Valentines Day with the Boondock Saints

The Man and I saw Valentine’s Day at Rivertown last night when we went to get our advance tickets for the Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary screening on March 11.

I won’t say that Valentine’s Day was bad – I’ve seen much worse, and it did deliver a few laughs and nice moments – but I can’t recommend it for more than a rental, or perhaps see it on the big screen if it moves to Woodland where you only need to pay $4 per ticket. The problem with Valentine’s Day is that it worked too hard to be another Love, Actually and it failed on a number of levels.

My biggest gripe is that there were too many separate plots going on at any one time, and they weren’t given the respect that they deserved.  Multiple story lines connecting at the end of the film (and sometimes along the way) is an old but beloved plot trick that just wasn’t pulled off correctly this time.  Instead of feeling like I was flicking between plots, peeking in on the characters to get an update here and there in a fairly fluid way, I felt more like I was being pushed and jerked along on an old funhouse ride, spending too much time in one story and not enough in another and just wondering when it would end so I could use the bathroom.

There was a bit of “phoning it in” as far as the acting was concerned too.  Do you blame the actors or director?  Tough call.  Either way you look at it Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, and even Jessica Biel have seen much, much better days.  As for Ashton Kutcher… well, this may have been one of his better performances.  That said, I have hope for him in the upcoming Killers with Katherine Heigl, it looks predictable, but fun!  (Wanna see the trailer?)

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Gort

I just snagged this from Andy’s Digg feed (which I’ve been sadly behind on lately). It settles the question of whether or not there is a “Gort” character in the upcoming remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Moderator: What can you tell us about Gort?

Scott: Somewhere along the line there developed rumors that there was no Gort — there is definitely Gort. It wouldn’t be TDTESS with no Gort. We went through various visualizations…at least 100’s of possibilities. We ended up coming back not far from the original in the concept. I began to see the simple brilliance of the human form chosen by this alien. They’re still working on him — WETA is doing it.

WETA IS DOING IT? Ok, so now we know that they will at least get the Gort character right. WETA doesn’t do anything half-assed. The rest of the movie… well, we’ll wait and see…

The full text version of the FOX Studio panel at Comic-Con 2008 (including The Day The Earth Stood Still, Max Payne, and Wolverine “the movie”) can be found HERE. Spoilers abound! You’ve been warned.

REVIEW: Speed Racer (PG)

SPEED RACER will fail at the box office.

I liked the style, I liked the effects, I liked the actors – with the possible exception of Matthew Fox who is far to innocent looking when the mask is removed to pull of a character as brooding, thoughtful, mysterious and, yes, as hot as Racer X is supposed to be. I liked that they kept the funky schoo, schoo, schoo sound when the Mach 5 flips through the air, I liked that they paid the perfect amount of homage to the original SPEED RACER series – the first successful animé series ever to air on U.S. television (yes, I was a fan girl) – without it being overwhelming, and I liked Trixie.

This movie will not fail because of it’s sometimes overwhelming special effects, or it’s over-the-top comic book character acting, or the few parts that drag mercilessly. This movie will fail because it is stuck in Movie Purgatory – adults will not want to bother because of the PG rating and parents who take kids younger than teenagers will hate it because their kids don’t get half of the plot and end up squirming and fidgeting all through the movie.

I can say this with such conviction because I saw it happen with my own eyes in my local theater just last night. Every child under 13 or 14 in that theater was quickly bored. They liked the scenes with Spritle and Chim Chim because they will be able to identify with the characters, but that leaves about 90% of the movie going over their heads. The racing scenes are cool enough, but are cut so fast and tight that it’s hard to keep up with them, or keep interested, at some points.

All in all, I look forward to getting SPEED RACER – the original 1970’s animé series – on DVD. The movie? Not so much.







REVIEW: Iron Man (PG-13)

I will now give you my un-biased opinion of the movie IRON MAN:


You know how sometimes you’ll go to a movie and it will be good… or even great… but there are always one or two little things that you’d change, or take out, or put in, or enhance? Perhaps you’d change the ending. Or maybe the whole thing is just that slightest bit implausible, even though you know all along that it’s supposed to be happening in an alternate universe, or an alternate ‘now.’ I’ve seen IRON MAN twice in the past week and I can confidently say that I wouldn’t change a single damn thing.

As superhero movies go, IRON MAN easily makes the Top 5 of all time on my list….. What? Oh, alright then, without further adieu I give you:


  1. Superman
  2. Batman Begins
  3. Batman
  4. Iron Man
  5. Spiderman
  6. The X-Men (hon. mention)
  7. The Incredibles (hon. mention)

Yes, I know, you’re looking at me funny for giving the original BATMAN movie (starring Michael Keaton and directed by Tim Burton) any credence at all. You’re also wondering about my sanity for including an honorable mention for THE INCREDIBLES. Right? Well then, make your own list and leave it in the comments. I’m willing to defend my list in an open and frank discussion… are you? 🙂

Like all of the best superhero movies, IRON MAN contains actual plot, human emotion, humor, a touch of sci-fi, great (but in no way overwhelming) special effects, good guys, bad guys, current issues, and top-notch acting. Give IRON MAN the treatment it deserves and see it on the big screen. You will not be disappointed.

KATIE RATING: 10 of 10






Atonement (R)

How can I write this without blushing? No, not about the sex – anyone who has seen the trailer knows about that – no, I’m blushing about the cinematography this time.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it was better than the sex… and the sex wasn’t bad! I have admired cinematography in movies plenty of times in the past. But rarely I have ever been so impressed that I’ve come straight home to the computer to find out WHO was behind the camera, WHAT he has done before this work, and HOW SOON I can get my hands on projects of his that I haven’t seen before. In this case the answers are: Seamus McGarvey; Enigma, Wit, The Hours, and High Fidelity; oh, and not soon enough!

Hey, Seamus, betcha didn’t know that you’re my new movie hero.

What? Oh, right, the movie… The movie was great in a sort of A River Runs Through It kind of way — wonderful to watch unfold, riveting, captivating, devastating in some ways, beautiful to look at and underpinned by a strong, compelling story.

The director, Joe Wright of Pride & Prejudice fame did some stunning work here. I mentioned above that the movie “unfolds” but that word doesn’t do it justice. He employs some great fresh tricks of time to tell certain parts of the story, and he uses them very effectively. (You know that the director has successfully commanded your attention when you find yourself muttering “Oh my God… OH MY GOD… go! Go! For God sakes GO!!” in the middle of the theater even though you consider talking out loud during a movie the highest level of sacrilege punishable by life-long theatrical exile. I’m just saying.) No one around me seemed to notice. I think they were all muttering too.

I need to and will own this movie, if only to be able to go back and revisit the library scene (no, no for the cinematography!!!) and the amazing continuous shot scene of James McAvoy and two of his comrades walking through the chaos on the beach at Dunkirk early in WWII. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that scene. Ever.

Happy surprises: Brenda Blethyn in a small role as the housekeeper, and later in the film a brief and devastating performance by Vanessa Redgrave.

Do this movie justice and see it in the theater. It deserves a big screen and a decent bag of hot popcorn.