Friday, September 22, 2006

Movies opening this week

All the King's Men (Jude Law, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson, dir. Steven Zaillian)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I found out at the last minute that I was going to be reviewing this, so I didn't have a chance to watch the original first, which is something that I normally try to do. So I can't offer a comparison (although I imagine the first one has to be better since this is such a misguided and leaden affair), but I can offer this story: In the middle of the film, I got up to go to the bathroom, where I ran into another local critic. "Man, how bad is this?" he said to me. I said it wasn't all that bad (it ended up getting worse), and he said that he loved the original and this was just butchering the story terribly. I went back into the theater, and he went home. And I maintain that this isn't a movie worth walking out in the middle of, but it's also not worth walking into in the first place. Wide release

Flyboys (James Franco, Martin Henderson, Abdul Salis, Jean Reno, dir. Tony Bill)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I might have been a little harsh on this in the star rating, since it's not aggressively bad so much as it is square and outdated, the kind of thing people might have had a certain nostalgic affection for were it made in 1942, but just comes off as awkward, simple-minded and grating in 2006. If there had been, say, 45 minutes less of it, I might have been a little kinder, but I got so annoyed with the schematic plotting and cardboard characters after over two hours that I came out of the movie with the desire to punish it. Hence the single star. Wide release

Jackass: Number Two (documentary, dir. Jeff Tremaine)
The only reason I saw this movie is that I knew that my radio pal Gonzo would want to talk about it, and I felt obligated to be prepared. I'm not the target audience for Jackass - I never watched the TV show, and I didn't see the first movie - and nothing I say about it will convince the people who are the target audience to stay away, so I'm not going to bother. But I was (perhaps naively) amazed at the sheer amount of human (and non-human) excretions on display in this film. I mean, I knew the Jackasses would be hurting themselves in sometimes creative ways, but I had no idea the steady stream (so to speak) of shit, piss, vomit, blood and even horse semen that would be on display. Combine that with the rampant homoeroticism of the franchise (this movie has to have more male nudity than any movie I've ever seen), and I guarantee you've got popular masturbatory fodder for a certain very kinky subset of viewers. Some of whom, I bet, are hidden among the ostensibly straight and even homophobic fanbase for these guys and their stupid human tricks. Wide release

No comments: