Monday, January 07, 2008

Weekend Movie Roundup

In between watching football games this weekend, I spent as much time in front of the tv as possible. It was damn fantastic to get to stay home all, well, almost all weekend and just rest. Long story short, I watched 3 movies this weekend, and for the sake of brevity, they will not be full reviews, but just quick impressions.

First up was the critically acclaimed Knocked Up. If you're into movies about morons sitting around telling extremely low brow "jokes", then this is the movie for you. Unfortunately I'm not into that type of movie and so I found it quite tedious and juvenile. It did have some moments of humor and even some heart, so it wasn't a total loss. I really think that the actors that played main character Katherine Heigl's (she's the one who got knocked up) sister and brother in law stole the show. Hold on while I look up their names - there we are - Leslie Mann, who (or is it whom? I think whom is grammatically correct) you may have seen in Big Daddy and Paul Rudd, who looked familiar but I couldn't tell you where I've seen him before.

Anyway, to give you an example of one of the few funny scenes, Leslie Mann suspects Paul Rudd has been cheating on her since he's been giving her hard to believe stories about where he's going. And so she buys some spyware for her computer to monitor his email. She uncovers the address of a place he is going to be one night which conflicts with the story he tells her. She busts into the house to find he's in the middle of a fantasy baseball draft and he admits that he has been lying to her because he needed some time away from her with the guys. And the movie is all downhill from there folks. Oh, and the one other thing it has going for it is the false hope it gives to dorks that under the right circumstances, and with enough alcohol, you might be able to score with a babe. I give this one 400,002 stars out of a possible one million. That's a little below average for those of you who struggle with math.

Next up was Rush Hour 3. Having enjoyed the first two movies, I ignored the bad reviews and watched this mess. Rush Hour 3 is just bad. Chris Tucker is more annoying than ever. The story is very disjointed - almost like an adult film in that it is just a collection of scenes cobbled together with just enough story to almost make sense. Except instead of sex scenes, it was Jackie Chan action scenes and annoying Chris Tucker "comedy" scenes which, by the way, all had the feel of being ad libbed. And having seen the outtakes of all 3 movies, I'm convinced that Tucker ad libs everything because he is incapable of remembering and/or pronouncing his lines. The movie is mercifully short though - approximately an hour and fifteen minutes - capped off by and abrupt ending that left me saying "that's it?" Avoid this movie.

Saving the best for last, I picked up a copy of Road To Perdition for $6.99. And just yesterday I saw it advertised for $4.99 at Circuit City, so the ban on them will be lifted long enough for all of you to go pick up a copy. I'd seen this movie before and remembered liking it, but after watching it again realized I really didn't remember much of it. That being said, it is a wonderful movie. Tom Hanks is a 30's era hit man employed by the oddly kindly old mob boss played by Paul Newman. I don't want to make this a plot summary rather than a review, so all I'm going to tell you about the rest of the plot is that Tom Hanks and his son end up on the run while Paul Newman's crazy son Daniel Craig - who you might remember as James Bond.

And based on that much, you might think this is an action packed thriller, but it's a slow paced, cerebral movie focusing on the relationship between Hanks and his son. Hanks wants a better life for his son, but as things move on, it looks like his son is destined to follow in his footsteps and turn to a life of crime. The acting is excellent all around, and Jude Law also has a nice little role - lending his talents to the Hanks and son manhunt. The ambiance is wonderful, and I really felt that the music was poignant yet understated. The whole thing was very well done and manages to tug on the heartstrings at times. Road To Perdition gets a solid 88/100.
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