Friday, November 12, 2004

Movies opening this week

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, dir. Beeban Kidron)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
Man, this one is getting torn apart by critics, for reasons I can understand but don't necessarily agree with. A fellow critic who bestowed zero stars on the film questioned my sanity last night for giving it a marginally positive review. But I stand by the assertion that, as another critic noted somewhere, if you liked the first one, you'll like this one, only less so. Opens limited this week; wide release next week

The Polar Express (Tom Hanks, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, dir. Robert Zemeckis)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
The other day someone took me to task for panning this movie, asserting that little kids will like it. Which, you know, no shit, but I have a problem with "little kids will like it" as praise for a movie. Little kids like eating dirt; that doesn't mean we should encourage them to do it. Little kids probably liked Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, but that doesn't mean their parents should take them to see it. I can't believe I'm going to hold forth on the subject of parental responsibility, but here's the thing: You don't indulge your kids' desire to eat dirt just because "they like it." You know that eating dirt is bad, and you as an adult help the kid learn what is best for him/her. Likewise, you shouldn't take your kids to shitty movies just because "they'll like it." You as an adult should help the kid learn what a good movie is. It's not like there aren't good movies for kids. Take your spawn to The Incredibles or rent something like A Christmas Story or Elf if you really need a holiday movie this far before the holidays. Just don't encourage low standards for family films by patronizing crap like this. Wide release

Seed of Chucky (Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Billy Boyd, dir. Don Mancini)
I don't care what anyone thinks, I love Chucky movies. And I love Don Mancini for making his entire career out of writing Chucky movies and essentially nothing else, so I'm a little touched they finally let him direct. This movie is, of course, ridiculous and over the top and nonsensical and unnecessarily meta. But of course it's also hilarious for all those reasons, especially the awesome Jennifer Tilly making fun of her own image, Redman as a "rapper-director" making a biblical epic, Chucky jerking off, Chucky and Tiffany's kid thinking he/she is Japanese because of the "Made in Japan" label on his/her wrist, John Waters as a paparazzo, spurting blood straight out of Kill Bill Vol. 1, and so on and so on. You already know if you are going to like this movie, which may be why they didn't screen it for critics. But I don't care; I would have given it a great review if they'd let me see it in time. On a side note, there was a little girl of probably seven sitting next to me at the screening, asking her mom questions about Chucky's sperm, which just goes to show that any parents not taking their kids to insipid crap like The Polar Express are instead taking them to incredibly inappropriate R-rated movies about killer dolls. Hooray for America. Wide release

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