I broke my personal record with that weekend with 5 films in one 3 day weekend. Beats the previous record of 4. I don’t know when that was. Couldn’t say. But I know this is a record. Rock on. Time for a blitz of film reviews.
9 – 4.5 stars
Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau and John C. Reilly headline this animated fable of the end of the world. A literal rag-tag group of puppets attempt to salvage the last vestiges of humanity after the machines man created rose up and destroyed the world. Sounds like a great story for an animated film, right?
Well, it is. Engagingly directed by Shane Acker (based on his Oscar Nominated 2005 short film), this is one of the most beautifully and intricately animated films I have ever seen. It shows the big studios that animation is not just for kids, and stands a good chance to upset Pixar’s 2 year streak on Best Animated Feature.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – 3 stars
I was skeptical going into this one. I loved this book as a kid. And I didn’t quite know how they would adapt it into a full narrative film. But I ended up being pleasantly surprised. The film follows Flint Lockwood in the town of Swallow Falls, where food falls from the sky like weather.
You have a well written script with plenty of funny jokes for the kids and adults, and a supremely talented voice cast including Bill Hader, James Caan, Anna Faris and Bruce Campbell. This is the animated film to take the kids to.
Extract – 3.5 stars
Mike Judge returns to the workplace comedy in this very entertaining film with Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Ben Affleck and Mila Kunis. Batman stars a factory owner/manager Joel who goes through a midlife crisis with his unsatisfactory marriage and stressful work environment.
Bateman, as always, delivers. You can’t go wrong with Jason Bateman. Same with Kristen Wiig. Affleck is enjoyable as the second fiddle stoner character. But what shines is the same thing that made Judge’s 1999 opus Office Space work, it’s the ability for the audience to relate to the characters. It’s not as tight, and nowhere near as funny as Office Space, but it’s still a decent enough flick.
The Informant! – 4 stars
Steven Soderbergh directs Matt Damon, Scott Bakula and Joel McHale in the true* story of corporate whistle blower Mark Whitacre, who exposed the international price fixing scheme of agri-business in the mid-90’s.
On the surface, it seems like the male version of Erin Brokovich, and it is. But it’s infinitely funnier due in no small part to the understated comedic brilliance of Matt Damon. Damon is routinely proving himself as one of the more versatile actors working today. And he makes the movie. So does Bakula, but I always dig Bakula.
Jennifer’s Body – 2 stars
Diablo Cody, fresh of her 2008 Oscar win, pen’s this high school horror flick about a teen queen played by Megan Fox who becomes possessed by a she-demon, and it’s up to Amanda Seyfried to bring an end to her murderous ways.
I’ve previously railed against the dreck passed off for modern horror, and this is no different, and couple that with the annoying dialogue of Cody and the talentless Fox, I’m left wondering exactly why this got so much advanced press. I also wonder why Seyfried doesn’t have the name recognition she so rightly deserves, as even in this film, she showcases infinitely more talent than Fox could ever hope to have.