1. Movies I watched, mid-May, 2012:

    1. **”Dark Shadows" 6/10 [I’m always good for a Burton-Depp monster mash, but what should’ve came so naturally easy for Burton became a struggle over tone and proper plotting. Depp doesn’t disappoint, nor does the rest of the cast. Just the uneven tone and lack of momentum. Also, the clever moments are pretty clever.]
    2. The Devil’s Advocate" 8/10 [I was perfectly enthralled in this film (despite Keanu Reeves’s poor performance)…then the Devil had to monologue and preach to the audience for a minute. That deflated the momentum. That made itself far too known. Prior to that, it was a fun morality play with heavy consequences, with perfect pacing to wring out every drop of development. Also, best interpretation of the Devil I’ve seen onscreen thus far.]
    3. Tower Heist" 7.5/10 [Everybody knows I hate Brett Ratner’s guts more than most directors in Hollywood. He’s caddy, shallow, and his films are equally as generic. This film had a great cast, some laughs and decent pacing. That’s the only reason it’s perfectly passive as afternoon entertainment. Also Eddie Murphy, triumphant.]
    4. The Darkest Hour" 5/10 [If the characters had been a bit more fleshed out, and the action beats made closer together (trimming down the runtime), I think this could’ve been a bit more than generic. But it’s average, obvious, typical, with a few creative flairs that were the reason this film was probably successfully sold to a studio.]
    5. **”The Dictator" 6/10 [Sacha Baron Cohen is king of modern character-based comedy. He emerges effortlessly into his characters, a feat that is just diverting enough to save a film that’s only half-baked. This film should’ve been smarter (knowing Larry Charles and Cohen, of "Borat" and "Bruno" collaboratively). Also, though it had its great, awesome moments, the structure is all too similar to the prior collaborative efforts. We know you guys are smarter than this.]