Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Movies I watched this week, from favorite to least.

When this movie came out in 2000, Laura Linney might have qualified as my least favorite actress of all time: humorless, shrill, miserable, no fun at all. But after seeing this, The Squid And The Whale and Breach, it's pretty clear that the problem with Congo, Absolute Power and Primal Fear wasn't her so much as Congo, Absolute Power and Primal Fear. Turns out Mark Ruffalo deserves my respect as well. I already knew Matthew Broderick does great passive-aggressive.

Humor-wise, time has shown you can relent even less than they do here. But I can't imagine anyone pulling off the surreal structure and matter-of-fact religious irreverence today with the same craft or inspiration (seeing The Ten on Wednesday, though!).

Teen outcast chic is sadly traded for junkie chic, and wolfsbane-as-methadone is a less gripping metaphor than lycanthropy-as-adulthood. Everything else is as awesome as it was the first time.

It's possible that if I lived in England I might have enough hostility towards countryside demagogues to appreciate the tonal shift that occurs in the last third, but my current stance on mass murderers got in the way of the ha-ha a lot more than my stance on zombies did in Shaun Of The Dead.

As great as Dean Stockwell's Leopold is, Orson Welles' Clarence Darrow is such a platitudinous bore that I might prefer Murder By Numbers for Ryan Gosling's Loeb (Sandra Bullock gives fewer speeches, too).

For a cheap, poorly directed, chemistry-free film shelved for a year and dumped on DVD, this sure has a lot of celebrity cameos.

Proof that Lukas Haas is not ready to play a dad, convey a mental breakdown or carry a movie.

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