Thursday, August 8, 2013

three more mini-movie reviews

Between the more leisurely pace of summer (and my aversion to its heat) and giving up satellite, I've been watching a lot of movies (both with and without Mr. Nomadreader.) Here are my brief thoughts on some recent ones.

The Cabin in the Woods

When I told Mr. Nomadreader I wanted to watch The Cabin in the Woods, he was surprised and excited, as horror is not my favorite genre, and it is one of his. But the very reason I wanted to see (and ended up loving) The Cabin in the Woods is that it's so smart. There's certainly something in it that will terrify everyone, but it's not terror for terror's sake. It works because it's brilliant and inventive. It pays homage to the genre's history, but it offers a delightfully fresh take on it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: Netflix

Spring Breakers

At the end of a particularly bad day, I was in the mood for an escapist movie and several glasses of wine. Spring Breakers was the perfect antidote. The story of four friends, three who rob a restaurant to pay for their Spring Break trip. As in Kids, Harmony Korine's first film, there's an attempt to shock the audience. The film worked for me for two reasons, and they're both casting. The four young girls seem particularly young because they're actually playing characters around their age. To see them acting recklessly and without inhibition is both invigorating and refreshing, even as their behavior is appalling. It's James Franco, however, who really makes this film. His performance is fabulous, and a role that could be ridiculous and campy feels authentic.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Redbox

End of Watch

Shot in a documentary style, from the perspectives of the cops and criminals both, End of Watch follows partners and best friends Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena on and off duty in Los Angeles. I'm a huge fan of cop dramas, and End of Watch is a good one. What keeps it from being a truly great one is its similarities in style to Southland, one of my all-time favorite tv shows. There's the same tension here, but without the prolonged storylines of characters, there's not the same level of buy-in. Pena and Gyllenhaal are both outstanding and believable as both cops and best friends.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Netflix

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5 comments:

  1. I really loved Cabin in the Woods, it was fun. A lot of fun actually.

    I cannot bring myself to watch that Spring Break movie. My daughter is a huge Disney fan and seeing Selena Gomez and the other gal from High School Musical prancing around in their skivvies and drinking and using drugs... no thanks. I much prefer to remember them by their sweet Disney faces! LOL.

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  2. I think you're going to be my go-to movie reviewer from now on!

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  3. Cabin in the Woods was a lot of fun! First time I watched it, it had such a ridiculous touch to it that I came out in a strange state. Second time, it was actually fun.

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  4. I agree End of Watch was so good, but what a heartbreaking movie. Spring Breakers I would never have thought to watch before seeing your recommendation! And Cabin in the Woods was such a weird movie, LOL... my husband made me watch it!

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  5. I've been wondering about Cabin in the Woods - saw it on the library shelves. Glad u liked it.

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