Movie Review: Juno

21 01 2009

juno-poster2-big1So last night, our TiVo presented us with the darling of the film world, Juno. About half way through this movie, I felt compelled to write something about how it made me feel. Let me start by saying that I don’t get what all the buzz was about. While Juno was technically a well shot movie, the writing was horrific and that just ruined it all.

First, the dialog between the teen characters was the most annoying thing I’d ever heard in my life. First, I don’t believe that teens talk that way today. Secondly, I felt like the movie was trying so hard to be hip and cool that none of the characters had conversations that amounted to anything.

The characters in the movie were horrific. Between the teenagers who seemed incredibly smart and dumb at the same time and the portrayal of Gen-X adults as shallow and borderline pedophilic, I found myself repulsed by nearly all of the paper-thin characters. The only actor who seemed to rise above the limited writing was J.K. Simmons.

The thing that disturbed me greatly, wasn’t how the movie depicted teen pregnancy, it was that there wasn’t a real emotion or situation in the entire script. Diablo Cody has written a screenplay that, while cutesy and cheeky, has none of the truth or real emotion she seems to think it contains. It also contains an incredibly weak portrayal of pregnancy. As my wife pointed out, some of the facts presented were just wrong.

I have no idea why critics loved this movie. The performances were fine, but the source material was really limited. The quick fire, “witty” dialog attempts to hide the sins of the plot and characterization.

To top it off, the music in this movie was the worst I’ve ever heard. It seems like it’s a collection of the worst played indie rock from the last five years.

I’d avoid this movie. Just read some of the other reviews here.

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Oscars and the State of Movies

13 02 2008

I’ve been hearing a lot of people say they’re not excited by this year’s Oscars. Even yellow journalists CNN have jumped on the bandwagon. The problem is that apparently people aren’t interested in No Country for Old Men or There Will be Blood. They’re both too bloody, too violent, too bleak, too serious, etc. I think if there is a problem it’s with the movie going public. Too many movies of late seem to be throw away fillers. It’s like the studios think, we have to put something on the screen just to keep seats filled. Let’s see, this year we’ve had box office poison such as One Missed Call, Fool’s Gold, Jumper, 27 Dresses, Welcome Home Roscoe Jennings… Not one of them is worthy of being remembered in 2009 let alone winning anything. Personally, I’m very excited that two movies I thought were fantastic are up for best picture. I’m even more excited that I don’t know who I want to win!

There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men make the audience think and feel. What’s wrong with that? These are two films that will hold up with the passage of time, that are worthy of watching over and over again. Isn’t it time that we, as the movie going public, start to demand quality on a consistent basis? Movies don’t need to be dumbed down. It seems like Juno or Little Miss Sunshine or even Superbad are movies worth making. We don’t need more vapid, mindless crap. We don’t need Definitely, Maybe or 27 Dresses. And we don’t need to start dumbing down the movies nominated for the Oscars just because Baby Boomers and their Gen Y kids don’t like them.