Thursday, August 03, 2006

Opening in Dallas, 08/04

by Brian
Belle de jour: The Angelika is showing Luis Buñuel’s 1967 classic this week. I don’t know why, since as far as I know the last actual re-issue of the film was back in 1995 or so. But I’ve never seen it, and if the Angelika wants to turn themselves into a repertory house for a week, I’m down with that.

The Descent (trailer): The ads for this have NOT been appealing; Lionsgate has been marketing it as the second (third? fourth?) coming of Saw. However, word from other parts of the world, where The Descent has been playing for about a year now, has been very good. I seem to remember Nick raving about it, back in the old days.

La Moustache (trailer): OK, here’s the deal. A guy has a mustache. He shaves it off. Nobody notices, and then they tell him, what’s the big deal, you never had a mustache anyway. Apparently, creepy existential psychological horror ensues. And it’s French.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (trailer): So, I guess Will Ferrell is the biggest comedy star around right now. In the grand scheme of things, this is a better state of affairs than when Adam Sandler was the biggest comedy star around right now, but less good than when Jim Carrey was the biggest comedy star around. If I’m bored I might go see this, but I feel Ferrell’s schtick has gotten a little old, and was fairly thin to begin with.

The Night Listener (trailer): These last three all look like complete crap. That The Night Listener is ranked above the other two does not constitute an endorsement of any kind.

Barnyard: The Original Party Animals (trailer): I’m glad I don’t work in Paramount’s marketing department right now, because this movie directly follows Monster House, which did OK business, and The Ant Bully, which did not. And now comes Barnyard, which looks to have easily the least charm of the three.

Shadowboxer (trailer): “Cuba Gooding, Jr.” “Full-throttle noir”. Enough said.


Blogger jaydro said...

The '95 reissue (restoration?) of Belle had subtitles that through use of italics gave away a hitherto somewhat mysterious part of the film. One would hope that has been fixed, but who knows. Don't know if the problem is also on the DVD. Perhaps someone decided the subtitles were supposed to be that way, though without subtitles one would not be exposed to the contrivance.

The best thing about Ricky Bobby has to be that Ferrell is appearing in print ads in character endorsing products his character endorses. And people who don't know Ferrell think he is a NASCAR driver when they see these ads. But my amusement over this will not make me go see the film....

8/03/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous lora said...

Well, I just had to. I watched the trailer for La Moustache. This is really not new; TV producers have been switching actors for years, resulting in characters with entirely new faces stepping in without a peep from their "loved ones." Imagine what the French could have done with the drama of the two Darrens on Bewitched (that had the nice touch of switching from one Dick to another) or the swapping of the Beckys on Roseanne.

8/03/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Barnyard does something unforgiveable for me, so that I will never watch it in any incarnation--it has male cows with udders. Either the filmmakers are stupid beyond belief or thing the viewing public is, and both scenarios are enough to disgust me.

8/04/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jeanine said...

(Barnyard) Being a children's movie, you can hardly blame the filmmakers or the viewing public. After all, Ken (of Ken and Barbie) is not anatomically correct. Seeing as how the film shows much of the cow's underside, I doubt parents would appreciate the male cows being anatomically correct. Can you imagine an auditorium of children saying, "Mommy, what's that?"

8/04/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I think giving male cows udders is some kind of weird genius. It's like the cow equivalent of The Birdcage or something.

And I'm not sure that "anatomically correct" is the issue. Udders are the cow equivalent of human breasts, aren't they? And you'd never see breasts in a kids movie. If you look at this movie as a critique of the double standard that exists in our society between men and women, it makes a lot of sense.

8/04/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous lora said...

Well, apart from the whole udder controversy, the cows are talking, dancing, and driving, so it seems that a certain suspension of disbelief was assumed from the start. I think that having bull genitalia would have pushed the film past its PG rating and prevented the artists from using that incredibly pink color. I don't think the filmakers thought no one would notice; I think they just had a realllllly good time drawing udders. From the reviews I read, the film also has a pretty gruesome death scene. All in all, bank on some bad science grades and future therapy for the kids subjected to "Barnyard".

8/04/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I really loved Kung Pow: enter the fist, which was directed by the guy who did Barnyard. Still, I can't get over the male udders.

Sure, Ken has a flat crotch, but if he had female breasts I think parents would get upset.

8/05/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

The wags at Defamer noticed the bovine biology problem in Barnyard, and conjured up the following discussion at Paramount:

Apparently, no one bothered to tell any of the animators or Paramount creative executives responsible for Barnyard that "male cows" do not have udders. We'd really love to have been present for the conversation that resulted in all of Barnyard's male bovines being rendered with mammary glands:

"Well, you see, udders...they produce milk. Only the females of the species have them."

"Hold on, what?"

"Udders. Mammaries. Think about it this way: would you have wanted Tom Cruise to have breasts in M:i:III?"

[long pause for serious contemplation] "Probably not. No. Why has no one brought this up before?"

"We've been trying to tell you this for months."

"Let's not assign blame here. How much is it going to cost to digitally de-udder the males?"

"$10 million."

"That's just not in the budget."

"So what the hell do we do? We're gonna get killed on this by anyone who's got above a kindergarten education."

"Fuck." [longer pause] "I've got it! If anyone asks, the boy cows don't have udders. They have four penises. Throw in a line about how the farmers' use of pesiticides made all of the boy cows grow extraneous genitalia. How much would that cost?"

"Nothing, Mr. Grey."

"Done. Whew, I feel so much better about this."

8/07/2006 12:39:00 PM  

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