Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crooked Arrows: Find Your Spirit

Time out for a mini-history lesson. One thousand years ago, the Indian tribes in New York invented a fast-paced game called lacrosse. Or so we learn in this perfectly serviceable underdog-team-does-good movie.

This time around the game is different and the driving force is more than just the thrill of the win. The Sunaquat Indian high school team, despite its glorious history, doesn't seem to know which end of the lacrosse stick is up.

Enter Joe Logan (Super hunky Brandon Routh) one-time lacrosse star turned casino sell-out. Can he find his inner Indian, coach the team to victory and restore honor and glory to the tribe?

Of course, you know the answer to that one. But does the predictability factor matter here? The Movie Slut cheers "No." Maybe she's a sucker for strive-to-win and find-your-true-spirit flicks. Maybe everyone should be.

Battleship: Extremely Loud & Delightfully Dumb

First you must know about Goldilocks planets. They're located at a distance from their sun at which life is possibile.

Then you much know about summer blockbuster films. They're fiery, bombastic and appeal to the heart, not the head.

Battleship is a quintessential summer blockbuster, a consummate popcorn cruncher, a huge, booming, wonderful 131-minutes of mindless action.

It seems Earth is being invaded by reptilian aliens from Planet G, who hide their weaknesses under clunky suits of heavy metal. (Which brings us to the insanely loud and amazingly pumping soundtrack that includes music by Rage Against the Machine. And well it should.)

The movie stars Taylor Kitsch, as a flunky sailor, who saves our planet and gets the girl. Singer  Rihanna, in her first movie role, is believable enough behind a humongous battleship gun. And then there's Liam Neesom, who elevates any flick he deigns to be in, even the most mindless summer blockbusters. 

The Dictator: Don't Vote For Him

The Movie Slut is a big Sasha Baron Cohen fan. She loves his irreverence,  his political incorrectness and his just plain silliness. So maybe she went into the multiplex with expectations of Dickensian proportions.

Alas, "great" wasn't the word on the tip of her tongue when she left the theater.
Instead she kept thinking about Coming to America" the 1988 Eddie Murphy film in which a pampered king arrives on the streets of Manhattan.

Substitute Dictator for King and you've got what promised to be a laugh a minute.

It wasn't. Not that there wasn't any chuckling in the theater. Just not enough.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Intouchables: Not a Typo

"The Intouchables" is not the most original story out there. You've seen it before. And you've seen it done well.

However, it's doubtful you've seen it done this well.

Story in a nutshell: A wealthy Frenchman, who is severely disabled, hires an unlikely applicant to work as his personal assistant — to be the legs that no longer allow him to walk and the hands that he cannot use to feed himself.

Against all odds, this unqualified assistant turns out to be the ideal person for the job. And not only does he improve life for the man in the wheelchair, he also proves to be just the person everyone else in this household needs.

This is a movie that could have missed on so many levels. That it manages to be realistic, unsentimental, uplifting and chock full of joie de vivre is truly remarkable. And The Movie Slut isn't alone in thinking this. The film won a C├ęsar (a French Oscar) for best film and Francois Cluzet, the man pushing the wheelchair, was best actor.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom: A Love Story

It seems lazy to sum up this Wes Anderson film as eccentric, droll and quirky. But what else would you say about a girl with cornflower blue eyeshadow trekking through the woods in a mini-skirt, carrying a yellow suitcase. And then there's her companion, a boy in a coonskin hat and a pearl and gold pin affixed to his Khaki Scout uniform?

Yeah! Quirky.

Moonrise Kingdom, however is more than that. A contemporary Hansel & Gretel story, maybe?
A verdant island painting come to life?
A charming tale of young love.

All of the above and more.

MK won't be a summer blockbuster. We have MIB3 and Superman for that. It's a movie for those who eschew special effects and seek special affects.

And the cast!! Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Mill Murray and Tilda Swinton join our 12 year olds, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Men in Black 3: Triple the Fun

"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway."
Someone says that in MIB3. The Movie Slut doesn't remember who. But the quote sums up her feelings about this hilarious second sequel.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back as the special agents in charge of extraterrestrial control. And those oozy-goozy, gloriously gross  immigrants from outer space have returned, too. Most notably, Boris the Animal, (seen below) who's been incarcerated for decades in his very own moon prison. (A Newt Gingrich idea?)

MIB3 involves time traveling back to 1969, which adults will appreciate. Was Andy Warhol really an alien?

Josh Brolin steps in as Agent K back in that groovy time and is a smashing Tommy Lee Jones impersonator.

MIB3 is not for everyone. Young children could be traumatized. But anyone over the age of 10, who loves icky aliens, time travel and tongue-in-cheek action-packed humor, should forget the curse of the sequel and zip on over to the closest multiplex.

Bernie: A Man For All Seasons

Take Jack Black. Subtract the bathroom jokes. Remove all references to body parts below the waist. Now, what do you get?

In Bernie, you get one of the most unforgettable characters in recent movies.

In this giggleliscious mockumentary, Bernie is a southern gentleman and assistant mortician, beloved by all the folks in Carthage, Tx. He wears his pants too high and his hair piece too slick. His walk is just a tad swishy, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's light in his loafers. Does it?

Bernie is different. And lovable. And all goes well for our eccentric hero until he meets Marjorie Nugent, a rich, old nasty piece of rotten work, played brilliantly by Shirley MaClaine.

Matthew McConaughey, as the town's district attorney, rounds off the perfect cast.

Bernie is based on a true story. It just couldn't have been this funny.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012