Bug -- Just got back from seeing this a couple of minutes ago. Really! And it's still buzzing around my skull, trying to find a home. This one is for folks who like tales of madness. Confession: I love them. So on one hand, this is right up my alley. Acting, dircting, and lighting are top notch. Despite being a dark and dreary tale about dark and dreary people, there are moments of true humor peppered throughout. The final act is pretty out there, so a lot of people won't accept it. There's even a bit of ambiguity thrown in for good measure, but it's kind of buried by the impact of the final act. This is definitely one of those films that will have audiences on either side of this particular fence. No fence sitters allowed. I give it a solid B.
Spiderman 3 -- Okay, this one a buddy and I snuck into, so I didn't pay for it. That may have colored my opinion a bit, cause I came out smiling. No great shakes, but it goes well with butter-flavored topping. What I didn't like was that the very busy script necessitated dumbing-down Peter Parker. Taking him from nerdish to absolutely babe-in-the-woods clueless didn't set well with me. He kinda sucked, in fact. On the plus side, the Sandman character gave CGI a new lease on life. Very cool and "believeable" effects here. Of course, you may not be as charitable at $10.50 a whack, but I liked it. I suspect it will definitely lose a lot of its charm on the small screen, so see it at your friendly neighborhood multiplex if you can. Solid B.
28 Weeks Later -- This is the one I paid for when seeing Spiderman 3. The opening scene is a major adrenaline rush -- frenectic, fast-paced, character-building, and creepy. It gets the blood pumping and primes the sweat glands for more of the same. You don't get it though, so even if you forgot to apply liberally, you won't sport any embarassing sweat stains on exit. No, the promise doesn't play out. Biggest complaint? As the movie progressed, the "zombie" attacks became more frenetic, faster-paced, and less character specific. In fact, you couldn't really make out what was going on in any of these scenes. I think the director thought that by using quick cuts, indistinct close-ups, and crazy angles, we would be really disoriented and uncomfortable because we wouldn't be able to tell who had been turned and who was doing the turning. Uh, uh. Doesn't work. These scenes were rather disappointing and very un-scary. That said, the plot itself almost carried the film. I give this one a B-.
Zoo -- Okay, this is my kind of documentary. A film that takes you somewhere you probably don't wanna go, and tries to make you see another point of view. And it works. To a point. This is a documentary about Zoo folks -- people who love their animals a little more than they probably have a right to. And the doc is centered around a man, "Mr. Hands", who, after having sex with a horse, died (well, duh, you're probably thinking if you've ever seen a happy stallion). The visuals are stunningly beautiful, as a counterpoint to the topic at hand, and the recreation of that fateful night is actually tastefully erotic (uh, did I just say that?). Okay, it's also a confusing film, one-sided, and it leaves a few too many stones unturned. But it's unique, well-done, brave, and presents a look at a sub-culture that hasn't had it's time in the light. Definitely worth a look. A-.
Avenue Montaigne -- this is a French film about a poor young woman who infiltrates her adorable self into the lives of the obliviously rich and distracted. Kind of an Amelie wanna-be, but a tad more serious and less fanciful. As a series of character studies, it's swell. Good acting, pretty people, and as with all good fiction, it feeds the voyeur in us all. But is it a good film. Well, not entirely. You won't go away feeling you wasted your time, but you might ask yourself what it was really all about. It feels like there's a bigger picture unfolding before your eyes, but nah, not really. This one gets a solid B from me.