Movie Roundup


I’m way behind on writing movie reviews which is kind of sad but I’ve also only seen a handful of movies in the past six months which is also kind of sad.

Amazing Grace (2006)

This film documents William Wilberforce and the movement in Britain to end the slave trade. It’s a lush, gorgeous Merchant Ivory-style, but gets most of the story across in a moving and interesting manner.

WALL-E (2008)

Another great film from Pixar about the endurance of a little trash robot and hope for the future.   Even after hearing all the hype and buzz about the film there were lots of surprises and the story went in directions I didn’t expect.  I appreciate that even when humans is reduced to blobs who can’t walk they still have their humanity.

Star Trek (2009)

I had reservations about this reboot that looked way too glam for my tastes but went to see it anyway at the Jordan’s Furniture IMAX theater with the buttkicker seats.  I could have lived without the backstory, especially young James Kirk anachronistically drives a sports car into the Grand Canyon of Iowa.  There are also way too many cutesy introductions where the audience is suppose to chuckle with recognition at seeing Bones or Scotty for the first time.  Apart from that though this is a great action-packed, intelligent and funny movie, the way Star Trek ought to be.  The opening scene where a father hears the cries of a newborn son he knows he’ll never see made me weep like the father.  Now that there past all the reestablishing characters, I foresee the potential of some excellent sequels with this cast.

You Don’t Mess With The Zohan (2008)

This may be the first gross-out film to find humor out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  I couldn’t figure if I was more shocked by how far Adam Sandler & co. pushed the envelope or how much I was laughing at it.  I think Sandler may have the talent to make an all-time classic comedy if he can get past the sophomoric stuff.

Uncle Buck (1989)

In tribute to John Hughes I watched this film of his that I never saw before because I always thought it looked like it would be dumb.  My analysis from 20 years ago was not far off, but this movie is actually more than a screwball comedy and John Candy puts in some great acting in the more dramatic portions.  Unfortunately, the “funny” parts not only don’t make me laugh but they’re cruel and creepy.

Monsoon Wedding (2001)

This movie takes a verite approach to four days in the lives of a large extended family preparing for a wedding in Delhi.  Each family member is dealing with some heavy issues – and some deep secrets are revealed – and yet they are still able to share in the joy and love of the family and the wedding.

Trekkies (1997)

This film documents the lives of several fans of Star Trek who’ve gone particularly far in their devotion to the franchise.  While it’s easy to point and laugh the film makes you appreciate their passion and efforts.  Cast and crew from all the shows comment on their appreciation of their dedicated fanbase.

Juno (2007)

Ellen Page puts in a great performance as an ultrahip teenager trying to keep her cool through an unplanned pregnancy and adoption process. Allison Jamey and J.K. Simmons put in a hillarious performance as Juno’s parents.  Learning responsibility is the theme of the film but also shows that mistakes need not destroy one’s life.  The behavior of some of the adults in this film also show that responsibility is not a trait that always comes with age.