Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coming Soon and Top Ten

Opening Tomorrow

For the kids, we have "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," a goofy looking, by-the-numbers chucklefest that is great for anyone on this planet who made the mistake of breeding, though beyond insignificant for anyone else.

Also opening is "Jennifer's Body," the latest opus from "Juno" scribe Diablo Cody. I doubt this is going to be another Oscar winner and despite the looks of its dark humor and bangable leading ladies, it arouses about as much interest in me as filling out a job application to work at the Gap.

Finally, we have "The Informant," in which Matt Damon plays a whistle blower at an agricultural firm who seems to suffer from some cognitive disorders. Good looking performance from Damon, playing against type, but one again this just doesn't seem to spark any interest at all. Director Steven Soderbergh has already done the corporate take-down thing, and reworking it as a comedy doesn't really make it any fresher. Overall, a pretty dull Friday coming up.

Top Ten at the Box Office

1. "I Can Do Bad All by Myself," which is another in the long string of Tyler Perry family comedy-dramas. I know I'm not the intended audience for this and shouldn't be expected to like it, yet I still feel the need to point out that Perry's entire oeuvre is about as creative as turning every single episode of "The Gilmore Girls" into a feature length film.

2. "9," a dark, interesting-looking animated feature about a group of puppet-creatures battling robots in a post-apocalyptic world. So basically the last "Terminator" movie with a more sensible plot and more life-like actors.

3. "Inglorious Basterds," the latest Quentin Tarantino splatterfest, this one focusing on killing Nazis in occupied Europe. It's become a major hit and has received a fair amount of raves, but I found it not much more than decent. Three or four great set-pieces and a pile of half-baked characterizations don't go a long way in a two-and-a-half hour long film. Highly entertaining, but I'm beginning to suspect that the days of Tarantino making great movies is fairly well over. It feels like he's using the cliches of other genres in order to get away with bad dialog and predictable plotting. The same people who are pissed at me for not liking "Fight Club" are going to yell at me over this as well, but fuck it. I know what I saw and what I saw was a decently goofy action film with some suspenseful set-ups but no real sense of direction or purpose.

4. "All About Steve." Sandra Bullock blah.

5. "The Final Destination." We can only hope. This entire series is based on a logical fallacy. If the personification of death is trying to kill people and is capable of moving physical objects around to do it, why not just give everyone brain aneurysms? You could counter that then there wouldn't be any plot and the movies would only be five minutes long apiece, to which I would say, "Good."

6. "Sorority Row." A remake of a slasher from the 1980s. It stays faithful to the original in the sense that both are completely and utterly forgettable. It's tough to work up an interest in a film when its most remarkable feature is how inconsequential it is.

7. "Whiteout." Killer, Antarctica, blah. It looks like John Carpenter's "The Thing" without the thing.

8. "District 9." A solid sci-fi action movie in the "Aliens" mode. Hints at having some deeper meaning, but it's mostly just for the entertaining ride.

9. "Gamer." Oh god, does this look inane.

10. "Julie & Julia." It's partly about Julia Child. Julia Child is awesome. Meryl Streep is apparently awesome as Julia Child. Therefor I have no objections.

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