Pomp Movies

November 13, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

I posted a strikingly similar variation of this over on my personal blog, but being the lazy (and resourceful) bastard that I am, I rationalized that there was no use in typing up separate reviews for the same movies here on PC. Enjoy these sloppy seconds. Although no one really reads my blog, so this post is still essentially a virgin.

Role Models: Role Models is the funniest movie of the year in what has been an admittedly pretty weak year for dick-punching laughs. Plot-wise, it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel and in fact, most purists would probably use the word 'formulamatic'. But for sheer LOL value, you be hard pressed to do better. Pants-pooping funny. Paul Rudd being Paul Rudd, half the cast of Wet Hot American Summer, little kids swearing and a brilliant comic subplot involving KISS? Sold! 4 Paul Stanley Dick Thrusts Out of 5

Slumdog Millionaire: Please see this movie. I worked diligently promoting it and it's nothing short of brilliant (all biases aside). This tells the story of a poor boy in India (a 'slumdog') who makes it onto the Indian version of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' and makes it all the way to the final question, becoming a national hero in the process. The authorities are sure that he is cheating (an uneducated slumdog making it to the finals?) and use every means available (including torture) to try to get him to tell them how he knew the answers. His past is shown through a series of flashbacks, each relating to how he knew one of the answers.

This is heady, brilliant, crowd-pleasing stuff. It was directed by Danny Boyle ('Trainspotting', '28 Days Later', 'Sunshine') who is probably the nicest person that I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I've met him twice. Once we went shopping for shorts for his 80+ year old dad. Another time I tried to explain to him the rules of baseball over bread pudding.

But enough shameless name dropping. Find this movie. Tell others how much you loved it. The buzz is building and you heard it hear first; Slumdog Millionaire will be up for Best Picture in a couple of months, and pundits will label it the 'little movie that could'. Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars and he knows a little something about movies. You'll have to look for this one, as it's a limited release, adding theatres each week (don't hold your breath if your local theatre is still showing National Treasure 2), but it's worth seeking out. Opened on November 12th in select cities. 4.5 Regis Philbins Out of 5

Quantum of Solace: Witz. Chaim Witz. Doesn't have the same ring does it? The latest installment in the re-vamped Bond series picks up right after Casino Royale ends (so you might want to revisit that one first) and doesn't stop to catch it's breath for a minute. If non-stop action is what you crave, you've come to the right place. Boat chase. Plane chase. Car chase. Foot chase. I half expected a unicycle race.

Once the sugar rush wears off though, you realize that it's essentially recycling it's plot from the previous movie, with some convoluted plot about a bad guy/environment activist thrown in for good measure. I'm confused. Not that it matters. Casino Royale this ain't, but it's never boring, has a kick ass theme song and in one money scene, shows you how the martini became Bond's signature drink. Good stuff. In theatres November 14. 3.5 Timothy Daltons Out of 5

Zach and Miri Make a Porno: If you've seen any Kevin Smith movies (insert 'Overrated' chant) you know what you're getting into here. Crude sex jokes, bad acting and lots of nerd-speak. The material is elevated by the always funny and pudgy Seth Rogen and 'hot girl you can take home to mom', Elizabeth Banks. The high school reunion scene near the beginning is the highlight, with Justin Long playing a gay porn star to comic brilliance (trust me, I know my gay porn stars...huh?) After that, it's an amiable if not altogether funny affair with a lot of uneven moments interspersed with a few big laughs. See Role Models in the theatre and wait to rent this one. 3 Bottles of Jergens Out of 5

Rachel Getting Married: A smart drama not to be mistaken for a lightweight chick flick, Rachel Getting Married is like that Sandra Bullock movie 28 Days, the only difference being this is really, really good. Ann Hathaway is all growds up with Oscar on her mind. Great acting and a really unique visual style (especially for this type of movie) make this one of the best 'adult' films I've seen all year. And by 'adult' I don't mean porn. For once. 4 Ascots Out of 5