Busy Guy reviews
2007 Movies on DVD
These days so many of us prefer the home movie viewing experience. The cinema is costly, noisy, too loud, too cold and not altogether enjoyable. Home theaters have become remarkably sophisticated and surprisingly affordable. We no longer have to leave the building because movies can be delivered directly to our door! Some films are undiscovered gems and others are well... not. Here's a few favorites and more (83 films).
The Bourne Ultimatum - A snappy continuation. Secrets are revealed. Next level timing. Don't expect to feel much. Exactly why is this guy being pursued anyway?
Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix - Gone are the days of long striped scarves and Diagon-alley. The Potter tales grow increasingly grim. A continuing procession of those who teach 'defense against the dark arts'. The floating candles and portraits in motion have become passť'. As another distinguished tale once put it: "We're not in Kansas anymore.".
Live Free or Die Hard - Truly action packed. Willis maintains his characteristic humor. Untold slaughtering of the innocent but nothing too gory. We've seen this film before under different names but it's still fun.
Pirates: End of the World - Difficult to follow. Re-invents the 'sudden reversal'. A story of the re-united. Obviously never takes itself too seriously, we get to see Keith Richards as Captain Jack's dad!
Spiderman III - Very dramatic. Every emotional touchstone is employed to tell this story. The 'sandman' is particularly well designed. Reversals galore and there's talk of a 4th installment.
Transformers - So many cameo appearances un-credited. Megan Fox very hot. The good guys and the bad guys were hard to distinguish. A few good laughs and some touching moments. I never did find out what the 'all spark' does.
Fantastic Four: Silver Surfer - Better then the original film. A lavish production. Good directing. A great sense of humor. Good chemistry. 120 Million to produce returning 284 Million worldwide. That's disappointing.
Next - Clever, well portrayed adventure with Nicholas Cage and Julliane Moore. Tightly directed and reasonably well written. It reminds me of a quip from comedian Steven Wright who roughly stated: "I'm a peripheral visionary. I can see into the future but only way off to the side."
Georgia Rule - Most of the cast walked through this film without investing themselves. Graphic language content throughout was 'bleeped' from the gag reel. You get the sense Lindsay Lohan was actually playing herself. Way too long.
Perfect Stranger - Halle Berry and Bruce Willis in the uneven and often dialogue impaired story of one reporters murderous revenge. You won't feel a thing.
Perfume - Disturbing in the extreme. Graphic and twisted. Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman lend their enormous talents to the story of a serial killer who murders people for their scent. Prepare to squirm.
I Love My Wife - Chris Rocks directorial debut. Some fun bits between labored scenes. The film runs on and on and on. Good music.
Freedom Writers - A likely Oscar contender. Not a single special effect. Well crafted, well directed... plausible, possible. Unexpectedly touching.
Shooter - Graphic and gory Rambo-esque tail. Great stunts. Special Forces training trumps local law enforcement once again.
Seraphim Falls - Brosnan and Neeson together for the first time. Post Civil War trauma. A difficult shoot includes desert and snow. An odd ending to a brutal revenge conflict.
Pan's Labyrinth - A gorgeous production. Great significance couched in an imaginary world brought to life. Brutal domination. It just might break your heart.
Music and Lyrics - Sucker for a happy ending? I am. Charming, unlikely, improbable tug on your heartstrings. The usual integration, stabilization, disintegration and sudden reversal we enjoy. Toss in the pairing of personable screen presences and there you have it.
Dream Girls - A film that starts well and promptly declines into gay musical. A fine cast with solid performances in a poorly conceived story. The period music has nothing to do with the period. A wealth of production value cannot make us care about these characters.
Night at the Museum - A great diversion. Plenty of accredited talent. Perhaps the final time we will see some of these faces committed to film. The story mocks other blockbuster films and leaves you feeling satisfied if not compellingly moved.
Smokin' Aces - Crude, vulgar and violent. There's no one to like, no compassion, neither is there sympathy. The 'Hustle and Flow' crowd will love it. Conversely, it will launch Don Imus into fitful wondering.
Casino Royale - I have to admit Daniel Craig makes a great, buff Bond! Somehow the franchise keeps coming up with a film that beats the last. Highly imaginative with fabulous action sequences. I doubt Pierce Brosnan would have been up to the physical requirements.
Borat - Very inventive and exceptionally crude. Apparently Americans are desperate to laugh. Definitely not for everyone!
Babel - An articulate and realistic film. No hype. No sci-fi effects. Miss nothing. Be prepared to feel. An all too compelling story that captures the angst, the doubt and the fortunes of life as we know it.
Flags of Our Fathers - Deeply powerful. An all too real depiction of war and the crushing weight our veterans bear for life. Stippled with fraud, angst and discrimination. Prepare to be moved.
The Departed - Truly an all-star tour de force. Well acted, well crafted, well directed and a likely best picture contender. Some implausible scenes. Immensely violent. A brutal depiction. Nicholson at his nastiest.
Hollywoodland - The name has little to do with the content. Those of us who grew up in the late 50's and early 60's know well the impact that the original 'Superman' (George Reeves) had on pop culture. A sterling cast in a well crafted and intriguing mystery about type casting, power plays and loss of self.
Little Miss Sunshine - Not for kids. Terrible language and awkward personal situations. Not funny but ludicrously touching. A great cast. Little Miss Breslin as 'Olive' was a terrific optimist. Worth a view if only once.
The Guardian - Spend a lot of time in the pool. Reminiscent of 'The Perfect Storm'. A number of plot pieces that don't connect properly. A virtue-less sacrifice.
Taladega Nights - Better than I thought it would be with some genuinely touching moments. Ricky Bobby may be slow, dim and confused but he's not selfish or mean spirited. I took three starts to get to the actual viewing. I especially liked the cougar in the car bits. The DVD has outsold the second 'Pirates' movie.
Crank - Furiously paced but ludicrous actioner with Jason Statham. It's a good idea taken in unexpected ways. Another 'cops must be dumb' movie. No real martial art scenes. More wealthy criminals in expensive digs with hot girls strutting and vacuous.
The Illusionist - A great period piece with Jessica Beal and Edward Norton. Think 'Mission: Impossible' for the 19th century. As imaginative with a love story as it is with special effects. Throw in a forbidden romance and it's worth a viewing.
MISSES - Some films didn't connect with me or perhaps it was the reverse. 'Haven', 'Employee of the Month', 'The Night Listener', 'Unknown', 'One Night With The King', 'Prey', 'Zoom', 'Grudge2', The Prestige', 'A Good Year', 'Stranger Than Fiction', 'Open Season', 'Beerfest', 'The Holiday', 'Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties',' The Last Kiss', 'Blood Diamond', 'The Ring Two', ' Fast Food Nation', 'The Good Shepard', 'Children of Men', 'Succubus', 'Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker', 'The Last King of Scotland', 'The Cleaner', 'Letters from Iwo Jima', 'Croc', 'Reno 911', 'Peaceful Warrior', 'Grey Matters', 'The Last Mimzy', 'Epic Movie', 'Premonition', 'Factory Girl', 'The Fountain,' 'The Number 23', 'Are We Done Yet?, 'The Ultimate Gift', 'The Astronaut Farmer', 'Surfs Up', 'The Reaping', 'Shrek III', 'The Queen', 'Rocky Balboa', 'Clerks II', 'Flushed Away', 'Ocean's Thirteen', 'Mr. Bean's Holiday', 'I Know Who Killed Me', '1408', 'Rush Hour 3',