Posts filed under ‘Brits’

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

MOVIE:  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

NUTSHELL:  Four siblings find a portal to another world in the back of a wardrobe. Tedium ensues.

GOOD THINGS:  Voices of Liam Neeson and Rupert Everett

BAD THINGS:  CGI animal torture and widespread live-action, mythical and CGI carnage, HC connotations, heavy-handed this and that-ing

FEATURES:  Small children, Tilda Swinton, Jim Broadbent, scary housekeeper, Turkish Delight, voices of Dawn French and Ray Winstone

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Yes 90% of the film which is at least 10% less than the book

NOTABLE:  This movie has a crazy notion to make wolves an polar bears part of the evildoers which is total rubbish as they are too presh for words.

BEST PART:  Three minutes before the movie started I was the only one in the auditorium and an elderly couple sat two seats away from me. The woman looked at me and I could tell she wanted to sit next to me but my look must have dissuaded her. (Go figure.) Sadly this is much more interesting and weird than anything in the movie.

BEST LINE:  My name is Phillip!

CROWNS:  1 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Green Zone

MOVIE:  Green Zone

NUTSHELL:  A Chief Warrant Officer searching for WMDs in Iraq in 2003 tries to find out why the intel is all bad.  Then he finds out why the intel is all bad.  Then he finds out the people who created the intel are all bad.

GOOD THINGS:  Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla and Jason Isaacs sans Paris Hilton wig

BAD THINGS:  Subject matter, real news footage and a wasted Amy Ryan

FEATURES:  Greg Kinnear being “character” evil again

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Jason Isaacs is so seamless with his American accent that I doubted it was him for most of the movie.  But seeing Brendan Gleeson without his accent made me confused and sad.

NOTABLE:  Some directors have a “thing” like for instance Ed Zwick’s thing is making the worst movies in the world.  I guess Paul Greengrass’s thing is going to be making good thrillers that we already know the end to.

BEST PART:  Jason Isaacs punching Matt Damon in the face even though it made a lady in my row freak out at length.

BEST LINE:  “Don’t be naïve.”

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

March 15, 2010 at 6:17 pm 2 comments

Gangs of New York

MOVIE:  Gangs of New York

NUTSHELL:  In crime-plagued, corruption-packed, gang-controlled mid 1800’s New York City, a young man tries to avenge his Irish father’s murder by a Nativist.

GOOD THINGS:  If it say LeoLeoLeo on the label label label then you will like it like like it on your — okay nothing good rhymes with that, Daniel Day-Lewis eating all the scenery in sight, Henry Thomas even though I thought he was Jeremy Davies throughout the entire film, great character names and peeks at Tammany Hall in the flesh

BAD THINGS:  Having to say I really liked this movie and then having to give reasons and be generally taunted by the world at large and then sad when Scorcese didn’t win.

FEATURES:  Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C. “Every movie – thems the rules” Reilly, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Lewis, Cara Seymour, glass eyes and butchering

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  It’s bloody, there’s sort of quite a bit of acting, plus racism but just ride it out, it’s good for you.

NOTABLE:  If you like this movie, you’ll love one of my favorite books:  “Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York” by Luc Sante.  It encompasses other time periods than just the Draft Riots era and is super good.

BEST PART:  The Production Design and Costume Design <drool>

BEST LINE:  Hey, have you met Amsterdam? He almost fish-hooked McGloin.

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

Die Another Day

MOVIE:  Die Another Day

NUTSHELL:  James Bond as fever dream in which…some guy is going to melt the world with diamond satellites and so he builds an igloo and melts it for..okay forget I mentioned this.

GOOD THINGS:  Hmmm…. Nice title song though it made a guy get up to tell the theater something was wrong with the sound in the auditorium.  Rick Yune is nice looking for one scene.  John Cleese doing the John Cleese thing.

BAD THINGS:  The fetching Rick Yune turned after one scene into a scary ginger hybrid.  A little LOUD for my taste thanks.  What?!?  I SAID IT’S A LITTLE LOUD FOR MY TASTE!  Some of the most ludicrous sequences ever.  Rarely do I gape open-mouthed at sheer bizarreness in movies.  Rarely.

FEATURES:  A moment where he is like in an avalanche and then somehow snowboarding down the avalanche and even my mom turned to me a whimsical shrug as if to say, “Oh what can you do?”  PROMINENT product placement (Oh my God is Bond going to escape?  I don’t know but LOOK AT THAT WATCH!)  Aston Martin with ejector seat.  (Hehehehe you said ejector.)  Judi Dench, Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Will Jun Lee, Kenneth Tsang, Michael Gorevoy, Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost and Michael Madsen in a role that will make you say, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” and not in a good way.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Madonna shows up and she’s a fencer and just stands there with a pinched little face and all you can do for the entire scene is have your mind flash repeatedly.  MADONNA IS IN THE MOVIE.  AND SHE’S A FENCER.

NOTABLE:  I freaking paid $8.00 and carted my Mom out to the movies and Bond dies in the first 20 minutes?  What the hell is THAT?

BEST PART:  Okay $8.00 is less than good drugs and an acid trip is included.

BEST LINE:  Mojito?

CROWNS:  1 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

An Everlasting Piece

MOVIE:  An Everlasting Piece

NUTSHELL:  One Catholic and One Protestant mental health workers try to sell wigs in Belfast during the 80’s.

GOOD THINGS:  Billy Connolly, Barry “Jude Law light” McEvoy, those lovable Irish

BAD THINGS:  Bald guys.  Wig theivery, ill soldiers, The Troubles

FEATURES:  Wacky, lovable IRA soldiers, panty-headed mom, fried chicken, perky nurses, mental patients

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Poetry reading.  Ew.

NOTABLE:  Barry Levinson.  What happened?

BEST PART:  Urban legend about undressing a stranger on accident

BEST LINE:  “Blessed are the bewildered for they don’t know the difference.”

and

“The scrotum is the devil’s crack pipe.”

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

Gosford Park

MOVIE:  Gosford Park

NUTSHELL:  Robert Altman’s take on Haves and Have Nots in an English Country House post WWI

GOOD THINGS:  Maggie Smith, fingerwaving, Stephen Fry, those awesome little stand up lace maid hats, Emily Watson, great script by Julian Fellowes, Clive Owen, the lovely Kelly Macdonald (my second favorite petite Scottish lady) who was in my favorite movie ever about Bingo – “House!”, Helen Mirren, The Singing Detective, Derek Jacobi, Richard E. Grant with guns

BAD THINGS:  Caution: this film attracts a bad element – the extremely chatty Geriatric Set. For the first time in my entire life, I actually got up, walked over to someone and asked them to be quiet during a movie. Also, Kristin Scott Thomas, fur coats on men, fox hunting and (not a bad thing as much as an I-just-don’t-know-how-to-feel-about-this thing) Ryan Phillippe

FEATURES:  Suspicious show people, madcap heiresses, no-good husbands, Charles Dance, poison, knives, Jeremy Northam, illicit sex with a plumper, Bob Balaban, rain, Alan Bates, long distance calls, conscientious objectors, breakfast trays with non-homemade jam

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Chatty senior citizens and the overly amorous Ryan Phillippe (unrelated)

NOTABLE:  I tend to vascillate wildly with my opinions of different Altman things so there’s no need to take this review with a grain of salt like I’m one of those weird Nashville nuts.

BEST PART:  Maggie Smith cracking up

BEST LINE:  I can’t remember a line but I love the name Mary Macreachran even though I start to choke on my tongue when I say it.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm 1 comment

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

MOVIE:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

NUTSHELL:  An abused orphan is invited to attend an occult prep school.  Insert hijinks here.

GOOD THINGS:  Well it’s nicely done really and John Cleese is in it for a while.  It’s a very, very nice adaptation.  Yes, I read the book – so sue me.

BAD THINGS:  Lead character is sort of blah.  Cute as a button, but really an observer rather than a hero.

FEATURES:  Every British actor in the world, (even Rik Mayall but I think he was cut out)  upstarts Daniel Radcliffe, Ruper Grint and Emma Watson, he lovely Zoe Wanamaker

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Fear of being trampled by pre-teens in the ticket line

NOTABLE:  I love it when Alan Rickman is in an entirely different movie than everyone else.  In this one he’s in Die Hard IV: Fly Harder or something.  Every time he’s on screen, you can’t help but be entertained.  Alan Rickman super villain uber alles!

BEST PART:  The supercute Hagrid

BEST LINE:  I’m sure it was something Alan Rickman said that was great but more for his eye rolling and grimacing than the actual line.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

The Importance of Being Earnest

MOVIE:  The Importance of Being Earnest

NUTSHELL:  Oliver Parker’s treatment of Oscar Wilde’s classic story about a man who concocts a ne’er do well brother in the city so he can get away from the country, a man who invents a sick friend in the country so he can get out of the city, and the wacky japery that ensues when they try to woo some chicks.

GOOD THINGS:  Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, un-orphaned orphans

BAD THINGS:  Hmmm…. disturbingly pinched schoolmarm

FEATURES:  Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor, tattoos, schoolgirl fantasy tableaus, the Savoy, abandoned infants

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Uhhhh doesn’t that make them brother and sister?

NOTABLE:  The character names alone are funny: Algy, Lady Bracknell, Dr. Chasuble, Miss Prism, Merriman, Gribsby

BEST PART:  Jack’s reaction to finding Algy in the country.

BEST LINE:  Pay attention. It’s Oscar Wilde; every line is a best line.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

A Knight’s Tale

MOVIE:  A Knight’s Tale

NUTSHELL:  Canterbury Tales only with sort of a lot of Bachman Turner Overdrive

GOOD THINGS:  Crowns, Chaucer jokes, Mark Addy

BAD THINGS:  I know I’m supposed to just go with the whole jousting-with-dazed-and-confused-soundtrack idea but it takes too much concentration and jousting is right up there with individual synchronized swimming in terms of pure sport excitement.

FEATURES:  Way too many naked men, Rufus Sewell, an enragingly annoying redhaired guy, female blacksmith, the Black Prince

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I am so worried about Brian Helgeland.

NOTABLE:  Say what you will about Heath Ledger being another boring, untalented teen heartthrob, but he can really dance.

BEST PART:  I really like that one KISS song.

BEST LINE:  I’m a writer; I give the truth SCOPE!

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

The Mini Mob

MOVIE:  The Mini Mob

NUTSHELL:  Three dollies in 1968 swinging London decide that kidnapping the guys they like will take all the guesswork and unpleasantness out of the ups and downs of dating. The pop figureheads they choose, however, (Minister of Pop Culture, Fabulous Pirate Radio DJ and Shaggy Pop Star) are so integral to English life that the economy takes a nosedive and a “Pop War” ensues complete with Special Ops soldiers with flowers in their berets. Do I even need to tell you that hilarity ensues?

GOOD THINGS:  Mod fashion, shockingly multicultural cast for 1968, hilarious/sudden breaking into song, impressive, trowel-applied eye makeup, hair, hair, and hair.

BAD THINGS:  Beads, a blonde girl who couldn’t act her way out of her bangs, fake mustaches, the anorexic dolly (complete with sunken eyesockets) and… (oh sweet Jesus!) some terrible terrible teeth

FEATURES:  Failed disappearing pop star Georgie Fame, Rosemary Nicols as the scurvy-ridden, anorexic dolly, John Clive, Bernard Archard, mod Asian dolly Lucille Soong, the yummy but priggish Rick Dane, Julian Curry, Gretchen Regan, Madeline Smith, Totti Truman Taylor (how’s that for a name?) as Aunt Grace and Clive Dunn as the drunken butler (Is it required that British films have drunken butler? Okay, just asking.)

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  The snaggletoothed pop star chasing the skin and bones dolly. I dunno – it went on forever and was just so darn disturbing in so many ways.

NOTABLE:  Feature from documentarian Robet Amram who won an Academy Award for short documentary and short subject in 1971 for Centinelas del Silencio which also was a film “showing the haunting ruins of civilizations that have disappeared.”

BEST PART:  The pirate DJ was so cute but ended up being a dud and in prison.

BEST LINE:  The problem with you’s you’ve been seeing too many Italian movies.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

January 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

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