movie thoughts: Pineapple Express (2008)

The short version:  Seth Rogen and other members of Team Apatow attempt to make the equivalent of a Cohen Brothers movie.  It sorta works, it sorta doesn’t.  If you were as stoned as Seth Rogen or as James Franco’s character, you probably won’t mind its shortcomings.

All the reviews are true, Franco steals this movie.  Every scene he is not in, it is hard to pay attention.  When I read the original idea for the film, I thought it sounded really fun, very Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  I think Pineapple Express went back to the main plot too much.  I didn’t really care about the story of the crooked cop and the drug dealers.  I’ve seen that movie many times.  I don’t think it was necessary to keep showing them plotting.  I think it would have been a much better movie if it had just followed Rogen and Franco the entire time.  Yeah, they could wander into important moments, ala R&S bumping into Hamlet, but there should not have been any scenes that they were not a part of.

Funny movie, good way to kill 90+ minutes on a rainy night, but probably my least favorite of the Team Apatow releases. 

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movie thoughts: The X Files – I Want To Believe (2008)

[minor spoilers, lots of wank, you’ve been warned]

I used to love X Files.  It was really my first TV fandom.  Every Friday night (and then Sunday night) I’d sit in front of the VCR, carefully pausing the recorder during the commercial breaks.  I had a poster of David Duchovny on the wall and I made a D.D.E.B. card to carry in my wallet.  My senior quote in my high school yearbook is a line from the X Files movie that came out the year before.  I knew the exact line because I had bought the collector’s edition boxed set that came with the shooting script.  Yes, I was an X Phile.

All that changed after the infamous Butt Genie episode and my introduction to Joss Whedon’s ability to write a story and have it make sense even after 7 seasons. 

But old habits die hard and I just had to see I Want To Believe in theaters, even though both Becky and I knew it would be bad.  And it was.

Okay, the first 45 minutes were like a decent episode of the series.  People die, a psychic ex-child-molesting priest finds their body parts, its creepy, Mulder and Scully investigate (even though neither of them is FBI anymore).  It’s all fine and dandy, at least watchable.  Then it takes a turn for the weird.  Out of nowhere, the script begins this odd discussion on religion, forgiveness, and if M/S is cannon or not. 

And to top it all off, Scully conducts stem cell research by typing “stem cell research” into Google and then hitting “Print All” and shoving the pages into a folder she then quickly labels “Stem Cell Research”.  I think I died a little inside when I saw that.

Leoben Callum Keith Rennie, was good as a creepy gay Russian who apparently used to live in Massachusetts but now kidnaps women in his giant snow plow truck. (tru fax).  Skinner makes a very small appearance.  He looks good still.  David and Gillian look TIRED and OLD and they made me feel TIRED and OLD! 

Yeah, the audience started losing it the last half hour of the movie.  So bad.  This is why you let franchises GO!

Note to Hollywood:  Please hire Gillian Anderson to do some decent movies.  The woman can act, she’s just trapped in X Files and BBC land.  Let’s get her into something mainstream.

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movie thoughts: The Ruins (2008)

You know, I had high hopes for this movie.  I really enjoyed the novel and when I saw that Scott Smith was also writing the screenplay, I assumed that the tension and eeriness from the book would translate easily to the screen.

Yeah, I was wrong. 

The Ruins movie is not scary at all.  The moment from the book that made you cringe but continue to read are totally absent.  And the ending is downright cheesy!  Poor writing, poor directing, and lame editing (though he didn’t have much to work with).

One thing that really stuck out to me was the switching around of the characters.  In the book, they are all terrorized equally, but in the movie, most of the suffering is transferred to the female characters.  Yeah, the guys are scared, but the girls are more or less tortured.  I don’t understand why that change was necessary. 

Anyway, a big let down.  If you want a scare, read the book.  Only watch the movie so you can complain about it with me later.

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