J.J. Abrams’s Super 8

There is not much to deter audiences from watching Super 8 this summer. There is friendship, suspense, young love, even a black doctor to dispel rumors floating that Super 8 was maintaining an exclusively white cast. The only hitch for moviegoers is they will almost certainly be subjected to the Larry Crowne preview. Larry Crowne or How I Learned to Stop Loving Julia Roberts and Start Calling Tom Hanks a Hasbeen. The trailer for LC is the cinematic equivalent of Magic Johnson getting AIDS – basically the most shameful and degrading method of signaling an end to a bright career. The LC trailer is literally the worse thing I’ve ever seen and I once saw a police officer rub a retarded child in honey and ants. I once saw Cameron Diaz rape a homeless Chinese man. And even then I chuckled.

As stated, it is unlikely Super 8 will face much opposition on its way to becoming the American summer blockbuster of 2011. Green Lantern (or as I like to call it – Retarded Avatar) will certainly muster no objections. Neither will the likes of Thor, Pirates, Transformers, Twilight or any other in the parade of unwarranted and predictable summer features. Why do children and teenagers become dramatically more mentally handicapped over summer vacation? Is it the mind-numbing heat? The lack of schooling? The repetition of a customer service job? The enforcement of high-cost, low-quality cinematic franchises upon younger audiences? Drug dealers?

Whatever it may be – movie studios aren’t helping matters during the summer. There is a marked drought of meaningful flicks over the period of late-May until September. Which is why Super 8 comes as a remarkable surprise – a giant among dwarf babies. Part monster movie. Part government conspiracy. And most importantly about how friendships between children can be the most fiercely loyal and remarkable. Pretty much the best child-actor performances I’ve seen since Stand By Me (excluding Tree of Life which exists on another plain of film-making). And the most inventive and efficient storytelling this summer . . . $10

If you heart Super 8:

Recommendations by Quispy
Bong Joon-ho’s The Host
Stand By Me
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Nobody likes you Owen Wilson go away you’re stupid! You’re annoying, no one likes yr face. It is too surprised and Jewish. Too incredulous. You are Cameron Diaz but worse because there is a strong possibility you are hiding a penis. Cameron Diaz may be hiding a penis but that is only a slight possibility. It seems like if she did have a penis she would at least be funny. But now yr stupid-ass Cameron Diaz comparison is getting me off topic.

Midnight in Paris is the sort of film a director makes toward the end of his career when he wants to commune with all his heroes. In my opinion no one does this better or more lovingly than Woody Allen – a guy completely unashamed to share his most precious influences (i.e. where he has been stealing from). Ingmar Bergman for ex. Or in the case of Midnight – Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso . . . Allen is a director with balls enough to blatantly imitate and physically embody his idols as a form of praise. No one re-exhumes the dead like he can.

Allen has also be known to heap praise upon the cities he is shooting. Midnight makes an argument for Paris as utterly wonderful which I find admirable since I always envisioned Paris as having nothing but that rich food and heavy sauces, sidewalks littered with dog shit, and snooty people. Allen uses the landscape of Paris to his advantage, cramming the message that the city is chock-full with gorgeous art and architecture. Easy to forget having no geography, easy to forget to appreciate living in America – the most unabashedly generic nation on earth (esp. between the coasts).

Rachel McAdams is as startlingly beautiful as ever. She has undeniably become one of the great actresses of her generation. Michael Sheen superb as always. Owen Wilson forgettable and unnecessary – a missed opportunity for Allen not to have replaced him with a more interesting actor – I would have gone with James Franco. Younger, funnier and more literate. I’d say the performance of the film belonged to Corey Stoll who created a comical, commanding and charming interpretation of Hemingway.

Not the filet of Allen’s catalog. A little too magical and a little too little at stake. But he still continues to be one of the most ingenious and undeniably the most distinctive filmmaker today . . . $8

If you heart Midnight in Paris:

Recommendations by DJ Cheet
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Steven Shainberg’s Fur
Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People

She’s the One

Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and Edward Burns star in this 1996 romantic comedy about marriage and love, not necessarily with the same people.  Going into this movie, I admit, I had really low expectations.  Cameron Diaz + Jennifer Aniston + romantic comedy?  That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  However, I was pleasantly surprised and attribute that all to Edward Burns’ writing.

Cameron Diaz plays the role of bitch well, surprising considering her typical girl-next-door character, and it is amazing how beautiful and fresh both Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston look.  Granted this was filmed about 16 years ago, I looked much more fresh back then too <sigh>.

Anyhow, not a great movie by any means, an really rather predictable but better than general cursory, superficial glance would initially judge…$2

If you heart She’s the One:

Recommendations from …:

The Break-Up
Along Came Polly
Something’s Gotta Give

Recommendations from The Mug:

Beautiful Girls
The Brothers McMullen
Goodwill Hunting

%d bloggers like this: