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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: October 2009

I only saw one movie in September at the theaters. Extract. And while it was far better than I had anticipated (Ben Affleck is really, truly, what makes it worth watching), what I really wanted to see that night was Cold Souls, but it had already been booted off the screens. Not only that, I can't believe I haven't gotten around to seeing Thirst, The Informant!, or yes, even Jennifer's Body yet, despite the latter's head-in-the-oven act at the box office and with the critics last weekend. So while I cry in my back-to-school no-time-for-movies state, let's look at the three movies (plus all the other crap) that I better find myself spending money for in the next four weeks (all with "Will I See It?" percentages in parentheses)...

Oct 2nd: I've seen every Michael Moore movie in the theater until this one. Capitalism: A Love Story (36%) looks like even more of a jump-on-the-bandwagon situation than Sicko and a rehash of when he truly was innovative back during the Awful Truth era. The Minnesota-filmed Coen Brothers film A Serious Man (97%) needs no explanation for why it needs to be seen, but as everyone's pointing out, it is strange that the biggest star in the film is Richard Kind. Luckily this is no reason to discount a Coen Brothers film. I'll admit Zombieland (88%) looks fun as hell just like the next guy, but I must decree that it also looks only fun. It's Shaun of the Dead minus the wit, it's Dawn of the Dead with a dollop of easy humor stemming from the zombie trend of the 00s. It won't be great, folks. You heard it here first. Despite being directed by Drew Barrymore, Whip It (79%) has gotten good buzz and looks both fun and possibly successfully dramatic. Let's just hope it's not too "twee," whatever that means. I know some of you are very excited about The Invention of Lying (71%), and it definitely looks better than your average comedy, but the gimmick of the plot and feel/look of the trailer is so generic it hurts. I do not have total faith. Some of us Blogulator peeps almost saw a free screening of the environmental doc No Impact Man (28%), but alas, turns out environmental docs are so dime a dozen nowadays that a free screening couldn't even get us to go outside. Speaking of dime-a-dozen, Flame & Citron (16%) covers a true story about resistance fighters during WWII. Too tired to cyber-yawn.

Oct 9th: Okay, so maybe I'm a populist and have lost my independent edge, but Couples Retreat (77%) looks way more entertaining/terrible than anything coming out at the arthouse this week. Okay okay, it's mostly because I still have that crush on Kristen Bell. Yes it will be stupid, but I will laugh at least thrice really hard. Guaranteed. Earth Days (2%) proves that environmental docs, while all seemingly the same, are even less interesting than your average one when it's a doc about an environmental holiday that no one celebrates. Unmistaken Child (5%) is about a boy looking for his reincarnated father, which sounds both depressing and uplifting at once. Too bad I'm shallow and would much prefer Vince Vaughan making sex jokes for 90 minutes. What's wrong with me? The Boys Are Back (49%) shows us Clive Owen's acting chops as a father who has to suddenly raise his boys by himself after his wife tragically dies. The clip I saw on Conan looked surprisingly well acted and naturalistically shot, so I may indeed find myself giving this one a --err-- shot if I wind up for some reason turning down Jason Bateman looking nervous. And of course there's Amreeka (10%), the touching and funny story of an immigrant mother trying to raise her child in suburban Illinois. That sounds great and all, but I want my touching and funny to happen during an island getaway with white folks. Sorry, counterculture cinema. You lose.

Oct 16th: Yes, The Stepfather (63%) will be probably be as good as Dylan Walsh's other notable cinema project, Congo, but it will also have Dan from Gossip Girl, which makes this classic horror premise appealing to me, your average middle class teenager. Who am I? I feel lost being much more interested in seeing these big budget monstrosities than the indie scene. Thank God that Where The Wild Things Are (100%) is universally anticipated, because I don't know what I'd do without a stable rock of a blockbuster such as it to help keep me grounded. Still Walking (25%) is basically the Japanese version of Rachel Getting Married, but it doesn't feature a strung-out Anne Hathaway or a member of TV on the Radio, so I can't get too worked up about it. Oh my, marketing and image works! My tastes are not genuine! LeBron James gets his due (I guess) with the documentary More Than A Game (6%), which covers his rise from the streets to being the sole catalyst for Cleveland's economy. And Coco Before Chanel (4%) explores exactly what the title says. So at least neither of those real life counterparts interest me, and I can feel okay about skipping those at the local one-screen cinema. However, I won't know if my "indie cred" will be validated by The Road (90%). It's getting mad press because of the success of Cormac McCarthy's other big screen adaptation (No Country For Old Men), so that could make a mainstream thing by year's end, but it also is reportedly slow and thoughtful, which would earn me back some indie self esteem!

Oct 23rd: I can't promise Jigsaw will make a blog re-appearance to promote Saw VI (0.0VI%) this Halloween, but we can only hope. No other comments regarding said film. An Education (23%) is getting Oscar hype because who knows why. It's a period romance starring a Saarsgard. Here it comes, the obligatory...snoozefest. I totally forgot that Hilary Swank plays Ms. Earheart in Amelia (56%) this month, and while I'm not getting my panties in a jumble over it, I'm always a sucker for biopics, even when they're undoubtedly going to be mediocre. The Damned United (9%) is a dramatization of the Leeds soccer team's quasi-rise to notoriety in 1974 and while it has Frost/Nixon's Michael Sheen, it looks like every other underdog sports movie ever. The weekend's tiniest release is The Horse Boy (3%), which doesn't look particularly generic or mediocre, but it's about a family that travels through Mongolia looking for someone to help cure their autistic son, so I can't help but not feel compassionate enough to be interested in seeing it.

Oct 30th: Michael Jackson's slapdash quick buck concert film This Is It (37%) will be crashing into theaters for two weeks only, giving us all the goods on the fantabulousness that is practicing for an actual concert. Can't we just say, "ooh almost, dagnabit," and move on? So we didn't get a big final concert before he kicked the bucket. Deal with it. Following up the hit-or-miss (almost all of it was "miss") Paris Je T'Aime is its U.S. equivalent New York I Love You (52%), pastichin' up some quirky and quaint short stories about romance in the Big Snapple. None of the stories look unique, but the cinematography will be compelling enough and the use of hipster music will make my heart swoon/gag. A husband and wife go missing in The Canyon (14%), which actually places the lost couple in the Grand Canyon. How that's possible I have no idea, but I have no interest in a cross between Lost in America and Gerry. I'd choose either of those movies over it in a second. And finally we have Skin (42%), in which an African girl grows up in South Africa with two white parents. Sounds like it could be a snoozefest, but I have an odd affection for Sam Neill and while I haven't seen Sophie Okonedo in anything, she looks quietly compelling here. Wait, was that me finding something worthwhile in an indie movie that doesn't feature vampires or hipster music? Sweet, I haven't totally lost it!

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  1. Blogger qualler | 9:20 AM |  

    Haha I like how so many of the percentages are getting to single digits.

    Isn't Peter Saarsgard the only Saarsgard? I always confuse him with the Skaarsgard family of Stellan and Alexander. Regardless, old clothes + a quote from the trailer from Emma Thompson saying "you are not a woman" in a proper British accent = booooring.

    I am not optimistic for "The Road", which the book was all father-son poetic emo-ness and the trailer is all explosions-action-dirty people.

  2. Blogger chris | 1:33 PM |  

    Was the book good? I heard it was slow and intimate, which I like and am hoping what the movie is, because I've read that the trailer is really misleading, kinda like Children of Men.

  3. Blogger qualler | 1:41 PM |  

    Yeah I really liked the book, glad to hear the trailer is misleading.

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