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Saturday, February 26, 2011


One of the best posters ever.

The anti-superhero film of last year blasted onto DVD yesterday, so I sat down and took another look at what made me enjoy it so much. And while it winds up being Dreamworks' answer to Pixar's The Incredibles, the film stands on its own as a sharp-witted and fully realized, not to mention wildly funny, piece of escapism. 

More after the cut --

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Theaters This Weekend

I can't say anything but "hell. yes."

I don't know what to make of this week. Five releases as we move toward the end of this month. Drive Angry (which offers Nicolas Cage in 3D), Hall Pass (a sure to be irreverent film by the Farrelly Brothers), two French dramas  (Of Gods and Men and Heartbeats), and The Grace Card (the lastest in a long line of church-produced films).

What makes movies like Drive Angry so much damn fun are that, usually, they are original works. It's like someone answers the challenge that Hollywood can't tell an original story anymore. So, a director or group of directors, decide to shake things up by taking four or five genres, three or four ridiculous stories, two or three of their favorite actors, and make one hell of a movie. Drive Angry is the result of that. For an example - the film is about a man who escapes from Hell to seek vengeance on the satanic cult that murdered his daughter, all while picking up a hitchhiker and being hunted by a man known only as "The Accountant". What makes things cooler? Cage's name in the movie is Milton.

Sadly, this isn't the only movie I can focus this post on. So, we're back to the format, with a trailer for each release -

starting with Drive Angry.

More after the cut --

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Due Date, Get Low, and Others on DVD This Week

This week, we seem to be at each end of the spectrum with our major DVD releases - first, the decidedly, and surprisingly, unfunny Due Date comes to shelves, and secondly, so does the tender and heartwarming Get Low. Other releases include Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Leaving (Partir)

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about a week like this on DVD is that it follows a week of spectacular releases, and also contains a separate singular release for a title on the 25th. Megamind comes out that day, and I'll be posting a full review for its release. I saw it quite a while ago, thoroughly enjoyed it, but didn't have the opportunity to review it. This week gives me that opportunity. So, look for that.

The saddest thing about a film like Due Date is that it ignores an eerily similar film that came out before it, much like The Roommate (I swear, I should get a dime for every time I mention that film this year) after Single White Female. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles did it first, and it remains uncredited as inspiration for this slacker comedy. Note - this isn't a comedy about slackers, mind you; it's a comedy about very hard workers caught in a dire situation, but... the people involved are slacking on the comedy part. Thus, it's a slacker comedy.

More after the cut --

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revisiting Single White Female

Jennifer Jason Leigh  in Single White Female (1992)
She's aiming for Leighton Meester

In the wake of The Roommate, I found it all but necessary to take two hours and revisit the mother of all psycho roommate thrillers. The incomparable Single White Female.

Of course, without being an official remake, The Roommate shares more than a few key plot lines with its predecessor. Elements of fashion design, the psycho stalker girl doing something to resemble the obsession, the "high heel" scene is represented in The Roommate, in a head-shakingly similar fashion. I wish they would just come out and say that it's a remake. It wouldn't have been critically bashed as badly. Make no mistake, it still would have flopped. But, at least half of the reviews would have been shorter and a wee bit less scathing.

More after the cut --

Monday, February 21, 2011

In Defense of M. Night Shyamalan

Recently in the Chicago Sun Times website, a letter was published by Roger Ebert - the letter was open and to M. Night Shyamalan from one of the Times' foreign correspondents Omer Mozaffar. In the open letter, Mozaffar explains himself as a student of theology, and a film lover, as well as "a fellow Desi" from the same generation as M. Night. He refers, and defers (in a way) to their shared ethnicity as some sort of common ground and an excuse to open this dialog. 

Thanks for the tip, Jack.

I'm sure M. Night will write him back. Just as I'm sure Omer will read this post and follow my blog.

It is critical to understand something about criticism - it's all subjective. If there is any ounce of objectivity to a film review, it's that we can all agree on the name of the film, the basic plot, and the people responsible for it. 

More after the cut --

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Roommate

She has 99 problems. Being a bitch is one of them.

Rebecca is a misunderstood soul. A torturous, psychotic, closet lesbian soul with detachment issues from hell, but misunderstood nonetheless. And, before I tear this movie apart, I will say this - Leighton Meester is better than she has any right to be in this movie. Past her watchable performance, however, the film is one gigantic (gigandet?) failure. And by 'one gigantic failure', you should read that as 'one gigantic failure after another'. 

More after the cut --