Thursday, October 05, 2006

Weekly movie reviews

The title is somewhat of a misnomer, as weekly would indicate something occuring approximately once a week. Ideally.

I rented four movies Sunday night, Dark Water, Freedomland, Capote, and Failure To Launch. Thusfar, I have watched all of them except for Capote. I plan to watch it sometime this weekend. I will now attempt to review the other three.

I hope that you find my insight helpful when deciding whether or not to part with your three dollars and fifty cents at Blockbuster. Does anybody even go to Blockbuster any more? Am I the only one without NetFlix or movies on demand?

In order to review movies, I have decided I must first have in place a ratings system. Unfortunately, I have been unable to come up with one on such short notice. So we'll just go with zero to four stars. With four stars being almost as good as Sleepless In Seattle. And zero stars being "Ohmigod it's Keanu Reeves!"

Let's begin with Dark Water, starring Jennifer Connelly and a bunch of people I don't know. I thought this was going to be a horror movie when I started watching. But it's more of a suspense-filled drama.

The main character and her daughter move into a run down, spooky housing project on Roosevelt Island in New York. And the fun ensues. While there are never any incredibly scary moments, the director does a good job of building suspense and giving an overall gray, dark, and spooky feeling, not only to the building, but to the entire movie.

But for all the good build up, the climax is a let down. There is kind of a What Lies Beneath twist. A lot of things aren't really explained. The end left me feeling a bit unsettled. Still, it kept my interest throughout. And the girl who plays the daughter was splendid. So was Connelly, in more ways than one ;-)

I give Dark Water 2.5 stars. It's worth seeing.

Next up, we have Failure To Launch, starring Matthew McConaughey and that girl from Sex And The City. A light-hearted comedy which tells the story of a 35-year-old son who has yet to move out of his parents' house.

His mother packs his lunch for work, does his laundry, etc. That's funny. I don't care where you're from. And as we get into the movie, we find out that not only does McConaughey's character still live at home, but his two friends do as well.

Now while this may sound a bit far-fetched for a movie concept, I actually know of such cases. So it rang true with me.

It was very predictable though. And the actors never fell into their roles to me. I just kept thinking, "Wow, Matthew McConaughey is dating that girl from Sex And The City." Perhaps it would have been better with lesser known actors.

Still, if you don't expect anything too deep, you won't be disappointed. The movie offers up it's share of laughs and hijinks. And there's even an unadulterated view of Terry Bradshaw's buttocks. Which I did not need to see. If you're keeping score, that's two bare hineys for me in the past two weeks. They say bad things happen in threes. Who's next? Danny DeVito? Jared from Subway?

I give Failure To Launch 1.5 stars. Half a star deducted for the Bradshaw nudity.

Finally, last night I watched Freedomland, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore. I would call this a mystery-slash-drama. And it's the best of the three movies I watched this week.

The story begins with a mother (Moore) reporting a carjacking and that her 4-year-old son is still in the car. She shows up at the hospital with her hands bleeding profusely.

I'm not sure where the film makers were trying to go with this movie. There seems to be too much going on to thoroughly explore it all in under two hours. There is racial and social tension throughout. Unfortunately, those are dealt with in a way that's been done a hundred times before. Nothing new or creative.

But there's a lot of good. There's the missing child aspect. And the parenting aspect, which is the part of the movie that stuck with me the most. And the acting is excellent. I was left, amazingly, feeling compassion for all the characters, when there were times during the movie I would have thought that impossible.

And even though we are led to question the mother's story throughout, the ending still surprised me. And again, left me feeling sort of unsettled.

I give Freedomland 3 stars.

Whatever happened to happy endings? Maybe Sleepless In Seattle will be on Movie & A Makeover this weekend.

"Fame, if you win it, comes and goes in a minute. Where's the real stuff in life to cling to? Love is the answer. Someone to love is the answer..."


  1. Thank you for taking your time and providing your insight, Sir Bone.

    I give his post two and a half stars. I recommend reading it.

  2. Ugh. I thought Failure to Launch was awful - even if I did get to see Matthew for 2 hours. What's with getting bitten by all the animals? And no, we didn't need to see Bradshaw's butt. My eyes! My eyes! :)

  3. Capote is really good. Hoffman thoroughly deserved the Oscar.

    I have a hard time wanting to see any of the other three. Dark Water is a remake of an Asian film, Failure To Launch seems too predictable, and Freedomland has Julianne Moore. Which takes it down a notch, though it does have Samuel "Snakes on a em efin' Plane" Jackson.

    Glad to hear your thoughts. By the way, in Big Fish there is a Danny Devito bare ass scene. Just to let you know.

  4. Thusfar, you are the only person I know, not to have movies on demand, or a DVR--costs me $3.95 a month from the cable company as I was an early adapter and they forgot to raise the rate--worth every cent

    Thanks for explaining Freedomland as I couldn't understand the book and love Richard Price but think he was trying to be too intellectual. He wrote "The Wonderers" and some other pivotal, Bronx book that became movies

    Think it was difficult for him to set a book in Jersey--though they do have more corrupt police departments than New York does, and he couldn't set it in NY because Freedomland was an amusement park where Coop City, The Bronx is now

    As a former professional reviewer do have to say that you do great mini-reviews, tell the story--without the ending, and give your opinion.

    We had a popcorn rating system--hard to explain, and I have my personal patented vibrator rating system for chick flicks

  5. I don't have Netflix or anything either. Of course, I rarely rent movies. I rarely watch TV. I'm weird like that.

    But it is good to know that one of the few movies I probably would have rented was going to cause a few seconds of blindness: I won't be renting it. :)

  6. Well crap, the anonymous is me.

  7. Failure to Launch was realy disappointing as was Dark Water for me. I felt like the stories could have been written better. I haven't seen Freedomland but I am going to put it in my queue (that's Netflix talk to you Bone).

    Capote was awesome! Splendid cast and excellent writing. Enjoy!

  8. Thanks for the insight...Capote is really the one I would be most interested in. I'm not much for watching movie fluff. Unless it is an 80's movie and happens to be on TV over the weekend. And, the probability of me having seen it 9,000 makes no difference I'd watch it again anyway. I love move and a makeover. I'm hoping for Coal Miner's Daughter. Haven't seen that one in a while.

  9. OCG: Ah, very clever. I should create a blog comment rating system.

    Carmen: Yeah, I figured seeing Matthew would probably make it a bit more bearable. But I'll never watch the NFL pregame show the same.

    Anonymous/Big Man: I see my three-step commenting system has claimed another victim.

    I'll make sure to keep Big Fish out of my queue. If I ever get a queue, that is.

    Pia: I thought of doing a popcorn system. I was going to give 1 to 5 squirts of butter. But 3 and a half squirts sounded... odd?

    Freedomland just seemed like this grand premise, and then, like they weren't sure how to wrap up everything quickly.

    Traveling Chica: I'm not a huge movie person myself. As evidenced by the lack of Netflix or a DVR or movies on demand :)

    Ms. Sizzle: Yeah, Dark Water seemed to have a lot of potential in the beginning.

    I'm looking forward to Capote.

    Carnealian: It's the one I was most interested in, too. Which is why I saved it for last. I'm weird like that.

  10. So is Sleepless your favorite movie? Bone, are always surprising me.

    Thanks for dropping me a line last night. It was fun to hear from you.

    I don't have netflix, movies on demand, DVR or any of that other stuff either. I'm weird like Traveling Chica. I also don't have cable. I have seen Capote, it was good. I think I would give it 2 stars. I really want to see the other Truman Capote movie. I think it's call "Infamous" It comes out in a few weeks.

  11. I've seen Capote.

    I wanna hear what you think about it. That guy was just weird! I liked the movie though... but seriously... he's weird!

  12. Movies & a Makeover, eh?

    But I won't go there...

    I have a feeling you would really get into Freedomland, tears and all.

    Just a hunch.

  13. I don't have pay-per-view, any movie channels, DVR or Netflix. And I'm so cheap that I check out movies from the library instead of paying to rent them... the great thing about the library is that I get them for 7 days and the late fees are like 20 cents a day! Can't beat it. The bad thing is that folks do not take care of the disks and I end up cleaning every one that I check out...which would be smart for me to remember to do that BEFORE putting it into my DVD player instead of after it gets stuck.

    Thanks for the great reviews. I was kinda interested in Failure, but I'll avoid it now and wait until it comes out on TV...then they'll delete the bradshawbutt for me.

    And I'm with you on Sleepless...great movie. I just saw "You've Got Mail" recently...not as good.

  14. It's interesting that you would rent those 3 movies to watch. I know you're not a big movie watcher but the 3 are so very opposite each other and yet, not movies I'd expect you to be interested in.

    I've never seen either 3 and I'm not interested in seeing them either. However, I did read the about them on so I know what happens in them.

  15. I'm a huge movie watcher and I didn't really like Dark Water. What is the worst movie you have watched?:)

  16. Hotpinksox: Sleepless is definitely one of my favorite movies ever. You liked Capote, but you'd only give it two stars? lol

    Kerry: Still haven't watched it. I guess I'll have to post another movie review when I do :)

    Heather B: It was sad at the end. The part about the children.

    Renee: Good plan on Failure To Launch. It's really not a very good movie. And I like You've Got Mail. Not quite as good as Sleepless though.

    Xinh: Well, I wanted a comedy to break up the drama of the other movies. I'd wanted to see Capote since I read Breakfast At Tiffany's. And the Freedomland previews made it look really good.

    Rose: Hmm. I'd have to think about that. I remember Coneheads being pretty bad. And Born On The 4th Of July. Maybe I'll make my ten worst movies list. Except I honestly don't watch that many movies. This is probably the first time I've rented movies in three or four months.

  17. See, I would have given Failure to Launch a bonus half-star for the Bradshaw nudity. Bradshaw and Kathy Bates MADE that movie. They were hilarious. It's not anything more than a make-you-laugh film, and not one where I would expect the actors to fall into their characters. If you want a movie to watch that doesn't make you think, this would be the one for you.

  18. Lass: Bradshaw was funny. The best part to me was Zooey Deschanel as SJP's roomate. She's great.