Monday, March 10, 2008

Life? Me no likey...

Never been quite so stressed by schoolwork in my entire life. Why does every single professor insist upon giving either a massive paper or a comprehensive midterm during the EXACT same week as every other one? Currently, I'm contemplating what level of self-inflicted mutiliation will get me an extension on my papers without actually killing me.... needless to say, reviews/blogging must be put on the back-burner for a few days so I can attempt to not (literally) fail out of school.

But, in case you were wondering, here are some quick takes on some movies I've seen in the last few days that you probably won't be seeing reviews for. I'll try my best to get up reviews for "Funny Games," "Horton Hears a Who" and "Never Back Down" (all of which I saw last week) by Friday, but I make no promises:

Paranoid Park: B+
I haven't been digging on Gus Van Sant's last few pretentious, esoteric films, and this one sort of fits comfortably into that group, but it's the first one that really worked for me. Yes, "art" film lovers will likely spontaneously ejaculate in the theater, but this is the first one of Van Sant's in a while that I think offers something to the rest of the moviegoing populace, while still never coming close to 'mainstream.' The construct and sound design may rub some the wrong way, but I think it's completely successful in putting us in the mindset/writings of a character, and I was gripped, even while nothing much was happening.

10,000 B.C.: D-
Obviously I didn't have any level of expectations for Roland Emmerich's latest, but this was so much worse than I could have imagined. I honestly don't even know who this movie is for, or who would enjoy it. It manages the rare feat of being really weird and really dull at the same time. The only time it approaches enjoyable awfulness is during an extended chase by a killer ostrich... yes, you read that right. The rest of the time I just wanted to go to sleep and dream sweet dreams of slapping Emmerich.

College Road Trip: C
Yes, this movie sucks, but it genuinely surprised me with how watchable it was. I hate Martin Lawrence and I hate these sort of Disney movies, but the movie is merely bad and not horrendous. It mildly diverted me for 80 minutes, and is significantly better than something like 'The Game Plan.'

Married Life:
Great central performances by Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson, solid relaxed work by Pierce Brosnan and a bland, forgettable piece of acting by Rachel McAdams in her first role in two years are all featured here. This twistier, lighter 40s dark comedy/suspense/drama in the vein of 'Far From Heaven' is an entertaining enough 90 minutes, but keeps feeling like it should be more than it is. It's totally an easy sit, but everything surrounding Cooper and Clarkson is only operating on about half their level.


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