Not Another Teen Movie

I’m not normally one for many of today’s ‘comedies’. Humor, for the most part, seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into the lowest forms of sophmoric bodily-function humor (something I mentioned briefly in the next-to-last paragraph of my post regarding Evolution back in January). My dad and I often have very similar opinions on movies, which is why I was somewhat suprised a while ago when he told me that Scary Movie was worth a rent — and even more so after I’d seen it. Admittedly, much of what he related to me as what he enjoyed about the film was amusing (a girl running from a killer comes to a signpost with two signs, one pointing towards “Safety” and the other towards “Certain Death”, and she follows the “Certain Death” path, and similar such silliness), however the majority of the film entirely failed to impress or amuse me.

A while ago, though, I started seeing trailers for Not Another Teen Movie, and they actually caught my eye. I didn’t ever get around to seeing it in the theaters, though, so Candice and I rented and watched it a couple nights ago. Surprisingly enough, for the most part, I wasn’t let down — I had a grin on my face for the majority of the film, frequently giggled, and even out-and-out laughed at a few moments. This, then, is my counter-recommendation to dad’s recommendation of Scary Movie. In my opinion, a much smarter and funnier spoof film, and well worth watching — especially if you’ve seen any of the many ‘teen films’ from the 80’s through today.

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Atlantis, AI, Jay and Silent Bob, Say Anything

While my DVD purchases are nowhere near what they used to be now that I don’t have the extra income and employee discount from Suncoast, I do still occasionally pick one up here and there. I’ve picked up four over the past month (see? Four in a month!) — here’s the scoop….

Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Disney’s most recent animated flick. I thought this one was very under-appreciated when it came out in the theaters, which was a shame — though not entirely surprising. It’s Disney’s first PG-rated animated film since The Black Cauldron, and one of their few non-musicals. It’s also got a much more adult-oriented sense of humor running through it, which I very much enjoyed. Well worth seeing, though — I really like the fact that Disney has finally decided to stray from the standard formula that they held to for so long, and I hope that the fact that A:TLE didn’t perform as well as it could have in the box office doesn’t scare them away from experimenting in the future.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Hey — it’s Kevin Smith! Sure, there’s not exactly much in the way of a plot, and many of the jokes won’t connect with people who haven’t seen the rest of his films. Being a Kevin Smith fan, though, I think it’s pretty funny. If nothing else, the news bulletin warning people to “stay away from the C.L.I.T” (Campaign for the Liberation of Itinerant Tree-dwellers), and watching Ben Affleck and Matt Damon rip on themselves by selling out to make Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season are worth watching. At least…I think so.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence: The single best film Spielberg has done, one of the best movies of last year (if not the best), and certiainly one of the few must-see “thinking person’s” sci-fi films to come out in recent years (the only others I can think off off the top of my head being Gattaca, Contact, and 2001). I watched the movie last night, and will probably be digging into the special features tonight…most likely with a seperate post to follow.

Say Anything: One of my favorite 80’s films, and the one to cement John Cusack in my brain as an actor to keep track of. This is the second in the unofficial ‘Cusack series’ that my friend Royce and I enjoy, where though they’re all seperate and unrelated films, we like to put them in a series simply because they star John Cusack, and he plays roughly the same character in each one. For the curious, here’s the series in full as it stands right now: Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer for his formative High School years, Say Anything for High School graduation, Grosse Pointe Blank for the 10-year reunion, and High Fidelity for the thirty-something years.

High Fidelity Imposters Dream of Hallmark

I’d actually managed to go through a couple release days without anything catching my eye enough to spend money on — miracles never cease, eh? I’d thought about picking up Hollow Man, but I think I’ll leave that one firmly in the ‘renter’ category. The effects are great, and the first half of the movie is very promising…unfortunately, the second half blows. A lot. It has, however, prompted a very interesting discussion over on the Home Theater Forum, where I hang out from time to time.

After work today I had to go by Suncoast to figure out when I work this weekend, and discovered that I had a paycheck waiting for me. Rock on…but funny, I didn’t have it when I walked out. Instead, here’s what I ended up with:

High Fidelity: John Cusack‘s recent romantic comedy. A good friend of mine and I have had a vague theory for a while that John Cusack is assembling a loose series of films all revolving around the same character (so far, the only stumbling block we’ve found is that the character has different names in each of these films…still, logic has never stopped us before), and we think that High Fidelity just may be the most recent chapter. So far, we’ve got One Crazy Summer (high school), Better Off Dead (high school), Say Anything (high school graduation), Grosse Pointe Blank (10-year reunion), and now High Fidelity (life in the real world post-school).

The Impostors: I saw this one on a whim when it was in the theaters a while back, and walked out thinking that they just don’t make movies like this anymore. It’s a really silly little comedy, and the best word I can come up for it is delightful — which isn’t a word I apply to movies very much these days. Reminds me a lot of classic Marx Brothers type situation comedys…fluff, but thoroughly enjoyable fluff.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: I’ve been something of an amateur Shakespeare buff for a few years now (ever since Kenneth Branagh released Henry V to the theaters), and this is the latest addition to my so far woefully incomplete collection of Shakespearian adaptations. I’ve counted this among my favorites of Shakespeare’s comedies since I first saw it performed live (in an outdoor theater in Berlin, translated into German, and accompanied by a bevy of attractive young German ladies…ah, the memories…), and this is a beautiful production. Plus, with Kevin Kline, who I find to be an incredible actor, Stanley Tucci, who I’d just seen in The Imposters, and both Michelle Pfeiffer and Calista Flockheart, who are just fun to drool over…can’t go too wrong here!

In any case, that’s it for this batch…was just in a mood to get some slightly lighter fare after the oh-so-comedic batches of discs I’d picked up the last couple times.

Oh, I’d forgotten to mention this — my roommate got me a very cool Christmas present this year: The Hallmark TV Classics Collection, a collection of five made-for-television films. Included in the set are Alice in Wonderland, Cleopatra, Gulliver’s Travels, Merlin, and Noah’s Ark. Of these, I’ve only ever seen half of Merlin, and hadn’t even heard about Noah’s Ark, so I’m really looking forward to diving into this set. So…that’s it for tonight….