Movies for March

Against the Dark
Steven Segal versus some zombies. Very disappointing though, as Segal is more of a bit character despite being the featured star.

American East
Social drama about an Iraqi family and friends living in the US, set shortly after 9/11. Heartbreaking, thoughtful and ultimately uplifting.

Australia
You know how we all say silly things like we could watch our favorite actor read the phone book? Turns out that 3 hours of Hugh Jackman wandering around gorgeous scenery is not nearly as exciting as it sounds. Add cheezy pseudo-aboriginal voiceover and it becomes close to unbearable.

Babylon AD
Dystopian SF with Vin Diesel. It was engaging in a bloody way but the ending pissed me off, and not just because I like it when everyone lives happily ever after. Ending has issues.

Bangkok Dangerous
Nicholas Cage doing an Eastern-style assassin movie. Slow, angsty and unbelievable.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Mental spray can cheese with some really funny moments. Drew Barrymore as the Chihuahua exclaiming: "You owe me a cashmere sweater, buster!"

Center Stage: Turn it Up
If you like dancing, skip the scenes with abysmal plot and watch all the dance scenes. Amazing hip-hop and modern stage dancing. Rachele Brook Smith dances like a boy, even when she's wearing toe shoes. Somehow it works. See the pretty finale here on YouTube

City of Ember
More dystopia, cleaned up and made into a Family Friendly movie that plays sort of like one of those "after school specials" of old. Billy Murray does not make the most believable villan ever and the final adventure scene looks like it's ready to be made into a ride at a theme park. Even so, it is a dystopia and does have some interesting social commentary.

Chrysalis
French SF movie. Dark and disturbing tale of crime and personality, this is somewhere beyond dystopia without ever falling into the horror genre. It is very much the sort of SF tale that deals with the ethics of Science, like Gattaca or Bladerunner. Watch it in French with subtitles, the English dub is not so good.

The Deal
I really wanted to like this movie starring Meg Ryan and William Macy, two of my favorite actors. It's about a writer with a writing project gone bad, even! But it is really, really slow even with skipping past the really, really, really slow parts.

Gene Generation
Bai Ling spends an entire movie looking weird and hot while killing people in yet another gritty dystopia. Some interesting subplots about family, love and tangled ethics makes it not just about the mini skirts and fighting.

Ghost Town
Ricky Gervais, Tea Leoni and Greg Kennear in a ghostly love triangle. Ricky Gervais is brilliantly, obnoxiously funny as the misanthrope suddenly deluged with new friends in the form of ghosts who depend on him to communicate their last wishes to the world. Tea Leoni plays the beautiful but not quite normal archeologist wonderfully well.

Henry Poole was Here
Weird little film that I'm not entirely sure how to describe. It's about loss, anger and the nature of faith. Funny and touching in turns.

High School Musical 3
I can't say how horrible this was for me. I think I need therapy to get over it.

Igor
Cute little animated musical about a land populated by evil scientists and their Igors. Except this Igor wants to be an evil scientist and ends up finding love. Not as fun as Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride, but still very fun.

Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice
Either you're a fan of the Librarian series already, or you need to be really, really brave. Not recommended if you're not a follower of the series but good fun if you are. Librarian and Vampires! Whoot! Way to capitalize on current trends.

Madagascar II: Escape 2 Africa
Better than the original, and I thought the original was brilliant. More penguins and scary old lady with purse.

Miracle at St Anna
WWII drama about Black American soldiers in Italy. Runs a little long but is well worth it.

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist
People pay a premium price to rent this. I don't know why.

Nobel Son
Incredibly black family comedy about a brilliant but amoral university scholar and his very messed up family. Alan Rickman at his best, and Mary Steenburgen is fabulous as the long-suffering but finally fed up wife. Loads and loads of blackly funny plot twists make this like modern Film Noir.

Princess: A Modern Fairytale
Another movie that plays like the after-school special of old. Cute fantasy mythology with a clever plot beneath the boy meets girl.

Racing Daylight
Reincarnation romance set partly in the US Civil War and partly in modern times, with an intermediary subplot thrown in. Very quirky film full of strange twists and turns.

Religulous
Bill Maher pestering various folks about the nature of religion and faith. Thought provoking and probably more than a little offensive to everyone he interviewed and their cohorts.

Screamers: The Hunting
Budget SF film with creepy man-made aliens who reproduce themselves out of spare parts. Hey, didn't I write this story? Not quite, but a bunch of us have certainly written things very similar to it. Tepid homage to everything from Starship Troopers to Alien.

Secret Life of Bees
A drama about family secrets, tragedy, and race relations set in the 1960's US. Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys and a bunch of other very talented people. Well acted and beautifully done. I cried a lot during this movie.

Space Buddies
Golden Retriever puppies go to space station. OMG awful. Why do people inflict this stuff upon innocent children?

Vicky Christina Barcelona
A very different sort of coming of age movie. Two young women have odd romantic adventures while on their summer vacation in Italy. It's not over until Penelope Cruz (as the crazy ex) tries to shoot someone. 😉

Wanted
This was so stupid, I'm not sure I want to admit to having watched it.

Zach and Miri Make A Porno
Possibly the most brilliant movie I've seen in ages. It's also crass, embarrassing and completely lacking in moral values. I think it will be remembered long after the current award winners are forgotten.

Must see list: Zach and Miri, Secret Life of Bees, Miracle at St. Annas, Madagascar II, Gene Generation, Chrysalis, American East.

Must miss list: Wanted, Space Buddies, Screamers, Nick and Nora, High School Musical, The Deal, Bangkok Dangerous, Australia, Against the Dark.

eta: Battle Planet, too awful to even make the Must Miss List. With luck, you'll never even hear of it. Currently only outranked by House Bunny on my worst movies ever list.

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