Thursday, May 21, 2009

So Many Thums, So Little Time

As many of you know, I have been very, very busy dealing with a national health crisis [the Swine Flu?], and this blog has suffered.

To the thousands -- nay, millions -- who have waited, with bated breath, for my reviews, I offer:



A casual cunnilingual romp in a hallway; nothin' fancy here.

just strenth against strenth.

I'll show you my best fastball, you see if you can hit it . . . .

I digress.

Here, then, are my quick reviews of a few films that I've recently seen in the theaters.

Sugar -- probably tops my list. Thums up! A ballplayer from a small Spanish-speaking country may have what it takes to go all the way. He is brought to America, and dropped into the developmental system known as The Minor Leagues.
The movie could have been as predictable as my next urination {I always know what's going to happen!], but instead, we get stock situations that play out as if real people, and not scriptwriters, were living them. The movie feels like a documentary. It's not.

Rudo y Cursi -- NOT on the top o' my list. Thums gently down. Two of my favourite actors [Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna - remember Y Tu Mamá Tambien ?] portray Spanish-speaking ballplayers who may have what it takes to go all the way, and are dropped into a system they don't understand. Hmmmmm.

This isn't the same movie at all. It's actually just an interesting Mexican comedy that didn't quite captivate me. Diego Luna's character struggles in ways that got to me, so I couldn't accept the comedic doings around him, which are quite broad. Seemed like a few different movies melded into one, at least to me. And those Mexican dialects and slurring bugged the shit outta me!

Duplicity - a bare, meagre Thums Up. I ate popcorn. Julia Roberts -- who I used to hate -- amuses me. Clive is sometimes clueless. The movie could have been made in 1972 [a plus].

Adventureland -- I really liked this. A strong Thums Up! It struck me as true and natural. The music was outstanding. The characters seemed real to me. Dazed and Confused for thirty-five-year-olds. . . .

Race To Witch Mountain -- a big, honking Thums Up! I saw this flick twice, and it's probably second on my list. A fun, funny Disney picture.
Dwayne Johnson is fine. Carla Gugino moves me deeply. 'nuff said!

Sunshine Cleaning -- I love Amy Adams. I love Emily Blunt. I love Alan Arkin. I love Steve Zahn. I love Clifton Collins. I didn't love this movie. A meagre, bare, hanging-by-a-thread Thums Up. Popcorn, salt, drama, a couple'a laughs. I didn't like Arkin and his "grandson" at all. I thought their interactions in the movie weren't believable, and weren't well-executed. I would like to bend the two leads over a railing and take a trip to Shangi-La. . . . .

Is Anybody There? -- a Thums Up here. The distance [setting it in the 80s] let me deal with the aged a little more . . . abstractly. Caine really does know just how to make the most of every moment he's offered in any film -- good or bad, he grabs moments. This one worked for me, even though The Kid didn't.

I Love You, Man -- I didn't. Thums Down. Paul R. and Jason S. are actors I enjoy. This movie just made me uncomfortable. I identify strongly with Rudd's character and his problems of not connecting with other men [see Eburt: 70s, 80s, 90s], and it made me uncomfortable. His solution, in this pic, made me uncomfortable. The discomfort wasn't leavened by many laughs.

Knowing -- almost a fun thriller. A shady Thums Up. Made me glad I'm an atheist; I found the higher power sh6t offensive, demeaning to man, and malarkey. And there were no naked broads. Why Thums Up? Popcorn, salt, dark theater with projected action movie.

State of Play -- Thums Up. Hokey, but just enough All the President's Men to survive. The Rachel Mc character was unbelievable and hokey, but I like they way the characters played it anyway. I would like to bend Helen Mirren over a railing and take a trip to Shangi La.

Earth -- Thums Up. I love elephants. I love global warming. A perfect flick for me.

Well, too long.

The Soloist a tepid Thums Down. I can't mount the enthusiasm to steer you away, so I'll just hint that you'l wish you had spent the two hours elsewhere.

Obsessed Thums Down. Laughable. Allie Larter in granny underwear was simpleminded. You've seen this a thousand times before, always better.

Star Trek -- A big Thums Up. Stupid action, stupid villain, great to see new actors embody the overacting, rhythm, and feel of the original series. May also capture the ethos of the series. Gene Rodenberry sleeps happily with Jesus. And Kahn.

I hope to balance my swing through modern cinema with a tour that the Mythical Monkey would appreciate. Clara Bow moves me [wowser!], and I hope to take the measure of Doug Fairbanks and Lon Chaney


Mister Parker said...

At the rate I'm going, my blog will hit 2009's movies in the summer of 2016. Seriously. One movie year a month, 81 years to go ...

Which is a good thing, because of the movies you listed, I've only seen one of them, Duplicity, and ended up giving it a reluctant thumbs down. Like 6 out of 10 on the meter. I like Clive Owen and I like Julia Roberts but I thought the director/writer was so busy being clever, he forgot to allow for any chemistry between the two stars to develop. Back in the day, directors like Victor Fleming (Gone With The Wind, Red Dust), John Ford (The Quiet Man) and William Wyler (The Heiress, Dodsworth) knew how to do this sort of thing in their sleep.

On the other hand, in the past two months, I have seen 57 movies I've never seen before, not to mention probably 30 others I had seen before but needed to see again to comment thoughtfully about them. I say 57 because when I started blogging, I had voted on 4650 movies exactly on imdb and now I'm up to 4707 ...

It's a sickness.

A couple of movies not on your list that I'd like to see are Sin Nombre and Goodbye Solo, the latter a four-star movie (per Ebert) starring Red West, who was once both Elvis Presley's bodyguard and Robert Conrad's sparring partner on The Wild Wild West and Baa Baa Black Sheep ...

rodger eburt said...

When I ventured out last night, it was to see Goodbye Solo. But some really difficult, painful BS that makes life suck led me to go to the nearby, easier film [Is Anybody There?].