In the meantime, I can at the very least give you another brief recap of films I've watched this month. I've been able to go to the theater a lot more during the holidays and see a few winter blockbusters (and one dud). We'll break it up by Holiday classics, Theater watches and then the lone rental.
Well....I didn't have the same devotion for holiday films like I did Halloween ones back in October...but I did watch a few.
Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer & Santa Clause is Coming to Town. These little holiday gems are just so silly and adorable. I love its cheesiness...the movies constantly (though perhaps unintentionally on their part) make me laugh pretty hard with dated/ridiculous comments such as "No. This is man's work." and "I'm a MAN now Tanta." haha! But honestly, they're harmless, fun little family friendly movies featuring songs with catchy melodies. Nothing wrong with that. Definitely movies I plan to show my own... "little ones" one day. But I'll never call them little ones. Not ever. I give these... an 8
Love Actually. Half holiday film, half romantic comedy full of a dozen huge celebs...but for me, hits all the right points that an ensemble rom-com should. Miraculously, with all the storylines, the filmmakers were still able to strike a balance and be able to say a lot without spending a ton of time on everyone. There are many scenes in this film that are so well done, that nothing more needs to be said. It also benefits from a cast that can actually take the challenge of less is more. Emma Thompson, in particular, is a standout...she can make you really care about her character with only a handful of scenes. In general, I think the film says a lot of interesting things about the different forms love takes and its effects. Too bad the American copycats Valentines Day and New Years Eve fail to get down the formula Love Actually mastered. I rate this as... 7.7
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I have pretty similar feelings of this one to the first. I love RDJ and Jude Law in their roles, and it is their bro chemistry that makes these films work. I just have a hard time with the plots and structure of the films. This one too could have benefited a lot from some more editing. There's a fine line between clever and convoluted and I feel the screenwriter of these films too often crosses it. You know what would be better than an action star Sherlock Holmes? If you just took one of the books and made THAT into a movie with the same actors. Sherlock Holmes doesn't need all of what the movies give him...less is more. The characters definitely make these movies though...if it weren't for them I'd say to skip them almost entirely. But I'll give it a 6.7.
New Years Eve. Ugh. Just ugh. This is the broke man's (not even just poor man's) Love Actually. Here you DON'T have the actors who are capable of less is more....and yes that is even including Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Halle Berry and Hilary Swank. Some of the storylines had me bored to tears and each time they came on I just said to myself "Whyyyyyy??" It's notable to say the storylines weren't ALL terrible (Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer had some almost charming moments!) But many moments were pretty cringeworthy and cliched (most notably a speech about hope by Hilary Swank in the middle of the film had me gagging.) But the worst....and I mean THE WORST moment had to be the hunky Josh Duhamel looking for his mystery perfect woman all night to find out that it is SPOILER ALERT Sarah Jessica Parker. Are you kidding me?? In what universe is that believable? Yes, I know the man is married to Fergie...but please.... who did SJP buy off for that role? The tacked on message of hope in the new year is all fine and good....but I prefer seeing it in a movie like oh...say When Harry Met Sally where that one scene manages to be better than this whole movie. Can't say that was too hard of a feat though.. I give it a 4/10 and honestly that's kind of generous..
Friends with Benefits. Gotta say, I had ZERO expectations with this movie. So it was a delightful surprise to find that I enjoyed it as much as I did! Sure it's not out to change the rom-com genre, as it carefully abides by the formula....but the difference here is that 1. it's a little more self-aware and less manipulative than the average rom-com and 2. its stars have incredible chemistry. Sometimes all you need is two actors to really sell you on something....and they did...they earned that rom-com ending. I found many blurbs on Rotten Tomatoes that perfectly summed up my thoughts on the matter.
"It is elevated by energetic dialogue, the sexual chemistry between the leads and the fact that the miscommunication that keeps bliss at bay - there's always one in a rom-com, and usually it is annoyingly unbelievable - is plausible."
"Kunis and Timberlake achieve the trickier feat of looking just as happy hanging out as they do sucking face, and when the clichés inevitably come rolling in, they feel earned rather than like a cop-out."
Emily gives it... a 7.9
Well....that oughta do it for 2011. Hopefully I can get that top ten list out there realllll soon. But for now...we'll just have to brace ourselves for the winter movie drought ahead. sigh. But after that slump we've got some good stuff to look forward to! Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-man, The Hobbit, Prometheus. Bring on 2012 (even if it is the end of the world :) )