or related reading on other sites (mostly The AV Club).


Ali G Indahouse (2002) (R)
So much weaker than the TV series. Moral: Sometimes idiots prosper.

Mum & Dad (2008)
Fairly standard torture porn. Moral: Family is everything.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
I preferred Green Lantern, which I think I reviewed last time. Moral: Don't vote for Lex Luthor.

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Moral: Ann-Margret had an ability to be 25 and act 14. Is that a moral? I watched this only because of the Mad Men episode, of course. The only good parts are the beginning and the end.

Viva Las Vegas (1964)
See, this is like a sequel to BBB, only it has the real, less weak, Elvis. Moral: Elvis is king.

The Two Jakes (1990)
Moral: Sequels made too many years after the original (16, in this case) always disappoint.


Columbo: Suitable for Framing (1971) (R)
Moral: Crime does not pay. As with all Columbos.

Columbo: Death Lends a Hand (1971)
P I Robert Culp tries to blackmail Ray Milland's younger wife. (But is killed by Ray Milland's older wife! No, there is only one wife. And she is killed by Robert Culp.) Why did I write a plot line for this one but not the other one? You'll never know. Moral: I already told you: Crime does not pay.

Doomsday (2008) (R)
Moral: Sol is king.

Slither (2006)
Moral: Monsters are bad.

In the Company of Men (1997)
Moral: Don't be kind to women.

The Major and the Minor (1942) (R)
Moral: Deception invariably leads to love.

Waitress (2007)
Moral: Live your dreams. Have a kid.

District 9 (2009)
Hmm, I should have linked the title to Roger Ebert's review instead, but now it's too late. What this movie reminds me of the most is Spielberg's AI - basically interesting sci-fi idea, great production design, but suffers from lack of intelligence and a sense of proportions. While I had low expectations for AI (partly because I was, and remain, a huge Kubrick fan), I had very high expectations for this one, based on the buzz. And thus I found it hugely disappointing. The irritating thing is that parts of it are so good that I wish a lot of the rest weren't cliched dime-a-dozen action. Moral: Racism is bad.


Star Trek (2009)
Moral: Space... something.

Brüno (2009)
Moral: Something about being gay? I don't know. I laughed more than I had expected, though.

The Brothers Bloom (2009)
Ambitious. Wikipedia calls it a "postmodern caper film". It's not another Brick, but well worthwhile anyway. Moral: Be careful what you wish for, maybe? The morals idea wasn't very good.

Good Arrows (2009) (R)
Moral: Jenkem is better than heroin.

Thank You for Smoking (2006) (R)
Moral: You should make up your own mind.


Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Alison Lohman is less the female Bruce Campbell than the female Michael J Fox. It's weird to see her playing an actual grown-up. Anyway: A lot of Drag Me to Hell is predictable, including the ending, but it's still a delight. (Can I use the word "delight" without seeming gay? Probably not.) Almost as energetic and fun as the Evil Dead movies. Moral: Be kind to gypsies. Also, Check the envelope.

Juno (2007) (R)
There's been a bit of a backlash in the years since, particularly towards Diablo Cody's hipster dialogue. And yes, a little of it goes a long way (and no, I won't be surprised if Jennifer's Body sucks) but I maintain that in this context, and in Ellen Page's mouth, it works beautifully. Moral: I already told you: People who want kids should have kids.

In Bruges (2008) (R)
Moral: You've got to stick to your principles and blow your own head off.

Primer (2004) (R)
One of my favorite movies of all time. Moral: With great power comes something or other.


I also watched Ali G in da USAiii: Season 1 (2003, 6 episodes) and Da Ali G Show: Season 2 (2004, 6 episodes) and Hung: Season 1 (2009, 10 episodes) and The Shield: Season 1 (2002, 13 episodes), but I don't have to make up morals for them, do I? But I'll tell you a little about:

True Blood: Season 2 (2009, 12 episodes)
My initial thoughts, after last season, were that it was still pretty terrible, but a lot more fun. It was slowly developing into a guilty pleasure. But towards the end of the season I snapped out of it and realized that it's incredibly mediocre, and not really worth watching. I think I'll stop here.


Weeds: Season 5 (2009, 13 episodes)
I've always liked Weeds, check out the reviews of season 1 and 2 from back in 2007. It's lightweight and very meandering, but also extremely enjoyable. Then again, somehow I'm always more or less drunk when I watch it, so your mileage may vary.



Somebodyiusedtoknow said...

...putting Primer in my Netflix queue.

KM said...

Be warned that you'll probably have to watch it more than once. Unless you're way smarter than me. I mean I.