patronus11's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Mist
The Mist (2007)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Ridiculous parable of American society's cultural rifts. Just laughable, with a few loose threads dangling (I would have liked knowing definitively what happened to Andre Braugher's character) and some hard-to-swallow plot turns even within the far-out horror/SF scenario (spoilers: like why didn't they try to stop at a gas station? or wait until death was breathing down their necks?).

Some excellent and fun special effects, some very good actors (Marcia Gay Harden, Toby Jones, Frances Sternhagen), good suspenseful direction, and Thomas Jane makes for a credible (and hunky) action hero.

A twist of an ending that's provocative...a bit in the style of Twilight Zone, but it may have you regretting the time you spent watching the story.

Snow Angels
Snow Angels (2007)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This film definitely felt like a pre-9/11 narrative, the kind of story you'd find in the first incarnation of Oprah's book club. I don't mean that in a negative way - just to point out that it feels like a throwback to the 90s. (Which is also how The Life Before Her Eyes looks, not that I've seen that film yet.)

David Gordon Green adds interest to the story through his direction, but he still hasn't found the material to help him reach the next level of box office success or artistic accomplishment. I have faith he will do it, though. He's so gifted.

The cast is excellent, including Amy Sedaris surprisingly cast in a dramatic (though still funny) role. Gutsy choice, and it pays off.

Solid work.

The Best of Youth (La meglio gioventý)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It was a bit slow getting started, but I liked the originality of the narrative from the beginning. Far from formulaic, the story features excellent characterization worthy of a novel. I was primed by reviews to expect the story to be about young Italian leftists, but that was misleading in two many ways: 1) the story isn't really political, even if some of its characters are, and 2) not all the characters are liberal.

The film is hardly an allegory, but it does express a view of the last several decades of Italian history - I'm sure I failed to appreciate some aspects of the film because I don't know much about that history, but I still found the film very accessible, so don't be scared off by the setting and subject.

The story reaches an immense level of power by the last two hours of its telling, and I advise anyone planning to watch it not to read anything else about it. Just jump in and see if you like it. I haven't seen many miniseries, so I had to reach back to Brideshead Revisited for an experience I could really compare it to. I will absolutely never forget this film, and I wish I'd seen it on the big screen when it played in my city. But even on dvd, spread out over a few weeks (not ideal circumstances), it was truly magnificent.

Baby Mama
Baby Mama (2008)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Lowered expectations are key to enjoying this slight achievement, a fairly disposable comedy that will evenly divide the audience on the important question of, "Was that worth a trip to the theater?" (I thought so, barely.) After the first half-hour, our audience pretty much stopped laughing, but there was a steady supply of offbeat jokes. They just failed to connect for some reason. It may improve on dvd. For the most part it avoided excessive schmaltz - but also sometimes logic and intelligence.

The supporting cast is rich in talent, from Sigourney Weaver and Maura Tierney to Denis O'Hare and Steve Martin, but Romany Malco deserves to be singled out yet again as a star supporting actor.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Crowd-pleasing romantic farce with Frances McDormand (good but a bit mannered, with that frequent expression of a startled deer) and Amy Adams (whose bubbly persona charms despite its artificiality). Ciaran Hinds (whose everywhere lately) and Lee Pace are charming and capable love interests. Shirley Henderson must be singled out as usual - she's a character actress of the first order, and I long to see her tested by larger parts. The direction is just solid enough to escape much harsh criticism, but it's also not quite good enough to earn distinction. There's something a little too drab in the film's look, something too stiff in the handling of the actors.

Cute, enjoyable, lightly recommended.