The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Thumbs? We don't need no steenkin' thumbs!
Hello, my name is Collin. I'm a long time reader, first time poster. Thank you, Justin, for inviting me to be an occasional contributor to your blog. I hope I don't screw it up.

Since I need to stick to a movie theme and don't work anywhere near the movie industry, I figured I would offer my opinion of movies I've recently seen. You people may not agree with my reviews, but as long as we can all agree to disagree there's no need for a straight razor fight in a dark alley. Fair warning: I'm nimble for a fat man.

First up is "Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating (at time of review): 69%

I've been a fan of the 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' books for over a year now. I bought the series for my son last Christmas and had read up to book 7 myself before getting sidetracked.

The movie incorporates the first three books into a single telling and that required a certain amount of fiddling with the story lines. Essentially, the movie starts with the beginning of book one, goes about halfway then jumps to book two, then three, then back to book one for the ending. It sounds a bit confusing, but unless you've read the books you won't even notice. And if you have read the books you might find it somewhat annoying. That's one of the problems with book to movie conversions. You can't please everyone.

I really enjoyed the movie though. The pacing was good, the art direction and the effects were wonderful and really appealed to my taste and the casting was overall spot on. Especially Jim Carrey's performance. I'm not much of a fan of Carrey, but he handled the character of 'Count Olaf' perfectly.

My rating: Very Good-Great. I will be buying this within a week of when it comes to DVD.


And last night we saw "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating (at time of review): 48%

I'll lead this one off by saying that I LOVED Wes Anderson's movie "Rushmore" (1998) and on the strength of that love I purchased "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001) on DVD without having seen it. I wasn't as thrilled by that after watching it. It was a good film overall, but at the end I was left with a feeling of, "Eh."

I would place "The Life Aquatic..." between those two. I enjoyed the playfulness of the film. Some of the scenes really worked great while others were not so good. Bill Murray helped save the movie for me and Willem Dafoe's performance also stood out. Also the few occasions when Jeff Goldblum was in a scene it was quite amusing. The scene with Jeff, Bill and the three legged dog ("What's your dog's name?") was as funny as it was unexpected.

My rating: Good. I liked bits of it, but not enough of the whole experience. I may rent it or borrow it from my brother if he buys it to see if it has grown on me over time.


And there you go.

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