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Knowing Duplicitous Love, Man

After the last few weeks of movies you’ve probably never heard of, this week features a few movies that you are maybe sorta likely to have heard of.  There’s a Nick Cage movie about a time capsule full of numbers that predict disasters (which couldn’t predict its mediocre rating (Knowing: RT – 25% M – 40%).  Judd Apatow-inspired (but actually has no involvement in) I Love You, Man, which features the predictable stable of Apatow actors and the predictable critical adoration (RT 78% – M – 70%).  And two Hollywood heavyweights (Clive Owen and Julia Roberts) ham it up in the espionage comedy Duplicity (RT – 66% M – 69%).  Options options options.  To help us sort through our choices, Mr. Nick Cage will be our reviewer wingman.  Okay Nick, let’s get our heads dirty.

"Right with you King Sheep."

"Right with you King Sheep."

Okay, I said heads, but whatever.  I’ll try to make future wordplay more apparent.  Let’s go Apatow now!


It should be no surprise to see these guys working together again.

The boys are back in town...and maybe each other

The boys are back in town...and maybe each other

“The movie delivers an absolutely complete, fully realized, delightfully novel redo of the hoariest of forms: the meet-cute, love-at-first-sight, break-up-and-make-up, racing-to-the-altar slapstick weepy that’s been a staple of cinema since the invention of cinema.” Village Voice  Robert Wilonsky

If that’s true then critics have been doing the trace-back-to-the-beginning, use-hyphens-to-invent-words, complications-reduced-to-one-simple-concept approach to review movies since the invention of writing.  Nick “in a” Cage, what do you say?

"Hi H.I."

"Hi H.I."

Great input.  Glad you’re here.

“The central love story, platonic though it may be, is entirely between the men. Their connection – and I’m determined to avoid the word “bromance” – saves this film from becoming just another Apatowian wanna-be.” New York Daily News  Elizabeth Weitzman

Sorry to break it to you, but you didn’t avoid using the word bromance in your review.  It’s like a lawyer who says “I don’t want to call it murder, but he killed the guy and it wasn’t self-defense.”  It’s already out there.  Nick, are you out there?

"Nah, but this hairdo is."

"Nah, but this hairdo is."

Fantastic.  You really know how to earn your paychecks sir.  Let’s hear from someone who didn’t like the movie very much, after all, it’s not posting Knocked Up (90%) or 40 Year Old Virgin (84%) numbers.

“Watching this movie is like listening to Michael Jackson tell you what real men are like.” New York Post Kyle Smith

Fantastic.  That’d be like Nick Cage telling you what real hair looks like.

"Just because my hair looks terrible doesn't mean it's more likely to be real."

"Just because my hair looks terrible doesn't mean it's more likely to be real."

Sorry, that was a low blow.  Actually, it was aimed a little higher than that.  Guess it was a high blow.  Moving on, let’s get duplicitous.

“The movie resembles Mad magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy” series, elevated to labyrinthine levels of complexity.” Chicago Sun-Times  Roger Ebert

Sounds good, I used to love those silent-but-violent strips.

“Duplicity is perfectly titled: There isn’t a second of this smart, twisty, grown-up thriller in which someone isn’t lying, cheating or stealing, often from someone they claim to love.” Portland Oregonian  M. E. Russell

It is a rare thing to have a perfect title.

Can fashion ever be perfect if this was once cool?

Can fashion ever be perfect if this was once cool?

“On the plus side, if you’re flummoxed by the twisty plot or its occasional holes, you can always gaze contentedly at Clive Owen and be wholly entertained.” Miami Herald  Connie Ogle

I give up.  I can't be anymore sexy.

I give up. I can't be anymore sexy.

I’d question the merits of praising a movie just for the actor eye candy, but given the reviewer’s last name, what’s the point?  However, in fairness to men of the audience, will they be similarly excited to see Hollywood’s famous Pretty Woman?

“The female lead in Duplicity calls for the kind of atomic, glow-in-the-dark, Rita Hayworth-in-Gilda sexuality that is most assuredly out of Roberts’ range. Angelina Jolie effortlessly conjures up that kind of fire-breathing sexiness. Roberts? Not so much.” The Onion (A.V. Club)  Nathan Rabin

Ouch.  Sorry Julia, apparently your days of fire-breathing-sexiness are over.  Last up is our guest’s addition to your weekly entertainment options: Knowing.  Sure it’s at the bottom of the heap according to critics, but are they really the experts on mainstream disaster movies?

knowing-movie-poster“Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I’ve seen — frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome.” Chicago Sun-Times  Roger Ebert




“Starts off mildly ridiculous, ascends to the full-blown ludicrous, and finally sails boldly off the edge of the absolutely preposterous.” Boston Globe  Ty Burr

That sounds like what I’d expect from a disaster movie.

“Reviewers sometimes insult actors by saying they don’t vary their expressions across an entire movie. But until Knowing, I never thought that could literally be true. Nicolas Cage does widen his eyes with about 15 minutes left in the film.” Charlotte Observer  Lawrence Toppman

"Hey, that's called acting"

"That's called acting"

“If you see only one bad movie this year, definitely make it Knowing. The first major disappointment from director Alex Proyas is a disaster movie, a horror picture, a “Da Vinci Code”-style thriller and an end-of-days religious film all at once.” San Francisco Chronicle Peter Hartlaub

That sounds like a so-bad-it’s-good movie.  Or four movies for the price of one.  Or perhaps just bad.  Nick, final thoughts?

"If you start to lose interest in my movie, just attach the View-Improver 2000 to your face and try not to blink, move, or breath deeply."

"If you start to get bored during my movie, just attach my patented View-Improver 2000 to your face and try not to blink, move, or breath deeply."

That’s great Nick.  You did such a good job I don’t think I ever need to invite you back.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.



One Response

  1. Great post, Pat, and I got more than a couple chuckles from Nick Cage’s contributions. Who knew he had such range?

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