Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's The End Of The World As We Know It...And I Feel Fine

Why do you let me stay here? Zooey Deschanel and that 3rd Rock kid see if it takes two to make a thing go right in (500) Days Of Summer.

Doom and gloom. Death and despair. We're all familiar with these feelings and a lot of the recent movies I've watched know it too. Except instead of drowning in sorrow, these movies have put a fanciful smirk on the whole deal. Tragedy as comedy. If that's not living in the 21st Century, I don't know what is.

Zombieland (2009)

Aka the best acting performance Woody Harrelson has put in since I don't remember when. The latest spin on the zombie genre focuses on a small group of survivors who were outcasts/loners in regular society that become the unwitting hope of humanity. The lead actor kid from Adventureland makes like a modern day Matthew Broderick with his intellectual ramblings and rules for staying alive in zombieland. With sadistic Harrelson and a pair of young grifters at his side he looks for a reason to live while fighting for his life in a post zombie planet. The film has a fun zippy energy and canny production value that gets the most out of utilizing its small cast with the exception of a few big set pieces. Definitely worth watching if you even half way like the genre.

(500) Days Of Summer (2009)

The kid from 3rd Rock From The Sun has grown up to be a squinty eyed serious guy. He hooks up with indie hot girl Zooey Deschanel and ends up in a 500 day relationship told in non linear order. Done with narration that presents the story as half fairy tale half anthopological study, (500) Days Of Summer effectively takes the viewer (me) through the heady rush of infatuation to the crushing heartbreak of rejection. Deschanel plays a bit against type, being the pragmatist to 3rd Rock guy's lovey dreamer. Well acted and brilliantly constructed, this anti-rom com gives believable characters and manages to turn what could have been droll and over thought to near poetry. And a superb soundtrack filled with indie/alt classics. Yeah, I liked this one.

2012 (2009)

From the guys that brought you every end of the world epic since Independence Day comes a real END OF THE WORLD yawn I mean yarn called 2012. John Cusack inexplicably continues his streak of bad career choices by starring in this disaster flick about the literal end of life on the planet. Buildings fall, landmarks crumble, seas of people disappear into a CGI haze of fire or whatnot. The one thing cool about this movie that it gets right is that its a dog eat dog world, if the big day comes lots of people are gonna get screwed out of their life by the rich and powerful. The story and characters are just the run of the mill types popular in this dreary tradition - plucky protagonists and smarmy antagonists escaping close calls with lucky breaks. Borring.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)

All CGI animated films are old hat now, which takes some of the thunder away from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. It's not bad, it's actually pretty entertaining with its tale of a misfit inventor who creates a food replicator that accidentally ends up in the sky and rains food on his island. Meatballs is, ahem, well done and never lags pace wise. Not something I regret seeing at all, just not entirely memorable. Except for Mr T's voice acting, T is always awesome. I pity the fool who doesn't like Mr. T!

And that's all I got for now. See you at the red box!

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