The only new movie opening this week is “The Warrior’s Way,” which sounds like my kind of movie, but they didn’t advance screen it so we know what that means: They Must Have Something To Hide.
Normally I would use this as an excuse to slack off, but as luck would have it my television service gave me free movie channels over the holiday weekend so I recorded a dozen or so movies and am slowly making my way through them.
Here’s what I’ve covered so far. Everything should be available to rent if you’re interested.
Zombieland. I really enjoyed this. I wanted to see it when it first came out but I think it opened during LawyerCon and I missed it. It’s a fun mix of horror, humor, violence, the bond between sisters, gore, the importance of family, zombies, romance, amusement parks and Bill Murray. A very well-rounded film.
Basically, Mark Zuckerman, Woody from “Cheers,” the girl from “Easy A” and the kid from “Little Miss Sunshine” drive around trying to survive zombie apocalypse. Mark wants to find his family, the girls want to go to fake Disneyland and Woody wants a Twinkie. It’s dumb, funny and disgusting. Recommended.
I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With. A friend saw this at a film festival a couple years ago and told me I needed to see it. I kept a lookout but it never showed up in St. Louis, or if it did I blinked and missed it. I was beginning to think the movie didn’t exist (who, after all, would name a movie “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With?”) but then it showed up on HBO so I figured I should give it a look.
“Cheese” is a simple, somewhat amusing slice-of-life tale. Jeff Garlin wrote and directed the film in which he plays an actor living in Chicago. His career is going nowhere, he’s living with his mother and he has trouble with his love life despite being the object of attention by both Sarah Silverman and Bonnie Hunt.
The humor here is in the Larry David/Jerry Seinfeld vein — people sitting around talking about mundane things. It’s slight but enjoyable.
The Box. Boy, did this movie stink. Cameron Diaz and James Marsden play a couple who receive a box. Inside the box is a button. If you push the button someone will die and you will get $1 million dollars.
Now apparently this is supposed to be a moral dilemma, but I don’t see it. If you push the button SOMEONE WILL DIE. Forget the million dollars part. SOMEONE WILL DIE. The question of whether or not someone would be willing to be an accessory to murder for a million dollars is not really a question, is it? We have a name for people who take money for killing people: Assassins. It’s not a socially acceptable profession.
But there wouldn’t be much of a movie if no button were pressed, so Cameron does the deed. I was curious as to how this would be resolved but I wasn’t expecting a bunch of sci-fi silliness and floating walls of water. It turns out the box is an alien experiment to see if the human race was worth saving.
Here’s my big problem with this movie (I won’t bore you with the many little problems, such as Diaz’ accent): Everyone who has been given the box has pushed the button. Seriously? I mean, I’m as cynical as they come and even I have a better opinion of humanity than that. I can’t think of anyone I know who would kill someone for a million dollars, and I know some pretty scummy people.
Oh, it’s also interesting to note that in all three examples shown in the film, it’s the woman who pushes the button while the man sits there and looks uncomfortable about it.
Some government-made bioweapon accidentally spills into the water supply of a small town, causing those who drink it to go crazy and homicidal. The government comes in to shut down the town, set it on fire and kill anyone who hasn’t gone crazy yet. I guess there’s no cure. Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell must get outta Dodge — avoiding the Crazies and the military before their hometown is nuked out of existence.
“The Crazies” wasn’t bad for a horror movie. Not a great film but better than your average teen slasher movie.