Being a newish dad, I don't watch the sheer amount of movies I did when I was younger. So I either make sure most of what I see is award-worthy or at the other end of the spectrum and completely brain-dead fun.
Apparently, I'm not missing much out of Hollywood these days. And unfortunately, I only hit the mark of my requirements for three of the movies I watched on a recent really long flight.
Pathetically, the film that met those requirements was Bad Teacher. And when that is the pick of your film marathon, it inspires a big "oh boy."
It's a Shame About Mary level of hilarity, Jason Segal (see The Muppets and Forgetting Sarah Marshall) seems to be can't-miss these days, and Justin Timberlake was sufficient. Perhaps I was delirious towards the end of said long flight, but it seemed to actually be a pretty decent statement on the quality of many of our schools and some of the superficialities of our society in general.
Where the allure of the latest film version of the classic novel Jane Eyre lies, I don't know. I just didn't get the boring BBC production of this one. I think the main problem was that leads Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender had no dramatic range whatsoever, despite the next-big-thing status of each. This is one of the few movies I've seen lately that was almost routinely adored by critics but shrugged off by me.
But the movie I was really disappointed by was Super 8. It seemed like this would be Stand By Me-like, with a bunch of unproven kids steering a Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams (of Lost) production. It starts promisingly, and then a massive train explosion that the group witnesses seems like it will take the story in interesting directions. But then it dragged so slowly towards a completely forgettable conclusion that badly wanted to be E.T. but was more like a SyFy Channel show that gets cancelled after the pilot. I can't begin to understand what Hollywood was thinking with Super 8.
Bad Teacher: *** out of ***** stars
Jane Eyre: ** out of ***** stars
Super 8: *1/2 out of ***** stars