Late Marriage (2002):
This is a highly-acclaimed (86% positive reviews) dramedy about
the dilemma some cultures impose between choosing a mate in a family
arrangement or choosing for love. In this case, the culture in the
spotlight is the community of Georgian Jews relocated to Israel.
Many people praised the home-spun wit of the film and declared it to
be My Big Fat Georgian Wedding. Frankly, I thought watching it was
more like watching a high school production of I Remember Mama,
except with Georgians instead of Scandinavians. I didn't find it
very moving, and the ending is frustrating. It just sort of drifts
off. Some of the performers are obviously amateurs (including the
director's own mom in a key role), and the direction rises no higher
than the level of "pedestrian." There is so little camera movement
that the director makes a Kevin Smith movie seem like Domino. Many
praised the comedy in Late Wedding, but the comedy pacing is all wrong for modern
ears. Although it is a modern Israeli film in color, it reminds me
of an old B&W American sitcom from the 50s, sorta like I Married
Joan without the laugh track. It seems that one performer delivers
his lines stiffly, then the next speaker pauses, waiting for a laugh
that never comes. On the other hand, maybe it is incredibly funny by
Georgian standards. The only other Georgian I can think of is
Stalin, and I'd probably have to concede that writer/director Dover Kosashvili is funnier than Stalin.
The film is
interesting as a crash course in Georgian culture, of which I knew
so little beforehand. I would not have guessed that such a primitive
set of marriage rituals had endured seventy years of the atheistic
Soviet Union and another decade or so of modern Israel. I was
surprised to see that the cultural hold was still so strong on the
otherwise modern-thinking Ph.D that he finally gave up on his beloved,
beautiful, and sexy Moroccan divorcee in order to please his mother
and marry a nice Georgian Jewish virgin.
The film's strongest
redeeming grace is a long sex scene between the goofy young
intellectual and the Moroccan woman. That scene appears to be a
genuine bit of lovemaking between two loving people familiar with
one another's bodies and preferences. It's not especially explicit,
but unlike most sex scenes in the movies, it actually gives off the
feeling that we are spying and eavesdropping on two real people
talking and loving and resting and talking again and loving again.
This is one case where the lack of sophisticated camera work may
actually have increased the sense of realism. But even the sex scene,
like almost everything in this film, dragged on too long.
I was pretty much
the only one who didn't much care for the movie in general. Critics
raved, and the IMDb score is good (7.3). It even managed to gross
$1.5 million in the USA, which is pretty impressive for a film in
Georgian, because it obviously couldn't have been generated by the
vast hordes of curious Georgian-speaking ticket buyers.
reckon the score by our standard must be a C. If you are interested
in a painless learning experience about an obscure culture, and are
generally OK with subtitles, you may share the enthusiasm of the
vast majority of critics.
"The humble prune is set to be recognized as one of the secret weapons of World
War II." That Lightning War kept
getting slowed down for potty breaks.
Top 10 signs things are nuts at the New York Post
Tex Avery Cartoon Nostalgia:
More on the Giant Pink Japanese Penis
Baboon attacks a
flock of flamingos
Britney Spears to focus on acting.
- Yup, she's going to three movies this week, and she won't pay that much
attention to the plot or cinematography
This week's movies (expanding to 1000 theaters):
Thank You For Smoking - 84% positive reviews.
- Generally acclaimed as a smart, funny movie.
This week's movies (19 theaters):The
Notorious Bettie Page - 59% positive reviews. There was praise for Gretchen
Mol's performance, and for the style of the movie. The criticism centered on
"What's the point of this movie?"
- VARIETY: "A superficial look at the '50s sex icon, pic feels like it was
researched via press clippings rather than attempting a fresh rethinking of
its era and provocative subject."
- HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: "The key moments in Page's life have been
perfunctorily checked-off and assembled into cut-and-paste scenes at the
expense of developed characters and any real sense of motivation."
The Weekend Warrior looks at next weekend's box office
- He thinks the Scary Movie franchise is still strong enough to generate a
$34.5 million opener.
- The Wild? Eh, not so much. He thinks only about ten million, despite a
roll-out to 2700 theaters.
20th Century Fox Summer 2006 Film Preview
Some rappers were not shot and killed yesterday.
- Proof, of rap group D12, the only rap group which is also a vitamin
supplement, was not as lucky as the others. He was shot to death.
- The life expectancy of a rapper is about the same as that of a light
fixture in Kid Rock's hotel room.
J-Lo sues ex-husband over plans for a tell-all book
Counterstrike re-enacted with LEGOs
of the 1986 World Series - Re-enacted via RBI Baseball
Hot Chicks with Douchebags
How Jenna Jameson
Gone Wild Released Back Into Civilization
With Clothes ... Without Clothes (Cool link. Porn's biggest stars. Two pics
of each side-by-side.)
Prom-Goers Will Be Forced To Take Blood-Alcohol Test
- Welcome to the prom. Now take a deep breath, close your eyes, and touch
your nose with your finger.
Norman Rockwell, The Dark Side
- When Stockbridge resident Ida Montgomery heard last week that an original
Norman Rockwell painting had been discovered in the wall of deceased
illustrator Donald Trachte's former home, her first thought was "Donald who?"
- Her second thought concerned the loose board in the wall of her outhouse.
FlubTitles.com! (Silly English subtitles for Asian movies.)
The Notorious Bettie Page Exclusive Clip
A new clip from The Notorious Bettie Page
FilmJerk.com's Early Report for April 10
"NEW BUSH PLAN ALLOWS IMMIGRANTS TO WORK AS SCAPEGOATS" ... Illegal Aliens
to Be Guest Scapegoats For Duration of 2006 Election Campaign
Videos from Sharing Sites - Deleted Sex Scenes From Basic Instinct 2
There is some good trivia in this interview with the ever-candid Jeff Daniels
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Take Me (2001)
Take Me is a British TV miniseries staring Robson Green, who seems to be
something of a heart-throb in some circles, as a man who has just moved to
suburbia with his wife and two children, in hopes of salvaging their marriage
after her affair. The move requires a long commute to his job as a hostile
takeover expert, but he finds time to go to a neighborhood party, where he
discovers that everyone in the neighborhood is playing swap-around with
everyone else. His wife is keen on it, so he goes along. Then he begins to
suspect that one neighbor has been murdered, finds that his wife has been
cheating with his best friend again, and then digs himself a hole with the
host of the parties, largely because he fancies the man's wife.
The above gets you well into the story, which is often reviewed as having
many layers. I am not sure I understand what is meant by that, but there are
plenty of sub-plots to fill out the 300 minutes of running time. The producers
committed what I think is an unpardonable sin by hiring two actresses (Beth
Goddard and Olga Sosnovska) as leads in an erotic thriller when both refused
to do any nudity. I have no problem with an actress deciding to keep her body
off camera, but she should have the decency to turn down roles that require
IMDb readers say 7.5. I didn't mind watching all 300 minutes straight
through, which, I suppose, means it would have been pretty engaging 50 minutes
at a time. I will give this a high C+. If you like mini-series efforts and
erotic thrillers, you will want to catch this one.
Angel Blade (2002)
Pat's comments in yellow...
In an annual survey by Mercer human resources, Zurich was named the best city in
which to live, followed by Geneva and Vancouver, unchanged from last year. The
survey is based on quality-of-life factors such as political stability, schools,
restaurants and bars, environment and crime rates. The worst city to live in,
for the third year running, was Baghdad.
* But only if you count giant explosions as either a
CW Marketing Research spent two years calculating all the energy used by various
vehicles from planning stage to junkyard, with surprising results. They found
that hybrid cars cost more in energy over their lifetimes than
SUVs. Because of all the energy needed to make and transport replacement
batteries, complex motors and lightweight body parts that wear out, the Honda
Accord Hybrid uses $3.29 worth of energy per mile. A regular Accord uses half
as much energy and costs $2.18 a mile. The Hummer H3, a typical SUV, uses under
$1.95 worth of energy per mile, less than all hybrids and both the Honda Accord
* That doesn't include all the energy hybrid owners waste
trying to talk
Hummer owners into driving hybrids.
Popular Science magazine listed the 10 most "self-evident studies" of
recent years in an article called "Science Confirms the Obvious." They include
findings that mixing drugs and alcohol is bad for you, too many meetings make
you grumpy, smoking costs money, memory fades with
age, women like men with a sense of humor, time flies when you're having fun,
far-away objects are harder to see, swallowing more than one magnet is
dangerous, and beer impairs your ability to choose potential dates. One
researcher defended such studies, saying scientists can't rely on anecdotal
evidence but need "a rigorous, quantifiable test."
* The most obvious study proved that researchers like to
waste money on
Over the weekend, Gwyneth Paltrow underwent a planned C-section
in New York and gave birth to her second child, a son named Moses Martin
* Moses? Is that written in stone?...
In 2008, NASA will send a spacecraft to the moon to search for water
* To mix with Tang