Movies I've Seen Recently

Good Luck Chuck

I saw this Dane Cook flick last night. It had its moments, but man is it a chick flick. I felt like I was losing some respect for Cook just hearing some of the more cheesey dialogue coming from his mouth. But it was cute, and I would deem it a good date movie.

The premise is, Chuck is a good luck charm for women; every woman who has ever been with him ended up marrying the next guy they dated. Once women start realizing this, Chuck becomes a very sought-after guy. Watch out for the gross-out factor with a couple of the conquests Chuck seeks in order to break his curse. Jessica Alba does well as the cute-but-klutzy girl Chuck falls for.

Reign Over Me

I remember this movie came out around my birthday in March and I really wanted to see it. It never came to a theatre around where I live, so I was happy to see it on DVD at last.

Adam Sandler is heart-breaking as Charlie Fineman, a man who lost his wife and three daughters in 9/11. Director Mike Binder, I was warned, has been criticized for tending to beat his audience over the head with an overall message or theme. There was definitely a theme in this movie, of redemption and finding peace of mind, but I think it was tastefully done.

Don Cheadle plays his former college roommate who meets up with Fineman again on the street. When he realizes Charlie is not doing well, he gets involved with his life and tries to help him out. It also helps Cheadle's character, who complains early on to Liv Tyler, who plays a therapist, about not having anything in his life but work.

Bonus: Donald Sutherland as the no-nonsense judge in a later scene. B.J. Novak plays a lawyer you'll want to hit.

Across the Universe

I had been looking forward to seeing Julie Taymor's Beatles musical for months. I really enjoyed it, because it was beautifully done and had some really creative sequences. The best part, of course, was the music. The worst, however, was the character development. Maybe Taymor didn't have enough time to expand them the way she may have wanted, but I think some parts could have been taken out (like the unusual "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" scene early on) to allow for better quality characters.

The "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" sequence, which shows hundreds of young men being drafted to fight in Vietnam carrying the Statue of Liberty, is so strong it will make your hair stand on end. The "Strawberry Fields" scene, where the main character pins and smashes strawberries onto a canvas as his friend sees carnage in the wasteland of Vietnam, is surely commentary on today's situation in Iraq.

I liked it a lot, but I found myself wanting more. This is an unusual feeling to walk away with, after a 131 minute film.