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Re: Holiday/Oscar Movies 2006
Posted By: Darien, on host
Date: Thursday, October 5, 2006, at 00:48:11
In Reply To: Holiday/Oscar Movies 2006 posted by Sam on Wednesday, October 4, 2006, at 22:12:49:

> It's time for another recap of the movies to come.

It's time for more sarcastic comments. When do I get to do a guest spot on the podcast already, dammit?

> October 6 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
> Here's one you *won't* see on the Best Picture slate, even if it's any good, which would be remarkable. Not that slashers were ever any good as a rule anyway. How many movies do we need of teenagers getting slaughtered?

Hey, I still see teenagers around when I go out, so clearly the message hasn't gotten across *yet.*

> October 10 - Flatland: The Movie (DVD)
> Flatland is a great book. Can't imagine how you make a movie out of it, though, but the idea is more interesting than Wacky CGI Animals Escape the Zoo Part VII.


> October 10 - The Butterfly Effect 2 (DVD)
> If you don't get the original star back for a sequel, you shoot it cheap and go direct to DVD. The producers of Son of the Mask and Dumb and Dumberer should have realized this.

On this one, since the star they couldn't get appears to be Ashton freaking Kutcher, I can't imagine it hurts the movie any.

> October 13 - Man of the Year

I don't have much patience for Robin Williams these days. He's too old for the manic crazy-man schtick; he just looks uncomfortable. And then I get uncomfortable. Meanwhile, I've never liked him in a movie where he *wasn't* doing that schtick; Patch Adams was a dog, for example, and this sounds like MOTS - a movie that gives Williams ample opportunity to be zany and pads it out with heartwarming glurge.

> October 20 - DOA: Dead or Alive

You know what? There are lots of video games. I've played a fair number of them. Why on *earth* do they keep picking the dumbest ones to make movies out of? Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Wing Commander, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, and now Dead or Alive. Maybe video game movies would stop having such an awful reputation if they picked more intelligent games as the source material.

That said, hey, DOA has some pretty hot females in it. So the movie might be worth a shot if it follows suit. Oh, and while I'm on the subject:

> Something almost always gets lost when these guys start doing American movies.

I think maybe it's that the Asian actors can do this ridiculous kung fu movie stuff and take it seriously. Or at least SEEM like they take it seriously. American actors in kung fu movies always seem like they're totally aware of how foolish it is.

> October 20 - Flags of Our Fathers

Back when Letters of Iwo Jima was on this list, I made a crack about how Johnny Cash's "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" better be on the soundtrack. I'm just going to go with the easy joke and say that again.

> October 20 - Killshot

Strike one: garbage title. I hope they've at least had the decency not to stuff a lightning bolt in between the "kill" and the "shot." Is this based on the book by Elmore Leonard? It's not one I've read, but I'm fond of Leonard in general and there are at least two good movies based on his work. As you say, the director is promising (and has an entertaining name to boot), so there's a chance this falls in with the two good ones and not the multitude of bad ones.

Of course, I'm assuming that this actually IS based on the Leonard book, of which I have exactly no evidence. If it's not, I predict it sucks because it'll piss me off.

> October 27 - Saw III
> Just quit making these already.

Better still, unmake them. Rent some black helicopters and track down every single disc you tools printed and burn them.

> November 3 - Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
> Sigh.

There was a Santa Clause 2? The first movie was tolerable and had some cute moments, but was released approximately thirty seconds before everyone was totally sick of Tim Allen.

> November 7 - The Fox and the Hound 2 (DVD)
> Turns out, there was still a classic Disney animated feature that hadn't been desecrated yet.

There's still ONE more. And I'm very much surprised if Disney touches Song of the South with a ten-foot dollar sign, since they're currently too frightened even to release the poor thing on DVD.

(This section of the post dedicated to Adam Bomb)

> November 10 - Stranger Than Fiction
> I'm not a great fan of Will Ferrell

I'm going to snip this quote right there. Though, actually, I think I can improve its accuracy by snipping a bit more:

> not... great... Will Ferrell

> November 10 - A Good Year
> Ridley Scott directs Russell Crowe in this comedy that seems to center on a vineyard and a dispute over its ownership.

Let me guess. Russell Crowe broods a lot, drinks a lot, and generally acts surly. Then he beats some dudes up and stands up against a setting sun with his shirt off. Then some portentious music plays and the ending remains open.

> November 17 - Happy Feet
> CGI penguins. Finally, a talking animal (well, bird) cartoon that looks GREAT. It's directed by George Miller, who is pretty much exclusively known for -- and I am not kidding -- Mad Max and Babe.

That's the kind of resume I want. Mad Max and Babe. Kind of like George Lucas' resume: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, THX 1138 and... Finian's Rainbow?

> November 17 - Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny
> I already didn't see this. Keep listening to All Movie Talk.

This much I will say for Tenacious D: they absolutely perfected the "ironic novelty band" genre by ceasing to be funny *before* they started. Most such bands make it five minutes. I don't know anything about the movie, but it couldn't be good if it starred Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine and they played time-travel pirates who save the world from a mad scientist called Doctor Fang. Unless it's just lying about the Tenacious D thing, in which case that is a movie I'll be *first* in line for.

> November 17 - Casino Royale
> But I'm worried about the hiring of director Martin Campbell, who did Goldeneye. Goldeneye was ok, but what about it suggests that Campbell can do an edgy, lower-key suspense thriller?

Goldeneye always kind of reminded me of an edgy, high-key suspense thriller. Like what you'd get if you took Silence of the Lambs and fed it through some time of studio "frenetic" filter. And then replaced the creepy climactic scene with MORGUNS. And made a killer video game about it.

> November 17 - Fast Food Nation
> Speaking of large casts, Richard Linklater directs this ensemble piece set in the world of fast food.

I've never seen an ensemble piece set in the world of any blue-collar occupation that was any good. Cue Stephen to start harping the virtues of Clerks.

> November 22 - For Your Consideration
> Christopher Guest comes out with another mockumentary, this one about the Oscar race. It sounds fantastic to me.

They're fun, but the effect these movies always have on me is to make me want to watch This Is Spinal Tap again.

> November 22 - The Fountain
> Darren Aronofsky's first movie since 2000's Requiem For a Dream. To quote the IMDb, "Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world."

I don't see how that could possibly be pretentious and stupid.

Maybe if we're lucky, that basically means it's about time-travelling pirates who save the world from a mad scientist called Doctor Fang. I wonder who we could get to play the pirates?

> November 22 - Deja Vu
> Tony Scott does time travel. If his recent career path stays its course, this one will be the scientifically fastest-paced movie possible, with all kinds of over-the-top action but won't make any sense.

What would be cool is if this is about time-travelling pirates who... wait, I've done this all before.

> December 8 - The Good German (limited; wide on the 25th)
> Steven Soderbergh is always interesting. This movie seems to be deliberately evocative of 1940s classics like Casablanca and The Third Man. It's a post-WWII era murder mystery set in Berlin, with the promising cast of George Clooney and Cate Blanchett. Good expectations for this one.

I still don't get why people consider George Clooney a "promising" member of a cast. I've never once ever liked him ever in anything ever, and he always has dumb hair. D-

> December 8 - Apocalypto
> Mel Gibson's second dead language epic

Does this one have subtitles too? I'd be *really* into the idea of a movie like this that doesn't; I lost a lot of interest in Passion when the subtitles were added. But, hey, I'm a nerdy art fag; you need a perspective like that for your podcast anyhow.

> Unfortunately, the movie itself has been overshadowed by all the celebrity news rag coverage of Gibson himself. Let's distinguish between what is and isn't about the movies.

I can't agree more. It irritates me no end when people deride movies because of personal scandals the cast or crew is involved in. Se also, Polanski, Kazan, et al.

> December 15 - Eragon
> It's starting! The success of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, subsequently boosted by The Chronicles of Narnia, means we're going to start seeing more high budget fantasy franchises.

Alternatively, maybe it means we'll see more high-budget high school movies. AMIRITE?

> December 15 - The Pursuit of Happyness
> Will Smith, dialed down for this seemingly quiet family drama about a salesman, just awarded custody of his son.

I've never liked Will Smith. I mean, Smith himself always seems like a perfectly likable guy and all, he just never convinced me he can act his way out of a burlap sack. I suppose he's older now than the last time I saw him (which was what, Enemy of the State?), so maybe he's gotten better.

> December 15 - Blood Diamond
> An action thriller about three characters who try to outsmart each other to possess a priceless diamond. It's as good a MacGuffin as any.

It's a *good* MacGuffin, sure, but it could be better. The best MacGuffins make the audience wonder what they even *are* - the Maltese Falcon, for example, or the Pulp Fiction suitcase. If we know it's a priceless diamond, it can be perfectly servicable but not first-rate.

> December 22 - Rocky Balboa
> Rocky 6, with Rambo 4 on the way. Stallone is hilarious. But, you know, who knows. The trailer looks like it'll be a notch above Rocky IV, not that that's saying much.

I thought Rocky died at the end of Rocky V. Or was it Rambo who died at the end of Rambo III? Either way, I'm pretty sure continuing BOTH of them requires some type of chicanery besides presenting the ninety-year-old Stallone as a viable action hero.

> December 22 - Night At the Museum
> This one looks fun. Ben Stiller becomes a nightwatchman at a museum and is told not to let anything in...or out. Seems the exhibits have quite the night life. Small roles for Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Robin Williams look fun.

I tend not to like Ben Stiller in large doses, but that is a fun setup. And, hey, can't go wrong with cameos.

Cannonball what?

> December 26 - Car Babes
> I don't know anything about this, but what a great title. I can't wait for the crossover follow-up, Blood Car Babes.


> December 29 - Children of Men
> Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine. You could stop right there, and I'd buy a ticket.

If you stopped right there, I'd be more inclined to buy a ticket than I was after I read the synopsis. But, to be honest, you'd also have to change your start point to be after the title, which pretty much implied exactly that synopsis to me.

> This movie is about a future where people can no longer procreate.

I'm sorry, but I think it should be illegal for anyone to make a movie using that premise unless he promises it'll be at least twice as absurd as Hell Comes to Frogtown.

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