I don't want to horn in on Yojimbo's territory in any way, since he does such an awesome job of covering the beat, but Otis has been having us watch a lot of escapist movies lately (mostly on the Big Wall at home) and I wanted to talk briefly about some of them. I promise I will keep it short and won't use Excessive Asterisks®.
10,000 BC: Okay, I'm a comic book geek from way back, so simplistic set-ups and hackneyed plots don't really bother me, so long as the story brings the cool. And this cavemen versus Atlanteans quest saga did that for me: guys fighting woolly mammoths, guys fighting terror birds, guy not-fighting-but-befriending sabre-toothed tiger, guys fighting guys, honor, duty, love, loyalty - it was all cool. Don't take it too seriously (it doesn't take itself seriously) and have a great time.
The Invasion: This third remake of the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers didn't totally suck. It was fun to see pre-Bond Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman wasn't unwatchable (and her character has a cool mobile phone), but the happy ending and the lack of a compelling philosophical center made it no more than meh.
Inside Man: So, what was the big deal about this? The heist gimmick wasn't hard to figure out for anyone who has ever seen an episode of Banacek, Jodie Foster was wasted and her character completely unnecessary, and there was no engaging conflict between the two supposed antagonists to keep me interested. Nobody does cops more realistically than Spike Lee, but that's not enough to carry a movie.
The Specials: This comic book movie about a third-tier superteam was about superheroes only in the same way that L.A. Law was about lawyers: most of the movie concerned emotions, petty and grand, and the relationships, motivations, failures, and triumphs of the characters. Unfortunately, the film didn't know if it wanted to be hip, sentimental, cynical, crude, funny, or insightful, and wound up being a bit of a mess. As Otis said, "I'm not sure I liked it, but I didn't ask you turn it off..."
Extra Special Bonus Feature:
This is a short art film made by our own Ned in December of 2002 when she was visiting me at EWU in Cheney. Long thought destroyed, a low-res copy of the video file was recently unearthed. Here, in all its glory, is Cheney Andalou.