Movies 2010

Recommendations in red.

See movie reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.

Find more information at the Internet Movie Database.
  1. Nine ** [I had high hopes for this movie, given the quality of the actors and the fact that the director, Rob Marshall, directed Chicago. But it was a disappointment which I blame on the screenplay and the director. It is a remake of the Broadway show of the same name, which is itself based on Fellini's movie "8-1/2" from the '60's. There is no real story here, it's about a film director who is suffering from 'director's block' and about the 7 women in various places in his orbit. Not up to expectations at all.]
  2. It's Complicated ***½ [We so enjoyed this movie. Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin were wonderful. I don't think it would appeal to teens or twenty-somethings, but for us 'ladies of a certain age' it was perfect. They play a formerly married couple who have been divorced for ten years. He has remarried a much younger woman, but the marriage is not going well. They (Streep and Baldwin)embark upon an affair, and I shall leave you to see the rest. I laughed quite a few times, a normally rare occurrence for comedies.]
  3. Sherlock Holmes ** [This was another I was anticipating, until I found out it was directed by Guy Ritchie, who makes gritty action/caper films, and yes, in my opinion he ruined it. First of all, he has Sherlock being some kind of martial arts expert, and it's played more as an action film than anything else. The most maddening thing was that the music and throbbing beat was so loud and the dialogue spoken so fast that we only got about every sixth word. Frankly, I nodded off for about 30 minutes and was still able to follow everything when I came to. Not too enjoyable.]
  4. Avatar ***½ [I'm assigning this many stars not because of the acting or the story, although both are perfectly adequate, but for the sheer spectacle of the world James Cameron created on this fictional moon called Pandora. This picture must be seen, as the imagination he shows is mind-boggling. It is at its heart a love story, but with enough action to satisfy the 15 year old boys. To think that virtually the entire movie was shot in the airplane hangar used for Howard Hughes's Spruce Goose is amazing. Now that it has won the Golden Globe for best drama, its Oscar chances have improved, though I would still vote for The Hurt Locker or Precious. Still, a wonderful movie to behold.]
  5. The Young Victoria *** [If the measure of how much I like a movie is how few times I consult my watch, then I loved this because I didn't look at the time once! Seriously, I'm a sucker for costume pictures, and this was no exception. The film covers the time from shortly before her accession to the throne to the period just subsequent to her marriage to Prince Albert. I even learned something about Victoria's early reign which I did not know - namely, her closeness to and reliance on Lord Melbourne, which caused great backlash against her. The only bone I have to pick with this film is one that several other reviewers have mentioned. Emily Blunt plays Victoria with a more modern air than I think perhaps was the case. One reviewer said that he actually would not have been surprised to see her whip out her cell phone, and I got that sense as well. But I still liked the movie enormously.]
  6. The Lovely Bones ** [This movie is based on the best-selling book of the same name, which I did not read. It tells the story from the perspective of a 14 year old girl who has been murdered. She is stuck in an in-between place between earth and heaven and tries to direct her family to her killer. It was very strange, with a lot of weird sequences. There were a few dissatisfying aspects to this film which made it only O.K. Thought I would like it more than I did.]
  7. Leap Year ** [Mainly harmless and very predictable rom-com about a city girl who follows her metrosexual cardiologist boyfriend to Ireland to propose to him on February 29th, which, supposedly according to Irish legend, a girl can do only on that date. Her plane gets diverted and she winds up getting a rough-hewn Irishman (good-looking in a rough-hewn masculine way, of course) to drive her to Dublin. And you can guess the rest, I'm sure. This stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode - it's not great, not even very good, but it's watchable.]
  8. The Spy Next Door *½ [A Jackie Chan mess - he plays a Chinese spy assigned to help the CIA and whose cover is as a pen salesman. He supposedly is the boyfriend of the lady next door, who has 3 children who don't like him, as they think he is nerdy and uninteresting. He watches the kids for her, and of course real spies try to kill him, the kids see what he can do, and hilarity is supposed to ensue. I just can't see this guy as a romantic hero. The movie was quite bad. Please skip it!]
  9. Extraordinary Measures ** [Based on a true story, Brendan Fraser plays a dad that has two children with Pompe's disease, a form of muscular dystrophy which is always fatal by about the ninth year. He finds a researcher, played by Harrison Ford as a cranky guy who has lots of promising theories but who has never brought a drug to fruition, and together they try to develop a drug to cure the disease. There are corporate snags, and the whole thing is a bit boring and talky, but it was watchable.]
  10. A Single Man **½ [I was hoping for more from this movie, but here we get an Oscar caliber performance from Colin Firth in a movie that's very self-consciously "artsy". It's the early 1960's, and Firth plays a very closeted gay college professor whose live-in partner has been killed in a car crash while visiting his parents. The parents don't even inform him of the death, and he is not invited to the funeral, this being the early 60's. He feels he has nothing further to live for, and goes about preparing to commit suicide. I won't say any more, but I thought the ending quite ridiculous. Firth's performance is very good though, and I expect he will receive a Best Actor nomination for this.]
  11. Crazy Heart *** [O.K., hand the Best Actor Oscar to Jeff Bridges right now. He gave an unbelievable performance as a washed-up achoholic country singer. Perhaps a little too much country music for me, as I am not an afficionado, but the movie was quite good and his performance blew me away. See this just for that, if nothing else.]
  12. The Tooth Fairy *½ [Would have given this one and three-quarter stars if I could, because it was a tad more enjoyable than the Jackie Chan movie. Ex-wrestling star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays an ice hockey player who is called The Tooth Fairy because of the number of teeth he knocks out. Then, the head of Fairyland (Julie Andrews!) makes him a real tooth fairy. A harmless family comedy that does have some warmth, but is as light as a feather.]
  13. An Education ***½ [I really enjoyed this film. It takes place in London in 1961, where this very slick older man (Peter Sarsgaard) picks up a 16-year old school student and proceeds to charm both her and her parents, ending in an eventual seduction. He and his friend are shady characters, stealing things from old ladies, living a lavish life that totally enthralls the young girl. it has been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and Carey Mulligan, who plays the 16-year old, has been nominated for Best Actress. Neither will win, but it's a very good film all the same.]
  14. When In Rome *½ [Another dreary rom-com that was not particularly "rom" or "com". Starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, it's about a girl who goes to Rome to be in her sister's wedding, and takes coins from "The Fountain of Love" (i.e. Trevi Fountain) rather than throwing coins into the fountain. The throwers of said coins that she took out suddenly become enamored of her, following her back to New York. (The throwers were all men - wonder what the story would have been had some of the throwers been women?!) Anyway, it was pretty horrible and not worth your time or mine.]
  15. Percy Jackson & The Olympians:The Lightning Thief *** [I gave this three stars even though I can see the film's shortcomings. The fact is, I enjoyed it. It's a family film, probably more for kids, and it has been described as a bad Harry Potter knockoff. It's about a teen who finds out he's the son of Poseidon. His mom's human, making him a demigod. Zeus's lightning bolt is missing, and he is accused of stealing it. The film is in the fantasy quest genre, which I greatly enjoy, so even if it can't hold a candle to Harry Potter, I did enjoy it. Uma Thurman makes a great Medusa. If this sort of thing is your cup of tea as it is mine, by all means see it. If not, skip it.]
  16. Edge of Darkness *** [Wasn't sure whether to put this in red, but we really did enjoy it, violence notwithstanding. It's a crime/political thriller, with Mel Gibson playing a Boston detective whose daughter comes to visit and is brutally gunned down while standing next to her father on his front porch. At first it is assumed that whoever did the shooting was aiming for Gibson, but as he investigates, he finds what was really behind the shooting. There are some big holes in the story, but if you can suspend disbelief through those, it is an enjoyable thriller.]
  17. Valentine's Day ** [I think this was trying to be the rom-com version of "Crash". A ridiculous number of stars in many different stories peripherally joined. Only there were too many stars and stories to be interesting and to get into anything with depth. It disappointed me, although there were a few touching moments at the end. I can't recommend it.]
  18. The Wolfman **½ [Benicio Del Toro plays an English nobleman, Lawrence Talbot, who is estranged from his family and who receives a letter from his brother's fiancee telling him that his brother is missing and begging him to come and help search for him. It is 1891 and he returns to Blackmoor where his father, played by Anthony Hopkins, is pleased to see him. He then learns that something has been killing the villagers, and the story goes on from there. It wasn't bad, but I really could have done without some of the horrific gore. I think it would have played just as well without it.]
  19. From Paris With Love *½ [Really would have given this one and three quarter stars if I could, because it wasn't as bad as the Jackie Chan movie. John Rhys Meyers plays the personal aide to the American ambassador in Paris. He's engaged to a beautiful French girl, and helps out the CIA in a small way. He really wants to be a full-fledged agent, so they send John Travolta's character to be his partner. The first half-hour, before Travolta appears, you would think this has the capability to be a high-class thriller, but as soon as bald and bearded Travolta arrives, the Uzis, hand-held stinger missiles and general mayhem break out. Unfortunately the rest of the movie continues that way. I've seen enough bombs and car chases to know that if that is all the movie has to offer, I don't like it. And that's precisely what happened.]
  20. The Last Station *** [This recounts the last days of Count Leo Tolstoy, taking place around 1910. Tolstoy is played by Christopher Plummer; his wife Sofya is played by Helen Mirren, who has lots of scenery to chew. The story is told from the perspective of a young man who comes to work for the couple, played by James McEvoy. It was a good movie, and I actually learned something, which I like to find in a movie. I would recommend this.]
  21. Dear John ** [I was expecting this to be at least a three-hanky cryfest, but I found it strangely unemotional and did not shed a single tear. It tells the story of a young soldier (Channing Tatum) who falls in love with a college girl (Amanda Seyfried) right before 9/11. Naturally, they are separated and write myriad letters, hence the title. I don't know if it was the script or the casting, but it was disappointing.]
  22. Shutter Island *** [This is a pretty good thriller with a huge twist. In 1954 two federal marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo di Caprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) go to a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the disappearance of a murderess from a hospital for the criminally insane. Ben Kingsley plays the doctor who runs the asylum. I knew the twist and still enjoyed it, but my movie buddy didn't know and it came as a complete surprise to her. A bit harrowing at the end, but a good thriller.]
  23. The Ghost Writer **½ [I really wanted to give this two and three quarter stars. It's a taut little thriller, but very very slow about coming to the point. Ewan McGregor plays a ghostwriter who is hired to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, played by Pierce Brosnan. The character is a Tony Blair type whose previous ghostwriter and former aide has met with a fatal accident. Lang is staying in the States in a mansion on an island off Massachusetts. As soon as the ghostwriter arrives, a former cabinet member accuses Lang of illegal seizure of suspected terrorists and handing them over to the CIA to be tortured. He also begins to suspect that the former ghostwriter was in fact killed. If this had moved a bit faster I would have given it a red recommendation, but it's deadly slow in the middle. The final 20-30 minutes are really good.]
  24. Brooklyn's Finest *½ [Iwould have given this two and a half stars, but I have decided that movies with very extreme violence, which I loathe, would get a full star deduction for the excessively depicted violence. It's a shame, too, because the movie could have been so much more. It follows three New York City cops, one (Richard Gere) who only has a week to go before retirement and who has all but given up, one (Don Cheadle) who is so deeply undercover in a narcotics ring that he is starting to identify with the drug boss, and who has begged to be pulled out, and one (Ethan Hawke) who has started to steal drug money in order to move his asthmatic pregnant wife and kids out of their mold-infested house. At the end they are all together and involved in a huge drug operation. It could have been really good, but unless you're OK with disgusting violence, skip it.]
  25. Alice in Wonderland *** [I loved the 3-D visuals in this movie, and that's the main reason I'm recommending it in red. It's a reimagining of the classic Alice story, but the characters are all there, and Helena Bonham Carter is great as the red queen. For total purists of the story, it might be a stretch, but I really enjoyed it anyway, and the visuals are just so great. See it for that if nothing else.]
  26. Our Family Wedding ** [A mostly forgettable comedy about a newly engaged couple who travel back to L.A. to announce their engagement to their families. The trouble is, she is Latina and he is black, two groups which sometimes have difficulty understanding each other. Both fathers are high-ego control freaks, and what ensues is supposed to be hilarity, but mostly isn't. It was harmless enough up to near the end, with the introduction of the Viagra-ingesting goat (don't ask!). This probably deserves a miss.]
  27. Repo Men ½* [I've deducted a full star for over-the-top disgusting violence and gore. Set in the near future, Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play men who repossess bodily organs manufactured by the company they work for, when the recipient cannot pay the exorbitant charges and interest. Liev Schreiber plays their boss. And yes, if it happens to be a vital organ, they just kill the people. I don't want to type any more about this dreck. Don't waste your time!]
  28. Chloe ** [This is a wimpier imitation of "Fatal Attraction, with a slight twist. Julianne Moore plays a doctor in Toronto married to Liam Neeson. She suspects him of cheating, so instead of hiring a detective like most sane people, she hires a high-class hooker (played by Amanda Seyfried) whom she has seen on the street and runs into in a hotel. She wants Chloe, the hooker, to try to seduce her husband to see if he will take the bait. I agree with a reviewer who said that director Atom Egoyan gets the erotic stuff right, but pretty much drops the thriller part on its head. Only so-so.]
  29. How To Train Your Dragon ***½ [This was an absolutely delightful animated 3-D movie. It tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager, who is a bit wimpy and doesn't fit in with his tribe's dragon-slaying ways. He encounters an injured dragon of the most fearsome kind, and they form a lovely bond. He eventually changes how the tribe feels about dragons in a very heartwarming film. We saw it in 3-D, and I would definitely recommend it over the regular 2-D. Great for adults and kids.]
  30. The Bounty Hunter *½ [This was a lame action/rom-com. Gerard Butler is a bounty hunter and former cop who takes a job to pick up his bail-jumping ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston), a reporter who is tracking down a lead on a murder. Neither character is very likeable, and by the middle, I didn't care if the hitmen got both of them! And Jennifer Aniston just can't act! Please skip this snoozefest.]
  31. Clash Of The Titans *** [I really enjoyed this cheesy remake of the cheesy original, but I'm a sucker for Greek mythology and sword-and-sandal pictures in general. Sam Worthington (the hero of Avatar) plays Perseus, a demigod son of Zeus, who embarks on a quest to save the world from Hades, who is trying to take over from his brother Zeus and eventually create hell on earth. The only quibble I had with this was that all the male characters in the movie had hair that fitted the time, generally long, but Worthington had a close buzz cut like he had just come from the Marine boot camp barber. It was way too perfect, and to me, a bit jarring. And I would recommend seeing this in 2-D rather than 3-D, because the movie was not filmed in 3-D. It was converted in a rather short time, and most of the reviews I saw did not like the quality of the 3-D experience.]
  32. Why Did I Get Married Too **½ [This was a drama made by and starring Tyler Perry, with an all African-American cast. It tells the story of four couples who vacation in the Bahamas together, and the drama of their lives. It's a bit soapy, and Janet Jackson chews a bit too much scenery, but generally I enjoyed this.]
  33. Date Night **½ [A comedy starring Tina Fey and Steve Carrell as a rather bored married couple from New Jersey who go on a date night to a snooty New York City restaurant, and when they can't get a table, pretend to be another couple in order to take their reservation. Of course, the other couple is being chased by bad guys, so a mistaken identity chase ensues. I don't think the script was great, but I agree with the reviewers who said the movie is basically saved by Fey and Carrell, two very gifted comedians.]
  34. Death At A Funeral ** [A comedy starring Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Peter Dinklage and others, it tells the story of a hilarious day during the funeral of a husband and father, with mixed-up corpses, shocking revelations, inadvertant overdoses, and general farcity (is that a word?!). This wasn't bad, we had a few laughs, but I understand this was a remake of a British film of the same name, with Peter Dinklage playing the same role in both films. I think this lends itself better to British farce, and if it's available here, I might order the original from Netflix.]
  35. The Joneses *** [A film with a very intriguing premise, this opens with a very handsome family moving into a palatial home in some affluent suberb. They seem to have everything: looks, gorgeous things, every new cool gadget there could ever be, and more. But we soon find out that they aren't even a family, but a 'pretend' family of strangers who have been placed there by marketers to subtly sell products to the neighbors. Not sell directly, but to make the neighbors want to buy the same 'stuff' these guys have. David Duchovny and Demi Moore play the fake husband and wife. I really enjoyed this, although it was just a bit predictable and I think a little more could have been done with the premise.]
  36. The Runaways *** [This film chronicles the formation of the '70's all-girl rock band The Runaways, formed by friends Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. Joan Jett, of course went on to rock superstardom. I really enjoyed the movie, although it does show sex, drugs and rock and roll, and earns its R rating. Kristen Stewart of the Twilight series plays Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning plays Cherie Currie, and they both do very well. I can recommend this.]
  37. The Back-up Plan **½ [I wanted to love this rom-com, because I love the male lead, Alex O'Loughlin, but I must say that I only liked it. Jennifer Lopez plays a single woman who hears the biological clock ticking and decides to have a child. On the very day that she is artificially inseminated, she meets "THE ONE" (O'Loughlin). The rest of the movie is kind of predictable, but I didn't hate it.]
  38. The Losers ** [Another movie based on a comic book, and it contains lots of comic book violence. Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana (of Avatar), it's about a group of mercenaries who go to war with the CIA after they are double-crossed and left to die in a Bolivian jungle. Lots of action and not much else. Didn't hate it but didn't exactly like it either.]
  39. Iron Man II **½ [I was really disappointed in this, as I really liked the first one and was looking forward to this one. In this one, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is being asked to share the technology with the military, but he refuses, afraid it will fall into the wrong hands. Mickey Rourke is the main villain, a Russian with a grudge against Stark. He develops similar technology and goes after Stark. The result is long on action, short on plot. And in this film, the Stark character is such a narcissistic, snarky ass that I had trouble rooting for him. I 'zoned out' in the middle for a bit, but didn't miss much. Altogether, a disappointment.]
  40. Kick-Ass ** [Yet another super-violent comic book inspired movie, only in this one a lot of the violence is perpetrated by an 11 year-old girl! It starts with this nerdy kid of about 15 or 16 deciding to don a mask and costume and go out with a painted baseball bat as a superhero called Kick-Ass, but he has no super powers. So naturally he gets the you-know-what beaten out of him many times. Nicholas Cage plays an ex-cop whose hatred of a drug lord impels him to train his daughter to do extreme violence with all kinds of weapons. She joins Kick-Ass and the two of them try to take down this drug lord. Many reviewers who normally don't mind violence were ambivalent about this movie, as the violence involves children. I looked away many times.]
  41. La Mission *** [We really enjoyed this small indie film. Benjamin Bratt stars as Che Rivera, who has grown up in the barrio of the Mission District of San Francisco. He's been in prison, but has turned his life around, is a bus driver and recovering alcoholic. He builds "lowrider" cars for a hobby, and he has a son Jes, who he has raised on his own after the death of his wife. The main plot of the film concerns him finding out that his son Jes is gay. The macho world he grew up in doesn't accept homosexuality, and the drama of his coming to terms with the situation make for a good story without any car chases, explosions or heads being blown off. What a refreshing change! We both really enjoyed this.]
  42. City Island *** [Another enjoyable indie with absolutely no violence. Andy Garcia stars as prison guard Vince Rizzo who sneaks away to acting classes when his wife (Juliana Margulies) thinks he's playing poker. His daughter is home on college break, and his teenage son is weird. He finds his long-lost son from a previous relationship just getting out of the jail, and brings him home, of course not telling anyone who the guy really is. It turns out that everyone is keeping a secret, and all the deceptions collide with hilarious results. City Island is an area of the Bronx in New York which is on the water and seems far removed from the City. Most of the action takes place there. I really laughed quite a few times toward the end. It isn't really a comedy all the way through, but it's most enjoyable.]
  43. Kites ** [We knew this movie was made in India, but it got great reviews, so we decided to give it a try. Who knew it would be a full-on Bollywood production? A mishmash of many genres, from melodrama to slapstick, with the requisite singing. Thank goodness the dancing was limited to one dance contest scene. It was 'way over the top, but I guess I'm pleased that at least I've seen one Bollywood movie.]
  44. Just Wright *** [If you are not into romantic comedy (rom-com), do not take the red recommendation seriously. But if you are, this was a pretty good one. Queen Latifah plays Leslie Wright, a physical therapist who helps an NBA all-star (played by rapper Common) with his rehab to get back into the game after a serious injury, which no one thinks he can do. She falls for him, but her gorgeous friend is after him too. It's necessary to suspend some disbelief with this one, but it is sweet and ultimately satisfying.]
  45. Robin Hood **½ [This stars Russell Crowe as Robin Hood, with Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion, and this is the first of my two big problems with this film. This is a reworking of the story, and is actually an origin story, portraying Robin returning from the Crusades, and at the very end of the movie he is declared an outlaw and takes up residence in Sherwood Forest. So why did they cast a 46 year-old Crowe as Robin? It was very jarring and I just couldn't get over it! Most people hardly lived that long back then, and his time as Robin Hood was just beginning as the movie ended. In a couple of years, Robin would have grey hair, for goodness sakes! The other big problem is that the movie was at least 40 minutes too long. After the one hour mark, I was bored to tears. So see this at your own risk. It was a big disappointment for me, and I can't recommend it.]
  46. Letters To Juliet **½ [This was more just a 'rom' rather than a 'rom-com', and I was prepared to love it as it was reviewed rather well. But I found it kind of sappy and quite contrived. Amanda Seyfried plays Sophie, an American who comes to Verona with her fiance Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal). Victor is about to open a restaurant and totally ignores Sophie. She visits Juliet's wall, where people put letters asking for love advice, and she finds this letter from 1957. She joins a group of women who answer these letters, and contacts Claire, who wrote the letter 53 years ago. Claire comes to Italy with her grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) to search for her long-lost love Lorenzo, and Sophie accompanies them. You can kind of guess what happens. It's satisfying romantically, but predictable.]
  47. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time **½ [This wasn't too bad, considering it was a film made from a video game! Jake Gyllenhaal, suitably pumped up, plays the prince, Gemma Arterton plays a princess, and together they race to protect a dagger that can reverse time. Also starring (Sir)Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina, it was watchable and was certainly not the worst movie we've ever seen. As a summer diversion, it's O.K.]
  48. Killers *½ [This stars Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, who meet while she is on vacation with her parents in the south of France, and they marry fairly quickly. She doesn't know he's a spy, and when they move into their new home, it seems like everyone in the neighborhood is trying to kill them, including some people they've known for a long time. It was really pretty dumb and unbelievable, and there was almost zero chemistry between the leads. Best to skip this one.]
  49. Splice **½ [I went into this film thinking it was going to be just another horror movie, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that it wasn't. Oscar-winner Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley play genetic engineers who work for a pharmaceutical company, splicing animal genes and creating very basic hybrid creatures for medical research. They have been forbidden to use human DNA, but she goes rogue and creates Dren, who is a combination of her own and animal DNA. Dren is kind of human-looking, with some definite animal characteristics, and at first they are thrilled with her. They raise her like she was their daughter, but things start to happen. This was not bad, all in all.]
  50. Please Give *½ [This was a well-reviewed indie movie which I was prepared to like and was really disappointed. Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt are an affluent New York married couple who buy valuable furniture and things at estate sales of deceased people and resell them at large mark-ups in their shop. She has affluence-guilt, and gives to every homeless person on the street. They have bought the apartment next door, owned by an elderly woman, with the intent of adding the space to their own once she dies. The old woman has two granddaughters with whom the couple interact. I found I could hardly like any of the characters, and the movie just had no point. A disappointment.]
  51. Toy Story 3 ***½ [This was just a delightful film, I think the best of the three. It was poignant and funny for adults as well. Andy, the toys' owner, has grown up and is off to college, and the toys are worried about going to the trash or the attic. But there is a worse fate, which they experience, before the inevitably happy ending. The toy characters of Barbie and Ken are a scream to anyone of a certain age. It is just a wonderful movie. Definitely see it.]
  52. Shrek:Forever After *** [This is the fourth and final installment of the franchise, and it wasn't bad. It can in no way compete with Toy Story, but it was pretty good. Shrek is having a mid-life crisis and makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to relive a day in his life. Rumpelstiltskin tricks him and takes him back to the day he was born and erases his birth, so he plunges into a world where he doesn't exist. The movie is spent getting him out of the situation. One can tell this is the final one in the series, and it was O.K.]
  53. The Karate Kid *** [I didn't see the original film, but I enjoyed this well enough. Jaden Smith plays Dre, whose widowed mom is transferred to Beijing. He quickly runs afoul of the local bully, Cheng, who mops the floor with him. Cheng and his friends attend a kung fu academy where the mantra is 'no mercy'. Dre discovers that the maintenance man of his building, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), is a kung fu master, and he becomes Mr. Han's student. They both give something to the other. It was a little long, but not bad at all.]
  54. Knight and Day *** [I was prepared not to like this, as Tom Cruise is not my cup of tea, but I must say I kind of enjoyed it. It's an action comedy, and it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, but Cruise and Cameron Diaz play it well. Not bad for a summer action flick.]
  55. Despicable Me *** [We went to this animated movie just because we had my movie buddy's 5 year old grandson, and needed to see a kid-friendly movie. But we all really enjoyed it a lot. We saw the 3D version, which is OK, but during the end credits, the 3D was spectacular. If you have a child with you, definitely try to catch it in 3D.]
  56. The Last Airbender ** [A real disappointment. I love fantasy and was prepared to really like this, but the bad reviews were correct. It was a muddle - bad script, bad direction and some bad acting. It involves four kingdoms corresponding with the four ancient basic elements: fire, earth, air and water. The fire kingdom is trying to take over everything and a young boy is the avatar. He is the last of the air kingdom, and can control or 'bend' all four of the elements. It really was pretty lame.]
  57. Twilight: Eclipse *** [I've seen all the Twilight series movies, and this one I think was the best of the three so far. They are a teen sensation over here. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is a melancholy high school student who falls in love with Edward, a vampire (Robert Pattinson). The triangle is completed by Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who is in love with Bella, and who happens to be a werewolf. It is played very seriously, with longing and peril culminating with the wolves joining the vampire family to defeat a group of 'new blood' vampires. I enjoyed it - go figure!]
  58. Cyrus **½ [Another indie, with John C, Reilly playing a depressed divorced guy whose ex-wife is about to remarry. She and her fiance drag him to a party where he meets Marisa Tomei. He falls hard, but then meets her 21 year old son, played by Jonah Hill. The son is a nightmare, trying to break them up because he's so dependent on his mother. Played as a dramedy, it was not bad.]
  59. Inception zero * [Only once before have I walked out of a movie before it was over, but we walked out on this one. Excellently reviewed, starring Leonardo di Caprio and directed by Chris Nolan of The Dark Knight and Memento, it is the story of a team of people that can enter other people's dreams. Surreal, extremely confusing, time-jumping, and you are never sure if what you are seeing is real or a dream, or a dream within a dream. I forced myself to doze for a while, but it's a 2 and a half hour movie! My movie partner felt the same way I did, and we left with about an hour to go. Don't waste your time. An online magazine I read, Salon, published an 11-page piece explaining and deciphering the plot. No thanks - I want to be entertained, not forced to figure out what is happening and wading through interminable gobble-de-gook. Very, very bad.]
  60. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  61. [Review not available.]
  62. Winter's Bone
  63. Salt
  64. Charlie McCloud
  65. The Kids are Allright
  66. Cats & Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Galore
  67. The Other Guys
  68. Step Up 3D
  69. Scott Pilgrim
  70. Eat, Pray, Love
  71. The Switch
  72. Get Low
  73. Nanny McPhee Returns
  74. Takers
  75. The American
  76. Going The Distance
  77. Flipped
  78. Devil
  79. Easy-A
  80. The Town
  81. Wall St: Money Never Sleeps
  82. You Again
  83. The Social Network
  84. It's Kind of a Funny Story
  85. Secretariat
  86. Life As We Know It
  87. Let Me In...
  88. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
  89. Red
  90. Conviction
  91. Hereafter
  92. Unstoppable
  93. Morning Glory
  94. 127 hours
  95. The Next 3 Days
  96. Burlesque
  97. Love and Other Drugs
  98. Tangled
  99. Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  100. Harry Potter:Deathly Hallows
  101. The Tourist
  102. The Fighter
  103. The Black Swan