Addicted to novelty since 2001

April’s Been a Good Month for Movies

I know I recently referenced my 2006 movie list, but I thought I’d point out these recent additions. April has been a very rewarding month, movie-wise:

Inside Man – 7.5/10 – A
heck of a cast, and I’ve always liked Spike Lee’s work. It was overly long (we
could have done without the usual Lee commentary on racism), and the plot twists
sure didn’t fool me (and I’m easy to fool). An ordinary movie, but well-crafted.
For once, I actually noticed a
glaring goof
(spoiler ahead) listed on IMDB.

Thank You For Smoking – 9/10 – A clever, satirical take on the tobacco industry in the vein of one of my favourite films, Wag the Dog. Aaron Eckhart is the Mattias Norstrom (obscure reference there) of Hollywood–one of the most underrated actors in the league. The supporting cast is great as well, with some creative and unlikely casting choices (Rob Lowe is enormously funny). My one complaint–I never fully understood where Eckhart’s character stood on tobacco–the movie studiously ignored that question. Regardless, a funny and thoughtful film. Something to look for: how many people actually smoke in this film?

Slither – 7/10 – It’s a gooey, gross comedy-horror flick, and it’s pretty amusing. There are all the usual elements–asteroid plummets to earth, girl in distress, brave town sheriff, gooey squid monster in the woods and so on. Nathan Fillian is great as the sheriff, and Elizabeth Banks (see also Catch Me if You Can) makes a decent female lead. Unfortunately, the film never found an audience.

Lucky Number Slevin – 7.5/10 – A cousin to Pulp Fiction, this film’s as much a ‘what’s going on’ film as a who-dunnit. The cast is fantastic. Supporting roles include Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello. I expected to be disappointed by Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu, two actors whose work I’ve never cared for. That said, they didn’t embarrass themselves. The film’s plot is actually pretty predictable, but it’s an enjoyable ride. Plus, the set design is gorgeous.

Brick – 8.5/10 – In film noir, trouble always starts with a blonde. Brick is no exception. Rian Johnson’s directorial debut is a mashup of film noir and high school life. The dialogue is pure thirties noir, but the settings are high school parking lots and suburban basements. It’s a gimmick, but a highly effective one. The film’s aesthetic reminded me of Ghostworld or Better Luck Tomorrow–Anywhere, Suburban America. The performances are pretty sound–I instantly fell in love with Nora Zehetner, who plays the femme fatale. The lead, if you can imagine, is the 24-year-old Joseph Gordon-Levitt, most recognizable as the sass-mouthed youngest child from Third Rock from the Sun.

14 Responses to “April’s Been a Good Month for Movies”

  1. alexis

    Gordon-Levitt is supposed to be good in “Mysterious Skin” as well, which is a dark, twisted movie involving teenagers.

    I want to see “Brick”.

  2. Jody

    I read the novel, “Thank You For Smoking” by Christopher Buckley about a year ago. It’s intelligent and insightful about commercialism and the PR machine. The book wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it sounds like the movie improved that area. I’ll have to check it out.

  3. Patty - UBC

    I’m looking forward to seeing “Thank you for not smoking”. It sounds quite good. It’s on my “to be watched” list for sure.

    Last night I saw “Tsotsi”, an african movie about a young man who found himself on the wrong side of the tracks by default and his redemption, finding the nature in himself. It was amazing. No wonder it won the Oscar for best foreign film!

  4. Neal

    This is a little off topic, but I just watched the trailer for a movie called “The Legend of Simon Conjurer” (http://www.thelegendofsimonconjurer.com/Trailer.html). The trailer and the website seem kind of odd, like it might all be a hoax or a spoof. Or maybe they are trying to play with our minds like the characters in the film would do. Is this thing legit?

  5. Sean Hagen

    I’ve seen “Lucky Number Sleven” twice now, and it only got better the second time. I really like movies like that, where they have the whole “Sixth Sense”-look-at-all-the-clues-you-missed type thing. I’d have to admit though, I was in the same boat when it came to Josh Hartnett. I’m very glad that he’s managed to find himself in a film that lets him showcase his acting talent, instead of just looking pretty for all the teeny-boppers.

    And although it goes without saying, Bruce Willis rocks.

  6. Keith Demko

    Didn’t care as much as you for “Inside Man” mostly because I thought it just piled on too many twists and just didn’t have enough Spike for me … “Slither” and “Thank You,” however, were both great in different ways, and were just fun to watch

  7. Kaka73258

    I haven’t been up to anything today. I don’t care. I’ve just been staying at home not getting anything done. Basically not much happening right now. Maybe tomorrow. I guess it doesn’t bother me.

  8. Kaka98671

    My life’s been pretty dull recently. Shrug. My mind is like a void. I haven’t gotten anything done lately. I can’t be bothered with anything recently.

  9. Kaka86979

    I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but such is life. I don’t care. So it goes. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. I’ve just been hanging out waiting for something to happen, but that’s how it is.

  10. Kaka11029

    I feel like a complete blank, but I don’t care. Pfft. I’ve pretty much been doing nothing worth mentioning.

  11. Juno Looks Terrific

    […] I really liked Thank You For Smoking, and Juno looks equally off-beat and entertaining. The cast is rife with talent. I’ve really admired Ellen Page’s work. Like Sarah Polley and Molly Parker before her, she’s been pretty savvy about the roles she takes, combining independent and mainstream movies. It’ll be hard to go wrong with Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney. That’s some serious comic talent. […]

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