Posted by: Sally Ingraham | April 10, 2010

Movie Mayhem: March 21st-31st

I’m not watching as many movies this month, due to hefty reading and moving house and working full time. However, I felt it was getting to be time to write something about the movies that have popped up here and there so far in April, and I realized that I totally forgot to wrap up my March movie watching escapades. Whoops! I’m off to the theater where I work to watch three French films in an hour, incidentally, so these will be quick reviews. 🙂

The Invention of Lying – Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson – USA – 2009
Quirky, with a rather intriguing premise that is especially interesting to a lover of fiction like myself (in a world where everyone tells the truth, no one invents stories, they just retell absolutely true events…awful!) this movie proved to be much better than I had expected. Gervais, actor and writer and directer, is as always unpredictable!

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day – Troy Duffy – USA – 2009
Not as good as the original, but still interesting and action packed, with a few one-liners that were hilarious. Amusing as always to see Maine’s own Bob Marley in his role as a Boston cop. 🙂

The Men Who Stare At Goats – Grant Heslov – USA – 2009
Rather duller than I had anticipated, but a fun cast held it together – Ewan McGregor was especially entertaining in his role as the wide-eyed reporter who doesn’t know what a Jedi is…!

Shutter Island – Martin Scorcese – USA – 2010
Not my favorite Scorcese film (haven’t found a favorite yet actually), and not a particularly engaging film either. Suspenseful for a moment, until I figured out what was going on, then just an unfortunate muddle. The best scene was the one with Ted Levine, who played the Warden of the prison for psychos. His brief discussion about “men of violence” was chilling, and my eyes for that moment were glued to him. Love him in the TV show Monk, but I really must track down more of his work!

The Night of the Iguana – John Huston – USA – 1964
A very decent visualization of the book, with a great cast. I’ve already discussed it a bit here and since I’m pressed for time, I’ll leave it at that!

Whip It – Drew Barrymore – USA – 2009
Kudos to Drew Barrymore! This was a fun look into the world of roller derby, highly entertaining with an excellent cast. I liked Ellen Page as the teen who straps some rollerskates on and crashes towards glory, but it was Juliette Lewis as Iron Maiden, a rival roller derby queen, who (finally) rocked my world – definitely my favorite roll I’ve seen her in. Also loved Andrew Wilson, the lesser known brother of Owen and Luke Wilson, as the coach of Ellen Page’s team. 🙂

2012 – Roland Emmerich – USA – 2009
This movie looked bad, but I really couldn’t comprehend that it would be as terrible as it really was. I only watched it in the end because Woody Harrelson was in it briefly as the crazy indie radio host who saw it all coming before anyone else. What can I take away from this movie? Only that when in a life threatening situation, your best bet is to keep close to John Cusack – as far as I can tell, he never dies in any movie he’s in, no matter how astonishingly slim the odds are. So that’s good.

Fantastic Mr Fox – Wes Anderson – USA – 2009
Very bizarre movie – I definitely need to read the book…! But I liked the weird pacing and the underhanded jokes. The animation style was awesome. Fun. 🙂

Fish Tank – Andrea Arnold – UK – 2009
And definitely NOT fun, but a brilliant movie. Difficult to watch, more gut-wrenching than entertaining. A story about a girl with a terrible home situation trying to live as best as she can, and follow her dreams…but she’s awful, and she does horrible things, and it’s so, so sad. There were moments when I definitely could identify with her, even sympathize with her, but I never liked her. The hip-hop music throughout kept it vaguely tolerable, and as a movie that unflinchingly looks at real life, the ugly thing that it can be, it was very successful. A oddly satisfying film to me, since it did exactly what it wanted to, without compromising. No happy ending, only the barest sort of resolution. I left the movie feeling rocked, in the mood to pound several beers and celebrate that my life was so awesome comparatively! Of the movies I saw during the second half of March it is the only one I keep thinking about. Do I recommend it? Yeah, but it’s a tough one. Phew.

There you have it. Now I’m off to watch my French films, which are playing as part of the Tournees Festival. Have a great night everyone!


  1. 2012 how did that film get made?! No idea. I’m glad to hear Whip it is great, looking forward to it. I had no idea Owen Wilson had a brother in the same business.

    • Yes, Andrew Wilson often plays small parts in his brothers’ films, and bit parts in other stuff, but for some reason he’s not as famous or busy as them. Perhaps due to his own choice – talented family though!

      Movies like 2012 boggle my mind – I mean who read that script and said, “Yes! This is totally awesome – let’s devote a considerable amount of time and energy, not to mention money, on making it!!” ???

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