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1 2 3 – Imagine Taking Moon Food

What an odd week for movies. There’s a remake of a 1970’s thriller that I’d never heard of, a psychological piece of science fiction staring Sam Rockwell, a documentary that will scare you out of eating, and an Eddie Murphy movie where he only plays one character.  Since last week was all about the Hangover, this week seems like the first post-drunk meal.  Your stomach still isn’t settled yet and some food (eggs and sausage) just doesn’t taste right while odd things (like fruit garnish) taste amazing. So, let’s start with the garnish.

food_inc_xlg
Food Inc. (RT – 90% M – 81%) a documentary about the business of food and how food conglomerates don’t think it’s your business to know what’s in it.

“Eating can be one dangerous business. Don’t take another bite till you see Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc., an essential, indelible documentary that is scarier than anything in the last five Saw horror shows.” Rolling Stone Peter Travers

Don’t sell the scary too much.  The truth, however inconvenient, can be a serious bummer.

“Food, Inc. is hard to shake, because days after you’ve seen it, you may find yourself eating something — a cookie, a piece of poultry, cereal out of the box, a perfectly round waxen tomato — and you’ll realize that you have virtually no idea what it actually is.” Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

Well, the last one was wax.  Don’t eat that.  But as important as the documentary might be, what reason is there to see it in theaters rather than wait for video/DVD/Blu-Ray?

“The sheer scale of the movie is mind-blowing–it touches on every aspect of modern life. It’s the documentary equivalent of “The Matrix”: It shows us how we’re living in a simulacrum, fed by machines run by larger machines with names like Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, and the handful of other corporations that make everything.” New York Magazine David Edelstein

Whoa, it’s the Matrix of documentaries.  It could only be cooler if it had Keanu Reeves in it.  And speaking of science fiction (never SyFy), who knew that this weekend would release a new classic (or a so classic it’s like new) exploration of humanity in Moon (RT – 84% / M -68%)?  Directed by David Bowie’s son, it’s likely to remind people that truly great science fiction focuses on its ideas rather than its special effects.

moon_poster_sam_rockwell

“Moon is a potent provocation that relies on ideas instead of computer tricks to stir up excitement.” Rolling Stone Peter Travers

Dude, I just said that.  Anyway, this movie sounds like a mesmerizing tale of loneliness and reflection on life.

“An assured, mesmerizing tale of intergalactic loneliness, self-inquiry, and man’s innate, enduring hunger for life.” Nick Schager Slant Magazine

Did I read that somewhere before?  It’s like there are two of me and I’m reading my own mind.  Does that blow your mind?

“Should be enthusiastically greeted by serious sci-fi devotees, because it’s a smart story that doesn’t spell everything out but isn’t maddeningly ambiguous, either.” Eric D. Snider EricDSnider.com

Since nothing will be as maddeningly ambiguous as my comments for this section, let’s slingshot around the moon one more time with why you might want to remember to see this one.

“One of the most compelling sci-fi films of the past 20 years.” Scott Weinberg FEARnet

“In an age when most big-budget science fiction films are made by people with no respect for science or fiction, Moon is a welcome pleasure.” James Rocchi Cinematical

“”Moon” is the best sci-fi movie to come along in a generation or two.” Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com

Moon has been sold.  Moving on to the movies that are actually going to draw big audiences this weekend, lead by Denzel Washington and John Travolta in Tony Scott’s remake of Joseph Sargent’s 1970’s thriller: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (RT 52% – M 58%).

taking_of_pelham_1-2-3_2009

Since the preview was ‘Meh’, the critics are ‘Meh’, what’s going to put people in the seats?

“Pelham 123 exploits urban anxiety without relief or understanding. Using exacerbation as entertainment, it is simply an I HATE NY ad.” Armond WhitevNew York Press

ARMONNNND!

“Scott gets into the zip and rush of urban energy with an enthusiasm bordering on hilarity.” Entertainment Weekly  Lisa Schwarzbaum

It’s hilariously energetic with enthusiasm.

“Travolta barks and giggles and screams, as if creating a memorable nemesis was simply a matter of calling more attention to yourself than anyone else.” Josh Larsen LarsenOnFilm

“Loud, abrasive, and featuring performances seemingly calibrated to be heard over the cacophonous roar of Travolta’s mad, bad overacting.” Austin Chronicle Marc Savlov

Any actor that plays his part by barking, roaring, giggling and screaming at least has range.  So what’s the low down on this subway thriller?

“There’s not much wrong with Tony Scott’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, except that there’s not much really right about it.” Chicago Sun-Times  Roger Ebert

Meh.  Last up is the desert of this little meal.  An Eddy Murphy movie.  He’s been a true champion of terrible movies for the better part of a decade.  I can hear the shirt sleeves of critics everywhere rolling up before a written flood of frustration and disappointment drowns the last bit of air out the lungs of Eddy’s career.

imagine_that

“At this point, there’s no room left on Murphy’s career coffin for another nail, so consider Imagine That the first shovelful of dirt.” Brian Orndorf BrianOrndorf.com

Yee-ouch.  Next.

“I laughed once during Imagine That’s interminable 107 minutes, and the longer I watched Murphy’s desperate, embarrassing attempts at provoking laughter, the worse I felt.” James Berardinelli ReelViews

Oh, it burns.  One more?

“Mr. Murphy rises to every occasion, not only with the crisp wit that has long been his hallmark, but with restraint and tenderness that serve him well.” Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

Say what?   This is Eddy Murphy we’re talking about.  The guy who brought us Norbit, Pluto Nash, and The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps.  Did he break his streak?  What kind of numbers did Imagine That get?

Imagine That RT 44% M -55%

Wow, that’s about what Pelham got.  Clearly I was too hard on Mr. Murphy.  Maybe his movie isn’t terrible.  Perhaps it’s decent, maybe even good?  What should I be giving this movie credit for?

“Most family films aim their lessons at children, but some actually have a thing or two for adults to learn.” Perry Seibert TV Guide’s Movie Guide

Interesting.  What’s the lesson?

“The lesson: Kids are never too young to balance a stock portfolio.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

PDJ stopped to ponder

PDJ stopped to ponder

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One Response

  1. Food Inc. and Moon will be in Pullman?! Awesome. Also, have you checked out the Red Box down at Dissmore’s? It’s the vending machine version of movie rentals. You choose from a relatively large selection of recent films (I’d guess they had at least 100 films), insert $1, and the DVD slides out. Return it within 24 hours and you’re golden!

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