Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Quick DVD Reviews

Zombieland
This was my second attempt to watch this film. The first time, my wife felt that the pizza she was eating and 'The Rules' segment didn't quite mix. We tried again on Halloween night, and it was a fun ride. Woody Harrelson is terrific, and the rest of the cast is very, very strong. That Breslin kid can really do no wrong. I must say that the 'big surprise' (I won't spoil it in case anyone has been in a cave longer than me) was probably the weakest part of the film for me. Overall, a really strong horror comedy - something that's tough to pull off. Grade: B+

Robin Hood
Lovely and Tedious. I wish there had been more focus on the Merry Men and the archery. When those elements were featured, I was totally sucked in. I wanted action and got some sort of political drama. I was also psyched to get my fill of Danny Huston, but he was hardly there and hidden behind a beard. Mark Strong continues to do his thing and he's referred to as 'the Andy Garcia guy' in our household. I swear, he's in 50% of the movies I watch lately. There's just not enough to keep a viewer engaged here, especially for well over two hours. Grade: C+

City Island
Speaking of that 'Andy Garcia guy'... I was very, very pleasantly surprised by the film. I wasn't sure what to expect other than it was some pseudo-indie focusing on a working class family in some exotic NYC locale. This film has a lot of heart, as well as a lot of laughs. Although there's a lot of yelling, it works much better in the quieter moments. Garcia, Marguiles and Watson are all terrific but Steve Strait really steals the show. An operatically ludicrous climax brings all of the elements together quite nicely. A very nice, little film. Grade: A-

Iron Man 2
As you may have guessed, I'm a big comic book fan. If you read my review from a couple of years ago, you'll know that I really loved the first one but this one really sucked. I had low expectations based on the stuff I'd heard. I was prepared for it to be dumber and louder, but I never expected to be bored. The fight at Tony's birthday party was an embarrassment for everyone involved. What does it say about the movie when I wish they'd spent more time on a the SHIELD agent played by Clark Gregg? Grade: C+

Comanche Station
The final of the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott films. It's not as interesting as some of the earlier ones, but there's still a lot to like. Scott is stoic and likable as always, and Claude Akins is terrific as the charming villain. He has a wonderful screen presence and an amazing voice. There is also good good humor scattered throughout, which adds a little bit of charm. The action is counterbalanced by a powerful coda that tugs on your heart strings, which is somewhat appropriate as the curtain closes on this era of the Hollywood western. Grade: B

2 comments:

MDG14450 said...

The Boetticher/Scott westerns are great, partly because of the supporting players like Akins.

Dan said...

Needless to say, Zombieland had me from the moment that one of the female characters (the older one? can't recall offhand -- haven't seen it in about a year, which is when an employee at the LCS I was then frequenting loaned me a bootleg disc) turned out to go by the name "Little Rock" ...