The Weekend Movie Recap: 10/28/11

posted by Rolocop

PUSS IN BOOTS – Not a fan of the SHREK films, although I kind of liked the last one.  The problem I had with those were the constant need to please the parents bringing the kids by loading those movies with non-stop pop culture references.  It was overkill, especially with the second one.  I got sick of it immediately, so I wasn’t really looking forward to this spin-off.

I’m pleased to announce that this is actually nothing like the SHREK films.  It’s very much it’s own thing, as it’s just as much an adventure as it is a comedy.  I would compare it more to KUNG FU PANDA than SHREK.  Antonio Banderas again voices the title character, a bad cat who makes a living as a bandit.  While doing a job, he meets another thief, a female cat named Kitty Softpaws.  Together they meet Humpty Dumpty, who has a troubled history with Puss, and presents a job for the two bandits.  What follows is a pretty fun adventure sprinkled with laughs.

From frame one, this movie has got such a great vibe.  From Henry Jackman’s Latin-laced adventure score to the gritty western look.  The pace pops with energy and never lets up until the end, whether it’s Puss dueling the law, or an unexpected dance off (which is a hoot!).  Puss is a fun character and Kitty Softpaws is a wonderful addition to the universe.  The film is kid friendly but doesn’t insult their intelligence.  Parents will most likely enjoy themselves too.  It’s not as sophisticated as RANGO, but it’s at least every bit as fun.  Not quite as dark, though it gets close on occasion.

I don’t really have too much to add here other than I had a blast.  I love that this was more of a Zorro-type adventure rather than a fairy tale mess.  It’s terrific entertainment for the whole family.  Wide Release Rating:

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THE SKIN I LIVE IN – I’ve only seen 3 other Pedro Almodovar’s films (TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!, VOLVER, BROKEN EMBRACES) and I’ve enjoyed all of them.  This one reteams the director with Antonio Banderas, who plays a respected plastic surgeon who has a woman locked up in his house against her will.  She is a guinea pig of sorts as he experiments a new skin on her.  But everything is not as it seems as the story unfolds in non-linear fashion.  That’s all I can say without giving much away.

The way the story unfolds is clever.  Aldmodovar gives you just enough info to keep you engaged, revealing the story’s secrets little by little as the film moves along.  It definitely has a Hitchcock-like feel and has a few great thrilling set pieces.  The characters are all interesting, which helps keep the viewer involved.  There are a few plot holes here and there, and I thought one supporting character was played a bit over the top, but it didn’t keep me from being thoroughly entertained by this sensual, twisted and disturbing thriller.  Now Showing at The Uptown Rating:

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Also opening this weekend:

ANONYMOUS – Director Roland Emmerich (INDEPENDENCE DAY, yuck!) tries to make an Oscar worthy film by tackling this story about how William Shakespeare did not write his plays, but someone with political ties to the Queen of England did.  It’s a beautiful looking movie and is filled with solid performances, but the film got a little bombastic at times.  Also, I found the lack of focus made it hard to sympathize with anyone.  Not at bad movie, but not as great as Emmerich probably thinks it is.  Wide Release Rating:

THE RUM DIARY – Big fan of FEAR AND LOATHING. Not so much this sort of prequel.  Depp is fine (though incredibly understated), and the supporting cast is clearly having fun (with the exception of Aaron Eckhart), but there is little energy here.  It also felt like that the film was always on the verge of something. It clearly had something to say, but didn’t know how to say it.  For Die hard fans of Hunter S. Thompson only.  If you don’t know who that is, then the movie isn’t for you.  Rating:

ORANGES AND SUNSHINE – A very sad true story about how several kids were taken from their home by the Government in London (back in the 60’s) and were sent to a farm to do strenuous labor.  Also many of them were abused by the Priests running the farm.  Emily Watson is good as usual, and Hugo Weaving has an Oscar worthy scene. Unfortunately, the direction and screenplay wasn’t any better than a Lifetime movie. Also David Wenham gives a pretty bad performance as one of the kids now grown up.  At The Edina.  Rating:

IN TIME – Wide Release

THE BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967-1975 – At The Lagoon

FINDING KIND – St. Anthony

JULIA’S EYES – St. Anthony

Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 12:00 am