the wonderful world of veena.

25 September 2013

movie reviews: end-of-summer edition.

There's been a lot of movie-watching happening recently, so I figured it was easier to fill you in on all of them at once. So here goes.

The Heat. This was Karisma's choice when the nieces came to visit, and it was pretty hilarious. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy make quite the comedic team, and it was just the right combination of funny and slightly serious to keep us all entertained. And - best of all when dealing with comedies - it didn't try to be any more than it was and stayed under 2 hours. In my books, that's a win-win. And after watching Melissa McCarthy as Sookie all those years ago on Gilmore Girls, I'm happy to see her starting to get some real recognition for her comedic talents [which reminds me that I still need to see Bridesmaids].

Grown-Ups 2. This one was Sunjana's pick during Niece Week. Having not seen / heard of the first one, I had no idea what to expect going into it, and I was pretty entertained for its duration. I was happy to see Adam Sandler in a non-annoying role, and the feud the "grown-ups" had with a local frat was pretty entertaining. It was probably 20 minutes too long, but otherwise I enjoyed it.

Fruitvale Station. This was my pick during Niece Week. I hadn't heard anything about Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old who was gunned down by a transit cop in Oakland on New Year 2009, until I read reviews of this movie. Grant is played by Michael B Jordan of Friday Night Lights and The Wire fame, and I think he did a great job making the character human. He's already generating a lot of awards buzz for his performance, and I definitely think he's deserving of the praise. The movie was quite intense, especially the climax, but I thought it was done really well and didn't try to dramatize the story too much. Definitely one to see if you want a more serious movie.

The Way Way Back. One of the many coming-of-age stories that are releasing this year. I wanted to see a movie at the renovated Ridgeway Four theater in east Memphis, and this one was playing, so off we set. I - as per usual - did not know anything about it except that it had Steve Carrell. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main character, Duncan, was great, as was the overgrown man-child who is the manager of the water park [I can't remember other character names right now]. And Steve Carrell was phenomenal. His character isn't necessarily very likable, and although it took me some time to adjust to not liking him, he did a great job in the role. Great movie, didn't try to be more than what it was, and not too long and overly dramatic. Go see it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. My brother rented this on iTunes a few months ago and then started quoting it to me and was dumbfounded when I didn't respond. He'd heard me mention the book, so he assumed I had seen the film as well. When I said I hadn't, he re-rented it so I could watch it. And it was awesome. I loved the book when I read it nearly 7 years ago, and I loved the movie just as much. It is directed by Stephen Chbosky, the author of the book, so it is true to his vision, which I loved. I only wish all the authors of my favourite books had the talent to adapt their novels to the big screen. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and especially Ezra Miller [with great appearances by Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, and Mae Whitman]. I loved how simply and tastefully Chbosky keps the movie, and it's definitely one I'll be owning and rewatching in the future.

Elysium. The brother, father, and I watched this one when we were down in Aruba at the end of August. I had seen a few previews for it when we had gone to other movies during the summer, and I thought it looked interesting. I generally like Matt Damon's movies, and Jodie Foster is an amazing actress, so we decided to give it a go. And it was definitely worth seeing. It's set in a futuristic Los Angeles where earth is in shreds and the 1% live on a closed-off space station that orbits Earth. What scared me the most is that it didn't seem like something that would happen way off in the future. Matt Damon was excellent in his role as a factory worker in LA who gets exposed to intense radiation and will only survive if he can get onto the space station, and Jodie Foster was pretty good as the "Secretary of Defense" whose job it is to keep outsiders off the pristine floating world. And Diego Luna was in it! I wasn't expecting him, so that was a nice surprise. Definitely one worth seeing.

Others I want to see:

  • Lee Daniels' The Butler
  • The Spectacular Now
  • Runner Runner
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
And there you have it, more movies watched in the last 3 months than probably in the last 3 years of my life.
woo pig.

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