Nacho Libre

Nacho Libre. Paramount Pictures 2006.

Before watching the movie:

I’m fairly confident this was the first time I’d heard of Jack Black. I’d heard a lot about Shallow Hal, but since Malcolm in the Middle was such a big presence in my life at the time, my brain kept putting Bryan Cranston in the title role. So with Nacho Libre, Jack Black entered my consciousness as someone new, yet someone I apparently should have already known about.  So I was completely lost later when Tenacious D got a movie and was apparently a well-established band already. And this time it was real, unlike my early confusion about Galaxy Quest.

Anyway, here’s a cult movie about a white guy rising to the top in a Mexican cultural institution from the age where taboo topics were permissible, but insensitivity was in fashion. So I’m hoping this will be fun, but it’s got some hurdles to clear.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

 

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Mutual Films Company 2001.

Before watching the movie:

The video game was very popular, possibly even for reasons beyond the audacious character model, so of course Tomb Raider got a movie fairly quickly. I’m not sure why the title of the successful franchise with five years of brand recognition was prefaced with the character’s name for the movie, but I assume if I look it up, I’ll see something about “Lara Croft” being the name known more by the mainstream audience, again because of the character model.

I was surprised to see Daniel Craig’s name in the credits for this 2001 movie, and then I looked up when Casino Royale came out (2006) and shriveled to a skeleton and turned to dust like the villain in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I also found that my impression that Angelina Jolie hasn’t done much lately is very much not true.

It’s also surprising to me that the rebooted Tomb Raider series got a reboot movie before the Uncharted franchise, which I suspect the Tomb Raider reboot owes some of its success to, was able to get its movie out of development hell.

Continue reading

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Paramount Pictures 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I thought this came out later. I seem to remember a poster for this movie being up like it was new when I was in college. Maybe I was mistaken about why it was up, or maybe a movie with a similar poster was out at the time. It’s not a very original poster design.

Anyway, there are few better ways to manufacture conflict in a romantic comedy than to have the romantic leads have opposing goals they’re hiding from each other, and this is one of the most basic forms of that. He’s made a bet that he can make her love him in 10 days, she’s trying out a relationship destruct plan for an article she intends to write. And there’s a lot of quirkiness along the way I guess.

Continue reading

Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo. Mosaic Media Group 2002.

Before watching the movie:

As someone who was not a fan of Scooby-Doo in the early 2000s, my main impression of this was that, if there was a right way to make a live action Scooby-Doo movie, this wasn’t it. The characters looked overly stylized, and the CGI dog was neither cartoon nor real, just a CGI mess.

I’ve since enjoyed some of the Mystery Incorporated reconstructive take on the franchise, and I have enough familiarity with it to know this probably at least isn’t the worst version.

Continue reading

Someone Like You

Someone Like You. 20th Century Fox 2001.

Before watching the movie:

It is strange to recall that Hugh Jackman used to be known as a romantic lead. For one thing, that was around 20 years ago, but also I can’t remember the last time he was in a romantic role. And that’s not a genre I pay much attention to.

Romantic comedies are almost all basically the same plot, but with a few elements thrown in for flavor. The main added flavor here seems to be “she’s an advice columnist who’s about to be proven wrong.” Which I don’t really have a lot to say about, but I’m interested in seeing how it gets where it’s going.

Continue reading

It’s a Boy Girl Thing

It’s a Boy/Girl Thing. Rocket Pictures 2006.

Before watching the movie:

So here’s a high school movie about gender-swapping body swapping. Commentary on the differences between men’s and women’s experiences is something that doesn’t always age well, especially with recent trends, so I’m not sure if this will come out as something to really recommend. It looks like the characters have some traits that make them slightly more than stereotypes, which makes it more likely positive statements can be made.

Continue reading

The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer. Spring Creek Pictures 2006.

Before watching the movie:

What I’m most interested in about this story of an ex-astronaut who had to quit NASA to save the farm, but then decides to build his own rocket, is how the movie makes it plausible that one man can build a rocket on his own. The farm must be doing really well to be able to afford that kind of DIY equipment.

It’s meant as a feel-good story about Following Your Dreams™, but it’s just about the most extreme way to depict it. Solo rocketry projects are most likely to end up with the hobbyist spread across the landscape, no matter how much of an expert in engineering the rocketeer is.

Continue reading