November 2010 Archives
As the world mourns the loss of Undercovers on television (not really, nobody's mourning), others are getting ready to celebrate new undercover antics on the big screen. No, it's not the long-awaited sequel to 2002's Undercover Brother, although that would admittedly be awesome. No, it's the newest Miley Cyrus movie, So Undercover, in which she plays a "tough, street-smart private eye" who infiltrates a college sorority. First of all, OMG. Second of all, let's just break down why this is so fantastic.
Darth Vader. Ernst Blofeld. Voldemort. Great cinematic villains, all, and I wish Scooter Libby was joining them, if only for the hilarity of having a villain named "Scooter" ranked among the greatest of all time. Unfortunately, the man behind the chaos unleashed in Fair Game is barely seen, usually only walking into a room, asking some leading questions and smirking a lot. (Luckily, actor David Andrews gives great smirk.) Still, Libby sets in chain a series of events that leads to at least one CIA mission being compromised, and more than one person getting killed. But his worst crime? Putting strain on a marriage, if this movie is any indication.
After the hustle and bustle of Mumbai in Slumdog Millionaire, I wasn't sure if perhaps director Danny Boyle had gone too far in the other direction for his next movie. Hiker Aron Ralston's autobiography, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was about one guy with his arm stuck in between a boulder and a canyon wall in the middle of nowhere, and I wasn't sure how anyone could make that into something exciting and interesting. I shouldn't have worried, because Boyle's direction and Franco's quirky performance have combined to make one of the most engaging and, in fact, fun movies of Boyle's career, despite the occasional bleakness of the subject matter. Heck, there are even a couple of spots where you forget that the guy is going to survive the ordeal to write a book about it.
When I told someone that I'd seen Due Date, I was immediately asked, "Were all the funny parts in the trailer?" Which is tough for me to answer, because once I see them in the trailer, I usually don't find them funny in the movie. They're just there. So while there were certainly other jokes I remember laughing at, the parts that really stand out to me were the dramatic moments. Because while the movie is definitely a comedy, the two characters are both highly damaged individuals, and the comedy comes from how they're damaged in very different ways. If someone had told me that the guy who directed the goofy Road Trip would make another, much better road trip movie ten years later, I would have said I'd believe it when I saw it. Well, I saw it.
While I saw Megamind last weekend, I guarantee when this movie comes out on DVD six months from now, I'll be scratching my head trying to remember what the plot of it was. It reminds me of Monsters vs. Aliens in that way. Not a terrible movie, not particularly original, fine to watch for an hour and a half but totally unmemorable. In fact, I know that I'll start saying "Ho-lo" instead of "Hello" and not be able to remember at all where I heard that. I know it's going to drive me Google crazy in the future.
Regardless of whether you felt Zack Snyder's 300 was spectacular art or mindless drivel, or that his Watchmen was too faithful or not faithful enough, or whether you think he's a good choice to direct the next Superman movie, you have to admit you're intrigued by Sucker Punch. Sure, the latest trailer is chock-full of his overused slow-motion, but it's also packed with more geektastic imagery than any movie we've ever seen before, leading one man to call it Things The Internet Likes: The Movie, and numerous others to compare it to Inception due to its dream-state storyline. So is it actually Nerd Inception? Let's use what we've learned from the new trailer to take a closer look.
As far as titles go, "Fair Game" is pretty generic, and it's been used for a variety of films over the years, from a romantic comedy to an Australian movie about poaching to, most famously, the action-film debut of one Cindy Crawford, famous supermodel and terrible actress. The latest Fair Game is a political movie about the Valerie Plame affair, and while the name comes from Plame's own autobiography, we can't help thinking about Crawford and William Baldwin running away from explosions in tank-tops every time we hear it. One would think the new movie would suffer from sharing a name with a film that almost won three Razzies (fortunately, Showgirls also came out that year), but it might benefit from the association, because while the two films don't seem to have that much in common, this one looks like it could use a little bit of what the old movie had in spades: sex, violence and debatably witty banter. Let's see how the two stack up.
It's a Pixar-palooza! Also, a Gooniepocalypse. And possibly an Eastwoodaclysm. But definitely a Cher-nobyl.
The final Saw movie came out in theaters this past weekend, promising to end the franchise with a giant, 3D explosion of gore and limbs. Unfortunately, the movie ended not with a bang, but with a whimper from Jigsaw's various mutilated victims, as they had their skulls pierced with sawed-off section of pipe and had their appendages torn off by science. There was no real sense of resolution, as the character deaths that were required of the film all felt quick and anti-climactic, and the ending was disappointingly left open for another installment with a new Jigsaw at the helm. Not that I expected The Return of the King, but even getting Jaws IV would have been nice.