Saturday, June 25, 2011

Amélie (2001)

Links: TVTropes, Wikipedia, IMDB (8.6).
a.k.a. "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain" ("The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain")

I'm divided. On one hand, this movie is trying way too damn hard to be the saccharine-sweet romantic comedy that will become enshrined as the ultimate example of "cute" and "quirky" comedic French cinéma. On the other hand, underneath the syrup there's actually a fun and amusing story about two quasi-functional Asperger's syndrome adults gradually overcoming their social awkwardness as they make a valiant attempt to fall in love without actually meeting each other in person. There are parts of the film where I feel like I'm about to go into a diabetic coma, or occasionally fly into a "hey, that's illegal" rage at the title character's hijinks, but the rest of the time I find myself enjoying it. Score: 3 stars out of 4.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Links: TVTropes (entire series), Wikipedia, IMDB (6.2).

Hrmph. This is... not a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but if you can ignore some facepalmingly-bad science exposition and overlook the fact that it's supposedly a member of the Alien series, you may find you enjoy it (I did). Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) wrote the screenplay, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie) directed it as a dark comedy; the result is actually a pretty fun, and sometimes campy, violent sci-fi action movie. Well, it gets weirder and less enjoyable in the last act (the alien nest and almost everything after that)... clearly Jeunet went overboard and had a Zardoz moment. Score: 3 stars out of 4.

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Links: TVTropes, Wikipedia, IMDB (7.2).

The best Star Trek movie ever made. This comedic parody borrows a lot from classic Star Trek and Next Generation but creates its own unique, yet distinctly "Star Trek"-flavored story that ribs the silly and embarrassing moments of Star Trek without being even slightly mean-spirited about it. The casting choices are inspired, the pacing is tight, the lines are great, the delivery is great, and the script strikes an excellent balance between snark and affection... it's hard to imagine that any change to this movie could possibly have improved it. Score: 4 stars out of 4.

The Toxic Avenger (1984)

Links: TVTropes, Wikipedia, IMDB (5.9)

The infamous B-movie horror-comedy that put Troma Entertainment on the map. The Twenty Minutes With Jerks section at the beginning of the movie is at best dull and unfunny, up until Melvin is transformed into the title character, at which point it becomes an amusing but ultimately forgettable Troma splatterfest. Oh, and the movie gives off seriously weird and conflicting pro-gay/anti-gay vibes at times: among the town's upright citizens is a gay couple, but a fair number of the criminals beaten up by Toxie are Sissy Villains. Score: 2 stars out of 4.