Friday, July 16, 2010

Is it wrong to hope that Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart are actually eaten by wolves?

It's something of a normal Santa Barbara visit for us.  Good food, exercise, time to steep ourselves in some pop culture fun.  We threw together a fantastic daytrip to Los Angeles.  I always love dipping at least a toe into that City.  There's just so much cast along at crazy angles in a dizzying array of directions.  Seeing friends is the point.  Everything else is frosting.  Included in that was seeing a matinee of "The Kids Are All Right" at an absurdly over-priced ArcLight multiplex ($13.50 for a regular screen matinee, people).  But the movie was worth it - my rating is a very smart, solid B.  The cast is great across the board, although no one had to stretch themselves out of a comfort zone.  Mark Ruffalo is especially good (another Sconnie product - way to go Kenosha).  The nuances and trainwrecks will have you talking through dinner afterward.  And considering all the dreck that's clogging up the screens this summer, few movies give a better escape hatch.

Speaking of dreck.  Or just plain awfulness.  Or something else entirely that smells like untranslatable garbage.  Is "Eclipse", the new Twilight movie.  Honestly, I don't know how to rate it.  So I have to break my own conventions.  My rating - a Z-plus.  Or maybe a Z-minus.  I have no idea what to say about it.  I'd love to hear from a tween why it is either good or bad.  And I won't get all curmudgeony and claim that those darn kids these days don't make any sense to me.  I'm just saying this movie made no sense.  I get angst.  I don't get this awful movie.  But don't see it.  Leave the mystery untouched and you'll feel better about yourself.

Somewhere else in the middle is the Swedish middle movie based on the Stieg Larsson books - "The Girl Who Played With Fire".  It is such a middle movie, such an unsatisfying arc, and done with the mid-level intensity of a television movie you might see on the BBC.  My rating is an appreciative but underwhelmed C-minus.  Noomi Rapace (love the name) is good as Lisbeth Salander.  The cast of hyphenated Swedes are quirky (Biker-Swedes, an Indian-Swede doctor, a lesbian Asian-Swede love interest, and the list goes on and on).  The quality of the police procedural is very true to the trilogy's intent.  But rent it.

There are a few more flicks on our wish list for the short time we have left.  But it's all a bonus now, given how much we've been able to soak up since last weekend.  Hopefully you're also wriggling your mind's toes in some warm sand today.  Rock on.

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