Monday, November 07, 2011

My Week In Movies - October Week 4

Zookeeper (2011) Is this movie funny? If you like Kevin James then yes, it is funny. Is this movie good? It's good along the line of Kevin James falling down, talking to animals, getting shot in the face with porcupine quills, and more falling down kind of way. The thing with this movie is this: If you're going to do a film with a bunch of talking animals, the animals should be a little more a part of the action of the story. The various zoo animals help Zookeeper James win the girl of his dreams by giving him advice on how to do well with the ladies. That's all they pretty much do, give advice. They just talk. There's not much else the animals are given to do. The only animal costar who gets any real screen time is a gorilla who does have a pretty hilarious scene when Kevin James takes him to a T.G.I.Friday's. But that's the thing, if the other animals were all given something funny to do besides telling their buddy that the best way to sweep a female off her feet is to pee on a tree...this might be a much better film.

The Freebie (2010) I really enjoy actress Kate Aselton on FX's The League. So when I heard that she not only stared in a movie but she also directed it, I was in. It's a pretty captivating tale about a very happy young couple who decide to both take one night off from being married and go have a meaningless fling. The story unfolds out of order, which can be a confusing device but it is handled well here. This is an independent film, with some shakey camera work, mello soundtrack, lots of talking and a pretty surprising ending. Netflix Streaming

V.I. Warshawski (1991) For some reason, this movie is entertaining as all get out. It's probably the same reason people slow down to see a car accident. This detective picture is a wreck of a film. Kathleen Turner made took on the role of private detective Warshawski at the height of her career, hoping to turn this into a franchise for herself. Instead, it tanked her entire career. In 1991 she was the biggest female box office draw and this flick single handily ruined her career. I remember loving it when it came out, I even saw it at the theatre. It was a little tough to get through now, but like I said - it's weirdly entertaining.

Student Bodies (1981) Before Scream or Scary Movie, this unassuming flick was the first movie to really parody the (then-new) slasher film genre. The Breather is going around killing any high school kids who are about to have sex. He uses the standard weapons for his murders: paper clip, rubber chicken, eggplant. It's obviously sillier than it is witty, but the jokes come one after the other and there are more hits than misses. There's actually zero gore, nudity or sex but there is one scene which they point out in the movie was only added to get the coveted R rating. This is good stuff worth seeking out. I have a really old VHS copy of it, but Netflix has the DVD in their library.

It Happened At The World's Fair (1962) I arrived at this movie hoping to see some glorious footage of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. There is some neat documentation of the event, but it's all wrapped up inside one of the slightest plots I've ever seen in a movie. We start off with Elvis flying a plane. Way up there in the sky, he spots two attractive girls driving a car so he zooms his plane down to the road to meet them. They turn him down, so he walks down the road to a girl's house, sings to her - makes out with her and then her father comes home and literally tries to shoot him. Elvis flees the scene and gets into a fight with some thugs trying to steal his friends money. They beat the crap out of the bad guys and take off in the plane. When they land, the sheriff takes their plane away because they owe money on it. So the boys hitchhike. An old Chinese man and his 6 year old granddaughter pick them up. They are headed to Seattle. So Elvis, his buddy and the 6 year old pile into the back of the pickup truck, sing a few songs and arrive in Seattle. The King of Rock and Roll ends up taking the little girl all around the World's Fair. Elvis meets a nurse and fakes being sick to get her attention. The little girl runs away. They beat up a mobster and then Elvis leads a marching band through the fair. All in a day's work for The King!

Everything Must Go (2011) When Will Ferrel uses his comedic senses as back seat to dramatics, it works. This is a pretty good tale of a fella who looses it all (job, wife, car, dignity) within a few days. It doesn't take place in the 70's, and it's not about sports so it just might be Ferrel's most original film yet.

Beetlejuice (1988) I saw Beetlejuice the day it hit theatres 23 years ago and didn't really care for it. I was only 15 at the time, but I didn't understand the story at all, I thought Beetlejuice was not in it enough and I actually found it quite vulgar for a PG rated movie. Well, my oldest fancies himself a Tim Burton fan (he did make Batman after all) and has been wanting to see Beetlejuice so we settled in to watch it the other night, with the stipulation that I reserved the right to turn it off at any point if it was inappropriate. Well, most of the vulgarity is over kids heads (except for an only-in-the-80's use of the F word in a PG rated flick) and I actually enjoyed it this time around. The stellar cast and the creepy feel, plus even if he's not in it enough - Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice is as fantastic as comedic performances come.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) I know this is a modern classic that has legions of fans, but I still don't get this movie. In fact, I find it down right boring. The opening number is great and then it just looses my interest very quickly. I know I'm alone on this, but a real snoozer!

October Movie Count: 17

Best New Movie: Bridesmaids

Best Rewatch: Serial Mom

Worst Movie: Village of Giants

2011 Movie Count: 172

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