July 27, 2007

"Simpsons Movie" Hits a Homer, Plus Other Movie Notes

I'm a film critic, so I really should be doing a roundup every Friday. But regardless, some thoughts on recent motion pictures:

-The Simpsons Movie: Saw it last night, loved it, would see it again. Not QUITE the home run the "South Park" movie was, but pretty consistently hilarious nonetheless. Nearly all the gags worked, the plot was funny, and -like Andrew Johnston on House Next Door, I loved being able to experience "Simpsons" with a large, enthusiastic audience. Also, stay for the closing credits, there's good stuff there.

-Stardust: This one's been getting practically no buzz, but I saw it the other night and really, really enjoyed it (no, I haven't read the Neil Gaiman book, but the entire audience at the screening was obviously nerds who have, and I could tell they all loved it.) Very "Princess Bride"-like, although the cheese never overcame everything that was working. Also good performances- especially by Robert DeNiro (as you've certainly never seen him) and leading man Charlie Cox, who's like a more talented, less irritating Orlando Bloom. Go see this one when it comes out in mid-August.

-Hairspray: I loved about 95% of this movie. Excellent songs, very good staging, dynamite performance by newcomer Nikki Blonsky in the lead role. But John Travolta just didn't work, at all. He didn't look right, or sound right, and the whole he-should-dance-in-every-movie-because-of-"Grease"-and-"Saturday Night Fever" joke is starting to get old. Actually, it was starting to get old a decade ago. Why Harvey Fierstein couldn't play the part onscreen, I can't understand.

- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Having read none of the books and missed the last two movies, my Harry Potter knowledge isn't quite up to par. But I did like the newest film, even if I barely understood it.

Yes, I realize I liked all four of those (and the one I saw the week before that, "Rescue Dawn," was great too. But other than "Knocked Up" and "Die Hard," everything else I saw this summer was a disappointment- and I'm looking in your direction, Optimus Prime.

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 27, 2007 01:44 PM
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