And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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I had one of those little plastic troll dolls. I recently trashed it in an effort to purge stuff from my childhood bedroom. The doll was short and naked and dirty and had wild hair shooting out of its scalp. Who knew that just a few months later, I’d be sorry I let it go? It could have been a collectors’ item! My hindsight (along with a twinge of nostalgia) was provoked by Dreamworks’ new animated movie, Trolls. It’s far from a classic-in-the-making, but it is entertaining, even if the premise is somewhat appalling (in a Hunger Games meets Shrek of way). The colors are bright, the music is infectious, the writing is witty, and it’s got a happy ending. Hot lunch! (inside joke)

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis is one of those indie films that you either love – or don’t. I wanted to. But I didn’t. Fans of folk music and the Coen Brothers will surely appreciate the film’s soundtrack and gritty portrayal of a week in the life of a young folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961. But others may find it kind of slow and depressing.

In Time

The “Occupiers” of Wall Street and throughout the world should take a massive field trip to see this movie. I have a feeling they’d like it – a lot.  It definitely delivers a timely and thought-provoking message in an intriguing and entertaining way.

Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits is basically a beach-read romance novel come to life on the big screen. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little summer heat. If the premise sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it is. Just seven months ago, Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher brought us No Strings Attached– a movie about a couple of old friends who agree to engage in a purely physical relationship. Friends with Benefits stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as two new friends who try to convince each other that their physical relationship is merely a fleeting bonus to their comfortable, otherwise platonic friendship. See the difference?

Bad Teacher

Cameron Diaz gets an A for an audacious performance in Bad Teacher. But overall, I give the movie a B. It amuses – you’ll chuckle throughout – but it doesn’t quite reach the level of grade A comedy.

The Social Network

When I saw the early blurbs about this movie, I was thinking it would be either a big yawn or a lot of youth culture that would make me feel really old. But The Social Network is neither of those things. It is a really involving, well-made drama based on the story of the creation of Facebook (or as it was originally called, The Facebook.)