June 20, 2004

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

dodgeballBen Stiller once again takes a 3 minute skit from his decade-old Ben Stiller Show and extends it into a 92 minute comedy. His character, the fascist fitness instructor White Goodman, is funny for the first 15 minutes, but then Stiller is reduced to weak homoerotic gags and more of the 'dumb non-witty retorts' he did so well in Zoolander. The good news is, Vince Vaughn and the rest of the cast all have fun, and everybody loves watching people get hit in the head with stuff! (Showcase Cinemas Woburn)

June 16, 2004

Godzilla (1954)

This was the 50th Anniversary uncut Japanese version of the monster movie which started it all. It was fun to see the genesis of the biggest monster icon of all time. Great music, some lovingly rendered special effects, and not as campy as it could have been. (Brattle Theater, Cambridge)

June 6, 2004

Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban

After the Warner Brothers logo but before the main title appears, this movie opens with a quick and simple scene in Harry Potter's Privet Drive bedroom. It's late after bedtime, and Harry, eager to learn more magic before he even returns to Hogwarts, is under the covers reading his spellbooks by the light of his wand. To set the wand tip aglow for a few moments, he must speak the spell "Lumos!" Suddenly his Uncle Vernon, spotting a light on under Harry's door, bursts in to try and catch Harry awake after hours. But Harry has extinguished the wand ("Nox") and is playing asleep. Uncle Vernon leaves, and Harry continues to read by wand-light. At this point, the main title appeared, and I turned to Em and declared "This movie is already better than the first two Potter films put together!"azkaban
Our strategy for avoiding the overstuffed children's screenings, Em and I bought tickets for the 21-plus Framingham Premium Cinema. For a premium price, you get assigned advance seating, coat check service, FREE popcorn and soda (with free refills), and the best picture and sound in New England. In an "only at the Premium Cinema" moment, I was shuffling down our row to my seat when I dropped a tub of popcorn butter in the Merlot glass of my seat-neighbor. Obviously this spoils the bouquet! I quickly headed back to the bar and bought her another glass...

ALSO by Gary Oldman on STUB HUBBY:

June 5, 2004

The Triplets of Belleville

bellevilleDelightful, oddball, dialog-free, French, and animated. A fun and inconsequential movie. Makes me want to never ride a bicycle again! (Somerville Theater)