Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PCP on DVD - 18 more short reviews of 2010 films

Ok, here’s the final backlog cleansing of films from prior to the current year.  These 18 films are from 2010, and once I get these out of the way I can go back to longer reviews of actually current films that are new to DVD or in theaters.  Going forward, if I catch an older film on DVD, I will just do a quick blurb review like this as part of a post on current movies.  I’m not gonna let the backlog ever stack up like this again.  So without further ado, here are my thoughts on 18 films from August to December of last year that I’ve caught on DVD recently.  They’re sorted for your convenience by month of release to theaters, so near the end of the post are the films that came out in December and are newer to DVD.

The Switch.  My rating:  5 out of 10.  Another mediocre comedy, nothing spectacular, which is disappointing considering how funny Jason Bateman can be.  Here he’s just neurotic and annoying.

The Other Guys.  My rating:  7 out of 10.  Half buddy comedy, half spoof of buddy comedies, this film is funny and entertaining.  Better than some of the recent other films from Will Ferrell lately.

Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps.  My rating:  6 out of 10.  Considering that a) the original is a classic and b) this film could have been a much better commentary on the current economy we live in, this film comes away as a disappointment.  It’s not terrible, it just comes nowhere close to living up to the original.

Buried.  My rating:  8 out of 10.  Ryan Reynolds steps up and shows he actually can act.  Very Hitchcock-ian film, bleak and depressing but extremely claustrophobic and suspenseful.

Grown Ups.  My rating:  6 out of 10.  Adam Sandler seems to be phoning it in lately, making films with his buddies that are nowhere near as good as his classics like Happy Gilmore or Billy Madison.  Has some funny moments but could have been better.

The rest of the backlog is after the jump

Life As We Know It.  My rating:  6 out of 10.  Another film that has its good touching moments and also a little comedy, but it’s also completely predictable, like most romantic comedies are.  Nothing new here.

Paranormal Activity 2.  My rating:  6 out of 10.  More of a prequel to the first one than a sequel, the film gives some back story to what the ghost was from the first film, but doesn’t break any new ground really, it’s more of the same stuff from the first movie, which was better.

Conviction.  My rating:  7 out of 10.  Great performances from Sam Rockwell and Hillary Swank, based on a true story.  If it wasn’t for the great acting of the cast, this film would be a total snore, as it’s screenplay is kind of dull and boring, and the dialogue isn’t that great either.

Faster.  My rating:  7 out of 10.  The Rock stars in this film that is a straightforward revenge action flick.  No fancy CGI, no fake stunts, just straightforward old-school 70’s style action with the Rock wielding a huge caliber hand cannon.  It excels at what it does, but if those types of films aren’t your thing, then don’t waste your time.  Also, though this may interest only me, 2 Lost vets are in this movie:  Mr. Eko and Shannon both make appearances.

Due Date.  My rating:  5 out of 10.  It has its moments, but it’s not as funny as it easily could and should have been.  Also, there’s a few huge gaps in the film where something happens that would just not happen in the real world, most notably that although Downey gets pulled off a plane, his bags are allowed to continue on the flight.  That would never happen in today’s post 9/11 world.

Unstoppable.  My rating:  7 out of 10.  Yet another team-up from director Tony Scott and star Denzel Washington (previous outings:  Déjà vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, Man on Fire, & Crimson Tide), this film delivers on the action and suspense just like the others the two have collaborated on.  A decent thrill ride, but not spectacular.  Watch it if you really like Denzel.

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1.  My rating:  9 out of 10.  The end of the long series is off to a great start.  Although a lot of stuff has to be cut from the books (due to their sheer mass) the film does a good job of running smoothly, and it is in fact more taut and smooth than the prior outings in the series.  I’m looking forward to watching part 2.

Love & Other Drugs.  My rating:  8 out of 10.  Entertaining love drama that will pull at your heartstrings.  Well acted by Anne Hathaway & Jake Gyllenhaal.

How Do You Know.  My rating:  4 out of 10.  How do you know to avoid bad movies like this?  Simple, learn from the reviews of films like this by other people, like me.  The normally charming Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, & Reese Witherspoon all misstep huge with this film.  It’s not particularly funny, and it just falls flat.

TRON:  Legacy.  My rating:  8 out of 10.  Visually stunning, especially on Blu-ray on a huge TV, with an awesome soundtrack by Daft Punk.  The effects and graphics in this film are amazing.  Too bad the acting is often wooden.  Still, a cool sequel to an 80s classic.

The Chronicles of Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  My rating:  7 out of 10.  Not as good as the first in the series, but still a decent LOTR lite.  Mostly gone from this film are the two older children, so it focuses on Lucy & Edmund, and their annoying cousin Eustace.  In the book series, Eustace is supposed to be the main character of the next one, if he’s still as annoying as he was here, I’ll pass if they ever make that into a movie.

The Tourist.  My rating:  7 out of 10.  I’ll say this about the film, it keeps you guessing.  It’s entertaining, but not worthy of the Golden Globe best picture nomination it somehow managed to pick up last year. 

The Fighter.  My rating:  10 out of 10.  Not much to say that hasn’t been said already about this real life Rocky film.  It’s filled with phenomenal acting, especially from Christian Bale.  That guy truly is a chameleon on the screen, disappearing into each role he takes on in his career.  Great performances also from Wahlberg & Amy Adams.  Outstanding film and a great inspiring true story.

Ok so now that I’m caught up to 2011, from now on any time I catch an older film on DVD I’ll throw a short review on it into the end of a longer review from a current film.  My backlog is now down to 13 movies, all from 2011 that I’ll be reviewing in batches shortly, and I’ll be back to longer length reviews as well.  Thanks for dropping by!

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