Reign Over Me: Funny, touching, and wonderfully written drama about a man (Adam Sandler) who retreats from his life after losing his family on September 11, 2001. Don Cheadle plays a dentist who appears to have it all – wife & kids, a house in Manhattan, and a successful practice – only to find he envies his college roommate Sandler.
Whenever Adam Sandler strays from his ‘comedy’ stereotype, he manages to do reasonably well – Reign Over Me is by no means his best drama effort, but it is certainly a powerful performance. Minus points for being so overwrought about things. ★★★☆
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix: Harry Potter is one angry little kid. Oh, sure, he’s getting older, but that just means he’s playing to type as the angry/angsty teenager. Oh look, there’s still 2 movies to go after this – guess what the ending will be? (not that you’ve already read the book, of course). At least there wasn’t any broomstick football inanity in this one.
The most surprising bit is the little glimpses back at the earlier movies, when the actors were so much younger. How quickly they grow up, eh? ★★★
The Simpsons Movie: Finally got to see this in one of the few theatres that were still running it – a combination of circumstances having prevented me up till now. I thought it best to see it in the cinema to give it the biggest contrast to watching the Simpsons on telly, and… well, maybe I racked up the expectations a bit.
It really is a little like an extended Simpsons episode, and while some gags run fine in the longer format, there’s a whole needless stretching of subplot that makes it a little tedious. The use of CG is also getting a little more obvious and pervasive, which was never the Simpsons style – that’s Futurama’s realm, dammit.
I certainly hope they don’t sequelise and monetize it to the ends of the earth. It would be good to see some longer-than-one-episode plots though, like the one that made Who Shot Mr Burns such an instant classic. ★★★☆