Be Kind, Rewind - A movie with a ton of heart. They went all-out with the "homemade" visuals for the films. This movie would have been way better without Jack Black. Most films today can be summed up via an old Hollywood standard: it's like Alien meets The Blair Witch Project; that is to say most film concepts are boiled down into simple, familiar and easy to digest "concepts," as opposed to trying to create something interesting and new. This film operates way outside the normal Hollywood zone(s), feeling more like an independent film with a hefty budget.
In Bruges - The DVD box said it was a, "comic, action-packed romp with non-stop chases and an explosive ending." There was ONE chase scene, with shooting, and it came 1 hour and 37 minutes in to the film. The rest of the film was a broken-down, sad, sorry excuse of a mess, with Colin Farrell crying and moping in a dull Belgium city. Don't waste your time on this one. And if I ever meet the moron who put together the packaging for this DVD, I'll show them what an action-packed romp is... by introducing them to the business side of a 2x4.
Alvin & The Chipmunks - Yes, really. It wasn't all that bad. I wish they'd made the voices (and some of the music) a little more like the older Chipmunks projects: there was very little distinction between the three 'munks, and the supposedly slammin' versions of the songs sounded more like Kidz Bop than an actual children's musical. The actors playing opposite the CGI chipmunks held their own, considering that most of the dialog and song choices were way too grown-up for a kids film. (Did any little kids get the, "bom chicka wah-wah," let's get it on jokes?) Overall, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.
Cloverfield - OK, I finally fell for the hype and threw this one in the Netflix cue. I really only have a couple of thoughts about this sh!t sammy:1) Many films, from Jaws to The Blair Witch Project, kept audiences on the edge of their seats with fright, without really ever showing the actual source of terror. If you're going for that kind of vibe, don't show us the monster, and definitely avoid close-up shots and panoramic, sweeping shots of the damn thing... if that's the vibe you're after, go for it, don't half-@ss it.
2) Most, if not all, consumer video cameras nowadays have some sort of horizon stabilization mechanism, so there's no need for the excessively shaky manner in which the story is presented. And, if the time line of the story is to be believed, the battery on said camera lasted almost 8 full hours.
3) Normally, even in a disaster film, I have trouble buying that so much crap could happen to just one little group of people... but with Cloverfield, the characters made so many horrible choices, I actually believed the bad luck and misfortune they encountered.