Four Quick Videos Blurbs

I’ve fallen behind and I can’t catch up. Oh, wait, I can. Here are the four most recent movies I’ve seen in the last month.

The Nines PosterThe Nines (2007, 4 stars)

Great performances, especially by Ryan Reynolds. If you doubt he can act – or if you like him – he’s the reason to see this. Takes some patience and attention. It’s a little heavy and existential / intellectual, but not just a film school exercise.

I was surprised to learn recently that I probably first saw Reynolds on TV in Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place (TV). Even more surprising, Nathan Fillion was in that show. Fillion was in the beloved Firefly (TV, highest recommendation).

Mystery Team PosterMystery Team (2009, 3+ stars)

We watched this specifically for Donald Glover, a stand-out in the brilliant ensemble of Community (TV, highly recommended), and a former writer on 30Rock (TV, highly recommended). Turns out everyone involved is part of a troupe that has been making lots of short films for the Web. This was better than any of the shorts we saw. Almost retro in its mostly gently humor. The arrested development of the trio of boy detectives is almost creepy at times, but they are so in-character it is mostly charming.

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu PosterThe Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu (2009, 3- stars)

It’s hard to recommend this movie, but it has its moments and it’s pretty short. I think the three main characters are the reason to watch this. They’re weird nerds. And the t-shirt a demon wears is pretty awesome. Kinda on a par with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV), though not as witty (few can write dialog like Joss Whedon, who also wrote the aforementioned Firefly).

The Book of Eli PosterThe Book of Eli (2010, 2 stars)

I saw a promo for this months before it came out. I was thrilled at that time, less so with the film. Denzel Washington plays a hard-ass survivor in this post-Apocalyptic tale. However, Road Warrior did this much better 30 years earlier. There’s even a scene that seems a tribute, if not lifted from Road Warrior. I won’t spoil part of the ending, but I bet you won’t be surprised which book is in the title.

There is one fantastic scene early-on involving hunting for food. The fight scenes are quick but bloody – I stopped watching for a day or two after a near-rape.

Washington is stoic and humble and invincible (almost). Mila Kunis was pretty good. I used to look forward to any movie with Gary Oldman as the villain, but this was his stock bad-guy, whose motivations were absurd. Happy to see Malcolm McDowell in a late scene.

I’ve also been watching Eureka (cable series, OK or a little better) and re-watching Legend of the Seeker (my guilty pleasure).

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