Monday, January 08, 2007

Movie Mon. - A Weak Week

The Covenant: Lightweight, but entertaining, supernatural film that basically answers the question "What if we redid The Craft, only with guys this time?" This one is pretty much the definition of "glossy" with its nice looking cast, nice looking sets, and nice looking effects; the definition of "deep," however, it most assuredly was not. Which is too bad, because it felt like there was a lot of potential to be mined -- maybe it showed up in the comic book. Probably worth a rental for fans of the fantastical, although the ending is pretty weak.

Snakes on a Plane: The long-awaited thriller whose title says exactly what it is: an over-the-top, suspend-your-disbelief cheese-fest. Or, so its legion of pre-release fans wanted to believe. The actual result? Not so much. Oh, sure, there's cheese aplenty here, and my disbelief had to be suspended many a time. As for the over-the-top factor, well, they had me at "snakes biting people on their naughty bits." And yet, somehow, I left wanting something more. Could I even come close to defining for you what that something could be? Nope, not a bit. As far as cheesy fun goes, not a bad way to while away the time, but it definitely suffered from the huge anticipatory build-up.

Factotum: Incredibly depressing film about a pathologically self-destructive, alcoholic would-be writer and his endless succession of mishandled relationship and sabotaged jobs. Yes, there were moments of comedy here and there at the different ways the protagonist would find to shoot himself in the foot, but it didn't take long for it to wear on me; the ceaseless failures slowed the film to a glacial crawl for me. Despite some great performances, not one I would recommend to anyone.

Beer League: And speaking of not being able to recommend . . . a not very comedic comedy about a group of losers whose antics have forced them to either shape up their act and win the big softball tournament or get permanently kicked out of the league. Sadly, the bulk of the truly funny moments didn't come along until the last 15-20 minutes of the film. The rest of the movie was filled with broadly telegraphed gags delivered with less than impeccable timing. The fact that it actually had some laugh out loud moments saves it from being ranked as the worst movie I saw this week, but I can't honestly say it's worth anybody's time.