It’s a Zen thing, like how many babies fit in a tire.


I recently caught up on several movies that I’m surprised I didn’t see sooner. I guess by now I should be used to the fact that I’m always a bit behind, but how long ago did “No Country For Old Men” come out and it was this huge hit and I’m just now seeing it for the first time?

Movie #1: House on Haunted Hill (with commentary by Mike Nelson)

The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it is not nearly as scary nor as cool as its movie poster featuring a hot dead broad dangling at the end of a death metal skeleton’s noose. Oh sure it’s got Vincent Price in it, and that alone is worth a few Creep Points. But that factor aside it’s so poorly written, poorly acted, and hokey in its production value that it really is only good for playing in the background at a Halloween party.

Viewed from that angle, however, it’s an awesome movie good for loads of laughs. I got a total kick out of it, particularly for having watched it with Nelson’s commentary running through the whole thing. For sheer movie/story value I’d be hard pressed to give it even 1.5 out of 5 stars, but for background entertainment value I’d gladly give it 3 out of 5. Accompanied by a black plastic cauldron of Al Dobyns’ wop it earns an easy 6 out of 5.

Movie #2: Transformers

I don’t ever need to see this movie again.

It was fun, a lot of the effects were cool, blah blah blah. I expected all that, and it delivered precisely to the level of my expectations and not a step beyond. Maybe if I knew more about visual effects or something I’d see more to appreciate, but as the average, uneducated-ish viewer: this is where I stand. Not impressed, not unimpressed. Just… pressed.

What I didn’t expect was that it was easily about a half hour longer than it needed to be, and that it was possible for me to become even more uncomfortable at the sight of Megan Fox than I already was. My perverse pleasure in her alleged acne scars is something ugly and petty which I thoroughly detest in myself, especially since I have scars of my own, but which I’m happy to feed as long as she continues to call the tramping around she did in most of her scenes in this movie the actions of a strong feminist character. Please…

Shia LaBeouf was fine, but I’m not as taken with him as it would seem from popular media as I’m supposed to be. What’s the attraction with this kid? What’s the pull? Selena Gomez would give up her Jo Bro for this little dude? Come on, Sel. Let’s get serious here. Here’s a curly haired, seemingly well intentioned kid who can’t seem to stop getting himself into life threatening jams. You can do better

In conclusion: Vehicles that transform themselves into towering, kickass robots from outer space are awesome and it’s all a great idea and I’m sure I’ll see the next installment and enjoy a great deal of it the same way I enjoy a great deal about other noisy summer blockbusters. But as with this one: it’s a one-time-viewing kind of flick and ultimately forgettable.

Movie #3: No Country For Old Men

I have to think about this one a little more before I write too much about it. It’s one of those where I’m still trying to decide if I loved it, or if it was just a beautifully well-made and brilliantly acted/directed time passer. I don’t quite understand how it’s possible to still be riding the fence between those two options, but here I am.

I will say… expand upon… whatever… that I thought the acting was incredible, and much of the cinematography breathtaking. Tommy Lee Jones has this way of making roles like this *his* role and was, as usual, a pleasure to watch. I’m still not totally sold on Josh Brolin in the Llewelyn Moss role, but Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh was far and away one of the most painfully perfect casting choices I’ve ever encountered in a tragic drama.

I will never look at shoe scuffs on linoleum the same way ever again.

Movie #4: The Good Girl

I’m not a huge Jennifer Aniston fan, nor much of a Jake Gyllenhaal fan either, so I’m still trying to figure out what exactly possessed me to pick this one up from the library the other day. Especially when I thought it was going to run the “light-hearted but touching RomCom” route. Not really a genre I tend to enjoy or watch intentionally, but I was all drama-ed out and my next disc of Battlestar Galactica hadn’t arrived yet, so I figured: why not end the day with something sweet?

G’head and laugh at me on this one. I deserve it. This is what i get for not reading the back of the box. Though to be fair the cover design on this one doesn’t really fit the genre. I still should’ve read the box(!!), but I accept only partial responsibility for being so horribly wrong in my expectations because seriously? That cover design? Misleading in the extreme!

I’m not going to get into the plot too much because I have so little to say about the movie that I’m afraid I’ll just give things away for the sake of saying something. I *will* say that I wasn’t that impressed and will continue to be unenthusiastic about Aniston and Gyllenhaal for the time being.

Movies #5 and 6: Clue and Waiting for Guffman

I’m including these because I’ve rewatched both recently– “Clue” I’ve rewatched maaaany many many times in the past few months– and every time I do I catch something new.

Just the other day I discovered a new conflict for Mr. Green and I mean to tell ya: It rocked my world.

You can keep your Shia LaBeoufs, your Vincent Prices, and even your Javier Bardems. So long as I’ve got my Madeline Kahns and Parker Poseys I’m good to go.

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