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Movies Movies Movies!

It was kind of a big movie weekend, because after the party Friday night, I was sort of blah for the whole weekend. I watched a couple movies, and figured I'd talk about them here for my post of the day.

Kung Fu Panda: I'm a sucker for movies like this, but the darn thing really WAS hilarious. The Boyfriend and I laughed until the tears ran down our faces, then laughed more. The animation was amazing, and Jack Black was really perfect for the role of hapless panda Po. Sometimes Black can overshadow the character he's playing, but here he was just awesome. I was also happy to spot the ever-delicioso Ian McShane as the voice of the villain. (I kind of wish I could get Ian McShane's voice as hold music--I am on hold a lot, and I'd happily sit patiently if I could listen to him talk about whatever. He could read the phonebook and I'd be delighted.) The story of a fat panda becoming a mighty warrior worked well, and the humor was good for kids, but adults will have no problem enjoying it either. Two thumbs up.

This Filthy World: John Waters's one-man show was also hilarious. He talks a lot about the making of his movies, his opinions on the state of the world, and general observations on life. It's probably not for the right-wing crowd (discussions of gay life, drugs, and rampant, deliberate moral corruption would probably give those people immediate aneurysms) but I thought it was funny all the way through.

An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder: I have not seen the first Evening With Kevin Smith, though I have heard a lot of good things. I think he probably used his best material there, but this was still very funny if you're a fan. (If you're not a fan, you might as well just skip it.) This nearly two-hour show in Toronto gives Smith a chance to answer more audience questions and generally digress into various funny tangents. Although there were moments where it dragged a bit, or got a little uncomfortable, I mostly enjoyed it. His rambling explanation of watching Dora the Explorer made me laugh until I snorted. Jay Mewes also makes a cameo appearance, which made me squee. I wouldn't pay to watch it, but if it's free OnDemand or Netflix InstantWatch it's a good way to waste some time and have a few laughs.

Constantine: First of all, I have to point out that while The Boyfriend has a VIOLENT dislike of Keanu Reeves and all of his performances, I don't mind the guy. I think Keanu is very pretty, and while he isn't the best actor out there, it's not like he's casting himself in these movies, a la Kevin Costner. If he's miscast, it is NOT his fault. Also, the guy has had a kind of tough life (best friend ODs right in front of him, baby dies, fiance is killed shortly after in a car wreck) and I figure the fact that he mostly keeps to himself and behaves instead of being a giant Hollywood douchebag says a lot for him. That said, while this performance was not the best ever committed to film, and while there are probably several actors who could have done a better job, it was not awful. I liked the premise, and the climactic ending was pretty awesome. Peter Stormare is fantastic as the devil, and any time THE SWINTON appears I am always intrigued. Rachel Weisz was all right (though I am biased because I LOVED her in the Mummy movies) though when I saw Gavin Rossdale I was like "Really? There were no REAL actors available that day? Not a single lowly SAG member could be found to play the part?" On the whole, it's kind of a stupid movie, but no stupider than Max Payne, and at least Keanu Reeves doesn't come off as a tremendous asshole.

Smoke Signals: This is a movie about two young Native American men in the Pacific Northwest who go on a journey together when the father of one of them dies. It's a quiet little story. The acting isn't perfect, although the guy who plays Thomas Builds-the-Fire--the oddball of the pairing-- was excellent. Adam Beach, who played the more socially normal of the two, displayed considerably more range and talent than he did during his brief stint on SVU...which isn't a whole lot, to be honest. (At least he's pretty...) The story and dialogue are interesting, funny, and touching in places. It's the first film I've seen about modern day Native Americans, teenagers in particular. It's apparently based on a story by famed Native American author Sherman Alexie called "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." Although it's not entertaining as much as thought provoking, and the indie-ness of the movie is more obvious than I'd prefer, I'd definitely recommend this one.

Also, the new show on USA--White Collar--is pretty good. I don't know who is running USA, but they seem to have figured out the perfect formula for light, fun, entertaining television. I mean, I love crime shows, but lately SVU seems to be gunning for some kind of "most miserable and depression show on television" award (along with giving Richard Belzer and Ice-T a criminally teensy amount of screen time), CSI is kind of a scattered mess, Bones is constantly being bumped for stupid baseball (it is ridiculous to me that ALL FOUR major sports are in season at the same time), and NCIS (which is a GOOD SHOW, PAJIBA OVERLORDS! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO DEFEND IT! Well, not the new one with LL Cool J--that one sucks sweaty monkey balls) can't do it all alone. In the same vein as Psych and Burn Notice, USA has managed to make White Collar a pleasant, serviceable, and entertaining hour of TV.

For anyone who was wondering, I ended up going with Miss Piggy for Halloween. Although I wasn't entirely sure when I put it on, the photos are fantastic, and judging from the reactions of others at the party, I think it was a very good choice. :)


Scanned your Katherine Hepburn!

Love your review of Crime shows... I especially am not that impressed with Olivia Benson's new seasonal do. It's makes her look old and her hair thin and scraggly. She looked sharper with shorter hair. Spooks was a decent episode - at least the whole gang, including Munch had something to say.

Will have to check out White Collar by internet - no TV and USA is in the upper tier on my friend's cable.

Have a great week!
Katie and her Katz

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