Saturday, April 09, 2011

Movie Reviews: The Tourist, Forever Shrek, Tangled and Get Low

Every once in a while a movie will surprise you - for me that movie was The Tourist. Angelina Jolie plays her trademark cool as ice mystery woman while co-star Johnny Depp surprises playing a tourist caught in a web of international intrigue who is vulnerable and at times seemingly overwhelmed by his circumstances. This Hitchcock-flavored movie offers twists, red herrings and a satisfying ending. The Tourist was nominated for three Golden Globe awards and deservedly so!

Our Netflix notices are sent to my husband's email account, but I'm the one who selects movies for our queue. My choices are generally well received, but recently I added a couple of cartoons to the list. As soon as the notification was received, I heard the disgruntled groan bellow from my hubby's office followed by, "A cartoon? A cartoon?!" Thankfully, the two I selected were entertaining animated feature films and even my doubting spouse admitted to enjoying them (well, at least a little).

Shrek Forever After is the concluding installment of the Shrek fairytale. What's so fun about
these movies to me is the deconstructed fairytale
becomes a traditional fairytale. As the movie opens, we get a glimpse into what "and they lived happily ever after..." looks like. The tedium of day-to-day living is taking its toll on Shrek and he finds himself pining for the good, o' days when he was an ogre of the decidedly unbeloved variety. Taking a cue from Capra, the film gives Shrek what he thinks he wants only for the ogre to quickly realizes his was a "wonderful life" just as it was. A fun, feel good movie.

The other cartoon I imposed upon my long suffering spouse was Tangled. The movie trailer had me giggling and my affection for Zachary Levi (star of the Chuck television series) put this film on my must-see list. It was thoroughly delightful. A sheltered princess who develops a spunky, take charge attitude and a hero who is a charming rogue with a heart of gold is right up this hopeless romantic's alley. (For an added bonus, they have thrown in a wonderfully animated duty-bound horse.)

The final film is a small, character-driven story starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill
Murray. Really that's all you need to know. These three actors give wonderful performances.
Duvall is my husband's favorite actor and this performance only reenforced that admiration. Bill Murray has evolved into a wonderful character actor and holds his own against the veteran Duvall. Loosely based on a real-life story, the film is more about the journey than the destination. The ending had a nice
resolution to the story, but was a little unsatisfying from a dramatic standpoint. See this film just for Duvall, Spacek and Murray's performances if nothing else - they're that good.

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