Friday, December 10, 2004

No Damn Football Today! I Mean It!

That’s right. I’m not going to even touch the subject this week. It’s just getting too hard to come up with new stuff every week. But, never fear, I intend to thoroughly entertain nonetheless by reviewing a couple of movies currently playing at a theatre near you.

Let’s start with the much anticipated sequel to the stylish classic Ocean’s 11. This Time George Clooney is back as Danny Ocean, only this time his sexy wife Tess, played by the luminous Julia Roberts, gets in on the action, making Ocean’s gang an even dozen. Now, I can’t say I’ve actually seen Ocean’s 12. I’ve seen clips, and read other people’s observations, though, and through that I can say with a fair amount of certainty that this send-up is a poor substitute for the original film that beat the ever-loving crap out of the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. Sure, there are still superstars on the squad. You can’t deny that Brad Pitt and Co. are excellent performers, but 22nd against the run? Are you kidding me? Sure the cast is surprisingly stout against the pass, but you can hardly expect Michael Vick and Aaron Brooks to air it out with much success against the likes of Matt Damon and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Ocean’s 12 has also done a commendable job at pounding out yards on the ground, but I’d like to see them keep it up against the type of stiff holiday season competition they’ll be facing this weekend. Steven Soderbergh would love to prove to the world that he hasn’t lost it and can still helm a blockbuster film as he has done in the past, though I just can’t see how he’ll pull it off without a powerful ending that the audience doesn’t see coming. I know that Ocean’s 12 will do its best to come out strong in a bid to make a theatre run beyond the paltry four weeks this critic is predicting, but it’s going to take a lot more than pretty faces and stylish camera angles. Good luck with Ocean’s 13.

Now on to a movie I know a little bit something about, having seen it on multiple occasions. I’m talking about the latest collaboration between Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Films, The Incredibles. Wow, I just can’t say enough about this picture. It’s a fresh take on the super hero genre. It focuses on how hard it is for these men and women to lead normal lives, when they are anything but normal. These characters are outstanding. A lot of Hollywood insiders were skeptical about how this movie would perform, and I have to admit that I was among the naysayers. Pixar and Disney had never worked with these kinds of characters before. In the past it was all about monsters and misfits. This time the studios decided to go with real human beings with heart and emotion. I’ll tell you what. It works. It works big time. The characters interact so smoothly with one another that it’s no wonder they are among the best in film at stopping the run, protecting the ball, and scoring in the red zone. Sure, the box office receipts have dropped over the last few weeks, but I expect a big turn around this weekend, and when all is said and done, Mr. Incredible and family will move the chains and clobber the competition. I have to admit, though, I’m a little worried about facing Lemony Snicket in a couple of weeks. Jim Carrey can really bring in the crowds, and Marvin Harrison is the best receiver in the league.

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