Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Starter for 10 (2006)

Starter for 10 is my generations' sort of second hand nostalgia - that is if Adrian Mole was more of a role model than Holden Caufield, your favorite bands ended up Mancunian and mix tapes were the only way that you could let someone into your life.

The plot is basically this: University bound guy from a working class boardwalk town gets accepted on his own merit. Falls for busty dream blonde while ignoring the fact that the "funky" hat brunette is the better match. Ends up screwing everything up, has falling out with his buddy who was left behind. Life goes to shit, he sulks back to his working class roots while Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want plays. Makes up with his best friend, gets his shit together, and goes "Once more unto the breach."

If this doesn't sound particularly fresh well...shut up. I had a smile on my ugly mug, a toe tapping, and laughed at those moments - "I can smile about it now but at the time it was terrible."

I honestly didn't know this was a period piece until I saw the preview - by the by the preview has an awful song playing over it that would have been better replaced by an Echo & the Bunnymen or Tears for Fears song or hell Peter Gabriel's Games Without Frontiers would've worked well.

Here's the obligatory run down:

Acting: I don't know who these actors are - except for Charles Dance who in my opinion should get a lot more work than he does - but I plan to see what movies they've been in or will be in. Protagonist Brian Jackson - James Chronicles of Narnia. Well. Huh. In any case he was really good in Starter for 10. The ladies were spot on and hot, y'know in an accessable way. Supporting cast was solid through and through.

Directing & Cinematography: I had not a single problem. Solid work. What can I say I'm a sucker for shots of shutdown for the season boardwalks. Most of it was unobtrusive and there were no fireworks or "look at this fabulously artistic shot".

Writing: Adapted from David Nicolls' A Question of Attraction - which I plan to read soon - by David Nicholls was brilliant. It captured the awkwardness and humilitations of those years of life. I was cringing as I was laughing.

Soundtrack: All joking aside I think that I made this mix tape in the mid-90s. I'd buy the soundtrack if I didn't already own all the songs...except for one or two.

If you get the chance to see this movie then I hope you do. That is if you're an old fart close to or past 30. If you're not then you should see it anyway - at the very least it's a really endearing romantic comedy of errors of sorts with an amazing soundtrack.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go lay upon the floor, smoke, and listen to something melancholy.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

I'm going to start by saying that I never liked the books even as a kid. I was much more a LOTR and Lloyd Alexander fan. The characters in Lewis's books were all pretty much spoiled English brats and nothing particularly interesting happened. I didn't and still don't care about any of the religious allegory folderol. This movie gives the impression of being made simply to have something to plug the post-LOTR holiday fantasy movie vaccuum.

Narnia is an excellent example of what can potentially go wrong with fantasy movies:
1) None of the characters are interesting, developed, charming in that little British kid way, or even remotely likeable.
2) Everything that could have been cool was pretty crappy - either because the movie was edited slap-dash and quick cut or because there wasn't really anything cool in the movie save a couple of WETA monsters.
3) The score was...well...I don't remember any of the score so that's a bad sign.
4) Aslan died because he was ashamed of being in such a crappy movie.

I hope I don't have the kind of kid who would like this swill. Then again if fed a diet of the same stuff I grew up on plus LOTR chances are they might have decent taste.

Because I Said So (2007)

I am never going to see this movie. Chances are that none of you are going to see it either unless forced to by family members during some sick holiday spending time together death march.

The reason I mention this movie is because i have to draw your attention to the reviews for it: Man, some of the reviews are brutal. Scroll down to the bottom to read the Wall Street Journal verdict.

Reading negative reviews on is one of my favorite ways to waste time. Granted I also like reading negative reviews for movies I like just so I can get my dander up. If you have the chance check out the reviews for Ghost Rider.