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Film

Lonely Hearts Video Club: Blockbusted?

Posted by Drew / March 24, 2006

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Suddenly, and for reasons too dumb to get into, I realize that I have seen almost all of the video store wall of new releases. When did this happen? And how did I afford it?

Never have so many good movies so scrupulously avoided being great, or so scrupulously avoided being, and this is a worse offence, interesting.

Listed from Best to Worst, here’s what you will find.


Domino – Fuck it. I am backing this one if only for its clean sense of dirty, dirty fun. Sure, cameo-ing a film with the likes of Tom Waits is a desperate bid at hipness, and cameo-ing a film with the lost cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 is an even more desperate bid at a more obscure brand of hip-ness, but the film’s too honest with itself to be desperate. Kiera Knightley seems to bug a lot of people, but I’m nuts for her elfin little face, and whenever I see her I just want to be British. In real-life Domino Harvey is a sad case; the film rewrites her as a badass-superhero, and is so earnest in doing so the whole thing just seems sort of sweet.

Walk The Line -- The performances carry this film, but you can’t help but feel it suffers from the same maladies as pretty much every other biopic every made in the history of humankind: an emptiness at the core and a frustrating, reverential reticence to own its own characters.

The Weather Man – Not nearly as bad as its soft theatrical release would suggest, but not nearly as good as its DVD pundits have raptured. Sort of like a non-camp version of American Beauty. One day I want to meet a man with an ex-wife so I can find out what that whole thing with men and their ex-wives is about.

Just Like Heaven – Yes, I saw it. I know. But you know what, this is probably one of the better romantic comedies of the year—whatever that means.

In Her Shoes – Worse than the four above; better than those below. Certainly, it doesn’t deserve getting trashed but it plays too safe and lacks the slow-burn charm of, say, Muriel’s Wedding.

Prime -- Right, you know, older woman, younger man, so very now. Meryl Streep has one very funny scene and the guy has a certain something-something. But Uma Thurman’s silly attempts to play Meg Ryan-style loveable are, like, totally fucking annoying. Oh yeah, also annoying is the fact the film is not nearly as funny, intelligent or as “real” as it thinks it is. Director Ben Younger did Boiler Room, too—go figure.

Red Eye – Risible, but not risible enough. Rachel McAdams did shine a little in The Notebook; in every other film she has ever done she has been completely weak.

Where The Truth Lies – Seriously one big dismality. Stereotypically Anglo-Canadian cinema in its inept lighting and too-budget period look, and curiously diffident in areas where Egoyan usually shines. This film has a pair of sexily sleazy performances by Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth, which is good, as it has nothing, nothing else.


I'm holding out for A Histoy Of Violence.

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