Monday, April 12, 2010

Some quick reviews to prove I'm still here

There have been some difficulties here of late but none the less, I'll make a quarter-assed effort to get some reviews out there.

Post Grad (Vicky Jenson, 2009) [3]
I like Alexis Bledel. I try to hype myself up into believing that she can pull off a good performance outside of the rigid Gilmore Girls universe. Her performance in this doesn't help matters much. Everything about this is borderline insufferable, hacky, and pretty much not funny. It sums up everything I hate about studio comedies; instead of trying to meet their audience with a shred of intelligence, it has to dumb down everything to try to attract a general audience, all the while creating a film no one will like. Someone give Alexis Bledel a role that doesn't make her some innocent over-achiever. And why the hell can't Michael Keaton do better than this? He was Batman, for fuck's sake!

The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2009) [6]
This is one of those Soderbergh projects that becomes so ingrained to a particular style that it almost becomes taxing. From Matt Damon's rambling voice-overs to the lilting Marvin Hamlisch score, The Informant! adds a lighthearted gloss to a story that has a lot of serious threads running through it. Upon a little reflection, the story of Marc Whitacre blowing the whistle at ADM because of his own delusions makes a little more sense but the collision of the the tone of the film and what actually went on doesn't sit that comfortably with me. The film plays so much like a 70s picture like The Sting that it's hard to see beyond its stylistic structure. It's all impressive on a certain level but it never comes across as a much more than a film stuck playing between genres.

Both of these films are extremely strange in that they have an abnormally large number of pretty funny comedians in them. Post Grad has Fred Armisen, Demitri Martin, and Kirk Fox while The Informant! has practically every supporting role filled with them, from Paul F. Tompkins to Patton Oswalt to Tom Papa. I'm not sure if it means anything or not but it's certainly an interesting coincidence.

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