Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scattershot Reviews: Wild Target, Lovely, Still, It's Kind of a Funny Story

There are a lot of movies that I've been meaning to review, but either haven't had the time to, or plain forgotten about. To that end I have decided a column with short reviews for these movies is the easiest laziest best way to handle it. I'll try and keep the reviews short, perfect for those of you who, like me, have next to no attention spa- hey a turtle!

Wild Target (2010)
Starring: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Martin Freeman, Rupert Everett
Netflix: Streaming

Victor Maynard (Nighy) is the best professional assassin around. Everything is going great till he finds himself drawn to one of his hits (Blunt). Suddenly he finds himself playing bodyguard and training an apprentice (Grint), while trying to figure out, just who and what he really wants to be.

I thought about just starting the review with "Why haven't you people watched this yet? Go, now." but I thought that might be a little too strong. The film is fantastic. It is first and foremost a comedy that veers occasionally dark. It also has a lot heart to it, showing that humor is often better with a little pathos mixed in. The casting is fantastic. Bill Nighy doing, what he does best, brings a fantastic character to the screen. Rupert Grint fully leaves behind his wizard roots, becoming the hapless, slapstick, pot smoking apprentice. My only real complaint is that there are a few places where the pacing seems off, progressing, just a little too fast. Another ten minutes in the film would have gone a long way. But that's relatively insignificant, and by the end of the film I was doing a rare thing, wishing for a sequel. 9 out 10

Lovely, Still (2008)
Starring: Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott
Netflix: Streaming

A holiday themed film about an elderly man, who lives alone, with no family, but suddenly finds his world a little brighter when love unexpectedly comes into his life. 

It's a bit difficult trying to review this one, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone who might want to watch it. Frankly, it's incredibly obvious. It tries to build up a story, but one you'll have figured out about a quarter of the way into the film. Now don't let that discourage you from watching though. While it's by no means a perfect movie, like the title, I found it to be lovely still. It's a very slow moving film, with a look at two lonely people. Martin Landau delivers a performance that is heart wrenching at times. There's a light humor, and it's gentle at that. The film is a slow burn, up until the end where it just sort of feels tacked on. What I really loved about it is the directing and cinematography. It's a beautiful film, filled with shots that seem cut from Christmas cards, paintings, and snowglobes. For that alone I would say it's worth a watch. But it's the kind of film that because of the drawbacks is really only worth one viewing. 6 out of 10

It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan
Netflix: DVD only

A teenager contemplating suicide checks himself into the psychiatric ward of a hospital. There he meets an array of oddball characters which help him realize some things about himself.

I wanted to see this one when it was out in theaters, but despite the commercials playing all the time, it wasn't anywhere in my area. Keir Gilchrist is fantastic as the lead, which is good since Galifianakis would have otherwise stolen the film. I was worried that Galifianakis might just play the same character he's been doing since The Hangover, and to a degree he does, but here we get to seem him actually work the dramatic side of things. The writing is great, but does feel held back a bit at times, pulling it's punches. I don't want to spoil the ending but I feel that if it had gone a different way, it would have been a lot more impactful. The film is quirky in all the right ways. It's moody in places without being too heavy, which is helped along by a truly fantastic soundtrack. Altogether a pretty great film. 8 out of 10


  1. The first one reminds me of the John Cusaak hitman movie in um Grosse Pointe Blank! Grosse Pointe Blank! got it!

  2. I was also told that It's Kind of a Funny Story was really good. Maybe I can give it a look see!
    thanks for reviews Tim!

  3. I remember wanting to see Its kind of a funny story but missing it in theaters...thank god for netflix eh?!

  4. "Why haven't you people watched this yet? Go, now."

    I hadn't heard of this film till now. Get off my back please.

  5. Oh, I love Bill Nighey! Why did I not know about that movie?! Hope I remember to look for it! I need to make a list!

  6. Do want to see the first and last ones so bad. And I am liking this new layout.

  7. I have to admit I started watching this movie because I was depressed and I wanted to be more depressed. I know that’s sick, but this movie was so funny and ironic I couldn’t help but feel better. If you want to feel better, watch this movie; seriously. I really like how I was able to sign up for a free 3 month Blockbuster membership with my DISH employee account because now I don’t have to drive to the kiosk or a store and I can look forward to getting my mail rather than dreading all the bills. The best part is anyone can get the membership. http://bit.ly/jYtohY

  8. I guess I haven't been paying much attention--I don't recall having heard of any of these films.
    Funny Story sounds like it might appeal to me. And I'll have to check out Wild Tangent.

    Tossing It Out

  9. I might catch one of these if possible...specially the one with the ginger boy all grown up...


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