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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quick Reviews: Two Out Of Three...

You can probably guess how these grades are going to go down, based on the post title...

The first one's simple: "Argo" is the best movie I've seen this year. When you can make a movie that's not only humorous but truly suspenseful, and make it suspenseful even though it's based on a pretty well-known true story -- the smuggling out of Iran of six Americans who escaped the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 when it was swarmed by followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini -- you've done your job. Kudos, Ben Affleck. And I really enjoyed the little touches such as actual news broadcasts from the time (remember when ABC's Ted Koppel did those nightly hostage crisis updates, which evolved into "Nightline" as the crisis dragged on and on?). My grade: A-plus.

Not on the same level, but enjoyable on its own, is "Pitch Perfect." When you make a movie about acapella singing groups competing for a national title and manage to avoid it seeming too much like "Glee Goes to College," again, you've done your job. Kudos, uh, I don't know who directed this, but kudos to him or her anyway. (Okay, I looked it up. Jason Moore. Wikipedia says it's his feature film debut.) A lot of laughs and the singing's not bad, either. Rebel Wilson is a flat-out riot. My grade: A-minus.

And now for the bad news. I was hoping for good things from "Seven Psychopaths," because it was directed by Martin McDonagh, who did "In Bruges" with Colin Farrell, who also co-stars in this film. I really enjoyed "In Bruges." I really hated this movie. I wanted to walk out a number of times. Its only redeeming values are the performance by Christopher Walken and the fact that Farrell is so damned pretty. My grade: D-plus.

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