Saturday, March 27, 2010

Punch Drunk Boredom

Bird On A Wire: Katherine I don't think I spell her last name correctly and don't care Heigl looks for the truth in Spartica.

This past week I've been laid up with a bum knee, so I spent a lot of time watching tv. Since I was already in pain, I wanted to watch something funny to kill time. This led me on a trip through a series of titles that didn't quite do the trick, as a public service here's my reviews of these movies.

Year One (2009) - Manic Jack Black and shy Michael Cera play inept cavemen who get kicked out of their tribe and wander through the first part of the Old Testament. Black and Cera are OK, they hold up their end of the bargin by playing to their type. The story rambles on with the expected white lies, sex jokes and misunderstandings that plague any generic comedy. One lone bright spot is whoever the guy is that played Cain. Cain is portrayed here as a gleeful opportunist who is in denial about his murderous jealousy of his brother. As for the rest, sorry, Mel Brooks did this stuff better with History Of the World Part One.

Punch Drunk Love (2001) - I generally like P.T. Anderson movies, Boogie Nights is one of my all time favorites. And this was supposedly Adam Sandler's best acting performance to date. And yet...I find Punch Drunk Love to be lacking. Sandler is convincing as a lonely, emotionally unstable man trying to find human connection. But the different pieces of the puzzle - Sandler unable to speak to people yet owning his own business, Emily Watson as a level headed career woman who wants Sandler despite his numerous mental issues that include violent outbursts, the porn hotline who sends hitmen to take money from Sandler - just doesn't add up.

Bottle Rocket (1996) - The movie that put the drowsy brothers Luke and Owen Wilson on the map, directed by the equally laconic Wes Anderson, is actually pretty funny. The Wilson brothers are would be robbers who bungle their way through crime. Both Wilsons ably establish what would become their m.o., Owen as the fast talking bullshitter and Luke as the sincere guy (until those phone commercials at least). The robberies that take place are laugh out loud funny in their incompetence.

The Ugly Truth (2009) - Katherine I-hate-my-job-at-Grey's Anatomy Heigl and Gerard 300 Butler get rom com fever in Sacramento. Liked the location being in my old hometown, even if it does look like it was shot in L.A save the establishing shots. Butler tries hard to be Mel Gibson and falls a touch short as a rogueish tv personality who pontificates on male / female relationships. Heigl excels at playing the frigid tv producer who works with him. There are flashes of humor here and there as Butler and Heigl needle each other, but 99% of the movie is just recycled rom com standbys including a recreation of the When Harry Met Sally public orgasm scene. Meh.

And the lesson here is...don't get hurt. Don't fall into the trap of watching these movies (except Bottle Rocket, that was pretty good). I was tempted to put on my DVD set of Firefly but was too lazy to get up and put it on. Shame on me.

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