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Tuesday Media Roundup #38

The last one before I’m another year older.

Saving Silverman – It could have been funny but mostly something is off and the jokes don’t work. If it wasn’t for the nipple fire scene and Neil Diamond at the end it would be a total loss.

Calendar Girls – This was nice in that it wasn’t the typical British comedy. It wasn’t the underdog working towards a minor goal in a small town. It had that going on but it was more about the effect of that on the relationships of those going through it.

RV – Started out funny and then it degenerated to random odd events. The annoying family that kept following them was more interesting than the RV trip.

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan – I thought this was skillfully rediculous and it’s Mariah Carey’s best film role, playing herself. I think it’s my favorite Adam Sandler film since Happy Gilmore.

The Rules of Attraction – This is sort of a follow up to American Psycho since it follows the younger brother of thae main character there, but I really didn’t care about any of the characters and wanted them all to go away so the movie would be over.

Bride Wars – There were some funny bits here but I think it needed to focus more heavily on Anne hathaway’s character. It seemed to indicate that it was going to in the narration but then it split the time pretty evenly which I think made things worse for the telling.

Mirrors – I thought this was well done overall. There was good tension, there was good creepiness, there was a good ending. A few inconsistencies don’t really detract from the whole experiance.

Revolutionary Road – I really liked this, but if it wasn’t for the crazy son of the realtor this probably would have been too heavy. That’s even more remarkable because he’s the only character that tells you the truth of what’s going on in the movie. I want to read the book.

Mamma Mia! – I liked the overall idea of it, but I think the overall execution didn’t work so well. The greek chorus was under used. The times the movie truly shines are when Meryl Streep is on the screen. When she leaves it shows the rest to be kind of flat.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown – Awesome documentary about the band behind all the Motown hits. They didn’t get credit to the end but they were all amazing musicians. It also has several songs from a reunion concert with the last remaining members and a variety of vocalists, proving it was the band that made the sound.

Casanova – I wasn’t sure, but watching it made me feel like I was watching all sorts of historical inaccuracies. Like I even felt like the costumes were probably wrong. And why is it that whenever we want someone foreign and not low class we always give them English accents in movies?

King Arthur – I liked this movie a lot and I really didn’t expect to. Also based on the trailers I expected a lot more Keira Knightly, but really she’s barely in it. Anyway, I thought the  historical context for the Arthurian legends was believable and a welcome change from the sword and sorcery aspect usually told.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – I think this might be my favorite Underworld movie; it’s certainly better than the first one. The werewolf effects are starting to get close to the level they were at in the 80s, but really computer generated werewolves still don’t cut it.

Gangs of New York – It’s strange to think that New York could have ever been the way it is portrayed in this movie, especially considering how quickly it went from that to the metropolis we normally see it as. I really want to read some New York history now, especially the book the movie is based upon. At the very least it shows the problem of private and competing fire companies.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – When I saw this I knew it had the whole Forest Gump thing going for it, and if it wasn’t for Slumdog Millionaire it would have won a lot more awards. The makeup was amazing and the adaptation was a good one. The original short story can be found on-line easily enough and is worth a read; it’s only about 20 pages.

Under the Tuscan Sun – It kind of meanders and is nice to watch while you’re watching it, but now I don’t have a strong memory of the movie. So I guess for me it was enertaining but not overly memorable.

Coraline – This was a really well done horror movie for kids. Judging by the reaction of the kids in the audience it was effective that way too. The style and animation were amazing too!

The Guru – Not to be confused with the recent Mike Meyers movie, this was actually a fairly funny romantic-ish comedy.

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People – We rented it for Simon Pegg and it was a fun enough movie, but the special features were interestng. No one wants to say it but they indicate that the movie is more sympathetic to the main character than the book and is a better story as a result. The book is true and is about the author, Toby Young, which if you’ve seen Top Chef season 5 you know his as the substitute asshole judge. Basically he is famous for being an asshole and the movie makes him a nicer person.

Valentino – This movie is played seriously but it’s so bad that it’s often laugh-out-loud funny. In fact inthe imdb trivia it says that the founder of the Razzies ranks it as the 26th most laughably bad movie of all time and I agree with that.

Wargames: The Dead Code – It’s been a long time since I saw the original but I thought this made a mostly decent sequel. Sure you have to ignore the computer technology, but not as much as I expected to and I thought the basic premise was updated well to modern threats. I need to watch the original agin to see how well it really holds up.

Beauty Shop – The cast line up for this movie is fantastic, but mostly it’s just flat in the delivery. The only exception is Kevin Bacon as the over-the-top fake-European hair stylist.

What Happens in Vegas – A romantic comedy with very little romance and that’s nice for a change. In some ways it’s similar to Just Married, which also starred Ashton Kutcher, but the premise underlying the antagonism is totally different and it’s more entertaining. I actually watched it twice because when I told Nicole about it she wanted to watch it.

The Happening – This is pretty dumb. If something is removing the self-preservation instinct from people I don’t expect everyone to commit suicide, I’d expect them to engage in more risky behavior. Not caring whether they smash into someone during lane changes, thing like that. Everyone committing suicide imples that everyone just wants to commit suicide. Good job on making wind blowing through trees seem creepy though.

Smokey and the Bandit – Awesome driving, great stunts, and just a whole lot of fun. I never managed to see this before now but I’m glad I finally did.

Smokey and the Bandit II – Unfortunately I thought this movie would be more of the same that made the first one great. This one has slow driving, very few stunts, and a whole lot of who cares. The finale was pretty cool to watch but it was more cartoony than the first one even though the scale was greater. It was too long to wait to get there too. At least the makers of Operation Dumbo Drop thought the plot was good enough to borrow for their film.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause – I’ve enjoyed the first two Santa Clause movies because Tim Allen makes a good Santa Claus. This one is likewise as fun and even though it isn’t as good I think I enjoyed it more than the second one. Maybe it was the extra time travel elements involved. It was fun seeing Juliette from Lost too as Mrs. Claus.

Twilight – When I watched it I thought it was a pretty good vampire story but it also seemed pretty light while maintaining a nice tone. On second thought, it’s nice that it’s not all over the top vampire action all the time that a lot of vampire movies seem to feel like they need to do.

21 – Framing the whole story with a med school interview was kind of silly but it doesn’t hurt the movie. Come to think of it, that makes the movie a lot like Risky Business with the business school interview. I wish they had gone over the techniques used in the movie, but I hear that’s on the special features of the dvd.

College Road Trip – I wasn’t expecting a G-rated movie and really there was nothing that couldn’t be shown to someone of any age, but I really don’t think little kids would find of lot of it interesting. Anyway, Albert the genius pig and the little boy were funny and the rest just kind of gets you there.

Wind Chill – The whole thing was a nice atmospheric ghost story and then the end came and was just kind of there. That’s it? Turn it off when she walks into the woods and you’ll be happier with the ending.

Sunday in New York – Jane Fonda in a good comedy about pre-marital sex. It’s based on a broadway play and it shows in the staging. And here I didn’t know Jane Fonda was in any good movies.

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