10.) Sherlock Holmes
Quite possibly the best (and most accurate) Sherlock Holmes yet, Guy Ritchie’s rendition of this oft-portrayed character is nothing short of a blast. That sounds like a lot of hyperbole right there, but it’s not – Ritchie throws away (or minimizes) most of the stuff that has been overplayed and done to death. The focus is quite wisely on the Holmes / Watson duo, and that’s what makes the movie work so well. Yeah, we get to see amazing deductions, fights with an oversized french henchman, a ship yard destroyed in spectacular fashion, a villain’s supposed return from the dead, and more – yet the heart of the flick is the fantastic back and forth between Holmes and his best friend. Also, it’s worth noting (at least to me) that Hans Zimmer delivers his best score in years. The soundtrack is a complete musical blast, and it (along with the set design and nicely done special effects) adds quite a bit to the overall quality of the movie. We’ve seen it once in the theater already, and we’re talking about going back again – it’s really *that* much fun. Bring on the sequel. (And Moriarty!)
The previously mentioned shipyard scene. Holmes and his adversary exchange blow after blow, seemingly oblivious to the chaos that they’re causing. The end results are quite impressive, to say the least.
10) My Life in Ruins
Let’s start with the good news. Number ten on my top ten – My Life in Ruins, starring Nia Vardalos, Alexis Georgoulis, and Richard Dreyfuss.
Yes, it’s a romantic comedy – you knew there had to be one of those in my top ten, right? If you liked “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” for the family antics, you won’t like this film for the same reasons, despite having the same lead actress. This is a straight forward romantic comedy, complete with the awkward beginning and slightly sappy ending. Nia Vardalos is a bus tour guide in Greece who has lost her passion for life. Obviously, she finds it again with the help of the substitute bus driver, Poopie, and a quirky old man. Along the way, she faces the many mishaps that foreigners can get in to when traveling in a country whose customs they know little to nothing about.
Again, Nia Vardalos plays the slightly discombobulated and self-deprecating lead. She does a great job at doing exactly what her role expects of her, to be first frustrated and nerdy, then tentatively open, then completely fun-loving. This is most definitely a chick flick which is rated PG-13 for some sexual content (the original script was written by the head writer from “The Simpsons”, I’d watch it with my parents but not with my kids) and good for a girls night option. There are plenty of comedic moments, great views of Greece, and Alexis Georgoulis is pretty darn good-looking. Also, this is the first American film that Greece allowed to film in the Acropolis.
And now to the bad. However, keep in mind that until we get to number five on this list, these are all movies I would consider watching again. Coming in at number ten from the bottom of my movie list is Watchmen, starring Malin Skerman, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode, and a ton of other people. And millions of nerd and comic book fans start up their Linux computers to find my address to hunt me down and murder me.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Watchmen, it’s based on a graphic novel written by Alan Moore. It follows a second generation of super-heroes in America. The first generation was first celebrated as heroes for helping to end WWII, and then fell by the wayside as people began to get tired of them. Now, this generation has set aside their costumes in pursuit of a normal life, with the exception of Rorshach – a slightly insane man who can only see things in terms of black and white and is compelled to punish those who do evil. Now, members of this group of super heroes are being murdered and Rorshach is out to find out who is behind it. Bringing in the rest of the group, he discovers a plan that will change the world.
I’ve read the graphic novel of this, and while it isn’t my favorite, I can understand why many people love it. It was one of the first graphic novels/comics to portray the possibility of a dark side to being a superhero – what happens when no one places boundaries on them. Nowadays that’s a regular theme, but when this came out it was groundbreaking. Anyway. I disliked this movie intensely. Mostly because the characters were never my favorite in the novel and even less so in the movie. It’s rare that the characters (and how they’re acted) actually turn me off to a film. If I’m going to watch a movie with super heroes in it, I want it to be like X-men or Ironman – something with a bit more humor and a bit less grit. The entire film is dark, pretty much depressing (even with cutting out the cannibalism!) and has a tone of hopelessness to it that I just don’t appreciate when I want to be entertained by something. Also, they changed the ending in the movie from what it is in the novel – and since the end was my favorite part, this was a big red angry mark in my mind.
Have a different opinion? Leave a comment and let us know!