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Movie Recap: August 2005

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The summer season has crested and started it’s decline. The freedom of children to attend the Hollywood dreck is drawing to a close as they prepare for the oncoming onslaught of the school year. Still, we are graced with a few good movies, mixed in with the late summer forgettables that get dumped into theaters in the hopes of collecting the last bits of pocket change that these kids have. I guess that sort of backfired as this month, and year, have not been another record breaking year that the industry had hoped for. Anyway, are you interested in what I saw this month? Of course you aren’t.

Best of the Month: Broken Flowers
Worst of the Month: Stealth


In chronological order from the beginning of the month:

  1. Stealth. What an awful movie, bad characters, bad story. I know it was trying to be a fun action movie, but it failed miserably. *.5
  2. The Dukes of Hazzard. Surprisingly fun. It held onto the spirit of the old show while bringing some more modern touches into the fold. Silly summer fun. **.5
  3. The Bad News Bears. I really like Billy Bob Thornton, this is almost an extension of his Bad Santa character. There are some plot threads that I would have liked more of, but overall this was an entertaining update. **.5
  4. Four Brothers. John Singleton has crafted a fine Western disguised as an urban thriller. Some good performances and a touching story ground this gritty film. ***
  5. The Aristocrats. Absolutely hilarious, and one of the most potentially offensive films I have seen. One joke told over and over, each time a little different. ***.5
  6. The Skeleton Key. Considerably better than I expected. It features some creepy sets and some good performances. The end was a touch convoluted, but it was nice to see a thriller that didn’t overly rely on jump scares. ***
  7. Red Eye. Wes Craven has crafted a focused, tightly wound thriller. At the same time, it is helping to solidify two new stars in Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy. ***
  8. Broken Flowers. Near brilliance. Bill Murray has reinvented himself as this deadpan comic, conveying all sorts of feelings with minimal expressions. Here he is searching for what may be his son. This is a must see. ***.5
  9. The 40 Year Old Virgin. Funny, sweet, and vulgar all at the same time. Steve Carrell has arrived as a new leading comic. The title sounds like a one joke movie, but it is so much better than that. ***
  10. Valiant. I admire the thought behind this as a tribute to the animals of WWII, but the execution is not so good. Sub par animation, thin story, shallow characters. This could have been much better. **
  11. The Cave. A poor creature feature with no attempt at a story. There is so little to hang onto here, I am surprised the movie got made. *.5
  12. Grizzly Man. Werner Herzog’s constructed look at the life and death of Timothy Treadwell. Compelling and sad at the same time. ***.5
  13. The Brothers Grimm. Gorgeous set design in search of a story. Some good performances and wonderful vision are marred by the lack of a focused story. **.5

That does it for this month.

Draven99's Musings

About Draven99

  • eriqo

    You are losing your touch Chris. Broken flowers? You can’t be serious.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    I am serious, and don’t call me shirley!

    I’m losing my touch? come now, it can’t be that bad. I just happen to have some wide ranging tastes! It happens….

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    “40 Year Old Virgin” was a great film and it’s great to see Judd Apatow finally getting a huge commercial success for all his talent. It was the best film I’ve seen this year, slightly edging out Batman. The Aristocrats was funny, but 40 Year Old Virgin was significantly funnier.

    But the movie owes a huge debt to the Farrelly Brothers — it’s CLEARLY influenced in so many ways by “There’s Something About Mary,” among other movies, and has a lot of the same sweetness and heart that are at the core of Peter and Bobby’s best work.

    The problem with the Farrellys is that they’ve lost their touch in making movies that produce big box office while having good stories as well. It’s been a while for them and I think Judd Apatow might have found a new niche making Farrelly Brothers-type comedies better than the Farrellys can these days. Of course, that’s not giving enough credit to how talented Apatow’s comic vision has been in his TV work, but the tone of the movie (everything from the low-brow sight gags to the sweet romantic subplot to the man-child protagonist to the sing-along at the end of the film) seems very much to me like something the studio suggested to him as a Farrellys-type project.

    That is all.

  • eriqo

    I take it back chris. You are not losing your touch. I actually looked for the movie and took the time to watch it…well some of it and *whispers ‘it wasn’t as bad as i thought’*. its ok to have a variety but still, broken flowers?

    oh and i’m not calling you Shirley…Suzy! (lol)

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Thank you Eriqo. I’m glad that you enjoyed it (sort of enjoyed?) I still tend towards the action/sci-fi/horror areas, but it is refreshing to see some of these slower paced character dramas.