Movie Roundup 2/17/08

I haven’t done a movie review post in a while, so it is time, young grasshoppers. Mainly because we have gone through a streak of crappy movies and I need to vent about it.

The rating system in stolen from Netflix, the best company in the whole wide world. I would even rate them above Apple, that’s how much I love them.

1 star = hated it
2 stars = didn’t like it
3 stars = liked it
4 stars = really liked it
5 stars = loved it


Starter for Ten, 3 stars
I got this mainly for the hunky James McAvoy. Parts were funny, parts were annoying, but overall, it was decent.

Dreamcatcher, 2 stars
The best part of this movie was a seriously amazing bit part from New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg. The rest of it bordered on camp at times, and lots of it made no sense.

The Last King of Scotland, 3 stars
OK, yes, Forest Whitaker was good in this movie. But it kind of bugs me that he won an Oscar for it. Because, to me, the movie was really about the arc of James McAvoy’s character, who was amazing in this film. (OK, clearly I have a thing for James McAvoy)

Elizabeth I Miniseries, 5 stars
Helen Mirren deserves every award she gets. Damn, she is good in this film. It was absorbing and really true to all the tales of The Virgin Queen. If you are interested in this era at all, rent this!

Blades of Glory, 3 stars
I do love Will Ferrell. And I did like this better than Talladega Nights (Gasp! I know! Blasphemy! But I. hate. NASCAR.) In general most of the funny stuff from this movie was in the trailer, but still made for a good two hours of not having to worry about anything, with some belly laughs thrown in here and there. Not his best by any stretch, though.

Flushed Away, 5 stars
We are huge fans of Nick Park, Aardman and Wallace & Gromit, so how could we not love Flushed Away? We went out and bought it right away after renting it. Declan and his friends now play “flushed down the toilet.” A fine tribute to a very fun, and funny, movie.

Disturbia, 2 stars
Trying to be Rear Window was their first strike. While I love Shia Labeouf, this movie just fell flat for us. And went on like an hour longer than it needed to. And then ended abruptly. Bad, bad, bad editing.

Driving Lessons, 4 stars
It was neat to see Ron and Mrs. Weasley together in something other than Harry Potter and Julie Walters is another sincerely talented actress. Same goes for Laura Linney. I loved the delicate balance of all the relationships in this film. It was a tad slow-moving, but what film isn’t these days?

Knocked Up, 3 stars
Gross-out jokes. They say fuck alot. I totally did NOT believe the relationship AT ALL. (Ali, speaking of couples with NO CHEMISTRY!) Seth Rogan’s nasally voice drives me nuts. But, there were several moments were I almost rolled off the couch laughing.

Gracie, 2 stars
Put together by Elisabeth and Billy Shue as a partially true story of their family, parts were endearing, but mostly it was annoying. And completely predictable.

1408, 4 stars
I love me some John Cusack, so I will go watch him sit inside a paper bag, but this was altogether fairly freaky. Parts were clunky, but overall it was a good mind trip and John was awesome as usual.

The Last Mimzy, 1 star
God, we really came close to turning this movie off. I have never seen two children on screen that I have found more annoying. The plot made no sense, the acting was terrible. I was really bummed, because we normally love this sort of movie.

Rescue Dawn, 4 stars
This movie was hard to watch. It was about soldiers caught in an Vietnam POW camp, their escape, and the physical and psychological tortures than come along with that. Christian Bale is an amazing actor, but the one who really surprised me in this film was Steve Zahn – he was incredible.

The Ex, 3 stars
Movies that employ the “Three’s Company” comedy of misunderstandings really bug me, so I think that is why I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I probably would have otherwise. But, I tell you, Jason Bateman and Zach Braff? Awesome.

Ocean’s Thirteen, 3 stars
It was fine. I am getting bored.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley, 4 stars
A movie that chronicles political unrest between England and Ireland in the 1920’s, this movie isn’t always easy to watch either. But Cillian Murphy, a brilliant actor in my opinion, is amazing again in this film.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 3 stars
I’ll admit it. I really enjoyed the 1st film. However, this one was fairly boring – but still fun to watch.

Eddie Izzard: Glorious, 3 stars
We are HUGE Eddie Izzard fans in this house, and usually anything by him is instantly 5 stars – but this one just wasn’t as good. Don’t get me wrong! We still enjoyed it! Don’t go telling Eddie that we didn’t enjoy his film. We just didn’t ENJOY enjoy it.

Waitress, 4 stars
After the first 15 minutes of this movie, and it’s unabashedly southern white trash characters, I thought I was going to totally hate it. But then, it started pulling me in. Here is a woman who got pregnant, totally doesn’t want to be pregnant, and is being all honest and sarcastic about it. That’s when I started loving it. And having Nathan Fillion there didn’t hurt either.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, 4 stars
Much better than the second one, which was seriously just a bridge to the third. And still, I think they could have cut chunks out of both 2 and 3 and made a more solid sequel rather than stretching it out into 3 films. But, I loved how Keira’s character became quite the badass, how Johnny’s became less crazy… and the melancholy ending really got to me.

The Good German, 2 stars
Cool concept – they went all film noir. It was interesting to watch and the 3 leads did a good job, but it was also awkward at times and the ending was so schmaltzy it completely ruined it for me.

December Boys, 3 stars
A film for Daniel Radcliffe that didn’t involve wands and wizards! It was a lovely little coming of age film that made me cry like a baby.

300, 3 stars
The cinematography style really makes this film! It was visually stunning. Gory and violent to the max, sure – but stunning. And it kills me what a chameleon Gerard Butler is.

P.S. I Love You, 4 stars
Speaking of Gerard Butler, Danielle and I saw this in the theater. It is unabashedly a chick flick, but I loved how it flows back and forth between tears and humor. Hilary’s character is really annoying at first, which she finally grows out of, thank god – but overall, it’s a fun little movie to snuggle into the couch with. Don’t forget the Kleenex though.

The Nanny Diaries, 2 stars
I am sure they are out there, but it is truly hard for me to believe there are parents like Laura Linney and Paul Giammatti’s characters. And what is even harder for me to believe is that they would have such huge changes in behavior in such short periods of time. Most of the movie I just wants to yell at the TV screen for all of them to SHUT UP!

The Tudors: Season 1, 3 stars
Dang, that young Henry the VIII was a horndog, huh? I found the miniseries interesting, but I also haven’t rented subsequent discs, cause I felt like I got the gist of the whole deal with the first one.

Little Britain: Series 1, 4 stars
This is a comedy show in England similar to Kids in the Hall that the Ambassador recommended to me. It was WEIRD, but dude it was FUNNY.

The Iron Giant, 4 stars
Of course we rented this because it’s a staple in the animation world and for some reason Bryan had never seen it before. It’s really good.

Snow Cake, 5 stars
This is an offbeat movie that maybe is a little slow, but overall is fantastic. I actually don’t like Sigourney Weaver all that much, but she was amazing. And Alan Rickman – well, nuff said. I love that it’s about real people, real life, things aren’t tied up in nice bows, but everything does come full circle in the end. Really, really good movie.

The Holiday, 2 stars
How could anyone get a crappy performance out of Kate Wislet? Cameron Diaz, sure – but Kate Winslet? The only really interesting part of this movie was the relationship between Kate and the old man. Otherwise, I didn’t give a crap. OK, maybe I gave a little crap about Jude’s character. But Jack Black and Kate Winslet? Where does THAT come from? It’s the King of Queens Romance Formula – and it sucks. Especially when you could see Jack desperately holding back from being a maniac throughout the whole film.

Dracula 2000, 2 stars
Yea, I know I was asking for it with this film… but I really like Jonny Lee Miller, OK?? It was silly and stupid.

Sunshine, 3 stars
While definitely not up to usual Danny Boyle standards (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later), this movie was still pretty interesting. The sun is dying, and astronauts are going to restart it with another big bang. It feels like a mix between 2001 and Armageddon.

Superbad, 1 star
I do hereby swear never to rent any Seth Rogan film ever again. Don’t rent this movie unless you want to watch a bunch of 17 year olds talk about the nastiest shit for simple shock value (i.e. no humor value) and yell at each other for being pricks for 2 hours. I think I chuckled (slightly) about 3 times.

Across The Universe, 4 stars
Be sure you are ready for a funky musical when you see this movie, because it sure delivers that. We really liked it, although we thought certain parts were totally unnecessary and gratuitous, even though they were among the most visually stunning of the film. What really makes this movie was the use of Beatles songs to push along the storyline, all sung in new and truly beautiful ways, making you fall in love with Paul and John all over again.


So, what movies have you loved or hated recently? Any that I should add to my queue? Which is nearly 400 movies long, I might add.

This article has 29 comments

  1. Mamma

    Okay. Seriously? How do you find the time??

    I think the last movie I saw was…I can’t even remember. And I used to be a HUGE movie person.

    If you liked The Tudors you should check out Philippa Gregory’s books. All about Henry and his wives. We passed them all around our neighborhood last summer.

  2. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Mamma, that’s like 6 month worth and I don’t have cable. 🙂

  3. Christina

    Wow, you were really on a Gerard Butler kick, weren’t you? (He’s Dracula in Dracula 2000.) If you want to see another good Gerard Butler film, watch Butterfly on a Wheel.

    I agree with you on most of these. My BA is in History, with a focus on the Tudor period, and the Elizabeth miniseries is surprisingly accurate. Haven’t seen The Tudors yet, but can’t wait to see them.

  4. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Christina, I didn’t realize that was Gerard till like halseY through… Total chamleon!!!!

  5. zenrain

    My most favorite movie lately, ‘Once’ You must see it! And before (or after i guess) get the Swell Season album or the soundtrack. I saw the movie after listening to the music for several months before, and it really made it a complete experience for me. I didn’t want to leave the theatre!

    And I agree on the Philippa Gregory books, though i’ve only read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ it will totally suck you in!

  6. zenrain

    Oh, and ‘Across the Universe’ is next my Netflix list…i can’t wait to see it!

    I don’t see as many as you, but we also just got rid of cable, so I’m hoping to watch more…

  7. Meghann

    Instead of commenting some really long thing on here, I’ll just steal your idea and do one of my own on my blog. You know where to find me. 😀

  8. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    zenrain – Once is in the queue already!

  9. Lauren

    It’s so great to find another Eddie Izzard fan! ‘Dresed to Kill’ is my favourite. I’m not sure if it’s on DVD yet, but you should check out his new TV show ‘The Riches’ – it’s incredible.

  10. zenrain

    I can’t wait til you see it! I don’t know how I went so long without listening to Glen Hansard or the Frames…I could watch him sitting in a paper bag… what is it about those Irishmen??!! 🙂

  11. saucygrrl

    I. Loved. Waitress. And desperately want to make some of those pies (the recipes, of which, CAN be found out in the internets).

    I can’t even begin to consider to watch The Nanny Diaries, the amount of talent that’s waisted in that movie just makes me sad.

    Ocean’s 13 was WAY better than Ocean’s 12 but you can’t beat the eye candy.

    God, and there’s just SO much more to say but I’ll have to come back later!

  12. NaysWay

    Most of the movies you listed I have to say I agree with your ratings. But Nanny Diaries? I’m finishing the book and refuse to watch the movie – OK, I’m scared the movie will ruin the book – until I do. But I work with a woman who is Laura Linney’s character. Identically. I swear she’s bipolar. She also read the book and said she was afraid they were talking about her.

    Trust me. They do exist.

  13. Meghann

    Ok, have been watching the Nanny Diaries, and I have to say that it’s nothing like the book. As in, NOTHING.

  14. debawriter

    Two entirely random suggestions — one from 2007 (and soon to be out on DVD) and one from 1999 — which is one of my favorite movies ever (to add to your queue)…

    1) Kite Runner: the film adaption stayed true to the book and was beautifully done.

    2) Deterrence: an indie film from 1999, I think? with Kevin Pollack as the president of the US, who is stuck in a cafe with a group of random people, as he struggles with the decision to start nuclear war.

    Both excellent!


  15. missy wiggins

    i have only seen a few of the ones you mention.
    across the universe was spectacular but i agree a couple parts didn’t really add to the film in any way and could have been left out.
    i wonder what the surviving beatles think?

  16. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Missy – we were totally talking about that too. I was planning on googling that and seeing if there were any articles about that.

    Deba – thanks for the suggestions!

  17. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    I love how I had the wrong date in the title. Shows how with it I am on the weekend.

  18. Scott

    Great reviews. Have seen a lot of these…but may have to check out some these on your word.


  19. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Emma, definitely want to see Juno. In the queue for sure (I have a ton of movies in the queue that aren’t even released to video yet, LOL).

  20. joansy

    I loved Across the Universe in the theater and hope to pick it up on DVD this week. I’m curious to see if there’s a big screen difference.

    I just saw No Country for Old Men and thought it was wonderful. I’m still thinking about the movie 2 days later. I posted about my last 10 or so movies last week – the only decent thing about being sick was that I watched movie after movie.

  21. LunaNik

    OMG…Eddie Izzard ROCKS doesn’t he!!!!! I love him endlessly!

  22. emma

    What about Juno? I know its getting all that “Oscar buzz” that’s kind of killing its kooky off-beat-ness, but it was good enough that I saw it twice. I do wonder if teens really talk or act like Juno in any way. Well, you can add it to your list.

  23. Sister Honey Bunch

    PS I Love You was one of the best books I have ever read. I’m afraid to see the movie because I don’t want to be disappointed.

    I miss John Cuzak. I haven’t seen a good movie from him in awhile.

    Mimzy sucked. Stupid Holiday sucked.

    I really want to see The Queen. I’m going to check that out this weekend.

  24. crabapple

    I am so glad to see that someone else hated “Superbad”–I sat in a movie theatre watching it and literally no one laughed the first 40 minutes…dude, it sucked and was sort of embarrassing too, how hard they tried and how far they went for laughs to no avail. The poularity of this movie proves out the herd theory.

    I do second the motion for “Once” which is a good film with great music, and also my hubs and I saw ” Feast of Love” and though it was a bit predictable we enjoyed it, and thought the overall theme was awesome.

  25. Nap Warden

    Wow, that was some movie reviewing!

    Let me add Cloverfield 4 stars!

  26. Mr Lady

    I am seriously shocked that we have such differing taste in movies. But, dude, I am SO with you on the Seth Rogan movies. I wanted to like them both; I went into them ready to die from laughter. I got all the way through the one with the baby, barely, and I turned Superbad off 2/3 into it. Why? Because it was Super. Bad.

  27. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    I know y’all – WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE WHO LIKED SUPERBAD??? Other than 13 year old boys? Even Bryan hated it.

    Blogapotamus- it’s my dream to see Eddie Izzard live. We’ve seen Henry Rollins live like 5 times, but Eddie has never come here. We would even travel, I think. We would even see him naked… I think.

    And Mr Lady – are you shocked because your ratings are different, or that I like schlocky movies?

  28. blogapotamus

    Strangely, the video of “Glorious” is nowhere near as funny as the audio recording! The first time I heard it, I was making the 9 hour trip back to college and I just about crashed my car. It was that funny.

    I’ve actually seen Eddie Izzard live on two separate occasions. We saw him on his “Circle” tour, but before that, we saw him in a West End revival of “Lenny” in which he did a 10 minute monologue entirely naked. We were only about 10 rows back, so, I’ve really SEEN Eddie Izzard, if you know what I mean!

  29. Kathy

    Superbad, 1 star

    Thank you. So many people recommended this movie and I absolutely HATED it.

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