"Role Models" is a pretty good raunchy comedy. It understood friendship and loyalty, at least. It was often painfully silly. Our expectations were low, and they were exceeded by a bit.
"Changeling" is a very well made movie about an incredibly depressing true story that manages to avoid being the downer one would expect. I was amused by the tricks of lighting and makeup used to make Angelina Jolie look haggard...
"Soul Men" is mostly a watered down reprise of "The Blues Brothers", without having the city of Chicago as one of the characters. Still, there is more than an enough strength in the concept that it is worth seeing. The film is given a bittersweet twist by the use of interview footage with Bernie Mac, wearing costumes from the film (apparently shot for use in the DVD release) over the end titles. This gives the film some weight it might not otherwise have had.
"Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" is exactly what you expected it to be; I think I liked it a bit better than the original, at least partly because it did NOT include the city of New York as a character (Yeah, Chicago is in my blood. You want to make something of it?).
"House" is... I have been trying to watch more horror movies lately; it is the single most "writerly" thing I have been doing for a while. The appearance of this obscure film made me consider watching it, but Dementia warned me that it was supposed to be "Christian horror." That intrigued me, and I did some research into the film, and decided against seeing it on Monday. On Tuesday, though, I had some time to kill, and I was driving by the theater, and I had had some 30 hours to ruminate on the concept... There are Christian overtones in this film, if you look for them. If you look hard. Maybe. It is based on a novel, and the novel may have been more clear. That out of the way, though, this is a decidedly mediocre film, with a few scary moments and a lot of wondering what is going on. Writer's lesson: If you are going to turn your characters loose in a dreamscape, either tell the audience in advance, or be REALLY sure the audience trusts you. Otherwise, the audience will just think you are incompetent hack who can't put together a logical storyline. Telling the audience that everything took place in a dreamscape in the last few minutes does NOT cancel out an hour of, "What the hell?"
The social highlight of the week was Tuesday brunch with Juli, an event that went on long enough that I kept adding "camping fees" to the tip until it was something like 60% of the bill. Very good conversation on the usual plethora of subjects; Juli actually did more talking than I did, which suits the mood I have been in. And the food was REALLY good. I have been neglecting the "free lunch" custom since Dementia has been out of work, and I need to do more of it...