Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Week In Netflix

"Kung Fu Panda" (2008) Description from Netflix: When China's Valley of Peace is threatened, lazy Po the panda (voiced by Jack Black) discovers his destiny as the "chosen one" and trains to become a kung fu hero. Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and the Furious Five -- Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) -- impart their knowledge to Po, but transforming this slacker into a brave warrior isn't going to be easy in this Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature.

Bit disappointing. I think I liked the behind the scenes documentary better than the actual film. Doesn't come close to anything Pixar and really wasn't even as good as the first two Shrek movies.

"Without A Clue" (1988) Description from Netflix: Part mystery and part comedy, this film tackles the origins of the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Here, Holmes is depicted as an invention of Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley), who acts as if Holmes really exists. But when Holmes's popularity grows, Dr. Watson finds himself inundated with requests for detective service. In need of help, Dr. Watson hires a bumbling local actor (Michael Caine) to masquerade as the great detective.

Very funny. Ben Kinsley and Michael Caine are so good in general, but they really work so well together. You can see Watson's complete hatred of Holmes. Fun to watch a whole new take on just an over done storyline.

"In Bruges" (2008) Description from Netflix: In Martin McDonagh's dark comedy, after accidentally killing an innocent boy in London, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell, in a Golden Globe-winning role) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are sent by their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to lay low in Bruges, Belgium. Uncomfortable in this foreign city, the two professional killers meet ecletic characters (including a drug-dealing beauty, a little person actor and a pregnant hotel owner) and soon get into trouble.

Meh. Not sure why it got the Golden Globe attention. However, I do want to see Bruges now. Colin Farrell was decent. His reaction to the little person actor were the best parts of the movie.

"A Cinderella Story" (2004) Description from Netflix: In this modern take on the classic fairy tale, Hilary Duff plays the Cinderella character -- a California high school student named Sam, who scrubs floors at her selfish stepmother's (Jennifer Coolidge) diner while dreaming of attending Princeton. When an anonymous email pal (Chad Michael Murray) -- the object of Sam's affection -- confesses he's the quarterback of the school's football team, Sam panics, certain she's not cool enough to date him.

Better than I thought it would be. It was watchable, but thought it was more of retelling of the "Ever After" version of Cinderell than the Disney version. Still a Disney film with Hilary Duff, but not as painful as a High School Musical movie.

"Mamma Mia" (2008) Description from Netflix: Based on the international hit musical featuring the songs of pop superstars ABBA, this charming tale centers on a bride-to-be (Amanda Seyfried) and her plan to uncover her father's identity by inviting three of her mother's (Meryl Streep) former lovers to her wedding. This Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) also stars Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan SkarsgÄrd and Christine Baranski.

Physical pain. This movie caused me physical pain. This was so god awful. GOD AWFUL. This is why people hate musicals. None of those actors should do musicals. The pain. The pain. I do not ever want to go to Greece now on the off chance it could remind me of this movie. Same with Abba music. GOD AWFUL.

"Across the Universe" (2007) Description from Netflix: An American girl (Evan Rachel Wood) and a British lad (Jim Sturgess) fall in love amid the upheaval of the 1960s in this musical featuring classic Beatles songs and a mix of live action and innovative animation. On an excursion to America, Liverpool dock worker Jude (Sturgess) falls for Lucy (Wood). When Lucy's brother (Joe Anderson) is drafted, Jude and Lucy take a stand as anti-war activists. Dana Fuchs, Bono and Eddie Izzard co-star.

I liked the idea of this movie better than the execution. It didn't feel as forced as Mamma Mia. The songs all worked, but I think this would have been better with another director and less stylized 60s effects. I would actually buy the soundtrack if I saw it. Some of the covers were pretty good.

Pretty much this group of movies was a bust. I have no desire to see any of them again and some cause pain. Pain!

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