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A little something for everyone

Looking at this week’s roster of opening movies, you can see the careful planning that Hollywood put into servicing every audience taste. Similar to the buffet of options from last weekend, this weekend hits on nearly every genre.  There is a romance story told through a lens of science fiction, based on a bestselling book: The Time Traveler’s Wife (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).  An environmentally conscious animated foreign film from Walt Disney’s Japanese mirror: Ponyo (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).  The resident raunchy comedy from someone involved with Talladega Nights: The Goods (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).  There’s even a tween band movie from the Disney stable of musical talent: Bandslam (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic). Lastly, a documentary-style science fiction action movie that had critics clapping: District 9 (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).  Can you think of any genres that were ignored?
official-bandslam-poster-01The opening act does better than a non-HSM fan would assume, but chances are you already know if you’re going to see this movie.

“Had Cameron Crowe and the late John Hughes collaborated on a movie populated by Disney Channel superstars, the result might have looked and sounded a lot like Todd Graff’s Bandslam. And that’s meant as a compliment.” The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

No kidding, especially because America spent the last week reminiscing over their favorite John Hughes moments.  Comparing modern artists to recently-promoted legends looks dodgy.  It’d be like proclaiming JT the ‘Next King-of-Pop” because he reminds us of MJ.  The problem is, it looks like you’re trying to fill a vacancy.

“The movie is too sophisticated in its first hour for preteens, and much too tragically unhip in its second hour for the older teenage audience that might appreciate its pithier wisecracks.” Christopher Tookey Daily Mail [UK]

Putting ‘unhip’ and ‘sophisticated’ on opposite ends of the quality spectrum implies that the hipper your film becomes, the more crass it needs to be.  That logic sounds bassackwards, but this week’s crassiest movie probably doesn’t mind.
goods_live_hard_sell_hard_xlg“A raunchy, fast-paced comedy that, nevertheless, is as flat as the tires on the old Volvo gathering dust in my garage.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Jennie Punter

We should be thankful that the imagery invoked by most reviewers doesn’t swerve into the gross-out comedy it discusses.

“In many places it’s genuinely, absurdly funny–crass, sleazy and morally questionable, yes, but still funny.” Portland Oregonian Stan Hall

Sounds unsophisticatedly hip.  Unlike the hippest movie out this week, the action-documentary that touches on issues of Apartheid while blowing lots of shit up.
district9_poster-689x1024“Attention all geeks (and geeks at heart): Get ready for two hours of serious awesome.” Miami Herald Rene Rodriguez

“This baby has the stuff to end the movie summer on a note of dazzle and distinction.” Rolling Stone Peter Travers

“Grabs you by the eyeballs from the very first frame.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

With all that critical love, it falls to America’s angriest critic to level expectations.

“District 9 represents the sloppiest and dopiest pop cinema — the kind that comes from a second-rate film culture.” Armond White New York Press

However if you’re looking for science fiction with more kissing than chases scenes, you’re probably going to see the adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife.
AM:TP final“The book is richer, but this is a solid, endearing telling of the same essential story, and is well worth the price of admission for those who appreciate romantic fantasy.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

Will I be disappointed if I’m not a real appreciator of romantic fantasy?

“It would really help to get into the right frame of mind before seeing The Time Traveler’s Wife, because viewed from some angles – maybe most angles – the movie is ridiculous.” San Francisco Chronicle Mick LaSalle

I can deal with ridiculous love.

“It might be a solid hook if we thought their love was grand. Instead, it’s kind of creepy.” Baltimore Sun Michael Sragow

Creepy love?  Not so much.  Last up, the reigning king of hand drawn animation loosely adapts the Little Mermaid in Ponyo.  Most everyone agreed that it was amazing, even if some criticized its childlike perspective on serious issues, so we’ll go out on a high note.
20090507-ponyo_poster_00“You watch a Miyazaki film with the pie-eyed, gape-mouthed awe of a child being read the most fantastic story and suddenly transported to places previously beyond the limits of imagination. It’s quite a trip.” Philadelphia Inquirer Carrie Rickey

PDJ hopes to enjoy one of the last trips of summer.

PDJ hopes you enjoy the fall


One Response

  1. isn’t saying “romantic fantasy” like saying “wet water”?

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