November and December 2008 Movies

Here it is only April, and I’m finally catching up on talking about the movies I saw during the last months of 2008!

War, Inc. [2/5] [Amazon]

This was a mess. John Cusack plays a character who is remarkably similar to Martin Blank from the movie Gross Pointe Blank, which might have been a good thing with a better script, but War, Inc. has none of the charm that made that movie so great. Instead, it’s hamfisted in it’s attempts at parody and lacks very many moments that are actually amusing. It does, however, have Hillary Duff playing an evil version of her usual characters.

The Visitor [5/5] [Amazon]

An excellent film with a brilliant performance from Richard Jenkins (who should have won the Best Actor Oscar for his work) and great supporting efforts by Haaz Sleiman and Hiam Abbass. Very highly recommended.

Get Smart [3.5/5] [Amazon]

Steve Carell was the perfect choice to play Maxwell Smart, and even if the movie is a bit uneven, there are still plenty of laughs to be had.

Oldboy [4.5/5] [Amazon]

An intense and powerful thriller that has to be seen to be believed. There’s an American remake in the works, which will most likely dumb everything down and completely miss the point, so be sure to see the original Korean version.

The Spiderwick Chronicles [3/5] [Amazon]

Some of the issues with this movie were probably caused by trying to stuff a series of books into one film, but even beyond that, the whole effort just felt rather flat.

Kung Fu Panda [4/5] [Amazon]

A very fun movie with great voice acting.

Wanted [3.5/5] [Amazon]

This one definitely shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but the stunts and CGI made for some great visuals.

City of God [3/5] [Amazon]

I didn’t find this movie to be nearly as compelling as I’d expected it to be, given it’s many awards and stellar reviews. It’s not a bad film by any means, but it just didn’t work for me.

Burn After Reading [3/5] [Amazon]

The first half of this Coen Brothers film is a slow (and sometimes annoying) set-up for a great second half, so you can safely call it a mixed effort, despite the ridiculously high level of acting talent involved.

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