Review round-up: October 2012

Movie overload again. Here’s another round of reviews of everything I’ve seen since Sept. 5 that hasn’t already been covered on the site or College Movie Review.

Trouble with the Curve
(B) – Theater
The script is weaker than Josh Hamilton’s batting average in July, but the too-good-for-this cast makes it shine. Clint Eastwood is just doing his old man schtick, but Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman are all terrific.

The Campaign
(B+) – Theater
Though I wish the satire was just a little sharper, there’s plenty of good, raunchy fun to be had at the expense of campaign season. Pairing Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell was a can’t-miss proposition. Here’s to a fruitful, hilarious partnership.

The Master
(A) – Theater
Easily one of the more divisive movies of the year, and I can totally understand why many people walked out or hated this one. It’s difficult to love and hard to comprehend, but features three of the best performances you’ll see all year. On top of that, The Master features breathtaking cinematography and glorious music.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
(A-) – Theater
Eff Twilight. This is the angsty teen movie the younger crowd should be flocking to see. Filled with genuine emotion and stellar performances from its young cast, it treats depression with the amount of care it needs while studying the families we make when our own doesn’t fulfill all our needs.

Taken 2
(C) – Screening
It’s not terrible—though a scene that blatantly ripped off Drive made my blood boil—but typical of Hollywood laziness. This is the exact same movie as the first Taken, just in a new locale. It’s the biggest swindle since The Hangover, Part II.

Pitch Perfect
(B+) – Theater
Easily the most pleasant surprise of 2012, this musical comedy was a hoot from beginning to end. Think of it as Glee, if it was funnier, didn’t take itself seriously and was actually good. Rebel Wilson completely steals the show and will hopefully receive as much attention as Melissa McCarthy did last year for Bridesmaids.

(A) – Theater
Ladies and gentlemen, your Oscar front-runner. Ben Affleck has outdone himself, crafting an intense but often hilarious movie, that’s half historical drama, half Hollywood satire. The cast is uniformly excellent and could easily sweep the Academy Awards and with good reason. It’s already near the top of my year-end list.

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