Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in August.
- Blow (2001) – Pretty standard biopic fare, with Depp’s oddly robotic perfomance doing the film no favors. Penelope Cruz attempts to inject some life into the third act with her scenery chewing performance, but by then it is too little, too late.
- Pauline at the Beach (1983) – Possibly Rohmer’s most accessible film, but no less challenging than anything else from his brilliant career. Never has a filmmaker so astutely captured the messy business of human interaction than Eric Rohmer.
- Pixie Hollow Games (2011) – Fairy short film which focuses on the Pixie Hollow Olympics, with all the usual charming “naturepunk” inventions. Rose, thankfully, is finally given a bit of room to expand beyond her one-note prissy southern belle schtick, and the character really benefits from it.
- Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991) – It’s the usual story of a plucky headstrong girl who runs off to join the circus, but it isn’t without its charms. While I could do without the doofus boyfriend and the manufactured drama of the third act, the Burn Notice girl’s charismatic performance manages to carry the movie.
- Minions (2015) – The emphasis on simple sight gags works pretty well in this slapsticky children’s movie. Unfortunately, the mundane plot, as usual, periodically feels the need to assert itself to disappointing effect.
- Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – Pretty funny overall–though some of the humor borders dangerously on coming off like “hey, look how funny this is because it is just like X movie!” Still, the script is intelligent enough that it largely avoids such pitfalls even if I wish some of it would have been played a bit straighter–but that’s not the movie they are trying to make here.