Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Rental Review: Despicable, Pirates, Knight

Every now and then, we'll go down to Family Video and grab a few movies.  This past weekend, we watched Knight and Day, Despicable Me, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.  Here goes a review slam on all three films...

Knight and Day is your typical fun Tom Cruise shoot-em-up movie.  Tom is a spy who gets mixed up with Cameron Diaz.  He ends up trying to protect her.  The movie is full of cliches, but I didn't care.  It was exactly what I expected.  It has action.  It has humor.  It has bikinis.  (Did I say that?)

This movie was somewhat shunned in its opening week.  It came in third at the box office behind Toy Story 3 and Grown Ups.  I remember the rumors about bad reviews directed at Tom Cruise's unpopularity.  I know critics aren't supposed to let politics corrupt their art, but then again, the movie made a killing in the foreign market.  Makes me wonder.

My only complaints: there was one cuss word that just did not work - not even a "A" for "F"-fort.  And all the really funny scenes are already in the previews.  Although the previews do a good job of not giving away the main plot points, don't expect to see too many funny parts beyond what you've probably already seen.  (One of these days, I'll get around to writing my Preview Rant blog entry.)

Other than that, I enjoyed the movie.  Both Cruise and Diaz were funny, and they had a good chemistry going.  It also has plenty of cool spy action.  If you want to relax and have fun, then watch this movie.

Despicable Me was another fun movie that turned out pretty well.  The most impressive feature was the inclusion of several characters that you really care about.  It's funny, but then again - the most funny parts are included in the previews.

I can't say too much more without giving a lot of the movie away, but I'll try.  It's about an evil villain who's over the hill.  He wants to commit the ultimate crime.  Along the way, he meets three orphan girls, and ... well ... things happen.  Um, that didn't come out right, did it?

All of my children enjoyed the movie, and they laughed throughout.  The movie has wonderful pacing, so don't expect very many boring moments.

Steve Carell's fake accent is funny beyond belief.  It sounds like someone trying to do an accent where the person thinks he's doing a good job, but it's really terrible (think Michael Scott on The Office doing one of his voices).  At the same time, Carell is consistent with this accent throughout the whole movie, and I find that amazing.  I think he Gru on me.

Finally, we come to the oldie but goody: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

We wanted to show this film to our then-younger children who are now old enough to watch it.  Though, I had forgotten how much murdering goes on in this movie!  Well, I guess they are pirates.  What else would anyone expect?  There was plenty of fantasy gore, but my kids didn't seem to have any nightmares.  (Hmmm ... any other PG-13 movies I can show them?  I'm still waiting to show them The Sixth Sense or The Others.)

The movie was fun to watch (a third time for me), but it does seem to get long.  It has a lot of funny lines.  This time around, I also noticed more of those scenes that match up with the Pirates ride at Disneyworld.  (My kids pointed out a few of those scenes to me.)

Of course, Johnny Depp's performance is always fun to watch.  There's something about his eyes!

Before I end the review, I'll end with something my girl pointed out.  You may remember a scene near the beginning where Jack Sparrow has his two hands handcuffed together.  He escapes by wrapping the handcuffs over a rope and sliding down to safety.  It's a scene that's been done countless times in countless movies.

My girl said: How in the world does he get the handcuffs around the rope?  Think about it.  The top of the rope is attached to a pole.  Now imagine yourself with your hands handcuffed together, and you're standing behind that pole with a rope on it.  You reach over the pole to get your handcuffs around the rope - but then, how do you get your body past the pole?  It's topologically impossible!  No wonder there's a cut just before and just after he slides down the rope!  Hah!  At least they make it look possible!

And there you have it ... a fun weekend of movies!

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