Tuesday, November 16, 2010

DVD Tuesday: Kids, Kitties, Benders and Bow Wow

Hey there. Kurt here from Your Movie Buddy. Today brings a fun batch of DVD releases. Or an eclectic one, anyway, especially catered to those whose brows are fairly high or exceedingly low.

The first one has something to celebrate, seeing as it just made the Academy's shorlist of Animated Feature contenders. That's right: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore has an outside shot at making it to the Kodak. Oh, what a world. As far as I'm concerned, this is a film that doesn't even enter the critical discussion. It's like Saw 3D – yes, it's one of the worst movies of the year, but it doesn't warrant the energy of placing it on a “Worst of” list. For adults without rugrats, the only logical reason I can think of to see Cats & Dogs 2 is a self-punishing desire to fret over the current state of Bette Midler's film career.

Moving on, we have Lottery Ticket, an urban comedy about greedy friends and neighbors which, like Cats & Dogs 2, I never got around to seeing. If this film musters any of the freewheeling spirit of Friday, whose community-wide mayhem it seems to be aiming for, it may generate some scattered laughs. It certainly has enough noteworthy African American comics to deliver the jokes, namely Mike Epps, Charlie Murphy and '09 buzz-maker Brandon T. Jackson. Really though, this movie seems little more than an experiment to see if Bow Wow (née Lil') can actually act. And I don't think we need to scratch off any tickets to know how that's gonna turn out.

In the plus column, there's Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, one of the very best films of 2010. I'm reeeaally looking forward to watching this one again, to laugh and smile and revel in it, of course, but also to reassess whether or not I was right the first time 'round in thinking that Cholodenko was too tough on Ruffalo's character. Did y'all feel that way, too? I ultimately let it slide, and accepted it as a necessary part of the family unit's progress and Cholodenko's feminist sensibilities. I basically refused to let it tarnish my full approval of the film, so wonderful 'twas.

Ironic that in the same week one of the year's best hits home video, so does what is quite possibly the year's worst. Anyone who's sat through M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender (in muddy, after-the-fact 3D, no less) knows full well it's a disaster of epic proportions, and by no means the success this foolish moviegoer thought would come from Shyamalan being behind the camera but not dreaming up the story. At this point, there's not a doubt in my mind that Shyamalan's at least half crazy, for the sheer fact that he felt this unwatchable hogwash was the best product to present to the public. I'm avoiding details and examples because there are too, too many. I'll just say I was actually pleased when the drama of a mother and her screaming child one row behind me averted my attention.

*Finally, I think it appropriate to have as an addendum The Extra Man, a weirdo Kevin Kline comedy based on the novel by Jonathan Ames and helmed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor). The film wasn't exactly embraced by most critics, but I found it seriously funny, and wasn't even bothered by the excessive quirk. Its class-conscious, F. Scott Fitzgerald DNA serves it well, and Kline hasn't been this uncaged since In & Out. It's worth a look.

Note: Disney's A Christmas Carol also drops today, but that movie's so 2009.

What will you be watching at home this week?


Anonymous said...

Bow Wow actually can act pretty well. You should give Roll Bounce a try. I was forced to see it but wound up really enjoying it.

Rebecca said...

I also thought 'The Kids are All Right' was a little harsh on Ruffalo's character, but if we're all thinking that, maybe it's the point. Maybe we're actually just supposed to think that Jules and Nic and family end up being too harsh on him b/c he disrupts their family dynamic, so they have to demonize him in order to get back to normal and have something outside of themselves to blame.

I can't wait to see it again.

Silencio said...

I didn't think Ruffalo's character was treated harshly. In fact, the last moment Cholodenko gives him (throwing his helmet down in pain) was a little much. I'd have preferred my last image of him to be of him staring at the door. We get that he's pretty lost and feels remorse; no need to hammer it in.

George P. said...

I'd seen The Extra Man when it was in theaters, and I thought it was good. Dano has an amazing scene towards the climax of the film.

As for The Kids Are All Right, I look forward to seeing it again, and sharing it with people who didn't get to see it in theaters (like my parents).

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. R.,

The Kids are All Right opened in Brazil last week.
One of the best films of the year, definitely. The screenplay is great, the acting is superb.
I totally agree with you on Ruffalo's character's treatment. I believe this is the only down part of the film.

He deserved a better ending in a screenplay that presents human conflicts and praises talking and understanding.
That does not mean that he had to be fully accepted after what happened between him and Julianne Moore's character. However, Annette Bening's character telling him that they had a family and if he wanted one he should build his own was really harsh. Also, he was made a fool of himself by insisting on his relationship with Moore's character.


Overall, it is an excellent screenplay, I hope the film, the screenplay and the acting (including Moore) receive some award recognition.

Ah, I watched it because you liked it very much. Thank you.

Marcelo - Brazil.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

I hadn't even heard of THE EXTRA MAN. I think I'll check it out. Thanks! :)