Bee Movie (2007)


Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them. (IMDb)
There’s good animation (the flying sequences are especially impressive) and voice-work (Rock, Warburton, and Goodman’s distinct tones entertain) throughout, but the story is an inconsistent mess, moving from a classic leaving-the-nest plot to courtroom drama to saving-the-world action, with the far-fetched bee-human interaction shifting from excusably funny (see Barry’s battles with Ken and lawyer Layton) to inexcusably ridiculous (see the instant death and life of the plants in the final act).
6/10 (Mediocre)

Jerry Maguire (1996)


When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him. (IMDb)
An atypical, roller-coaster-like plot trajectory gives this film a vibrantly distinct disposition (see Maguire’s moral transformation only 10 minutes in and the vacillating and volatile romantic side-story that remains so after marriage) that’s underscored further by its zany humour, engaging sports-business drama, and the fascinating oscillating nature of the lead character, and compromised only slightly by the happy ending. The film’s pace is a little quick, but it’s better than too slow.
8/10 (Great)

White Oleander (2002)


A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion. (IMDb)
Stellar acting and an ample serving of interesting characters sets this film up for success, with Pfieffer’s terrifyingly headstrong Ingrid and her wandering adolescent daughter Astrid (Lohman) at the forefront. Intense dialogue, poetic voiceover narration, and artistic visual montages showcase Astrid’s tragic journeys to and from three foster homes and visiting her mother in jail. You’re left wanting more from each compelling but brief chapter, but the drama remains delicious if not filling.
8/10 (Great)


Me, Myself & Irene (2000)

A nice-guy cop with dissociative identity disorder must protect a woman on the run from a corrupt ex-boyfriend and his associates. (IMDb)
The film starts off shaky; pointless narration overlays contrived risque humour that’s more discomforting than funny and you’re left waiting for the story to begin. Eventually it finds its groove as a decent road trip/crime comedy, with Carrey’s excellent turn as the two-person Charlie (one scene in which his two personalities are fighting is particularly brilliant), whose gangsta genius sons also provide lots of laughs. It’s the unique characters that spice up a mediocre plot in this film.
6.5/10 (Alright)