Monday, January 19, 2009

Movie Review Roundup

At the end of last year, I had like a crapload of time off from work. And instead of utilizing those days and being productive, I did nothing on my to-do list, didn't travel anywhere, didn't go once into the city to do non-work things... But what I did do was watch like a billion and one movies. Some good, some not. But thanks to the massive amount of new releases at the movies, and my trusty netflix, I got through the days of doing nothing. Here is a rundown and mini reviews of each. Hopefully I will inspire you to either park yourself in front of your couch, or run out to the theaters.

1) Into the Wild - Based on a true story of Christopher McCandless, who gave up everything he had to go live in the wilderness of Alaska. Along the way he meets different people (including Vince Vaughn and a pre-Twilight Kristin Stewart), and though we all know how the story ends, the film is breathtaking. It's so beautifully shot, it made me almost want to give up all my materialistic possessions and go trek through the wilderness. For a second. Emile Hirsch is AMAZING in this role, and he is one of my favorite actors. I actually made like a million people move this movie up on their netflix queues. I think it's a really important film.

2) Wanted - Um, Angelina Jolie, you are hot. James McAvoy, you are HOT. Common, you are hot. Morgan Freeman, you are..awesome. Wanted, you are a terrible movie. Oh my goodness, so much unnecessary, mindless violence. I mean I should've known, the film is about assassins, after all. James McAvoy saved the movie for me, cause I can watch him allll day, but honestly, don't waste your time. Unless you like stupid plots, endless violence, and Angelina Jolie looking all hot but way too skinny, don't waste your time.

3) American Teen - This little gem of a documentary has been an obsession of mine since it cause big buzz at Sundance last year. I wrote about it when it first came out, and I had it on my list of movies to see. Well, it goes to show you that sometimes, big buzz doesn't equal success, as it did not do so well at the box office, and I never did end up going to see it in theaters either. The movie also got buried in my too-long netflix queue, but I pulled it up cause I had the sudden urge to see it. Um, high school students are endlessly fascinating! Yes, the stereotyped "The Heartthrob," "The Rebel, "The Jock,"etc all play to their stereotypical roles in the film. And yes, it's nothing groundbreaking, as the camera follows the chosen group of students around for a year, because if you've lived through high school, then you know the trials and tribulations of these characters. But this is not about being groundbreaking, it's about connecting, it's about nostalgia. And as long as you don't watch it with a high expectation to be blown away, I think you'll really like it.

4) Slumdog Millionaire - My favorite movie of last year, behind Twilight (haha ok I'm kidding.). What an amazing movie. It's a story of people from the most abject, poverty-stricken slums, yet has so much hope and optimisim and life that you don't walk away from it depressed. What you do walk away with, however, is one of the best storytelling movies you will have ever watched, shot beautifully. It doesn't glamorize anything and there are no pretenses about it, what you see is what you get, but there is still a sense of magic grounded in the gritty reality of it all. You just have to watch it. I'm rooting for a Best Picture win at the Oscars.

5) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - If Slumdog doesn't win, it will probably be because of this one. What a film. So long, but so worth it. Ladies, Brad looks HOT in the middle of the film. Like, I was having hot flashes (the non-menapausal kind) because he was looking so good. Oh I guess I should mention that he acts the hell out in this one. It's a magical tale about a man who ages backwards, and you can imagine the stories that can stem from that premise. It doesn't disappoint.


songhyunah said...

I really liked Slumdog. I guess now I must watch Benjamin Button

Julia Park said...

I want to finish up reading Into The Wild before venturing onto the film :x

And seriously, Slumdog FTW

Yuri Kim said...

your "hot flashes" comment made me lol :D

Stella said...

Heh, I *loved* American Teen. Enough to try to stalk them on Facebook.