Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dirk Mini-Reviews 4 More Movies For You!

Been on quite a tear here. Let's get to 'em!

BURN AFTER READING - The Coen Brothers get a ton of slack accorded to them because they've made some decent flicks, but No Country For Old Men was pure airless crap that was only lauded on the basis of the coin toss scene and the line about how long the quarter had been traveling to get there. A Best Picture Oscar for a 4-1/2 minute scene. Pfft. It was better when dubbed as "No Country For Gay Men"!

Anyway, Burn After Reading is a step up in energy, but still as pointless in the end. The big-name, award-winning cast - Clooney, Swinton, Malkovich, McDormand - all play venal dolts of varying levels of stupidity involved in a caper about purloined CIA intelligence and endless fornication. (Not that that's a bad thing, mind you; the boffing, that is.) Dumbest of them all is a hilarious Brad Pitt who is a bright spot as a dim bulb, but all the running around goes nowhere and it's not really worth the time. Go rent an older Coen flick instead. 5/10

VANTANGE POINT - It's Roshomon meets Sha Na Na - not really, just making a funny there - in this supposed thriller about an assassination attempt on the U.S. President in Spain told in looping sequences from the various players....wait for it....vantage points. (Tada!) While there are a couple of cool twists, it ends with absolutely nothing about anyones' motivations explained and never recovers from all the "that would never happen" moments. 4/10

TRANSPORTER 3 - Man, did this franchise catch four flats and a bent rod in this trip. How hard is it to mess up the formula of Jason Statham being badass in his car? Not that hard, it seems as writer Luc Besson comes up with a tired plot involving an annoying and un-hot supposed babe - which Besson apparently cast cuz she gave him a stiffy - and new director Olivier Megaton (AWESOME NAME!) stages the fight scenes rotely and redundantly. (Seriously, two fights play out almost exactly the same.) While the 2nd Transporter flick was dopey with flipping cars and crashing planes, it had some snap to the proceedings including that crazy hot Pink lookalike with the machine guns. Skip this one and rewatch the first two Transporters or watch... 2/10

DEATH RACE - Despite being a remake of the schlocky Seventies Roger Corman flick Death Race 2000 helmed by uber-hack Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Jason Statham as....wait for it....a bald badass race car driver (tada!), this slice of ridiculous ultraviolence works because it doesn't pretend to be about anything more than heavily armed cars crashing into each other and general mayhem. Joan Allen has fun as the evil sexy prison warden orchestrated the races. Totally predictable, but still a small blast worth renting. 7/10

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