CLUB DREAD

A takeoff on slasher films that plays on the stupid behavior of characters in those films – “Let’s have our threesome in that mausoleum over there” – and they take the cliché of the villain who keeps coming back after being killed to hilarious extremes.  That sort of thing.  It has its moments, but runs a little too long.

FF=2

SYRIANA

I don’t know much about the politics of oil, but if this is at all accurate, the world is screwed.  But couldn’t much of it be rendered moot by opening Alaska and the Keystone pipeline? (Mexico’s drilling away in the Gulf, why shouldn’t we?)  But that’s never addressed.

FF=0

HARD CANDY

Wow.  I looooved this.  I was captured.  Baby-faced Ellen Page was riveting.  I had ideas about where it was going but it made some nice unexpected turns.  It’s really a 2-actor character study and I can’t believe I wasn’t fast-forwarding through all the talk.  But it’s good talk.  Some speechifying, but not enough to get on my nerves.

FF=0

MUSIC AND LYRICS

Yeah, I really rented this, and yeah, I enjoyed it.  Hugh Grant plays the Andrew Ridgeley half (let’s see who gets that reference before reading on) of a slick 80s has-been duo called PoP, trying to revive his songwriting career.  I can’t say why it engaged me, it just did.  (The 80s music video that opens the film is worth the rental fee alone.)
FF=1

SUPERMAN RETURNS

I should say right off that I’ve never liked Superman.  He’s too powerful, too goody-goody, and wears tights and a cape.  (Blech.)  That said, I liked this film.  Well, not completely.  The Lex Luthor new-continent subplot is iron-lung lame.  The Lois-Supey story holds the film together – that and the fact that Lois has borne Supey’s child while he was away.  (That’s not a spoiler – everyone but the title character and Lois’s partner has scoped this out 10 minutes in.  Part of the fun is waiting for the kid to prove you right.)

FF=2

INVINCIBLE

Marky Mark in an impossible-dream sports film a la Bend It Like Beckham, Rudy and Hoosiers and dozens of others.  Drags at times, but perfect for one of those days when you need a feel-good film.

F=1.5