I also watched a few movies this weekend. I should probably be writing about these in another location, but I feel like that section is doomed. I’ve been meaning to start an official movie review section, but I just haven’t had the time. Unemployment is a lot busier than you’d think.
Anyway, I saw Daredevil, Agent Cody Banks and Drumline. A week or two ago I watched Death to Smoochie and Max. I also caught Holes at the cheap theater. Let’s give a quick run down:
Daredevil — A darkly intriguing comic-turned-movie, reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Batman, only more interesting because the super hero is blind. The special effects showing us how Daredevil “sees” were amazing. The story line had more redemption than I expected, thanks to the Daredevil’s trips to the confessional. Plus the soundtrack kicked ass (it launched Evanescence into the spotlight) and the DVD is packed with extras. The weakest part of the movie is everyone’s ability to make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style leaps, despite the fact that no one has those superpowers.
Agent Cody Banks — Do I admit I watched this movie? Too late. I like Frankie Muniz (at least in Malcolm in the Middle) and we were up for something light. I can say it didn’t suck. I think a 10-year-old boy would have liked it. It was basically James Bond as a teenager, minus the martinis and accent. Unfortunately they didn’t have the good sense to play it as a James Bond spoof. They could have gone over the top with goofball villains and it would have been great. Instead the villains are just as goofball except we’re supposed to be scared, and Agent Banks has the same suave lines, only slightly milder for the pre-teen crowd (“What’s my next mission?” “I think you were going to kiss me.”).
Drumline — I expected a Disney movie about high school drummers, and this wasn’t anywhere close. A Brooklyn boy gets a drumming scholarship at a Southern school, but has to lose his pride to be a part of the band. The movie felt short on plot for as long as it was, but the rhythms were righteous.
Death to Smoochie — It’s billed as Robin Williams comedy about the seedy underbelly of children’s television, but it’s really an Ed Norton flick. He totally makes the movie as an idealistic, hippie children’s entertainer, the man behind Smoochie the Rhino. It’s darkly disturbing and fun to watch for anyone’s who’s dreamed of hiring a hitman to off Barney.
Max — An arty film about Hitler’s formative years. John Cusack plays a Jewish artist who lost his arm in World War I and survives in post-war Germany as an art dealer supported by his wealthy in-laws. He stumbles across the young Adolf Hitler, and their common war experience unites them. Hitler is torn between propaganda and his art. At times he almost seems human, which is probably the movie’s biggest fault: its fear of being too sympathetic to Hitler. It’s a dark, thinking movie — but what else did you expect for Hitler’s formative years?
Holes — Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake, a youth detention center that doesn’t live up to its title. Sentenced to dig a hole a day in order to build character, Stanley struggles to get along with the other delinquents and the obsessed warden. It’s a quirky story of redemption and overcoming the unfairness of life, a movie you can watch with your whole family – if you have to. Or you can do one better and read the book.