Thursday, August 17, 2006

Movies over the last couple weeks 

Saw a couple. Good ones, bad ones.

Little Miss Sunshine
This movie is great. Fantastic cast elevates two-dimensional characters to being real people. As a road movie, the story is sort of slave to convention and threatens to go flying off the tracks after Paul Dano's breakdown (just one trauma after another). But the ending... what an ending. A blindsiding cure-all. If you're to predict between option A and option B of what would happen in the finale (set in the horrifying world of child beauty pageants -- easily the ugliest side of Americana), realizing that neither option would satisfying or believable, the movie unveils option Z and knocks you on your ass. This is a crowd-pleaser. One of the year's best. Definitely see it.

Talladega Nights
I liked it. Very funny. Lots of funny. Couldn't begin to tell you why you should care about the story or who some of the characters are -- Amy Adams? Anybody? Still not clear who she was actually meant to be. Gary Cole and John C. Reilly are hysterical, of course. The character of Ricky Bobby is kind of a shit from start to finish, but I'm still laughing the whole way. This movie would flow better if it just embraced what it really was: a sketch comedy.

Surprise: it's dumb. I haven't seen a film so that is so fiercely anti-technology as this in... well, maybe ever. We don't get to see the inciting incident, there is no climax, and it's a bore to look at. Seriously, the color scheme will put you to sleep. There are a few chills, but nothing you wouldn't expect. Particularly frustrating that the story writes itself into a corner and abruptly ends with a voiceover. I guess the message is that we should go back to the days of carrier pigeons and smoke signals if we want to communicate with each other. Lame.

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