Good friends reviewing movies just for you

Five quick reviews because it’s December and everybody’s busy

I was out of town for a while, but now I’m back and ready to see some goddamn movies.  I’ve managed to see three movies in the past four days, so it’s time to do some quick reviews of films I’ve seen recently.

Martha Marcy May Marlene – I saw this one about a month ago and just didn’t have enough to say about it for a longer blog.  It was good and I enjoyed it.  There was an underlying thread of tension running throughout the movie that kept me engaged–just a constant sense that something terrible was about to happen.  It is extremely well acted.  If you saw Winter’s Bone, then you know that John Hawkes is amazing at portraying a character with violence simmering just below the surface, and he brings that same intensity and feeling of menace to this film.  It’s not a comfortable movie to watch, but it is excellent.

Immortals (3-D) – I will admit that I wasn’t particularly excited about this one because it’s just not my kind of movie.  I’m not a big fan of crazy stylized violence.  I can say that it was pretty.  It was very, very pretty.  But other than that I didn’t find much to enjoy.  Oh, except for Freida Pinto, who is also very, very pretty.  And if you’re going to see it, see it in 3-D.

The Muppets – I wanted to like this movie.  I have some Muppets nostalgia and I really enjoy both Jason Segel and Amy Adams.  Parts of it were wonderful and felt like the old muppet magic.  Sadly, I found it to be really uneven and some moments were yawn-worthy or just plain cringe-inducing.  They pulled it back around for me when Kermit started singing “The Rainbow Connection,” but I’m afraid that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this one.  Maybe wait and see it on DVD.

The Descendants – Perhaps I just wasn’t in the right head space to watch this one because I think it’s going to get some Oscar love and at least one person that I saw it with cried quite a bit, but I wasn’t feeling it.  George Clooney is an amazing actor, but I couldn’t connect with his character, or with either of the daughters.  I can’t put my finger on anything that was wrong with this movie exactly.  The pacing was good, the story was compelling, and the setting was beautiful.  Still, it left me feeling empty when I could tell that its intention was to move me to emotion.

Melancholia – This is a beautiful artsy movie.  Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg both do a great job and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them get an Oscar nod.  The opening sequence is gorgeous, if a little long.  In fact, that would be my only complaint about this film–I felt like it was about twenty or thirty minutes too long.  Part of that is that it tells two distinct stories, and it tells them both well, but it’s a lot of material for one movie.  The character development is deep and rich, and the portrait of a woman who is deeply disturbed feels so realistic.  I enjoyed this one and it’s definitely a film that should be seen in the theater.  I just don’t think it would have the same sweeping, epic beauty on the small screen.

I’ll probably see at least one more movie in the next week (Young Adult is the most likely, although I’d like to see Into the Abyss as well), so keep an eye out for more reviews!

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