Saturday, July 6, 2013
Quick Reviews: Five More...
The Bling Ring is based on a true story about shallow, vapid young people robbing the homes of shallow, vapid celebrities such as Paris Hilton -- celebrities so shallow that they tended to leave the doors to their homes unlocked, which made it much easier for the burglars. I can think of no further proof of the utter shallowness of Paris Hilton than the fact that not only did she cameo in the movie, but allowed the filmmakers to film the scenes of the robbery of her house at that very same house. The movie made no points, taught no lessons, and doesn't even function as a pseudo-documentary. My grade: D.
World War Z was just odd. It felt like a mashup of different genres -- science fiction, disaster film, horror -- and it all didn't blend well for me. And Brad Pitt as an action hero didn't connect with me either. Also, I hate that the film started out in Philadelphia, where Pitt's character's family lived, but was obviously filmed elsewhere (London, if I recall). Even the skyline didn't look like Philadelphia. My grade: C-plus.
Monsters University is a prequel, focusing on the first meeting of Mike and Sully at college. When Pixar's followed up on previous films they've been good (both "Toy Story" sequels) and bad ("Cars 2," from what I've heard). This one is okay, but it doesn't bode well for other planned sequels, including one for "Finding Nemo." Pixar needs to focus on original stuff again and leave sequels and prequels to Disney's direct-to-DVD products. My grade: B.
When I get excited about a movie based on its trailer, I am always concerned about a letdown. Thankfully, there was no letdown from The Heat, the Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy mismatched-buddy-cop (well, cop and FBI in this one) action comedy. Lots of humor, foul language, violence -- but heart as well. Bullock and McCarthy work very well together. My grade: A.
The Lone Ranger has Armie Hammer in the title role, but make no mistake, the masked man's the straight man for Johnny Depp's shticky Tonto. The Ranger is more of a dolt than a hero, and it all strained my credulity. It got a surprising amount of laughs from others in the theater, but I mostly sat there sighing and rolling my eyes as it went on and on, interspersed with a ridiculous framing sequence featuring an elderly Depp-as-Tonto telling the story to a little boy at a traveling circus. My grade: D-plus.