Almost as exciting as Opening Day and completely free of anabolic steroids; it's my 10-second film reviews!
Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings (out of five stars):
Out of Time: Denzel Washington stars as a flawed cop wrongly accused of murder. There are tons of obstacles placing Denzel between a rock and a hard place; when this thriller works it's fantastic. Unfortunately the story gets in way over its head and resorts to easy answers to tie up all the loose ends. John Billingsley provides some comedic relief as Denzel's right-hand man. (***)
There's Something about Mary: It's easy to see why everyone is crazy about Mary. Cameron Diaz's character is sweet, sarcastic and smoking hot. The plot revolving around a group of guys pursuing her isn't particularly clever or even plausible. The comedy, however, brilliantly blends together outrageous gross-out jokes, witty dialogue and hilarious sight gags. (****)
Casablanca: A tepid opening overtly explains the complicated conditions surrounding a certain gin joint. Peter Lorre steals a scene early on, but ultimately the story turns to the compelling transformation of Humphrey Bogart's character. The story of Rick and Ilsa is the stuff of legends, as he casts the shackles from his past to provide a safer future for those closest to him as well as strangers he'll never know. (****)
Children of Men: A mesmerizing interpretation of a crumbling future where violence is plentiful and allegiances are skewed. Director Alfonso Cuarón's long takes dazzle, terrify and comfort all at once; that's how engrossing and complex they are. A few missteps in the story do little to quell the constant danger that threatens the characters -- and the entire world. (*****)