Small Time Crooks

Small Time Crooks. Sweetland Films 2000.

Before watching the movie:

From what I’m seeing, this is basically the story of criminals who accidentally go into legitimate business. It also looks like it builds increasing farce until it implodes, and has a focus on letting the actors be zany and possibly improvisational. I always think of Woody Allen as a very script-oriented comedian, but the rest of the cast seem like they could riff.

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Best in Show

Best in Show. Castle Rock Entertainment 2000.
Best in Show. Castle Rock Entertainment 2000.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve probably been aware of this movie since shortly after it came out. I remember for years seeing it on the shelf at the library, picking it up, and putting it down again. It always looked like something I should be interested in, but it never grabbed me. It’s about a dog show. It’s a mockumentary. It’s by Christopher Guest. And none of that ever really put it over the edge for me, until now.

For an improvisational mockumentary with a huge cast, the only thing I know to expect is that I can’t predict anything.

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Charlie’s Angels

Charlie's Angels. Columbia Pictures 2000.

Before watching the movie:

Action. Comedy. Probably little to do with the TV series, but attached to one anyway. Angels.

Apparently the martial arts angle is an addition to the TV series. Having only been exposed to promos for the movies and that famous bathing suit photo of Farrah Fawcett, fighting is an integral part of my understanding of the show. Not that watching the movie is going to help me understand what else there was (probably espionage infiltrations).

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Unbreakable

Unbreakable. Touchstone Pictures 2000.

Before watching the movie:

M. Night Shyamalan’s works have had a wide range of quality. It originally seemed as though his output just got worse over time, but in the light of not only the glaring plot holes in The Sixth Sense, but also the fact that some have noted a similarity to an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark,  it may be considered that Unbreakable is Shyamalan’s real zenith of quality.

So why is it the movie I’m the least familiar with? My guess is that while “6th Sense” has a lasting buzz, and I was paying attention to the ad campaigns of the later films, Unbreakable stands in my blind spot. Too old for me to notice, too average to remark on. Here I go remarking on it.

From what I understand, it’s a deconstruction of superhero stories. Not terribly original and not well-timed. (Superhero movies were about to have a classical comeback after America went into security blanket mode, but nobody could have predicted that.) All the same, I hear good things about this film, and I expect good things.

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