Monday, August 29, 2011

Short Reviews - August 2011

Paul Krugman: great economist, lousy movie buff. I mean, can anyone tell me what's wrong with that picture? Anyone at all...

And they say nothing happens in August. Why, all the stuff I've written in my file has already achieved adolescent obsolescence! Which is why even I must turn to the Bible in times like these. For me, the hidden lesson of Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden of Eden is not to avoid apples, or to blame girls for the evils of the world. Mostly, it's that man is a f... screw-up machine, capable of messing up even the most perfect situation. If Man were in a situation where all his earthly wants and desires are satiated for the rest of eternity, and all he had to do was not eat something he was told not to eat... eventually, he will get bored and do just that. No wonder God can't put up with it. And for me, the hidden lesson of the Ten Commandments finally hit me in this Internet-based era we live in... make lists. Lists of things. What's more Godly than that? The IMDb's got lots of lists now. Real nobodies can become a somebody if they make the right list. Unusual numbers of the usual topics often helps. For example, I saw a list of "242 of the most beautiful women on the planet"... something like that. Just remember: Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element said he only wanted one. And this, coming from Luc Besson! He knows the American market better than the Americans do. Mistresses have no place officially in American culture.

The Onion's also got lots of lists. There's 24 Great Films Too Painful to Watch Twice. For me, 1999's The Talented Mr. Ripley belongs on the list, but there's no brutal rape sequence in it, so I guess it stays in the obscure middle. And, for some, I'm sure seeing that gaping wound on Jude Law start to bleed is probably one of life's little pleasures. How many hits on YouTube did it get? There's also 13 Failed Attempts to Start a Film Franchise. Of course, a real failure like Brainscan, Shocker or Tank Girl doesn't make that kind of list. No, the kind of list those would be on is "13 Films Never to Mention in Polite Conversation, Unless One Wants to Be an Outcast For Life." Okay, arguably maybe not Tank Girl.

More important than any of this, of course, is staying on the bleeding edge of slang and shortened words. 'Documentary' is now "doco." Apparently "docu" just didn't trend well in focus group testing. And "doc" is still short for doctor... for now. That's sick. Again, I jotted this down at the beginning of the month, so the whole meme's probably extinct and in amber by now. A toast to the eventual monosyllabization of everything!

There's only one question in my mind, though: is Gina Gershon too old to play Amy Winehouse? I'll bet Gina doesn't think so!

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Well, it took Jim Carrey over 25 years, but he's finally gone from the duck factory to the penguin factory!

Fright Night - Colin Farrell will make a fine replacement for hunky Chris Sarandon

Honeymoon Academy - Some people have to recover plates for counterfeiting U.S. dollars.. wow! What a great plot. But where have I heard that before? OH RIGHT.....

The Garden of Eden - From the director of Raw Deal and Next of Kin... well, Irvin can't make stinkers all his life!

Waltz Across Texas - WILL NO ONE REVIEW WALTZ ACROSS TEXAS?!!! Maybe L. Ron Hubbard can, and it'd be nice if he liked it. I'm just saying...

World War Z - How could you, Brad? How could you?... Incidentally, what did you do, Brad? People are talking.

War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave - Somehow, I have a feeling the special effects aren't as good as Scary Movie 4. I saw this at the pawn shop on Blu-Ray and somehow I kept forgetting to include it here.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - I dare say I was wrong about my first impressions of this film! Coolest video game I've ever watched.

Blade Runner - Ridley Scott's directing a new Blade Runner sequel, reboot, whatever... slated for 2014. I guess that means it's set in the year 2051.

The Substitute: Failure is Not an Option - ... but I guess putting the Substitute series out of its bloody misery is, thank God!

Brooklyn Rules - Somehow, Alec Baldwin's set the bar very low for returned favours.

Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown - You know, everyone points to The Simpsons as great subversive entertainment, or Dr. Strangelove, or Jersey Shore... I don't know what the cutting edge of subversive entertainment is these days, but for fans of Peanuts, RFYLCB just might be it! Case in points. Exhibit A: the title alone. Exhibit B: the ending. As Charlie Brown gets ready to go home, standing next to the bus entrance, he muses on the lessons learned over 77 minutes... I mean, that fateful summer. Suddenly, the bus door closes and leaves without him. That's about as subversive as Charles Schulz gets, but it's a nice lesson for today's blockbusters that seem to spend way too much time telling the audience to make the most of the time they have left. GET ON THE DAMN BUS, ALREADY!!!!!! Exhibit C: But all is not quite so lost for good ol' Charlie Brown, as Snoopy pulls up in his Harley and takes his master home. They get lost in the avant gard mist of the ending credits, but still, Snoopy as a Hell's Angel. What's not to like?

The Boyfriend School - You'll always be "Don't Tell Her It's Me" to me... but I guess MGM knows what they're doing! Oh, right...

Drive - ...Angry?

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - It's exactly the kind of project an A-lister newbie like Bekmambetov would spearhead, so to speak

Season of the Witch - Nah, still vampires.

Colombiana - There's gotta be a way to combine this with Syriana. What would be the result? Colombosyra? Syricolomba? Anaiana?

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star - Welp, after Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star... what difference is another one going to make? Me myself, I'm just not ready for the Nick Swardson Experience to begin.

The Marc Pease Experience - Speaking of which... okay, all you hoity-toity critics hatin' on this movie. You made Dick cry. Happy? High Fidelity? Hel-LO?!!!

Brides Maids - Welp, they said it again. Brides Maids was the surprise summer hit... Judd Apatow was the producer. I'm not surprised.

The Rum Diary - Why does Johnny Depp like Dariusz Wolski so much? What... is Darius Khondji chopped liver?

Jurassic Park 1 - The reviews of the time say that the people are too broad, just archetypes... I dunno! Sam Neill seems to bring some eccentricity to the big dance. People are just so damn picky. I mean, it's not like Spielberg's just using the cast of Jersey Shore.....

On Golden Pond - Best movie about incontinence ever made

The Three Musketeers - Damn, this movie's getting more remade than Spider Man!

I, Alex Cross - This just in: Matthew Fox is in hot water... or is he? I think not. It's all about the coverage. For example:

BAD - Matthew Fox arrested for assaulting a woman
NOT SO BAD - Matthew Fox arrested for punching a woman bus driver in the chest and stomach after being denied entry onboard a private party bus.

Why, these days, in the post-Jersey Shore apocalypse, that's better than a signature! That bus driver lady can sell her chest and stomach on eBay, netting a small personal fortune. I mean, FOR GOD'S SAKE! A PRIVATE PARTY BUS!! Who wouldn't get more than mildly upset about being denied entrance into Paradise on Earth?

I wanna go to Coppola's retreat in Belize! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez? I'll just sit in the back, won't say a word... I'll just stake out a spot at the craft services table with my back to the action

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