Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekly Round-Up (1/27/13 - 2/2/13)

A Serious Man (Joel Coen/Ethan Coen) ***1/2 - Now I know what it must feel like to watch Dogma as a non-Catholic (a little bit at least). But even as a non-Jew, this is still quite a wonderfully twisted comedy, a sort of loose adaptation of the Book of Job reset in the 1960's. A physics professor meets one misfortune after another (his wife leaves him, he has an awful neighbor, his student is threatening to sue, etc.) and it all plays out in darkly funny and absurd heights that only the Coen Brothers can do. I saw Precious last week and this could make for a nice double feature. Michael Stuhlbarg and the ensemble supporting cast are fantastic.

After the Wedding (Susanne Bier) *** - A Danish man running an orphanage in India gets a call from a wealthy philanthropist to go back to his home country then invites him to a wedding. That's all one has to know going to really fully get the dramatic impact of the film and the twists and turns the film takes. To be honest, I wasn't really expecting all that much from this but the dramatic road it took hit me quite hard. Though after the twists, it follows the expected dramatic beats, the performances are more than enough to carry it through.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Nicholas Meyer) *** - Finally caught up with this one. I don't know what to say about this. I liked it a lot. I enjoyed it. It's a good movie, very entertaining. Perhaps it was overhyped for me. Perhaps it's because I'm not that big of a Trekkie but despite the fact that I enjoyed it and I think it's overall a really good movie, I can't help but feel disappointed because for me, this is only qualifies as "good" not GREAT as many people have said. Frankly, I prefer First Contact and the Abrams reboot over this.

Warm Bodies (Jonathan Levine) **1/2 - It's time for the zombie to get the Twilight treatment's really not that bad. The concept is actually kind of a fresh take on the zombie lore, sort of like expounding on the "Bub" character from Day of the Dead. Unfortunately, the filmmakers didn't really challenge themselves with it. The concept is full of potential and there are flashes of it here and there but overall, it's simply just a fluffy romantic comedy with zombies toned down for a PG-13. In fact, it's probably the least violent and gory zombie movie I've ever seen. It's fine enough for what it is but it's disappointing because of squandered potential.

The Man With The Iron Fists (RZA) **1/2 - This is a pulpy, bloody tribute to kung fu movies by RZA, Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. There are lots of really good things in this movie. RZA, in his directorial debut, shows off a surprisingly decent visual sense. I'm lying if I said that there weren't moments when I was impressed and wowed by the action sequences which are often wonderfully over-the-top. Unfortunately, the film suffers from RZA' s decision to cast himself as the title character. He's deadly dull as an actor especially since the character he's portraying is supposed to be enigmatic and interesting. Instead, he comes off as a mere afterthought and because of this, the film doesn't quite reach the heights it's supposed to reach. It's too bad because the ingredients are all there.


YeamieWaffles said...

You've been busy this week and some of these films sound pretty damn good man. I'm not a Trekkie at all so haven't seen this film yet but if you quite enjoyed it then maybe it's worth a shot.

A said...

I've been meaning to watch A Serious Man for a while, you just reminded me. But I am in full agreement about Star Trek, it's an entertaining film but that's about it. I never understood some of the hype it got.