Monday, December 15, 2008

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part XVIII

Love Story (1970)
"Love means never having to say you're sorry."
"That's the dumbest thing I ever heard."
Those immortal words from What's Up, Doc? pretty much sum up my feelings for this movie.

Wall-E (2008)
One of the things I love about the Pixar shorts is that they each tell a complete story without the use of dialog. Now we have Wall-E, a feature length film which has no dialog (except for a few commercial voiceovers) for the first half of the film. What results is a masterpiece of character animation, and when humans do finally show up and start talking, it's almost a letdown.

White Heat (1949)
James Cagney seethes evil as the gangster Cody Jarrett. He has no moral compass other than a messed up mother complex that would have made Hitchcock proud. When the police place an undercover cop in Jarrett's gang, the tension mounts until the inevitable explosive ending. And as Jarrett shoots friend and foe alike with no regard for his own safety, my only thought was "Heath Ledger's got nothing on Cagney."

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
This was an interesting concept and a sweet story. The lengths the whole town went to to make "Bianca" feel welcome were touching. My only real gripe with the film is the pacing was too slow and steady and needed a few energetic scenes to balance out the melancholy ones.

Hancock (2008)
This is a fun movie and the concept of a drunk, homeless super hero is full of comic possibilities. While I commend the filmmakers for trying to avoid all the cliche origin stories for Hancock, the explanation they did come up with is still not much better than the run-of-the-mill fare. Of course Will Smith puts in an entertaining performance, as always.

Coming up next: two men, some cows, and a cheerleader.

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