Mar 21 2011

Movies: Randoms Part 1

Published by at 10:32 pm under Entertainment

Again I’ve fallen a bit behind my movies so I’m going to try a few different things. First off, I’m going to limit these to like 5 movies. Maybe that means I’ll just post more frequently. I’ve also decided to simplify my ratings. I used to do some granular rating of 0-5 and a lot of the minor ratings were completely at the whim of when I wrote the review. I’ve decided to just rate it with 3 ratings. Bad, good or great which would change very little.

So, in no particular order, here are 5 random movies that I’ve watched over the last month or so.

The Crazies

This movie has a ton of similarities to the tv show, The Walking Dead. If you liked that, you will likely like this. This is just on a smaller scale. Instead of a sheriff trying to find and save his friends in family in a post apocalyptic world, here he is merely trying to save his family and friends in their small town from a biological weapon released turning the residents into Zombie’s. It’s really hard to have a truly original zombie or any horror story for that matter. This one is no exception as it is a remake. What a movie has to do to make it decent is to not resort to cheesy tactics, have interesting characters and enough suspense to carry viewers through it. This movie has all of that. It’s probably the best zombie movie I’ve seen (not that I see a ton) since 28 Days Later.

Good

The Lottery

Several years ago, many large cities began creating a system of charter schools to raise the academic offerings to the normal public school system. These schools had a concentrated effort on making sure kids were learning instead of just passing the standardized tests. This film covers a few families who are on the large lottery lists to get their child into these schools and the people trying to make these schools a success against parental and political adversity. What really surprised me were how many people were against these schools. Even more than groups like the teacher’s unions but parents. I can’t really see a parent not wanting the best education options for their kids. While it’s interesting to watch and see what people are willing to go through, there really isn’t anything surprising that is happening here. It’s a bunch of people trying to make things better pushing against the slow moving mountains of change and politics. Still worth seeing but not a great doc.

Good

The Da Vinci Code

PSN had several movies free to rent last month. This was the first one and I decided to squeeze it in since the follow up, Angels & Demons, was being removed from the instant watch from netflix. After watching it, I decided I didn’t have to rush to watch the 2nd one. I never read the books, but I believe they tried to keep a little to close to the book. The movie was just too long. I found my self not caring how the loose ends tied up for the last 45 minutes of the movie. Which is a shame because it was really well acted and there were a lot of interesting story points with it.

Bad

Bomb It

Bomb it is a documentary covering the history and geographic influence of graffiti. It’s basically a better version of Exit Through the Gift Shop. Well, that might be a bit misleading. It certainly doesn’t have the polished production quality of Exit Through the Gift Shop, but it’s all stories straight from the mouths of those who lived it (or are living it). There are a few people who grace both films, like the semi-celebrity Shepard Fairey who is one of the few trying to monetize their delinquent industry. I actually found some of the stories that came from other countries, where people are using this more as a medium of political protest than for attention, more interesting. It also interviews people on the other side of the story. The business owners and political figures who are reacting to this common urban art form. It isn’t great, but it’s a good window into this world that we all see but few know what’s behind it.

Good

Art School confidential

This movie really feels like 2 different movies. The first movie trying to feed off of a lot of stereotypes and perceptions of the art community with a feel of movies like Rushmore or The Life Aquatic. Probably other movies that don’t star Bill Murray too, but those were what came to mind. The nice part is this one seems to be better written and has an incredibly entertaining performance by Jim Broadbent as another stereotype portrayed as a poor, starving artist who is an alumni of the art school and willing to bestow pearls of life wisdom to students for the lowely price of a bottle of his favorite elixir. The main character, Jerome, decides to go to the Strathmore School of art in hopes of, well, getting girls. While there he gets educated in things he thought he knew and disillusioned with things he thought to be true. If you’ve ever watched a coming of age movie that takes place in college, this is what they would have you believe all of our higher education experiences would be. The 2nd half of the movie turns more into Jerome’s relationship the “Stathmore Strangler”. A killer that has been plaguing the campus. Eventually getting to the point of having to decide between what he wants and his own integrity. Truthfully, it’s not as boring as that sounds. There are lots of interesting characters and funny dialog that is very tongue in cheek. I doubt everyone will like it, and maybe I like Terry Zwiggoff films too much, but I liked it a lot.

Great

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