I saw a few movies this summer and fall that I neglected to review. Shame on me, so here are some quick and dirty reviews to catch you up.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - B+
As a fan of the books, it's hard to get completely excited by the films anymore. Too much has been excised and streamlined to keep the films from running several hours long. From a Hollywood perspective it makes perfect sense and the films are well-produced and exciting. Half-Blood Prince is no exception...it's dark, brooding and perfectly sets the stage for the final installment(s) of the series. From a fan perspective, the best part of the book, an extensive backstory for villain Voldemort, is sadly missing.
Inglourious Basterds - B
Quentin Taratino's latest piece of violent fiction is still distinctly his, but the premise and setting, following a troop of cutthroat (scalp?) WWII assassins and various Nazis, is new and helps elevate the film above quirk. In the end, it's a piece of revisionist fantasy, but a funny one filled with several moments of Tarantino's typical talking head dialogue pieces. Brad Pitt turns in another bizarre performance but Christoph Waltz turns in the best performance as a slick Nazi colonel.
9 - B
Not to be confused with District 9, this computer animated flick about strange canvas-doll creatures trying to survive in a machine-controlled post-apocalypse (I like hyphens!) is exciting and looks great. The pacing is brisk but the story could have been fleshed out a bit.
Law Abiding Citizen - C+
It's interesting to see Gerard Butler as a villain and his one-up vengeance plots are exciting, if very graphic. There's nothing inherently bad about the film, it simply offers nothing new either.