Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The basic conceit behind "Chloe" isn't all that original.  Catherine (Julianne Moore) thinks that her husband David (Liam Neeson) is cheating on her.  She has reason to think this after David blows off a flight from New York back to Toronto for his surprise birthday party and the next morning Catherine sees a message on his phone from an attractive young student signed "XXOO" which of course means hugs and kisses.  Instead of just confronting him about the phone message, Catherine decides to set a trap for David and catch him in the act.  She meets a prostitute named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) in the bathroom of a hotel and sees her later on the street.  Eventually she hires Chloe to seduce David and thus get the goods on him.  This concept is so shopworn that it was used last year in the Mike Judge comedy "Extract."

If that's where the movie had stayed it probably would have been pretty dull.  Instead, Catherine gets a lot more than she bargained for in Chloe.  As Chloe tells her about the various things she's doing with David, Catherine finds herself getting turned on and maybe wanting Chloe to do a few of these things to her as well.  And Chloe is more than willing to do this.  So the story becomes about this bizarre relationship between Catherine, Chloe, and Chloe's family.

There's of course a surprise twist at the end that changes everything.  I won't ruin that.  I thought overall this was a very taut thriller and I couldn't exactly see what was coming before it happened, which is always a good thing for a suspense movie.  And to put on my sexist male hat for a moment, it has one of the hottest girl-on-girl scenes in a non-porn movie since "Mulholland Drive."  (Yeah, really, crucify me for enjoying that.)

Overall, a riveting story with great actors and some steamy love scenes.  If you're an adult, what's not to like?  (And the band Chloe mentions, Raised by Swans, is good too.  I actually bought an album off Amazon and liked it.  So there you go.)

That is all.

My score:  75/100 (3 stars)
Metacritic score:  48/100 (2 stars)


When you think of Ben Stiller, you think of slapstick comedies like "Meet the Parents," "Tropic Thunder," and "Zoolander."  This probably explains why there are so many negative reviews on Blockbuster's website complaining that his latest film "Greenberg" is too slow and boring.  So it's important to say that while this is a comedy and it stars Ben Stiller, it isn't a Ben Stiller comedy.

Rather, "Greenberg" is far more for grown ups than "Grown Ups."  The movie centers around Roger Greenberg (Stiller) who's recently been released from a mental hospital after a nervous breakdown brought on by anxiety.  His brother is taking his family on vacation in Vietnam for six weeks and asks Roger to look after the house.  He's not alone in this as there's also his brother's assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig) who is also an aspiring singer.

It doesn't take long for Roger and Florence to hook up, but Roger quickly sabotages the relationship as he's pretty much sabotaged every relationship in his life.  And that's really the whole point of the movie.  Here we have a 41-year-old guy who's alienated most everyone in his life due to his own neuroses and probably a fear of intimacy.  Can he finally get his [stuff] together to make things work with Florence?  We shall see.

Or at least some people will see.  Those who are expecting cheap and easy laughs like "Meet the Parents" probably shouldn't see this.  If you're an adult who likes quirky comedies like "Punch Drunk Love," where Adam Sandler similarly toned down the hamboneness, then you'll probably enjoy this.

That is all.

My score:  85/100 (3.5 stars)

Metacritic score:  76/100 (3 stars)