June 14, 2009

DVD Rental Reviews: Gran Turino, The Broken, Valkyrie

It's been a while since I have rented a movie—not a lot coming off the assembly line lately that's had me excited—so I checked out the shelves to see what I could see. I'm a small town boy, so beggars can't be choosers. The major new releases are usually in stock, though.

Valkyrie – Sometimes it can be hard to look at Tom Cruise and not envision him jumping on Oprah's couch, or pissing and moaning about psychiatry (or is it psychology Scientologists hate?). This movie had a brilliant, heavy-hitter cast, however, so I had no trouble just admiring the performances on the screen. I think I heard every accent in English imaginable through this movie ... except German. Go figure. The story was told nicely enough, and managed to keep some measure of tension even though any viewer with a vicarious hold on world history knew the assassination attempt failed. The movie was ultimately forgettable for me, I must admit, because I didn't feel any kind of emotional attachment to a single character. I should have given a damn about Cruise's character, or at least admired his efforts through the futility of the mission, but I didn't. I don't think people are missing out by avoiding this movie.

The Broken – Psychological thriller? Well, it was psychological, I'll give the makers of the movie that much. "Thriller" is not a word I would use for this movie, though. "Protracted" is a better word, in my estimation, as I couldn't wait for the big swerve to come around, which was telegraphed early on in the movie. I felt very little suspense, and every character came off as flat and uninspired. The most intriguing thing about the movie for me was trying to figure out if the lead actress is the same one who worked on The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I think so, but I don't care enough to Google it or check IMDB. If you liked this movie, good for you. Mirrors with Keifer Sutherland is a better movie (better than this anyway), so watch that.

Gran Turino – Very good movie. It's Clint Eastwood. Watching the trailers for this one, I thought it was like a Dirty Harry-meets-Grumpy-Old-Men. But, without the comedy. I was wrong—it was kind of funny in spots. The guy who played the priest was absolutely terrible, however, and I wanted to skip every scene he was in. Whoever that guy is does not have a future in movies ... though, if Shia LaBeouf can make it, anyone can. Aside from the red-headed scene-spoiler, everyone else in the cast did a good job. Two hours was a bit of a stretch in telling the story, but it worked towards the end as every loose string gets tied. I think there might even be a drinking game for this movie, as there were quite a few clichéd devices used through out the plot. Forgivable, though ... It's Clint Eastwood.

On my radar for future rentals: The Watchmen

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