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Movie Reviews: How To Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter, The Social Network

December 5, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

”We’re Vikings. It’s an occupational hazard.”
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera
Director: Dean Deblois, Chris Sanders
Quick Thoughts: A solid, underdog-becomes-a-hero family film that might be a little bit overrated. It’s very good, but its current standing amongst the top 250 films of all-time is probably being a bit absurd.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Great Christmas present for kids and I wouldn’t be mad about owning this film either, but I’m not rushing out to buy it.
Sequel Potential: I just read a release from Dreamworks saying there are going to be at least two more movies in this franchise and maybe as many as eight. Yikes.
Oscar Potential: Toy Story 3, Tangled, and this movie should be battling it out for Best Animated Movie. Unlike TS3, however, I don’t see Dragons getting a Best Picture nom.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 7/10 (Must See)

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1 (2010)

”I must be the one to kill Harry Potter.”
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes
Director: David Yates
Quick Thoughts: There are pros and cons to breaking HP7 into two parts. It’s good because the source material will be valiantly represented and kids won’t have to sit through a four or five hour movie. It’s bad because the first film doesn’t work that well as a stand alone project. The first half of J.K. Rowling’s book finds Harry, Ron, and Hermione doing a lot of walking around and minimal action. Almost everything exciting in the last book is going to happen in the second part. It is a very faithful adaptation, however, and I’m sure when the two movies can be viewed back-to-back the first film won’t seem so incomplete and boring. HP&TDHP1 doesn’t suck; it’s a beautiful film and a solid build up for the next movie, it’s just a little underwhelming. However you want to put it, the finale–coming next summer–is going to be EPIC and second part should garner the Harry Potter franchise its first Best Picture nomination. I’m just guessing.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: I’d like to see it again before it leaves theaters and then I’m reading books 6 and 7 again before watching the finale.
Sequel Potential: Part 2 comes out July 2011… and for those that don’t know already, Rowling is toying with the idea of more Harry Potter books.
Oscar Potential: I don’t see HP getting any major nominations, but it should pick up some nods in some of the technical departments (art direction, costumes, score, etc.).
Nudity: We actually get dangerously close to seeing a topless Emma Watson. Crazy.
Grade: 7/10 (Must See)

The Social Network (2010)

”If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.”
Starring: Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Director: David Fincher
Quick Thoughts: A movie about the creation of a social networking website sounds dull as hell, but the great script from Aaron Sorkin, great performances from the surprisingly talented cast, and David Fincher’s usually solid direction makes this one of the best movies of 2010. Also, Andrew Garfield showed he has serious acting chops and should have everyone excited about the Spider-Man reboot.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: This movie was great the first time and I’ll definitely watch it again when it releases on DVD, but I’m guessing it’s replay value doesn’t extend much beyond that.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Should be a cinch for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations and my current favorite to win the Oscar the for the screenplay. This isn’t Fincher’s best directing job, but he always has an outside shot at an nomination. Jessie Eisenberg and maybe Andrew Garfield deserve mention as longshots for acting nominations.
Nudity: None.
Grade: 8/10 (Must See)

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