It’s been a highly uneventful weekend thus far, but I did catch up on some DVD’s I’ve been meaning to watch. It was kind of a bizarre triple play watching Black Snake Moan, Craig Brewer’s follow-up to Hustle & Flow. Sam Jackson as an aging bluesman and Christina Ricci as a wacked out nymphomaniac? Done and done. In watching Craig Brewer’s two films, it’s almost as if he has stepped into the role of Southern Gothic storyteller. He has become what William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty once were. Yes, I never thought I would compare Craig Brewer to Flannery O’Connor (or any of those writers for that matter) but there it is.
Then I checked out the Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney collaboration The Good German. It wasn’t all that good as a movie, but as an exercise in filmmaking I found it to be quite clever. It was the type of movie that a pretentious film student would make if they had an unheathy jones for old time movies from the 1940’s. Whereas it could have made for a compelling mystery/suspense film, the story of a murder in Post-World War II Berlin during the Potsdam Conference and the military journalist investigating it was reduced to Soderberg’s worst masturbatory inclinations.
Imagine following up the tediousness of that movie with the delightfully charming Miss Potter. The story of Beatrix Potter’s path to marriage is less an interesting angle for this movie, then the notion that she was, at the time of publication, one of the most successful writers. She was, in essence, the J.K. Rowling of her time. Yet, at 32, her parents considered her life largely a failure since she had never married. This to me is much more interesting then her falling in love with Ewen McGregor. But, it’s understandable that a Renee Zellweger movie has to be a whimsical love story, since how else could you market the story of Beatrix Potter and her unlikely literary success? As it is, however, this is straight MOR filmmaking.
We’ve never bothered picking up these books simply because we do, in fact, judge books by their covers. And in regards to this set of childrens books, they look like lame Harry Potter or Series of Unfortunate Event knockoff. But we love Mary Louise-Parker to pieces, so much so, we actually looked around to putting a hit on Billy Crudup after he knocked her up and got with Claire Danes. But it cost too much money to even just Nancy Kerrigan him, so we had to let him off the hook. It’s even got Charlie (from the Chocolate Factory fame) version 2.0 in it, so that’s cool. With that said, this does look pretty lame, even for a kids movie.
Spiderwick Chronicles hits theaters on 2.17.2008
The Violent Femmes! The Violent Femmes! I’m sure there’s a movie in here somewhere, but let’s be real for a moment…The Violent Femmes are awesome. We’d go see this movie just because there’s hope they provide the soundtrack. But look beyond the awesome music and you’ll find a movie that seems to be in the Wes Anderson/Noah Bomback arena. Which could either be poignant and whimsical or it could be over-intelligent drivel. And that has us excited for the potential to be a summer sleeper hit. Plus we love offbeat high school movies.
Rocket Science will be released in limited on 8.10.07
Feast of Love
Ah yes, it wouldn’t be a complete year at the movies without the yearly ensemble-dramedy about colliding characters falling in and out of love. This time around, we’ve got a fresh take on Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM. You can bet your bottom dollar there will actually be a “harmonic convergence” around the 1 hour and 35 minute mark of the picture. It stars Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear, Selma Blaire, Radha Mitchell, and a bunch of other people. Bonus points for including, I think, Broken Social Scene in the beginning of the trailer and then ending it with the ever uplifting New Pornographer’s “The Bleeding Heart Show.”
Feast of Love comes at you in limited action on 9.14.07
The Game Plan
Dwayne Johnson stars as the quarterback for the New England Patriots, er, the Boston Rebels. He’s the best quarterback, the best looking guy and the hardest partier. And his life gets turned upside down when his seven-year-old daughter comes to live with him. Only he doesn’t realize he has a daughter! Oh shenanigans! This one was originally titled “The Tom Brady Story” and was going to be shown on Lifetime, but producers and Disney realized they had a giant
gold nugget turd on their hands, so now we have to suffer through this in an air conditioned theater. The Tom Brady Story? The Game Plan procreates into theaters on 9.28.07
We’ve got to end on a high note so that means ending with yet another high school comedy. This time around we’ve got Hope Davis starring as the clueless mother, Robert Downey Jr. as the high school principle, Kat Dennings (the oddly attractive daughter from 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN) as the oddly attractive misfit love interest and relative newcomer Anton Yelchin as the titular Charlie Bartlett.
Wow, a whole two paragraphs devoted to this one, must be a doozy. Can’t really say, but the story looks pretty cool. Charlie Bartlett is the rich kid kicked out of boarding school and forced to go public and to make friends he ends up becoming his classmates bathroom psychiatrist. Lucy would be so jealous. Gotta love a high school movie where the troublesome kid is the one telling the truth and helping his fellow students, rather than conning them or scheming against the administration. Love the line about the briefcase actually being called an attach? case.
Charlie Bartlett drops a perscription for laughs on 8.3.07