While I have ho-hum days at my job like everyone else does, (especially when it involves transcribing long interviews—one of my least favorite tasks), I’m not going to lie and say that seeing three movies for work this week is a bad gig (even without popcorn for two out of three of them).
Now sometimes I do get a real stinker to review like say, Fool’s Gold or Prom Night. But thankfully, this week’s crop of movies weren’t that bad even if Four Christmases did turn out to be the cinematic equivalent of expired egg nog. Truth be told, both Christmas and Vince Vaughn/Reese Witherspoon deserved a better movie.
Seriously making up for the sophomoric humor, however, was Bolt (a kiddie movie that made me laugh for the better part of 90 minutes) and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, a big, old-fashioned picture that could be best described as Gone With the Wind in the Australian Outback. And while not nearly as long as Scarlett’s adventures in Tara and beyond, Australia isn’t exactly an A-D-D person’s dream movie as it clocks in at 2 1/2 hours. But aside from a slow-ish start, I was captivated for the duration, whether it was the lush, quick-panning visuals (Luhrmann’s trademark), the sweeping love story or the gentle commentary on racism and injustice. And who knew that skinny ‘lil Nicole Kidman would be so great at herding cattle?
In fact, she and Hugh Jackman make such a great screen couple that I may even forgive her for making Stepford Wives, and in my opinion the worst excuse for handing out an Oscar, The Hours. I mean, did you see that? I don’t think I’ve ever watched something where I wanted everyone to die (and quickly) just so the torture wouldn’t carry on and on and on. I don’t care if she did don a prosthetic nose, what a hideous movie!
Okay, off tangent, back on topic…Like everyone else on the planet, I also recently saw the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. Proving once again that he really is one fantastic Bond, Daniel Craig really rocked this with a little Jason Bourne thrown in for good measure. And while I really liked Casino Royale‘s Bond girl Eva Green so much better than Olga What’s Her Name, I thought the flick really maintained the gritty spirit of the first, even though I really missed the gadgets. But with no cheesy “Shaken, Not Stirred” lines, maybe I can forgo a few nifty gadgets, right?
And now for my official star ratings (one=atrocious and four=instant classic) since we don’t do them at Crosswalk…
Four Christmases: ** 1/2 (and that’s only because of the scene where they all play Taboo and Vince Vaughn’s funny fast-talking wisecracks)
Australia *** 1/2
Quantum of Solace *** 1/2