Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Reviews and Other Crap

I haven't been watching too many movies lately, but here are a few I've seen. Below the reviews is some other random crap.

Juno: Quirky and cute and occasionally funny, but once again I was expecting some life altering movie watching experience due to the build up and hype. I was going to rant about all that, but from now on I’m just taking the movie on it’s own merits and this movie deserves to stand on it’s own. I can’t blame a movie for what other people are saying about it. Ellen Page is perfect in a role that seems to have been written with her in mind. A movie like this relies on a pitch perfect performance from it’s lead and Page hits it out of the park. She’s sarcastic, funny, bitter, and provides the movie with an emotional weight that surprises in it’s simplicity. Jason Reitman, by the way, does another great job (‘Thank You For Smoking’ was equally as energetic and hilarious in a politically incorrect way) and I’ll be eagerly looking forward to his next.

Once: This is a small, quick movie from Ireland. It stars nobody you’ve ever heard of in a story that isn’t at all original. It’s simple, straightforward, and may be one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. A guy (who is simply listed as ‘Boy’ in the end credits) is down on himself after an ugly breakup with his girlfriend. While playing in the street he is confronted by a young woman (‘Girl’ in the credits) who inexplicably and relentlessly prods and pushes him over the course of the movie to take control of his life and realize his potential. She is charming, foreign and brings out his own charisma. Especially fun is the scene on the bus where he uses impromptu song to tell his story to her. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

The joy of stumbling across this kind of movie is the unexpected places it takes you. The relationship grows through their mutual love of music and much of the film is told through the songs they write, flesh out and perform together (and are great, by the way). But it’s the details that tell the larger story. The stripped, worn guitar the boy carries with him everywhere, the cramped apartment the girl shares with her mother and three random men who arrive every night to watch ‘the telly’, the bizarrely hilarious opening chase scene. Normally, movies like this will end in an unrealistically happy ending, but this one ends perfectly. There is no happily ever after, but they’ve shared an intimacy others can only strive for.

Underdog: And I thought no movie could be worse than ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’. Yeeesh…..

The Mist: If you’ve read the Stephen King story this is based on you won’t be disappointed in this adaptation. A bit more intelligent and thought provoking than your usual horror flick (there is a very strong religious theme and sociological examination of how people react in extreme situations), but there is also enough gore and realistically scary moments for the die hard horror fans. Beware the ending of this one, however. While it gives the movie more emotional heft it also makes you sick to your stomach.

Idiocracy: I was sort of excited to see this since it was directed by the same guy that created Beavis and Butthead and directed ‘Office Space’ but this is just a one joke movie that stretches itself to an hour and a half. Some funny moments, but I’ve already forgotten most of it. Luke Wilson is in it, if that helps.

Other crap

- In case you missed it, check out Simmons' article from yesterday. He does a great job describing the difference between pre Big Dig Boston and post Big Dig Boston. Unless you've lived here and seen the progress you really can't fathom the change in this city. It's - dare I say - beautiful.

- Congrats to Ken Griffey, Jr on home run number 600. I must admit that I think about how many he could have hit if he didn't keep getting injured the last 5-6 years of his career. Would he have surpassed Bonds by this point? Would Bonds be chasing him? We'll never know.

- I filled up my truck yesterday and $4.11 a gallon and I hit a new record. $60.80. What the fuck!?? I need to buy a scooter or moped or solar powered car or something.

- Congrats to my number one girl for having a baby girl. We can only imagine what Honor Marie will look like in 20 years. Let's just say she's got the upper hand in the gene pool.

- At least one country is taking a common sense approach to drug possession. A judge in Buenos Aires recently let two offenders off saying that the criminalization of drug possession without intent to distribute is 'unconstitutional'. Another judge released another guy, saying 'Criminalization will only apply in cases where the possession of narcotics for personal consumption represents a danger for the public health of others'.

- I have been considering adding Clint Eastwood to the Man Hall of Fame, but heard rumors that he smacked his women around when he was younger. I actually couldn't find anything online about that except for one story about him forcing one of his girlfriends (who was in a bunch of his movies) to get an abortion. Well, he may have just clinched his induction by telling Spike Lee to basically shut the fuck up. There is some feud between them and Spike Lee predictably plays the race card on Eastwood. What's funny is, even at 80, Eastwood would still kick Lee's ass all over town.

- If you think your company is incompetent, take solace in the fact that your company didn't start a two year volcano eruption. Lapindo Brantas was drilling for gas when it accidentally awakened Lusi, who proceeded to spew forth mud and ruin the homes of 30,000 people. It was originally thought that the eruption was caused by a distant earthquake, but turns out it was just human error causing millions of dollars of damage. Again. Um...whoops?

That's it for now. Went to the gym three days in a row and need something to drink. Game 3 tonight! Here's to the Celtics beating both the Lakers and the referees who will be trying to make up for the Game 2 criticisms. Oddly, I think this Celtics team may have rediscovered it's groove during the Detroit series. This may be a closer game than many think.

Today's distraction: Run, dinosaur, RUN!!!


son pere said...

Once again, you've inked another gem! I saw "Juno", and I have to agree with everything you said. I have not seen any of the other movies you critiqued, but I will honestly try to get hold of "Once" - it sounds like a keeper.

As for the price of a tank of fuel, consider the following: last week, while taking my motor home to CT for some scheduled maintenance, I had to fill the tank on the Mass Pike. Diesel was at $4.929 when I stopped, and my tank was at 1/2. Some $225.00 and 46 gallons later, I finally got back underway. And, last Friday, while toiling at my second part-time vocation, DriverEd, I stopped with a student to fill up the tank on the Driver Ed vehicle (a 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5L). It was reading 1/4 tank, and the fill-up came to $61.00. Glad I wasn't paying for that one! The driving school owns and operates 5 vehicles for Driver Ed, so, you do the math. These cars are out all day, every day, 7 days per week! I'm also glad I don't own a driving school.

RE: Ken Griffey - I, also, offer my congrats! Can't wait to see Manny reach that "magical" plateau.

I have something I would like to share with you, but I don't know how. If you contact French, he can give you my e-mail, then I can send the info along, if you wish.

BeachBum said...

Sadly, I don't think Manny's 600th will come as part of the Red Sox. Don't be surprised if this is his last year with the team.

Clandestine messages. I'm all in.

BeachBum said...

Email address would help. Just have French give you my work email address. He should have it. Let me know if he doesn't.