Blogs by Bill Johnson
Quick Cuts - Capsule Reviews of Current Movies
5/30/2012 12:58:57 AM
These capsule reviews of current movies offer a basic overview of what these stories did (or didn't do) to engage an audience. They are not meant to convey a full review of the movie, or a scene by scene breakdown. All reviews by Bill Johnson, copyright 1999-2012.
Men in Black 3
This is fun, and, by the end, heartfelt. It doestn't hit all the high notes of the first film, but the film is consistently fun.
Josh Brolin does a great imitation of a young Tommy Lee Jones.
The central question of the story, how did Tommy Lee Jones become the emotionally shut down person Will Smith is partnered with?
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
The title character is a 30 year old adolencent who lives in his mother's home, smoking dope, and thinking about fate. When he gets a wrong number about someone named Kevin, he considers it a sign to follow.
He comes across his brother, who's befuddled about why his wife would want to have an affair.
The movie does a good job of moving the two brothers to a deeper understanding of themselves and transformations (of a kind). After a meandering quality, the film also has an active ending.
Directed by Jay and Mark Duplass, who also worked together on the Puffy Chair.
This is a wonderful martial arts film that also takes the time to develop the relationships between the characters. Some great action scenes, although one goes on so long, it calls into question how someone could still be conscious after so many blows.
250 million dollars and no one thought to answer the question, what does the main character want? What he doesn't want is conveyed clearly and repeatedly: to not fight in anyone else's cause.
Another demonstration that money and special effects aren't a replacement for telling a good story.
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Capsule Movie Reviews of Lucy & Guardians - Saturday, August 09, 2014
Review of Maleficent - Thursday, June 12, 2014
Focus is on New Media at the Willamette Writers Conference - Sunday, April 13, 2014
Notes on The Hunger Games Movie & Other Recent Movies - Monday, June 25, 2012
Quick Cuts - Capsule Reviews of Current Movies - Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Quick Cuts - Capsule Movie Reviews - Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Capsule Movie Reviews of The Skin I Live In, Submarine, Finding Joe - Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Notes on Splice, How to Train Your Dragon, Ironman 2 - Saturday, June 12, 2010
When Minor Characters Take Over a Story - Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Notes on Knowing, Star Trek, and Sunshine Cleaning - Monday, May 18, 2009
Notes on Watchmen, Twilight, Revolutionary Road - Friday, March 13, 2009
Notes on Changeling and Ghost Town - Friday, November 07, 2008
Notes on Cthulhu, Righteous Kill, Burn After Reading - Monday, October 06, 2008
Notes on Iron Man, Deception, The Ruins, Young at Heart - Sunday, May 04, 2008
Notes on The Band's Visit, Spiderwick Chronicles, The Eye, The Golden Compass - Thursday, March 15, 2007
Notes on The Guatemalan Handshake and The Bridge - Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Notes on Pan's Labyrinth and The Good Shepard - Saturday, January 20, 2007
Notes on Flags of Our Fathers, The Departed, Stranger Than Fiction - Sunday, December 24, 2006
Notes on The Black Dahlia, The Illusionist, Pulse, The Descent - Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Lady in the Water - Sunday, July 30, 2006
The Da Vinci Code - Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Notes on Underworld: Evolution, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Narnia, King Kong, Bee Season - Sunday, January 22, 2006
Notes on A History of Violence, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Flightplan, and Hustle and Flow - Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Notes on The Brothers Grimm, The Island, Four Brothers, Mr & Mrs Smith, and The Fantastic Four - Sunday, August 28, 2005
Notes on Willy Wonka, Dark Water, The Snow Walker - Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Notes on Land of the Dead and Oldboy - Friday, June 24, 2005
Notes on Batman Begins - Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Notes on Hitchhikers, Sin City - Saturday, April 30, 2005
Notes on The Ring 2 - Sunday, March 20, 2005
Notes on The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou - Monday, March 14, 2005
Hitch - Sunday, March 13, 2005
The Pacifier - Monday, March 07, 2005
Quick Cuts - Saturday, March 05, 2005