Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three films, three short reviews

The Other Guys - The Other Guys is a very silly, very well-made film from co-writer/director Adam McKay. McKay proves once again that he's the only one who can really get the best out of Will Ferrell as Will Ferrell delivers his funniest performance since Anchorman. He approaches his role as pretty straight-faced compared to Mark Wahlberg's hot-headed behavior and the two of them automatically strike a great chemistry (or lackthereof) from the get-go. The film delivers on the laughs and the action sequences although they were a little too self-aware of the ridiculousness of the action sequences. But, McKay continues his path towards complete absurdity as there are scenes in this film that make you laugh as much as they make you scratch your head. Overall, not quite as absurd as Step Brothers, but a lot smarter than Step Brothers. The plot never really gets too convoluted, but the running joke is that it is too convoluted for Mark Wahlberg's character who thinks it all, in some way, has to do with drugs. Anyway, a very funny outing from the McKay/Ferrell team. 8/10

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World -
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is such an insane, visually stimulating, off-the-wall hilarious type movie that all of it pretty much works. The humor, the action scenes, the attitude, the style - it all makes for a very fun movie to watch. I had more fun watching Scott Pilgrim than I had watching pretty much any other movie this summer*. It really is that good. The movie moves so fast that we may not be able to really get to know the characters as much as we'd like to, but the movie does a great job of portraying dumb, young adult puppy love. Michael Cera does a good job, but the real hero of this movie is Edgar Wright who is quickly proving to everyone that he's the most talented filmmaker of his generation. The movie may be a bit rough around the edges and it may occasionally get lost in its own cleverness, but there is so much about Scott Pilgrim to love that it really doesn't matter. 9/10

The Ghost Writer (DVD) - The Ghost Writer is a fairly intense, yet uneven effort from the great, controversial Roman Polanski. The film has a very intriguing and interesting story but it starts to run a little thin after about an hour or so. Also, the performances were a bit dry, excluding Pierce Brosnan. I really liked seeing Pierce Brosnan as the asshole former Prime Minister. I like Pierce as an asshole. I'm not saying it suits him, but it was just fun to watch. Other than that though, there were too many bits in the movie that was a bit too contrived, and overall, the plot simply goes a tad too long. I appreciated that Chinatown-esque mystery of it all, but Chinatown worked so well because of Jack Nicholson's highly charismatic performance. Ewan McGregor simply can't carry a movie by himself. A decent movie, but a movie that I can't quite recommend. 6.5/10

*while I like Inception and Toy Story 3 more, SP was definitely more fun to watch

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