summer movies 2: duece's wild?
a quick look at what we've seen...
little miss sunshine a family--suicidal gay uncle; failed self-help-guru dad; harried mom (toni collette!); angst-ridden, silent, teen boy; foul-mouthed, heroin addict grandpa; 10-year-old unlikely beauty contest entrant--on a road trip. this is the best movie of the summer... it's laugh-out-loud funny, touching, original, sweet, has an excellent cast, good music, and a script that stays just on the extremely likable side of quirky. enormously appealing. as either m or the chef said: "it's this year's garden state!!"
step up angry, scared, poor hip-hop boy meets overachieving ballet-trained girl at an art school... love and tragedy and lots of dancing ensues. what does it say about me that i liked this more than my kids? i'm not sure, but i thought the attractive characters, the energizing dance sequences, and the love story that brought a lump to my throat all overcame the see-it-coming-from-a-mile-away script.
pirates: dead man's chest yes, it's bloated, but scoboco had a blast on one of those hot-as-hell afternoon watching how much pure entertainment $100+ million and superbly choreographed action sequences can deliver. the solid cast certainly helps. as do the squid- barnacle- hammerhead shark- hermit-crab- faced villians.
united 93 a harrowing, visceral reenactment--on the ground and in the air--of the 9/11 flight that crashed in pennsylvania. dglass wouldn't see this with me so i finally went on my own in the last theater still showing it. yes, i cried a lot, but all the emotion was honestly earned. and it was so unsettling to remember what it felt like to not understand what was happening... because how could it really be happening? director paul greengrass does an excellent job of evoking the terror and the what-the-fuck??!!!-ness of that morning. does it need to exist? i don't know. but it's an expertly executed movie.
wordplay like spellbound, but about crossword junkies. everyone in this lively, likable documentary is just about the biggest nerd you'll ever see... including our hero, the times puzzle editor will shortz. that they found something in the world that provokes in them an unbelievable amount of passion--in this case, crossword puzzles--will make you totally envious. this is funny, entertaining and, if nothing else, will teach you everything you never knew you wanted to know about puzzle mechanics. bo enjoyed it too.
superman returns superman... ummmm... returns. solid summer fun. better than x-men 3.
the groomsmen four high school buddies reunite ten-or-so years later for one of their weddings. edward burns has made this movie at least three times now, and this is the least successful version (the lack of humor is the big liability). still, it's nice to hear guys talk about their feelings for an hour and a half, even if you don't quite believe them.
the devil wears prada an intern at vogue overcomes the conde-nasties and learns to be true to herself. yes, meryl streep is entertaining, and i think deserves the oscar-nominee buzz for making this movie four or five times better than it would have been without her. anne hathaway is cute and all, but she gets off the hook way to easily for climbing over the back of her coworker, as well as screwing over--then basically cheating on--her boyfriend.
a scanner darkly animated junkies talking all kinds of boring paranoid junkie nonsense... just like non-animated junkies! plus: confusing and/or nonsensical. for stoners only.