Monday, November 13, 2006


Wordplay: Documentary about the annual National Crosswords Championships and its founder Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. While the crossword puzzle contestants are nowhere near as quirky as the Scrabble contestants from Word Wars, this was still an enjoyable look inside the culture of crossword fanatics. I particularly enjoyed the sections which showed the crosswords being constructed, as well as the interviews with celebrity crossword enthusiasts such as Bill Clinton, The Indigo Girls, and Jon Stewart.

Freak Out: Very low budget British horror comedy about a horror movie fanatic and his no-good best friend who decide to turn an escaped mental patient into the next Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. First the negatives: the acting is sub-par, the editing and plot are choppy, and the humor often descends into the sophomoric. Then again, most of those complaints could be applied to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and I've watched that one way too many times. I don't think Freak Out is quite as willfully stupid as Tomatoes, but it often comes close. But despite of the lack of quality in many aspects (and perhaps, at times, because of it), I got a lot of enjoyment out of this one. It sent up a lot of different horror flicks, and has its share of laugh-out-loud moments. In the end, The Anti-Cap'n and I agreed that it was worth our time; of course, I have no clue who else I know who would appreciate it.

Mr. Jealousy: Romantic comedy from '97 starring Eric Stoltz as a compulsively jealous man who lies his way into a therapy group in order to spy on his girlfriend (Annabella Sciorra)'s famous ex-boyfriend (Chris Eigeman). This one was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, who, between this, The Squid and the Whale and Kicking AND Screaming is now officially on my "must see anything he does" list. Quirky and off-beat characters with lots of dialogue; right up my alley. Once again stealing scenes is Baumbach's good friend Carlos Jacott as Stoltz's neurotic friend who receives therapy by proxy.

Totally Awesome: This spoof of 80s movies comes courtesy of VH1, and pays mocking homage to such classics as Footloose, Karate Kid, Dirty Dancing, Soul Man and Teen Wolf. As with most spoofs, this one was hit or miss. The leads (including Callie from Battlestar Galactica as the resident "pretty/ugly girl") were pretty likeable, especially Dominique Swain, whose mini-temper tantrums were some of the film's highlights; sadly, there's no clip of the tantrums by themselves out there (yet), but one does pop up in this trailer.
"Dancing is my life; DANCING IS MY LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!" Cracked me up every time. I could have done without pretty much any of Tracy Morgan's scenes, and Joey Kern was just a little too sleazy as the uber-popular jock, but on the whole, an amusing piece of fluff for children of the 80s.


Cap'n Cluck said...


Now how in the world did I miss this?!? Luckily this was a VH1 production. It will air 50 million times more.

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!