Posted by: da_nibbler | April 4, 2009

In Short

inshortYet another new column summarizing something. Since I’m a lazy ass and can’t be bothered writing an extensive review (extensive enough to warrant its own post on here) for every little film I watch I thought I’d come up with a irregular column in which I can review the latest films I have seen in short (hence the name).

Some of the ones you will find in this first installment will be rather old and you have probably read my mini review of them already on our Six’s Recs & Wrecks page. I apologize for the repetitive content and promise all new mini reviews the next time around.

This time on In Short:
Bolt, Burn After Reading, Changeling, Happy Go Lucky, In Search of a Midnight Kiss, Persepolis, Saw V, The Express, The Great Debaters and The Reader.

Bolt

John Travolta voicing a cute puppy dog with a delusional superhero personality and two utterly crazy, quirky side characters make this fun to watch. But despite it all there is unfortunately one thing missing. The spark that makes this special. It’s okay to watch it with the kids. Once. Just make sure they don’t want a hamster or an alley cat afterwards.

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Burn After Reading

I still have mixed feelings about this film. While there are some lengthy and boring passages throughout, I still enjoyed the film in all its crazy weird- and whackness. Having all these great actors aboard definitely helped. If you like the Coen Bros I’m sure you will enjoy this film.

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Changeling

I like Angelina Jolie. She is a good actress and she does a good job here. But why everyone is screaming “award!” is beyond me. It’s a decent film and she sells her character well, but nothing stands out or is special. It’s a nice little story about one woman going up against the corrupt LAPD and while that and her fight for the truth and her sanity are definitely worth telling it is the way it is told that is a bit of a letdown. If you want to watch an Eastwood directed film watch Gran Torino!

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Happy Go Lucky

I don’t really have a thing for British films, but I love the accents. Their quirky humor is right up my alley as well, which is why I don’t quite understand why I didn’t really like Happy Go Lucky. It was fun enough to watch, but the whole hype around it, especially lead actress Sally Hawkins, I just don’t get. It’s okay to watch just don’t expect too much.

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In Search of a Midnight Kiss

After a slow start this film really picks up and turns into an interesting tale of two complete strangers meeting for a few hours with that meeting having a profound impact on their lives. Sometimes overly pretentious it is in the second half of the film that it and its characters truly reveal their charme. Definitely worth seeing as long as you don’t expect too much of it.

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Persepolis

The story of a young girl born and raised in Iran, trying to come to terms with what is happening with and around her. Traveling abroad at a rather young age, being away from her family and thrust into an unknown and strange world, she is trying to adapt without ever losing who she is or where she came from. Told in quite an unusual animation style to might not be to everyone’s liking. The film might be a bit tough to watch for some, but will definitely function as an eye-opener to a lot of people.

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Saw V

I’m not a fan of the SAW series, but have thoroughly enjoyed parts 1-4 so far. I still remember the impact the original SAW film had, which in my opinion is getting more and more diminished by too many follow-up sequels. The interesting POV change in SAW IV is used in SAW V again. While that certainly makes it interesting, enlarging the already told stories and giving us more insight into the history, unfortunately it has been done before. It seems like the makers are running out of ideas in part 5. Quite a letdown, but still okay. I was hoping they let Jigsaw rest now, but the next installment is already on its way. With an old friend returning.

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The Express

I love football! I love football films! So I should love The Express. But I don’t. I felt like re-watching Remember the Titans just without Denzel Washington. The Express is a good story, but somehow the film doesn’t manage to rise above other football films. If you’re into football you might like this one. But keep in mind that you have probably seen this millions of times already.

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The Great Debaters

Directed by and starring Denzel Washington, the film covers the amazing story of the Wiley College (a black college) Debate Team from 1935 culminating in them facing the Harvard team. The horrors of segregation should never be forgotten and how hard and small the little steps are that have to be fought and died for to make sure no minority is oppressed by the majority. No outstanding film, but the message is what makes it a must-see!

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The Reader

Haunting holocaust tale starring Kate Winslet in her Academy Award winning role. Hard to digest just like  her other film, Revolutionary Road. I still prefer the latter thanks to Winslet’s amazing performance. Check out The Reader just so you can see for yourself which Winslet performance you prefer. Plus new and upcoming German star David Kross.

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