Monday, April 26, 2010

Kick-Ass: Kicks Ass

"Capes rock," says one character in this hysterically funny, near-perfect movie about a faux superhero in a not-so-rocking slime green wet suit. And matching mask.
"Kick-Ass" is what you get when you cross "Revenge of the Nerds" with "Goodfellas." It's a coming-of-age flick, a comic book come to life, and a spoof on wiseguys run amok. It is what it is and does what it does very well. But that doesn't mean this flick is for everyone.
Nicholas Cage is hysterical as Big Daddy, a geeky comic book designer by day and an avenger of evil by night. His daughter, Hit Girl, (Chloe Grace Moretz) threatens to steal the show.
But this is Kick-Ass's movie, staring Aaron Johnson as the superhero wanna-be. We're always by his side as he struggles and stumbles through the slings and arrows of high school life.
Some critics have squawked at all the blood and gore in 'K-A.". Hey guys, lost your sense of humor? "Kick-Ass" is a spoof. Save your tsk tsks for real mob movies that glorify violence.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Thrilling!!!

If you haven't read the book, see the movie first. Based on the first in a trilogy by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, "Girl" has all the trappings of a 21st-century thriller. It's lightning paced. It's stuffed with perverse and malevolent characters. It's a sex-charged, uber-violent romp of a mystery. It even has some Nazis lurking in its deathly dark past. So what if you don't believe in every character and plot twist. This is one powerful tale.
The movie now in theaters is a Swedish production and eschews Hollywood artificiality. Not a plumped up lip or pumped up peck in sight. But the Movie slut has heard an American version staring George Clooney (who else?) is in the works. May she suggest Kristen Stewart (who played Joan Jett in "The Runaways") as the female lead. Please, oh Lord, don't make it Angelina!
Once you've seen the movie, do read the book, which has even more characters and action. Then get the sequel, "The Girl Who Played with Fire." The final book in the trilogy arrives in May.

The Perfect Game: A Homerun

Go figure. Here's a movie that predictable, nuanced-challenged and drowning in cliches, but still manages to be fun and to keep you on the edge of your seat.
"The Perfect Game," based on a true story, is about the 1957 Mexican Little League team that defies all odds (they're half the size of the competition) to win the league championship, as well as the hearts of everyone both north and south of the border.
Peppered with bouncy '50's rock 'n' roll and dotted with old black and white footage — the team visits Ike at the White House — this flick is a must-see for every kid between the ages of 7 and 14, and every adult who still remembers what it's like to be that age.
Some say there are no new stories — that writers simply retell some half dozen tales. Well, this one is David and Goliath with bats instead of slingshots.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Joneses: Keeping up with...

Warning: Do not read any other reviews about this movie. It's best if you don't know what it's about and let the plot unfold naturally. And what a terrific plot it is. And excellently executed by David Duchovny (a Movie Slut favorite since "X-Files") and Demi Moore, who's previously left the Movie Slut wondering what the fuss was about.
A searing indictment of our acquisitive society and the need for ever-more-expensive toys and gadgets, "The Joneses" could have left its mark as a zeitgeist movie, a film for our times.
Alas, by devolving with a typical Hollywood ending, it blew it.
Here's an idea! Leave the movie after the swimming pool scene. You'll skip off nodding your head in awe at the brilliance of this movie. Should you choose to stay till the true end, you'll stumble away shaking your head in sadness at what could have been.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

City Island: All in the dysfunctional family

City Island never looked so good. The American family, on the other hand — pathetic. Everyone's got a secret. No, the Movie Slut, won't tell.
What makes this different from every other movie about dysfunctional families is great acting by Andy Garcia (the poor excuse for a father) and Julianna Marguilies (the tough Bronx mom) and especially Steven Strait (the hunky young stud who stirs everything up until it boils over.)
In case you're not a New Yawker, you should know City Island belongs to the Bronx, was a fishing village and still has seafood restaurants that draw crowds in the summer.
"City Island" has been compared to Moonstruck a movie starring Cher that's also about an Italian family with issues. See for yourself.

Date Night: Date Fright

Stick around to watch the outtakes that accompany the closing credits to see how hysterical this movie could have been.
If only.
If only Tina Fey and Steve Carrell were allowed to be their wackaloon selves.
But oh, no.
They're a boring New Jersey couple out in Manhattan to juice up their boring marriage. Why does boring have to be so, well, boring?
Their big mistake was taking another couple's restaurant reservation (Isn't that a felony in NYC?) leading to a case of mistaken identity that was followed by firearms, car chases and meetings with a shirtless Mark Wahlberg.
There were some amusing moments in "Date Night," but oh what it could have been.