I've been on a bit of a movie bender lately. Last night, I finally watched Hot Tub Time Machine (which I recorded off Epix like six weeks ago). A couple of nights ago, I watched Wimbledon. A couple nights before that, I watched The Brothers Grimm and over the weekend I rewatched Enchanted with my daughter.
So, why did I watch HTTM, when the reviews I heard were pretty bad? Well, I do like Cusack, and the idea did sound interesting, although the reviews made it sound pretty unlikely to have lived up to that potential. Anyway, it was not a great movie, but it was pretty funny (though I think I would have liked it better without all the drug usage). There was a really funny running gag about the bellhop losing his arm; we knew he was going to at some point, but it kept teasing us about it happening and then having it not happen.
The one thing that really bothered me about the movie was how they handled Lou at the end. It was kind of funny, but it was absurdly unrealistic. Knowing that Google existed, and what Google did would not have enabled him to create Google. In fact, we have no reason to believe he would even comprehend how google works. Plus, execution matters. Studies that have looked at academic research that eventually turned into products found that turning a useful discovery into a product costs about 100x as much as making that useful discovery. So even if he really did understand Map/Reduce (which we have no reason to believe), it still would not have been a slam-dunk to reproduce. Just a pet peeve of mine.
Plus, the idea of coming home to someone with whom you've been married for twenty years, but with whom you've only spent a couple of hours? Very weird. Gets more disturbing the more you think about it.
The closing credits with Motley Lue were really funny, though.
Moving back, I was rewatching Wimbledon, which I'd seen one time before. I liked it the first time (hence, watching it again, duh :), but didn't remember too much specific about it. I liked it even more this time, even if I was more aware (I think) of how unrealistic the story was. Actually, I just remembered to look up more specifically how much so it was, and it was about as I expected. Goran Ivansevic was the only wild-card to win the tournament, and he was also at the end of his career (and a bit better of a career than Peter, topping out at second instead of eleventh overall). The characters also do not look believable as tennis pros, but that was pretty easy to overlook.
Still, I enjoyed it very greatly; I liked the interaction between Peter and Lizzie and how they danced around her dad. I also liked how they talked about the game, and the various matches. The acting was also good; Peter's family was especially funny. I guess I'd rate it overall as frothy fun.
Moving on to Enchanted, I watched that because I've recently watched most of the princess movies with my daughter, so I thought this would be an amusing addition to those. She's really too young to enjoy this one, though; I should have waited a year or three. Most of it just went straight over her head. One thing I found funny was that she was scared a couple of times, but the apartment-cleaning scene didn't bug her a bit.
As for me, I didn't like it as much as the first time I saw it. I did get some more of the references, but they were mostly not very cleverly done, so I don't think they really added much.
And the ending of the movie, with the queen turning into a dragon was really pointless (yes, I get that it was done as an homage to Sleeping Beauty). The queen already knew that Giselle wasn't the Prince's true love, and so, wouldn't be marrying him and kicking her out. So what was the point of going after her?
And do you really want to see what would happen if you had someone who's never even held a sword to throw it? Well, you certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere near where it went. I guess I was able to ignore that the first time I watched the movie, but it really bugged me this time.
I dunno; the movie had a few good scenes (the aforementioned apartment-cleaning was probably my favorite), but it just didn't really do anything for me.
Which brings us to The Brothers Grimm; one that I bought mostly because it was done by Terry Gilliam (well, I also have a lot of respect for the original brothers. They did a lot more than just collect tales). Let's just say that it was not his finest (ok, it might not even make his top ten). Part of it was that it was borderline to being a horror movie, which is not my cup of tea. And as a horror movie, I didn't even find it funny (which I frequently do with that genre, as they get so absurdly removed from reality. Only exception that I can recall: The Exorcist, but I haven't seen that many).
Anyway, they managed to cram a lot of references to the original stories into this, and the profession of the brothers was pretty funny, but that was about the limit of what I found enjoyable. Oh, they also made good use of french invaders.
But I can't really think of anything else good to say. I'm tempted to say that Ledger and Damon did pretty well despite the material they were working from, but I'm far from sure that I'd be saying that just because I generally like both of them.
Just very disappointing all the way around.
So, there you have it. Several movies, with a mix of success from them.