Tuesday, September 02, 2008

movie roundup

whew...what a crazy busy weekend. because i'm entirely too susceptible to suggestion (especially when said suggestion is imparted from a source i trust), i spent a good chunk of labour day monday, one of the hottest, most sweltering days we've had in what has otherwise been an abysmal, rainy, cool, and uncharacteristic toronto summer, up to my neck in wet wool sweaters, winter weight pants, and the like.

yes indeed. i fell prey to the fear mongering and type A tendencies of my old supervisor T, who informed me on friday that she was going to be switching her summer and winter clothes this past weekend. of course i uttered the natural response, "so soon?" to which she replied to the effect that one never knows and winter in toronto can drop on a dime and then i'll be left scrambling. T shares with me an industrious, cub scouts-motto, type A personality and so i set about washing and drying all my winter wear, only to be faced with a scorching, searing weather prediction for a proper indian summer in the weeks to come with my arms full of heavy, pelt-like clothing.

ah well. at least it's all clean now and ready to go, for when the weather really, truly, does drop on a dime.

i was kind of thinking that once september came around, life would settle into the hibernatory rhythms of winter. boy was i wrong. i've got something going on almost every weekend and i'm valiantly trying to fit everyone/thing into my increasingly packed google calendar.
no time like the present to do a movie rundown...

we rented the movie "21" ages ago (near mid july i think). it's terrible...not really worth mentioning. contrived, boring, and just plain silly. apparently it comes on the heels of the exact same movie having been made by canadian hands, which the dotytron has seen and seems to prefer. it tells the tale of a bunch of MIT math impressarios who pick up a system of counting cards and take it to vegas and fleece the casinos. in the glossy, hollywood version, the real-life nebbishy asians are replaced by slick, baby-faced kate bosworth and the two real asian actors are relegated to side roles. i can't really reiterate what a redonkulous movie this is, except to say that it sacrifices plot and plausibility in favour of slow-mo, hyper-close-up shotos of stacks of casino chips tumbling and cards skittering across the green felt of the table (accompanied, of course, by thx-amped versions of the sound effects of such occurences...from an ant's perspective - all giant BOOMS! and such).

well...i'm as vociferous and ardent a fan of "parenthood" that walks this earth, so not much needs to be said here. if you've never seen it or it have relegated it to the dusty recesses of your memory, indistinguishable from other films that share ensemble casts and 80s aesthetics and are helmed by ron howard, i heartily endorse a revisit. it's great. i effin' love it. it's heartfelt and warm and funny and bittersweet in a way that just doesn't fly nowadays with our preternatural, canny, media-saturated ennui. it was a simpler time.

okay...now onto the new stuff. "pineapple express" is aight. the trailers have definitely done the stupid-trailer thing of showing you too much/all the funny parts (why do they SHOW YOU THE WHOLE MOVIE?!?) so there's not a lot left...it's pretty low-concept as far as flicks go. seth rogan isn't nearly as charming a schlub as his box office drawing power would have you believe...he's a little too precocious of a schlub (unlike say, fred flinstone or john goodman), a little too self-aware that he's going to get hot babes with his flabby, geek-bespectacled look. james franco, on the other hands, saves the movie, as sweet, simple, impressively articulate saul. the movie tries to blend stoner humour with pulp-fiction type violence and the two don't make a happy fit...overall it's jarring and the movie is kind of one-note and that note is pretty boring once you get it. i will say that franco has a great line about his favorite civil engineers which got the longest and most sustained laughs from karl lagerfeld.

"tropic thunder" kills "pineapple express" in the funny department. maybe it's more my kind of humour...it's a really ruthless, satire of hollywood politics and movie studios and actors. it keeps a hairsbreadth on the side of good taste, but could easily be misinterpreted if you're overly sensitive to imagined political incorrectness and lack an understanding of irony, sarcasm, and nuance. i found it consistently guffaw-inducing and i highly recommend you check it, if only for the faux movie trailers that preface the film alone. i love regular movie trailers so much that FAUX movie trailers triple make my day. there's some fantastic cameos and bit parts and robert downey jr. is incredible. go check it out!

tonight i'm going to a crafting ladies night hosted by my friend L. H and baby D are coming and M might show up too. should be fun. i'm working on another lace project...i effin' love knitting lace. it's like magic! i'm on a deadline with this one...i gotta crank it out. i made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting as my contribution to the informal potluck.


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