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Saturday, April 15, 2006


[ internal monologue ] I don't know why I approach updating this blog with such... trepidation. It's the same as in real life. Toward anything or anyone I haven't been around in a significant amount of time, for some reason, I feel some unease about reintroducing myself. Anyhow, enough angst. Tally-ho! [ /internal monologue ]

So, for whatever reason I have decided to cut short my blog sabbatical, and clear the digital cobwebs for a spell. (Every time I pass some elementary school whose announcement board is displaying notices for events of a few months ago I am reminded that my presence on the web is an analogous embarrassment to my sense of... I don't know... contemporaneousness I suppose. It's just plain sloppy and sad.)

I probably ought to explain my long silences. Suffice it to say, life has gotten to the point that most of my contributions here are reflections of my current mindset and a log of my cultural intake (i.e., reviews and previews of movies and music). I don't have very much interest in sharing my intimate thoughts diary-style, sorry, and if I were to attempt sharing all the cool stuff I run across, I'd frustrate myself from exhaustion, and for the most part I'd be repeating the efforts of awesome sites like BoingBoing (I'm serious, a visit there is pretty much a guarantee that you'll be awed and/or amused within moments.) The bottom line is that I prefer to use my free time to experience things I enjoy, rather than spend hours adding what I often feel adds up to less than my two cents (if that makes any sense).

Regardless of this meta-blogging blather, I'd like to share my thoughts on the crop of upcoming movie releases (if you don't mind of course...). I'll only mention what seems noteworthy to me; if you don't see it below, picture yours truly with eyes rolling ;-) Actually, I'll try to keep an open mind for anything that comes along.

(As for what's out there right now, the only flick I'd like to get a chance to see is the political satire Thank You for Smoking. Oh, and Ice Age 2 is quite good, better than I expected, really. If you think jokes, no, not even jokes... err, just the occurrence of noisy bodily functions is, like, teh most hilarious thing evar, by all means see The Benchwarmers.)

*Coming Soon*

April 21

Silent Hill looks like it might not be a waste of celluloid, especially considering its classification as a horror movie and a video game adaptation. Gotta say, the trailer at least shows a very strong sense of atmosphere.

American Dreamz: I've got a bad, baaaaad feeling about this one. This spoof of American Idol and Prez. W looks ham-handed, realiant on rediculous stereotypes, and simply unfunny. No thanks.

The Sentinel looks like Generic Hollywood Thriller #47. I'm hardly at all interested.

April 28

United 93 - I think a good percentage, maybe a majority, of people have already judged this one and wouldn't think of heading into a dark theater to relive that awful morning. For the rest of us, I sense a strong fascination factor, a wish to know what it felt like for everything to completely flip right before one's eyes in a matter of minutes. The director, Paul Greengrass, showed his ability to observe the unthinkable in his previous docudrama, Bloody Sunday.


Mission: Impossible III could be an OK actioner, has a great cast, and will probably make a lot of money, but Mr. Cruise's alleged anti-free speech hijinx are a major point of contention.

Art School Confidential seems to have that black-as-night Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World, Bad Santa) comedic touch. I'm jazzed for it.

Poseidon - director Wolfgang Peterson is 2-for-2 in the ocean (Das Boot, The Perfect Storm), but this, like his last big summer flick Troy, might prove a bit behind the times, when it comes to drawing an audience.

The Da Vinci Code is one popular book, supposedly with twists and turns aplenty. Too bad the central "secret" to the whole matter just seems irrelevant to me, not worthy of an international murder mystery. Maybe I'm wrong.

X-Men: The Last Stand - I think if we x-fans steel our collective will enough in preparation for a subpar outing (Brian Singer, why have you forsaken us?) we may end up pleasantly surprised. As long as no one makes a huge fool out of themselves (odds are about even at this point), this could be looked upon as a success. Fingers crossed.

(I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention the Maryland Film Festival, May 11-14. Can't wait.)


Cars looks cute. Should be fun.

Nacho Libre - see my comments re: Benchwarmer. But the addition of J.B. does add some needed heft.

Superman Returns - I'm ready for a man in blue tights. Oh, and a bald Kevin Spacey - I'm so there.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest should be a big hit. They've got the same winning ingredients, and if they manage to keep the running time in the range of reasonability (remember, part 3 comes out next year), this could be season's best pick.

A Scanner Darkly - too cool for words. (Besides the four I just wrote... and the twelve in this sentence. OK I'll stop the snark now.)

Pathfinder - OK, I never heard of this either, but the premise from IMDb is intriguing:
"A Viking boy is left behind after his clan battles a Native American tribe. Raised within the tribe, he ultimately becomes their savoir [sic] in a fight against the Norsemen."

Lady in the Water - M. Night sees the light, casts Paul Giamatti as the lead. Now I was under the impression that this was a remake of the Tom Hanks/Daryl Hannah mermaid rom-com Splash, but apparently there's no relation. My guesses as to The Twist: IT'S ALL A DREAM! ... AND HE'S ACTUALLY A GHOST... ALIEN... COMIC-BOOK SUPERHERO ACTION GUY!

Miami Vice - 80s ultracheesy teevee show gets a 21st Century Hi-Def Michael Mann digivideo update with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.

Little Miss Sunshine is a Sundance semi-indie, semi-dark comedy with a swell cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, et al.


Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - yeah, Anchorman was not quite at the top of the farcical heap in my estimation, but loveable goof Will Ferrel and director Adam McKay try to follow up on their 2004 hit with a NASCAR-set comedy.

Snakes on a Plane - no film in memory (probably ever) has stirred up such anticipation sheerly based on the title. I think everybody know what to expect from this and the producers will likely play to their serpentine desires.

Clerks II - Jay and Silent Bob... we should have known that you'd have a farewell tour and then reunite, like the Rolling Stones or something. Just don't make a habit of it, and we won't hold a grudge, mmkay?

The Science of Sleep - star Gael García Bernal: cool; director Michel Gondry: very cool; no Charlie Kaufman (Gondry's Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) as writer? A big question mark. Man does not live on eccentric, imaginative visuals alone. Ah well, the proof of Gondry's screenplay-writing will be in the tasting. What a feast it may be...

Idlewild looks really great. I mean, there's so much going on in that trailer, the music, the humor, the Prohibition-era gangster shoot-outs. Could be a sleeper hit.

So that's the summer, my calendar tells me. Miscellaneous other films I'm looking forward to:

The Black Dahlia (Brian DePalma explores the quintessential Hollywood mystery)

For Your Consideration (the Christopher Guest gang [Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman) takes on award shows)

Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón's futuristic drama)

School for Scoundrels (Jon "NapD" Heder and once-again grumpy Billy Bob Thorton - 'nuff said)

Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu does the interlocking stories thing again, with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, and Gael García Bernal)

Marie-Antoinette (Sofia Coppola lets 'em eat cake. Trailer's brilliant: Barry Lyndon meets Bernard Sumner)

Sunshine (Danny Boyle does sci-fi: "astronauts [...] sent to re-ignite a part of the dying sun." Huh?)

Volver (yay, Pedro Almodóvar returns [vuelve]!)

The Prestige (Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Michael Caine, and Andy Serkis in a Christopher Nolan joint, about rival London magician causing all kinds of chaos ~100 years ago.)

Across the Universe ("a Beatles-centric movie musical"? Well, could be cool, could turn out to be another disaster of its subgenre [see: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, All This and World War II... *shudder*]. But with Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus) at the helm, who knows what's possible?)

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (I had an idea for a book on this subject, but this documentary should do a much better job.)

Casino Royale (Daniel Craig should make a very good Bond, but the key to these is the execution of a short storyline.)

Tenacious D in 'The Pick of Destiny' (c'mon, how can you deny the power?!)

Charlotte's Web (a live-action/CGI take on the classic pig tale)

Dreamgirls (a fictionalized version of the Diana Ross story, with a potentially wonderful cast - Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy)


These don't have set release dates, but should be out in the second half of the year (and comprise my most anticipated movies, too):

Idiocracy (Mike Judge's long-awaited comedy set in a future, dumber America)

The Fountain (Darren Aranofsky's super-high concept tripartite Fountain of Youth fable)

The Good Shepherd (Robert De Niro's history of the CIA, with Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Joe Pesci, and Bob himself)

The Good German (Steven Soderbergh's post-WWII film noir, with Clooney [I'm shocked!] and Cate Blanchett)

The Good German Shepherd (just kidding)

The Departed (a Martin Scorcese film, with maybe the best tough-guy cast in history: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin, and some barely-known actor named Jack Nicholson)


A few I'm too lazy to write about. Look 'em up, they might turn out special:

Deja Vu
Let's Go to Prison
Grind House
Stranger Than Fiction

And now I must bid a fond adieu. I'll try to be back soon. Knock yourself out on the comments button - it's free!



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