Here are my capsule takes on a few recent flicks I've seen:
Babel: This was like Crash around the world but more nuanced and without artificial hit-you-over-the-head preachiness. The acting was impressive, although I found the Japanese storyline rather odd. Unlike Crash, this movie didn't suck. Deserves its accolades and nominations.
Blood Diamond: Great action. Surprisingly, Leonardo DiCaprio's accent was not annoying. No filler, until the nice overly tidy end -- should've ended about 10-15 minutes earlier, but I enjoyed this nonetheless. Worth your time.
Bobby: Just terrible. Terrible! I saw it at a free screening, so I didn't feel like I'd wasted money, but I did feel like I lost precious time from my life. It had such a promising ensemble cast, but the film totally failed for some reason. Freddy Rodriguez was a beacon of goodness in a sea of mediocrity.
The Departed: Excellent, excellent, excellent entertainment. Easily the most exciting movie I've seen this year thus far. If you want an action-packed few hours, this is the movie for you. Everybody was so good -- DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, and Wahlberg! Love Marky Mark's character.
Fast Food Nation: Interesting adaptation of the non-fiction best seller, which I read back in 2001. Don't waste your time or money in the theatre, though. Just wait for the DVD.
Flags of Our Fathers: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I'm not kidding. I literally fell asleep in the theatre. Sad, I know. It was boring, contrived, and stupid. Sorry, Clint.
The Good Shepherd: Long. Very long. But well done. However, if you're not ready to sit and think and watch a slow methodical film, don't do it. Matt Damon was fantastic, but Angelina Jolie was sorely miscast.
Letters From Iwo Jima: Superb war film. It didn't feel like an American film at all. Subtle, well shot, good characters. It's pretty amazing. Go see it. This makes up for Flags of Our Fathers, Clint. Thanks.
Little Miss Sunshine: Cute and sunny, yet simultaneously dark. Reminds me how creepy the world of Jon-Benet Ramsey was. If you like indie, you'll love it. Fantastic cast.
Stranger Than Fiction: Nice matinee choice. Good acting by Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson. Fun concept.
I'm hoping to see Dreamgirls, Little Children, Notes on a Scandal, The Queen, and Volver soon...maaaaybe The Pursuit of Happyness if I'm feeling schmaltzy and maaaaybe Apocalypto if I'm feeling like slogging through several hours of Mel Gibson's craziness.
As an aside, lest you think I live at the movie theatres, I watched a few of these with my little brother on screener's copies. Ah, the perks of having a relative in a Guild.