Friday, August 12, 2011

Film Friday: August 12, 2011

As always, here is the order: 1. Good New Movie, 2. Good Older Movie, 3. Average or Below Average Movie. 

Let me know in the comments if there are any movies you’d like to see me write about for Film Friday over the coming weeks.  

Cedar Rapids (2010)

John C. Reilly owned me in this movie.
So far, this is my favorite comedy of the year, although most people would give that title to Bridesmaids.  Ed Helms, who does a pretty good impression of Andy Bernard in this movie, gives a great performance as the most naïve man alive, a guy from a one-horse town in Wisconsin who goes on his first out-of-state trip to a conference for his employer, an insurance company.  Along the way, he meets John C. Reilly’s character (who totally steals the show and is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors), and Anne Heche’s character (who was so pretty with long red hair that I didn’t even realize it was Anne Heche at first), and both characters indoctrinate him in all ways of debauchery.  The result is a comedy that is hilarious in the most uncomfortable way possible.  7/10.

Paper Moon (1973)

As with most of the “older” films I recommend in this column, I wonder how I only recently got around to watching this one.  Ryan and Tatum O’Neal star as a team of father-daughter cons who go around selling Bibles to the widows of recently deceased men in depression-era Kansas.  I found myself wondering if this film was the spiritual Godfather of the Coen Brothers’ movies—main characters in a specific middle-America setting who get in over their heads with something—although director Peter Bogdanovich is a little more light-hearted and screwball than the Coens.  Young Tatum O’Neal is the standout performance-wise, but Bogdanovich regulars Ryan O’Neal and Madeleine Kahn are also great.  Currently on Netflix Streaming.  8.5/10.

Kick-Ass (2010)

The only thing that made this film worth watching to me was Chloe Moretz’ performance as an 8 year-old lethal assassin.  The story set up to be fairly interesting, if a little cliché: a nerdy kid (in a very average performance from Aaron Johnson) starts to fight crime under the pseudonym “Kick-Ass” in order to raise his self-esteem, who meets several people along the way that may or may not also be interested in fighting crime along with him.  An intriguing concept to me was the various shades of gray represented between hero and villain in the story.  However, neither one of these aspects of the story were executed with any sort of emotional connection, and the result is a standard action film with a lot of thematic potential left on the table.   5/10.  

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