Less than Total Coverage

Hey, look, another 40-year-old virginRemember how I mentioned that the NOW gig means I no longer have to see every movie opening in a given week?

Well, some weeks it’s more obvious than usual; since I’ve been busy with various Toronto film-festival screenings — Cinefranco, Images, Sprockets and Hot Docs all open within the space of a month here every spring — most of the commercial theatrical stuff has been assigned to other people.

The upside? I didn’t have to troop off to last night’s 10 pm screening of “Shutter”. The downside? I didn’t get to see “Shutter”, and don’t get to make fun of it.

Okay, that’s not much of a downside. But here’s what I did review this week:

Drillbit Taylor“: Okay, yes, “Superbad” was set in the final weeks of high school’s senior year, and this one’s set in the first weeks of freshman year — yes, you’re right, they’re totally different films. Also, “Superbad” didn’t blow dead sea donkeys.

The Duchess of Langeais“: Jacques Rivette! On a big screen! Just go!

Married Life“: Ira Sachs follows his brilliant, barely-released drama “Forty Shades of Blue” with this considerably less brilliant period picture about men, mistresses and murder. Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams all give terrific performances, but the movie never comes to life.

Paranoid Park“: Gus Van Sant! On a big screen! Just go!

And here’s what I didn’t review:

“Days of Darkness”: I’ve been trying to see Denys Arcand’s latest for nearly a year now, but never managed to line up a screening. Reception has been mixed — Glenn had problems with it, and Jason, who usually likes Arcand’s more esoteric stuff, had a few more — but Arcand’s projects are always so personal and tricky that I figure I should see it for myself. I guess I’ll have to catch it at the Cumberland, with regular people. Jeez.

“The Grand”: Zak Penn follows his hysterical “Incident at Loch Ness” — a fake documentary in which Werner Herzog sets out to film the legendary water-horse and winds up turning into Captain Quint — with another improvised feature, this one set in the world of high-stakes poker. Susan didn’t go for it.

“Snow Angels”: David Gordon Green, who made the brilliant “George Washington”, the lovely “All the Real Girls” and the unreedeemable “Undertow”, takes another run at small-town Gothic, this time with Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale. I haven’t seen it myself, but Adam was unimpressed.

“Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns”: I really wish Barack Obama had included Perry’s movies when he ran down the list things white people just don’t get earlier this week … it was a glaring absence in an otherwise remarkable speech. If anyone could explain how treating your audience like children and pandering to every crass stereotype somehow connotes to artistry, I’d be right appreciative. (Radheyan doesn’t even go there, but then he didn’t have a lot of space.)

Oh, and Adam saw “Shutter“. Didn’t love it.

Hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend — those Reese’s Peanut Butter Mini Eggs totally rock, by the way.