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Despicable Winnebago Predators Are All Right

Something truly remarkable happens this weekend.  It’s not the affection for RV kleptomaniacs implied by the title, it’s the release of multiple movies that don’t suck!  Given the summer 2010 schedule-to-date, American audiences have had to lower their standards – oftentimes substituting “best ever” for “pretty okay.”  And now, audiences have an opportunity to almost get their money’s worth out of a trip to the cinema.  If I owned a movie theater, I’d have my employees hang out behind the screen and throw trash at the audience during the movie.  That way, I could charge everyone double for a true 3D experience.  I know, I know, Despicable Me (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Lo, another 3-D animated kid movie demonstrates that cartoon storytelling pitched to young people is the last, best refuge of sprightly filmmaking this hard, hot summer. “ Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

Note to Hollywood: Keep making kid’s movies for adults.

“There’s nothing like a little world domination to melt the most dastardly evildoer’s heart. Since villains so often steal the show in animation, Despicable Me smartly turns the whole operation over to megalomaniacal rogue Gru.” Peter Debruge Variety

Once it’s done installing, it melts your motherboard. Microsoft doesn’t like competition.

“The film is a reminder that no single studio has a monopoly on thoughtful animated features. “ Ed Gonzalez Slant Magazine

PIXAR, you just got served…a back-handed compliment.

“You get the feeling that a darker and more clever Despicable Me may have existed at some point before the studio defaulted to the safe side. “ Katey Rich CinemaBlend.com

Fair enough, but if Gru started borrowing from other villain’s playbooks, it wouldn’t take long for him to lose the PG rating.

The Joker’s health care plan offers the best medicine.

“The result is pleasant and diverting, if ultimately forgettable, and it’s one of the rare instances in the recent history of 3-D’s resurrection as The Savior of Cinema in which the technology doesn’t dim the screen or distract the focus.” Robert Wilonsky Village Voice

Horray!  The 3D doesn’t ruin the movie!  Sometimes technology helps, and sometimes it does the other thing, like when pre-internet viral videos get a second helping of public attention and become documentaries, as is the case with Winnebago Man (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“A curious young helmer tracks down the profanity-spewing subject of a two-decade-old viral video with results at once scabrously funny and uncomfortably poignant.” Variety Eddie Cockrell

Consider this funny/poignant quote from the apparently legendary video: “I don’t want any more bullshit any time during the day, from anyone.  That includes me.”

“Steinbauer is as significant a character as his subject, and Winnebago Man emerges as a documentary as much about Rebney as the making of the film itself. “ Annlee EllingsonMoving Pictures Magazine

So, it’s a documentary about making a documentary about this amusingly profane YouTube clip:

“This engrossing documentary widens to consider the phenomenon of viral videos and the humiliation they can bring to their sometimes unsuspecting victims.” J. R. Jones Chicago Reader

Would the ‘Leave Brittney alone!” guy or the Star Wars kid agree there’s no such thing as bad publicity?  Or perhaps they keep hoping their 15 minutes are over.

“Don’t laugh TOO hard at those YouTube ‘fools.’ That’s you and me, don’t forget.” Scott Weinberg Cinematical

Fair point, however there are opportunities provided by internet fame.  For example, the Britney boy give himself a Britney buzz for charity or the Star Wars kid could use his fame to market DIY lightsaber-building kits.  Is the Winnebago Man taking advantage of his obvious promotional opportunity?

“The film ends with a semi-touching reaffirmation that everybody’s in showbiz.” Bill WeberSlant Magazine

Sounds like a definite maybe; unlike the definite positive of The Kids Are All Right (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“The Kids Are All Right ranks with the most compelling portraits of an American marriage, regardless of sexuality, in film history.” Salon.com Andrew O’Hehir

Another affirmation — It’s inevitably iconic.

“This warm, funny, sexy, smart movie erases the boundaries between specialized ”gay content” and universal ”family content” with such sneaky authority.” Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

Second success: — It’s the genesis of a new genre: The mainstream gay family dramedy.

“There are not only glancing moments but whole sequences in this movie when the agony of social embarrassment makes you want to haul the characters to their feet and slap them in the chops.” The New Yorker Anthony Lane

Like this?

“The mid-life parenting crisis of a lesbian couple (awesomely played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) is the narrative cornerstone for a memorable comedic family drama from writer/director Lisa Cholodenko.” Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com

Full credit for the summary, notsomuch for the review.

“The self-satire of The Kids Are All Right is so knowing, so rich, so hilarious, so damn healthy that it blows all thoughts of degeneracy out of your head.” New York Magazine David Edelstein

A film that can purge brains of terrible thoughts?  That’s the kind of world domination device that belongs in Despicable Me or the arsenal of the Predators (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“While the first Predator movie was a vehicle for its star and the second didn’t make a whole load of sense, Predators foregrounds the action and brooding menace of the bloodthirsty aliens.” Jack Sargeant FILMINK (Australia)

Part one stimulated the Governator’s personal economy, part two was a step sideways instead of forward, and part three lets the man-hunting monsters take center stage.  But, how much world-building can happen when the aliens communicate with roars and shoulder-mounted death canons?

“This is the kind of film you go to expecting gore and shocks; ultimately these two elements, along with the predators themselves, are sadly awol in this latest version.” Beth Wilson Trespass

Don’t expect much critic consensus if the first two reviews disagree over whether the predators are center stage or awol.

“Delivering on its promise, Predators is a moody, unrelenting and attention-grabbing sci-fi thriller, filled with action, splendid visual effects and packed with undulating tension.” Louise Keller Urban Cinefile

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge undergoes uneasy undulation.

“Though Predators isn’t quite as well put together as the original film, nor do the sequences offer the same sustained threat, it’s still enough to get your adrenaline flowing.” Sam BatheFan The Fire

Spider (stunt) man augments average adrenaline.

“While it’s as fresh as the skinned corpses hanging from the trees, the ‘ten little Indians’ set-up never tires and Antal keeps the action brisk and bloody enough to make you forget you’ve seen it all before.” Elliott Noble Sky Movies

King Sheep is addicted to ambitious alliteration.


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