Recent Movie Round-Up 1/22/2013

On today’s installment of Recent Movie Round-Up: Drug addicts galore, killer mamas, KFBR392, Ahnuld’s return, Wahlberg and Crowe duke it out, and Robert De Niro has a really bad week. Movies, movies, MOVIES, OMG!

#11 – Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)

The Darren Aronofsky Retrospective: ‘Requiem for a Dream’

I wrote an article of this baby you could read here, but yeah, this one’s always a tough watch. The rare film that can induce physical discomfort with its brutally unflinching direction. The article I wrote is on and part of my retrospective of director Darren Aronofsky.

#12 – Mama (Andres Muschietti, 2013)

‘Mama’ Buries Originality Under Formula

A pretty decent if not problematic horror film. And OMG I WROTE A REVIEW OF IT ON MOVIE MEZZANINE YOU GUYS! #TheMostShamelessOfPlugs

#13 – MacGruber – (Jorma Taccone, 2010)

I see why many people find this film unfunny. It’s completely stupid beyond belief and its protagonist is beyond unlikeable. But the sheer silliness of it all is enough to win me over and earn big laughs out of me. As juvenile as the whole thing is, hey, funny is funny.

#14 – The Last Stand (Kim Jee-Woon, 2013)

The Last Stand really doesn’t do anything revolutionary, and its very oddly paced, but there’s enough fun in here to make it worth a watch. Arnold really doesn’t do much until the climax of the film, which goes back to the pacing and structural issues of the film, but the action scenes are competently directed enough to elicit some thrills, even though one should expect more out of Kim Jee-Woon who directed the terrific Korean films The Good The Bad The Weird and the problematic but brutal I Saw the Devil. The rest of the cast helps elevate it, with character actors like Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville giving the whole thing a tinge of personality. It’s not mind-blowing or as insanely fun as something like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but fans of the Ahnuld should have no qualms with it.

#15 – Broken City (Allen Hughes, 2013)

Broken City is a movie running entirely on autopilot. The second you walk out of the theater, you forget that it even existed. Wahlberg and Crowe do all that they can to make this script interesting, and while the movie is safe and routine, it’s at least watchable. Yet there’s always a spark missing. On top of that, the film employs a pathetic twist near the end that’s as surprising and unpredictable as the glow in the horizon turning out to be sunlight. By no means bad, but so astonishingly mediocre that whatever it was trying to do totally failed.

#16 – Midnight Run (Martin Brest, 1988)

In the realm of odd-couple style buddy-action movies, Midnight Run is in the top tier. When people say “they don’t make ’em like that anymore”, they refer to films like this. Though it has all the predictable elements of buddy-action movies and chase movies, the chemistry between De Niro and Grodin allows for scenes of surprising poignancy and insight. Meanwhile, the rest of the movie outside of De Niro and Grodin is populated with great supporting performances that flesh out the world and manage to make the scenes without the odd-couple of the movie not a drag to watch, something that few of these kinds of movies succeed in. Everything about this movie is purely entertaining, and the fact that it has a heart to go along with it elevates it to greatness as well. Simply put, they really don’t make ’em like this anymore.

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