Monday, January 10, 2011

At The Movies

This past week I watched a few movies but for some reason (probably laziness) I didn't get to give them a full post. So here's my roundup for the past week:

Easy A (2010)
Not quite as smart as it seems to think it is. And, on top of it, what started out as a somewhat smart exploration of teenage sexuality and, well, the power of gossip, sort of pulls back on the satire towards the end. Not terrible by any means, actually pretty fun in the end, it just wasn't quite as great as perhaps it could have been. But a game cast, particularly Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Emma Stone's parents help things along.

Good Hair (2009)

Chris Rock's really fascinating documentary about the how's and why's of African-American women's hair. He delves into the social, racial, and even religious practices and outcomes that are all intertwined in the industry of having or providing the titual "good hair" to African-American women. Seriously, it sounds, maybe silly, writing it here, but this documentary is not only immensely fascinating but also illuminating and entertaining.

Dinner For Schmucks (2010)
When Year One came out, everyone thought that that was pretty much the bottom of the barrel as far as big comedy goes. The problem there is the same as Dinner For Schmucks,  you have a really good cast, including Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, and Zach Galifinakis, and a lot of potential that goes nowhere. Its a serious disappointment when you have this assemblage of comedy heavyweights and they manage to turn out something this lame. Steve Carrell is usually one of the best parts about many things, here he might be the worst, I could hardly get past how annoying his performance was. Yes, that was probably the point, but it wore on me...a lot.  The whole thing wore me down until I was counting the minutes until it was over.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)
I either read, or once said myself, that you will know gays are fully accepted in the U.S, when a romantic comedy comes out and at the end long lost lovers Will Smith and George Clooney kiss as "Don't Treat Me This Way" swells on the soundtrack. Perhaps a good first step is just showing a lesbian couple with two kids and not making a big brouhaha out of it, which is sort of what they do here. Mark Ruffalo plays a sperm donor is brought back into the lives of the kids he, uh, fathered, and proceeds to turn things upside down, so to speak. I have to say, even though they Southern California boho thing started to wear on me (the singing Joni Mitchell scene is particularly egregious) I did think the performances were all good, particularly Ruffalo, and Annette Benning and Julianne Moore as the couple, who just made it seem that they were an actual long time couple. Very lived-in, so to speak. Although a few plotpoints and perhaps the end don't ring quite true to me, all in all this was a nice little movie. But nothing to me, to lose your mind over.


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