Monday, August 20, 2007

Tee hee

Movie #11, Superbad

It's official. The Apatow group is the funniest around right now. Superbad is hilarious and sweet at the same time, just like Knocked Up. Can I declare them the best comedies of the summer even if I haven't seen any others?

Superbad concerns the immature machinations of three graduating high school boys trying desperately to get booze to bring to a party to impress girls. What the movie really accomplished (other than causing me to snort rather embarrassingly) was to make me realize that high school SUCKED. I've actually spent the last eight years believing that I loved high school, and that I had a great time there. NO. So false. Watching Superbad made me realize how much pressure we were under then. How much it sucked to never know the right thing to do or say, to always feel wrong somehow. The movie also makes you realize that it is truly amazing to come out of that time with even one great friend, and I'm luckier than most to be able to say that I have a whole slew of them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Saw Some More Movies

This movie didn’t outrage me as much as I thought it would, mainly because none of the ideas were new to me. I guess I was already sufficiently outraged about our national health care situation before seeing it. All of the stuff about how the national health care plan was actually set up in the 70s by Nixon was new to me – and made my blood boil. This is probably more terrifying than any horror movie out in the theaters at the moment.

Blah, how much money did they spend on this bloated, so-called comedy? I think I chuckled two or three times. Steve Carrell was wasted along with all that money.

Good for those people who are interested in slow-paced, cerebral sci-fi (probably less than 1% of the general population). Outstanding performances by all of the actors involved, especially Chris Evans and the lovely Cillian Murphy (as always). The last third does go a bit off the rails, but I think it’s more than justified. I probably need to see this again, if nothing else for the stellar cinematography (stellar, get it? Ha, ha).

Whoever hasn’t seen this movie really just needs to get to the theater and see it immediately. The first half hour in particular will make you choke on your popcorn. I thought the writers wouldn’t be able to come up with new material that’s still funny – I was dead wrong.

The most surprising thing about this movie is that it’s actually very funny. I laughed through the whole thing. I thought it was fairly sensitive in spite of the barrage of gay jokes, and I’d definitely recommend this as a rental or budget theater movie. There’s Hollywood stupidity galore, of course, but it’s really one of the funniest mainstream comedies I’ve seen recently.

The thing I liked about this franchise (the first one in particular) was the crystal-clear cinematography which allowed you to see every detail of the fight and chase sequences vividly. That’s completely abandoned in this film for blurry, camera-jiggling, quick-cut editing, which results in the general impression of violence. I don’t like not being able to see what kind of action the characters in action movies are involved in. Especially when the actor is Matt Damon, and he looks great, and you know he trained damn hard to get in shape. This movie will get your adrenaline pumping, especially during the sharp-shooter assassin sequences, but overall I was somewhat annoyed by my inability to see anything.

Thanks, budget theater, for my almost-private screening of this movie. One other person was in the theater with me – I still can’t believe that out of all my matinee viewings in Chicago, I have never seen a movie in a completely empty theater yet. Anyway, this was marginally interesting. Horrible acting and dead, flat dialog, of course – but I didn’t expect anything more from it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Why so hot?

Movie #10, The Bourne Ultimatum

Oh, I am so proud that in the late 90's when all young ladies were taking their stance on that oh-so-important life question - Matt or Ben? - Sandy and I both chose Matt. The Bourne Ultimatum is just as awesome as the other two Bourne movies. What's great is that the filmmakers haven't turned Jason Bourne into James Bond or Indiana Jones or whatever. He's almost a throwback to the more stoic heroes of Westerns.

(I also saw Ratatouille and Harry Potter, and loved them both. HP especially, because this was the first movie where I thought all the young actors did a great job, including Dan Ratcliffe, with whom I've never been very impressed.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I've been busy

Books 11 & 12: Shih Tzu owner's manuals

We just moved into a new house and not three days later, I was approved to adopt this little guy. I didn't think it would happen so fast, so we've spent the last couple of weeks packing, moving, and then frantically unpacking and buying supplies for mini Cooper over there.

OK, I'll be honest, the whole point of this post is to show off my cute dog, but we did buy two different guides to help us with training him, one from Barron's and one from Animal Planet. Unfortunately, they contradict each other a lot. In those situations, we've gone with the Animal Planet book, because it seems more reasonable. For example, it says to NEVER use a choke chain on shih tzus, while the Barron's book says that they're great for training, even on a little four-pound puppy. How could anyone think a choke chain would be a good idea?