Thursday, June 19, 2008

the bad, the good and the promising

After seeing "The Happening" this past weekend, I wasn't particularly inspired to write about it. An hour into the movie, people were laughing at parts that weren't meant to be funny. On the plus side, I think it might play better on HBO or DVD. All the hype about it being M. Night Shyamalan's first R-rated movie seemed overblown to me. One or two quick edits probably would have brought it back down to PG-13.

Another movie I saw over the weekend was a pleasant surprise on DVD. "Dan in Real Life" was much better than I expected from the marketing campaign. Neither the TV commercials nor the theatrical trailer did it justice. There's a scene at the end of the trailer that wasn't even in the movie. The part where Dan panics as his daughter pulls out into traffic turns up in the DVD extras. Forget the trailer. All you need to know is that Dan inadvertently meets and falls for his brother's new girlfriend right before she shows up at a family gathering. Except for one cliched pratfall off a roof, the jokes are original and very enjoyable. Steve Carell plays Dan. An understated Dane Cook plays his brother. Don't let your Dane Cook preconceptions get in your way. A radiant Juliette Binoche plays the woman in the middle.

Meanwhile, Steve Carell has been all over TV tonight in the commercials for "Get Smart." My wife and I are still planning to see it this weekend, probably on Sunday.

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