Saturday, August 29, 2009

Smile for the camera?

Smile Pretty (2009, Harry Bromley Davenport) - 87 min.
I picked this one up because it stars Scout Taylor Compton and Halloween II just came out, so I wanted to see if Miss Compton can do more than scream.  As it turns out, she should stick to the screaming.  Smile Pretty is just not a good movie.  The idea behind the film was a good one (young adults who had all been sexually abused as children coming together and using each other), but the directing and acting kind of killed it.  The film felt like it had been directed by a mediocre film student; transitions were hokey and predictable, and the camera work was sloppy.  The acting wasn't awful, but it wasn't of the caliber that this kind of story needs in order to make it interesting.
This wasn't even one of those movies that's so bad it's entertaining, you just have to sit there and wallow in the awful.  I'd avoid it at all costs.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beware the Bear Jew!

Inglourious Basterds (2009, Quentin Tarantino) - 153 min. - 8/10 

When watching Inglourious Basterds, one can definitely tell that it's a Quentin Tarantino flick; it's very stylized and violent, the characters are quite unique, and, of course, the movie is almost three hours long.  Not once, however, did I find myself bored and wondering when the movie would end. Inglourious Basterds flows in a manner similar to Jackie Brown (1997): lagging at times, but spattered with acts of extreme violence.  This definitely isn't Tarantino's greatest film, but it's still quite spectacular.  

My only complaints are about the score and a few scenes where Tarantino let Eli Roth talk too much.  Usually, I absolutely adore the music Tarantino picks to accompany his films, but I was a bit disappointed at times by the Inglourious Basterds score.  I have never heard Tarantino reuse songs for his films, but he used three or four songs in Inglourious Basterds that he had previously used in Kill Bill (2003).  This sort of took me out of the movie and made me think of Kill Bill instead.  As for my gripe about Eli Roth, he's just not a very good actor and shouldn't be allowed to dominate the screen.

Here's my ranking of Tarantino's most famous films:
1. Pulp Fiction (1994) - 10/10
2. Kill Bill (2003) - 9/10
3. Resevoir Dogs (1992) - 8/10
4. Inglourious Basterds (2009) - 8/10
5. Death Proof (2007) - 6/10
6. Jackie Brown (1997) - 6/10

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crazies Running Motels

Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2009, Eric Bross) - 86 min.

Eh, Vacancy 2 was okay.  It provided an interesting look into the origins of the villains from Vacancy (2007), but was a pretty awful movie overall.  Good idea, bad execution.  Maybe worth watching if you can catch it on TV.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

Beetlejuice (1988, Tim Burton) - 92 min. - 8/10

Today at work a co-worker popped the Tim Burton flick, Beetlejuice, into the Blu-Ray player. This prompted me to start blabbering about what I remembered of the Beetlejuice cartoon.  Being the somewhat sick and twisted person that I am, it's no surprise that I loved the Beetlejuice cartoon as a kid.  I'm convinced that my mom loved watching the cartoon with me.  She says I'm lying.  I think she's just in denial.

Anyways, this is such a great movie.  Michael Keaton did a wonderful job as the infamous Beetlejuice, and Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin were great as the unfortunate ghost couple.  My favorite scene is the dinner scene in which Lydia's parents and guests are possessed and made to dance and sing to the Day-O Banana Boat Song.  This isn't Tim Burton's best work, but that's like saying Jaws isn't Steven Spielberg's best; it's still a spectacular movie.