February 20, 2007

Capsule Reviews

Time for small reviews. I heart small reviews.

Monster House (2006, dir. Kenan) - At first I felt that Monster House was really strange. The animation looked really odd, like Flushed Away with it's CGI-made-to-look-like-claymation but not as, er, claymayey (wtf?) And it was obvious that this was meant to be 3D, what with crazy things flying at the screen (which reminds me, I promise to get a Cinema of the Absurd entry up soon!!!) But after a while I got into the vibe. The characters were great. Maggie Gyllenhaal does great voice work, y'all. And there were some great setpieces in there, it felt like a cousin of Toy Story. Nice stuff all round and that makes it a year where I really like all three Best Animated Feature nominees. B+

Friends with Money (2006, dir. Holofcener) - Okay, so here's something I don't admit to very often, but I sort of really dislike Fellinni's La Dolce Vita. I think it's a terribly boring exercise in showing how wonderful being rich is. Friends with Money is sort of similar, in that it just shows rich being rich except this time one of their friends IS POOR! *gasp* She gets samples from makeup counters instead of spending $75 on a proper jar of useless crap. There's some nice stuff there, but ultimately it doesn't have enough to say and that point is proven by the fact that the film isn't even 80 minutes long. It never lifts off. Catherine Keener is great though. C+

Shut Up & Sing (2006, dir. Koppel & Peck) - Y'all know my affection for Dixie Chicks leadsinger Natalie Maines. It makes me sad to know that this fabulous documentary was ignored for the most part. I suppose people like to think they can reduce the temperature of Earth. Either way, Shut Up & Sing is a great great film. Those idiotic redneck assholes still don't get it, and while it's not exactly fun seeing the war in Iraq descent into lunacy, watching this film just can't help but put a cheshire car grin on my face. Natalie For President, indeed. A-

Lastly, I'm not sure how many of you guys read the delightful six things while it was in service, but the writer of that blog, a chap by the name of par3128 who is a fellow Victorian, sent me a copy of Shut Up & Sing and, well, it made my week. Thank you Par! You're awesome. It was in my DVD player five minutes after I retrieved it from the letterbox. I exploded on the inside.


par3182 said...

you're very welcome; so glad you loved it

Maria said...

Hi there! I was looking for someone elses blog and accidentally came across your blog and found we have two things in common! We both live in Portia de Rossi's hometown AND we both love movies.. and reviewing them! My blog isn't soley about movies.. I'm new to blogging, but I'm **right into it** and loving it. I am a new Weight Watchers member so I talk about that and take photo's of the food I cook sometimes ..or write about eating-out experiences..but I also love to write a bit about a film if I've just seen it. The last two films I mentioned in my blog were Music and Lyrics and Marie Antoinette. I think I will bookmark your page as I enjoy reading reviews. Good to find a local person while blogging! Come visit my blog too, you're very welcome! I agree, Catherine Keener is an amazing actress, I always enjoy watching her. I loved her in Being John Malkovich.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I don't find many people from Portia De Rossi's home town on here. How interesting. I'll definitely drop by.

(I love saying Portia de Rossi's home town... for some reason.)

adam k. said...

I definitely meant to see Shut Up & Sing in theaters (it was here), but I missed it for whatever reason. Oh well.

I gave Friends with Money a B- cause I remember thinking it was well done enough for what it was. It didn't feel "mediocre" per se (that's what I consider C range films to be)... just incredibly slight and inconsequential. But good for what it was. Very low B-.

RC said...

i totally agree on all your monster house thoughts.

it was wierd on dvd because of the 3-d angle that was missing, but clearly present...plus the clay-cgi look was wierd.

fun story for sure...my favorite part is the uvula scnees.

Kamikaze Camel said...

"Oooh, it's a girl house!"