Friday, October 26, 2007

It’s All About the Kids

New at Since Last Week:
Lars and the Real Girl
Wristcutters: A Love Story
The Darjeeling Limited
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This week was reserved for movies about kids: one about a kid from another planet and one about a dead little boy (As David said, “Are there any movies anymore that don’t have dead little kids in them?”). But first things first: let’s talk about Dane Cook.

The Stop Dane Cook campaign is well under way. Kevin recently published an article on to discuss the campaign—and he’s gotten some hilarious response. Personally, I’ve been highly amused by the angry responses from people who have absolutely no sense of humor. But that’s just me. People with no sense of humor totally crack me up. In the article, though, Kevin also explains how you, too, can get your very own Stop Dane Cook ribbon. So drop him a line and start supporting the campaign—and tell him I sent you.

So…back to the week’s screenings.

After a couple of frantic, screening-packed weeks, the studios slammed on the brakes this week. I kept waiting for more screenings to show up on the schedule, but none did. So we only had three screenings scheduled for this week. And the first one wasn’t until Wednesday night.

Having spent practically every day and night with the gang for a couple of weeks, I actually felt lost without them this week. Three whole days without seeing the COFCA gang… I felt like something was missing—like that ever-present feeling of panic. I had three whole days in which I didn’t have to rush out of the office to a screening…before rushing back to write up the review before racing out that night to see another one. My to-do list got much shorter, and I was able to do a bunch of things that I’d been putting off for weeks. But, as it turns out, I get a lot more done when I’m totally stressed out and under pressure. Go figure.

So I was thrilled to head out on Wednesday night to see Martian Child. For one thing, I hadn’t seen most of the guys in over a week. For another thing, I was sponsoring the screening—so a bunch of the people there were there because of me. So that was pretty cool.

I got there at the usual time, and Jennifer, our good and faithful rep, let Bill and me in to save our usual seats. John was already there, so I got to catch up with him. He’d been to see his son in LA, and, as always, he had plenty of stories to tell. Then I headed up to get caught up with the rest of the posse. I was still running around, talking to random people throughout the theater when the lights went down, sending me racing back to my seat.

The problem with family-friendly movies is that, well, people bring their families. In general, I tend to like kids. Heck, I hang out and knit with them every week. But I don’t particularly like them when they’re sitting behind me in a movie theater—especially not when they have a severe case of ADHD, as was the case with the kid behind me for Martian Child. It started out before the movie even started—with the noises. And the tap-dancing. It then continued through the movie with the constant tap-dancing on the back of my seat. And the occasional grabbing at the back of my seat, pulling me back, and then letting go, sending me flying forward. I came painfully close to turning around and strangling the child. But, for the sake of the family movie and its spirit of love and patience, I refrained. But it was close.

Fortunately, though, there was booze after the movie, and I was able to drink that obnoxious child away. I headed to the restaurant next door with John, Neil, Kevin, Chris, and Chris’s new girlfriend-type-person for some junk food and drinks. Neil and I ordered a ginormous platter of fried food, for which John berated me—and I responded by forcing him to watch me take a big, huge bite of fried something-or-other. A good time was had by all. We also had a good view of the Red Sox game, and I was sure to keep everyone updated as to how badly the Rockies were getting trounced. (Go Sox!) The next thing I knew, it was 11:00, and it was well past my curfew. But it was a wonderful night. We haven’t gone out for drinks in ages—not since Bill got his new job—and we were long overdue.

Despite the fact that I got home late and went straight back to my computer to get a few things done before turning in, I still had to get up on time on Thursday morning—because I had a newsletter to send out before heading off to another screening. Thursday morning’s screening was Reservation Road, the aforementioned dead-little-boy movie, which was sure to brighten all of our spirits.

Perhaps I’m just turning into a bitter, cynical film critic, but Reservation Road didn’t actually depress me—or at least not for the reasons it should have. I didn’t cry through the movie—though I do realize that dead little boys are very sad things indeed. Just not in this movie. I couldn’t help but snicker through parts of the movie—the parts that were just that bad. My personal favorite moment in the whole movie is when a 10-year-old boy (one who’s still alive) announces that he called one of his school friends “a no-good coward.” This, for the record, was supposed to have been said in 2004. Not 1954. Whoever wrote that apparently hasn’t talked to a 10-year-old boy since the ‘50s.

I was supposed to go to another screening on Thursday night, since I’d missed all the earlier screenings of Dan in Real Life (to which I was going to wear my Stop Dane Cook ribbon), but then something came up. My dear husband called on Wednesday afternoon to check if skipping Thursday night’s screening—since he’d just gotten his hands on a pair of box seats for the Blue Jackets game. Hmmmm…let me think a minute…. Box seats for the Blue Jackets game…or a screening of a Dane Cook movie? Box seats it is.

I think I made the right choice. The game was incredible—the fourth shut-out of the season. Nash scored an amazing goal from between his legs, and the third goal…we’re still not entirely sure what happened with that. I can’t believe this season—I’m not used to watching the Blue Jackets win. This 5-3-1 record is unbelievable. It was a great game—and we had an incredible time.

Today David really wanted me to go see Saw IV with him—just so he wouldn’t have to sit through it by himself. I was tempted, but (a) I haven’t seen the other three, (b) if I were to actually pay to see it, wouldn’t that just be encouraging them to make more?, and (c) considering how behind I am in general, the last thing I needed was another movie that I’d have to review. So I regretfully declined. Instead, David and I grabbed lunch before the movie and talked about how very weird are jobs are (though David’s pretty sure that it’s even weirder to be the people who actually write the screenplays for some of the movies we have to see). And then I returned to the office, where I continued to find anything to do besides writing music reviews. And that’s where I am right now.

In other news this week, we were all surprised and somewhat amused to get a visit from the FedEx guy this week—requiring our signature for our for-your-consideration award-screener copy of Knocked Up. Now, I liked Knocked Up and all—but Best Picture material? I’m not so sure.

Then again, with all the bad award hopefuls coming out this year, Knocked Up could just have a fighting chance…

Next week is another eerily slow week (which makes us start to worry that we’re going to be bombarded once again come December—we should probably get extra sleep now, while we can). At this point, we only have two screenings scheduled—Tuesday and Thursday (since, of course, you can’t schedule screenings on Halloween—or all the critics in town would get their houses egged). Unfortunately, the screenings for Bee Movie and American Gangster are being held at the same time—which means that David will probably be all by himself at the Bee Movie screening. Sorry Jerry, but Russell and Denzel win.

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