Thursday, September 23, 2010

Box Office Reviews from August 25 to September 23

The Last Exorcism

It's nice to see a pg-13 horror movie that isn't aimed at the tween/teen demographic. The Last Exorcism doesn't pull any punches when it comes to scares and it really takes its time developing the story. The film nails the documentary feel, except for some music cues that seem out of place. This I forgive because the rest of the movie is so tight. The actors are great in every role, especially the possessed girl who supposedly could contort her body without the aid of special effects. Unfortunately the end of the film doesn't do anything new for the demonic possession genre. (Is that a genre?) The last fifteen minutes are uninspired and goes to the same places that films like (spoiler) The House of the Devil, Rosemary's Baby, and Blair Witch go. All those films are better than this one, but as an entry in the found footage horror genre I have a lot of respect for The Last Exorcism.

A Good Banana


If drive-ins were still popular Machete would have played a double bill with Piranha 3D. Machete the film lives up to the greatness of Machete the fake (now real) trailer. The cast for this movie is perfect and Robert Deniro gives one of his best performances in recent years. The movie has a topical sub-plot about illegal immigrants coming from Mexico and who better to lead such a film then the always fantastic Danny Trejo. All he does is walk from place to place and give awesome lines such as "Machete Don't Text" and I love him for it. I also need to mention Jeff Fahey as he knocks it out of the park. Watching him clear out a house full of druggies with a silenced pistol is one of the best parts of the movie. I like everything about this film, it is pure greatness from start to finish.

A Gold Banana

The American

George Clooney stars as an assassin looking for redemption, love, and a newline of work in this terribly marketed film. The trailer suggests a movie filled with action, but the movie is closer to classic Samurai film then it is to First Blood. The movie is very simply and spends a lot of time on the minute details. Clooney's character is offered a simple job to allow him time to recover from an incident that takes place at the beginning of the movie. All he has to do is build a gun for a mysterious female. Seems simple, but things soon get complicated. After falling in love with a woman of the night, Clooney's character begins to question his life path. The thing is there isn't really anything special about this women and I spent the whole movie wondering why he sees her with such rose coloured glasses. The movie is very slow and the developments of the plotlines, except for the gun building are uninteresting. The movie would have been better if it was all about building the gun and not about the chinks in Clooney's characters armour. Believe me the gun in this movie is so fantastic that the process of building it could have carried the entire movie. The American is very similar to Jim Jarmusch's film The Limits of Control, and I like Jarmusch's film more than The American.

A Banana Peel

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

In the past I have never thought that much about Joan Rivers. All I knew her from was interviewing celebrities on the red carpet. After seeing this documentary I see her in a new light. The film is very honest, heartfelt, and above all funny. Even if you aren't interested in the life of Joan Rivers you will like this movie.

A Good Banana

Going The Distance

This movie had me thinking that it would be cool if a romantic comedy focused on the side characters rather than the love of the main couple. This film like almost all romantic comedies has a great group of supporting characters, but everything else about the movie is lackluster. The movie is about Justin Long and Drew Barrymore having a long distance relationship. Justin Long has two best friends played by Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis. They are both hilarious. Barrymore's characters sister is played by Christina Applegate and her brother in-law is played by Jim Gaffigan. Again they are both hilarious. Unfortunately the main story is not interesting.

A Banana Peel


There is something about films set in the fifties and sixties that really hits me in the heart region. That might be because things seemed much slower and laid back over those two decades. Flipped is a movie about young love and how growing up changes ones perception of the subject. Second grader Bryce moves to a new neighbourhood with his family and on the first day at his new house he meets Juli his neighbour. Instantly Juli falls in love with Bryce and instantly Bryce hates Juli. Over the next six years they have to deal with being neighbours, schoolmates, and with their conflicting feelings toward each other. They both go through difficult times and the movie doesn't try to do anything other then just show the characters getting older and more mature. I really appreciated this about the movie, because we really get to know the characters involved. The film is told using inner monologues as a form of narration and this works very well. The film shows the perspective of Juli or Bryce with each one narrating their perspective, and then shows the others flipped perspective of the same incident. The movie does a great job handling these scenes as they never seem too fantastic when the others perspective is shown. Flipped is the best film that Rob Reiner has directed in fifteen years.

A Gold Banana

The Town

This sophomore effort from Ben Affleck is pure greatness. The Town is simple storytelling done extremely well. All the actors in the film give solid performances including Blake Lively who proves she really can act. The best thing about The Town is the action. Each scene one ups the previous one and the final action set piece is very realistic. There is not much more to say about this great movie. One of the best of the year.

A Gold Banana

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