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Ronen's Rating System:

***** A must watch
**** Worth seeing
*** If you must watch a movie and there is nothing else out there
** Don’t bother
* It’s so bad its almost good... not... These are films I walked out on, or just fell asleep
(K: stars) Rating by my children. As they are easy to please, would typically be higher than mine...


From monthly archives: January 2009

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'January 2009'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Movie Review: An Education (2009) ***

A noteworthy film that charmed me more with its footnotes than with its main plot. Yet somehow, despite the excellent performances, the good story and likeable directing, I found myself yawning and not really engaged. It’s hard to put the finger on what is wrong with the film but I narrowed it down to two points – pacing, and the ending. The film starts very slow and builds very slow. When it changes pace it does so inconsistently. This is more evident as the film goes on. And then there is the ending… While the film, who makes courageous footnotes about a wide array of topics including family, marriage, ethnicities, social status, etc (let alone the value of education), it fails to deliver. It builds a smart character, who is ahead of her time, who is to be a role model of the modern woman, only to deliver at the end a wimp who follows the social expectations of her time, even if she feels she is not like everyone else… Sorry. Didn’t feel that way to me.

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Movie Review: Astro Boy (2009) ****

Where did I see this ploy before? Wait… maybe in 95% of the animated children films made these days?... Boy needs his dad’s approval, approval needs to be won, boy perform an act of heroism, boy wind approval. This film is no different. It just add to the mix a little bit of A.I. (Spielberg), shreds of Battlestar Galactica and even a little bit of Pinocchio… There are elements of environment (recycling) WALL-E style, and some political hints to the re-election of a certain president using scare techniques of WMD.
So with this said, why 4 star rating? My 10 years old, given the rating scale of 1 to 5, gave it a 4, maybe a 5. He really liked it. I was debating between 3 (plot) and 4 (execution). So 4 it is, on a children scale, meaning your kids will love it and you will not suffer.

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Movie Review: A Serious Man (2009) ****

So what does it all mean? asks, if not always in these exact words, Larry, the main character of this depressingly funny, randomly serious film, that starts in Yiddish and ends up with a hurricane… A Coen brother’s fan I am. And as such, I take great delight whenever a new creation of theirs hits the screens. This film somewhat stood out as it handles a topic, or so it seemed from the previews, the brothers steered clear from previously: Jewish heritage. Yet, so it appears, when the Coens finally decide to address their roots, they handle it mercilessly – stereotypes and all. This is to say that I suspect some parts will not be obvious for people outside this heritage, while other parts may piss-off those who are from within. The Coen’s typical Jew is, wait a minute… a Woody Allen type? Complicated and sort of funny -- drowning in his own misery. Always asking why, always looking for the moral of the story; filling out a large blackboard with complicated formulas only to prove that everything is random… And so, what is the moral of this film? The film is the moral of the film, life is the moral of life. And if you expect any other clues, don’t…

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Movie Review: Good Hair (2009) ****

If I would have known in advance this film is a documentary about black hair, I doubt I would have ended up seeing this charmer. Lucky me. With a nice frame story and a flowing plot-line, Chris Rock keeps its audience engaged and entertained. Surprisingly enough, the film includes snippets of international flavors, commentary related to social issues, and plenty of gender conflicts, all surrounding what some of us takes for granted – good hair...

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Movie Review: Whip It (2009) ****

What does the heroine of the film Whip It (Bliss, played by Ellen Page) has in common with Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee in Zombieland? Tallahassee’s memorable quote: “my momma always said I'd be good at somethin’, someday; although, I don't think she meant zombie killin’.” And so can Bliss say much in the same way – “although I don’t think she meant roller derby…”
It is a fun movie, even if very much following the expected formula of a misfit girl finding her place in the world. The usual confrontation with her family, the climate at the end of the second act -- where it seems everyone, including her best friend, parents and her newfound love are turning their backs on her, and the “everything coming together well” sort of ending. But despite the expected plot line, the backdrop of the fast-moving roller-derby, combined with fine acting, provides for an exciting and engaging 111 minutes of film, and a nice directorial debut for Drew Barrymore. Who would have guessed the screamer from E.T. will eventually direct movies? Then again, who would have guessed the freckled boy from Happy Days will end up being such a successful film director? I am giving it a borderline 4 star (since I don’t have a 3.5 option in my rating system).

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Movie Review: Zombieland (2009) ***

Movie Review: Zombieland (2009) ***

Being that the horror/gore/zombie genre was never of interest to me, how did I end up seeing Zombieland? Two reasons – the movie previews promised a comedy, and Woody Harrelson. I guess as far as Zombie movies go I can’t really rate this flick – maybe a 4-star? But I am not qualified. As a comedy I am giving it 3 stars. It’s funny but limited. It gets credit for good performances, the list of rules, poking fun at the Zombie genre, and for the non-syrupy ending.

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