Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Update

The 6 Most Depressing Words in the English Language. "Written and Directed by Guy Ritchie."

STFU, already. Bush speaks, and Wall Street tanks even more.

This weekend in human stupidity: The most popular movie in America.

Body of Lies. Good but not great. A cross between Syriana (topical plot, high-tech satellite shots) and The Departed (undercover agent; one thankless female role, coming up), it keeps its foot on the gas but like a well-made car you have no sensation of speed or bumps. Smooth and unthrilling, until the one interesting plot twist takes over, about 30 minutes too late to matter. Oh, and Mark Strong acts everybody else off the screen.

Burn After Reading. The Coen Brothers do clusterfuck farce better than just about anybody else, but it's the actors involved who make it memorable (Lebowski) or forgettable (Ladykillers). This one falls halfway between the two, with Frances McDormand (too smart to play dumb) and George Clooney (too twitchy to not be acting) on the minus side, and Brad Pitt (gloriously stupid) and JK Simmons (gloriously low key) on the plus side. It's the usual day-to-day in the Coen Universe, where nobody's pure, everything's connected, and for some godforsaken reason a Tilda Swinton can be married to a John Malkovich without anybody batting an eye.

Appaloosa. It's sad state of affairs when I watch a western and spend half the movie pondering the implications of Renee Zellweger's lineless forehead. Coming on top of the trailer for Australia, where Nicole Kidman's face looks like plastic with the shiny buffed down next to Hugh Jackman's weathered pan, you get the same effect here. Two totally believable gunfighters whose lined faces are the landscape of their lives meet one of the most interesting female characters since Jill McBain took a carriage ride through Monument Valley, and she's played by a woman whose face can barely move. The sequel will be called Bullets and Botox.

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