Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie Mon. - Drag Me to FUN!

Just a handful of reviews, to keep the blogging momentum rolling

The Burrowers: Entertaining horror-Western about a rescue party who sets out to save some missing settlers from Indians, only to discover that the settlers were taken by something far more dangerous. Solid script is enhanced by a talented cast (including two of my favorite character actors, Clancy Brown and Doug Hutchison) and the novelty of the monsters and their m.o. Recommended for horror fans.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop: Kevin James stars as an over-weight mall security officer who takes it upon himself to pull a John McClane when the mall is taken over by a band of crooks who take the girl of his dreams hostage. Not one I was looking forward to seeing -- the commercials did absolutely nothing for me -- but had heard enough positive word of mouth that I decided to give it a try. Not one I'm going to be watching again any time soon, and it had a few "Oh, come on!" moments that made me cringe, but over all, better than I had been expecting.

Defiance: Historical drama about the Bielskis, a group of Jewish brothers (played by Jamie Bell, Liev Schreiber, and Daniel Craig) who banded together to protect a community of Jewish refuges in the forests of Russia during WWII. Liked this one; interesting look at a facet of the war that I had never really heard about before.

Darkon: Documentary about a community of Live Action Role Players (or LARPers) who take part in the shared world known as Darkon

Some people will watch this and spend their whole time laughing at the dork in chainmail with padded swords; I confess to doing that a bit, but mainly aimed at those who take it so danged seriously that they can't separate relationships between characters in the game from relationships with the people playing the characters in real life. At the same time, the film shows multiple people who have used the game of Darkon as a way of improving their social skills in a way that benefits them in the real world, and it's much harder to laugh this hobby off when taken in that light. Either way, a fascinating film.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons: Excellent film about a strange boy who was born an old man, and ages backwards . . . kind of like Mearth from Mork and Mindy only a bit more attractive to the lady folk. Great writing, great directing, great performances; an off-beat movie, but one that I think can still hold great appeal to more mainstream audiences.

Drag Me to Hell!: A return to the horror genre from Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi filled with the sort of horror-comedy moments that made him a bit of a cult figure in the first place, DMtH is the story of a young bank loan officer who is stricken with a terrible curse which will doom her soul to hell. Saw this one with Li'l Brother, and we both loved it; at one point early on, he leaned over to me and whispered "Are we the only ones laughing?" And, for the most part, I think we were, and nearly falling out of our seats while doing so; guess not everyone appreciates a good old-fashioned horror-comedy romp these days. So, not for everyone by a long shot, but if you're a fan of Raimi's early work, you should definitely give this a try.

Okay, that's it for now; I'll try to catch up on some other reviews next time around.