Thursday, March 15, 2012

4 Horn Review for A Thousand Words - PLEASE READ ON -- Plus Wanderlust, The Lorax, Silent House

The past few weeks have been tough.  I have been experiencing some medical issues that have really kept me from the keyboard.  I can't even apologize for my absence, because it truly has been that rough a go.  

The upside is that with everything going on, I have been able to see some flicks...some posts I open by saying I am going to be short, and write all night.  This time, I am going to be short, really.

Wanderlust: 4 of 5 Horns -- A really funny movie that is both a great statement on what is important in life while also being quite hilarious.  Plus, this is movie that gave us Justifer Anitheroux.... :-)  Tony, that one's for you.  Justin Theroux was spectacular as the guru.  Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston had great chemistry and Rudd was in great form, with some great outtakes included during the credits.  And the supporting cast was phenomenal, Alan Alda included.  Check this out for a fun, R-rated run through the theater.

Silent House: 3 of 5 Horns -- This movie had me at hello.  A film shot to emulate a single take from start to finish, and it worked.  It worked great.  Elizabeth Olsen continued channeling the talent she exuded in Martha Marcy May Marlene and for my money, she is by far my favorite Olsen, my childhood love of Full House excluded.  I really thought as a home invasion film, things were working very nicely.  It was set up perfectly and it could have finished just as solid.  But the train came off the rails a bit, and without spoiling it, I can just tell you that this film will not take you where you think it will.  I will say that a girl in my theater started crying at one point she was so afraid, there were a variety of scream out loud moments, and that there were many groans heard from throughout the theater when the film made its reveal.  

The Lorax: 4.5 of 5 Horns -- Yes, it is a movie with a message, but what is wrong with that, I ask?  This movie is well made with great 3-D and animation.  The story runs perfectly from beginning to end and it is appropriate for all ages.  It has cleared $129 million in 12 days domestically, which ain't too shabby.  The story is sweet and true and timely, and for a Dr. Suess adaptation, I think it may be the best of them yet.

A Thousand Words: 4 of 5 Horns -- This film sits at the hallowed spot of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Yes, you read that correctly....0%.  This is a shining example of when we as film goers have to look past the critical bullshit and think about what really makes a good movie.

Eddie Murphy has a stigma that he will likely carry with him for the rest of his life.  He has Sherman Klump and Norbit to thank for that.  Meet Dave and Pluto Nash didn't help.  But he also has James "Thunder" Early and most of what he did before 1990 as proof that he has true talent and is a stupendously funny man.  And for the record, I can watch Pluto Nash anytime day or night and be a happy man...check it out again and give it another chance.

Well A Thousand Words is a high-concept film, that much is certain.  A fast-talking literary agent (Murphy) tries to woo a spiritual guru as a client, and in the process, the universe sets its sights on him.  He becomes spiritually linked to a tree, and when he speaks, a leaf falls from the tree.  The characters guess at the endgame that when all the leaves drop off, the tree will die, and so will Murphy's Jack McCall.

Forget that Murphy is actually funny from start to finish in this film.  Forget that the talented Clark Duke is also hilarious from start to finish with loads of screen time as MCCall's assistant Aaron.  Cliff Curtis is great as the guru Sinja and Kerry Washington is both gorgeous and accurate in her portrayal of a frustrated wife.

Why is this film hated by the critics?  It is at 60% "liked" by the users on Rotten Tomatoes and while not great, it is at 4.7 on IMDB.

This film tells the story of a man who takes everything for granted and has the only tool he thinks he has in this world taken from him, his power of slick speech.

He has to overcome problems with his family, his mother, his job, and most importantly, himself.

Things get silly at times, as he is relegated to charades to communicate to keep that tree leafy.  Most entertaining are his interactions with 30 Rocks Jack Brayer as a Starbucks employee.  

Eddie Murphy silliness is a good thing in small doses, and for the length of this film, it is a manageable amount here.  Don't forgo this film because of the critics, give it a chance.

I feel that as a character, we grow with Jack McCall and I like the journey on which we are taken.

Yes, I have some weighty things happening in my life right now, so maybe it touched me a little deeper than your average joe, but this is no 0% film.

Please...give this movie a chance.  You will not regret it!  Go in with an open mind...stay the course!

(I hope.)

Until later, take care gang...
Reel Rhino


  1. Just saw The Lorax this past weekend with my nieces and I can't agree more with your review. All ages will enjoy and be entertained by a wonderful story that delivers a poignant message in the world of Dr. Seuss.

  2. If there is one silver lining in all this, Increased Movie Time is definitely shining brightly through the clouds.

    How about some reviews of oldies but goodies? Time to fire up the Netflix Queue!

    Take care and be well.