Review: Summer 2009 Movies

Spoilers ahead.

Star Trek – brawny restart of a franchise. More an action thriller than scifi. Had trouble locating any higher ideas other than “Red blood rules all”. Leonard Nimoy makes an appearance as a walking deus ex machine. The lovefest about the Kirk/Spock life partnership also nauseates. I get it, they’re awesome; let’s cut short the third love poem reading about how their friendship would come to define each others’ life meaning, and show more Star Fleet women in 1960 go go dancer outfits. Thanks.

The Hangover – well executed comedy of mishaps. The unusual narrative vehicle grants it a coat of originality. Probably not worth paying to see if you have seen the commercials; they really do give away all the best jokes. Zach Galifikanias (dear god spelling?) gives a career setting performance in line with his Between Two Fern web skits. Bradley Cooper sells the movie to mens’ dates. Asian comedien doctor from Knocked Up takes a role I’m not 100% comfortable with. Does saying “motherfucker” in a high effeminate Asian tone still get a laugh these days?

Away We Go – set your expectations low and be pleasantly surprised. This movie had best potential for an indie hipster jackoff fest (Pregnant itinerant ne’er-do-well couple seeks a home, starring NBC comics being “serious/funny”, written by Dave Eggers, with the American Beauty director, and a soundtrack rife with indie folk music), it’s actually worth watching. Especially for the parade of relationship horribles, which certainly resonated deeply here, being of that age and of that mindset. You’ll see.

Up – best movie of the year so far. Should easily get a Best Picture Oscar nod, now that they’ve expanded the field to 10 pics. The first 10 minutes are sublime storytelling– an instantly recognizable and familar, yet still so haunting, backdrop. Overall: touching, poignant, speaking on themes about life, purpose, and adventure using–surprise– elderly characters. Extra credit for the asian American boy as second chair.

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