Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ocean's Eleven, 2011

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Ted Griffin
Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, and Julia Roberts

This might be the best heist flick ever. It's smart and funny, the story's well told, everybody does a great job with their roles, and it looks great. It's hard to know where to start if there are specific bits of praise to go around. Brad Pitt's doctor and Andy Garcia saying "You know a guy" stand out at the moment, but there's so much good stuff that it's hard to know where to start.

Ocean's Eleven at IMDB.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, 2011

Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves from the novel by J.K. Rowling
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Ralph Fiennes

As a culmination of the series, this is a good end; it doesn't really have an independent existence as its own film. It really is part 2 of a single film, so that, having seen Part 1 when it first came out, I was repeatedly confused about various facts of the story. This wasn't pervasive, but I did sometimes feel confused.

That issue aside, this is a decent movie, though I cannot imagine how anyone would see it just for itself. All the actors do a good job, though I found some of Voldemort's material towards the end seemed a little, say, insecure for someone as powerful as the Dark Lord. That said, Ralph Fiennes did as well as he could with the material, which is awfully good.

All in all, it's very well put together, though the look is a little dark and a little too monochromatic, as someone I know pointed out.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II at IMDB.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Naked Gun, 1988

Directed by David Zucker
Written by Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Pat Profft
Starting Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, Ricardo Montalban

This is a silly, funny movie. It's not as good as Airplane, or even as good as I remembered it being, but it's pretty good, just the same -- lots of good sight gags, cheap jokes, and bad puns. Leslie Nielsen's in fine form, the rest of the cast is just fine, and there's not much OJ Simpson, who is a little tough to watch, given history since then. It also has once of my favorite lines in a comedy, "It's Enrico Palazzo!"

For the record, 1988 was good year for comedy movies, with this, A Fish Called Wanda, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! at IMDB.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Head, 1968

Directed by Bob Rafelson.
Written by Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson.
Starring the Monkees (Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork).

This is movie is pretty entertaining, interesting (intellectually and anthropologically), and even somewhat moving. If you're looking for an hour and a half of the Monkees TV show, this is not it. And if you're looking for coherence, plot, or story, this is really not it -- but as a kind of journey (I'm sure its creators would call it a trip), it's not bad. It's a kaleidoscopic, circular series of vignettes involving the Monkees that plays on the idea of the Monkees. Each of the four of them has his arc and gets his moments; I found Peter's part particularly satisfying.

Head at IMDB.