Thursday, December 22, 2005

Two Posts in One Day? It's a Festivus Miracle!

That's right, I went there. I am officially the 1,487,234th* person to mention Festivus on his blog. I like to fit in.

Anyway, the reason for actually posting twice in one day after a week away:

Over the past...oh...week and a bit, I have seen four movies of rather high quality, after weeks and months of utter cinematic tripe. They are, in order of watchification:

Syriana (finally)
Must Love Dogs (not actually as terrible as it has been made out to be)
He Died with a Felafel In His Hand (oh, those crazy Australians)
King Kong (yes, King Kong)

I saw the first three with Carley, and the last with a group that including Ben and Nancy, among others.

Strangely, the most skillfully cast of the four movies were Must Love Dogs and Felafel, etc.. The other two were cast well right up to one person in each - Matt Damon and Jack Black. Other than that, they were both cast quite brilliantly (particularly Syriana - George Clooney, Jeffrey Wright, Christopher Plummer, Chris Cooper). In the other two, everyone just seemed to fit perfectly into their roles (even if, in John Cusack and Diane Lane's cases in Must Love Dogs, they've done it over and over and over again).

As for Matt Damon and Jack Black, I actually like both of them very much, and am hard-pressed to find one of their movies that I do not enjoy. But, they just couldn't pull it off in these movies.

Matt Damon was poorly cast because he's not very good at not being Matt Damon. His adolescent inability to grow facial hair or get a decent haircut has damned him to always looking like himself. In a movie where the actors dissolved into their characters (George Clooney was barely recognizable), Matt Damon was just Matt Damon.

In Jack Black's case, Peter Jackson spent far too much film on closeups of old Jacky boy. The problem with that is that Jack seems to know when he's in closeup. And makes this face:

The Jack Black Face

So, as he's trying to convince Naomi Watts to come to "Singapore" with them,
The Jack Black Face.

As he presents the audience with Kong,

The Jack Black Face

Yeah, a little distracting.

But I do highly suggest that you see all four movies. But, be warned:

Syriana - Wicked brutal torture scene where George Clooney's fingernails are quite graphically pulled out
Must Love Dogs - Romantic comedy alert
He Died with a Felafel In His Hand - Australians alert
King Kong - DO NOT, under any circumstances, order a large drink if you plan on sitting through the entire movie

* - Unofficial results

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