Shanghai Nights; Old School; The Good Girl

These reviews are courtesy of John. John is the oldest member of our Movie Court, and we sometimes affectionately refer to him as “The Grade Inflater.” But he was surprisingly rough on this latest batch of movies….

Shanghai Knights. (C+) The follow-up to the surprisingly entertaining Shanghai Noon, starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. This time, they’re in England chasing down the …yada yada yada. Mildly amusing but more of the same. I like Owen Wilson (ex-boyfriend in Meet The Parents) enough to make it worth a matinee, but am uncomfortable making a recommendation.

Old School. (B) I laughed out loud a few times, mostly at Will Ferrell’s idiotic hijinks. There was enough funny stuff to keep me entertained and at least a semblance of a plot, albeit completely unrealistic, to officially qualify it as a top-notch guy flick, for what that’s worth. A relative lack of the gross-out Austin Powers Goldmember-type humor was a positive.

The Good Girl. (D+) I rented what I believed to be some basic chick-flick feel-good movies. I got this one wrong (maybe I’ll actually read the box for a description of the movie next time). Jennifer Aniston plays a hapless check-out girl at a generic dept. store who’s discontent with her bland life. John C. Reilly plays the likeable but simple underachieving devoted husband. Jennifer meets a Holden Caulfield wanna-be and her life becomes even more of a struggle. Aniston is a reasonably good, as is Reilly, but the movie is just a depressing bag of turmoil (works well with geraniums). I thought it sucked, frankly, though there were a few humorous scenes involving a female co-worker (Zooey Deschanel).

Finally, with due respect to the Queen, I liked Undercover Brother. No way that’s an F. I agree fully with the One Hour Photo review.

Possession; Undercover Brother; One Hour Photo

These reviews are courtesy of our acknowledged “Movie Queen” Maggie. She has seen well over 1000 movies, and she’s adding more all the time….

Possession. (B+) Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart and Jeremy Northam star in this movie about two scholars uncovering the truth about a love affair between two Victorian poets. I thought the story was intriguing and the acting strong. It may have been a bit of a “chick flick,” and my husband slept through it, but I really enjoyed it. Worth a rental.

Undercover Brother. (F) The African-American version of Austin Powers with Eddie Griffin and Denise Richards was truly terrible. I didn’t even make it through the entire movie, but I endured enough that I deserve to report it.

One Hour Photo. (B) Robin Williams and Michael Vartan (Angie’s dream man) thriller about a creepy one-hour photo guy who sees a family whose pictures he develops as his own. It was a little slow, but scary enough to keep you enthralled. It was definitely creepy and Robin Williams plays a great bad guy.

Moulin Rouge

From The Movie Snob.

Moulin Rouge. (B-) I picked the DVD up at Best Buy for $10 the other day and gave the movie its second viewing since its theatrical release. I got quite a kick out of it the first time around, but it didn’t hold up as well on second viewing. The problem, mostly, was the draggy second hour. After the giddy thrill of the music-video-style introduction to the Moulin Rouge itself, the elaborate “emergency rehearsal” for the Duke in Satine’s elephant, and the surreal “Like a Virgin” scene, most of the rest seems anticlimactic.  Nicole Kidman still looked good, though.

Talk to Her

From The Movie Snob.

Talk to Her. (D+) Too bad, this website’s inaugural review has to be a negative one. This is the first movie I have ever seen by Pedro Almodovar, and it may be the last. The plot is interesting: two men are in love with women who have been badly injured and rendered comatose, and they form a friendship of their own as they cope with their losses. Unfortunately one of the two men, who is at first merely creepy and pathetic, later turns out to be repellent and loathsome. (I don’t expect the director intended that to be the case, but I can’t see any avoiding that conclusion.) Only an excellent performance by the other, much more sympathetic protagonist saves this movie from an even lower grade.

Welcome to The Movie Court

Okay. I think I sort of have the hang of this. The goal of this blog is to present for public edification my views and those of a few friends of mine regarding whatever happens to be on our minds. Usually this involves movies, and which movies we’ve seen lately, and how we felt about them. In fact, some of us have taken to keeping a big list of all the movies we’ve seen, and we rate the movies and let everybody else on the list know when we have added one. I’ve seen about 605 movies, which is about 35 more than my friend Angie has seen, and she keeps saying that she is catching up with me, but I’m like no way Angie, you’ll never catch up with me.

Anyhoo, welcome to The Movie Court.