Short Reviews: Land of the Lost, The Great Buck Howard, The Others

Land of the Lost | Brad Silberling, 2009


I understand why this movie got so many bad reviews, but I liked it. Yes, it does feel slow for a movie that is less than two hours, and yes, some of the scenes are rather horrible, but I found my self having fun, laughing at some of the lines and situations.

Will Ferrell is just doing his usual schtick; Danny McBride is pretty funny; and Anna Friel is lovely in a severely lacking role. The visual effects and set are intentionally cheesy, and I liked that. The movie captures the feeling of the original show, and just adds some modern humor to it. I had fun, and that was enough for me.

The Great Buck Howard | Sean McGinly, 2009


This movie was surprisingly engaging. After a rather stylish opening sequence, the movie slows down to tell us the story of The Great Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a mentalist who used to be a favorite of Johnny Carson’s but faded away after a while. Now he has been reduced to playing in small towns where his shows do rather great. The story is told through the eyes of Troy (Collin Hanks), a law school drop-out, aspiring writher, and Buck’s assistant.

John Malkovich gives one of my favorites performances of the year here. I just forgot that I was watching him and truly believed he was the character. Hanks holds his own against Malkovich, and Emily Blunt is good as Buck’s PR person. It was constantly funny, heartfelt, and good fun.

The Others | Alejandro Amenabar, 2001


I’ve already said that this is one of the best horror movies of the decade, but I finally had the chance of rewatching it and I loved it as much as I did the first time. Horror movies that rely on atmosphere rahter than gore are rare these days, so it was nice to travel a little bit back in time before J-horror remakes and torture porn began to take over.

Nicole Kidman gives her third-best performance here. She is controlled, and doesn’t over act, even whens she has the chance. The performances from the rest of the cast are also great and creepy. Then there’s the ending. I already knew the twist, but I still could not help but be surprised at how it is revealed. One of the best movies of the decade.

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