Monday, February 05, 2007

Reel Gouda Capsules

This time of year, as most of you know, is a desolate wasteland in terms of decent moviegoing fare, which has given me a good excuse to start exercising my Netflix muscle again. Below, you will also find a short review of the film "Dreamgirls."

1. Dreamgirls -- The broadway show makes a big splash on the big screen, featuring a story that is supposed to parallel that of The Supremes, about a trio of singing ladies and the trials and tribulations of their rise to fame and the drama that ensues afterward. While the talent in this film was prodigious (particularly on the parts of Jamie Foxx and Academy Award nominees Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson), I do believe that this film was slighly overrated. The narrative was a tad cold and inconsistent, and as a result it failed to pluck the heartstrings. In my opinion, it got all the right Oscar nominations. If anything, see it for Hudson's astonishing vocal and acting power.
Gouda's Final Grade: B+

2. Hard Candy -- The mind-twisting beauty of independent cinema is perfectly showcased in this film that features a 30-something man who entices young girls on the internet. His latest choice, however, has an agenda all her own. The acting between the two leads (particularly the young Ellen Page) is superb, the subject matter is compelling, and events as they unfold are often difficult to watch. You will feel nothing if not manipulated, and you will question yourself for days. Trust me when I say you have not seen a movie quite like this.
Gouda's Final Grade: A-



3. Feast -- Told in the traditional vein of the classic B-movie cult horror gore fest, Feast is an entertaining, gratuitious adventure centered around a group of strangers who are stuck in a remote dive and are forced to fend off a group of bloodthirsty, gargoyle-like monsters who are hungry for human flesh. Gasps and laughs abound in this Project Greenlight release, thanks to the witty one-liners and liberal use of bodily fluids. Sometimes, though, the movie tends to wink at the audience a bit too much, and the dialogue is not as strong in comparison to similar films, such as the fantastic recent romp Slither. Also the editing is a bit too jerky in places to be effective. I would have sacrificed some of the juicier gory bits to have smoother action sequences. Still, Feast is more than worth the price of a rental, and it does a good job of feeding life into a genre that has withered a bit over the years.
Gouda's Final Grade: B