SerendipityI didn't expect much from this, but I thought I should give John Cusack a chance. And hey, he has a few funny lines, apparently all of them that he improvised. The cheese factor here was too high; given the premise, I didn't mind all the coincidences, but it didn't feel like they really did much with the story, and the characters didn't interest me all that much. 2 out of 5 shading higher.
Swimming with SharksUnconvincing and implausible. The final resolution is totally inconsistent; the emphasis on "what do you really want" and the conclusion of what he really wanted is too subtle compared to the things he'd said he'd wanted all along, but more importantly, the final resolving action is totally unmotivated: while we can perhaps just BARELY buy that the character came to the conclusion that the very final final outcome is what he wanted, there is absolutely no reason for him to believe that taking the action he did would lead to that outcome. Kevin Spacey did not impress me at all. 2 out of 5.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilAnd here, Cusack and Spacey team up. It was ok, but it was burdened too much by being based in reality. The voodoo mama character was such a cliche--I don't care if it was TRUE, it's a cliche, that makes it less interesting. But there was some nice character work by Spacey. 3 out of 5
Sleepless in SeattleKind of disturbing seeing this after Serendipity, although obvious the ripoff went in the other direction. Not really my kind of movie, especially since it turned out to be a 'kid brings them together' movie which I consider ultra-cheesy. But there were some fun bits. 3 out of 5.
Star 80I really didn't like this "documentary-style" thing. Having actors recreate characters giving interviews just totally sucks. That sort of thing should be reserved for non-true stories. Also, it's an incredibly dull, lame story; there's not enough meat on the bones here. 2 out of 5.
Mighty AphroditeOk, Woody Allen is pretty damn funny. The story was fairly weak, but there were some great one-liners and responses, and the greek chorus gag was giggle-worthy (reminded me of They Might Be Giant's "O Do Not Forsake Me"), and used in pretty much just the right balance to maintain that giggleworthiness. Wow is Woody way too old to be playing parts like this. 4 out of 5
The Princess and the WarriorI accidentally saw this before seeing Run, Lola, Run. I thought the characters were great and really well-acted. The story wasn't awesome but wasn't bad in any way. 4 out of 5.
Dead AgainGood acting from the leads, although the characters didn't have much to them. The screenplay was deliciously tight; reincarnation is totally silly, and I had a little problem accepting it--I would find myself occasionally being pushed out of the story due to my disbelief. As a result, a couple times when characters behaved oddly I just wrote it off as that same disbelief, so when the two big twists came, I had scene clues to both but hadn't figured either out. It also didn't take itself too seriously--both nice doses of humor, and just a general sense that it was aware it was over the top. 4 out of 5
Ghost Dog: The Way of the SamuraiI'd heard a lot of positive stuff about this but it's all so stylish and full of nothing happening but someone driving looking out the window soaking up the sights of the city and... so? The killings aren't even really action scenes--go in and shoot somebody, the end--so there isn't even a real bang to the moments that advance the story. Supposedly character-driven but it's a one-note character. There's one funny bit: the two best friends who can't understand each other's language, but they keep saying the same thing--but it's overused by about 400%. 3 out of 5 shading lower.