Tuesday, July 12, 2011

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

No, I am not writing about that classic Sergio Leone film today, but rather opining about the film year at its midway point. Some of my thoughts:

COMEDY

The Good – BRIDESMAIDS was like THE HANGOVER.  But with women. 

The Bad - THE HANGOVER II was like THE HANGOVER. Too much so. In fact, it played practically like a carbon copy. A sequel written by Xerox.

The Ugly – The Danny McBride comedy YOUR HIGHNESS wasn’t BRIDESMAIDS or THE HANGOVER. Heck, it wasn't even THE HANGOVER II. What was it? A contender for worst movie this year.

MOVIE ADVERTISEMENTS

The Good – Check out this brilliant trailer for the fall’s highly anticipated espionage thriller TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY.
The Bad – Isn’t this teaser poster for the new BATMAN a touch too similar to Christopher Nolan’s third Batman movie? Or is it just me?

The Ugly – Final Destination 5. Really makes me want to go. Not.
MOVIE STUDIOS

The Good - Despite the recession, studios are having a good year.

The Bad – Studios are charging Netflix more moolah to stream their movies. Guess who else will be paying more soon?

The Ugly - Glenn Beck is building a film studio in Dallas. Bet the pitch meetings there will require lots of chalkboards.

SUPERHEROES

The Good –THOR was fun, smart and looked great.

The Bad - THE GREEN LANTERN was everything THOR wasn’t. And it looked cheap.

The Ugly – A GREEN LANTERN sequel has already been greenlit. Ugh.

LEADING LADIES

The Good – Jennifer Aniston was hilarious in her turn as a horny, predatory dentist harassing Charlie Day in HORRIBLE BOSSES.

The Bad – Julia Roberts played a sourpuss in LARRY CROWNE. So did the audiences, as they stayed away in droves.

The Ugly – The lovely Rooney Mara is unrecognizable as Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. (But is she too ugly? Perhaps.)


OSCAR CONTENDERS

The Good – We have at least four films that are worthy of 10 best lists and Oscar consideration: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TREE OF LIFE, BEGINNERS and CEDAR RAPIDS.

The Bad – Slim pickings amongst the rest.

The Ugly – The Academy changed its rules so now the Best Picture category will have between 5-10 nominees. Just make it five. Please.

JOHNNY DEPP

The Good – Depp will likely star as reporter Carl Kolchak in a big screen version of the 70's TV-movie THE NIGHT STALKER.

The Bad – Because his 4th PIRATES movie broke all kinds of international box office records, expect 5 and 6. Very soon. 

The Ugly – Depp played ugly in RANGO. (But in a good way.)
NEWCOMERS

The Good – Melissa McCarthy stole the show in BRIDESMAIDS.

The Bad – Rosie Huntington-Whitely is a beautiful model. And she was definitely gorgeous in TRANSFORMERS 3: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. But I'm not sure she was really anything else. 

The Ugly – The beaver puppet was hardly a cutie in Jodie Foster's movie THE BEAVER. In fact it had all the charm of Mel Gibson during "Happy Hour." Only uglier.

LEADING MEN

The Good – Owen Wilson stars in two of the year’s biggest hits MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and CARS 2. And in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS he does the best Woody Allen since, well, Woody Allen.

The Bad – Tom Hanks wrote, directed and starred in LARRY CROWNE but no one saw it as a crowning achievement.

The Ugly – Ryan Reynolds may have abs of steel but that’s the only thing critics liked about him in THE GREEN LANTERN.

INGENUES

The Good – Mila Kunis accepted an invitation to the Marine Ball in Greenville, N.C. by Sgt. Scott Moore. Classy move, young lady.

The Bad – Apparently that was Blake Lively in those nude text pics. And it didn't help that her people denied it at first. (Somewhere Anthony Weiner is smiling. Or texting.)

The Ugly - Megan Fox badmouthed director Michael Bay, comparing him to Hitler. Unless you're brilliantly talented, try not to burn any bridges, Megan.

MAKE-UP

The Good – Meryl Streep looks so much like Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming biopic IRON LADY I predict she and the make-up team will win Oscars next year.

The Bad – You could rent DRIVE ANGRY to check out Nicolas Cage’s latest atrocious wig. But I wouldn't recommend it. Unless you're a masochist.

The Ugly – Colin Farrell is one of Hollywood’s handsomest leading men. Not in HORRIBLE BOSSES. Wow.
Well, friends and followers, those are my thoughts for the middle of the 2011 film year. What do you think about what you've seen thus far? Please share your nominations for 'the good, the bad, and the ugly!'

2 comments:

  1. The Good – At this point in the year, the best film I’ve seen by far is MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. There were a precious few others I also liked this year. The difference is, this has been the only one I wholeheartedly loved everything about. Well-written, funny, a little heart-tugging in some moments and just intellectual as hell in that Woody fashion. And the only film where the lead, Owen Wilson, far exceeded my expectations. If Woody wins an Oscar or two here, I’ll be thrilled.

    The Bad – Bad here only in terms of the subject matter at this point, is the still unreleased THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE coming out at the end of the month. The film tells the true story of Latif Yahia, an Iraqi soldier who is forced to become a stand-in for Uday Hussein, one of the barbaric sons of Saddam Hussein. Every time the trailer comes on I can’t take my eyes off it. I hope it turns out to be as riveting as it looks. And I wonder, if this ever plays in Iraq, would the film’s title forgo a name change?

    The Ugly – I hope THE LAST STAND is. Because frankly, I think I’ve seen and heard quite enough of Arnold Schwarzenegger after this past year.

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  2. I'm with you, Fan. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is the best film so far this year. I'll bet Woody will have a good shot at a few Oscars, but alas will probably not show up at the ceremony.

    As for THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE, I hope it's good. The trailer is riveting. And the fact that it's a true story is horrifying.

    And Arnold is not only too old to play action heroes, but he was already back when he did TERMINATOR 3. Plus, he's lost a lot of good will this year with his nanny scandal. I don't think audiences are exactly chomping at the bit to see him again.

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