The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marc Webb) **1/2 - I'm of the opinion that Andrew Garfield is a better Spider-Man/Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. Though this film is unfortunately kind of subpar, I still maintain that opinion. Garfield's performance holds this film together. There are many elements that could have potentially made a really good film in there but way too much time in spent on exposition and building up on things that the film becomes a bit tiresome and lacking in focus. The two villain structure made the film feel a bit anti-climactic. Dane DeHaan was terrific as the Green Goblin/Harry Osborne. Had the film focused on him and got rid of Electro (Jamie Foxx is kind of miscast), it would have been a much better film. It's really too bad. There are some really great elements there.
Mother India (Mehboob Khan) *** - After her
mother-in-law borrows money from an unscrupulous money-lender, an Indian
family's life start a spiral into poverty and tragedy. This feels like an Indian
Gone with the Wind. It's got everything
we've seen from all the great melodramatic family sagas: We follow the family
throughout the decades and all its romance and tragedies. Like Gone with the Wind, it's also kind of bloated.
And since it's also a Bollywood film, it's got song-and-dance numbers on top of
it (un-subtitled in my copy sadly). There are lots of great moments particularly
in the first act and the last act. The middle portion tends to drag. It's not my
favorite Indian film but I'm still glad I saw it.
Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch)
**** - A man and a woman who are both thieves and con artists decide to make a
millionaire heiress their mark, hoping to come away with a big fortune but it
results in a wacky love triangle. It's an Ernst Lubitsch film and this is often
considered as one of his best. It may not be my personal favorite (that would
still be Ninotchka) but it still does
contain a lot of what makes him great. Sharp, funny dialogue, coupled with crisp
direction and on point performances. This film is also surprisingly sweet in its
own twisted way and since it's pre-code it's also surprisingly kind of racy.
Spaceballs (Mel Brooks) *** - I've seen
pretty much all of Mel Brooks' parody/spoof movies with the exception of this so
I might as well get it over with. This time around he parodies Star Wars although quite a few other science
fiction films got dragged along for the ride. There's quite a good number really
good laughs here but the film overall is not quite as sharp and funny as say,
Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles which are comedic
masterpieces. It's hit and miss this time around but when it hits, it hits