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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
I've seen worse
Needing to kill a couple of hours this afternoon, I decided to see this movie instead of Van Helsing. I had already seen Shrek 2 which I enjoyed and will be seeing Harry Potter. That makes my yearly quota. LOL. Anyway, since the trailers looked interesting I decided to give it a whirl. Although the movie was a bit technical at times early on, I enjoyed the visuals tremendously. The character development was very limited other than for the three main characters all belonging to the same family. I found that a tad disappointing. It's hard to get really enmeshed in people's lives when you don't know a thing about them. They missed some opportunities here.
I found the opening sequence almost nauseating due to the method it was filmed in. The speeding over ice, left me dizzy. Those would be my major gripes but I could recommend the film as a kind of fast food treat.
Shrek 2 (2004)
Almost as good as original
One of the few sequels I have been looking forward to and fortunately not a disappointment.
This is a clever movie that can stand alone without the original. Soundtrack is decent but not as good as the original but the story is well done and the additions to the cast is wonderful. I especially enjoyed Jennifer Saunders voicing of the godmother and John Cleese as the King. I probably would enjoy them reading the newspaper though. For those unfamiliar with Saunders, try finding Absolutely Fabulous on cable TV. If you are unfamiliar with Cleese, you must have been living in a cave. The movie is clearly stolen by Donkey and Puss in Boots. Love the sly humor. A sequel with the two of them would be fine with me.
The Pianist (2002)
Not a gem
Watching this back to back with another overly praised film was probably a bad idea. I was disappointed in both. The other film was the Jack Nicholson Oscar nominated role and although I watched it yesterday, I have already forgotten it's name. Unlike many reviewers, I have seen many films dealing with the Holocaust. I have not become immune to the subject and frankly, Polanski does start to touch on the horror and the random acts of inhumanity. However, the pianist character left me cold. A man who is almost completely devoid of any character. Neither a hero or a villain, but just a dull, cold fish. He barely shows fear and certainly aside from two moments when he looks upset (family taken off and little boy beaten to death) is robotic. I saw no Oscar performance here, found the constant leaping from subject to subject disorienting and had no time to really get to know anyone in the story but the robot. I am not sure what Polanski's goal was in making this movie but it came off as neither drama nor documentary. Too little of everything except perhaps, historical accuracy.
About Schmidt (2002)
I waited until the release of this movie on VHS because I had a feeling it would not be all the hype said it would. I was correct. Nothing exceptional about this movie at all other than the impressive U Haul.
A movie about nothing in particular, with nothing much happening and ending with a very nothing ending. Jack did a good enough job but the role was not demanding so pretty much anyone could have walked thru it. Generally a major disappointment.
It's about time!!
For fans of musicals, it's been a long drought. Chicago does an excellent job of capturing the golden age of musicals. Although the story line is not particularly overwhelming, the staging of the various numbers with an exception or two, is well worth the price of admission. The casting was fine and each actor held their own. I was very impressed with the Cell Block Tango although it reminded me of the Big Spender number from Sweet Charity. Highly recommended to fans of the genre.
The Last Castle (2001)
All the ingredients I hate but...
Kept moving this movie to the bottom of the pile of things to watch because it contained everything I dislike in a movie. Prison story, violence, war themes, lack of female role, etc. All this being said, I finally watched it today and was completely engrossed. Outstanding acting, excellent story and several outstanding sub plots led to a very interesting movie. Redford is not aging as well as could be expected but still he is a treat to watch. Gandolfini was a wonderful villain and Tony Soprano was nowhere in evidence. A very decent movie indeed.
Bobbie's Girl (2002)
Not bad at all
Tuned in although I had never heard of it before. The acting was fine but the little boy who plays Alan absolutely walks away with the movie. The scenes between him and David, brother of Bailey, were beautifully done. The ending of the movie was kind of a loser. Really very brusque. It's an interesting film and worth the time to tune in.
Ice Age (2002)
I saw the movie with two grown children. Although it was not as clever as Shrek, I thought it was rather good. In a movie theatre surrounded by children who were on spring break, there was not a sound so I know the children all liked it. There parents also seemed engaged. The death and apparent death of characters brought about the appropriate gasps and comments. Hopefully people realize this movie was made for kids. As such, it was successful although I liked it too. Personally I liked the Scrat!!
Although the plot was interesting, the bloodshed and gore was too much. Actually, the majority of the movie was blood and guts. If that's your thing, you will like this movie. I don't and I didn't. The acting by the leads, such as it was, was fair but this simply wasn't my type of movie. If it wasn't a free viewing, I would have been upset at wasting decent money.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Boring, boring and boring. Nice costumes... but that's about it. I cannot believe people actually liked this hodge podge. I suppose the acting was alright but the music was nothing special. I did like the tango inspired dance number but the cutting back and forth between the various story lines and characters left my dizzy. In words of two syllables. P.U.