Wednesday, April 08, 2009
The View from the Tank: Valu-Pak
[Explanatory note: We have some premium movie channels now, so I find myself watching a lot of movies I probably shouldn't or otherwise wouldn't. You will notice a resulting lack of commitment to most of these reviews and a general decline in analysis and care.]
Sean Penn is excellent. Josh Brolin is okay. The ending was ludicrous and unforgivable. 3 1/2 tentacles.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Not as good as you remember. Goes by really fast. I can't remember what it was I thought was so funny about this movie back in the day. 2 1/2 tentacles.
Sans Soleil (1983)
Bizarre and mostly fascinating. Marker seems to have been infinitely more interested and absorbed by the material from Japan. I don't see why the portions about Africa are in here at all. But then my French friend objected that I was always looking for a "purpose" in things. That's me: Anglo-Saxon empiricism and Protestant linearity and practicality all the way. And I admit to getting a little distracted during the interminable part where they visited the sites in San Francisco featured in Vertigo. Still, a movie all movie fans should see. A documentary with a little imagination. 4 tentacles.
Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
Surprisingly entertaining, even if it may result in minor brain damage to the viewer. Theodore is very cute. The love interest is sort of hot. David Cross is hilarious as the hip, evil record executive who wants to exploit the rodents and "turn China Chipmunk." I sense several sequels. 2 1/2 tentacles.
The words coming out of Juno's mouth seem like an endless attempt to demonstrate how with it "Diablo Cody" is. Ellen Page does a good job of working in an actual character around Cody's absurd dialogue. Michael Sera does a good job playing himself again. It feels like this movie was built around an indie song that Cody heard during an Itunes commercial. 2 1/2 tentacles.
The Perfect Storm (2000)
I don't know what kept me watching to the end. I can't believe they all died. Clooney was wholly unbelievable as the Ahab-like captain of the Andrea Gail. I kept waiting for him to crack a self-satisfied smile and hatch a plan to rob the vault at the Bellagio. Mostly I kept waiting for the climactic storm scenes to be revealed in full HD glory. They were okay. John C. Reilly and William Fichtner are strangely compelling here. Worth watching if you can't sleep or do anything else. 1 1/2 tentacles.
Waltz with Bashir (2008)
Hallucinatory and powerful. A most perfect and strange documentary. Intensely personal and political. A crucial film. 4 1/2 tentacles.