Sunday, 31 July 2011

Movie Night - Blu Ray Reviews

For time immemorial, well at least the past 10 years the lads & I have a movie night. In addition of course to cinema trips. Usually its a Saturday but once on a blue moon Mammy gets a life and it's Friday instead. That day can be alternated, the ritual not so much. 

It involves a duvet, lights out, 3 films, my weight in popcorn and the lads combined weight in Sweeties. I should point out if the ISPCC happen to be reading that now the boys are fully fledged teens they alternate who gets under the duvet. Not minding being in with their Mammy but with each other?! 'Ghaawwwd, he'll be touching off me an' everything!'

Anywho, this Saturday it was the turn of 3 movies we'd each heard a bit about:-

The Good
The Lincoln Lawyer is an adaptation of a Michael Connelly novel. Now we all know how I feel about adaptations but this had come recommended from the big Bro so we gave it a looksie. McConaughey has the slick slightly douchey lawyer role downpat at this stage, think A Time to Kill and in this sepia toned thriller he doesn't disappoint. The film centres on himself, a defence attorney called in to defend a Beverly Hills playboy (Ryan Phillipe) on what appears to be a simple GBH. But this is Michael Connelly we're talking about, it was never going to be simple. There are twists, several big twists. When revelations turn the danger to McConaughey's personal life something needs to be done. 

All in all this is a really enjoyable film, not least brought along by a great supporting cast, Marisa Tomei and William H Macy to name but two. There's enough happening to keep you watching and even one or two heart racing minutes. To me though the shocks and twists were a little predictable and the inevitable outcome seemed to lack punch. Maybe because I saw echoes of Primal Fear that just weren't realised. I already have this novel downloaded to the kindle and have an inkling I'll find the missing oomph there. 

The Great
Source Code is one of the most enjoyable films I've seen for a while. A 21st century Groundhog Day with subtle undertones, conspiracy, intrigue and altered states of conciousness. Jake Gyllenhaal, who played a similar role in Brothers, that of a dutiful if affected soldier, makes this movie his own. Based on a premise not too unlike Inception with accompanying brain freeze moments, this movie sucks you in and takes you along for the slick, fast paced and wholly engrossing 8 minutes. Again and again. From the opening scenes showing Chicago in her best light to the closing moments where you realise this film is even cleverer than you initially thought, I loved it. 
The only explanation for this movie flying so far below our radar is that it's trailer just didn't do it justice. Only a second directorial time out for Duncan Jones, this sci-fi thriller has really put him on Hollywood's map and now I know to look out for him. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up. 

& the downright Ugly

Admittedly this was the choice of the elder teen, wah? he's a teenage boy. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Nothing to do with the fact that the Farrelly brothers can be seriously funny. Always disgusting but often hilarious. Kingpin being one of the comedic highlights not to mention There's Something about Mary anyone? I'm not sure when or how but the Farrelly brothers have sprained their collective funny bone. 

Owen Wilson is usually a safe bet for laughs and genuine comedic timing but in this he plays a pasty poindexter far too convincingly for my liking. Pouting his lips and waiting for Jason Sudeikis (That dude that presented the awards that I'd never seen before) to deliver his contrived lines. In fairness Sudeikis has screen presence and good timing but he needs to make better script choices. This all just felt too forced and nothing smothers comedy quicker than forced laughter. The general pitch of this film is that these suburban middle aged men are becoming restless at home and their beleaguered wives (Fischer & Applegate) on the advice of a Psychologist grant them a Hall Pass from their marriages for one week. Hilarity should have ensued, all the elements are there but, to me, this was such a let down. Overacted and under delivered.   

Yes there are one or two involuntary, shocked laughs. This IS the Farrelly Brothers. But all in all it's contrived and self indulgent. Owen, how could you? Considering the nudity and toilet humour even the teen boys didn't rate this one. Now that's saying something. 
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