Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why I Am A Zombie, and 5 Movie Reviews

What have I been doing with my spare time lately? Watching more and more movies of course, followed by large doses of Mr. TV. My excuse for this egregious display of laziness? I’ve returned to the world of the working, AKA, The Land of The Damned. I actually kind of enjoy the job; but after my nine-plus hour shift and 1.5 hour commute (round trip, don’t freak), trip to the grocery store, whatever chores may wait me…. What I’m saying is, that by the time I get home and can sit down, I’m a card-carrying zombie. I’m sure people in Tacoma and Everett can hear my butt hitting the couch each night like a rolling thunder, followed by a groan that could fill the Carlsbad Caverns. Dogs bark, birds take to the air squawking, and babies drop their pacifiers and look to the sky and cry. Once down, I need mindless entertainment, and lots of it. On the weekends, I need at least one movie. Fortunately, since Girl Kid started working at the Crest, we can go to any Landmark theater for free, which is a Good Thing.

What Have We Seen? The Kiss and Tell Version, Movie Edition, and In No Particular Order
Lady in the Water
I love’s me some Paul Giamatti, but damn, this movie makes no sense at all. In fact, it’s stupid as hell. I know it’s too late, but if you can, avoid this stinker. M. Night Shayamalan-a-ding-dong proved he is out of ideas with The Village, and this one is not even as good as that. The earth includes magical moon creatures that arrive via your pool but leave via special Eagle Transport and who have a Very Special Message for us? Are you kidding me? And when the killer dog made of grass that can lie very flat and look like the lawn (also not kidding) keeps hanging around and eating people…why did no one think to mow the lawn, or use weed spray or something? I wish I were making this shit up. M. Night gave himself a major part in the movie, and while the boy can act and is pretty cute, he shouldn’t have given himself the role of “Very Important Writer Who Will Save the World”. I mean, dude. That’s taking hubris to new levels, even for you. Prediction? M. Night probably can squeeze funding for at least two more movies out of Hollywood, and then he’s outta here.

Everyone’s been moaning about how this one was not as good as last year’s Matchpoint; and while that is arguably true, it was fun anyway. I’m not even upset that Woody Allen put himself in the movie. He was right for the role. And, I have to say, Scarlett Johansson is pretty much the biggest cupcake in the known world. Her poolside red bathing suit scene almost gave me a boner, and I don’t have the equipment. (Plus that would be really weird, because I’m probably old enough to be her grandmother…if her mother and I were both total sluts with no birth control.) I’m very happy that Ms. Scarlett has so far successfully resisted the urge to starve herself to death, Hollywood-style. Verdict? Fun enough for Saturday afternoon.

Army of Shadows
Jean-Pierre Melville’s restored 1969 masterpiece about the French Resistance takes place from 1942-43. The movie is slow to develop and includes loads of long pauses and moments where not much is happening. But, don’t let that put you off, this all adds to the dread of the film. The director was in the French Resistance, and the film is “semi-autobiographical”, so you feel like you are really there. The aging (she was 47 when the movie was filmed) Simone Signoret proves almost without effort why she was the sex-bomb of her generation. Those eyes…damn. Verdict? It’s not playing everywhere, so catch it if you can, but leave the children at home. (Boy Kid, now almost 22, loved the movie; Girl Kid, now almost 17, hated it.)

A Scanner Darkly
Another cool Photoshop animation from Richard Linklater and based on Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel of the same name, but this one creeped me out, not because of the movie itself, but because Robert Downey Jr. ’s performance reminded me too much of my ex-husband…who also had a big jones for PKD. When we walked out, all of us said almost in unison, “That was cool, but Robert Downey Jr. reminded me too much of….” Yick. Verdict? Not for everyone, but a really good movie anyway, my stupid ex not withstanding. And if you go, you’ll see what I was married to, sort of. Add in some hitting, spitting, swearing, belittling and pouring water on you at 3am and you’re there.

On the face of it, this one is your standard Stupid High School And/Or College Flick, a al…hmm, well, there are lots of them that ought to come to mind, but don’t right now. Old School maybe. Everyone and their duck is complaining about how stupid and what a waste of time, money and resources Accepted is. Well, in some ways, the nay-sayers are right. It does star Justin Long, who is nerdy and adorable (you know him as The Mac in those Apple Computer ads you’ve been seeing all over), and a bunch of other people who may well be acting for the first time. The plot is basically, a popular smart-ass with a lucrative bathroom fake ID business pranks his way through high school only to discover that’s he’s forgotten to develop the grades and extra curriculars that will get him into the college of his choice…or any college for that matter. Naturally his parents will be destroyed; so what does our hero do? Invents a pretend college and sends himself an acceptance letter, while his more talented BFF whips up a plausible web site to fool Dad. Then of course the parents want to visit said college and other things spiral out of control, and before you know it our rapidly expanding band of intrepid losers have a fully-functional college with courses like “Taking a Walk and Thinking About Stuff 101” and about a million dollars in tuition money provided by parents so freaked out by their useless spawn that they shell out $10,000 checks before dropping off junior and driving off at high speeds. You know, real parents. A really stupid movie, right?

Actually, I thought the whole thing was a fairly enjoyable look at our whole “American Dream” concept of what education is supposed to provide, and what kind of life you want for yourself and for your kids. My own ideas of child rearing have tended towards the “I just want them to be happy” and “child led, un-schooling” methods of the more out-there home schooling movement. Boy Kid was home schooled his entire career, and it worked out for him. Girl Kid announced she wanted to go to “real” school around the third grade, and so she went to a crazy moon school where they sang songs around a candle in the mornings. She started real “real” school in seventh grade when she entered the public school system. All I’m saying is, Accepted addresses some of the issues I’ve spent the last twenty years thinking about and living—how do you raise kids who can still think for themselves, who arrive at adulthood with their creativity and spontaneity intact, and who will not just live their lives as unthinking cogs. Verdict? You may think this movie is a big waste of time and money, but it was okay in my book. Nobody gave props to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure either, which was a movie that could have saved the world, had anyone paid attention. So there.

Well, I really ought to get back to work. I’m playing hooky, which is the only way I’ll be able to stay in regular touch with you, my dearest readers. I love you all. All twelve of you.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home