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Percentages: The Return: The Movie: The Blog Entry

Reality television and documentary filmmaking have finally converged with American Teen, which I attended an advance screening of this evening (gotta love the Landmark Theatres email list). I can't quite decide whether it's just an extended episode of True Life plus the added grandeur of being touted as a "film" for everyone rather than a middling series aimed at teens, or if it really does transcend its style and subject matter and become a moving and honest portrait of the average middle class teenage experience. It's kind of both is my kneejerk hackneyed response as of now. All I know is that when the old lady approached Jerksica and I after the screening and asked, "so tell me...is that really what it's like?," I took it as merely someone older looking to get a younger person's perspective, so I said, "partly." Jerksica, however, thought she assumed we were high schoolers and thus in her loving way responded, "I don't know, he's a high school teacher, so I'm interested in hearing what he has to say." To which the old lady awkwardly paused then concluded, "oh dear...I must be getting old." So that comes out tomorrow and it's at least worth seeing because it will get you pulling that yearbook out in no time in an equally nostalgic/anti-nostalgic way. The rest of August's mostly unanticipatory load is discussed below, now with the added bonus of "Will I See It?" percentages, which I haven't done in a while, so enjoy the return of an old totes fave:

Aug 1st: Brendan Fraser does that flicky hair dumb guy face thing even more in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (17%). When Lady Amy asked who would see it with her in a room full of friends, the loudest silence that could beget a room full of obnoxious angry geeks did indeed begat. Swing Vote (59%), however, that's a different story of course. Costner as the everyman whose ballot a presidential election (between incumbent Kelsey Grammar and candidate Dennis Hopper, naturally) hinges on? Inspired and insipid, co-mingling as one in filmic form. The Clive Owen murder mystery Midnight Meat Train (41%) will only be playing on one screen in the Twin Cities, at a discount theatre I've never been to. Oh wait, I confused Clive Owen with Dean Koontz, should I change that percentage? It has an 8.0 on IMDb and yet, I have no desire to up the probability of me venturing out to this, regardless of the movie's awesome title and the trivia I just read saying Owen wrote the story while eating pot brownies.

Aug 8th: I can't even build up the audacity to do the obvious segue, so let's just mention Pineapple Express (94%) without another marijuana reference. Crap. Jerksica's inexplicable crush on Seth Rogen almost guarantees us in seats for this, and even I'm curious how the director of George Washington and Undertow will tackle an Apatow comedy. Blake Lively of Blogulator obsession Gossip Girl and Alexis Bledel of Blogulator's cherished past gem Gilmore Girls co-star in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (7%) and I'm still nowhere to be found. What about you ladies? Yeah, I played the gender card - argue. The documentary Man On Wire (62%) about the guy that did what the title suggests between the Twin Towers looks fascinating and yet also, boring. Funny how that works. The horror comedy but really just quirky indie Baghead (84%) finds me still curious regardless of the advanced mixed reviews I've read. Really, any chance for a new minimal take on horror gets me all goosebumpy. Quentin Tarantino presents, aka writes a check for, Hell Ride (55%) could be cheeky Grindhouse-esque fun, but I just don't know if I can enjoy a vengeance-fueled Dennis Hopper after loving him as an affable Swing Vote cast member.

Aug 15th: Maybe Pixar has ruined me, but CGI animation that tries to look like cartoons makes me wince. So sorry, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (26%), I just don't think you'll keep my attention, just like that Star Wars novel I got a garage sale when I was 12 and never got into, even if it did go into Lando Calrissian's backstory. Ben Stiller isn't funny as an actor and has bombed so hard in the recent past he seems unforgivable, but when he directs and/or writes, I fall in love with it (The Cable Guy, Reality Bites, and Zoolander are all unabashedly adored by moi) so Tropic Thunder (98%) will rule my day I hope. Plus a co-write credit from The Baxter's Justin Theroux certainly can't hurt! Keifer Sutherland gets to yell "dammit!" about monsters in Mirrors (70%) instead of terrorists, so I smell a Shutter-like guilty pleasure excursion afoot. Woody Allen continues the pervy dramateur shtick with Vicky Cristina Barcelona (66%), and once again, we all hope for another Crimes & Misdeameanors, but I'm guessing we won't get it. Luke Wilson just appeared on Letterman promoting Henry Poole is Here (46%), which shares its plot with an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia about a potentially holy stain on a wall, and just summed up his unfortunate obscurity by retelling a story where a woman asked if he was one of the "Owen" brothers. Also his movie looks kind of like a snoozefest.

Aug 22nd and 29th: We saw the trailer for Hamlet 2 (38%) tonight. This is the new breed of indie comedy? Kill me now. We saw the trailer for Death Race (11%) during The X Files: I Want To Believe last week. This is the new breed of semi-self-aware overly gratutious action flick? Shoot Em Up killed enough brain cells, thank you. The Scary Movie actress bumbles around in skimpy outfits in The House Bunny (4%) and suddenly I'd rather fall semester started sooner (not really). Ice Cube takes a break from family comedies to do a football movie called The Longshots (3%), which I hadn't heard a word about (rightly so) until just now. Rainn Wilson does his stare wide eyed stoic thing as The Rocker (32%) and I realize his limits were reached long ago. I don't want to talk about Disaster Movie (0%). Google it if you want to murder 10 seconds of your life. Babylon A.D. (31%) casts Vin Diesel, who apparently was granted permission by his more famous doppelganger Duane "The Rock" Johnson to be in movies again, in a dystopian (ugh) future, but also looks just campy enough that I won't outwardly avoid it. Let's call that the 30% rule.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 9:08 AM |  

    Ah, Alexis Bleidel, who knew she was such a babe? Brigitte is getting me to watch Gilmore Girls for real for the first time, and I gotta say...Jess is soooooooo much hotter than Dean!!! The hair! And the attitude!! Bam, Rory! I'm glad you're doing him and not big foreheaded Dean!!! Seriously, though, Bravo, Amy Sherman-Palladino!

  2. Blogger chris | 9:55 AM |  

    Oh no not you too, Qualler! I mean I'm glad you're watching it, but Jess and Dean are both terrible. That's the real beauty of the show, that Rory keeps falling for grade A jerks and never stops. Ugh it's been like three years and I'm still sick of people falling for Jess.

  3. Blogger Brigitte | 10:11 AM |  

    she does stop--she ends up alone at the end of the series, leaving mr. jerk bag old money to pursue her dreams (or something). and THAT is the real triumph. also, i love jess.

    i'm glad to hear that American Teen is worth seeing--the previews made it look kind of painful, i thought. but i heard an interview with the director? yesterday on public radio, and she made it seem like the movie went a bit deeper than i would have guessed.

  4. Blogger qualler | 10:13 AM |  

    Yeah, American Teen, when we saw the previews during Snob The Dark Knight (i.e. Dark Knight at the snob movie theater) I leaned over to Brigitte and said, "I liked it the first time when it was called Hard Times at Douglass High But With A Positive, Heartwarming Spin."

  5. Blogger Lady Amy | 11:26 AM |  

    What a sexist, Chris! NO ONE is going to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, aka, Lifetime wannabe movie but without any real drama like drugs or teen pregnancy!

    And there wasn't complete silence when I wanted to see The Mummy. Someone said yes, even though you all deny it now. Jerks!

  6. Blogger qualler | 11:28 AM |  

    Whoa, cool off, Angry Amy! Someone's having her period!

    Seriously, though, what makes you think The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a "chick flick" anyway? That's such a loaded term! I'm angry! Wah!

  7. Blogger chris | 11:50 AM |  

    I never said it was a "chick flick," I just asked if the ladies had any interest in seeing it. My incitement to begin an argument was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. It's unfortunate that the Sisterhood movies (along with 99% of mainstream movies with women as main characters) have this aura of light fluffiness with fake emotional gravitas, because that's what the studios think all women like. Remember Now & Then? I remember that being an exception to the rule...was that a good movie? I don't recall.

  8. Blogger qualler | 12:00 PM |  

    Psych! That was a joke, Chris! Of COURSE it's a chick flick! Am I not allowed to be tongue-in-cheek, too?

  9. Blogger Brigitte | 12:02 PM |  

    Now and Then was an OK movie.

    yeah, sisterhood is totes a chick flick. and I'm totes dvring the original this Sunday on ABC family!

  10. Blogger chris | 12:04 PM |  

    Haha you got me! Am I the only one that really does think "chick flick" is a loaded term? I don't like using it...

  11. Blogger qualler | 12:06 PM |  

    Yeah, it is a loaded term, but in this case, how can you not call a movie called "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" based on some book recommended by Oprah or whatever a chick flick? The title alone is the definition of a chick flick.

  12. Blogger Brigitte | 12:10 PM |  

    i'll load your term any day...

    yeah, it's a loaded term...the word "chick" is derogatory by itself, as are most words that refer to anything having to do with women. but does avoidance of the word change the real problem? you should all read Michiko Kakutami's article on the subject, "the word police." i found it both humourous and poignant. (yes, i spell things like the british. i just feel like it's more correct.)

  13. Blogger Brigitte | 12:10 PM |  

    qualler, you're a sexist.

  14. Blogger Brigitte | 12:12 PM |  

    also, chris--amy called you a sexist!!

  15. Blogger chris | 12:15 PM |  

    It doesn't solve the problem, but it makes me less of a sexist than Qualler. But then again, aren't all men a little bit sexist? (Waits for numerous girls' phone numbers...)

  16. Blogger qualler | 12:17 PM |  

    Um, guys (and gals, so we don't get all sexist here), pursuant to Section Code 507(b)(4)(IV) of the new Blogulator Rules Handbook we drafted last weekend, this stream of comments constitutes undue comment baiting, intimidation, and inside jokes. As the code states:

    "NOW, THEREFORE, there shall be no further commenting, done by or for the will of a Covered Member (as previously defined in Section 412.b(17)) that shall be sarcastic in nature, baiting in nature, intimidating in nature, or of the nature of jokes that are relevent only to a select few Covered Members."

    It's right there in the code, you guys. Flip to page 472.17 and we all highlighted it. I'm going to have no choice but to shut this comment stream down if this keeps up.

    Future attorneys Sean and Jerksica, what say you?

  17. Blogger Brigitte | 12:23 PM |  

    yeah--where are all the other readers? you've got to have opinions about the term "chick flick." we're handing this one to you, readers! jump in! how do you feel? come on, 30 comments...

    and yes, all guys are sexist. they dont' even know it, but they are. that's our society for ya.

  18. Blogger DoktorPeace | 1:17 PM |  

    I think chicks are hot.

    - Anonymous reader using doktorpeace's account.

  19. Blogger qualler | 3:07 PM |  

    Here's a blog post that talks about actual sexist comments:


    See, ladies? I'm not really a sexist! These guys are real sexists! Right?

  20. Blogger Lady Amy | 5:16 PM |  

    Just cause you link to something doesn't make you any less of a sexist pig, Qualler!

    Men! Am I right?!

  21. Blogger Brigitte | 5:43 PM |  

    don't get me started!

  22. Blogger Sean | 2:40 AM |  

    just got home from lollapalooza.

    this thread looks too long.

    radiohead = greatness.

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