Little Miss Sunshine

A movie review from A View From Mars (and, incidentally, our 500th post on The Movie Court!)

Little Miss Sunshine (B) – Does it ever get better than the dysfunctional-family-on-a-road-trip comedy? This movie made a splash at Sundance as one of the critics’ darling picks. It boasts a solid cast, a good script and in a few scenes, a temperamental Volkswagen not seen since Herbie the Love Bug. The plot revolves around the youngest daughter (Abigail Breslin, No Reservations) defaulting her way into being her local town’s representative for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, which so happens to be held cross country in California. I’m not quite sure which way the distribution marketing heads were going with this film as most anything I saw on this led me to believe that I was going to experience a light drama with some comedy thrown in. However, this was definitely more on the comedic side, if not completely. In particular, there were a few running gags that I thought were going to get old quick, but instead, I continued to laugh each and every time. So to summarize; Steve Carrell (Crazy, Stupid, Love) as a gay uncle, Greg Kinnear (Heaven Is For Real) as a failed Anthony Robbins-lite self-help guru and Alan Arkin (Argo) as the callous and foul mouthed grandpa. A solid picture that poses the moviegoing question of, “why not, what else do I have to do.”

Superman Returns

The triumphant return of A View From Mars

Superman Returns (A-) It may be egotistically fitting that my first review in a long, long time coincides with this particular movie. First, let me say that this movie, more than any other in recent memory, took me back to my childhood. From the opening credits to the last shot of Superman, I had a smile on my face that still reappears as I write this and is highly attributable not only to this movie, but to my high regards to the Superman mythology. By now you know the plot revolves around Superman (Brandon Routh, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) returning from his 5 year hiatus, Lex (Kevin Spacey, Beyond the Sea) doing what he does best and Lois (Kate Bosworth, Beyond the Sea) taking on the role of motherhood. Routh pulls off the titular role and at times is almost surreal in his channeling of Christopher Reeve. I won’t get into the plot details, but much is made that this movie could very well be part 3 (in director Bryan Singer’s mind, the original part 3 and 4 never existed…Quest for Peace or Richard Pryor anyone?) and the subtle tributes to the first 2 originals are a nice touch. Is the film flawless? No, but then again, what movie is, especially for a comic book adaptation in which one has to suspend disbelief that a man can fly. For this reviewer, I recommend this movie and overall, I think this film reminds me why it is that I love movies as much as I do.

Red Eye

A View From Mars:

Red Eye (C). Don’t let Wes Craven’s attachment to this movie sway you into thinking this might turn out to be some scare fest movie. This movie isn’t scary! This movie isn’t particularly good, but neither is it particularly bad, it’s best described as painstakingly predictable. The movie starts off with Rachel McAdams (The Notebook), a Miami hotel manager of sorts, stuck at our very own DFW airport due to flight delay. She meets Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins) in line and strikes up a conversation that soon leads to more conversation at a Tex-Mex restaurant. (Let me tell you, having been stuck just recently at DFW airport for 12 hours, I can assure you that there is no Tex-Mex restaurant, Chili’s doesn’t count.) I digress; so anyway, they finally board the plane only for her to find out that he’s not what he seems . . . surprise, surprise. She must follow his orders or her dad will die. The movie progresses and attempts suspense in places where the outcome is already noticeable. I give Wes Craven credit for trying something a little more subtle, but in the end this movie was just a tad worse than average.