"21" is exactly what it advertises itself as, an interesting presentation of a blackjack crew that made a large amount of money for a little while. The performances are good, and the story is fun, for the most part. The thought that kept popping into my head, though, was how much money stories like this MAKE for the casinos, because for every person who actually has what it takes to make money on blackjack (even when the casinos are loose about such things), there are a thousand others who try and fail; the house still always wins.
"Shutter" is the best ghost story I have seen in a LONG time; it actually makes sense. There is a reason for the ghost to exist, and the ghosts abilities tie in with its creation. The movie is interesting, scary, and generally well done. It says something that it is a PG13 horror film; the producers didn't think it needed sex or extreme violence to tell its story, and they were right.
"Stop-Loss" left me cold. I suspect that this film started out as a general condemnation of the war in Iraq, and at some point was toned down to something else. The finished product is a fairly shapeless tale of people who have allowed themselves to be torn apart by circumstances, with whatever message is intended barely whispered in the background.
"Superhero Movie" is just awful. I have had good luck with comedies lately, and took another change, and this time the odds caught up with me. The (rather extensive) credit cookies were MUCH better than the film as a whole; the one good laugh I got out of the film involved using a live cat and a half gallon of vodka to stuff a Thanksgiving turkey (which should tell you how desperate I was for a laugh).
"Nim's Island" probably works pretty well for eight-year-olds. Probably. The plot doesn't work very well for anyone more sophisticated than that. On the other hand, I am not sure how many eight-year-olds are going to appreciate agoraphobia as a plot point. It's not an unpleasant movie, it's just flat...
"Leatherheads" is an effort to capture the spirit of a Cary Grant/ Katherine Hepburn comedy. It mostly works, mostly. I can't even say just where it went wrong; on a point by point basis, the movie was very well done. It just didn't QUITE get to where it was going. Still, we enjoyed it. It was a bit disturbing to be the youngest people in the audience, though; something about the film brought in a decidedly geriatric crowd.
"Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" was just GREAT. It has been out since March 7, but has still not gone into general release, so we made a pilgrimage to and art house to see it. Such journeys are prone to disaster, but this one really paid off; the movie is well made and VERY funny. Amy Adams is better at being painfully stupid AND adorable than any other actress in history, I suspect...