Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Yes, Spirit, Valkyrie, Bedtime

Two double features this week (To quote the quasi-legendary Hazen Briggs, "There are no days this week.):

"Yes Man" is a romantic comedy, with a decent balance between the two. Jim Carrey spends more time acting than he does doing schtick, and Zooey Deschanel gets to do what she does best, which is to say, surf the craziness. There is ONE scene that thoroughly earns the film its PG-13 rating (off camera fellatio with a septuagenarian), but other than that it is even short on vulgarity. This isn't a great movie, but it is hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy it.

"The Spirit" is a tolerable superhero movie, provided you weren't expecting it to have much to do with the original Spirit. I would say that this film is about 80% Frank Miller, and about 20% Will Eisner, and while I actually prefer Miller to Eisner, that balance doesn't do justice to the source material. Given that the only reason to MAKE a Spirit movie is the historical significance of the character and his creator, failing to present the source material well robs the movie of any sort of purpose. Eisner's Spirit had no significant powers; Miller's has Wolverine level regeneration. Eisner's Octopus was never actually shown, and NEVER confronted; Miller brings him on screen in the first five minutes. And Miller chooses to use a bizarre and distracting array of technology, ranging from hand cranked pre-dial phones to cell phones, and from 1950 era police cars to Apache helicopters. He may have been trying to say something with that, but it came across as nothing but distraction.

"Valkyrie" is a GREAT historical drama. There have been the inevitable compressions and omissions, but the key details are there, and nothing is presented that didn't actually happen. The only things I have heard complaints about from the accuracy sticklers are in the opening scenes (P51s with Flying Tiger cowl paint in North Africa in 1943? American style salutes?). The film pulls you into the main characters and makes you care about them, in spite of the fact that you know, going in, that they and their cause are doomed. One nice touch was the fact that many of the teletype operators cried when it was announced Hitler was dead, a rather classy reference to the fact that, due to information control, the average German had a much different view of Hitler than either his officers or the modern audience.

"Bedtime Stories" is a silly Adam Sandler children's story. Sandler spends SLIGHTLY more time acting than doing schtick, and the supporting cast makes the whole thing tolerable. It's not just mindless fun, it's MINDLESS fun, but we enjoyed it well enough.

Uncle Hyena
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