Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Reviews: Don't Be Afraid of the Gleefully Frightening Brother

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie poster, image property of Twentieth Century Fox.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark poster, image property of Miramax.
Our Idiot Brother poster, image property of The Weinstein Company.
Fright Night poster, image property of Walt Disney.

I guess I’ve been busy, but I’ve gotten really behind on my movie-watching!  After Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, I went two straight weeks without watching a single movie.  Two movies (The Change-Up and The Smurfs) left the theater without me ever watching them, and when I finally got around to seeing a movie this weekend I realized that there were no less than eight movies that I still had to see!  I watched a movie on Friday, Saturday and Sunday leaving me with just five more to see before the weekend brings three more flicks!  How will I ever catch up?

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie ADMIRABLE

Lord knows I’m a huge gleek, so I was more than excited to see this concert movie!  The use of 3D was actually pretty good, really making me feel like I was right on stage with my favorite characters.  My friends and I felt so immersed in the experience that we even sang along and applauded after each musical number!   But the reason this movie fell short of “AWESOME!” status is because the filmmakers decided to weave in some real-life stories of Glee fans which—while emotional at times—really just detracted from what I really wanted to see:  a Glee concert!  More of the concert (and perhaps a longer running time) would have really made me more gleeful!

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark AVERAGE

This horror film by Guillermo del Toro is the first movie from my Most Anticipated Movies list to disappoint me.  The story is of a young girl named Sally (Bailee Madison) who goes to live with her dad and his new girlfriend (Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes) in an old Gothic house they are restoring.  In classic haunted house style, the girl is tormented by monsters who thrive in the dark and want to claim her as one of their own.  While director Troy Nixey manages to create a lot of creepy atmosphere at times and the actors all perform very well (I really like Bailee Madison—go rent Brothers), the movie fails to be scary in any way.  The creatures are tiny, talking rat-things that would have been more menacing if they had been kept in the shadows more.  Unfortunately they are on screen way too much, and the result is something very hokey.

Our Idiot Brother ADMIRABLE

Paul Rudd stars as the titular brother who is actually more honest, trusting and naïve than he is idiotic.  After a brief stint in prison, he is in need of a place to stay and tries, in turn, to live with each of his three sisters (played by Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel).  As each of his sisters’ lives unravel and they blame him for all their troubles, many lessons are learned… and much comedy ensues!  This movie is very funny and thrives on being both slightly absurd yet deeply organic in nature.  Rudd does a fantastic job and embodies the character flawlessly.  His sisters on the other hand are less developed, which only just helps Rudd to shine even more.  He truly is a very talented man and really made this movie what it is—a slightly irreverent look at what makes relationships work.

Fright Night AWESOME!

If comedic horror movies are your thing, this movie is it!  Like Zombieland or Drag Me to Hell, this new remake of Fright Night gives you all the thrill and fun of a good scary movie while also cheekily poking fun at the genre clichés and making you laugh through your fear!  Colin Farrell stars as the new neighbor who’s actually a vampire and Anton Yelchin is the teenage boy who is brave enough—or dumb enough—to take him on.  Farrell does a terrific job of oozing creepy sex appeal out of his pores, and the supporting cast of Toni Collette, David Tennant, Imogen Poots and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all supply plenty of laughs and surprising believability.

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