For the sake of his damsel, every guy worth his salt must endure the “chick flick” (not to be confused with Chick tracts!) every once in a while. My most recent test of endurance involved the Nicholas Sparks tear jerker, The Notebook. Although my tears remained in their ducts, I found the film surprisingly enjoyable, considering the genre. James Garner’s easygoing way of speaking has always captivated me, and without his performance the movie would have languished in the realm of sub-mediocrity. A laid-back pace and a splendid Southern feel make The Notebook a very watchable chick flick. My rating: 5.5 out of 10.
It seems like every other film these days has to contain at least one sociopath. It just wouldn’t be realistic without the “heartless villian who kills without remorse” on the scene, now would it? Well, reality or not, Tom Cruise does an excellent job of playing a philosophic (and quite humorous at times) sociopathic assassin in Collateral. Interestingly, Jamie Foxx’s character undergoes a metamorphasis in the film due to what he learns from Cruise’s assassin. Moral of the story: the best teachers in life are often killers. My rating: 6 out of 10.
In the wasted time category is Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy. Two-and-a-half hours of my life I’ll never get back. I could have done my taxes, washed the car, or watched the paint continue to chip away from our ceiling. All would have been more engaging. While the film is visually stunning and features a number of capable actors, Troy suffers from the one factor that can ruin all others: poor dialogue. The characters in this movie speak to each other like cave men, and all the acting seems bathed in over-the-top artificiality. Completely devoid of comic relief, Troy’s Trojan-horse surprise is that you are robbed of valuable time. My rating: 3 out of 10.