Mini Movie Reviews

Movies I have seen recently that deserve a review but I’m too lazy to write a proper one.

Napolean Dynamite
This movie is about a quirky nerd and the tries and tries of his strange family. Lots of stop-start, slow humour. If you like to laugh at the awkward and the bizarre, or if you have a bit of old fashioned rooting for the underdog in you, this movie is a lot of fun. Not a lot happens, but it still manages to move you. Watch it with a highbrowed innercity SO.

In my Father’s Den
A new zealand film about a family with good people but a lot of bad shit has gone down. Your usual heart to heart drama. Very moving performances from the lead actors Matthew MacFayden and Emily Barclay, who I believe is only 15 in this movie. Miranda Otto is also in it and plays her part very well. I thought overall the concept was a tiny bit ridiculous, and it was almost marred by flashback scenes showing the characters in the as 80’s punk rockers. These scenes, although only 10 minutes of the movie, almost eclipse everything else in rawness. Another great movie to watch with your innercity SO, or even by yourself.

Team America – World Police
This movie completely shies away from being what it should have been all about – making fun of a country, culture and president that has gone mad with power. Instead, its bite is so weak I felt it was making fun of the war only to support it in a joking way. It is a strange time when we wonder whether our satire is really making fun of the opponents of the mainstream. A funny movie, with some gold moments and gold lines. See it with mates drunk. Definately leave your innercity SO at home.

Polar Express
It was purely masochistic to see this movie because Tom Hanks plays like almost every character and on my list of people I hope to kill in my sleep… well he’s on that list. And he delivers exactly what you would expect – a ridiculous performance so ladden with ham that you would swear it was your hotmail inbox.

The other reason I saw this film was to see these computer effects. Toy Story etc. had cute characters, they were not human beings and we were not expected to feel for them. They didn’t display complex emotions. Yet this film, although a kids film, goes to that level. I was very curious to see whether they could pull it off and I would have to say that at this stage, the technology just isn’t there. I wasn’t moved and I never felt that I was looking at real characters, or that I should really care that much. Its just too fresh. What it does present is a very scary view of the future, where 3, 5, 10 years down the track movies are made with no human actors. Shot in 30 days in silicon valley. For someone who has a great love of movies, that is a scary new world. Already animated films are really getting quite ridiculous – when was the last kids film not animated? Harry Potter? Get real I think Hagrid is 3d animation.

About the film itself – the wild rollercoaster rides and fast pace make it a fun solid film. The morals a bit dubious (Santa is basically Jesus in this film) but most kids will enjoy it for what it is, eye candy. Take your child if your bored.

Bad Santa
What happens if you make a movie with Billy Bob Thorton make it horribly wrong? You get a horribly wrong film. Is child abuse “child abuse” if its not your kid? Well fuck yes it is and somehow it is made hilarious in this film but it really is the movie that should never have been made. Watch it with friends and then take a shower (one after another).

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism
Did you know that Fox viewers are far more likely to believe there is a link between Al-Qaeda and Suddam’s government? Did you know that Fox has has more than 80% Republican guests? Did you know that all Fox reporters retrieve daily memos saying how they are to handle key issues, such as John Kerry being a flip-flopper or looking French? Maybe you should see this documentary. It is extremely interesting and disturbing.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t ask the really tough questions – what changed in America to cause such a chanel to become popular (i.e. when did the truth become not a big deal)? How has Fox and other news channels influenced policy? What is the role of the Internet in the future of the media? What it does do is show a series of case studies demonstrating the way Fox has subverted democracy in America, and it makes a very good case. Its very entertaining even if couldn’t give a poo about America. A good solid documentary, watch it with your innercity friends over lattes’. Finish with a discussion of whether that last apostrophy was required.


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