May 21, 2006

At The Movies

I've seen tons and tons of movies lately and haven't written about most of them, so I thought I'd do a roundup here.

"The Da Vinci Code": Very mediocre. I never read the book, but I do agree with the NYT's A.O. Scott, who wrote that it's one of the only movies that takes longer to watch than the book does to read. It's about 95% expository dialogue, with not nearly enough action for a two-and-half-hour movie that had no build-up or narrative momentum whatsoever. And I wasn't so much "offended" by the Catholic-bashing as I was befuddled- I think the theology in Kevin Smith's "Dogma" made more sense.

"Mission: Impossible III:" Not bad for an action film, yet still no better than the average episode of "24"- Jack Bauer's show, after all, is like a James Bond/Ethan Hunt film every week. And the plot was sort of senseless too, with the only "plot twist" clearly visible from a mile away. Strangely, they get one of the world's best actors (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to play the villain, and he's barely in the movie.

"Art School Confidential:" This film had some great touches, making fun of the various pretentious/phony types common to art schools and college in general. Good performances, good characters- but then the story totally goes off the rails in the last half hour with a ludicrous serial-killer subplot. Cynicism is great, but in this film it just goes over the top, and makes it clearly inferior to "Ghost World," the most recent Terry Zwigoff/Daniel Clowes collaboration.

"Keeping Up With the Steins:" A cute Bar Mitzvah comedy with lots of great Jewish jokes, sometimes brilliantly satirizing the ridiculous materialism among wealthy Jews' Bar Mitzvah extravaganza. A great cast too- even if Jeremy Piven essentially plays Ari once again- but it's unfortunate that the movie turns into just another father/son conflict drama about halfway through.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 21, 2006 08:10 PM

Pr0n parody titles for each:

"The DaVinci Load"
"Emission Possible III"
"Art School Confidential"
"Keeping It Up with the Steins"

Posted by: LilB at May 22, 2006 01:11 AM
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