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.

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The Core

The Core. David Foster Productions 2003.
The Core. David Foster Productions 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I think of this movie as “Armageddon with Dirtronauts” (from a Dick van Dyke Show pitch). I really just know the log line, something’s wrong with the Earth’s core and we need to go fix it. Apparently it’s too dangerous to send robots to that kind of temperature and pressure so humans have to go instead.

It’s actually a fascinating idea to send an expedition below the crust, even if the conceit is ludicrous. At least Journey to the Center of the Earth is so divorced from science (I think even in Verne’s day the hollow Earth theory was at least on the way out) that it can be read as pure fantasy. With what we currently understand about the planet, no good can come from sending people that deep inside it, and the only sources of story there come from just how implausible such an expedition would be. So I’m going to try to enjoy this on its internal consistency, because the way it pretends to be science just preemptively frustrates me, but it otherwise looks like fun.

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Johnny English

Johnny English. Working Title Films 2003.
Johnny English. Working Title Films 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I’ve been looking for this for years. It’s easy to find the sequel, it’s much harder to come across this one. I’m not sure why that is.

The marketing looks like it’s positioning this as “Mr. Bean is James Bond”, but I’m hoping Atkinson will be doing something closer to Blackadder. Some of that hope may be fueled by the idea that if it’s the case, it might find a place as a missing link in my silly theory that Atkinson’s Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death is a continuation of the Blackadder line, which tends through history to get smarter (though usually of lower station).

Minor announcements:

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The Hebrew Hammer

The Hebrew Hammer.  Jericho Entertainment 2003.
The Hebrew Hammer. Jericho Entertainment 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I do recall seeing pieces of this on TV in college, but never more than a moment here and there because I only caught it at the beginning once and I didn’t have the time to watch it then.

I think this involves saving Hanukkah. I’m not entirely sure about that right now, but I thought I’d do a Hanukkah movie, and how many Hanukkah movies are there anyway? I wouldn’t know, as it’s not actually my tradition. I can only think of one definite one I’d really rather not see.

But anyway, what this definitely is is a Jewish parody of Blaxploitation films. Kind of like Shaft if he was Chosen instead of black. Well, more like the remake of Shaft maybe.

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Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation. 2003.
Lost in Translation. American Zoetrope/Elemental Films 2003.

Before watching the movie:

I’m struggling a bit to describe my understanding of this movie in a way that doesn’t sound like it came straight from the blurb. Two Americans played by big stars find each other in Tokyo in an independent movie, and those and still other reasons, form a difficult-to-classify relationship.

Much beyond this description has been drowned out by Bill Murray’s presence in what’s definitely not a comedy, even though by now it should be easier to accept that he’s pretty much sworn off comedy and this is his thing now (or at least until he gets an award for it).

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