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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: July 2010

Can you believe that this weekend is the 4th of July already? "Ack!" as Cathy would say. Summer is definitely going by too fast, per usual. Which means once again that I need to step up my movie-going game. I actually frequented the cinema house a whopping three times in June, which was still an improvement for me (Iron Man 2, which was above average entertainment, Get Him To The Greek, which was implorable, and Micmacs, which was mostly wonderful, but did not reach levels of profundity that I had hoped for), but I would still like to see that number rise to at least four or five by the end of July. This should work since there are exactly four films below below that rise above the 80% "Do I Wanna See It?" mark, plus I know I'm seeing the highly anticipated indie thriller Winter's Bone this Thursday. So wish me luck and check out this month's new releases recapped below! What do YOU wanna see?

July 2nd: And what way to start off the second half of 2010 than with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (0%)? At this point I feel so far removed from the Twilight phenomenon, which may or may not include there being no students in my face everyday asking if I'm going to see it, that I can safely say I do not want to nor will I see this film. The Last Airbender (49%), however, is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, a man who for some reason I still follow admirably despite his grave missteps in recent years. This is his first directed script that's not a Shyamalan original though, so maybe this will help me stay away from it, especially with it being based on a Nickelodeon cartoon that's not Rocko's Modern Life. I am super curious about Cyrus (87%), the latest from the Duplass brothers, who made the better-than-expected Baghead and used to be known in the indie rock world as Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!, but now direct Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei in movies as child and mother. Wacky! The Killer Inside Me (68%) stars Casey Affleck, my ultimate mancrush since Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James..., so my butt in the theater should be a given, but it also looks too hokey and too much like the Lindsay Lohan travesty I Know Who Killed Me, so it may elude me. I Am Love (24%) has one of the coolest looking posters of the year and stars the oddly entrancing Tilda Swinton, but it's still about stuffy rich people and "passion" and junk. Lame.

July 9th: It should be apparent and accepted by yours truly by now how much I don't like animated films that aren't produced by Pixar, and yet the trailers for Despicable Me (10%) still offend me. Like I literally scowl and feel like someone slighted my mother when I watch them. Man it looks dumb. Leave the Looney Tunes stuff to Bugs and friends; for realz. Predators (81%), on the other hand, uses violence in the way me likey. I'm not a superfan of the original two films, but I certainly was as a kid just like I used to be a superfan of Robert Rodriguez's, whose competence has dwindled in the 00s, but Planet Terror proved he could still tread the line between intensity and humor, so I'll gladly give Brody and his newfound pipes a shot. The Girl Who Played With Fire (60%) is the second in the Swedish Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy, which I've always been interested in since it's been dubbed a darker foreign version of Veronica Mars, and the first in the quickly-produced series is now playing at a theater right by my house. Stonewall Uprising (58%) is our first obligatory political documentary of the month, chronicling the gay rights riots and police raids of 1969, which actually interests me because I had no idea any of that happened. Unfortunately, I am an a-hole and it's still a documentary. And the Belgian bring us our obligatory foreign family drama in The Misfortunates (16%), which follows a young boy who tries to succeed despite his family's alcoholism. Wait, it's also dubbed a comedy? (Nervous face.)

July 16th: Nic Cage will get to add The Sorcerer's Apprentice (49%) to our CageFlix subscription in a few months, but until then we'll have to settle for -- wait WTF? This is based on the classic Mickey sequence from Fantasia? Are you cereal? Okay, Nic, you were cute at first, but this is just ridiculous. Though I might see it because it's almost TOO ridiculous. I know it's a big joke no one knows what Inception (98%), the new film from The Dark Knight's Christopher Nolan, is about, but what no one's saying is that it doesn't matter. Even I, someone who isn't in love with every aspect of the aforementioned "savior of the blockbuster film", want to see it voraciously and have no idea what the plot is. The Kids Are Alright (77%) stars Mark Ruffalo, so it's automatically above the 70% threshold for me, but it also looks touching and wistful, as it follows a kid who searches out his biological father, though that could easily descend into saccharine crap, so not quite 80% material. The plot synopsis for the French film Wild Grass (6%) includes the word "quotidian" and involves a male and female pair of characters, so I can't help but assume it's going to be a boring love story where two people smirk at each other too much. Upon closer examination, it is. Love Ranch (55%) is directed by Taylor Hackford, he of The Devil's Advocate and Ray fame, starring Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci as a couple that opens up the first legal brothel, based on true events. Great idea for a historical drama, but Hackford has a terrible track record, so I can't exactly say I'm excited.

July 23rd: Angelina Jolie plays some kind of secret agent in Salt (32%), but I'm just too distracted by the title to care. Where's Pepper? Will someone throw her over their right shoulder and say "that one's for good luck" in a raspy action movie voice? I'll likely never know. Ramona & Beezus (19%) is based on the children's books from our youth that I believe only girls read, but I kind of remember because there were videos at the library starring Sarah Polley as the titular character, and she might be related to me (probably not). Jerksica was a big fan though apparently so there's a slight chance I'll find myself this new Selena Gomez version. Woe is me. Best Worst Movie (96%) is a documentary, but the kind I care about more actively, because it's about movies, not real life. Talk about a conundrum! Anyway, it covers the cult status of one of the most hilarious movies of all time, Troll 2, which if you haven't seen yet, do yourself a favor and Nerdflix it already. It truly is a wonder. The French film Father Of My Children (53%) sounds like a treat: it's about a husband/dad who's suicidal and constantly dealing with it! Hooray! Summer!

July 30th: Paul Rudd is my homey, so Dinner For Schmucks (79%) should be kind of a given, but I have two beefs with it. The first is that Steve Carrell as the annoying guy is starting to get, well, annoying, which is why I enjoyed Date Night so much. The second is that I've seen the original, quite smart, French version of this film called The Dinner Game, and I'm very weary of seeing it almost assuredly dumbed down. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore (:D%) almost seems too good to be true. A sequel to a film where cats and dogs are in an embittered quasi-violent rivalry in their suburban domestic neighborhood? A subtitle that is going to make anybody with an adult brain automatically think of a slang word for female genitalia? What more could a guy ask for in a movie? Charlie St. Cloud (2%) stars Zac Efron as a dude grieving over his brother's death. What the hell man? What's with all the death movies that don't involve awesome explosions? Summer? More like bummer! Countdown To Zero (30%) is a documentary about the nuclear arms race. Seriously?! I want happiness, cinema! Okay, one last shot at entertaining me: the re-release of Ran (72%) brings us back to the classic Akira Kurosawa flick about two sons who turn against their own father. Dammit! Well, at least that one's depressing yet also old. I'd rather dwell on the depressing times of yore than today, so yeah, I'll see that in the theater. Maybe.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 2:45 PM |  

    Gotta see The Kids are Alright cuz Julianne Moore is in it and she's a LESBIAN! NIIICECECECECECECECECE!!!!!!!!! Rufflebutt is not usually a selling point for me, though.

    I am SOOOO pissed, though, that the commercials for Sorcerer's Apprentice include the subtitle/slogan "It's the coolest job ever." Like the average Joe Schmoe doesn't understand what the word "sorcerer" or "apprentice" mean. (Oh wait, they probably don't.)

    Seriously, though, it's weird that there is, like, NO movie with 'splosions this summer.

  2. Blogger qualler | 10:36 AM |  

    Also here's an interesting piece on the racist casting of "The Last Airbender" (thanks to @ebertchicago for pointing it out):


  3. Blogger TG | 1:26 PM |  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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