Micmacs à tire-larigot (2009) review
I’m an adherent of the “auteur theory,” at least to the extent that I think certain directors can be generally relied upon to deliver films worth watching. Michael Haneke, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, etc.—they may not always hit a home run, but their successes outweigh their failures by a wide margin. Micmacs à tire-larigot caught my eye because it was directed by...
Get Him to the Greek (2010) review
15 minutes into the film, I was seriously disliking Get Him to the Greek: the humour was forced, the characters cardboard, even the basic premise was tired (My Favourite Year, anyone?). Gradually and grudgingly, the film earned back some of my respect. Then it lost it again. Then regained it. Then lost it. And so on. The final grade? ”Satisfactory,” aka “Meh.”...
Jonah Hex (2010) review
Perhaps my natural contrarian nature affected my judgement, but I didn’t think Jonah Hex was as bad as almost every review indicated it would be. Then again, I like Westerns, even quirky, murky, herky-jerky, weird fantasy-science fictiony Westerns. Like Jonah Hex. Don’t mistake this for an all-out endorsement of Jonah Hex, however. As I frequently tell my film classes, form and...
Toy Story 3 (2010) review
Theatrical animation, with a few exceptions, has always been, if not “aimed” at a mass audience, at least constructed to be “acceptable” to adults as well as children. Unlike many television cartoons, scheduled in time slots in which the viewership was predictably juvenile, theatrical cartoons (shorts in the old days, and features then and now) usually relied upon a mixed...
Just for the Record (2010) review
I was looking forward to seeing this mockumentary about the ill-starred production of a British indie film. The cast was solid (Ric Mayall, Danny Dyer, Craig Fairbrass, TV veteran Billy Murray, Playboy veteran Victoria Silvstedt) and the premise had promise (hehe). But promising premise or not, Just for the Record elicited scanty smiles at the most, sprinkled sparsely amidst...
Ondine (2009) review
Ondine, which opens this week in “limited release” in the USA, is a “small” film in some ways, despite the presence of Colin Farrell in the lead and Neil Jordan behind the cameras. An Irish “fairy tale” of sorts, it’s basically a three-character film (with a handful of supporting players and anonymous extras) about a fisherman who rescues a beautiful...