Friday, December 13, 2013

In Bruges (2008)

Number Rolled: 96
Movie Name/Year: In Bruges (2008)
Genre: Comedy Drama
Length: 107 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Actors: Elizabeth Berrington, Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Eric Godon, Anna Madeley, Clemence Poesy, Jordan Prentice, Jeremie Renier, Thekla Reuten, Theo Stevenson, Inez Stinton

A traumatized hitman and his partner are sent to Bruges by their boss. Neither of them knows why they were sent, but they suspect it is either to hide out or to find a target. As they wait to hear from their boss, they sight-see in the town and interact with the residents.

“In Bruges” is a smart, unique film. Yes, it’s got the hitman aspect, which has been done to death, but it’s a really different spin on it. I also happen to think it’s the perfect vehicle for Colin Farrell. I like him as an actor in general, and I believe he does better in this film than in any other I’ve ever seen him in.

The movie itself has a great storyline. It’s not very fast paced, but it does have the ability to keep one involved until it gets to the meat of the plot. The script is intricate, and the actors all seem to be very invested in their rolls. I’ve been able to sit through this movie more times than I can count and, I think, what gives the film such rewatchability is the ending. Without saying too much, I will say that the ending – however strong – is debatable. I have a friend with a very different perspective than mine, we argue every time one of us watches the movie.

Ignore the label of “foreign movie” for the genre. Although it was made in another country, the language is English. If I were to give it a genre I’d say drama, despite the comedy and action also involved.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Overall Opinion – 5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Robin Hood (1973)

Number Rolled: 66
Movie Name/Year: Robin Hood (1973)
Genre: Classic
Length: 83 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Writer: Larry Clemmons, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry, Frank Thomas, Eric Cleworth, Julius Svendsen, David Michener
Actors: Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov, Terry-Thomas, Brian Bedford, Monica Evans, Phil Harris, Andy Devine, Carole Shelley, Pat Buttram, George Lindsey, Ken Curtis

Robin Hood is Robin Hood. If you don’t know at least the basics of the story by now, then shame on you. Pick one of the tellings, watch it and then watch the rest of them.

Disney’s “Robin Hood” is not only one of my all time favorite versions of the tale, but my favorite Disney movie of all time. As a child, I would have either put this movie or “Lady and the Tramp” in my ‘favorite’ spot. I’ve found, even all this time later, I still sink into the story. There’s nothing quite like a childhood favorite that stands the test of time. Even though the methods of animation are a great deal more advanced today, “Robin Hood” is still more than just tolerable in that area. In fact, I can name many current cartoons that don’t stand up to it. You can tell it’s not a modern movie, but I doubt your typical eight year old is going to care.

Seeing this movie come onto Netflix was like having a sliver of my childhood dangled in front of me. I felt like I was a kid again just watching it. The only thing that would make me happier is seeing Netflix get “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” on streaming.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Overall Opinion – 5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holes (2003)

Number Rolled: 74
Movie Name/Year: Holes (2003)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 117 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Andrew Davis
Writer: Louis Sachar
Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson, Shia LaBeouf, Dule Hill, Jake M. Smith, Byron Cotton, Khleo Thomas, Brenden Jefferson, Miguel Castro, Max Kasch, Noah Poletiek, Zane Holtz, Steven Kozlowski, Siobhan Fallon, Henry Winkler, Nathan Davis, Rick Fox, Nicole Pulliam, Michael Cavanaugh, Eartha Kitt, Damien Luvara, Patricia Arquette, Scott Plank, Allan Kolman, Louis Sachar, Eric Pierpoint, Allison Smith

Stanley Yelnats IV was not a criminal. Of course, once the courts convicted him for stealing Sweet Feet’s shoes from a homeless shelter charity drive, he was never able to convince anyone of that fact. As punishment, he was sent to a juvenile work camp where he was sentenced to spend his time digging holes.

I have not read the book, but I think I’ve seen the movie about a hundred times. I was beyond happy to see it come onto Netflix. One of the things that impresses me about “Holes” is that the screenplay was solely credited to the same person who wrote the book. I have to imagine that means that it either deviates very little from the novel or that the author was able to allow deviation that did not take away from what he envisioned when writing it. From my experience, it’s rare for there to be no other names on the screenplay credits.

It was a few years back, maybe 2005, when I first saw this movie. It’s one of those films I, personally, could watch over and over again without ever getting bored of it. I think the actors did wonderfully, the script was imaginative and I even liked the way the soundtrack fits.

Though it’s labeled as a children & family movie, don’t let that dissuade you from watching it if you don’t happen to have kids. Personally, I think the story is something that targets many people of many different ages without actually being specifically geared toward a certain age group. I’m also not fond of the comedy genre it’s labeled with. I’d most likely go with drama if anyone asked me. However, I do have trouble accepting the “poisonous lizard” idea that was utilized in “Holes”. Watching people run away from painted bearded dragons does point to comedy a bit, at least for me.

It was a great Disney movie. I believe it stands up to a lot of their live-action classics.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

P.S. Based on a book of the same name by Louis Sachar

P.P.S. There was a short scene after the English credits followed by some Spanish credits.

Movie Trailer: