Thursday, December 21, 2006

Opening in Dallas, Weekend of 12/22

by Brian
Finally! A few movies to get excited about.

The Good German (trailer): I know buzz on this hasn’t been terribly strong, but I couldn’t really care less. A new Soderbergh movie is a genuine cinema event as far as I’m concerned, even though (or maybe because) he’s all over the place, whether in terms of genre, style, or quality.

Volver (trailer): At long last. Previously reviewed here by Nick.

The Good Shepherd (trailer): I don’t know what to make of this one. I’m generally of the mind that a willingness to cast Angelina Jolie in any role indicates a fundamental lack of seriousness by the filmmakers towards a project, since it’s been awhile since Angelina Jolie has seemed serious about acting. But the movie seems first-class in every other respect, although again, reviews have been spotty so far.

Curse of the Golden Flower (trailer): The second Zhang Yimou film to hit the US this year, after the fairly decent but ultimately slight Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. This one looks like Hero, but with a lot more cleavage.

Rocky Balboa (trailer): I’m sorry, but I’m too young by about 3-4 years to have really gotten Rocky. I’ve seen 1-4, of course, but like Star Wars, I feel like I just missed the cutoff date for the age when Rocky was a mandatory part of American childhood. And ultra-Rocky fan Bill Simmons’ review kinda confirms my suspicions that the new one just isn’t very good.

We Are Marshall (trailer): Ordinarily, this would be higher, because it actually looks somewhat decent. But there’s just one thing … the “Directed by McG” line at the bottom of the poster. I’m not just trashing the guy out of antipathy towards Charlie’s Angels, either - I also genuinely hated the dude’s trashy music videos back in the day. I’ve been a hater ever since Sugar Ray’s “Fly”. Or maybe it was Fastball’s “The Way”. Or Smash Mouth’s “Walkin’ on the Sun”. Or…

Night at the Museum (trailer): I’m kinda tired of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, but on the other hand, Mickey Rooney’s “He looks like a weirdie!” is pretty strong. So yeah, it’s at the bottom of the list, but I really don’t feel all that bad about it.



Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Volver is finally opening in Princeton, and so is Little Children, which I've been dying to see. I've got a nice long four-day weekend coming up, so I hope to see both, and I'll probably go see The Pursuit of Happyness out of a sense of obligation. The Good Shepherd will be after that.

12/21/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...


12/21/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I had been excited about The Good German, but clips I've seen look a little too forced, and Tobey Maguire seems wrong. We'll see....

12/21/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger LesterG said...

I'm feeling pretty underwhelmed by this year's Holiday movies, I'll check out The Good German, though.

BTW, no Dreamgirls in Dallas, Brian? I know they're expanding by 800 theaters on Monday.

12/22/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I think it gets here Monday. I'll throw up another post for those over the weekend.

12/22/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

Brian I think I'm only a year older than you and I can't remember when I haven't been a Rocky fan. I don't think it has to do with the year you were born...just parents probably. (Mine took me to see Rocky 3 when I was 6 years old I think. I don't recommend it nowadays, but back then...Good times!)

Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy, was wrong wrong wrong. And I know he's tongue-in-cheek...I read him every couple of weeks in ESPN the mag. But still....

#1. He's a sports columnist, so he can write, but that doesn't make him anymore of a movie critic than me.

#2. He's a new england fan. Anything Boston is his bread & butter. And we're supposed to take his word on Philly heroes?

#3. He's on the inside. By that I mean sports. Anytime anyone mentions anything related to your field of expertise, you have a biased presupposition (I'm just throwing big words out there). Like when "24" throws out computer impossibilities, I usually roll my eyes. (doesn't mean i don't like it, I just don't buy that part of the story like someone not in the know would..and it takes me out of the zone for a second).

#4. Street cred seems to be gained by becoming an apostate. Or at least an inside naysayer. As a Raiders fan if I say "They suck so bad this year..." it carries more weight than if a 49ers fan says it. (because they always say it...and they actually do suck this year worse than the last 4 years). The same goes by prefacing your story with "Being the world's greatest Rocky fan" you instantly become credible in anything negative you say. Which is really weird.....

For me, a Rocky fan, to say that RB was the perfect closure to an excellent series...I'd get labeled just another fanboy. But for him, a Rocky fan, to say the movie was a "desparate, trasnparent attempt to stay relevant" and then give 4 reasons why he can't recommend it...well, he must be on to something.
Funny how that works.

12/23/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Well, the thing about the Sports Guy is that, even though he's obviously not a movie critic, I knew exactly where he was coming from. He just (re)posted his reviews of 1-4 last week, so it's not like I gave him cred just because he started by saying that he's a Rocky fan.

And also, I'll acknowledge that I put stock in his specific criticisms on RB because they confirmed my suspicions watching the trailer. It's easy to believe someone when they come along and say that the problems are exactly what you thought they would be.

Oddly, he wrote in his column yesterday that he was reconsidering. So again, I don't think he dissed it in a bid for credibility.

As for the age, maybe you're right. It just seems like almost everyone I've known that was a big fan was just a few years older than me. Also, I'm the oldest child in my family; do you by any chance have an older brother that was into the movies, that might have rubbed off on you?

12/23/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

Nope..I was an only child for the first 11 years of my life. The only possible influence I can think of for liking these movies had to be my parents.

I think my friends at the time and cousins my age enjoyed them as well, so I had a shared childhood affinity...

Should I send Bill my review? it's more than 2-3 paragraphs... =)

12/23/2006 01:04:00 AM  

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