Death and the Dolphins

I can see by your outfit that you are a plot deviceFirst things first: John Hughes died. There’s a quick appraisal up at the NOW site, if you’re curious.

Otherwise, we’re back to the grind: So many movies opening today that the mind boggles at the thought of sitting through them. Fortunately, I no longer have to try …

“Adam”: After “Evening”, “The Jane Austen Book Club” and “Confessions of a Shopaholic” failed to launch him as a Hollywood leading man, Hugh Dancy shoots the works as a lovelorn Asperger’s sufferer in Max Mayer’s quirky romantic comedy. Rad found it wanting; frankly, they lost me at the trailer.

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country“: Anders Ostergaard’s documentary takes us inside the Burmese monk protests of September 2007, and reminds us that citizen journalism is a totally valid form of non-violent resistance.

Cold Souls“: Sophie Berger appears to think the Charlie Kaufman formula is as simple as (character actor) + (metaphysical absurdity) x (ironic distance). But even Kaufman’s transcended that. Still, anything that gives Paul Giamatti screen time isn’t totally pointless.

The Cove“: If you were getting all big-headed about the nobility of the human race, director Louie Psihoyos offers incontrovertible evidence that we kinda suck. This may be the most important documentary of the year; it’s certainly the most effective.

(Side note: I met Psihoyos and his principal subject, cetacean activist Ric O’Barry, earlier this week; that interview can be found here.)

Flame and Citron“: The true story of a pair of Resistance fighters dealing out bloody retribution to collaborators in Nazi-occupied Denmark, Ole Christian Madsen’s slick WWII thriller arrives just as anticipation begins to build for that other behind-enemy-lines actioner, “Inglourious Basterds”. Nice work, schedulers!

“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”: Your guess is as good as mine. I’m seeing it this afternoon, and still hoping for the best.

“Julie & Julia”: Hard-won experience has taught me to avoid the films of Nora Ephron, but I think I’ll have to make an exception for this one, since it’s an adaptation of Julie Powell’s fine memoir about cooking her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. Susan offers her tacit approval.

“Paper Heart”: Is Charlyne Yi’s first-person inquiry into the mysteries of love a documentary, a put-on, or some mixture of both? I dunno, but the word “twee” keeps coming up in various reviews, so I think I can comfortably wait for the DVD.

“A Perfect Getaway”: Before he got all mad-with-power on “The Chronicles of Riddick”, David Twohy was a reliable maker of modestly budgeted, idea-heavy thrillers as “The Grand Tour”, “The Arrival”, “Below” and “Pitch Black”. Based on Adam and Andrew‘s reviews, this may mark his return to form; missed the press screening, can’t wait to see it.

Thirst“: As a great man once said: “My, my my. What. A. Mess.” Fond as I am of Park Chan-wook’s magnificent vengeance trilogy, his new vampire-noir romance is just plain crazy. Sorry.

And now, I must dash out to the day’s first screening of “G.I. Joe”. I’m a little nervous about running into fans in costume, but I figure they’ll be cool with it …besides, how often does one get to dress like a ninja? A military ninja, mind you?

Really, the answer’s in the question.

UPDATE: Didn’t suck. Here’s the review.

7 thoughts on “Death and the Dolphins”

  1. Please tell the invisible rabbit holding the invisible gun to your head (the one forcing you to see the first screening of GIJoe) to let you go, for the goodness of mankind, my god, man, don’t do it!

    Look for vehicles operated in Celtic. Not kidding, here.

    Should you survive the nosebleed, pls update us again on this blog. Inquiring minds want to snicker. (snicker)

    Too late!

  2. I predict that Julie & Julia will be this year’s movie that makes the industry say “Oh my God! Women go to movies?”

  3. I don’t know, Norm. I’m have a REALLY hard time believing Rise of Cobra could be anything other than a desecration not only of my childhood, but of filmmaking in general.

    When the highlight of a director’s career is The Mummy, that should throw up some red flags.

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