Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Word Weekend Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger, Friends with Benefits, and Another Earth

New Movie Releases Reviewed in 7 Words Each

Friends With Benefits - You mean like borrowing each others DVDs?

Another Earth (NY, LA) - Your Lifetime got in my SyFy... Ewww.

Captain America: The First Avenger - More countries need themed superheroes representing them.

I almost did a 7 word for a NY only release called 'The Women With the 5 Elephants' purely because I liked the title. But then I found out there were no elephants in the movie and here we are.

I love the plot for Another Earth, a second earth suddenly appearing in the sky, moving closer. I like the idea of using it as a backdrop to the rest of the story instead of being at the forefront. However the rest of it is bogged down with what looks and sounds like a bad Lifetime flick. And yes, I say that knowing it means that I'm having to admit to having watched enough Lifetime movies to ascertain a reasonable proximity. From the few reviews I've seen, it sounds like a mess of a movie. Shame really, promising idea.

I can't make up my mind about Friends With Benefits. I know everyone's keen on Mila Kunis at the moment, but I've never really enjoyed her that much. I don't hate her or think she's untalented, I just kind of find her boring. I do like Justin Timberlake in a comedic role though, and it is directed by one of the guys behind Easy A which turned out to be surprisingly excellent. It just looks so average. At any rate, it's a rent for me if I do see it.

Of course the question is, can Captain America: The First Avenger which has gotten huge buzz, topple the behemoth that is Harry Potter? Possibly, but even if Potter takes a 60% hit this weekend, it would still do about 70 million, and that's a high hurdle. I'm properly hyped to see Captain America, and this comes from someone who always hated the character in print. So that says a lot right there. Now if it were Captain Canuck, I'm sure it would blow Potter away. Speaking of which...

Captain Canuck, it has been announced, will be getting a film adaptation of its own. There are a thousand reasons why this is awesome. I assure you this isn't Canadian prejudice when I say that while I never cared for Captain America, I loved Captain Canuck. Course assuming it's a Canadian production, what that will look like in terms of budgeting, casting, directing, etc. is anyone's guess.

Staying in pick of the week:

School for Scoundrels (1960) - Yes, the original. Sometimes, okay, most times, the original is a thousand times better than the remake. In this case I might give an extra multiple of ten. While there was a lot to hate in the remake, I actually found parts of it funny enough that it wasn't a complete waste. Of course I felt it was far from a complete and cohesive film. The original on the other hand has a great through line. The plot is very much the same; a schmuck, Henry Palfrey, who's pretty much a sad sack in all aspects of life, goes to a school that promises to teach him how to be a winner in love, work and everything else. Where the remake relied heavily on crude humor and slapstick, the original is more subtle. Most of the film is about building up just how much of a doormat Palfrey is. Then when his revenge comes about, you genuinely cheer him on. Oddly enough, I'd say it's gratifying in a way similar to The Count of Monte Cristo. My only real complaint is the ending which feels too abrupt. I'd also say the main female character really isn't given any life and more or less is just there as an object moved about from room to room. Both are areas that a remake would have had room to grow and improve, unlike the Jon Herder travisty that gets worse the more I think about the original. Not a perfect film, but a darn good one. 7 out of 10 - Netflix: Streaming

Have a great weekend everyone!   


  1. Proud to say I have never watched a Lifetime movie. Seeing Captain America tonight!

  2. early prediction- Captain Canuck will destroy records world wide until the Captain Britian movie comes out with Psyloche co-staring and I see it 150 times in one weekend.

  3. You know, my hubby actually told me he'd never heard of the phrase "friends with benefits" before. Yikes....he's showing his age! Old fart! :)

  4. Alpha Flight would be a better representation of Canadian Superheroes. Captain Canuck is old school, pulp kind of hero. Plus Gaurdian or Vindicator or whatever he calls himself, that costume is one of the best in comics. Certainly in the top ten. You see it and you immediately know who you are talking about.

    I hope 'Captain America does good so that we get more of these types of movies that you need a big studio behind to do right. So there might actually be an Alpha Flight movie. Come on CBC, get off your ass. Pony up some of that fat socialist money and make something really cool.

  5. Someone already beat me to the Captain Canuck joke. Damn.

  6. phew ... I don't know if I can muster going to see captain america. I'll let my buddies see it and hear the reviews then decide. He just never did anything for me at all.

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