Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Three movie reviews in under three minutes

Thanks to a run to the Redwood Drive-In and a late night pop-in at Sugarhouse, I knocked off three movies last weekend. Here are the results:

Ocean’s 13
2 ½ stars out of 4

Every time I see one of the “Ocean’s” movies I feel this need to go clothes shopping. For a T-shirt and jeans guy, that’s a strange thing. Nevertheless, there is no denying that one of the strongest aspects of the whole series is style, from the clothing to David Holmes’ soundtrack. It’s almost enough to make you cheer for the bad guys.

Of course, in “Ocean’s 13”, the bad guys aren’t really the bad guys. This time around they’re trying to get even with Al Pacino for snaking Elliot Gould out of a new casino deal and leaving him on his deathbed. Given Al’s history of dealing with business partners (see Moe Green, Hyman Roth, and his brother Fredo), maybe the Ocean’s boys should have just considered Elliot lucky and left alone.

But that wouldn’t be a very fun movie, would it?

Bottom line: another fun installment in a fun series. Rated PG-13, mostly for having to sit around for an hour without a clue what anyone is talking about before they finally start executing the big plan.


The Invasion
1 ½ stars out of 4

At first I thought this film was a re-make of a re-make; then I found out it was a re-make of a re-make of a re-make. First there was the 50’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, then there was the late 70’s version (with Leonard “Call me Spock” Nimoy), and apparently there was a version in the 90’s called “Body Snatchers”.

I never saw the last one, but can’t imagine it offered anything I haven’t already seen in the other two (and now three) movie versions of the classic original novel that I haven’t read. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder how Hollywood continues to function while people like me spend their time writing blogs no one reads.

Three years ago, I would have seen this movie for Nicole Kidman alone. But now she’s married to some country dude and I’ve pretty much lost interest. After the movie was over, I still felt the same way.

Bottom line: watchable but unoriginal, rated PG-13 for lots of vacant zombie looks, shots of zombies hacking up alien spores, and having to watch James Bond utterly powerless.


2 stars out of 4

“Stardust” is one of those movies that reminds me why deep down I’m really just not a huge fantasy guy. Kind of a funny thing for such a big “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” fan to say, but when I look at it, I’ve really enjoyed the big franchises and a lot of Sci-Fi movies, but when it comes to stuff like “The Neverending Story”, I just kind of shrug. Maybe “Star Wars” and “LOTR” are more rooted in classic mythical archetypes, making them accessible to all people regardless of persuasion. Maybe I just have discerning tastes. Maybe “Stardust” wasn’t all that great.

“Stardust” made me shrug. It had some good moments, some decent performances from folks like Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Daines (and a really unnerving one from Robert DeNiro), but I can’t say there was much of anything from the movie that will stick in my mind six months from now. Pfeiffer will still be Catwoman, Daines will still be Juliet, and DeNiro will still be the taxi driver.

Bottom line: pretty good date movie, more of a dollar flick than a first-run, rated PG-13 for having to see Claire Daines without eyebrows and Robert DeNiro in a dress.