October 6, 2008

Weekend in Reviews

It's been a few weeks since I posted one of these, mostly because it's been a few weeks since I watched anything other than The West Wing over the weekend. But this weekend I finally watched some movies (although, I watched The West Wing too) and have something to report.

Eagle Eye - Boiling the plot down to it's most basic elements, here's what happens: the government builds a super computer with access to every form of information in the world and gives it the power to "think." The computer goes rogue when the President fails to follow a recommendation from her (the computer is a her), so she decides to kill everyone in the line of succession up to the Secretary of defense because he agreed with her, so obviously, he should be the new President. She enlists the help of a bunch of people but specifically Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan. In the end, her plot is foiled. It was fairly predictable and the ending seemed incredibly tacked-on but overall, it was pretty fun to watch. A nice, entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - I thought it should have been funnier than it was. There were a lot of funny people in it, there were a number of things about it that were almost really funny, but they just weren't getting all the way there for me. Maybe I'm among the many, many people who are feeling a bit burnt out on the Apatow oeuvre and that affected my enjoyment? Anyway, Mila Kunis was delightful and I always love Kristen Bell, even Jason Segel was mostly good...so I'm not sure where the problem was exactly. Still, it was a serviceable romantic comedy with a few genuinely great moments. I found the dinner scene with Jason, Mila, Kristen and Russell Brand particularly enjoyable to watch. I think I found it especially funny having seen Pulse (the Kristen Bell movie they were so clearly skewering). It was ok, but I'm glad I waited for the DVD.

Smokin' Aces - I'd already seen this one in the theater the weekend it came out. I remembered it being more horrifyingly violent than I found it upon second viewing. Of course, the first time I watched it was immediately after seeing The Departed, so perhaps I was just on violence overload that day. Anyway, this time I still thought it was violent but there was less death than I remembered. I sort of thought everyone ended up dead but that wasn't really the case. The cameos seemed even more fleeting this time around but I still loved all of them - Matthew Fox and Jason Bateman were particularly hilarious but Ben Affleck and Peter Berg were fun to watch as well. What was really notable this time was how seriously strung-out Jeremy Piven's Buddy Israel was. In a movie that is brimming with cheese and over-the-top violence, he turned in a really dramatic performance that would have been almost touching were it not for the fact that the character was a large and despicable piece of shit.

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