Friday, January 04, 2008

Let's Du-et: Panthergirl's Entertainment Report

In theaters:

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is not for everyone. There were only four people in the theater when I saw it (including me and my equally-deranged movie partner). But all four of us were laughing until we cried. I loved films like Team America:World Police, The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. I hate films like the various Adam Sandler messes, or the Rob Schneider collection. But this is smart, gross, patently offensive and reminiscent of films like Airplane!, more than Talledega Nights. John C. Reilly is a hugely talented actor with a theatrical voice that enables him to take Dewey through a musical evolution that a lesser actor could not have pulled off. The soundtrack contains a track called "Dear Mr. President" that was omitted from the film, but is possibly the best one on the CD. I think the film would have done better in the summer, but hopefully now that we're past the family-oriented Christmas week, twisted filmgoers like me will get out and see this one.


Juno. Not good. Great. The first 20 minutes feel a little bit like a film that I'm too old to really enjoy. But stick with it, and this is a beautifully written "dramedy" where every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was wrong.



Eastern Promises. For some reason, I bought the art-house hype of this film but knowing I probably wouldn't make it to the art-house, I stuck it on my Netflix queue when it came out, and sure enough it was available on DVD soon after. I love Naomi Watts, and The Painted Veil was one of my favorite films this past year. But this one was a big "eh" for me. If I ever mention wanting to see another David Cronenberg film, please kick me in the ribs and remind me that this film and A History of Violence were both a huge disappointment. If you have a burning desire to see Viggo Mortensen's junk, then by all means run out and rent this one. Otherwise, it's a predictable, formula gangster film with a few grossly ridiculous plot twists that almost make it feel like "Walk Hard: The Sonny Corleone story".


On the other hand, The Namesake is a beautiful little film that follows a traditional Indian couple to the United States in the 1970s, and the tug-of-war between their deep cultural roots and the immersion into American ways... for them and for their children. The film spans decades and does it well. Spurred some interesting message board sparring on IMDB as well.