Reviews in Short: April 2013

             The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Wall1  THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

 

Despite an appealing cast, this high-school drama strikes an immediate pity-party tone and never strays from it.  Charlie (Logan Lerman), abused as a child, is timid in school, misunderstood by girls, suicidal and, to an irritating degree, Oh.  So.  Sensitive.  He is befriended by two seniors — a girl “with a past” (Emma Watson) and a gay boy (Ezra Miller) who dates the school’s quarterback — and they all become best buds.  In this movie, most (not all) of the heterosexuals are brutish, insensitive clods, and our heroes are all tragic victims.  If you love snow angels, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, then this is a movie for you.  But gag me with a spoon.  Release:  2012  Grade:  C-

 

*****

 

                                       The Grey

Grey1  Grey2

 

A plane goes down in the Alaska wild, where Liam Neeson and a small group of oil workers face hostile elements and inhospitable wolves.  The Grey wants to be both thrilling adventure and a profound meditation on the meaning of life — and falls short.  The wolf attacks are fairly entertaining, but the “deep meaning” scenes sputter because Grey’s characters are thinly drawn, with a vocabulary that seems limited to the word “fuck.”  Release:  2012  Grade:  B-

 

*****

 

Hitchcock

Hitchcock1  Hitchcock2

 

It plays fast and loose with the facts, but Hitchcock is a surprisingly sweet biopic.  If you can overlook the screenplay’s fabrications about the famous filmmaker’s alleged monetary problems and supposedly shaky marriage, and focus instead on the interplay between stars Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) and Helen Mirren (wife Alma), the reward is a droll depiction of an enduring creative partnership and, as a bonus for film buffs, an amusing look at the making of PsychoRelease:  2012  Grade:  B+

 

*****

 

Suspiria

Suspiria1  Suspiria2

 

Jessica Harper plays a young American who enrolls at a German dance academy that turns out to be something else, entirely.  Horror director Dario Argento’s primary-colored movie is an expressionistic treat, with a score by the Italian band Goblin that could make your skin crawl (in a good way).  Unfortunately, the stilted dialogue, dated special effects, and wooden acting could have the same effect (in a bad way).  All in all, though, this is one eerie, sensory experience.  Release:  1977  Grade:  B

 

*****

 

                                            Ted

Ted1  Ted2

 

Mark Wahlberg stars as a 35-year-old slacker who must choose between his walking, talking teddy bear and Mila Kunis.  If you would choose the teddy bear, then this is a movie for you.  There are a few amusing pop-culture references and the animation is good, but writer-director Seth MacFarlane’s big-screen debut is mean-spirited, childish and, well, pretty much unbearable.  Release:  2012  Grade:  D

 

*****

 

The Impossible

Impossible1  Impossible2

 

The special effects are impressive — most of them were created the old-fashioned way, using miniatures and water tanks — and there are some fine performances, but this fact-based drama about one family’s struggle to survive a tsunami that pummeled Thailand in 2004 is often a drag.  Knowing the fate of the family deprives the story of suspense, and we are instead left with more than an hour of unrelenting misery.  It’s realistic, sure, but aren’t disaster movies also supposed to entertain?  Release:  2012  Grade:  B

 

© 2010-2020 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

Share

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *