Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Month in Movies

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
~ Ferris Bueller

Here's a look at what made it off my Netflix queue into my DVD player this month:

Sin Nombre (2009) - This movie has been receiving a lot of critical acclaim, most notably at Sundance and the Independent Spirit Awards, and it was certainly compelling. The story of two teens from Honduras trying to escape their individually crappy lives and travel to the US, there were moments that were excellent. I thought especially the two young actors portraying the main characters brought their parts to life beautifully. It's not exactly a cheery film, however, so renters beware - not much good happens in this story.

My Sister's Keeper (2009) - Well, this was one case where reading the book first definitely ruined the movie for me - I knew the major spoiler, and the ending was completely different. However, Cameron Diaz was a complete surprise - what an acting job she did! And I enjoyed seeing Thomas Dekker in a short but poignant role. If you haven't read the book, and want a good tear-jerker, I would recommend this one - it's a weepy!

The Memory Thief
(2007) - I found this movie to be very sad. A young man who doesn't have a past of his own becomes obsessed with the stories of Holocaust survivors. The lead actors, Mark Webber and Rachel Miner, were completely believable in their roles, and while the story itself was quite intriguing, I did feel it lacked a bit of narrative drive. However, a really good indie film - recommended.

State of Play (2009) - am I the only person who has seen this movie? Because it was pretty darn good. Russell Crowe is, as usual, excellent - he kinda grosses me out in real life, but in the movies he's remarkable. Jason Bateman plays a great slimy guy, and of course the incomparable Helen Mirren as the ballsy newspaper editor. Ben Affleck is even darn good. There were some plot holes, as in any thriller, but the tension and urgency allowed me to overlook them. I've seen hardly any press about this movie, but I really enjoyed it.

Inglourious Basterds (2009) - So, Tarantino takes on the Nazis - and this is pretty much what I expected. I do enjoy Tarantino's movies (well, except for From Dusk Til Dawn - seriously? It's a vampire movie?), so I wasn't surprised by much of anything, and took it for what it was - a rollicking good time. Brad Pitt is brilliant - his skill as a comedic actor shines. If you can stomach the Tarantino style, this won't disappoint - if he's not for you, this one won't change your mind.

I feel like I'm missing something from this list, but I can't remember what....oh well. Next up in my queue is District 9, and I have a feeling that's going to produce some nightmares....

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