Thursday, September 10, 2009

Movie Reviews: State of Play, Star Trek, New in Town

Star Trek 5/5 stars

Star Trek New Kirk & Spock
Star Trek was probably the best movie I've seen this year. I'm not a Trekkie, in fact I knew nothing about it other than that it was the future and it was in space. For me, it was awesome, a total crowd pleaser. Great plot, great acting, funny and dramatic at once. I thoroughly enjoyed it and totally want to own it! I thought the worst part was the main character, who was too much the young hot star and not a brilliant actor. However, he was survivable, and the rest of the movie was great.

State of Play: 4/5 stars

Totally Rad Show - Episode 109 - Uber Gubious - State of Play, Crank: High Voltage, Demigod, The Unusuals, Southland
You know, I haven't heard much buzz about State of Play even though it's Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, and Rachel McAdams. I thought it was excellent. It's a mystery - Affleck plays a congressman whose research assistant dies. Affleck's old college roomate and seasoned investigative journalist is Crowe, who get tangled up in investigating the death. It's a good mystery with great twists and turns. Russell Crowe is of course fantastic. Affleck plays exactly the character he should play to not distract - a smarmy clean-cut guy. Mirren and McAdamas are great in their supporting rolls. It was a good movie - I totally recommend it.

New In Town 3.5/5 stars (ALMOST four stars)

New In Town (Widescreen Edition) starring Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr.
I like a good chick flick, but most chick flicks aren't good. I watched this one alone so as to avoid inflicting a potentially bad chick flick on my husband and roomates. You know, it wasn't bad, and I would say it is mostly a comedy with a little chick flick thrown in. I actually enjoyed it. It's Renee Zellwegger playing a career businesswoman who is sent to a company factory in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota. She is charged with overhauling the factory and making major layoffs. Of course, the little town of New Ulm is rather set against the corporate bigshots and any changes they may want to make. What made this movie enjoyable was the hilariously quirky town of New Ulm, with fantastically cliche residents and their awesome Fargo-like accent. I laughed repeatedly and thought it was clever and not overly cheesy. Of course there is a romance developed between Zellwegger and the town's young widow, played by Harry Connick Jr, but it doesn't play too central of a part. Light movie watching, but enjoyable.

The Tudors
Isaac and I are watching the second season of the Tudors, which is a tv series based on Henry VIII. It's actually very very well made, historically accurate, well-acted, and interesting. There is a caveat though. To me, it's very similar to how I feel about the series Rome, which is also a fantastically made and historically accurate show. Rome, however, is maybe TOO historically accurate. The show is SO sexually explicit/trashy. Yes, it's true that ancient Rome really was pretty crazy sexually even compared to today. Still... I really don't want to see it. Similarly, yes, Henry VIII was obviously pretty trashy himself, but again, we don't want to see it, and I think the show goes beyond realism and into things that I think are straight up innapropriate.
So... it's such a shame because both shows are excellent and really educational in history.... and rather difficult to watch at times. Too bad.


  1. Thanks for sharing your reviews! My friend is having a "chick flick night" at her house tonight, and we're watching... you guessed it... "New in Town"! I'm looking forward to seeing it!

  2. Love Star Trek (I AM a trekky). I don't remember hardly anything about State of Play, and I saw it this year, so I obviously didn't like it that much, haha.

    The Tudors. Didn't grab me. It was as if I was supposed to be drawn in by the sexiness of the characters, and that's it. They totally left the drama by the wayside. I couldn't get past the first three episodes. However, I ADORE Rome. I think my problem with the Tudors might be I'm not as interested in the era. So I won't fault it about it not being suspenseful or interesting enough since I might be the problem. The only movie I've ever liked from that era is Elizabeth.

  3. Yeah, you know what's most interesting about the Tudors for us is the development of humanist thought and then the English reformation that came about under Henry's divorce. Seeing that wound into the drama is interesting.

    We also LOVE Elizabeth, though. And Isaac loves everything from that time period mostly because he grew up there seeing the places and so it feels very present to him.

    But yeah. Rome = awesome.

  4. I wrote about this on my blog, but maybe it was before you were reading. You must watch the BBC's State of Play miniseries (that the movie is based on). (Unfortunately now you know who did it!) The mini is phenomenal and one of my favorite things I've ever seen on TV--I think you would love it. It's 5-6 hours long and very British, of course.