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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
All Right!? More like BRILLIANT., 14 October 2010

Marvelously devastating. Julianne Moore (Jules) and Annette Bening (Nic) continue to be two of my favorite actresses and this film is a wonderful vehicle allowing both to shine. My gut tells me come nomination season we'll see Bening winning best supporting and Moore getting nods for best actress. And seriously Hilary Swank if you get in between Bening and her Oscar, I will cut you. (Not really.) The fact that the family dynamic is of an alternative nature (lesbian parents) takes a backseat for me. This storyline could easily--though perhaps less believable--be transposed to a straight couple.

Also giving quite the performance is Mark Ruffalo. While I've never really been drawn to his movies, the portrayal of the donor dad Paul is equally heartwarming and loath-able. (Yay new word!) Typically a drawback in movies like this--kids--were fantastically portrayed by Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. I can't wait to see what they (especially Wasikowska) do in the future!

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
How about "Amusing but Sometimes Sad People" as an alternate title?, 14 October 2010

Not your typical Judd Apatow movie. But with snippets of a typical Judd Apatow movie.

So different was this film from some of his others (40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), we actually paused the movie at about the midpoint. I found myself so confused--I was enjoying the movie--laughing frequently, in fact baw-hawing frequently, feeling connected with the characters and even feeling emotional. But then there seemed to be a sudden screeching halt to my enjoyment and a u-turn into "Awkward Hug Land." "Awkward Hug Land" = you met someone for the first time and were having a great time with them, laughing, listening, etc. The end of the night comes and you feel so close to them that you go in to give them a hug goodbye, which takes them by surprise, so you end up half-embracing, which of course leads to a pat or two on the back. Gross.

About an hour or so in, that movie goes there. Instead of seeing Adam Sandler's character as a flawed, damaged person due to his fame and wealth, I see him as so overly selfish he wouldn't hesitate to destroy the lives of children. Instead of enjoying Seth Rogan as the also-ran sidekick who should get the girl, I want to punch him in the nose for being so meddlesome, when clearly his involvement cannot reap any positive gain.

But then, strangely over the next 45 minutes as the movie winds its way to a close, I find myself enjoying the characters again. I start to laugh again. Strangely, I'm left really feeling like I enjoyed the movie, while in retrospect I know that at the point in which I paused it, I was seriously considering shutting it off. Strange.

Highlight--Anziz Answari. He's brilliant.

15 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Last Exorcism-- it worked for me, 14 October 2010

If you've seen this film, you have an opinion on it. And this is natural given the open ended finale of the movie. For those who haven't seen the movie--don't worry--I don't plan on ruining it by saying anything in this review that you wouldn't know by seeing the preview or anything that would detract from your viewing experience? at least I'll try not to.

The highlight of the movie for me was Pastor Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian). He succeeded in weaving together a layered, complex character which is rare for the horror genre. He plays a southern Baptist minister who grew up in the church. As a PK, he was bred to be on the pulpit. One would think that with a lifetime spent in the church, his faith would be devout--quite the opposite. As years have passed, his faith has weakened to a point where now even he doubts.

Another huge plus for me in this film are the ups and downs--one minute your knees are at your chest and you're on the verge of covering your eyes, and the next you're lost in the development of the plot.

No matter what your thoughts on the end of the movie, I challenge someone to dispute the merits of a scary movie to put more emphasis on character development to further the suspense than the typically cheap thrills.