Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"What I Watched" Wednesday - Good Week for Drama, Not So Much for Comedy

Well, thanks to my contribution to the festivities of Bring It On Week getting me a mention on The Invincible Super-Blog, I experienced a surge in visitors for a few days (113 on Saturday alone), but it has now tapered back off into normal levels. Guess I'll celebrate my return to mediocre audience levels by doing some mediocre movie reviews*. Huzzah!

The Amateurs:
Mediocre comedy about a small town layabout who comes up with the brilliant get-rich-quick scheme of enlisting his fellow small town inhabitants to help him make a porno. An incredibly talented cast (Jeff Bridges, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Pants, William Fitchner, Ted Danson, Patrick Fugit, Glenn Headley, Jean Tripplehorn, Lauren Graham), but man, what a slow, lackluster, snooze-inducing waste of time this was. Oh, sure, there were a couple of funny parts here and there, but overall, I was bored out of my gourd.

Gone Baby Gone:
Engaging thriller about a private eye (Casey Affleck) who is hired to help out on what seems like a routine kidnapping, but which turns out to be much more. I liked this one quite a bit, which was mildly surprising since it's Ben Affleck's directorial debut.** A bit of a downer at times, and the ending is a bit morally ambiguous, both of which were selling points to me, but might not be to others. You make the call.

The Comebacks:
Spoof of feel-good sports movies such as Radio, Remember the Titans, Stick It, Rudy, Friday Night Lights, etc. One of those "had its moments" films which I found more entertaining than, say, Epic Movie or the execrable Date Movie, but it still falls far short of the Airplane! or Naked Gun spoofs.

The Martian Child:
Well done drama about a widowed Science Fiction author (John Cusack) who tries to adopt a strange child who claims to be from Mars. The kid manages to be strange without being overly creepy, which is a nice change from most recent "weirdo kid" movies, and Joan Cusack steals every scene she's in, which should come as no surprise since Joan Cusack is one of the most awesome scene stealing actresses of all time.

"Does 'mediocre' refer to the quality of the movies or the quality of the reviews?" you may ask, to which I reply: a little from column A, a little from column B.

**Well, to be accurate, this is his feature film directorial debut; apparently he also once directed a short film with quite an interesting name