Bourne Again

Hang on, they're not screening the Bratz movie?This year has seen more movies released without advance press screenings than ever before; I thought 2006 was bad, but this year it seems like I’m spending every other Friday afternoon catching up to something.

Last week, it was “I Know Who Killed Me”; two weeks before that, it was “Captivity”. You got your “Hostel Part II”, your “Dead Silence”, your “Kickin’ It Old Skool” and “The Invisible” on the same day … and now, your “Bratz” and your “Underdog”.

I do not expect I will be in the best of moods tomorrow.

However, there are four other movies opening this week that I have seen:

Arctic Tale“: Aww, look at the cute widdle polar bear and the cute widdle walrus stwuggling to survive in their dangerous, increasingly endangered habitat! Look at the brave widdle directors, editing unrelated wildlife footage into a narrative to shame Disney! On the other hand, by appealing to its young audience’s emotions instead of their logic, it’ll communicate the global-warming issue in a way Al Gore never can.

Becoming Jane“: Anne Hathaway affects a very wobbly accent to play Jane Austen in a twee and tweaked reimagining of her life as a budding writer, where it seems she met a dashing man who was not unlike that stuffy Mr Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice”. As it turns out, quite a lot of Austen’s life appears to be not unlike “Pride and Prejudice” … might that be the only DVD the screenwriters bothered to rent before embarking on this project? Just a passing thought.

The Bourne Ultimatum“: In which Paul Greengrass fixes most of the things I thought were off about “The Bourne Supremacy” — the cutting is slightly more coherent, the camerawork less intentionally disorienting, the script more centered — and Matt Damon finds the tormented core of his rebooted assassin, leading to a thriller where you’re more afraid the hero will kill someone for the wrong reasons than be killed himself. Terrific entertainment.

Hot Rod“: Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island buddies take a script earmarked for Will Ferrell and turn it into something truly, freakishly their own: Imagine a 1980s movie made by people who spent their formative years watching “Footloose” and “Rocky IV” unironically. And it turns out that watching Andy Samberg get hit in the face over and over again is its own reward.

That’s the week in a nutshell. Time to man up and catch the day’s first show of “Underdog” …

… yeah, I live a charmed life.