Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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a couple more quick ones

Posted by martinteller on December 30, 2014

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is pretty heavy except for all the teenage romance stuff, which I actually felt was a welcome bit of levity this time around.  Although I feel the story is plenty engaging, it is kind of a bummer of a film compared to previous entries.  It doesn’t help that cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie, Inside Llewyn Davis) shot the movie so goddamn dark.  The palette is overwhelmingly dingy, loaded with murky grays and browns.  Sometimes it helps a sudden colorful image pop that much more, but sometimes you’re straining just to make out what’s going on.  Overall the movie doesn’t excel in any area, but it’s a solid entry in the series.  Rating: Very Good (84)

I’ve been hoping for one last excellent discovery this year, and I got one.  My lady picked out Tommy Boy for the evening’s entertainment, and it was surprisingly great.  It proves that “good dumb fun” can be dumb without being stupid.  There are very few truly idiotic jokes in the whole thing, and even a usually painful gag like the “takin’ it in the nuts” routine lands beautifully.  The script takes a simple premise and keeps it away from clichéd territory by just having fun with these characters.  It steers away from lazy archetypes… Tommy isn’t just a bumbling boob and Richard isn’t just an uptight sarcasm generator.  The film doesn’t need to box these guys into narrow roles, it can build instead on the always enjoyable and very genuine chemistry between Chris Farley and David Spade.  And even secondary characters like Brian Dennehy’s father figure or Rob Lowe’s scheming villain or Julie Warner’s love interest are done in ways that feel fresh.  I haven’t had laughs this good — and this honestly earned — in a while.  Really a treat.  Rating: Very Good (87)

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4 Responses to “a couple more quick ones”

  1. Wendell said

    Strangely, I’ve never seen a Harry Potter flick. Most of what I hear about them is good. I’m just going to have to binge watch them at some point.

  2. Dan Heaton said

    Martin, you’re definitely right about the dark look of the Half-Blood Prince. I’ve only seen it once, but that’s the part that really sticks with me about it. I need to re-watch a lot of the HP films, especially the last three. Tommy Boy is surprisingly fun for such a dumb movie!

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