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Monday, 20 July
Let's All Go The Prejudgment . . .

I LOVE YOU, CLIMATE CHANGE! This has been the most stupendously ridiculous Seattle summer since the year I first moved here in 1992, where there was a tremendous drought. Day after joyous day of no rain and plenty of griping pale people! It's glorious. Usually we get like two weeks in August of decent heat, and the rest of it is spotty nonsense where you can never tell if some wan sunshine is suddenly going to give way to a hellish trout rain or some fucking thing. But I could get used to this. We're even starting to get reliable snowfalls in the winter, which of course shuts down this poor city, and everyone yells HEY CLEAR THE ROADS YOU ASSHOLES at the city, and I'm like, What, you want to go to work?

Fuck, I went out and bought a whole bunch of screaming two-stroke engines and have them running 24/7 out on the sun-blasted patio. My neighbors scream at me about them--I assume they are applauding my efforts to continue to ruin the environment and preserve this glorious ongoing atmospheric clusterfuck--but I cannot hear them over the din, so I can't be sure. I blandly wave at them while they make complicated arm gestures at me, and I grin happily.

And with improbably fuck-nuts summers come predictably babble-mad summer movies! Let's see what's on the docket. As usual, I have seen none of these movies, nor do I intend to, but I probably will, because of Comcast's siren song.

G-Force

Sometimes I feel sorry for parents, where "sometimes" = "constantly." This is a movie that actually advertises the fact that Jerry Bruckheimer is behind it, which is a lot like trying to promote your new line of Ed Gein lampshades. This is directed by the legendary Hoyt Yeatman--a visual effects guy with no prior directing experience--and his talents are being employed here to lend 3-D effects to what everyone thinks of when the topic of 3-D comes up: guinea pigs.

Sorry, moms and dads. The rest of us will simply consider this Hollywood's continuing efforts to provide us with visual birth control.

"I hate condoms."

"Listen, do you want to find yourself one day watching a 3-D guinea pig spy movie?"

"I, uh, I'll go to the store; back in five."

The Ugly Truth

IMDB plot synopsis synopsis (abbreviated on the home page thusly):

"A romantically challenged morning show producer (Heigl) is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous..."

I defy anyone to give me any good reason to keep reading or thinking about or acknowledging this movie. Anyone?

[Silence.]

Well, there you go. Incidentally, those of you who watch movies like this? And therefore encourage their creation? Could you please fucking stop? Seriously, I'll blow a lonely zoo tiger for everyone who swears off this shit.

Orphan

Hey, looks like another entry in the "little girls with dark hair are terrifying" genre! Hollywood really is just delusional. Every sane adult knows that little blond girls named Dakota Fanning are the most terrifying filmic entities ever thrust into an unsuspecting public's collective face.

I mean, you all saw--to pick only one out of untold millions of films where Fanning spreads her reign of terror--Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake, right? Where we all desperately rooted for the Martians to blast Dakota Fanning into oblivion if only to stop her incessant screaming, but then Tim Robbins showed up and ate the entire set? And Spielberg kind of went, "Hey, where's all our stuff? That cost $100 million!" And the audience went, "Why, why didn't he eat Dakota Fanning? Won't somebody? Cruise has the teeth for it, even if she is kind of gristly."

But he didn't. So thanks for fucking nothing, Robbins. Now we'll have to wait until 2010, where Dakota Fanning stars in The Fanning, a taut thriller about a young, needle-voiced blonde girl who collects antique fans and sits and fans herself for two hours while receiving blood transfusions in a desperate directorial attempt to make her actually appear in color on film, but to no avail,andt she keeps on fanning her numinous Dakotian self, ceaselessly, while countless exsanguinated children die in a growing pile at her side, and then Tim Robbins eats everything in the universe, and Dakota Fanning screams into the gaping void. I think it's a Werner Herzog film.

Funny People

Hey, it's Judd Apatow! I wondered what he'd been up to. It's been almost half an hour.

Look, I love The 40 Year Old Virgin. I own it. Superbad and Pineapple Express are much, much less beloved to me, as they begin to exhibit a certain disease that afflicts directors who become popular and celebrities in their own right: a refusal to edit. Both of those latter movies wear out their welcome well before the endings, and begin to display an unwelcome attitude towards young asshole males: that they are inherently funny. (Jonah Hill's character in Superbad is emblematic of this; Pineapple Express is excruciatingly long.) (Oh, and Knocked Up is a chickenshit drag that's even more cowardly than Juno.)

It's hard to say what Apatow's up to here. It looks like a comedy with "heart," which is a nearly chilling idea in most hands, but 40 Year Old Virgin, at its core, pulls it off, mainly thanks to Steve Carell and Catherine Keener, particularly the latter, who is unfailingly great.

But there is cause for worry. There is always the troubling presence of Adam Sandler, but then again, he's shown that he is not always completely useless with an actual directorial presence, a la Punch-Drunk Love. There's also the troubling inclusion of--and I find this truly mystifying--Eric Bana, a mostly faceless actor who has, as far as I can recall, never displayed anything resembling a sense of humor ever. I'm happy to be proven wrong, but the man just strikes me as dry wheat bread.

And there's one other thing that should give everyone pause. It is this, again from IMDB's cast list:

Andy Dick ... Himself

Now I question the entire marketing campaign. This might be a horror movie after all. Do you think they got Dakota Fanning to do an uncredited scene with Andy Dick? The screaming will never stop! Until Tim Robbins shows up and eats the multiverse.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

HA, funny about Seattle weather. I moved here from Texas and found out that I am addicted to a/c. Really. I spend more time at work now because the building is air conditioned enough to freeze my toes off. Enjoy the heat wave. I hate it.

Comment number: 019617   Posted by: Brooke on July 22, 2009 04:59 PM from IP: 205.149.16.30

Careful: if Seattle gets sunny and dry it'll turn into LA. The only thing keeping Seattle from being marginally less douchey than LA is that the major assholes require constant sunshine to prevent them from falling into a self hating, suicidal abyss. Seattle is an impossible climate for them.

Also, because I know how much you love being corrected: Apatow produced Pineapple Express and Superbad. He did not direct them. Which gives Funny People some hope, except that the one to truly be tired of is Seth Rogan. Isn't HE done yet?

Comment number: 019618   Posted by: Topher on July 26, 2009 02:09 AM from IP: 76.170.81.174

Point taken about the non-Apatow-directed movies, Topher. I actually knew that, but I let my writing get clumsy, and I make it sound like he did. I will, however, maintain that Apatow's stamp unmistakeably all over those films regardless of who directed. But still, yer right.

Comment number: 019619   Posted by: Skot on July 26, 2009 01:02 PM from IP: 71.227.172.44

Where are ya, Skott? We, your loyal readers, are starved for another episode of your rambling.

Comment number: 019624   Posted by: Brad on August 13, 2009 02:26 PM from IP: 138.163.0.43

Yeah, what's the dealio? We like the ramble! Please ramble like you mean it!

--JP

Comment number: 019631   Posted by: Jason on August 19, 2009 01:07 PM from IP: 216.239.124.44

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