Monday, May 22, 2006

Movie Mon. - Short But Sweet

Not feeling very wordy today, so here are my brief movie reviews.

The Ringer: Johnny Knoxville vehicle about a man pushed into a scheme to fix the Special Olympics. Not nearly as crass and tasteless as the concept or the trailers might have you believe. Instead, what you have hear is a fun little movie that treats people with mental disabilities with, if not respect, at least understanding; they're neither better nor worse than the other characters in the film, just different. Made me laugh out loud several times, think that says it all.

When a Stranger Calls: Bland remake of the Carol Kane thriller about a babysitter being terrorized by phone calls from a psycho. This one was a total waste of my time; wasn't a quarter as creepy as the original.

Winter Passing: Drama about an actress (Zooey Deschanel) who visits her estranged father (Ed Harris) following the death of her mother only to find him cohabiting with a former student (Amelia Warner) and a not-all-there musician (Will Ferrell). An okay film with good performances, although Ferrell's character felt a bit out of place, tonally.

The Mudge Boy: Odd indie about an odd teen (Emile Hirsch) dealing with the death of his mother in odd ways, such as wearing her clothes and speaking in her voice. Not sure how I feel about this one; I enjoyed a lot of the quirkiness of the film, and was impressed by Hirsch, who up till now I had only seen play the stock "rebellious teen" role, but towards the end it turned down some dark corners I would have preferred it avoided.

The White Countess
: A recently blinded former diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) starts a gentleman's club in 1930s Shanghai with the aid of an exiled and desitute Russian countess (Natasha Richardson). Although a bit slow at times, the film did manage to hold my interest, which is saying a lot this week.