Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mini-Reviews: Quick Reading

The Ugly Truth: Never has a romantic comedy been so self aware of its chauvinistic & misogynistic perspective of the sexes and yet been so unabashed about it. A horrible script with some occasional hilarious moments never allow the film to come together as an enjoyable whole. However, there is one thing that is right here: Katherine Heigl. The woman is, by far, the funniest lead actress of the current generation. I just wish she got better roles though.
How to Train Your Dragon?: Not since Shrek have I seen an animated adventure with such a beautiful combination of fun and spirit. The story of a Viking trying to train a dragon instead of killing one like the rest of his clan is a tad Avatar-esque I admit. However, the film is far more entertaining for the entire family while managing to maintain surprising dramatic depth like The Lion King. Jay Baruchel as Hiccup sounds like a young Tom Hanks and Gerard Butler is superb as the Viking chief. The animation is dazzling and this is the best use of 3D technology I have seen so far on screen. Heavily recommended.

Did You Hear About The Morgans?: You know a self proclaimed romantic comedy is in trouble when in 98 minutes of film, you only laugh once. Despite a promising premise with a terrific cast, Marc Lawrence really hits the pits in terms of both, the script and the direction. Another movie after Bruno that made me want to get my lost time back.

Duplicity: Another terrible waste of a terrific premise. Clive Owen and Julia Roberts have the most sizzling chemistry on screen in a long time and are perfectly cast as corporate spies out to con their respective bosses. However, instead of being speedy, saucy and suave like an Ocean's Eleven, it is dull and clunky and rarely ever funny. Wilkinson and Giammati are also never allowed to realise their full potential. Sad indeed.

 The Devil's Advocate: An absolute delight of a film featuring a rare, fresh and terrific performance from Al Pacino, The Devil's Advocate is part John Grisham and part Exorcist with a powerful morality play thrown in. The direction is excellent in certain sequences and although the movie never really comes together as a seamless whole, there is enough meat in each part to gratify the viewer. The last third is exceptionally well written with a lot of thought having gone into it. The trick ending is unnecessary and, by that time, irrelevant as well. A thoroughly disturbing film that may leave you pondering for a long time after it is over, it is still well worth the 132 minutes long run time.

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