Monday, June 1, 2009

The Balcony is Open

Thanks to some of you “anonymous” posters here, and you not so anonymous posters on Facebook suggesting Chinese restaurants; I have begun to create my list, and while I gear up for “Wok About 2009” (thanks to Ed K. for the catchy name), I thought I’d share some thoughts about some recent movies.

As you know, the Hollywood and local movie press and I have a “love-hate” relationship. I love the movies and the whole experience, but hate when the movie critics anoint a movie to be the apex of a genre, when in actuality, it’s the nadir (“Children of Men” anyone?) Lately, I’ve decided while I’ll read certain reviews, I’ll see the movies and decide for myself whether the movie has any value. I’ve been to the movies quite a bit lately, and share with you these thoughts…

“Duplicity” starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. I’m not sure I can ever forgive Owen for “Children of Men” or even “Derailed”, but Julia Roberts is maturing nicely…in all the right ways. I like the sharp dialogue in this corporate espionage “thriller”, and she fills out the business suits nicely. Rounding out the cast was Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti, who hasn’t been this funny since he played “Pig Vomit” in “Howard Stern’s Private Parts”.

“State of Play”-Russell Crowe as a “seen it all, wrote it all” investigative reporter for a Washington newspaper (the best role played by a newspaper since the “LA Tribune” in “Lou Grant”), following a story involving his former college roommate, now Senator Ben Affleck (how can they be roommates when they’re 20 years apart in age?). Actually, a pretty good thriller, which could have been made slightly better by some skin from Rachel McAdams, or even the older “Caligula Cougar” Helen Mirren. Also featured in a small, but compelling role, Jason Bateman, who is really turning into quite a force in Hollywood, even since his turn on Silver Spoons. If he’s on-screen, pay attention.

“Star Trek”-I am neither a Trekkie, nor a Trekker, but I enjoy a good space opera now and then. Having seen most of the “Star Trek” movies, this was definitely the best, or tied with the first one, which starred a young Stephen Collins and a very bald Persis Khambatta (I have a thing for baldness…). This movie was an enjoyable romp through some revisionist history, and certainly opens the door for future movies with new storyline, without being held hostage to pre-determined destiny. Eric gives it two “Live Long and Prospers”.

“Hannah Montana”-gotta love being one of only five men on opening day, which happened to be Good Friday, so only every tween and younger girl NEEDS to see the very first shows. Ugh…I went in there with a fully charged “Treo” battery, ready to play Yahtzee for 96 minutes. Well, surprise, surprise…it was actually quite good. Very high production values, catchy music, entertaining dance numbers (I did have different expectations for “Ho-Down Throw-Down, but this was rated PG)…but I say it’s “Hee Haw” approved. As far as kid-positive message movies go, I liked it and have no problem if Junior Miss Palette wants to buy the DVD. I’d rather that, than more “Phineas and Pherb” on Tivo!!!

You’ve been great…enjoy Buck Owens and Roy Clark.


Anonymous said...

e., go see "Up" with your kids...these Pixar guys are geniuses

AeroLynda said...

Eric, Helen Mirren? For real?

Eric Weinstein said...

No, not really. But she was younger in Caligula in 1979!!!