Friday, November 4, 2011

Fast 5, Scream 4, 3 Musketeers, 2 Beautiful, & 1 Bad Teacher

Sorry about the lack of blogging this past week. It's just been that kind of week. I have been watching tons of TV though (as per usual) and since it's November sweeps, there are lots to talk about on that front. Expect those TV posts this weekend. As for movies, the last film I saw in theaters was The Three Musketeers for my birthday two weeks ago, but of course I've also gotten my movie fix from Netflix. Thus time for a few mini-reviews in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Fast Five - Quick confession: I don't hate the Fast and Furious franchise. Though plot is minimal to none and the dialogue is often forced, the car races and chases are sleek and thrilling and the chemistry between Vin Diesel and Paul Walker is pretty great. In fact, the films that didn't have them both suffered because of it. Like the 2009 sequel, the gang is all back in this fifth film where they are set to do one last job. I enjoyed bringing together characters from ALL of the films seemingly befitting a last hurrah for the franchise. Of course the ending screams a sequel, but that's to be expected. Flaws abound such as their inability to make any new characters interesting or the gaping plot holes and inconsistencies, but hey pretty cars. B-

Scre4m - Writer Kevin Williamson returned to the series reuniting him with director Wes Craven and a handful of the original cast from the first Scream film. I remember quite liking the first film with its fresh meta take of horror films rejuvenating the genre. After two previous sequels though this fourth film had an uphill climb to revive the magic the first film had. Unfortunately, it never got there, though not for the lack of trying! They went through a lot of effort calling back things from the first film as well as out meta-ing the meta that ever meta of all metas. In the end, it suffered from all of this and was sadly quite predictable. C+

The Three Musketeers - If you went in to this film expecting anything other than a hot mess, then shame on you. Paul W.S. Anderson's laughable adaptation remake of the Dumas' classic tried to be edgy with its unspectacular 3D and vague homage to steam-punk, but instead didn't really have anything new to offer. The actors, saved for Orlando Bloom who actually seems to know he was in a very silly movie, are at best sleeping through their parts and at worst just plained sucked. At the very least, it was fun seeing it with friends, which I did, who appreciated how bad it was as well, but don't see this film. D+

Beautiful Boy - This was a tough film to watch mostly because the duo of Michael Sheen and Maria Bello really put on a clinical when it comes to raw and devastating acting. And they had to deliver as they had to play parents whose relationship was already strained dealing with the suicide of their son who went on a shooting spree at his school. It's dark, really dark, and the film lingers at this somber event and lingers some more. It sort of becomes the film's biggest strength and weakness because it is at once keeping true to the character's emotional journey and yet keeping the audience at a distance. B-

Bad Teacher - I almost don't want to write anything about this film because of how much I hated it. It was particular tough to watch this since you're asked to root for a character so utterly despicable and neither the writers nor actress Cameron Diaz did anything to make her redeemable by the end. I was also disappointed that the film really didn't take advantage of the school setting, namely the students. Yes, there were 2-3 short scenes where we saw what the kids were doing, but it was not enough. Aimless, unfunny, and just plain bad. D-

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