Modern movies in August

2 Guns (2013) – Marky Mark and Denzel Washington sharing the screen — there was no way I was going to get out of seeing this one with my dad! I’m convinced he’s Mark Wahlberg’s biggest fan. As for the film, I had fun watching it. The banter between Wahlberg and Washington is pretty great, and the plot has a few true surprises, though I did feel that it was at times trying too hard to be a twisty-turny thriller. The score: 3.5/5

Beautiful Girls (1996) – Decent ensemble dramedy. Natalie Portman and Michael Rapaport give stand-out performances. The score: 3.5/5

The Nanny Diaries (2007) – I enjoyed this more than I expected to. I had previously read and not enjoyed the book (or any other books by the same authors), so my expectations were low. The ending is kind of corny but on a brighter note, the performances are generally enjoyable. The score: 3/5

The Good Girl (2002) – This was actually a re-watch but only a second viewing so I’m including it here. I first saw the film years ago and don’t remember enjoying it much. I’m irrationally annoyed by Jennifer Aniston in 98% of her non-Friends projects, but this was part of the massive DVD collection absorption that my dad gave me in July so I decided to give it another go. I still wasn’t impressed by Aniston — she obnoxiously drifts in and out of a faux Southern accent and is kind of difficult to buy in her role. But the script is a lot wittier AND more dramatic than I remembered, and the film as a whole is more engrossing. The score: 3.5/5

My Amityville Horror (2012) – This is a documentary exploring the recollections of Daniel Lutz about his time in the infamous Amityville house, his relationship with his step-father and his struggles as a result of the release of more than one film about his family’s experience. It’s incredibly fascinating to watch, and Lorraine Warren (who investigated the home) makes an appearance! Must-see for anyone who is interested in the Lutz story or has seen the Amityville films. The score: 4.5/5

Tiptoes (2003) – I picked this up on DVD a few months ago for $2.99 at my local Goodwill. I will admit, the cover — which features Patricia Arquette in corn rows, 2003 Matthew McConaughey being 2003 Matthew McConaughey (this was in his “rom-com leading man” phase), Kate Beckinsale with an enormous early-Millennium hairdo… and Gary Oldman. It looked incredibly strange and piqued my curiosity despite the fact that I couldn’t read any of the synopsis due to the unfortunate placement of a large sticker. It turns out that Oldman’s character is a man with dwarfism. He’s got an average-sized brother named Steve (McConaughey). When Steve’s girlfriend (Beckinsale) gets knocked up, the couple worries that their child will inherit the gene that caused his brother’s dwarfism. So it isn’t quite as strange as the cover makes it look… but it’s an interesting watch with a solid cast, which along with the performers listed above also includes Peter Dinklage. The score: 3/5

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