"The Expendables" (Aim low, case #1) delivers on its promises: Familiar (if somewhat haggard) faces, lots of bloodshed, lots of explosions, lots of one liners. There is even a tiny bit of plot and character development, if you never blink. Charisma Carpenter has a brief and largely thankless role as the maguffin behind Jason Statham's solo sequence. Our favorite bit of the movie was the extended fight between Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren, which was filmed with very little trickery.
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is a tolerable movie with some severe flaws, the greatest of which was the casting of Michael Cera in the title role. Cera radiates introspective self awareness; the part called for delusional self absorption. Cera's self-consciousness and Pilgrim's self-consciousness are completely different animals. There is also the fact that while the frequent invocation of video game metaphors seems to have worked in print, the corresponding invocation of both comics and video game metaphors in the film got stale REALLY fast.
"The Switch" is a pretty good romantic comedy. Jennifer Aniston has developed a strong pattern of choosing quirky roles that try to take the romantic comedy formula places it doesn't want to go. We pretty much invariably enjoy the resulting films; the public at large, apparently, does not.
"Piranha 3D" (Aim low, case #2) is a classic blood and nudity Big Bucket O' Sleaze right out of 1980; 3D just makes it a little more surreal. There is a LOT of blood; there is a LOT nudity (including a naked underwater lesbian ballet that would have been borderline lyrical, if it weren't for the 3D effects reminding you that it was supposed to be sleazy). Elizabeth Shue tries hard to be dignified as the local sheriff, and Dina Meyer is once again wasted in an eyeblink part.
"Vampires Suck" (Aim low, case #3) is apparently marketed at the 2% of "Twilight" fans who have a sense of humor about "Twilight". This might be enough for the film to make money. There are a few good jokes, and a ton of lame jokes, and newcomer Jenn Proske does a GREAT job of impersonating Kristen Stewart drowning in badly paced angst.
On Tuesday I FINALLY started working on the rowing seat I have been designing for the last year. I SO wish I had a real workshop...
On Wednesday, I dropped Dementia off at the Milwaukee airport for a trip to her parents in Boise, Idaho. She has been fretting about this trip, one way and another, since her parents moved in January. She got through the biggest obstacle, her first encounter with the TSA, without incident, and arrived in Boise safely. But she swears she is never going to fly again when this trip is over. Flying is significantly cheaper and faster than driving (particularly for the solo traveler), but it is not worth price in stress and indignity. (I had figured that out in advance...)