Wednesday, August 9, 2006

A Couple Of Comedies For The Summer Home Stretch

"When will this rotten summer end? In a film, it'd already be over. Fade-out, cut to storm. Wouldn't that be great?" - Salvatore (Marco Leonard) CINEMA PARADISO 1989

Dog days indeed. Lame ass movie season to cover - I mean I saw PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN : DEAD MAN'S CHEST weeks ago and had no inclination to write about it. I mean I would just be repeating what so many others have said - its too long, a series of action pieces in search of a story, just a set-up for a third movie, etc. Damn I went and repeated that crap anyway. Sigh. Anyway - what else have I seen? Hmmm...

(Dir. Kevin Smith) Things start off promising - a great Talking Heads song ("Nothing But Flowers") accompanies Dante (Brian O'Halloran) on his drive to his new place of employment after the infamous Quick Stop burns down. Once we settle with him and obnoxious side-kick Randal (Jeff Anderson) into Mooby's, a bad parody of a McDonalds-style fast food joint, we get stale dialogue and half assed acting with no semblance of artistic justification. Smith fans will think I'm being a prude but I was seriously bored by this material. In particular the Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith respectively) characters have been done to death - they were fine as first time out creations by a talented novice filmmaker but after 6 movies, a series of comic books, and a cartoon show for Christ sakes they have long ago jumped the shark *. This time however Kevin Smith doesn't just jump the shark - he fucks the shark and gives it ass to mouth. A new addition to the worse sequels of all time for sure.

* For those who don't understand the "jumping the shark" reference please consult this amusing Wikipedia entry.

(Dir. Woody Allen) Much more enjoyable than MATCH POINT and definitely funnier than his last few flicks - too bad that's not saying much. Continuing his supposed simultaneous cinematic love affair with both Scarlet Johansen and London we're in fluffy territory here - think MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY crossed with the jokey supernatural ALICE and the supremely underrated NEW YORK STORIES segment and you've got SCOOP. Hugh Jackman plays the would be murderer while Ian McShane guides the action from beyond the grave - from a boat captained by the grim reaper - yeah that bit doesn't really work but it doesn't get in the way of this fairly decent, fairly funny, just plain fair Woody Allen film.

More later...