Saturday, April 9, 2011

Three Movie Reviews (Spoiler Free)

I went and saw three movies today. Why? Because I wasn't sure if I could do four movies in a row without getting a headache, or sick or something. So here are my spoiler free reviews....


Hanna stars Saoirse Ronan, Eric Banna, and Cate Blanchett. The best way to describe this loosely is like a weird mash up of "The Boys of Brazil" meets "The Bourne Identity". You've seen the setup in the trailers, a young girl trained as an assassin goes out to kill her target. 

There's a little more to it than that, that kind of borders on sci-fi and is never really fully explained or explored. It's more of a character study of someone who has been trained with all the knowledge of the modern world, but none of the practical hands on experience of it, with a bit of guns, knives, and hand-to-hand combat thrown in. Add in shaky cam, a lot of hand-held camera shots, and you get a muddled mess that really could have been so much more with a director that was more interested in giving the audience a full story instead of over stylized visuals and not-so-subtle lesbian overtones. 

Rating: Rent it.


Paul is the Nick Frost/Simon Pegg movie about two guys from England that go visiting famous UFO sites in the US after Comic Con in San Diego. They just happen to find an alien along the way. 

If you're at all a sci-fi fan, then you'll recognize all the nods to alien and space movies the guys have thrown into this one. It doesn't hurt that they also have a strong story backed by quite a crew of actors like Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Bill Hader, and Jane Lynch, just to name a few. I'm not a big fan of Frost's and Pegg's stuff (it's very hit and miss with me), but I liked what I saw with Paul. It was a fun road trip/buddy movie that hit a lot of the right cues. Seth Rogen's voice even didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

Rating: Full Price Ticket.


Now I love my stoner movies. Harold and Kumar (yes, both of them), Dude Where's My Car, Cheech and Chong. But one that I never really dug was Pineapple Express. Why? Mainly Seth Rogen, but also it just felt like the comedy was really, really forced. So I went into this one with a little bit of skepticism...most of which went away with the promise of Natalie Portman in a thong (yeah, I heard the body double rumors too) and Zooey Deschannel with a severely push-up bra.

The movie is a fairly light parody of sword and sorcery movies. Throw in a little pot, a lot of swearing, some nudity (mostly female, but there is a....well, there is male genitalia and let's leave it as a surprise), and some gratuitous bloodshed and you have this movie. The first 20 minutes stumbled along as they tried to get the story groundwork laid, but once that happens it moves along at a quick pace. 

There are some funny moments in the movie, but not as many as you might think. Honestly, it was actually played a little straighter as a sword and sorcery movie than I was expecting. Natalie Portman even gets in a pretty good joke during a monologue. 

Rating: Bargain MatinĂ©e (and not just due to Portman's butt)

There you have it. Enjoy.

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