April 11, 2011
Weekend In Reviews
Tangled - Adorable. A very standard fairy tale with a sense of humor, wit, heart and nuance. The voice actors were incredibly expressive and fun and the story was sweet and engaging. The things that made it enjoyable for adult viewers weren't pop-culture-y or racy they were asides or the way a line was delivered. I thought this movie was a joy from start to finish.
How To Train Your Dragon - Another wonderful animated movie that was filled with heart and whimsy and joy. A cute story about a tough bunch of vikings living a tough life in a tough place and the one scrawny boy who changes everything. Again, filled with wonderful voice acting that, combined with the story and lovely animation, creates a movie that's well worth seeing at any age.
Morning Glory - The trailer for this movie did not pique my interest in the least as it seemed to be a "wacky" romcom where Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton start out hating each other and then fall in love. Turns out that isn't what it's about at all. In fact, it's really about Rachel McAdams' character turning a struggling morning show into a success despite everyone and everything working against her.
I like McAdams very much in everything and she is as winning here as ever. She is funny and spastic and ridiculous and sad. She comes off as the sort you want to root for and the person you feel like at your most vulnerable and stressed. There is a romantic element to the story but it isn't the focus in a way that makes this a romcom. It's rather a piece of the larger picture about what it is that makes a person feel truly successful. I believe I may need to own this charming film for frequent rewatching.
Nikita - You may recall that I watched the pilot back in the fall and felt rather lukewarm on the whole affair. I had intended to give the second episode a gander in case the things I didn't dig about it were caused by the exposition-heavy nature of pilots. But it started to pile up on my DVR and after a few weeks I decided that I didn't have the time or energy necessary to care. I deleted the entire backlog and went about my life. Last week I decided to peek in on it and see if I was missing anything and as it turns out, I have been. It is deliciously action-soaparific and it perfectly fills the void that the loss of Alias left in my life.
I immediately located the entire season on Amazon On Demand and began downloading them to my TiVo but due to an impossibly crappy wireless router, the download time per episode is approximately the same as the amount of time it would take me to fly the entire cast in from Toronto and have them act it out in my living room. I made it through only the first 7 episodes yesterday and look forward to having at least a few more to savor tonight.
Melinda Clarke is magnificently unsettling as Amanda - in my opinion the scariest member of Division. I mean, Xander Berkeley's Percy is certainly nothing to sneeze at but I really think Amanda could take out all of division without breaking a sweat, wrinkling her dress or raising her voice. At seven eps in, I'm ready for Alex and, frankly, everyone else to spend a little less time in the grey division bunker and a little more time doing things outside but I get that it's a process. And really none of that matters because what's really awesome to watch is the Michael/Nikita relationship. Look, I think Shane West's acting range goes from here to NOWHERE but it works here as a spy whose sense of loyalty is being pulled in two directions and who seriously wants to spend some quality naked time with a lady he's supposed to kill. Damn, is it 5 o'clock yet? I need to get home and watch more Nikita!