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Movie Review: Quickie Edition X

Igor: Not Pixar-quality animation, not Shrek quality jokes, but a little endearing no less – Igor is slightly dark, slightly edgy, slightly different – but the problem is that it’s all slightly so. The voice cast is stand-out – John Cusack as the title character , Steve Buscemi as a suicidal immortal rabbit type thing, Sean Hayes (of Will & Grace) as the brain-in-a-jar, Eddie Izzard and even a little cameo from John Cleese. For all their effort though, they can’t help a weak plot from meandering and being way too obvious. ★★☆

Smart People: Official Crush: Ellen Page. Officially Mystified why People Find Her Attractive: Sarah Jessica Parker (seriously? She’s got a face like a horse!). Quirky and maybe even kinda dark-comedy-at-heart story about a crumudgeonly professor who has an accident and is forced to have his adopted unemployed brother drive him around. Touching in some bits, funny in many others, cringe worthy in a few – not without its flaws, but with plenty of merits none-the-less, primary amongst which is Ellen Page. ★★★☆

Thick as Theives: The reasons you may want to watch this: Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, it’s a heist movie. Reasons you may actually not just walk out of the cinema: Radha Mitchell. Reasons you should want to watch this: none. Reasons you shouldn’t watch this: most ridiculous plot since Ecks vs Sever (Banderas does like a rank action flick once in a while), stupidest dodge-the-security-system scene since that awful one with Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment (except she was hot but Banderas isn’t half so (though I speak only for the men). ★★ (half-star extra credit because I like heist movies, ok?)

Baby Mama: I guess this probably came first, and maybe 30 Rock was used as a cross-promotion device, but Tina Fey needs to lay off the baby-gaga for a while. It’s good for a gag in a sitcom, maybe even 2 eps, but stretched as it is here with Fey playing the straight-(wo)man to Amy Poehler’s slapstick white-trash routine, it gets tired. Fey and Poehler have great on-screen chemistry, but I can’t say that for the rest of the cast, and while this can tug a heartstring or two, it turns out bit of a mixed bag overall. ★★

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: Call me a sucker for a good rom-com, but I enjoyed this little ditty. Simon Pegg is an independent magazine editor in London who gets the call-up for work at a prestigious magazine (think Vanity Fair). Only, he gets unceremoniously dumped into the Eye Spy-esque department, writing fluff peices on celebrities. Co-worker Kirsten Dunst reluctantly helps him to settle in (after being ordered to do so), but Pegg’s character wants his hard-hitting stories of old back. Almost fomulaic, Pegg’s wonderfully flexible facial expressions and brilliant comic timing bring a certain something else to an otherwise hackneyed plot you’ve seen somewhere before. ★★★☆

Ghost Town: Another rom com set in New York with a British comedic actor, but this time it’s Ricky Gervais as a grumpy anti-social dentist. Gervais goes in for a “routine” operation, but dies on the table for 7 minutes before he is revived – and now he can see dead people. One of the dead people (Greg Kinnear) manages to convince him to help him out with his wife/widow (Téa Leoni, y’know, the hot chick in Bad Boys). The plot spins out the ghost story to a slightly different angle, but it’s fundamentally about the redemption of Gervais’ character and how Leoni’s character falls in love with him regardless, etc etc. Bit predictable, but no less sweet for all that, I thought. Gervais is brilliant. ★★★

W.: Kinder to George W. Bush than many would anticipate, but not soft by any means. Josh Brolin puts up a stellar performance that captures many of Bush’s mannerisms down to a tee, and Richard Dreyfuss is spooky as Cheney. Perhaps a bit too soon – given this was released before Bush left – but an interesting biopic no less. ★★★

Religulous: Bill Maher hasn’t got much of a profile in Australia, but going on what I’ve seen in this movie, maybe he really should have a bigger profile. Maher examines religion and its many inherent faults and inadequacies, primarily focusing on the three monothiestic/“Abrahamic” religions – I guess because this is most familiar to himself and his target audience, Americans. Sort of like The God Delusion brought to life, Maher really pulls a fast one around the simpler folk who can’t see the forrest for the trees. Some very good laughs. ★★★★

2 replies on “Movie Review: Quickie Edition X”

You didn’t feel like Bill Maher is a ridiculously smug douche? Granted, I haven’t seen the movie. I have seen him in interviews and he just throws out these incendiary remarks against religious folk of all walks.

oh, there’s no denying he comes across as a bit of a douche, but there are times in this movie when it seems like he’s genuinely trying to give the religious person a chance, only for them to dig in deeper. I’m none too fussed by the remarks, either, but I suppose that’s because I’d like to be able to throw them around myself sometimes.

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