Darkon(r) - Hey, apparently I’ve seen this before.
Next Day Air(r) - I was expecting more slapstick for some reason, but it was an otherwise enjoyable oddball crime comedy featuring solid acting and lively characters. It could have used some more “Snatch”-style pizazz though.
Mike Phirman: The Last Songs I Will Ever Record (part 1)
Blackest Night HC - hmm, never say this about a big even book but it felt too short.
Green Lantern: Blackest Night HC - aah, wait, this fills in the blanks nicely.
Green Lantern Corps: Blackest Night HC - hrm, this all seems rather extraneous to the whole thing.
Batman and Robin #13 - I love Frazer Irving’s work but I’m finding him a bit confusing here… not that Morrison’s erratic-isms are helping. I’m also uncomfortable that everyone knows that Dick isn’t the “real” Batman (both the Joker and Gordon).
Brightest Day #5 - I’m failing to even get a sense of the big plan, other than Geoff wants to write Hawkman and Aquaman stories.
Doom Patrol #12
Red Robin #14
Secret Six #23 - An innocuous Ostrander fill-in issue in the most dangerous game vein. It could have taken up two issues, but honestly, I guess it only needed one.
Super Soldier #1
Smurfs #1 - I had completely forgotten I used to read these in the library at my grade school.
Mystery Team(r) - It’s an “Encyclopedia Brown”-esque gang, but at the tail end of high school and they still haven’t matured past their 10-year-old sensibilities, until they’re hired to solve a murder. With the exception of a pair of needless gross-out comedy gags and the score, it’s a cut well-above the typical low-budget comedy class.
Men Who Stare At Goats (r) - Given the ingredients it should have been a much better movie. Lifeless characters, meandering situations, and unsuccessful attempts at Coen Bros. quirkiness. Dull.
A Single Man (r) - Fashion designer/magnate Tom Ford has an impeccable eye and this is a fantastic looking movie. For a first effort with little previous inclination towards filmmaking, it’s a beautiful feat, although the story is slight, Ford handles it with methodical, purposeful pacing. The last minute is a bit of dosh though.
Greenberg (r) - Ben Stiller’s Robert Greenberg is like a grown up version of Jesse Eisenberg’s “Squid and the Whale” character (who was, if I recall correctly, a reflection of Baumbach in his youth). Damaged, neurotic, awkward, and difficult with just a few redeeming nuggets, I guess just enough to make him watchable, though I spent the entire film hoping Florence would run away from him, far away. Rhys Ifans was subtle and understated while Jennifer Jason Leigh (Mrs. Baumbach) just scares me now.
American Splendor (r) - In tribute to Harvey Pekar, who passed on Sunday at age 70.
Sixth Gun #2
Mighty Crusaders #1
Justice League Generation Lost #5
Brave and the Bold #35
Booster Gold #34
Birds Of Prey #3
Astro City: Silver Agent #1
Authority: The Lost Year #10
David Cross: Bigger and Blackerer
Chali 2na: The Fishmarket part 2
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
Realm of Kings hardcover
A Red Mass For Mars #4
Brightest Day #6
GI Joe/Cobra #6
Legion of Super-Heroes #3
Big River Man (r) - This story of Martin Strel, the unlikely middle-aged, overweight, Slovenian long-distance swimmer who has conquered the Danube, the Mississippi, the Yangtze and, as documented in this film, the Amazon. The feat is miraculous as he borders on death the entire journey, and delves if not desperately into madness then deep into delirium. It’s not an exquisitely made doc as its 30-minute preamble is perhaps too long, probably better served dispensed throughout, and using Strel’s son and manager as narrator was miscalculated as he acts as his father’s spokesman and we’re restricted in what we hear from the man himself. The film delves well into the politics of his swim, but avoids the technical and ultimately feels slight as a result.
The XX - s/t
The New Pornographers - Together
The Futureheads - The Chaos
The Tempest (Stratford) - is it a comedy or a fantasy or a suspense, as a banished duke/wizard sends up a storm bringing a crew of men (the king, his brother, a jester, the prince, etc) to his deserted island. Is revenge to be had? No, all the merry-mucking results in a rather anticlimactic ending chalk full of forgiveness. A well-done, fairly accessible (as far as Shakespeare is concerned) play with gorgeous costuming.
I Could Never Be Your Woman (r)- after reading the “my year of flops” review, I wanted to see it, and it’s a jumble of ideas that don’t exactly flow well together, but it is very entertaining and quite smart.
The Brothers Bloom (r) - Rian Johnson’s follow up to Brick may not be as widely lauded as his debut, but, to be honest, I don’t think it got a fair shake. I’m a bit biased because I get enamored easily with con-men and cons, and this movie is quite a different take on it. Johnson gets playful with setting and costuming, making it an era-spanning picture whose story is actually only a couple of months long. While all the actors were great, Rinko Kikuchi as Bang Bang was remarkable, a virtually silent figure whose presence commanded interest in every scene. Kikuchi’s physical performance was in equal measure subtle and unrestrained. Perhaps overlong by 20 minutes, the film’s final act loses some of its more fanciful traits as it buckles down into melodrama, but there’s purpose to it and meaning for its characters. The opening sequence could have lasted the entire movie and I would have been happy (the one legged cat in a rollerskate… awwwsome.)
Bob Newhart - I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This
Green Lantern #53-56
American Vampire #5
Authority Lost Year #11
Justice League Generation Lost #6
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
July 29 - 31
Stranger Than Fiction - Who would have thought that Emma Thompson could be the problem with any film. Well, I can’t say it was Emma Thompson the actress, but rather the character she was portraying and moreover her intrusion upon the story. Like Charlie Kaufman-lite, but still adventurous and likeable.
Mona Lisa Smile - I hate that I liked this movie. Oh I pretended not to while watching it, but ultimately it’s a fairly decent and somewhat interesting film that doesn’t aim for happy endings, though the actual ending was fromage du jour.