1. Winter's Bone (2010)
- very solid low budget drama, about a world you rarely see portrayed seriously on the screen. Great performances by Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes and Dale Dickey.
2. School of Rock (2003)
- a Jack Black comedy I watched on TV on the afternoon of the 1st of January. It's fun. It's not offensive or too stupid. Not much more to say about it.
3. Spider-man 3 (2007)
- I saw all three Raimi Spidey movies on TV this previous week. They're OK, I can't say I liked any of them too much. Despite its bad reputation, I didn't find it any better or worse than the previous two. Harry gets a decent ending and Thomas Haden Church is not bad as Sandman. One thing I liked better than the first two is that Mary Jane gets a bit better characterization than in the first two and feels more like a real person than like someone that's only there for Peter to pine for. She's generally a terribly written character and her characterization in the second movie was particularly awful. I like The Amazing Spider-man
better than any of the Raimi ones, because Andrew Garfield is more animated as Peter Parker and quips a lot more as Spidey than Tobey Maguire, and because Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy is about 100 times better character and love interest than Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, plus she and Andrew have good chemistry.
King's Speech (2010)
- I initially thought "that's a poor premise for a movie" but the movie is actually pretty good. It's funny, Colin Firth makes you feel for "Bertie", Geoffrey Rush's character Lionel Logue is great, the acting is really good... and there's this: http://youtu.be/bq7Vj3GMd1M
It's not "Best picture of the year" good, but it's decent, which is more than can be said about some other Oscar winners.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
- all style, no content. The story was cliche-ridden and dull and the campy acting and dialogue only made it harder to relate to anything going on the screen. I can see why this bombed at the box office.
Battle Royale (2000)
- That's it? After witnessing months of the incessant trolling about the great BR and how The Hunger Games
supposedly "ripped if off" (I wonder how many of the trolls even saw or read both), I'm amazed not just to see how different those two movies are in plot, themes, characters and style (beyond the premise of "kids being forced to kill each other in controlled circumstances", they have nothing in common)... but also to find that Battle Royale is, I'm afraid, just not very good. I don't know if the book is better, but the movie has poor acting, characters with no depth, violence that comes off as cartoonish, and cheesy death scenes. There's one decapitation scene that was particularly poor. Despite the blood and gore, I was never shocked or emotionally affected. THG's PG-13 violence was far, far more affecting. It didn't help that we knew most of the characters in BR just about a minute before they get killed, and the main duo that we see throughout are dull and bland. It also has some dozen of corny romantic subplots - every kid in class seems to have had a crush on someone, almost all of them die confessing their love, and it's played completely straight. At moments I wasn't sure if it wasn't meant to be a parody - some scenes are just too silly.
It's not an entirely not-entertaining way to spend 2 hours, but that's about it.