Friday, January 25, 2008

Quick DVD Reviews

Starter for 10
This is a lovely little piece of British filmmaking. James McAvoy is getting all sorts of press for Atonement, which is great because his role here (and as the glue in Last King of Scotland) was greatly overlooked. I haven’t seen a decent coming of age tale in a long, long time. So many are either too light (just about any American teenage comedy of the past two decades) or too dark (If… comes to mind). This one strikes the perfect balance – it’s as bittersweet as your 20th year. Grade: A-

Hot Fuzz
Another British comedy but this one is much more broad and has all the subtlety of an Arsenal fan. Lots of good laughs, especially in the first half as we get some nice ‘fish out of water’ moments. The plot gets in the way a bit in the second- half, but it’s still better than 90% of the comedies produced. For all I know the overly long and ridiculous shootout at the end was a clever shot by shot remake of the overly long and ridiculous shootout at the end of Bad Boys 2 (I wouldn’t know – haven’t seen it), but the joke wore thin and it ended up feeling over long and ridiculous. Grade: B+

This one didn’t do it for me. Felt like gladiator porn. I watched it in bits and pieces over 3 nights, so that’s not a good sign. I did like a few of the shots – especially the heavily silhouette stuff. It would have worked better as a straight battle movie – without all of the mystic/mythical stuff and if they had used a better computer for Xerxes’ voice. Grade: D

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