Movie Diary

a) Cowboys & Aliens
I had somewhat high hopes for this as big loud, dumb fun, and while it wasn't bad, it just wasn't the John Favreau popcorn movie I was expecting. Part of that might be down to the fact that Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are the two craggiest, most stoic action stars you could ever ask for; there wasn't enough of a contrast for them do bounce of each other, and Sam Rockwell didn't do much to fill that role either. Some cool moments, though.

b) Ceremony
I feel like every single time I have tried to watch a random recent Uma Thurman movie in the last few years I have ended up actively irritated by it, so I didn't have high hopes for this, but it has a certain charmingly loose, rambling rhythm to it that made it much better than such a hoary crashing-a-wedding love triangle plot had a right to be. Lee Pace and Jake M. Johnson in particular filled out the ensemble well and made the movie kind of effortlessly funny. The movie even reminded me how bewitching Uma can be.

c) Peep World
I went into this thinking hey this might be really good, and very quickly began to hate every single thing about it. It's like every contemporary 'dysfunctional family of adult children' show or movie from The Royal Tenenbaums to "Arrested Development" mushed together with a plot that's like a meta riff on Running With Scissors and just 100% eye-rolling and insufferable.

d) Hall Pass
I was almost disappointed that this wasn't the total horndog schlockfest the trailers made it out to be, if only because it's not like anyone cares if a Farrelly Brothers movie secretly harbors a wholesome message about marriage and commitment that does more harm to the comedic value and overall plotting of the movie than whatever conceivable good it does for the world. The highlight was probably Richard Jenkins, who I didn't even recognize in the commercials.

e) Rubber
Totally ridiculous horror flick about a sentient and telekinetic tire who rolls around blowing people's heads up, was probably a little too tickled with its own premise (although how could it not be?) and had some annoying tics of direction and camera focus, but I still kind of enjoyed and admired how shamelessly batshit it was.

f) Due Date
It's kind of amazing how fast Zach Galiafinakis went from seeming slightly above dumb mainstream comedies to starring in some of the dumbest ones ever. This movie isn't quite as bad or as derivative of Trains, Planes & Automobiles as the trailers made it seem, but still pretty strained, and really putting Robert Downey Jr. in a comedy as the straight man is just a waste of resources.

g) My Soul To Take
A decent Wes Craven gorefest with a goofy concept and some really stupid ideas but also an okay cast and a few fun death scenes.

h) You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
It's amazing how every few months, without fail, I will watch a recent Woody Allen movie hoping for the best, and without fail, I will be amazed by how completely incompetent he has become at storytelling, dialogue, humor, symbolism, pretty much everything he was once great it.

i) Charlie St. Cloud
This was about as saccharine and silly as you'd expect and yet somehow not (I was reassured by an early scene between the brothers with talk of "rubbing one out" and "something corrosive in the shit" of geese), mostly I was just watching it for the hot chick, though.

j) Black Death
Very, very bleak medieval horror flick starring Sean Bean that my wife was watching, my son and I were playing with his train set so I don't remember much about it.

k) Please Give
Once again a good cast tricks me into watching another indie dramedy that epitomizes everything I hate about modern indie dramedies.

l) Howl's Moving Castle
My wife keeps watching these Hayao Miyazaki movies that keep confirming for me that I just do not get any anime, even the stuff that's supposed to be kind of respectable.
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