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Saturday, February 19, 2011

No Strings Attached

Carrots: because she hates flowers.

This is a film that assumes the idiocy of its characters. Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman play two friends, complete with benefits, that - over the course of familiar plot devices, and a whopping deus ex machina - fall in love. Of course, that ruins the friendship, and the entire premise of the film. We're posed the question as follows: can two friends have regular and meaningless sex and not develop feelings for each other? 

Of course they can. But, that doesn't leave us with much of a movie. 

More after the cut --

Friday, February 18, 2011

In Theaters This Weekend

Buckle in. This is going to be a long one - three days, eight releases, one of which has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (you read that right. Zero.). In order, we have:

... is that an Android Market tag?

I Am Number Four, Unknown, Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, Vanishing on 7th Street, I Am, Immigration Tango, Even the Rain, Brotherhood. Interestingly enough, I Am and Brotherhood are only opening in two random cities - Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas, respectively. But, both are opening to noteworthy reviews full of praise. Could there be awards potential? Most likely, I'm thinking.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this weekend's releases is not that there are so many, not that I Am Number Four has been advertised since December last year, it's that up until a couple of weeks ago when the film's promotion really took off, I thought that the guy in the poster was Jim Caviezal. It's not. And I feel stupid.

More after the cut --

The Sunset Limited


It is always a trick to adapt theater to a feature film. Easier to do so for television, though that's probably a gross overstatement. HBO might be the best place to do it; they harbor independent film. Even trickier, maintaining a swift and watchable pace with only two actors and heavy religious dialog. Thankfully, Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cormac McCarthy have no problem with this. The Sunset Limited is engaging, thought-provoking, and sincere. 

Of course, being a McCarthy work, there is a sense of boundless eternity that is tinkered with throughout, and the ending is more of a truce than anything else, but this is usually so of his writing. Things happen, we talk about why, and then we go home. It doesn't matter which side wins, just so long as each side is heard. 

More after the cut --

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

God Save the King, Book III

For those of you just joining the series, I'm taking a look back on Stephen King's contribution to the world of film. The good, the bad, and the 'wtf'. From the top. In four parts.

Books I and II focused on the good (Carrie, Shawshank, The Shining, etc.) and the bad (Pet Semetary, Dreamcatcher, *cough*thegreenmile*cough*). We're at Book III now, and it's time to ask Hollywood a very serious question on behalf of the King -

Seriously, guys? Guys. Seriously.

More after the cut -- 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Unstoppable and Others on DVD Tomorrow

A small Tuesday, for sure, with only three releases of note. Tony Scott's Unstoppable, the break-out documentary/indictment of America's public education system Waiting for Superman, and Woody Allen's latest You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

I like it when the week brings me new things to watch - I haven't had the chance (maybe that's a good thing) to see Unstoppable, and I'm chomping at the bit to finally see Waiting for Superman. I watched You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger with my girlfriend, and we both loved the hell out of it. But, also, we're both obnoxiously big Woody Allen fans. So, that was probably to be expected.

But, I want to take a look at each DVD release, and see which might be worth my, and what's infinitely more important, your money.

More after the cut --

The Social Network.

"No, I will not accept your friend request."

David Fincher is a technician. In the computer world, he would be a programmer. That might be why he was attracted to such a character in the first place. Much like Fincher, Jesse Eisenberg is a technician (or a programmer) of an actor. Meticulous in detail, and remarkably articulate and precise, both David Fincher and Jesse Eisenberg are a match made in BIOS.

More after the cut --