Yet another week with not much to recommend. Doing these posts week after week I’ve come to truly realize how little quality product Hollywood puts out. Right, right, that’s like saying the I just realized the pope wears a big white hat, but having to comb through the releases each week brings that truth into stark relief. Also, there is a theme this week, mainly because I’m bored.
Ok, Jumper was my top pick of the week until I just saw the trailer for this one. It’s a mockumentary (ugh…I have to find another word to use) about a high stakes poker tournament that stars Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Jason Alexander, and Werner Herzog. Yes, that Werner Herzog, the irascible German director who directed Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (and a whole bunch of other films, including the recent Rescue Dawn), three movies that you a)probably haven’t seen, b) should go out and watch immediately, and c)will probably hate with ever fiber of your being. I typically hate fussy auteurs (I’m looking at you, David Lynch), but for some reason I adore all of Herzog’s work. The trailer actually wasn’t that funny, but I will gladly watch it just to see Herzog talk about killing bunnies.
Recommended if you liked Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, or if you (like me) have an inexplicable Werner Herzog fetish.
My (former) top pick for the week, although that isn’t saying much. As many of you may now realize, my guilty pleasure is the FX laden action flick, and I will dip into that pool repeatedly no matter how many turds I come up with. This one probably falls somewhere in the middle. Anakin Skywalker magically flits from New York skyscrapers to the Sphinx to wherever the heck he wants, while the irascible Mace Windu hunts him down with a shiny stick thingy. Mmmmm, sounds like an evening of intelligent highbrow entertainment, no? Director Doug Liman did do the first Bourne flick, so it can’t be all that bad. And if nothing else, watching Sam Jackson yell at stuff is always worth a good two hours.
Recommended if you’ve always felt that Night Crawler got gypped for not getting his own spin-off franchise.
Hit the jump for more stunning DVD masterpieces.
This is one of those films with each act by a different director (3, to be exact) that proves that unless directors are related to one another, they shouldn’t even attempt to co-direct a film. Apparently there is this TV/radio signal that turns people into homicidal maniacs, and blah blah blah blah you know the drill. The intriguing first act is followed by a bizarrely comic second one only to conclude with a distressingly bleak finale. If you don’t mind being jerked around like a marionette, you might enjoy the low-budget horror on display. However, if you’re looking for chilling horror as seen through the eyes of 3 different directors, I would instead recommend 3 Extremes featuring pieces by Fruit Chan, Takashi Mike, and the irascible Park Chan-wook. Actually I wouldn’t really recommend it, but you know what I mean.
Recommended if you found Four Rooms and 3 Extremes to be intriguing experiments.
The Other Boleyn Girl
Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman fight over Eric Bana! Aristocratic cat fighting ensues! Medieval mud wrestling at it’s finest! Well, no, not really, I’m sure the proceedings are all kinds of stuffy and pretentious, chock full of too-tight bodices and purple velvet breeches (boy there’s a fashion style that needs to make a comeback). This got middling reviews, but if you’ve got an irascible itch that can only be scratched by drama involving King Henry VIII, then I’m going to direct you to the wonderful A Man For All Seasons or Showtime’s The Tudors.
Recommended if you like The Tudors and just can’t wait for the 3rd season to come out.
The Bucket List
If you told me Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson were in the same film, I would generally see it sight unseen. It is almost (but not quite) as good a pairing as Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. But in the case of The Bucket List I could care less. About two terminally ill geezers who discover a new lease on life by going down a list of “things to do before I die” and doing all of them, the trailer was one groan away from a hernia. Cue geriatric keystone cops slapstick. Perhaps our faithful readers will give me the same irascible beatdown they gave me last week for dissing Control, but in this instance I’m guessing not.
Recommended if you liked About Schmidt but wished it had been a lamer.
Every barrel needs a bottom, every king needs a fool, and every village needs an idiot. Thankfully, Larry the Cable Guy is here to save the day. I’m certain that the same thought and care went into making this film as went into Larry choosing his stage name, so you know you’re in for a real treat, especially when you find out that Jenny McCarthy, that irascible thespian for the ages, co-stars. Oh gosh, I can’t write any more, as I think I feel my breakfast coming up.
Recommended if you hate humanity.