Saturday, January 20, 2007

10-Second Film Reviews #23

Not as liquored up as Paula Abdul, but just as incoherent: it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings (out of five stars):

Tootsie: Wonderful film. Dustin Hoffman pulls off a comedic coup as a struggling actor who dresses in drag to star in a soap opera. Hilarious dialogue propels the intriguing plot. The budding love story also works well, managing to be sweet and not sappy. The last part of the movie, however, seemed to drag a bit. Still, this is one of the funniest and most enjoyable movies I've ever seen. (*****)

In a Lonely Place: The murder mystery -- the central conflict of the movie -- interweaves with a melodramatic relationship between Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. The various tensions between the people and police is palpable up to a point. Then the story spirals into silliness; the relationship becomes unwatchable and the murder is solved in a most ridiculous manner. (**)

To Catch a Thief:
One helluva Hitchcockian ride. The whodunit plot isn't all that exciting or surprising. The stunning visuals, from Grace Kelly to the French Riviera, are something to behold. Kelly and Grant are a magnificent couple and exchange the type of racy, whimsical dialogue only found (and suitable) for a movie. (*****)

Nacho Libre: I liked this movie in spite of itself. There is no real plot, character development, or dialogue to speak of. The love story is ludicrous: how the hell (pardon the pun) are a friar and a nun supposed to express their passion? They don't. A handshake and a lot of starry gazes are what this film passes off for romance. Still, Jack Black is amusing as the titular hero and the wrestling scenes are action-packed entertainment. They're pretty funny too. (***)

Because I Said So: Wretched romantic comedy. The emotional beats completely miss; you laugh when characters cry and vice-versa. Mostly to blame are the silly dialogue and sillier characters. Diane Keaton manages brief moments of brilliance despite playing a horribly under-developed and over-the-top mom. The snippets of funny scattered throughout the movie are the only saving graces. (*)

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