Monday, February 1, 2010

My 2009 Movie Odyssey - Part XXI

The Fantastiks (1995)
All of the magic and most of the humor from the stage show is sucked out leaving a lifeless story behind.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)
The first appearance by Godzilla on screen, the film is kind of creepy and very atmospheric, and lacking much of the silly elements that would populate subsequent Godzilla movies (though I wish I hadn’t seen the Raymond Burr version).

The Blob (1958)
Even the presence of Steve McQueen cannot make this movie anything more than a by-the-numbers, forgettable monster movie.

Out of Sight (1998)
George Clooney is suave and electric, as always, but the rest of the film is flat, with no other memorable characters and plot twists that show up just for the sake of being plot twists.

Manhunter (1986)
Brian Cox almost makes the audience forget that Anthony Hopkins also played Hannibal Lector but Michael Mann spends too much time wallowing in the depravity of mankind and the third act is unfulfilling.

The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
While I enjoyed reading the Pippi Longstocking stories as a kid, and I remember fondly the Swedish version from 1969, this one had far too many unbelievable moments, was unnecessarily a musical (with no memorable songs), treated all adults like idiots, and played an annoying, silly sound cue whenever Pippi did something magical that completely took me out of what little moment I already had.

District 9 (2009)
An intriguing premise, a compelling look, a protagonist who goes through a surprising character arc, and a story that continually takes unexpected turns combine to make this one of the better movies of the year.

9 (2009)
The visuals are gorgeous and the world is lovingly created, but the story is rushed and the characters are crudely defined, making a movie that could have been a really good film, but is instead a mediocre piece of entertainment.

We Are Marshall (2006)
A team that no one expected to do well surprises in a big game and lots of people say, “We are Marshall.”

Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince (1971)
This is a cute little story that is never as clever or entertaining as The Muppet Movie (1979) but is still a nice Muppet fix.

Coming up next: the last hurrah.

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