Unshelved comic strip for 1/14/2006

BBMMIV: The reviews

It's been a long day watching the little screen on my laptop. I got through five and a half movies, a new record, and finished the last one the next morning. It wasn't the same as seeing them on the big screen, but the ability to fast-forward past particularly tedious scenes helped make up for that.

  1. Mr. and Mrs. Smith - this started strong and got weaker and weaker. The chemistry between Pitt and Jolie is undeniable (and, based on recent events) unresistable, but the movie makes too many easy choices.
  2. The Fantastic Four - exactly the stinker I feared it would be. A particular shame, as it was once my favorite comic. They changed too many details, and not for the better. High point: the Human Torch, done perfectly in terms of character and special effects. Low Point: The Invisible Woman: nice line readings, Jessica Alba!
  3. War of the Worlds - extraordinary. Big scary martian tripods, but of course the beauty is that we see those tripods through the perspective of one man trying to save his chidren.
  4. The Island - a big surprise. A great concept, beautifully executed. With some of the most thrilling action scenes I've ever seen. Not perfect - both Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johannsen had rough parts to play and didn't really pull them off IMHO - but much better than it's lukewarm box office implied.
  5. Sweet Home Alabama - my wife's choice. Not because I don't like romantic comedies, because I do. And not because I don't like Reese Witherspoon, in fact I carry a bit of a torch for that strong-jawed woman, especially since her turn as a brunetter in Walk the Line. But because it had (a) bad reviews and (b) a bad premise. And it lived up to both. A bad, bad movie. Every character unbelievable. Every line of dialog unnatural. Every director's choice poor. Seat-squirmingly bad.
  6. Cinderalla Man - this was everything you'd expect. A moving, stirring story with lots of boxing. I'll let you guess if he wins the championship fight. It really is a good story well told, but they amped up the violins (metaphorically speaking) a little too often. Best moment: the x-ray view of our hero's ribs as he gets punched one time. Too bad they didn't show an MRI of his brains as they got repeatedly concussed. That would have rocked.

Although watching DVDs at home was restful, I look forward to being back in the theatres next year. A Bill's Birthday Movie Marathon should be exhausting and uncomfortable. If you don't have a sore butt then how do you know how you spent the day?

This Unshelved strip

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