Complete Coverage!

Smiles, everyone! Smiles!For the first time in a long time, I’ve actually seen all the films opening in a given week … though I’ve only ended up reviewing a fraction of the films. Doesn’t keep me from offering my opinions here, though!

“Cairo Time”: “Sabah” director Ruba Nadda returns with another tale of a middle-aged woman tempted by forbidden cross-cultural attraction. This one’s a much better film, with fine performances from Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig, and though it chickens out in the end, it’s still watchable enough. Your parents will think they’ve seen an art movie.

“Couples Retreat”: Okay, so Vince Vaughn saw “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and decided he wanted a tropical vacation of his own. He’s a mogul now; he’s entitled. And while this is somewhat smarter and funnier than “Fred Claus” or “Four Christmases”, it’s still way too long and doesn’t give Peter Serafinowicz or Jean Reno enough screen time.

Crude“: Can white type on a black screen convey a quiet sense of outrage? It certainly tries to in Joe Berlinger’s documentary profile of two dogged lawyers labouring to bring a class-action suit against Chevron in the name of the indigenous peoples of Ecuador. Yes, it sounds dreary. But it has more to say about the destructive nature of capitalism than, well, “Capitalism”.

“Haundae”: If you’ve ever wondered whether the all-star disaster movies of the 1970s would have been improved if they’d thrown a cast of screeching comic caricatures into the mix, Youn Je-kyoun’s Korean tsunami epic arrives to answer that question. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Tsunami!

Paranormal Activity“: I don’t want to oversell Oren Peli’s amazing horror movie, which Paramount is moving heaven and earth to turn into a viral hit. I’ll just say that you should see it with a crowd — and preferably before people start talking about why they think it doesn’t work. Because it totally does. My review should be up shortly. UPDATE: There you go!

And that’s everything — there’s a lot of stuff still ahead of me today, so I’ll check back with you later on.

2 thoughts on “Complete Coverage!”

  1. My usual gripe with a twist…Paranormal Activity, which I really want to see, is not only just downtown right now, it seems to be only playing at MIDNIGHT. I assume this will end up playing at a normal time even if it doesn’t come out to the ‘burbs.

    And thank you for what you didn’t give away in your review of Zombieland. I enjoyed the movie more than you, although I agree it is no Shaun of the Dead. I read a couple of other reviews after seeing it, which both gave away not only that there was a cameo, but who that cameo was. Since it’s left out of any of the marketing I’ve seen, I would assume that it was meant to be a surprise. It was a surprise for me, and was therefore funnier than it would have been if I’d known what was coming. You kept mum; isn’t there some kind of critic etiquette regarding surprise cameos?

  2. Just as a personal tic, I try to avoid discussing anything that happens in a movie after the first reel, unless it’s absolutely key to the analysis. I like going into a movie with as little foreknowledge as possible; I figure I should do my best to allow other people the same experience.

    As far as the “Zombieland” cameo, I didn’t even know there was one until the day I saw the film … when Sony’s people asked me not to mention it ON MY WAY INTO THE SCREENING.

    Also, yeah, I’d expect “Paranormal Activity” to shift into a conventional screening schedule — and to go much, much wider — sometime in the next couple of weeks, once Paramount gets the whole planet talking about it. I have to hand it to them; they’ve done an amazing marketing job with this one. And better still, the movie is worthy of the marketing.

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