Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Hangover

By this point you have probably heard all of your little buddies talking about how great The Hangover is.  Shit, fully half of their stunted conversation is most likely quotes from the movie.  You smile and nod and act like you know exactly what they’re talking about, but you don’t, and inside, that makes you feel woefully inadequate.  You rationalize not seeing the movie by telling yourself that you’ve already heard all the funny parts anyway, and that Chad, Brad, and Clancy, have hyped it up so much that you won’t find it nearly as funny as if you had gone in cold.  (I know this latter emotion well.  I was afflicted by it the first time I saw Anchorman.  There was a point where everyone I knew had seen it, and subsequently told me it was the funniest movie ever.  When I saw it I had expectations that could not possibly have been met by any film created by humans, and was understandably a bit let down by the entire experience.  One week in January 2006, I happened to go visit a friend in Reno, Nevada during the worst snowstorm in some time—according to some accounts it was the worst since 1986, other’s claimed it was the most snow they had seen since 1916.  Somehow, two bands worth of fellow Seattlites also managed to get snowed in with us during the final leg of their tour.  With nothing to do, and nowhere in particular to go, a dozen smelly people camped out in a living room and watched and rewatched movies.  One film we screened every time someone else came around was Anchorman.  And from that experience, a deep appreciation of content and artistry was borne.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens

Let me get this out of the way.  I don’t like Shrek, nor do I endorse any of the subsequent films, musical stage productions, or whatever capitalistic ventures created unbeknownst to me in order to flog one more shiny nickel out of that already overtaxed film franchise.  Shrek was boring, derivative, and predictable, and I have spent fully too much of my life defending my stance to the world at large, who view me as something between Idi Amin and Jeffery Dahmer.  Either way, I still eat people.
Monsters vs. Aliens, the latest 3-D offering from DreamWorks, suffers from a similar predicament.  Perkiness personified, Reese Witherspoon, voices Susan Murphy, who is about to marry dreamboat known as Paul Rudd, who plays a self-centered, low-level newsman with delusions of grandeur.  Of course we see what a tool he is, why can’t Susan?  It’s just oh so frustrating.  She deserves so much better.  Luckily for Susan, moments before the nuptials go down, a meteorite hits her.  This of course turns her giant.