Posted by: greercn | March 18, 2010

More Movies on Planes

Remember how I said I couldn’t imagine a worse romantic comedy than “Love Happens”? I should know better than to write such a thing, shouldn’t I? “All About Steve” is simply dreadful. It is easily as terrible as “Love Happens” and may actually be even worse. It’s certainly a close race to the finish for the worst romcom ever title.

Sandra Bullock deserved her Oscar. But maybe it should be taken away,  just because she agreed to make this Grade A turkey. It’s beyond execrable and well into the land of visual giblets. Bullock is a crossword compiler who becomes obsessed with a cameraman. That is the only interesting idea in the film. The script lacks charm and the attempts at humour are not at all funny. Even the sex scene makes you want to look away, because it’s just annoying.

Is there any redeeming quality here? Yes. Bullock’s red bra is very pretty. That’s it. Skip this movie, please. It makes the plot of “Avatar” look deeply sophisticated and nothing should do that.

“Bright Star” is not my sort of thing at all, as bonnets and costumes usually make me queasy and l really do prefer fast-paced action in my movies. But this tale of John  Keats and Fanny Brawne has a subtle charm and shines new light on his poems. Maybe I am going soft and maybe it’s just because I watched it after “All About Steve” but I really liked it. There is a classic and very English gentleness and literacy here that passes the time well. It has the flavour of some of the better movie adaptations of Jane Austen. This is worth seeing, even if you don’t normally do films with literary or period features.

Matt Damon makes some great films, but he can be too serious and self-absorbed. Eqully, I think Steven Soderbergh has an interesting take on directing but, for me, he has never really matched the heights of “Sex, Lies and Videotape”. Maybe too many people have told him how charming and wonderful he is, but each film – and I include the “Ocean’s” remakes – seems to say less and less.

“The Informant” redeems both Damon and Soderbergh, up to a point. It’s an interesting tale of business gone wrong and the central performances are strong and sharp. Yes, too many movies have big business as the bad guy, but this is a good script and a thoughtful story. It drags a little toward the end and has some self-indulgence in certain of the conversations. I can forgive these lapses as it is trying to say something articulate and intelligent about uncovering misdeeds. I can’t give it a rave review, but it shows that Damon is becoming a very interesting character actor and Soderbergh may yet again make a movie I really like. This is okay, but just misses out on greatness.

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