Friday, November 12, 2010

Quick DVD Reviews

The Losers
This movie is big, dumb and loud but I had a lot of fun. I had never read the comic book (my Losers are the WW2-based from the 70s nicely drawn by John Severin), but I had no idea what to expect. I really think that Jeffrey Dean Morgan has enough charisma to be a leading man and it was great to see Jason Patric hamming it up. I must day that I didn't feel that neither Zoe Saldana nor Chris Evans brought much to the table. It was instantly forgettable, but it was a fun ride. Grade: B-

Shutter Island
This one, one the other hand, disappointed me quite a bit. I actually like Leo. I don’t know why, but I’m usually ‘with him’ in most movies, even in lesser movies like Blood Diamond. He's become a decent everyman. The story here is just too loopy, and I’m rarely a fan of the unreliable narrator, as it makes me feel detached from the plot. I do dig Mark Ruffalo, though, and he works well as a moral compass. There were also some decent set pieces, but it really didn’t feel like a Scorcese movie. It was a paint by numbers thriller that never quite thrilled me. Grade: B-

The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist
This one came highly recommended, and I was anxious to see some more Euro Crime after having so much fun with Rome Armed to the Teeth. Maurizio Merli can't really be accused of having too much range as an actor, but as a 'lead with the first' kind of cop, he's terrific. In fact, his punches are so powerful that people seem to be flying away even before he lands them. This is a fun romp, but Thomas Milian and John Saxon are both given short shrift in terms of screen time, and it feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. Grade: B

Kick Ass
This one exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. As you likely know, I am a big superhero guy, but even I'm getting burnt out on this kind of movie. I went into it thinking it would be another ironic 'deconstructing the superhero' kind of movie. The cast is quite strong, I think Aaron Johnson has a nice career in front of him. Nicholas Cage was actually just fine. There are some good laughs and some really over the top action sequences with terrific choreography. Everyone seemed to be in on the joke, as this movie didn't take itself too seriously. Good stuff. Grade: B+

They Met in Bombay
TCM screened this Clark Cable/Rosalind Russel film from 1941 a couple of months ago. I thought I was in for a fun diamond heist flick with some witty back and forth dialogue between the leads. That's part of it, but when Gable is forced to go into disguised as a Canadian soldier, it actually turns into a war-time melodrama. I can't think of another film with such an incredible tonal shift. Cable is as charming as every, but Russell seemed a half-step behind throughout the film. It's not really notable on any level, except perhaps for Peter Lorre fans. He makes an all too brief appearance as a Chinese (yes, complete with terrible eye make-up) ship's captain.

No comments: