Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Safe Haven: Safe but Sorry?

                                      Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel

Take one mysterious damsel in distress. Add one hunky grieving widower. And what you get is a predictable love store with just enough intrigue to keep undiscriminating moviegoers, like the Movie Slut, watching.

Katie — or is that her real name?— is on the run. From whom we do not know. She boards a bus that takes her to a small North Carolina coastal town. It's safe for a time but flashbacks reveal snippets of her past travail and the man (of course it's a man) who's on her trail.

So what happens in this movie billed as the perfect date flick? No need for a spoiler alert here. Nicholas Sparks wrote the screenplay.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beautiful Creatures: Good vs Evil, etc, etc, etc

Based on a series of fantasy novels for teens, Beautiful Creatures surely had a fan base before it even opened. And the Movie slut is certain they'll love this flick. It's the tried and true teen story about star-crossed lovers.  And in case you didn't pick that up and are old enough to remember, the theme from A Summer Place, accompanies one scene.

The Movie Slut, who can still enjoy teen movies (sometimes), had two problems with this film. For one, it had so many different ideas it seemed to want to hit on every major point in the supernatural book series.

But more distracting for MS was the likeness between Alden Ehreinreich, the male love interest, and a young Jack Nicholson. At times it seemed he'd studied the Five Easy Pieces star's moves and expressions and was channeling or imitating Jack.

Despite Ehreinreich's good looks, antic grin and renegade style, two of older actors stole the show. Jeremy Irons and Emma Thomson were non-humans in the film and played their roles with relish.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Side Effects: Do not consume without popcorn

Warning! Side Effects can cause confusion, dizzy spells, heart palpitations and hallucinations involving an Alpine pass with hairpin turns around each bend.

It starts off as a seemingly predictable anti-drug culture flick, then veers into something else, then something else, again and again. Think of it as an amusement park ride. You may not like the end, but getting there is a thrill.

Part of the fun can be credited to wonderful acting, particularly Jude Law, as the prescribing doctor, and Rooney Mara as the psychiatric patient.

Make sure you know as little as possible about this film. Do not read spoiler alerts or converse with chatty friends who've seen it.

Just sit back, chomp on you popcorn, and get swept away.

You might also treat this flick as if it were Dickens' unflinished novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and choose the ending you prefer.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quartet: Bravo

        Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith

Quartet is a movie about love, music and the love of music. It plays out at Beecham House, an English home for retired musicians. The charming old residence is in financial straits. And so, in the spirit of Andy Hardy, the residents decide to put on a show — make that a gala.

The four main characters just happen to have sung the Quartet in Verdi's Rigoletto. Perhaps they can perform it one more time. Of course, all doesn't go so smoothly. But for anyone who loves love and music, this film, which marks Dustin Hoffman's directing debut, is a must-see.

Bravo Dustin!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Movie 43: Star-Studded Slop

Movie 43 is a movie about a movie within a movie. And everyone who's anyone in Hollywood these days is in it. Which calls for some name dropping about now. So here's goes, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Liev Shreiber, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone. The list goes on and on, but we've got to include Dennis Quaid and Greg Kinnear since they're in the above photo.

Quaid is a lunatic script writer who'll stop at nothing to get his "masterpiece" produced. Trouble is his flick is a series of gross-out, politically-incorrect, super offensive skits designed to shock more than entertain. Oh, and did we say, so not funny?

Kinnear isn't onboard until Quaid draws a gun.

So what have we got? A movie that tells us it couldn't get produced without going to extreme measures. And that's about the funniest part of Movie 43. Unless the 43 stands for something. Maybe the number of unwitting A-list actors who signed on for this sorry project.

The Huffington Post wonders if it's "An early favorite for worst movie of 2013?
The Movie Slut won't go that far.   

Friday, February 1, 2013

Warm Bodies: All They Need is Love

                                                Nicholas Hoult & Teresa Palmer

It's no coincidence that his name is R and hers is Julie. And it's no surprise that there's a balcony scene in this new flick, because despite the fact that he's a zombie and she's human, this rom-com is an old fashioned love story.

Better make that a rom-com scifi thriller with action scenes that can be summed up as lots of running around to escape the bonies, rampaging skeleton-like creatures with rapacious carnivorous appetites.

If it sounds like Warm Bodies is lots of fun that would be going too far. It's kinda funish but, given the zany ingredients— which include John Malkovich — it should be a lot more amusing. If fact, if zombie-in-love R (Nicholas Hoult) weren't so appealing, the whole shebang would be pretty lifeless.

Get it? Heh, heh.