Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A wee bit of this, and a lot of that (with 'That' being quick movie reviews)

Let's lead with the big news of the day: The Sad Sack Slapjacks notched their first fantasy football win of the year (117.07 to 105.42) thanks in no small measure to stellar performances from K Rob Bironas and TE Gronkowski (not to mention a midweek addition of Mark Sanchez). Whew. 0-2 would have been devastating. I needed this win.

Today was also Smiley's 1st Tiger Scout Den meeting, and it went fine, although I wish it had been more structured.

As an assistant leader I'm going to have to make sure I have some fallback activities ready to go in the future.

Some reviews: I rented the medieval action film "Ironclad" in part on the strength of its cast. Paul James Purefoy, Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng, Derek Jacobi, Kate Mara, Brian Cox, etc. Sadly, that was the only real bright spot in this Magnificent Seven/Dirty Dozen vs King John pic. I thought it was needlessly gory, ret-conned religious and social views, and worst of all was pretty darn dull.

At least it introduced me to Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton, who seemed like a heck of a fellow.

Continuing a recent downturn in my luck with films, Lisa and I watched Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, a documentary on CoCo's 2010 tour in the wake of the Tonight Show fiasco.

We love Conan, but Lisa hit it on the head: at one point she stopped watching, saying his bitterness and treatment of his staff was taking the shine off our affection for him. By the end of the film, however, as some of the bitterness and anger leeched out, Coco seemed back to his 'normal' self, and the tone of the movie picked up.

There were a few laughs, but not nearly enough.

On the other hand, Arthur was a pleasant surprise.

No, more than that; it was a delight. It was sweet, funny, and well acted. Russell Brand continues to impress me as a genuine talent, not just an idiotic drunkard with a big mouth. We loved this movie. Go rent it right now. Go on - git.

You stuck around? Well, more the fool you, since the final review of the night is another Debbie Downer. The People I've Slept With is a comedy about a very (very) promiscuous woman who gets pregnant and seeks to determine the paternity. Lisa felt it was very pro-life, and I guess it is, but it was hard to snoop that out from among a dizzying array of flaws.

I don't think the writer did the actors any favors, but they sure repaid it in kind. This was some of the worst non-porn acting you'll find outside of a campfire skit at a special needs camp. My word, it was bad. (the only exception being 'Mr. Boring', and curse the director for limiting his screen time.)

Plus, I didn't dig the lame justification the narrator provided right at the start, rationalizing her insane promiscuity away as being nothing more than a case of a "woman with the mores of a man". Uh, no, hun. Even Charlie Sheen would draw the line shy of where this character stands (she has a stack of photos several inches thick, each one belonging to a man or woman she's slept with in the last seven weeks).

If you're going to make the character unself-consciously sex crazed, then stick with your guns and play it straight (no pun intended). There's no need to excuse it, and it's a crime to do so with a voluminous cliche.

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