Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

27 Dresses

This film was almost completely formulaic. Perhaps, someday, an enterprising quantitative movie reviewer will come up with a way to measure the deviation of a film from its genre ideal. For instance, this movie would not score a perfect 1.0, because the boy-girl fight was a bit too brief.

Don’t get the wrong impression. There are many venues where boring conformance to the norm is to be preferred — perhaps, regrettably, including programming. Romantic comedies, I suspect, are in this zone, or nearly so. Which is a way of saying that I had an ok time, at least I didn’t spend the hours crying.

While watching this I did have enough spare time to wonder whether this kind of movie represents a particular phase of an actress’ career — similar to the way that writing an editor or window manager marks a particular development in a programmer’s career. Someone out there makes a living advising aspiring actors on these topics. I find that interesting, maybe even comforting.

PS I Love You

This was billed as a romantic comedy and, knowing nothing else about it, we went to see it over the holidays. I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much during a comedy, not even Talladega Nights. It really wasn’t what I was expecting at all… I was in the mood for light escapism.

Not quite as bad as when the video clerk told us that Donnie Darko was a funny movie about a teenage superhero, but bad enough.

The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson seems to be converging on his own formula — an outstanding palette and excellent visual composition, meandering adventures, humor mixed with sorrow, and protagonists disconnected from the world and, often, their fathers.

This one moved me emotionally a bit, though not as much as Aquatic. I didn’t enjoy the “short” at the beginning.

Death at a Funeral

The title of this movie brought to mind the title of Chris Shera’s PhD thesis, “listening to the ear”.

There were a couple moments where this film appeared ready to veer into the dark and disturbing. But, luckily (and I hope this doesn’t spoil it for you — perhaps someone enjoys that feeling), it did not. Also I did not like the use (I counted twice) of the phrase “a gay”. Somehow that sounds mildly homophobic to me, a fact I find somewhat curious and interesting, but that thought nevertheless doesn’t render the phrase more acceptable.

Anyway, overall it was pretty funny, and one scene at least was hilarious. I laughed out loud a few times.


I heard this was hilarious and great, so I went to see it. It is pretty funny (but not hilarious) and the actors do a very good job. It is kind of vulgar and not always in a funny way.

Bourne Ultimatum

A solid addition to the Bourne series. I’ve enjoyed all of these, they are some of my favorite action films. The story in this one is a bit flimsier than the others, but no matter. I got what I was expecting when I bought my ticket.

Incidentally, a few years ago, after the first movie, I read The Bourne Identity. Awful book. Avoid it if you can.

The Simpsons

This had a lot of funny moments but was somehow less funny than I was expecting. It doesn’t matter, though, since watching it is mandatory.


And odd movie in many ways. I had trouble understanding the actors’ accents on occasion, there were a couple scenes (particularly near the beginning) where I had no idea what was happening. However, this isn’t a big problem since there isn’t much dialog — mostly music. Shot on DV but with a powerful impact, this movie, like Celebration, is a reminder that film-making need not be about technological prowess (not that I don’t love spectacle as much as the next guy).

Leaving the theater, the skies were cloudy and dramatic, and I was sad and a bit speechless. I’m still not sure if that means I liked it.

Ocean’s 13

My brother called this “Ocean’s 11.5”.

I was disappointed by 12 — having the plot be a pointless, artificial contest was, in my opinion, a big cop-out by the writers. Also it was a bit incoherent at points, with a bit too much dialog left implied.

13 takes a stab at avoiding these problems. The plot is about revenge, old-fashioned but still fun. The dialog and situations aren’t quite as hard to follow (though I did spend much of the movie wondering what a “kooker” was, only to find out, via a review, that it was “cougar”, which luckily the review explained).

In the end 13 was a bit formulaic, but I could watch the cast of the movie all day long, and it was enjoyable enough to recommend. I own 11 and 12 and this one is comfortable enough that I’ll probably buy it someday and watch it when I want an easy distraction.

Knocked Up

Steve said he thought this movie was hilarious and he laughed all the way through it. I don’t really understand how that is possible. It was funny in parts, occasionally too crude for my taste, but then also occasionally touching.