Capsule Movie Reviews, Summer Edition, Part Two

More movie reviews to add to my big list of every movie I see in 2009:

The Hangover – 6/10 – A goofball comedy that’s part “Dude, Where’s Your Car?” and part “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle”. It’s reasonably funny, and Zach Galifianakis feels kind of original, but that’s all it really is. Don’t miss Galifianakis’s utterly weird web videos Between Two Ferns.

Year One – 4/10 – I expected a little more from Harold Ramis, but this is a banal movie trading on a bunch of Old Testament stories. Jack Black and Michael Cera are watchable, but they essentially shuffle from one unoriginal set piece to another. Watching the movie, I felt like I’d seen all the schtick before.

Easy Virtue – 5.5/10 – A glowing example, I think, of a poorly-directed film. There’s the nut of a lovely period film here, but the script (co-written by director Stephan Elliot) really needed some more help and a different director at the helm. Jessica Biel is incredibly easy on the eyes, but she’s only an average actor, and wasn’t quite right for the lead role. Neither was Ben Barnes who played opposite her. Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth were, of course, superb, but the movie was poorly paced, laughably predictable and ultimately disappointing.

Public Enemies – 7/10 – I was recently listening to a Slate Cultural Gabfest in which they discussed this movie. Slate film critic Dana Stevens pointed out that the various component parts of the film were enjoyable, but it was lacking the ‘mortar of goodness’ that would make it a better film. I’d definitely agree–I found it enjoyable but a little soulless. I really don’t care for Michael Mann’s murky, naturalistic visual and audio aesthetic. I find it distracting, particularly in a period piece.


  1. I’d rated The Hangover a little higher. I didn’t care for the Galifianakis character, mainly because I couldn’t buy into his eccentricities.
    If it wasn’t for Bradley Cooper (who makes an unlikable character likable), Ed Helms, and the heist movie elements (like that crzy mob boss character), it would have been just another silly road trip movie.

  2. Darren.

    Good analysis though I think you’re a small bit harsh on “The Hangover.”

    It’s one of the better comedies of the last couple of years

    hope that helps,

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