07 Nov 2011

Movies and the Briss: Take Shelter

No Comments Podcast Reviews, Published Work, Reviews

This week on Movies and the Briss, I review the indie-flick “Take Shelter,” which won the Critic’s Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Take Shelter

Current Grades

(* = New this week)

In Theaters:

Kirsten Dunst in "Melancholia." Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

50/50 – A dramady that balances its emotions and penis jokes better than most. (B+)

Ides of March – Clooney’s confident direction and an outstanding ensemble performance make this typical political thriller about moral corruption one of the year’s best. (A-)

*Melancholia – There’s more than meets the eye in controversial director Lars Von Trier’s latest mindf*ck, a story about the world’s end that is as beautiful as it is twisted. (B+)

*Puss in Boots – The feisty feline’s spinoff stays faithful to the Shrek series humor, while reveling in creating its own unique characters. (B-)

*The Rum Diary – Johnny Depp playing Johnny Depp may be as entertaining as ever, but Hunter S. Thompson’s second big-screen adaptation seriously lacks depth and any semblance of a coherent plot. (C-)

On DVD/Blu-ray:

Bad Teacher – An absurdly crude Cameron Diaz and ridiculously dorky Justin Timberlake turn this dark comedy into a laugh riot. (B)

Maria Bello and Michael Sheen in "Beautiful Boy." Photo courtesy of Anchor Bay Films.

Beautiful Boy – An emotionally charged character piece that dives into the psyche of two parents dealing with an unimaginable tragedy.  (B+)

Captain America: The First Avenger – Marvel’s latest super-hero adaptation concentrates too much on “The Avegners” set-up rather than creating a memorable stand-alone film. (C-)

*Crazy, Stupid, Love. – Yet another 2011 comedy that succeeds because of its outstanding ensemble performance, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is driven by smart insights on love, loads of witty dialogue and just enough awkward comedic situations. (B)

Green Lantern – Ryan Reynolds delivers laughably stupid fun in one of the most preposterous films of the year. (D+)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – While undoubtedly a fun adventure, the latest “Pirates” is still a convoluted mess with too many characters and sub-plots. (C-)

Red State – Kevin Smith’s first take at the horror genre is a deeply disturbing film with ample amounts of dialogue and chills delivered by the remarkable Michael Parks in the lead role. (C)

The Tree of Life – The year’s most abstract film is divinely beautiful, but it’s non-linear story can be quite confusing. (B-)

*Trespass – A surprisingly dark film that draws tension, but fails because of its overly convoluted, but ultimately predictable plot. (C-)

*Water for Elephants – If the chemistry wasn’t so damn awkward between Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, this beautifully shot and crafted love-story could have been a classic. (C+)

Robert Pattinson in "Water for Elephants." Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

written by Jay Brissenden
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