Derek's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Surrogates
Surrogates(2009)

Wooden performances, weak CGI, and a plot that ends up being convoluted, confusing, *and* boring.

I found myself more entertained by the people in the movie theater than the movie itself. Around the theater peoples arms were crossed, dates were making out (was this that kind of "date" movie?), and more than one person could be seen yawning, although that could have been because of the time slot we watched it in. Not to mention the countless times I made eye contact with other bored viewers.

Watching this movie was a head-shaking experience that I hope not to repeat. Someone beats the rubberized face off of a robot and suffers no damage to his hand...? Wow. Impressive oversight...

Bruce Willis put forth a decent performance, but he did not have much help. The supporting cast and stupid plot really destroyed what was an unrealistic, but interesting premise. (The ultimate weapon was fashioned after a Dustbuster... Really? That's almost as disappointing as watching Qui-Gon Jinn talk into a ladies razor in "The Phantom Menace". Bah.)

It's even boring me to "review" this movie. *sigh*

Zombieland
Zombieland(2009)

This movie was a blast. The pace was great, the gore was ample but didn't feel out of place, plenty of humor, a little bit of sap, and an abundance of fun.

Columbus grated on my nerves after a while, but, it was more of the choice of actor to me than anything. Besides, it wasn't so terribly distracting that I didn't thoroughly enjoy this movie.

The characters mix well. The shots had an original feel. And, well, "For Whom The Bell Tolls" was a nice touch. Loved it.

Well Done!

Coraline
Coraline(2009)
½

This movie is a visual feast. I usually look at the 3D put into movies as gimmicky and silly, but "Coraline" dons wonderful 3D imagery, vibrant colors, and detailed backgrounds. I love how this movie draws you in; almost to the point of absorption. The audience definitely benefits from the worlds details. Henry Selick did a great job with the "normal" feeling you get from the images, because when the world and its surroundings change, they seem that much more dark and sinister.

The story is light-hearted and easy enough to follow. Coraline reaches out to her parents, with very little success and is essentially left to explore and find new things on her own. She meets a neighborhood kid, Wybie, with whom she shares a rocky friendship with. In her apartment building, there is a pair of bickering and poorly aged actresses, a weird Russian who is training a "mouse circus", and of course a door to another world. Oh, and a mysterious stray cat.

The "other" world is compelling because it is seemingly "normal". Coraline soon finds out different as she becomes more and more attached to this "other" world. Coraline's "other parents" are more caring, which is what mostly drives her to keep returning. Her annoying friend isn't as annoying, yet her neighbors seem even more eccentric. So, the balance basically flips and Coraline finds herself closer to her parents in this world and that definitely helps to sate the anxiety of moving and losing her friends.

"Coraline" is filled with both drama and adventure, and Selick does a good job pacing everything so you don't feel bogged down or bored. The actors did a fine job of voicing their characters (although I don't think Teri Hatcher would have been my first choice for her characters). The music wasn't very appealing to me, but it was fitting and helped to keep things interesting.

Up to this point in July, "Coraline" is easily my favorite movie of 2009.