Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Week In Movies - Oh, Anna Faris

What's Your Number? (2011) Anna Faris takes center stage in this romantic comedy about a young lady attempting to revisit all of her 20 past sexual partners in the hopes of finding Mr. Right among them. What has to be one of the stupidest set-ups for a movie ever, just rolls completely out of control downhill the further the movie goes on. As always in a romcom, it's pretty darn obvious who's going to end up together fairly early on in the film...especially when the first two names in the credits are a male and a female. This lame brain flick attempts to trick us the whole way along about who's Faris is going to end up with. By the time she meets up with ex-sex partner #5, this movie is cruising on cruise control like I've seen no other romantic comedy before it. It's downright painful to watch the predictable plot points come one after the other. Anna Faris is funny, very funny. But as I've said before, when you let a lame plot take over the movie - it's not usually good news.

The Stupids (1996) I was excited to see this Tom Arnold vehicle appear on Netflix Instant. This was just about the end of Arnold's brief "name above the credits" phase of his career. I saw this in the theatre way back and enjoyed it, and I had a feeling my kids would get a kick out of it. They did. As you can guess, any movie where humans have cartoon pets is a-ok in my book. The story involves The Stupids, who are very stupid, thinking they are wrapped up in some plot to overtake the world. They aren't but in the process end up actually foiling a plan to take over the world. Bob Keeshan, who played Captain Kangaroo on TV, appears in his only film credit as does legendary director Robert Wise. It's neat to see both of them having fun in a picture and it's fun to watch this good natured silly movie with your kids.

License To Drive (1988) Another recent addition to Netflix Instant is this teen semi-classic from the 80's. I used to love this movie, and recall watching it several times in my youth. I'm afraid it's one I'm not going to have to take off my list of fondly remembered movies. It was pretty stale and boring this revisit. The whole "sneak out of the house for ultimate date and everything in the world goes wrong" plot has been done so many times, this one just doesn't have enough steam to keep my interested. There are some decent performances by the Corey's (I can't believe I just said that) and a very young and beautiful Heather Graham but otherwise, pretty lame.

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2012 - Animation (2012) I wrote about this collection now showing in theatres the other day. The package we saw featured 8 shorts, 4 of this year's nominated animated shorts and 4 other critically acclaimed shorts from years past. The best one of this year's nominees is probably "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." which packs the look and feel of a feature length film into about 15 minutes. My favorite, though, had to be "A Morning Stroll" which not only utilizes several different styles of animation, it also made a statement about the attention span of people today. The one short nominated for the Oscar this year that is not included is "La Luna" supposedly a masterpiece from Pixar. I'm not sure why it was not on the bill where I saw the show, as reviews for this package universally include it. I couldn't help feel a little let down that I didn't get to see this new Pixar short, but over all the 8 cartoons are a fun night at the movies.

Heavy Petting (1989) Not as lewd as it sounds, this is a brief 75 minutes of clips from old sex education films interspersed with interviews from various famous and not so famous people about the sexual morals and expectations of the 1950's. I'm always down for a good retro trip down Memory Lane (even if they're not my memories) and this is a fun, breezy documentary that is always fun around Valentine's Day.

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