Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jeff’s Rental Reviews (x 5)

Greetings moviegoers! Here it is, another Rental Review… made possible by Jeff’s Blockbuster Rewards membership. You know the drill; eerily similar to my regular movie reviews except in an abbreviated, rapid-fire style.

He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)
Emily was sick. This was my best attempt at doing something thoughtful. It was as expected, a generic chick flick. What’s it got going for it? It’s cast. Sure that’s an impressive collection of actors but no one can tell me that Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly and crew are having trouble finding a dude.

Verdict:
2 Schaibles




Valkyrie (2008)
This is the perfect movie to pair with Defiance if you’re looking for mediocre WWII-themed double-feature one afternoon. The two are pretty similar… right down to the boring feature protagonists. These are not characters in a drama, they’re saintly warriors who suppress the evil doers with zero internal conflict. With that in mind, both films earn identical ratings.

Verdict:
2 Schaibles




Taken (2009)
Your run-of-the-mill action-laced, ticking-clock thriller, Taken stars Liam Neeson as a retired “preventer,” who has 96 hours to track down his teenage daughter after she’s kidnapped in Europe by sex traffickers. Taken’s bizarre mix of father-daughter sentimentality and ass-kicking violence make an odd pairing. While the action is engaging and the film was briskly paced, there were several moments of unintentional comedy (lousy dialogue) and the ending completely lost its treading.

Verdict:
2 Schaibles




The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Despite the glut of fog machines, glowing spheres and TV actors (Don Draper? Coach Taylor?!?), a good portion of this remake is unintentional comedy. I like the eco-friendly message but the last 15 minutes play out like a hurried concession to the audience’s need for a happy ending.

Verdict:

1 ½ Schaible




and a retro cut…

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
A selection from the middle (non new-release), Boys Don’t Cry is based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, a trans man who was raped and murdered by his male friends. Hilary Swank won the 1999 Academy Award for her performance and it’s easy to see why. She was excellent. It’s not the most depressing movie I’ve ever seen (nominees: Revolutionary Road, Requiem for a Dream, An Inconvenient Truth) but it’s up there.

Verdict:

3 ½ Schaibles





You may have noticed that I’ve added a complete list of my movie reviews on the right side. Of course, those of you who only visit my blog through Google Reader won’t. Shame on you; you’re missing part of the experience.

Anyways, I thought this would add credibility (hopefully) to my reviews. You can put them in context. Or you can make sure I don’t just hand out the Steve Sears 3 Star rating to every movie I see.

Editorial Note: While I may review old movies (like Boys Don’t Cry) I’m not going to include them in this list… a movie should be reviewed during the period of its release. It’s a contextual thing.

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