The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

It’s hot today. No energy to write. And yet I have ever so much writing ahead of me. You’d think I’d have planned this a little better.

Chernobyl Diaries“: Sing along with me: If you go out to the plant today, you’re in for a big surprise … which is that this low-budget handheld creeper is pretty effective at maintaining tension and delivering scares.

“Hysteria”: Tanya Wexler’s smirky look at the invention of the vibrator — sorry, the “personal massager” — came and went without incident at TIFF; Rad slyly points out that this is the comedy version of “A Dangerous Method”, with uptight male doctors fumbling through the shadowy corridors of female sexuality

“Indie Game: The Movie”: I managed to miss every opportunity to see this at Hot Docs, which was doubly irritating once I learned Rad really enjoyed it. Planning to catch up to it now that it’s at the Lightbox for a limited run.

“Jesus Henry Christ”: Every now and then, an American indie comes along that’s so affected all you want to do is pop it in the back of the head and throw its body in a ditch. I felt that way about “Saint John of Las Vegas”, and Rad feels that way about Dennis Lee’s follow-up to his insufferable “Fireflies in the Garden”. I defer to his rage.

Last Call at the Oasis“: Jessica Yu considers the ultimate #firstworldproblem: Sooner or later, we’re going to be just as screwed as everyone else when it comes to fresh water. Having bummed audiences out at TIFF, it now rolls into commercial release to get the rest of us.

Men in Black 3“: Some reviews have been kind to Barry Sonnenfeld’s retro threequel, in that “better than I’d feared” kind of way. And yes, I expected worse as well. But there’s still a pretty broad gap between professional mediocrity and “yeah, that was okay”.

“Where Do We Go Now?”:  The unexpected winner of TIFF 2011’s People’s Choice Award, Nadine Labaki’s unashamedly middlebrow gender-gap comedy — in which a group of Christian and Muslim women subvert a brewing religious conflict by coming up with a series of wacky distractions — gets a chance to entrance paying audiences. Whatevs, man.

And now, more writing! See you on the other side of stuff!

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