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what summer blockbuster ruined june for me the most?

there are just too many movies coming out in july to talk about quite yet -- i will get to it in the next couple days though. it might be split up into a couple different posts. so, before the slambang month of summer blockbusters busts our independence day wide open, let's take a look back at june's releases that i ended up seeing...

knocked up: somehow it was exactly what i was expecting and i still liked it a lot. without all of the jokes, the movie pretty much wrote itself - slacker dude not ready for growing up, meets successful gal, odd couple has accidental baby, they try to make it work, they break up, get back together just in time for the baby to arrive. that's not what's so great about it. basically, the sophisticated-yet-fratboy jokes and the characters (specifically paul rudd and leslie mann's married couple that love/hate each other and seth rogen's group of pothead friends who don't care about anything...except awww, their friend seth rogen!) are what make the movie transcend from rote romantic comedy to a frank capra-meets-kevin smith movie that probably will exist in mass quantities in dorm rooms across the countries next fall. predicted grade: B. actual grade: B+.

once: okay, so not precisely a "summer blockbuster." shot on a digital camera on a shoestring budget does not $100 million make. and even with my pretentious leanings, it takes a lot for a movie like this not to put me asleep. wow that makes me sound like a populist, ick! but seriously, i don't even like the main actor/singer's band that probably got him this gig in the movie in the first place - the frames. so when i heard about an "indie pop movie musical," i was upset that they didn't use people from bands that were actually good. but silly me, when the frames aren't over-produced and trying to sound like a rough-around-the-edges-but-still-really-prissy version of coldplay, and czech actor/singer marketa iglova joins them, it's like snow patrol got DIY and brought along an amazing pianist and female singer. and the love story between a street musician and struggling immigrant is almost simpler than knocked up, but how director/writer john carney uses the songs to make the interactions between characters more complicated and wrought with tension. and while knocked up managed to be sweet without being too scatological, once manages to be sweet without being too sentimental and self-righteous. grade: A.

live free or die hard: i really wasn't ready for the mac vs. pc guy to have so much screen time. but luckily bruce willis made fun of him enough where i didn't want him to die right away. i'm glad that hot fuzz has made a good number of critics now think that big dumb action movies can be ironically enjoyable like scream made a good number of critics think that big dumb horror movies could be ironically enjoyable. yeah i went there. i still love scream. but of course there are a superfluous amount of horror movies that cannot be enjoyed on any level now and probably in ten years the same will happen for big dumb action movies. and also, just like the horror movie resurgence, that means more violence against women. live free or die hard was no exception, and was really the only reason i couldn't really enjoy it, hearing a mostly guy audience cheer and clap when b.w. nonchalantly attacks an "asian hooker bitch." i couldn't help but feel weird about that, but otherwise, it was a harmless romp that once again almost exactly met my expectations and made me glad that i can look forward guilt-free to more explosions at the cinema. predicted grade: D+. actual grade: B.

sicko: i hate to be a broken record, but i expected a testimonial documentary that tugged at heartstrings and went "wah wah wah" more than it presented a sound argument with facts that were revelatory, and for the most part, that's what i got. i liked roger and me because i was in high school, knew nothing about flint, michigan, and was astonished that a documentary wasn't too stuffy to be humorous and tongue-in-cheek about "the system." bowling for columbine and fahrenheit 9/11 were decent mostly because of the latter reason, but also frustrating either because of overly obvious polemics or beating-a-dead-horse bush bashing. luckily, sicko's biggest downfall was its ridiculous amount of testimonials from people who got screwed by their hmos and chintzy music that bloated emotions all over my face. one particular scene that made me tear up and want to punch michael moore in the face simultaneously was when sick american 9/11 rescue worker volunteers who couldn't get coverage went to cuba to get free/affordable health services and a crew of cuban firefighters wanted to meet them and they hugged and showed two groups of supposed enemies finally coming toge---oh my god i need a tissue. grade: C+.

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  1. Blogger Wipert | 2:13 PM |  

    I agree with you about Sicko... it was missing much of Moore's charm. I couldn't stand it when he did slow close-ups of people crying. Just let them cry and record it, thats all he needed, no need for a spielbergo slow-mo zoom.

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