Friday, May 19, 2006

Opening in Dallas, 05/19

by Brian
Down in the Valley (trailer): I think Edward Norton is one of the great actors working today, so it’s good to see him again. This is his first major role since … The Italian Job, three years ago?

The Da Vinci Code (trailer): Topic for discussion: Ron Howard is the most overrated director in all the land. Wells called this his worst movie since Far and Away a few weeks ago, and the thought of a movie worse than Howard’s version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas made me gag.

Water (trailer): Indian film about an 8-year-old widow, which apparently caused quite a stir in the homeland. I’m always up for movies with a strong sense of social justice, and I’ll see this if I get the chance (i.e., if it doesn’t leave town after a week).

Kinky Boots (trailer): Although I’m interested in the development of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s career, I nonetheless have to point out that this movie looks like an incredible chore to sit through. I feel like we’ve been down the “stodgy old Brits forced to loosen up” avenue of humor way too many times, when really The Full Monty was enough.

The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress (trailer at official site): Once upon a time, there was an evil man named Tom DeLay, who was very corrupt, and indeed, stole Congress. Then after years of unrestrained power grabs and unfathomable corruption, he was indicted 8 months ago. Which means this documentary arrives in theaters about 8 months too late. Plus, since even his supporters boast that DeLay is a complete dickhead, I can’t imagine that this documentary has anything in it that could be news to anyone.

Over the Hedge (trailer): And the winner is … Pixar!

See No Evil (trailer): I'm all for putting pro wrestlers in movies. After all, where would we be without the important contributions of Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Dennis Rodman, or that guy who played Bane in Batman and Robin? But at least use pro wrestlers that I've heard of. I mean, who in the hell is "Kane"?


Blogger jaydro said...

I've always gone along with the Tom DeLay is evil line, so it was a little bit weird when after it all culminated and he'd announced he was resigning etc., that I saw him show up at one or two events commemorating the 25th anniversary of the space shuttle that aired on the NASA channel, and there were these NASA people saying all these nice things about him, and DeLay would make a few remarks that seemed entirely appropriate. It was a whole side I'd never seen before.... Of course, if you're from Texas it's probably different. I guess it's kinda like the way I would see former Sen. Jesse Helms differently than the rest of the country did--not that I agreed with him or ever voted for him.

5/19/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Well, that's no surprise, because NASA is, I believe, actually in his district in the Houston area. So there's really nothing un-evil about his being a big supporter.

5/19/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I saw the Da Vinci Code, and I thought it was okay. I read the book a few weeks ago, specifically to prepare myself for the film opening, so I felt I had to go. I understand some of the critics' wrath--it's a very talky picture, and there's about 20 minutes of solid exposition in the middle that, if you don't give a shit about Mary Magdalene or the Holy Grail, could put you right to sleep. But, frankly, I'll take esoteric art history discussions over blowing shit up. This film may be big, somewhat boring, and creaky, but it is not dumb. And I really enjoyed the way Ian McKellan chewed the scenery. As for Ron Howard being overrated, I don't think so. Who has rated him high? He did win an Oscar, but I don't think anyone, even the spin doctors in Hollywood, would consider him one of the best directors in the business. But he's competent, and puts out these kind of palatable entertainments with some skill, so he fulfills a need.

5/22/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Professor Wagstaff said...

I went to see 'The Da Vinci' code this week. I suppose I was in a fairly unusual position as not only had I not read the book but I'd generally ignored all the hype and discussion surrounding and didn't even know much about the central plotline.

I suppose the best thing I can say for it that it kept me fairly interested throughout its 150 minute running time, which I guess is mainly to its mystery storyline, which whatever its flaws, has enough intrigue and mystery to keep the viewer interested.

However, this is a pretty mediocre film that looks less and less impressive the more you think about it afterwards, if you do at all. To be honest, it pretty much evaporated from my mind as soon as I left the cinema.

The opening few scenes were especially clunky and lame, with bits (e.g. Sophie telling Robert that Captain Fache would do everything in his power to ensure that he was locked away) that simply did not convince.


The biggest query I have about the film is the finale and the big revelation surrounding Sophie. Firstly, the film's buildup to it is badly handled - no sense of excitement is really conveyed. And afterwards, Robert and Sophie talk for a few minutes, embrace and move on. It's treated in such a matter-of-fact manner, you'd think Sophie had bought her dream apartment, not the fact that she was a descendent of Jesus Christ!

Overall, it's just a high budget version of a mystery TV movie.

6/02/2006 07:46:00 AM  

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