April 3, 2006

Movie Recap for March '06: V for Vendetta

March has come and gone, was it a good one? Yes and no. There were some very good and very bad films, films that only I am a fan of, and ones that I am sure to go against the curve. The month featured a few more castoffs as we head towards the early blockbuster season. Below is a commented listing of the films I saw theatrically, listed in the order in which I saw them.

Best of the Month: V for Vendetta
Worst of the Month: Basic Instinct 2

  1. Ultraviolet. Here is a film which has not won over many fans, I am one of few that liked it and isn't afraid to say it. Granted, it was a disappointment based on Kurt Wimmer's prior outing, Equilibrium. I still thought it was a fun and stylish sci-fi actioner. ***
  2. Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Part documentary, part concert, all fun. Michele Gondry has put together a film that will put a smile on your face. This chronicles the setup and execution of a block party thrown by Chappelle in NYC. Featuring some hip=hop heavyweights, and some funny comedy, he succeeded at giving a great time to all who attended. ***
  3. 16 Blocks. Much like Hostage from last year, Bruce Willis stars in another satisfying thriller. Willis co-stars with Mos Def, as a cop and thief duop who must outmaneuver some dirty cops intent on silencing, permanently. It was an effective and well made film. Definitely worth seeing. ***
  4. The Libertine. I liked this movie, a lot. It moves with a confident swagger behind its star, Johnny Depp, who puts on another acting clinic. The film follows the story of one John Wilmot, a poet and friend of the king, who regularly pushes the envelope. It was an interesting tale, watching him fall under the weight of his own excess. ***.5
  5. Shopgirl. Here to wash the bad taste of The Pink Panther away, comes this excellent film written by and co-starring Steve Martin. A story of romance and the consequences of love, it is touching, sweet, and great to watch. ***.5
  6. The Hills Have Eyes. Alexandre Aja has put together a good, if slightly unbalanced horror film. There is plenty of desert based assault to go around. It may not be as deep as I would have liked, it still proved to be effective, and one of the best horror films of the year. ***
  7. Failure to Launch. Not terribly good, but I liked it anyway. It is a romantic comedy where the male half still lives at home, while his parents concoct a plan to get him out, which, of course, backfires. I think the concept is slightly beyond believability, and the film veers wildly between romcom and slapstick that hurts it most. Somehow, I still derived a good deal of enjoyment. **.5
  8. {censored}. Here is a movie I promised not to tell you about, as it was the first rough cut. I will say that it is pretty funny, not great, but fun. **.5
  9. V for Vendetta. Best movie of the month and the best new release so far this year. It may have some structural/timeline issues, but it is built on some interesting concepts and features captivating performances from both Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman. ****
  10. She's the Man. A Shakespeare play translated into a tween comedy, and works moderately well. It exists in some sort of alternate universe where this sort of thing can be pulled off. My biggest problem is the constant, and overdone, camera mugging by Amanda Bynes. Still, this was an entertaining and non-offensive family styled film. **.5
  11. Find Me Guilty. This was a good movie, and included a good performance from Vin Diesel. It follows the real life "Jackie D" Dinoscio, of the Lucchese crime family, and the longest criminal trial in US history. The material is delivered in a straight manner, nothing terribly revolutionary, but the focus on the trial and the larger than life personality of the star prove to be a great combo. ***
  12. Stay Alive. Ever watch someone play a videogame? This is about as much fun. The base concept is good, but the execution and acting is awful, not to mention the "rules" get made up as they go along. The lack of logic is astounding. **
  13. Larry the Cable Guy, Health Inspector. This is not defendable as a good movie, but I found myself chuckling along the way. The movie is structured like a buddy cop comedy, and it is funny how everything lined up. This would be best suited to the rental market. **
  14. Inside Man. Well made, well structured thriller. A more Hollywood turn from Spike Lee results in his biggest opening ever. The only letdown was the reasoning behind the bank robbery, didn't really connect with me. However, the staging of the robbery was fantastic. ***
  15. Basic Instinct 2. Unnecessary sequel, and the result is even worse than that. I cannot believe anyone thought this was a good idea, worse, I cannot believe I wasted my time with it. *

Overall, I would have to say it was an average month. I would rate the whole as: ***.

What did you think of the March at the movies?

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