justanotheramy's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Grifters
The Grifters(1990)

Oddly flat Oedipal melodrama.

Jack's Back
Jack's Back(1988)

I counted 4 low-flying boom mics, but there may have been more that I was too distracted by Spader's chest-hair to notice.

Inception
Inception(2010)

Trying far too hard to be 'clever', it only really makes it to meh.

The Lake House
½

I must be getting old: I'm finding slightly-saggy-Keanu more attractive than young-buff-Keanu. Scary.

District 9
District 9(2009)

One of William Gibson's favourite movies of 2009 â?? and for good reason. Brilliant.

Avatar
Avatar(2009)
½

Just imagine Titanic, Pocahontas, and Braveheart churned up in a blender with a dash of Aliens, with the aesthetic sense of a fibre optic lamp, and you have Avatar. Yes, the plot and the politics really are that sophisticated and original. Hilariously stupid.

Public Enemies
½

This film is a mystery: it's a mystery how anyone could manage to turn such strong raw materials into something so staggeringly boring. In principle, this should be a great popcorn-movie: a story about celebrated depression era bank robbers, a big name cast, expensive looking costumes and sets; yet in practice it just falls flat. Christian Bale's about as animated and charming as a plank, of course, because he's still Christian Bale, but is that contagious now? Depp's Dillinger has no charisma at all, and Marion Cotillard just looks very very tired... Which leaves us with lots of undeveloped characters in vintage suits running around shooting at each other with old-fashioned guns -- no, worse than that, shooting at each other with old-fashioned guns and precisely zero suspense. Yawn. What a waste.

Changeling
Changeling(2008)
½

I usually find Clint Easwood's directorial efforts to be solid and worthy, but nothing special. Don't get me wrong: they're films which are clearly earnest in intent and carefully crafted; but they also suffer from a lack of emotional subtlety that makes them ultimately superficial and manipulative. Expensively pedestrian, like a hamburger made by a chef.
But I do <3 the 20s rendered in shades of brown, and Angelina (who is a much better actor than she usually gets credit for, IMHO), and that combination goes quite a long way. Not far enough to de-Eastwood the thing, of course, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

J.J. Abrams' odd predilection for putting heavily pregnant women in the vicinity of exploding flying machines is something he should maybe talk to his analyst about, and there's some clunky exposition floating around in big space-buckets full of phlebotinum, but who cares when there's also earnestly shiny cheeze with lots of silly accents and explosions and fist-fights and nod-to-the-60s costuming... and, OMG, the big red monster! and Spock's ears! How awesome were they? Great casting, loyal to the spirit of the original without turning Canon into an albatross, and, yes, Abrams is a bit of a populist hack, but this isn't Shakespeare, people, it's Star Trek. <3<3<3

Cassandra's Dream
½

All of Woody Allen's weaknesses as a writer/director (clunky plotting, stilted dialogue, thin characters, and mannered acting) with none of his strengths. If it weren't for the insomnia I wouldn't have bothered seeing it through to its not-particularly-gripping end.

The Tender Hook
½

Thugs, flappers, art deco, boxing, purdy cinematography, and a little light pathos... what more could a girl want on a rainy Saturday night? Hugo Weaving singing a Leonard Cohen cover in a boxing ring? err... maybe not, but it's in there too, anyway.

Prendimi l'anima (The Soul Keeper)

Alternating between clumsily expositional history lectures delivered as dialogue and cloying sentimentality, and yet still oddly likeable. Even Iain Glen's mannered stiffness actually works here, for a change - Jung may have been a mystic, but he was a mystic from a particular class at a particular time.

Last Tango in Paris
½

With apologies to Dorothy Parker: "He is beyond question a writer of power; and his power lies in his ability to make sex so thoroughly, graphically and aggressively unattractive that one is fairly shaken to ponder how little one has been missing."
This really didn't do much to shake my conviction that Bernardo Bertolucci is a fatuous self-important old misogynist. She's two-dimensional, he's obnoxious, and they're both a remarkably uninteresting strain of implausible.
The emperor is naked, people. Naked. And he's making lacklustre films.

The Walker
The Walker(2007)

slow moving, predictable, and populated exclusively by wooden mumblers. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Twilight
Twilight(2008)

Every bit as dull as you would expect a 2 hour long pro-abstinence after-school-special to be. There's a lot of deeply weird cultural stuff bubbling to the surface here, and it makes for a terrible vampire flick. Seriously: a vampire movie with *no fangs*? Not one? The script -- full of 'quotable' one-liners, big flashing red arrows (just in case the linear plot is, like, too complex for you to follow), and faux-angst -- doesn't help. And it's all wrapped up in an aesthetic more familiar from high-budget commercials and overwrought power-ballad music videos. :::gag:::

The Day the Earth Stood Still

uncalled for biblical allusions! Keanu being incubated in a pod of silicone! (hmm... haven't i seen that somewhere before?) John Cleese in a cardigan! an (apparently mandated by law) reference to a member of the military who was killed 'over there' while building-not-fighting! confirmation of the planet-saving power of Hallmark-moment cliché!
so this is really only worth the time and expense if what you enjoy is the exchange of mockingly cynical observations sotto voce with like-minded movie-going companions. which i do. but even for that purpose the constant and ham-fisted propaganda-and-product-placements were a tad excessive.
still, it's amusing enough. if you unplug your brain first.

Blast From the Past
½

Brendan Fraser's painted-in hairline is a little distracting, but... somehow it's still kind of adorable. The film, that is. Not poor Brendan's ineptly disguised hair-loss. Obviously.

Shakespeare in Love

Tom Stoppard does brilliant things with Shakespeare -- i'm just not convinced that this is one of them. Still, realising that he was involved with the script did persuade me to give it a second chance, and... it didn't suck, in spite of a very silly premise. A very very silly premise.

Wanted
Wanted(2008)

Grandiose fantasy wish-fulfilment ahoy! There's a whole lot of fish to be psychoanalytically shot in this particular barrel... But they're shiny and amusing fish, so i can't seem to bring myself to mind overly much.

Archangel
Archangel(2005)
½

Russian-themed made-for-TV variation on the 'Boys from Brazil' theme. The central conceit is rendered marginally less ludicrous by the fresh dictator and avoidance of cloning, but it's still not exactly my favourite niche-genre. And yet... apparently i'm a sucker for anything that features Daniel Craig running about getting shot at, because i was actually quite taken by it. And! There's some really lovely cinematography and lighting, too, with a consistently solid cast.

Quantum of Solace
½

Meh. It's no 'Casino Royale', and some of the fight-scenes were a bit Tomb Raider-esque for my tastes; but it's not 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' or 'Moonraker' either, so one is thankful for small mercies. More than anything, it felt like a bridge between two better films - tidying up loose ends from 'Casino' and setting the stage for the next instalment - which is to say workmanlike, but not inspiring. I just hope that the next one they're clearly building towards is worth it.

Rigged (Fight Night)
½

see, now that's how you make a cheesy girl-boxer movie.

Million Dollar Baby
½

saccharine tearjerker that tries desperately to be 'moving' but is too hopelessly mired in maudlin cliché to manage more than heavy-handed manipulativeness. gruffly dull, but still dull.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)
½

"Iron Man" as a film really is a lot like Robert Downey Jr. as an actor: in principle, you wouldn't expect either of them to work, and yet in practice, somehow they do. This may even be my new favourite bit of military-industrial-complex-spawned cultural fluff. Maybe.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

This one scared the life out of me when I was 5. None of the magical-flying-through-the-sky stuff registered with me at all, then; what I *did* remember was the house being tented in plastic, and that they hunted him down and tortured him until he died for no reason other than that he wasn't enough like them.
26 years later, and I still think the main message here is "don't trust the humans", but can see that there's also other important stuff like "aliens will revive your house-plants", "being psychically connected to a drunk can be embarrassing/disruptive", and "anything is made funnier by a blonde wig".

Spanish Judges

Heist movie, with extra cheese -- no-one chews the scenery quite like D'Onofrio. Definitely not one for the ages, but certainly fun.

Leatherheads
Leatherheads(2008)
½

George doing his best Cary Grant impersonation. Again. Still, if you're going to have a shtick, it's probably not a bad one -- especially if it can render even a film about football charming. It doesn't hurt, either, that the football is mostly just a pretext for snappy banter delivered amidst some really nicely put together sets and costumes.

Hitman
Hitman(2007)

OK, so it's not really terribly shocking that this game-inspired post-Matrix B-grade Bond-wannabe is chock-full of cheeze and dull as dishwater -- I had expectations built up around this film, and it lived down to all of them. But what is surprising is the chinlessness of Hitman's hitman. That was unexpected.

Batman Begins

There's unlikely flashback-cameos, humorous moustaches, and manly sob-stories aplenty! And ninjas, capes, masks, catacombs, convenient basements full of unwanted high-tech weaponry, secret identities, sword-fights, fist-fights, gun-fights, explosions, and a car chase! An unconscious damsel! A loyal family retainer! A revolving bookcase! In short, all the makings of a geniusly-cheezy super-hero film, and yet... I think I just have trouble buying Christian Bale in Action Hero mode. It's not that I think he's terrible and hate his work -- he was perfect as the weasely little Judas in 'Swing Kids' after all (was that really 15 years ago??), and actually pretty amazing in 'The Machinist' -- he's just not Leading Man material, and it's mystifying to see an actor with the talent (not to mention pointy nose and weird teeth) for something with more meat to it trying so hard to get himself (mis)typecast as the meat. It's almost embarrassing. Still fun, though.

Love the Hard Way
½

their first night together, Jack asks Claire if she likes movies with happy endings or sad endings -- apparently i'm a sucker for ambiguous endings to melancholic love stories.

Manderlay
Manderlay(2006)

Inevitable comparison with the unsettling and compelling 'Dogville' probably does 'Manderlay' a disservice: it has plenty to offer on its own merits, but they can be hard to see when it's so overshadowed by its remarkable predecessor. This is particularly true for poor Bryce Dallas Howard, whose Grace is perhaps too wholesome and egalitarian after Kidman's bruised and desperate hauteur. This film's Grace seems less driven than Dogville's, and more just prone to childishly meddlesome whims... and as it's Grace who precipitates and structures the narrative, everything feels a little 2-dimensional as a consequence.

The Man With the Golden Arm

Not quite as moralistically predictable as I was expecting, given its time and place, and it's an interesting cultural document, but... The cast are without exception either wooden or soapy; which is a shame, because even Frank can do better than that, surely?

King Kong
King Kong(2005)
½

Oh, come on, what kind of soulless cipher doesn't love a tragic story about a giant gorilla and his pet human? Plus, there's some fascinatingly odd archetypal-button-pushing going on with this film (even above-and-beyond the usual creature-feature cultural loading). And! Lots of uber-deco and giant head-eating worm-things and cloche hats! All of which is almost enough to make me forgive even Jack Black's scenery-chewing and the excessively-long Kong Vs T-Rex fight sequence. Almost.

Land of the Blind
½

Fairly obvious political satire/morality play trying too hard to be cleverer than it is, but there's plenty of 'spot the reference' fun to be had (if that's your thing). Not much to inspire repeat-viewing, but it does have its moments.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

'West Side Story' (of which i am not a fan) for goths. Purdy, though.

Savage Grace
Savage Grace(2007)

Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne are both quite brilliant in this surprisingly subtle 'true crime' dramatization of the incestuous matricide committed by the great-grandson of the inventor of Bakelite. There's a lot going on here, but the film's not heavy-handed; so if you tend to need character development spelled out for you and plot turns marked with giant flashing arrows, this is probably not the film for you. Hardly light viewing, but certainly worth the time.

Richard III
Richard III(1995)

This is easily one of my favourite Shakespeare film adaptations. The Americans in the cast do struggle a bit, but the gorgeous costumes, sets and music - and McKellen's pitiably horrid Richard - more than make up for it.

Sixty Six
Sixty Six(2006)

'Quirkily heart-warming English underdog comedy' is not my favourite sub-sub-sub-genre, I have to admit, but Helena Bonham Carter and a (just) favourable laugh-to-cringe ratio made this coming-of-age story bearable, in spite of the all the cheeze.

The Dying Gaul
½

i can't think of a single bad thing to say about this film, really. a complex, messy and moving story about compromise, betrayal, trust, deceit, love, and loyalty -- none of which is tided away into some arbitrarily neat resolution or played for cheap soapy melodrama. the cinematography is beautiful, the performances (main and supporting) are all subtle and engaging and believable, and even the scenes that probably should have felt 'stagey' or contrived somehow... didn't.

Equilibrium
Equilibrium(2002)
½

cheeze-tastic sci-fi morality play with all the subtlety and finesse of a sledgehammer, packed to the rafters with every clich�© you could want, and then some.
nonsensical premise? check.
post-apocalyptic dystopia? check.
fleets of dirigibles? check.
imposing futurist metropolis? check.
patriarchy ruled in the name of the Father? check (with mad props to Lacan).
hero on a journey of self-discovery? check.
book-burning? check.
creepy little kid? check.
murdered puppies? check.
yes, dirigibles and murdered puppies -- i shit you not. it is awfully pretty, though, in a post-matrix kind of way.
there's just two mysteries left unanswered here: how did they not get sued for naming a sinister affect-flattening mind-control drug 'prozium'? and, perhaps more significantly, what dark god is Christian Bale sacrificing goats to that his career keeps surviving shite like this?

The Ice Harvest

heist-gone-bad film only just saved from being entirely pedestrian by John Cusack's (surely unnatural) ability to make any character oddly sympathetic, no matter how irritating. the plot's not exciting, but not coma-inducingly tedious, either. watchable.

Infamous
Infamous(2006)

lovely. visually beautiful and also genuinely moving. a much lighter touch than "Capote", but that shouldn't by any means be mistaken for a 'lightweight'.

The Good Shepherd

Robert De Niro directing? With a Baldwin, Matt Damon, and the dreaded Pesci prominent in the cast? In a story about the 'idealistic' founding of the CIA? I rented this expecting to loath it, to be honest, and was sadly disappointed -- it actually doesn't suck really at all. It's even almost quite good, in a somewhat serious way, and the measured pacing is more atmospheric than frustrating. Damon's vanity does get a little in the way of suspension of disbelief -- his Edward doesn't age *at all* as the decades pass, which is stretching credibility a little -- but the character's taciturn watchfulness suits his stilted woodenness quite well. And Angelina Jolie is lovely, as always, although of course that translates into her dominating every scene she's in. Not a guns-and-explosions spy thriller, but certainly well worth the time.

Mulholland Falls

clichéd noir-lite plot, dull cinematography, and staggeringly uncharismatic leads. it's not even interesting enough to be actively lousy. it's just... nothing.

The Last Time
½

i was actually enjoying this, in a disposable way... and then the ending just ruined the whole thing. and for extra annoyance, it's not like the 'twist' couldn't've been a passably-good one if the denouement hadn't been played out so ham-fistedly... seriously: the villain, reclining on his couch, surrounded by his minions, lets us in on his dastardly plan. right before getting his comeuppance. could that be any lamer? oh, yes, it could: add a side of misogyny, as the no-good broad who done our hero wrong gets her heart broken, while her masculine partner-in-crime walks away unscathed and substantially richer. *headdesk*

Sylvia
Sylvia(2003)
½

Paltrow's portrayal of Plath is not popular, i'm given to understand, amongst the poet's admirers. i can see why -- she's captured perfectly the complete parasitic impossibility of charismatic depressives, and that's probably not a good fit with the romanticised victim-cult that's grown up around poor tragic Sylvia. but charismatic depressives are exhausting and draining on film just like in real life, and so while there's plenty to be admired in Gwyneth's Plath, and in the beautiful watery light washing over the moody blue-green sets, and in Daniel Craig's restrained and sympathetic Hughes (and, ok, Daniel Craig), i was still kind of relieved when she *finally* stuck her head in the damn oven and it was all over. which is terrible, probably, but there it is. this is ultimately the film's biggest weakness, i think: it achieves too well what it sets out to do.

The Singing Detective
½

surprising -- it's actually quite good. in spite of Mel Gibson.

Chicago
Chicago(2002)

i knew there was a reason i spent 6 years carefully not-watching this one: Catherine Zeta-Jones seems bored and mildly exasperated and far too sure of her own importance to try too hard to conceal it, Renée Zellweger's so thin and muscular that she looks like a stringy drag act (although a drag act'd probably have better lip-syncing), and even though they're both pretty wooden they still manage to make poor Richard Gere about as charismatic as a rock by comparison. so, same-old same-old from the 3 leads. big yawn.

Love
Love(2005)
½

meh. probably requires more patience than i was willing to give it, but then it didn't really offer anything that would inspire me to make that investment.

Existenz
Existenz(1999)

beautiful twisty tech-noir from David Cronenberg and cinematographer Peter Suschitzky. there must've been something potent floating around in the zeitgeist for this *and* The Matrix to have been released in the same year (pre-millennial something-or-other, no doubt).
so, what else is there to say without getting all spoilery? Jude Law really was quite pretty before he turned into a skanky tabloid mess, wasn't he? and i'm always mildly confused to find myself totally absorbed by anything with Jennifer Jason Leigh in it: rationally i know she's a bit wooden and mannered, and yet somehow it just... works.
definitely a film that deserves to be better-known than it is.

The Usual Suspects

i didn't find the 'surprise' ending terribly surprising -- subliminal spoilers via cultural osmosis, perhaps? -- but it was amusing enough, i guess.

Alien Hunter
Alien Hunter(2003)

unoriginal but amusingly involving lurky aliens/cabin fever movie. the title's a bit misleading, though. how? now that'd be telling, wouldn't it?

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
½

another elaborately costumed representative of the historical epic/ 'silly hat' genre featuring Cate Blanchett being regal. although there's not so many actual-literal silly hats in this one, alas. but there is a room full of wigs. plus some interesting neck-wear, and enough blood, feathers, and intrigue to keep everyone awake for the history... there's even a bit of swash (and a dash of buckle), too. so all-in-all probably too much fun to be entirely accurate, but when it's so purdy it's really hard to mind.

Crash
Crash(1996)

Sometimes I forget how compelling James Spader can be when he's not hamming it up as a cheap caricature of himself at the behest of the hack-tastic David E Kelley.
Spader and Deborah Kara Unger play James and Catherine Ballard, a jaded couple whose stagnant relationship feeds off a dutifully maintained string of dispassionate affairs seemingly motivated more by a parasitic ennui than by lust, until James' involvement in a serious head-on collision brings them into ever closer contact with a group of crash survivors who fetishize car accidents and their resultant injuries.
It's easy, I suppose, to be distracted by the writhing bodies and twisted metal (and if that's you're thing, there's plenty of it to be had), but for me this is primarily a carefully measured and surprisingly moving story of alienation and despair.

Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber

a lot like cheap buried-at-2am TV, only less sympathetic, more vacuously misogynistic, and interminably longer.
i'm starting to suspect that i'm a masochist, because why else would i keep renting crap like this?

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
½

Sometimes criticised for being just a loosely connected succession of sketches, but honestly, isn't that what all the Python films are? And that's only a bad thing if the sketches are boring and the transitions are clunky, which is hardly an issue here -- absurdist cross-dressing sketch comedy with satirical bite is what the boys do best, after all, and there's plenty of bite here to go around.
So. Best Python film. Ever.
Unless of course you find any mention of sex offensive, in which case you may be too busy clutching your pearls to notice the funny.
With an extra half-star just for 'The Crimson Permanent Assurance'.

Seven (Se7en)

Quasi-goth me circa-1995 *loved* this movie. Loved it. There are not words for how much.
Post-quasi-goth me circa-2008 is perhaps a little less unreserved in her enthusiasm, but... I have to admit to still being afflicted with something of a weakness for the particular vein of dark-distressed aesthetic that David Fincher always seems to put such a nice expensive-slick polish on. Plus there's a bunch of solidly good actors doing fine variants of their best stock-characters: Brad Pitt an impulsive young man with a gun, Morgan Freeman is well-read and world-weary, Kevin Spacey all coldly creepy, and Gwyneth Paltrow is luminous (even if, underutilised as an animate plot-device, she has little chance to be anything more).
And what kind of deranged person doesn't like a good twisty serial-killer-thriller?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

A classic for good reason, but to be honest I think I've come to admire it more than I actually enjoy it; with each successive viewing, appreciative smirks replace a few more of the laughs.
That being said, "You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'coz some watery tart threw a sword at you!" will always be brilliant. As will the witch-burning scene. And John Cleese doing pretty much anything.
Still better than most recent 'comedies', just not something I'd want to watch too often.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

There's a right way and a wrong way to do 'wildly implausible disposable cheeze-fest'.
This is the right way.
How to describe it... this is what would happen if Laura Croft fell on hard times and was reduced to playing babysitter to the Buffy-era Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Who's somehow been trapped in the body of Dr John Carter.
Sound good? But wait! There's more!
Special Agent Dale Cooper is evil! Prymaat Clorhone is head of admin!
Don't know who any of these people are?
Then this is probably not the film for you.
But if you enjoy humorously self-aware questing-for-mystical-relics B-movies (and what right-thinking person doesn't?) then this is definitely worth the price of the rental.
Bonus LOLs: someone contributing to Wikipedia has felt the need to point out that "[t]here are a number of details in the film that differ from standard historical and scientific orthodoxy". No... really?

Basic Instinct

33 minutes and 47 seconds: that's all I could sit through.
About as 'stylish' as most TV cop dramas... although that's not entirely fair. Most of them have more sophisticated plots, snappier dialogue, and the occasional actor who doesn't look like they're reading straight off the cue-cards.
But it's 'provocative' and 'sexy', right?
err... no. Not unless you're an extremely sheltered 13 year old boy, or have all of the worldly experience and subtlety of one.
Yawn.
Big yawn.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
½

A very different story from the book (in tone if not in surface details), and the book (however over-rated it may be) is easily the better of the two. Yet it's quite a good silly-hat-movie on its own merits, if your expectations are for diverting but disposable.

Waitress
Waitress(2007)

good god. transparently oversimplified victim-blaming is romantically comical? really?
odd (not in a good way, except peripherally) and offensive (in many many ways). where to start with the offensiveness? knocked up by her abusive rapist husband, pie-savant waitress decides that to carrying to term is her best option, despite fully expecting to never feel anything but resentment for the child that has unwittingly trapped her with the infantile sociopathic caricature she married. not a great start. happily for her offspring, and conveniently for the anti-choice-fantasy narrative at the centre of this piece of fluff, as soon as she delivers and claps eyes on the (enormous and not even vaguely new-born) baby she's smitten, grows a backbone, and tells the rapist she doesn't love him. the scene that rids her of her husband is terribly realistic: he gets escorted out of the room complaining a bit, and then obligingly disappears. no threats, no repercussions, no custody issues, nothing to sour the hallucinogenically saccharine pie-making future of mommy-&-me matching waitress outfits in a fluorescent diner full of chubby laughing toddlers and cooing couples.... seriously, he's been beating, raping, and publicly humiliating her for years, and all it takes to make him go away is "i don't love you any more Earl"? and let's not even get into the sub-plot of the friend joyfully marrying her stalker just because he's the only man who seems interested and that, apparently, is better than being single.
also, pies seem to be deeply *deeply* symbolic to USAmericans in a way that doesn't entirely translate.
what the hell was i thinking when i rented this twaddle? oh, i know -- i was thinking that Nathan Fillion is quite good when he's working for Joss Whedon, and that maybe that was a good sign. i was wrong.

Highlander: The Source

Boy's-own sword-wielding fantasy adventure, with a big slice of ham, and extra cheese.
I never would have believed that it was possible to make the TV series version of the Highlander franchise look like a high budget literary and philosophical masterpiece, but this latest (and hopefully final) movie-length outing makes *fan-fic* based on the TV series version look like works of literary and philosophical masterpiece.
Yes, really. It was so bad it caused me actual physical pain, and this is not just empty hyperbole or elitist bias, as I quite liked the TV series version (if pressed, I may even admit to having been mildly addicted to it at one point).
The actors all seem more than a bit embarrassed to be there, as well they might: the special effects and lighting are straight out of an 80s rock music video (nice to know someone's still giving those poor old-timers some work), the sound mix seems to have been left in the hands of the work-experience kid (I'm not an expert, but i'm fairly sure everything shouldn't go completely mute every time a gun goes off), and (just so we're clear that this is the apocalypse) everything's been shot through a mishmash of coloured filters (mostly yellow and blue, seemingly at random, but sometimes bright!red! for extra drama). And this is before we even get to the dialogue, which... no, I can't. It's too horrible.
And then after 84 minutes of quite possibly the worst film I've ever seen (ever), the ending still managed to be so atrocious that it had me shouting "no! noooo! no. no! no-no-no-no-no!" and throwing things at it.

Casino Royale

Bond as he should be: intense, brutal, cosmopolitan, and unshakeably self-assured, with just the tiniest chink in his armour. Daniel Craig's easily the best Bond since the young Connery -- and who knows, Craig may even turn out to be even better given time (yes, he really is that well-cast, footballer's hair-cut notwithstanding).
and there's everything else a Bond film should have, too: exotic scenery, a casino full of gazillionaire-types and enough diamonds to MacGyver a chandelier, a few boats, Richard Branson proving that there's not really anything money can't buy, heavy drinking, expensive things blowing up, clever-but-not-gratuitous gadgets (:::cough::: Brosnan-era-Bond :::cough:::), fisticuffs, poisoning, guns, torture...
what more could a girl ask for, really?

The Wild One
The Wild One(1954)

a young Brando (always a good start) in a motorcycle jacket, getting into fights, brooding, being misunderstood, and winning the girl (but not getting her).
a little dated on the surface, but the characters and story hold up a lot better than one might expect.

Spider-Man
Spider-Man(2002)
½

could have been better, but could have been worse. all in all: meh.

Perfect Creature
½

a steampunk vampire film from New Zealand.

that says it all, really -- you'll probably either love it or hate it.
i loved it.
but then i'm a sucker for gratuitous dirigibles, dank tenements, and fangs.

Life or Something Like It
½

anyone but Ange would probably only get half a star for this...

Love and Other Disasters

someone threw random snippets of an assortment of money-spinning chick-flicks into a bag, gave it a good shake, and then hurled them at a DVD to see which bits would stick. i like postmodern pastiche homage as much as the next girl, really i do -- but this isn't it. this is just derivative.
but here's a fun game to make the viewing-time seem fractionally less interminable: see if you can identify which less-crap films it's 'borrowing' from; just don't try counting them if you're reliant on your fingers and toes to keep track, because you'll run out.
poor Brittany Murphy. she's trying so hard, and yet it's still just so so ghastly.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

ghastly. more Bond-spoof than Bond.

Thunderball
Thunderball(1965)

my absolute favourite Bond film, if only a whisker ahead of Casino Royal.
that both films had truck-loads of money thrown at them (and it shows, in a good way) doesn't hurt, but ultimately it comes down to 007's charisma -- he wears his cultured sophistication comfortably (in the first 3 Bonds one gets the sense that Connery isn't entirely at home yet in this aspect of James' skin), is effortlessly charming, dead sexy, plausibly violent, tough as old boots, completely ruthless... and did i mention sexy?
:::fluttery sigh:::
but Connery is the Bond against which all other Bonds are judged for a reason, and Thunderball has that lovely cold-war ambience that no-one really seems to have yet found an entirely effective substitute for.
i'd give it an extra half-a-star, only the but-that's-not-Shirley-Bassey theme-song (it's Tom Jones) keeps getting stuck in my head, and only more Tom Jones will dislodge it...

Moulin Rouge!

when i saw this at the cinema, the end credits were rolling, and the sweet old dear in the row in front (it was a Tuesday matinee) turned to her friend and quipped
"well! that was like Gilbert and Sullivan on crack!"
how can i possibly add to that?

Heavy
Heavy(1996)
½

a remarkably compassionate and knowing portrayal of the limerent state -- had they been less deftly handled, Vince and his reaction to Callie could too easily have been made risibly pathetic, cringingly embarrassing, or a condescendingly tedious case-study in the psychopathology of loneliness, but they're not. the plot isn't even really the point -- which is not to say it's dull, just that its role is secondary, functionally providing some structure behind a focus on emotional textures and the nuances and subtleties of character and environment. this makes for a lovely, very gentle film, but one that's inevitably very slowly-paced -- i don't know if my short attention-span and i would have been able to make it through the whole thing if i hadn't been having an unusually patient day, but if you are in the right mood, it should be a rewarding experience.