Monday, September 04, 2006

Movie Mon. - Disparate Housewives

Didn't get much watched this past week due to (a) lots of moving of stuff; (b) lots of reading of books; and (c) lots of playing of Halo 2. But, here's what little I did manage to squeeze in.

Capricorn One: Late 70s thriller about a group of astronauts forced to fake a Mars landing, only to find themselves in danger of being bumped off when the shuttle used in the hoax burns up on reentry. Early on I was impressed with just how well the movie held up after almost 30 years, but by the time we reached the "astronauts must escape or else be killed" point, the film began to show its age. Which is not to say it was bad; it just slipped a little here and there. My biggest annoyance with the film was the reporter character played by Elliot Gould, whose behavior didn't really seem to fit with that of a man who has found himself almost killed multiple times by members of a huge conspiracy. "Let's see, my good friend has disappeared like he never existed, my car was tampered with, people have tried to shoot me, so what should I do now . . . I know, I'll go to my apartment and sit around idly waiting for government agents to come and take me away. It's brilliant!" *sigh*

Friends With Money: Comedy about a three well-off couples and their not-so-well-off friend. I rented this movie because of the cast: Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, and Catherine Keener are three of my favorite actresses. But despite a great cast, this movie never really clicked for me. Perhaps it was my inability to buy Jennifer Anniston as a down-at-he-luck pothead; maybe it was the fact that at no time did we ever find out how these four disparate women became friends; or it could have been that I just wasn't in the mood to watch a movie about people's lives self-destructing. I do want to give the film props for not going the clichéd route with the metrosexual husband; yes, he's essentially the big-screen version of the old SNL skit "Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual," but it's refreshing to see a movie which has a character displaying stereotypical qualities without making the character into the stereotype. Again, not a bad movie, but a big ol' sense of "been there, done that" pervaded most of it.

Straight Into Darkness: Low-budget movie about a couple of American deserters during WWII who stumble across a band of guerrillas comprised almost entirely of mentally and physically disabled children. An odd film, but entertaining.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning: I stumbled across this 5th installment in the franchise on cable the other night and felt compelled to watch it, since I hadn't seen it since my initial viewing over 20 years ago. While Cap'n Red and I were discussing where this one was in the series, I realized that this had been the last installment I actually saw before I broke down and rented Jason Goes to Hell out of morbid curiosity. After watching the film, I realized exactly why I'd stopped watching the series: man, was this one a stinker. Overly predictable and cliché-ridden (at least 4 separate examples of "tripping while running through the woods"), this z-grade movie isn't good for anything other than making fun of. However, it is excellent fodder for mockery, and the viewing of it was, sadly, probably the highlight of my movie watching this week.