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Therapeutic Movie Prioritizing for the Obsessed

I have not seen a movie in the theater since The Darjeeling Limited. I feel like I'm about to hyperventilate. Three weeks?! I don't remember the last time I've let myself go that long, dearest cinema. And now 2007 is coming to a close! I have to start readying my best-of list! Calm down self, calm down. It will be okay. Even though Control and Wristcutters: A Love Story are both ending tonight, some progress can still be made. Let's try to prioritize - rank the movies that you want to see (basically everything that's not Bee Movie or Fred Claus) and then try to work your way through that list the best you can.

1. No Country for Old Men

Coen brothers plus 93 on Metacritic equals must-see for movie nerds. Hype may kill it - doesn't seem that special from trailer. Don't get any sense of the trademark black humor that makes the directors notable from other neo-noir filmmakers. Judge for yourself. Predicted Grade: A-.

2. Southland Tales

Thought it was just going to be a hilariously bad horror movie about a killer rabbit, but Donnie Darko changed your life at 18. A follow-up about the downfall of American celebrity-obsessed society starring The Rock and Sarah Michelle Gellar that is preceded by a graphic novel series piques my interest just as much as it sounds like self-aggrandizing meta-meta-pop-trash (think Tank Girl). Predicted Grade: A- for first 10 minutes, D+ overall.

3. Michael Clayton

Sean said it was good. George Clooney is a lawyer and runs in the woods. I don't have any idea what's going on in the trailer, but it looks dramatic as all get out. Predicted Grade: B.

4. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Director Sidney Lumet made possibly the best heist movie ever - Dog Day Afternoon. Here's another, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke rob their mom and dad's store. Like that scene in Bottle Rocket, except suspenseful instead of funny and for an entire movie's length. Predicted Grade: B-.

5. American Gangster
6. Lars and the Real Girl
7. Lust, Caution


Three movies that sound good in theory, but once you start thinking about them, are probably going to be merely mediocre. Epic gangster movie - oh wait, bland and directed by Ridley Scott, who hasn't made a good movie since Blade Runner. Dreamboat Ryan Gosling falls in love with a blow up doll - oh wait, kinda boring and a sweet joke that could get stale inside 15 minutes. Beautifully crafted love story from Ang Lee, aka the director of the greatest romance film of the 00s - oh wait, its beauty probably stems from its sllllloooooowwwwwww pacing. Predicated Grades: C / C- / C+.

8. P2
9. Beowulf


Two movies I only want to see for novelty reasons. 1) It's a slasher movie that takes place in a parking garage - like that episode of Seinfeld, only hilariously scary. 2) Creepily realistic CGI versions of famous actors pretending to be mythic monsters and/or heroes from my high school Brit Lit I class. Predicted Grades: D- for both.

10. Dan in Real Life
11. Lions for Lambs

I don't even think I could watch these movies and come out of them calling either innocuous. #s 5-7 above I think would be innocuous. These are just painfully full of hot air. I like Steve Carrell as much as the next guy and I can turn my mind off every once in a while for a light no-frills and unobtrusive romantic comedy, but I just feel more comfortable watching it on TBS. Otherwise it just feels dirty. And wrapping myself up in Tom Cruise and Robert Redford spouting emphatically about the war sounds ironically like a nice (if only hilariously over-the-top) melodramatic diversion from the rest of life, but did you know this movie's only 88 minutes? I really can't tell if that's a good thing or not. Predicted Grades: F for both.

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  1. Blogger Sean | 12:51 AM |  

    lars and the real girl was sorta boring. it had a few funny moments but it felt too sentimental.
    i'd recommend renting that, but don't waste nine dollars on the theatre experience.

    michael clayton is cool for three reasons:
    1. the acting is great.
    2. there are a ton of little details to notice in the story.
    3. the opening dialog (monologue, really) is some of the best stuff out there.

    oh, new coen brothers? yeah, that looks great.

    do you watch "at the movies" with roeper (ebert is on a bed somewhere with cancer)?
    just wondering what you thought of their reviews.

  2. Blogger Brigitte | 10:06 AM |  

    you're a complete fool. dan in real life was wonderful. didn't you read my blogulator write up? for shame.

  3. Blogger chris | 10:17 AM |  

    sean - i watch at the movies when i can, but haven't for a while. i generally think roeper tends to think on the surface too much, but i do enjoy it when the village voice guy joins him.

    briggy - of course i read your write-up. i just don't think i could enjoy it without it being for free on my tv on a rainy saturday afternoon. if i was predicting a grade in that setting, it would probably be a B. but going out of my way to a theatre to pay $9 when there are 9 other movies i'd rather see, that's a big ol F.

  4. Blogger Sean | 11:51 AM |  

    yeah, the bald guy is great.
    a.o. scott isn't bad either.

    the thing that upsets me is during oscar-film season they're always reviewing movies that are out on the coasts but won't be in milwaukee for a month.

    i think there was some falling out with ebert, though. they never give "thumbs up/down" reviews, they only say if they recommend the film.

  5. Blogger Brigitte | 12:19 PM |  

    Dan in Real Life is a hero! and his ideals will live on for ever!

  6. Blogger Nicole | 12:36 PM |  

    My list of nine movies I'm excited for:
    1. Enchanted (Disney, enough said)
    2. P.S. I Love You (honestly)
    3. August Rush (*I'm serious about this) :)
    4. Juno
    5. Ladrón que roba a Ladrón (on DVD)
    6. Be Kind, Rewind
    7. Atonement
    8. 27 Dresses (obviously, I heart weddings)
    9. Something other chick flick probably

    I'm not being sarcastic:) I like my entertainment light, fluffy, and/or foreign for the holidays!

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