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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: November 2010

It's getting so close, people. The end of the year! List-making! Oscar buzz! And to add to the celebration, I have officially and finally seen ten 2010 movies that I consider great, so I am now satisfied with this, the two-thousand-and-tenth year of history. Numbers 7-10 on my list are negotiable, but I guarantee that any other films with a 2010 release that I see and love will at least take more than an involuntary opening of the ol' xcel spreadsheet to get a notation from yours truly. I am not going to show you that list, but I will tell you that the past month included screenings of The Social Network, The Town, and You Again, and one of those films filled the final spot in said list. Further clues for the mystery that few care about include: one has the best dialogue written for assholes in potentially the entire decade, one was a kind of major let down sophomore directorial effort from a dude I almost changed my mind about a couple years ago, and a third is a throwaway that features a cameo from my cousin-in-law and Patrick Duffy, who is my uncle-in-law's best friend. Now no more prying; let's get to the November releases (with "How Much Do I Wanna See It?" percentages in parentheses)!

November 5th: I saw Will Ferrell and Tina Fey dressed up as their characters fromt he computer-animated Megamind (13%) on The Today Show and it was depressing, so let's stay away from the superhero overload, shall we? Speaking of a dead horse, Due Date (60%) looks like a subpar The Hangover, and I didn't even like that, but I somehow end up seeing all the big ticket comedies anyway, and RDJ is at least better than Bradley Cooper, so I'm likely to find myself groaning in theater all the same. 127 Hours (72%) is Danny Boyle's new number-titled frenzy-fest, this time focusing on one of those real life dudes that survived on a mountain by himself for a long time. Sounds like his most boring effort yet, but his camera work will always get me in the seat. For Colored Girls (57%) is the first Tyler Perry movie I've considered seeing at all, much less am likely to see in theaters, because the source material was required reading in my Black Women Writers class in college, and I'm always a sucker for adaptations of things I've read. Fair Game (31%) bears little to no similarities to the 90s Cindy Crawford/Billy Baldwin escapade, but does star Naomi Hotts - a plus - as a CIA agent that gets involved in based-on-a-true-story intrigue during the Bush administration during the weapons of mass destruction debacle - a boring minus. And Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (19%) is a German film about a nun whose quasi-feminist leanings led her through strife in a man's godly world, and while biopics tend to always get an automatic below-thirty percent from me, this one's bright spot seems to be its spectacular bold cinematography.

November 12th: I am seeing Unstoppable (100%) for my birthday and you can either come or stay home. You all have no idea how long I've been waiting for a movie about a buddy action flick directed by Tony Scott about a runaway train. Morning Glory (22%) is like You Again in that it looks so saccharine and overstuffed that even if it's a bland rom-com, I'll still gladly sit through it. Then again, it stars Rachel McAdams instead of Kristen Bell. But then again it stars Diane Keaton instead of Jamie Lee Curtis. Skyline (48%) is the new Independence Day or District 9, depending on your reference point, featuring handi-cams and big spaceships that threaten to destroy. I honestly can't tell what its hook is, or if it even has one. Cool It (16%) is the mandatory global warming documentary of the year, this time spending its minutes ripping apart the alarmist strategy used by Al Gore and others back when we first realized we were effed. Monsters (85%) actually sounds like an interesting twist on the alien invasion story, as the indie tracks some characters trying to cross a danger zone to safety six years after the ETs have dominated the planet. Waste Land (20%) is an artsy fartsy documentary about some real characters in Brazil that create beauty out of found objects and digging through dumpsters. I'd like to read a Wikipedia page about that, not watch a movie about it.

November 19th: My doppleganger Ron Weasley returns in Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2%), but alas, I still can't muster any curiosity in the series all these years later, even after a total of seven different people have now widened their eyes and made it seem like their duty to tell me of my resemblance to the sidekick. The Next Three Days (51%) features the return of Paul Haggis, the writer of Crash, and Russell Crowe, whose wife gets accused of murder and probably yells about it and gets sweaty and upset and stuff. I have a weird hateful relationship with both of these men, though, so I might see it out of sheer masochism. Client 9: The Rise & Fall of Eliot Spitzer (12%) is exactly what it sounds like, and while the news story was SNL-joke-worthy, I simply can't help but think that no one made a documentary about Monica Lewinsky (and if they did it didn't become notable), so why would anyone make one about this? Move on already. My Dog Tulip (68%) looks like it's on the fast track to becoming the dark horse for the Best Animated Feature winner, as it's a cutesily animated (2D!) film about an old man (voiced by Christopher Plummer) who befriends a German shepherd. And Wild Target (30%) is a wacky British comedy starring Bill Nighy and Rupert Everett in which a hitman falls in love - whoda thunk?!

November 26th: I'd be hard pressed to pinpoint a stupider non-Shrek animated feature idea from the past few years than Tangled (4%), a re-imagining of the fairy tale Rapunzel. In fact, I would watch Megamind thrice before seeing it. Christina Aguilera's feature film debut Burlesque (17%) looks pretty unbearable too, but with Cher as her shy-new-girl-in-LA's coach, it might just be ridiculous enough to be watchable, kinda like a soulless neutered Moulin Rouge. My crush Anne Hathaway's seemingly innocuous romantic dramedy Love And Other Drugs (24%) is somehow getting Oscar buzz already, so even though it looks plastic and dull, I think I'll hafta watch her pretty mug for 100-some minutes, whether I like it or not. Faster (36%) with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton looks like an empty brainless revenge thriller, but sometimes that's what I aimlessly put on when I'm drooling on my pillow from boredom some depressing Saturday morning while Jerksica's out of town, so we'll see. Plus, I'm -- confessional time -- starting to like the cut of The Rock's jib lately. Today's Special (EYEROLL%) is one of those foreign films where all the metaphors are food-related because it's about preparing for some big meal that brings together people who don't like each other but you know, love each other. Budrus (41%) is your annual foreign film that tries to shed light on the Palestine conflict somehow using a small child to highlight the theme of innocence and the loss thereof, but is simply too steeped in melodrama and generalities to make any kind of connection with the masses, including myself. Finally, Outside the Law (43%) does similarly for the Algerian struggle for independence from France that we all learned well enough about from watching The Battle for Algiers in our undergrad Film Study class.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 1:33 PM |  

    Guh, I am so freakin' sick of documentaries like that "Client 9" BS that are all, "Oh, poor Eliot Spitzer, he hired a prostitute and now we're supposed to feel sorry for him because he's a multimillionaire with his own show on CNN and he got fired for being sleazy in the public eye, boo hoo!" In the words of Brigitte imitating John Stossel, "gimme a break!"

    Sooooo can't wait for "Unstoppable"! I think we're gonna totes high-five so much in the movie theater. It's inspired by true events, after all.

  2. Blogger Papa Thor | 2:37 PM |  

    Haha, I like Tyler Perry, or is it Stephen Tyler? Or Stephen Perry? Anyway, I like Medea, I consider Marmee a cross between Medea and Deborah on the Raymond Show.

  3. Blogger DoktorPeace | 2:57 AM |  

    Looks like Harry Potter is going to be my one and only, thanks to family habit.

    You've seen 10 great movies?! I can think of a couple I liked, but that's about it. Then again, my last "great" movie is probably Hot Fuzz. Or Jennifer's Body.

    Anne Hathaway makes me sick. Stick with your wife.

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