Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Hangover Part III: Three's a Charm

Do we need another Hangover movie?
Of course not.

Is the world a better place because we now have three sophomoric flicks about guys behaving idiotically?
No, no and no.

Still, the Movie Slut was amused by this third installment about three law-abiding married guys who are forced to choose between stupid sucky decisions and stupider, suckier ones. They know they're spiraling down into a black hole of ridiculousness and yet, there's no intelligent way out.

Is it a clever flick?
Not really.
But it is fun if, like the Movie Slut, your cinematic standards are as low as they can go.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kon-Tiki: Peru to Polynesia is 101 Days

Think Life of Pi. Hold the tiger. Add a parrot. And that will give you an idea about what this flick, based on a true event, is about.

It's 1947 and a young Norwegian explorer named Thor Heyerdahl is out to prove that Peruvians were first to settle Polynesia and they did this by sailing across the Pacific on a balsa wood raft. The powers that be think he's daft. That it couldn't be done now or ever. But he wouldn't let that stop him from recreating the voyage.

The movie doesn't do a great job of explaining why this would be so important to a young man from Norway, but let's chalk it up to adventure and wanderlust. And so, we, the viewers, set out with him on this ocean journey.

This is not a film for everyone, but it happens to be one of the Movie Slut's favorite genres :the try and try and try and try and try and try and try and — you-will-succeed movie.

Remember, at one time anyone who thought the world was round was considered a wacko.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Francis Ha: What's in a Name?

Greta Gherig (right) has made a career out of being an awkward, somewhat off, 20-something. And that's who she is in this movie, shot in black and white in New York City. She's 27 in the film and hasn't moved on from her college persona. She wears just-out-of-the-laundry-basket clothes, apparently hasn't seen a comb in 10 years and is on the verge of homeless, if not for her parents and friends.

She makes lame-brained decisions and impulsive, idiotic plans. In other words she's a hot mess.

Francis Ha is a coming-of-age movie of sorts and mildly entertaining if you can get past the idea that this galumph is a dancer. Reality check: she can hardly walk.

Still, there are some enjoyable scenes, including a dance she choreographs as well as the very last take.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness: Not for Trekkies Only

Beam yourself over to the nearest multiplex and renew your friendships with Captain Kirk, Dr. Spock and Scotty. What fun to see them again and how comforting to know that they're still out there valiantly fighting to save the Earth.

So what if there have already been six TV series between 1966 and 2005. Who cares if we've already had 12 movies from 1979 to the present. Can you ever get enough of a good thing?

And what makes this film stand out, at least for the Movie Slut, is evil-doer Benedict Cumberbatch,  as Kahn, the "one-man-weapon-of-destruction." Loyal PBS viewers will know him as the hyper detective in the PBS series "Sherlock." He makes a seamless transition from good to bad guy and almost steals the show.

But not quite. There's so much to enjoy in this sure-to-be-a summer blockbuster. And remember, a tub full of popcorn is the best antidote for Vulcan mind-meld.

At Any Price: Might Want to Save Your $$

Forget about the noble, wholesome, hard-working American farmer. This is a movie about the greedy business of agri-farming, genetically engineered seeds, father-and-son strife, marital infidelity and ethical/moral breakdown in rural America.

In other words, this film is all over the place and to the degree that you embrace cynicism you will either love it  or leave it. Okay, walking out midway is not necessary.

As you can see from the subhead, above, the Movie Slut didn't embrace this flick even though Dennis Quaid stars as Henry Whipple, a most ungentlemanly farmer, and Zac Efron, his chip-off-the-rotten-block son, Dean.

These guys make the money-grubbing Wall Street bankers seem forthright. That is if you buy into this tale, which grows darker and darker until its sour end. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Big Wedding: Bigger Is Not Better

The good news. A great cast, including Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Robin Williams not overacting.

The bad news. The writer thinks any body of water calls for a fully-clothed person tumbling in. Har-di-har-har.

The good news. It's only 89 minutes.

The bad news. It may be the saddest movie of the season in that we're to believe that marriage is a complete failure and yet everyone wants to get hitched. Didn't someone say, "What fools we mortals be"?

The good news. The seasoned cast almost pulls it off.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Company You Keep: And Friends You Don't

Baby boomers will remember the Weather Underground, the radical and sometimes violent arm of the SDS. Those turbulent times are brought back in this movie, which is directed by Robert Redford and in which he stars.

It's 30 years later and one member who'd been involved in a bank robbery that resulted in the death of a guard has turned herself in. This sets off a chain of events that threatens to expose other members, who may or may not have been involved in the murder.

The Company You Keep is partly a fugitive thriller, but there are also echoes of  "All The President's Men" in which Redford starred as Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. Here we have Shia LaBeouf as a young reporter determined to break the story and get to the bottom of what happened three decades ago.

The stella cast includes Stanley Tucci, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Terrence Howard and Anna Kendrick.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Iron Man 3: Three's As Good As One Plus Two

True confessions.

When it comes to super heroes, the Movie Slut is partial to Spider Man. It's the whole Spidey back story. He's so sensitive, so vulnerable, such a nerd. Just being in high school makes him disarmingly pitiable.

Having said that, she's also a fan of The Hulk and Superman. (Can't wait for the new one with Kevin Costner as the Man of Steel's good old dad.)

So what did she think of the new Iron Man flick?
Loved, loved, loved it.

The old good vs. evil plot has never been more fun. The villains, played by Ben Kingsly and Guy Pearce, are perfection. Still, as always, it's Robert Downey Junior in the title role who steals the show with his snappy, witty dialogue and unwillingness to take himself, or anything else, seriously.

Who was it that said, "When you can't see the one you love on the big screen, love the one you see?"

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Arthur Newman:An Adult Film

Once again the Movie Slut disagrees with the criticoscenti. They panned this flick. She praises it.

It's a film for adults, but not in that sense of the world. Think of it as a movie for grown-ups. The beginning is a little pat and tough to believe, but if you stick with it, you'll come away with a beautiful message you won't get from the usual Hollywood fare. No special effects here, but a very effective film starring the always- incredible Colin Firth and an excellent Emily Blunt with a laudable Ann Heche.

Arthur Newman is a character study, a love story and a lesson in what it means to be an adult.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mud: Southern Gothic

Ellis is a modern day Huck Finn. He tools around the Mississippi with his friend, not on a raft, but on a beat up old motor boat. The boys don't understand much about adult life. But the cocoon of confusion is about to lift.

This coming-of-age story kicks off when they discover a rag-tag fugitive from justice named Mud (Matthew McConaughey), hiding out on a deserted island. His story captures their attention. Ellis, especially, is looking for something to believe in. He finds it here.

Mud has moments of action and the usual Hollywood stuff. But what lifts this movie above the rest is how it captures the pain and pleasures associated with growing up.