Movie Reviews: New Rose Hotel, Match Point, The Producers, God Is Great & I'm Not

Yelena and I have watched a lot of movies lately.

New Rose Hotel

Thumbs down.

It has Asia Argento's boobies.  But that's the only good thing about it.  It also has Willem Dafoe and Christopher Walken, and Walken does an ok job, but the movie is incredibly low-budget, the script is mediocre, and the end of the movie completely falls apart.  The basic plot is two men scheming to make a lot of money through corporate warfare.  Argento is supposedly a pawn in their scheme, but she ends up selling them out in the end.  Everybody dies, the girl gets away (although it's never explained how or why), and then Dafoe (the last one alive) sits in a small hotel room with a gun and has flashbacks of the entire movie.  Unecessary, and confusing.  At the end of the movie I had no idea what had really happened.  Turns out it's actually based on a short play by a famous playwrite.  I looked at the original play, it looked excellent.  The end sent shivers down my spine.  The movie managed to lose all the feel of the play, and didn't give me anything in return--except a few seconds Argento naked in a pool, and that's not enough.

Match Point

Jordan: thumbs up; Yelena: thumbs down

Woody Allen lost his gift several years ago, but he keeps making movies anyway.  Problems with this one:

  • The acting is mediocre at best.
  • It's three movies combined into one: a romance, an affair, and Crime & Punishment.  None of the themes are explored adequately.
  • Woody is completely out of touch.  He doesn't know how American 20-somethings talk, he doesn't know how the British talk, and he especially doesn't know how the British upper class talk or act.  The number one rule of writing is: write what you know.  Jane Austen was a daughter in a lower-upper class family in the English countryside with no prospects and nothing to do.  Point made.
  • A man in a relationship has an affair with a hot young actress.  Like Woody hasn't done that theme before.  At least it's not him kissing her this time.
  • Scarlet Johansen is hot, don't get me wrong.  She's smokin hot.  But unless she's scantily clad or naked (and in this movie she isn't), then that fact alone will not save the movie.

So then why did I like the movie?  Partially because my expectations were so low, it was hard to disappoint.  Also, because the Crime & Punishment theme at the end was interesting, and totally unexpected.

The Producers (new version)

Thumbs up.

Mel Brooks does an adaptation of an adaptation of a Mel Brooks movie.  With actors who are not as good as Gene Wilder or Zero Mostel.  Even so, the musical is different from the original movie, and it presents a fresh and new twist. Yelena & I were too tired to watch the whole thing, but I liked what I saw.  It'll definitely go on the Blockbuster queue.

God Is Great & I'm Not

Thumbs up.

Audrey Tatou, pre-Amelie.  Cute, fun, very French.  Especially the end.  "Vat happens?  Nosing.  It is life."  Light, romantic, slightly dramatic, slightly comic.  Audrey Tatou plays a girl who gets enamored with Judaism and starts to convert.  In one scene, she looks straight at the camera, says "I love you" in Hebrew, and blows a kiss.  Now THAT'S hot.  Forget Asia Argento in the pool or Scarlet Johansen in the rain.  Seriously.  Give me Audrey Tatou speaking Hebrew.  Any day of the week.  And twice on Saturday.