Bend It Like Beckham

And a new review from Elder Statesman John:

Bend It Like Beckham. (A-) This delightful movie combines two great and often-filmed themes: the generational conflict between parents and adolescent children, and the cultural conflict that occurs when immigrants’ traditional values run up against the values of the new milieu in which they find themselves. If the parents learn to let go of their children, and if the newcomers learn to embrace or at least accept the new (inevitably more individualistic) ethic of their adopted country, you can pretty well count on a happy ending. Failure to follow this course of action, by contrast, invariably leads to tragedy. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but this movie is no tragedy.

X2

A new review from That Guy Named David:

X2 (B-)

Although this movie has been aptly reviewed twice on this site, I’ll add my quick two cents. While I believe that the first X-Men had a better storyline than this one, the special effects in X2 made this worth the Saturday afternoon matinee price. Hugh Jackman’s character becomes much more developed in this sequel; however, like The Movie Snob, I thought that they could have done much more to develop some of the relationships between the characters (especially the love triangle between Wolverine, Jean Grey, and that dude with the laser eye). I was also a bit disappointed that Patrick Stewart didn’t play a much bigger role in this sequel, considering that he is arguably the most talented actor in the movie. That being said, much like the other blockbuster sequel that I’ve seen this summer, I walked away content but not blown away.

Matrix Reloaded; 25th Hour; Adaptation; Bend It Like Beckham

A passel of reviews from Maggie, The Movie Queen:

Matrix Reloaded. (B-) Even though I am usually not a huge fan of this kind of movie, I liked the first Matrix because of the special effects and this one for the same reason. The acting is definitely NOT stellar. I mean, God love Keanu, but he is truly terrible. He should stick with Bill & Ted’s level of movies. The acting would maybe have really ruined the movie and therefore forced it into the C category, but there is so much action and so little dialogue, that it wasn’t too painful to put up with Keanu. I did think it got a little long, but it was well worth the matinee price and well worth seeing it on the big screen where the special effects could be well-appreciated.

25th Hour. (C-) This is the Spike Lee movie with Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson and Barry Pepper. The movie follows Edward Norton, who plays a drug dealer during his last day before being sent to prison for 7 years. It was typical Spike Lee–very preachy! I felt like half of the movie should have just been him, standing on a soapbox, preaching his slightly messed up morality. I usually like Edward Norton and I did think he was good in it, but the story was poor, the plot boring and the whole thing was much too slow. Even Mr. Norton couldn’t save this one.

Adaptation. (B) This is the movie with Nicolas Cage (who was up for the Oscar for Best Actor), Meryl Streep (I can’t remember if she was up for this one) and Chris Cooper (who won Best Supporting Actor Oscar). It is about a screenwriter, Cage who is trying to “adapt” a book Meryl Streep wrote about Chris Cooper into a screen play. The characters were definitely colorful, although, pretty sad and the story was good. However, I really felt like it fell apart at the end and went down a road that it just couldn’t recover from. I love Nick Cage, I mean the man was H.I. for God’s sake, so maybe I can’t be rational, but I thought he was exceptional in this movie. He played himself and his twin and did it very well. I was impressed—he has definitely learned a little bit since Raising Arizona, although he will never be as endearing as he was in that, the “mother of all movies.”

Bend it Like Beckham. (B) Girl-power movie about an Indian girl and her English friend who are passionate about playing football (that’s soccer for us Yanks). They both have to deal with unsupportive parents and some ridicule from other girls and boys, but who still struggle to keep playing and dream of going to America to play professionally. There is, of course, a little romance mixed in, just in case the fact that it is a total girl movie (in the same spirit of Blue Crush, but worlds above) hasn’t totally roped in all the potential female audience members. It was cute—sort of a cross between My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Blue Crush. Maybe worth a rental, especially if you girls have a night to yourselves or if the boys are really trying to impress a date!! (David, take note…aren’t you always in the market for a little dating advice?)

Okay, that is all from the Queen. I think that these new additions will help to secure my first place title. And, just in case you were wondering…The Queen is definitely back in business—no more of this motherhood thing distracting me from my true calling!!

The Girl From Paris

Another one from The Snob:

The Girl From Paris. (B) This is a French import about a 30ish woman who first quits her computer-related job in Paris to study agriculture and then buys a goat farm in the Rhone-Alps. The catch is that the crotchety old widower who previously owned the farm can’t move into his new place for another 18 months, so he stays on in his little cottage, skeptically watching the newcomer try to make a go of farming. Gradually, she and he get to know and appreciate each other. Not a lot happens over the course of the movie, but it is a pleasant little tale with nice visuals of the farm and surrounding land, and I was happy to go along for the ride.

Bruce Almighty

From The Movie Snob:

Bruce Almighty. (C+) No one will be surprised to learn that The Movie Snob is not a Jim Carrey fan. But this movie’s premise sounded promising. Carrey plays an average guy who complains loudly and often about how God is running the world when things aren’t going his way. Soon enough, God responds to the complaints by letting Carrey run things for a while. But the Hollywood sausage-grinder generally reduces this interesting concept to a series of sight gags and cliched epiphanies. Parts were amusing enough, but overall this flick was nothing special. Maybe Carrey had only one The Truman Show in him.  Also features Jennifer Aniston.

X2; Young Frankenstein

Reviews from The Movie Snob:

X2: X-Men United. (B-) This critic must take some X-ception to the earlier review posted on The Movie Court by Movie Man Mike. I liked the first X-Men movie and rather expected to like this one even more. But alas, I found this one a bit too long and somehow insufficiently involving. There’s plenty of action, but even at a hefty 135 minutes the movie can’t seem to find the time to develop the relationships between otherwise interesting and likeable characters. The nascent love triangle involving Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Cyclops, and Jean Grey is given scant screen time, as is Rogue’s apparent crush on Wolverine, and it is a shame Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan share only a few moments of screen time together. And what is the deal with blockbuster action movies having to have like five false endings before the real ending finally arrives? I guess it’s supposed to be suspenseful, but it’s just annoying.

Young Frankenstein. (B) I learned two things by finally seeing this 30-year-old flick on DVD: (1) Mel Brooks is capable of making a funny movie, and (2) Teri Garr was once very good-looking. Plot summary is probably pointless, but Gene Wilder plays Frederick von Frankenstein, a successful neurosurgeon in America who inherits his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. Before long, he is “resurrecting” the family business with the help of Igor, played by the amazingly bug-eyed Marty Feldman, with humorous consequences. Having loathed Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs, I watched this DVD with some trepidation but found it quite entertaining.

The Moviegoer (book review)

A book review from The Movie Snob:

The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy. If ever a book title cried out for a review on this blog, The Moviegoer, winner of the 1962 National Book Award, is obviously it. The novel is set in New Orleans during roughly a week around Mardi Gras time. The protagonist is Jack “Binx” Bolling, a young investment broker on the verge of his 30th birthday. If he ever had a sense of purpose in life, he lost it some time ago, and now he simply drifts, trying to keep his ennui at bay by the expedients of moviegoing and conducting affairs with his secretaries. Yet even he cannot help but be touched by feeling for some of the people around him — his wheelchair-bound and sickly half-brother Lonnie, and his even more malaise-stricken step-cousin Kate. A lot of people really love this book, as the reviews on Amazon.com indicate, and I liked it very much even though I am not particularly susceptible to the postmodern despair described so well in the book.