Thursday, March 29, 2012

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Gotta go back in time
Gil is a Hollywood screenwriter who is struggling to become a novelist.  He takes a trip to Paris with his fiancée Inez and her family.  One night on a midnight stroll, he inadvertently goes back in time to Paris of the 1920s where he meets Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and lots of other artists from that time period.  This is a great film, which is to be expected from Woody Allen.  The dialogue is sharp and laugh out loud funny.  A great concept film and easily the best romantic comedy sci-fi film of 2011.

Midnight in Paris takes me way back with 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdamsKathy Bates, and Michael Sheen,
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Metacritic: 81 out of 100

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pi (1998)

Just because you're paranoid...
Reclusive Max is a mathematician who sees mathematical patterns everywhere, is the sky, in the trees, even in the stock market (or so he thinks).  As he searches for patterns, his paranoia grows.  People seem to be watching him on the subway.  Shady corporate types try to strong arm info out of him.  This psychological thriller has been on my Netflix queue for awhile but that have just never watched.  Overall, I enjoyed it, although Aronofsky's films don't really bring joy in the truest sense.  They do challenge the viewer to think.

Pi racks up some impressive numbers with 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan)
Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Sean Gullette (Requiem for a Dream), Mark Margolis (Black Swan, The Wrestler) and Ben Shenkman (Blue Valentine, Requiem for a Dream)
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Metacritic: 72 out of 100

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kommandør Treholt & ninjatroppen (Norwegian Ninja) (2010)

Arne Treholt is the leader of a black ops ninja brigade in Norway.  The funny thing is that Arne Treholt was a real person in Norway during the Cold War era who was convicted of treason against Norway.  This film is a historical fictional film which spoofs the martial arts and espionages genres  There are some really funny moments.  There are also so slow and boring moments.  Overall, not a bad way to spend an hour and a half. 

Norwegian Ninja gets 3 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Thomas Cappelen Malling
Writer: Thomas Cappelen Malling
Starring: Mads Ousdal, Jon Øigarden, and Trond-Viggo Torgersen
Rotten Tomatoes: 37%
Metacritic: not reviewed

Sunday, March 18, 2012

OSS 117: Le Caire Nid d'Espions (OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies) (2006)

How's the veal stew?
French secret agent OSS 117 is dispatched to Cairo to investigate the murder of his colleague.  His local contact, Larmina aids his investigation.  A tale of covert ops and counter intel, this is a spoof of the spy film genre, in the vein of Austin Powers.  Created by the same team that brought us the Oscar winning The Artist, this film is good clean fun at its best (I had this on my Netflix queue for awhile before I figured out the connection between it and the aforementioned Oscar winner).  However, far from being left in the shadow of that other film, OSS 117 stands up well on its own.  And unlike so many spoof movies, this one is actually funny.  Not just amusing either, but laugh out loud funny. 

OSS 117 gets 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Writer:  Jean-François Halin, Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, François Damiens, and Aure Atika
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Metacritic: 62 out of 100

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In Time (2011)

Living on borrowed time
Human beings are genetically engineered to live only 25 years.  After that, they're living on earned, borrowed, or stolen time.  For a big budget Hollywood sci-fi film, it is not too bad, certainly not as bad as it could have been.  The concept is a powerful one and the story is interesting, albeit ridiculous at points.  Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried do passable jobs while Cillian Murphy performs well, but doesn't stand out like he has in other films.  There is a social subtext for those who care to see it. 

In Time comes in just under the buzzer with 3 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Andrew Niccol (director of Gattaca and writer on The Truman Show)
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia! Red Riding Hood) and Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Sunshine, Batman Begins, The Dark Night, Inception)
Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Metacritic: 53 out of 100

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Guard (2011)

Call in the FBI
A rural Irish policeman finds himself in the middle of an international drug smuggling case.  An American FBI agent is working to catch the smugglers.  They are forced to work together.  Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson star as a sort of odd couple in this police drama comedy.  Gleeson shines as the smart mouth Irish cop while Cheadle manages to not do much of anything. 

The Guard gets 3 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: John Michael McDonagh
Writer: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter, 28 Days Later), Don Cheadle and Mark Strong
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Metacritic: 78 out of 100

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Future (2011)

This future is not so bright
A slacker couple in their thirties decide to make something of their lives.  I saw this film listed on a "Top 10 Films of 2011" listed and decided to watch it.  I had seen this director's first film, Me and You Everyone We Know and did not enjoy it. So I watched this against my better judgment wanting to give Miranda July the benefit of the doubt.  This film is needlessly slowly and borders on boring.  I appreciate the film as art - there are some great shots, the characters quirky and amusing.  But overall the film feels self indulgent and is more boring than anything else.

The Future is not promising with only 2 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Miranda July
Writer: Miranda July
Starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater and David Warshofsky
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Metacritic: 67 out of 100