Movie Round-Up: March 27th, 2009

Hitting the theaters today are three films: 12 Rounds, The Haunting in Connecticut, and Monsters vs. Aliens.

12 Rounds:

I haven’t seen it yet, but I want to, which means I will likely rent it.  It seems like a decent action flick, but I’m just not sure its worth $10 a seat to see it on the big screen.  I will have to wait until I read a few reviews.

The Haunting in Connecticut:

Based on a true story.  I’m always a tad skeptical when I see that phrase associated with a film, because without a lot of leg work you never know how much is “true story” and how much is “based”.  But I like a good scary movie, so when the opportunity arose for me to see this one early, I took it.  There are two great things about this movie.  The first is that the build up of suspense is very well done.  A flash of ghost here, a noise there, with a dab of odd things over there.  Its done without getting right in your face, and is fairly creepy.  The second great thing is that they manage to tell the story without buckets of blood, tons of gore or any real kind of torture that has accompanied so many horror films over recent years.

I did have some problems with some of the characters in the film, and the sort of matter of fact coincidences that lead to all the right people being in all the right places.  The son with cancer just happens to meet a reverend in treatment who happens to know quite a bit about ghosts and hauntings and the psychic world.  But as long as I ignored that, it was a decent scary movie.

I’m not sure its worth $10, but its easily worth a matinee price if you enjoy movies about hauntings.

Monsters vs. Aliens:

Oh man.  When I saw the trailer for this, I knew I had to see it.  The trailer was pure unmitigated awesome.  Which is probably why I was a little disappointed with the movie as a whole.

Don’t get me wrong, still a good movie, but I expected it to be better.  The main problems I see for this film is that on one level it is clearly aiming for kids, but its got a few slow dramatic scenes and a number of older-skewed “inside jokes” that will sail right over their heads.  I’m almost 35, and I got every single inside joke and I thought they were hilarious, but someone ten or fifteen years younger or older might not get them.  Small children probably won’t get the Close Encounter or Beverly Hills Cop or a slew of other references.  As for the dramatic scenes… well, Pixar has proven that they are kings at giving you drama without stopping the action.  Sure, they slow down, but stuff is still going on, even while Mr. Incredible is explaining how he failed.  The Dreamworks people are still a bit clunky in this respect.  They want to have a serious or heartfelt moment between two characters and the entire movie grinds to a halt so we can see it.

Should you go see it?  Even with the problems I mentioned, I would.  But definately see it at a theater that is showing it in 3D.  You miss half of the awesome without 3D.  But even in 3D, if a few overly dramatic halts and inside jokes are going to spoil it for you, then you should pass on this one.

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