I love watching movies. But since reviewing films isn’t my full-time gig, I inevitably end up watching many more movies than I can actually review. So on my blog is a mix of full reviews (at least 400 words,) mini-reviews (at least 150 words) and now my new “fun size” reviews. I got the idea from a candy bar wrapper, lol. Below are fun size reviews and images from 5 films I’ve seen recently. I have another dozen or so films I plan to review fun size soon. By the way, another way to keep up with my movie opinions and other goings-on is to follow me on twitter or facebook. Thanks! -Sam
“Rio,” the animated bird movie, is a load of good, clean fun. Blu, a domesticated macaw, meets the wild Jewel. The two set off on an adventure in Rio. Kids will love “Rio” along with adults. While the animation isn’t as astounding as in “Rango,” the film is beautifully done. I especially liked the slobbering dog. Voice talent includes Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway. Directed by Carlos Saldanha. Rated G. 2.5 out of 4 stars.
“The Conspirator” tells the story of Mary Surratt, a lady who was accused and tried for conspiring to kill Abraham Lincoln. The film features some fine performances, especially that of Robin Wright as Surratt. The cast also includes James McAvoy, Kevin Kline and Tom Wilkinson. The film was directed by Robert Redford. Overall the film works, mainly because of Wright’s performance. But the film isn’t exactly subtle or complicated as it tries to make parallels between history and today. It’s sort of like a well-acted, but simple PBS Masterpiece production. Rated PG-13. 2.5 out of 4 stars.
“Hanna” is the story of sixteen-year-old Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) who was raised by her ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) in isolation to be the perfect assassin. He sends her on a mission across Europe. She is tracked by a tough intelligence agent (Cate Blanchett). While the film’s plot is silly at its core, the movie is taut, creative and action-packed–with pulsating music and interesting photography/art direction. Directed by Joe Wright. Rated PG-13. 3 out of 4 stars.
The 2011 version of “Arthur” lacks much of the charm of the original film starring Dudley Moore. But this reboot with Russel Brand and Hellen Mirren does entertain and has some laughs. Honestly, I could have done without the remake, but the movie is not so bad for me to pan it. It’s worth a few laughs. Directed by Jason Winer. Rated PG-13. 2 out of 4 stars.
“Win Win” is a joy from beginning to end. Directed by Thomas McCarthy with performances by Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale and newcomer Alex Shaffer, it’s the story of a high school wrestling coach (Giamatti) and his family–and what happens when a runaway teen shows up in their life. Every performance is grounded, poignant and funny. Even Shaffer, who was cast in the role because of his experience as a high school wrestler, was good. His dead-pan, teenage, I-couldn’t-care-less character is just right for the film. Rated R. 3 out of 4 stars.