Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quickie Movie Run-down

Okay, I know I usually name my movie reviews "mini" ones, because I don't usually write feature-length reviews. Well, we're going micro for this one. Here is my take on a variety of recently watched (or re-watched) movies.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - The fourth MI movie is good for what it is. It's the best one I've seen, actually. But I'm still irritated that they took the popular series--which has an established format--and basically chucked most of it in favor of Tom Cruise action/adventure. I'll never forgive them for what they did to Jim Phelps. But this installment almost redeems them. I dug it. **** (of 5)

Piranha (2010) - This sequel/remake is pure schlock, but doesn't pretend to be much else. It was very obviously originally in 3D, which may have obscured the fakey effects a bit. The blood is hyper-red, and the gore is plentiful and extreme. Many recognizable faces appear, including Elizabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell (whose makeup effects are mondo grody), Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfus and Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation). There is no redeeming value in this one, but it does entertain. * (But as a guilty pleasure? ****)

Lots of skin--and lack of it--for boys and girls to
ogle in Piranha
Fright Night (1985) - I rewatched this one after having reviewed the remake. It is still very entertaining, but is a product of the eighties. Stephen Geoffreys' acting as "Evil Ed" is really amazing, which I'm not sure I noticed before. Cheesy, but fun. ***

Paranormal Activity 2 - I'm one of the few people who found the original PA to be kind of lame. I mean, I liked the actors, particularly Micah Sloat, but it just didn't scare me. The conceit of the original was that it allegedly really happened. Part 2 continues that, and even includes the original actors characters before they "died." There are a few good scenes, but far too many static shots of home surveillance video, with the viewer combing the image for something unusual happening. Sometimes it's a billowing curtain, sometimes a door creaking open, sometimes a pot falling off a pot rack. Thrilling. Not. **

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