Friday, January 26, 2007
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #41
Catch and Release
starring Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith
directed by Susannah Grant (hot virgin director action!)
I guess it's time to admit defeat. It was down to fake-reviewing either this or hyper-stylized ultra-violent dude-on-dude snuff flick Smokin' Aces. And look, I went with the girl movie about romance and hope and friendship directed by a chick. I will write this, but then I'm going to have to immediately delete it because if my wife ever reads this, she will know that she has, at last, won. It's not that I want to talk about Catch and Release, it's just that it never actually occurred to me that I shouldn't. And that is what disturbs me most of all. Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
The funny thing is that this movie stars Jennifer Garner and it is opening opposite the other one, which stars her husband, Ben Affleck. When one outperforms the other, I wonder what the emotional ramifications must be in that household. I imagine it must just be a non-stop orgy of mutual support and affection built upon a foundation of sincere, deeply-felt personal connection transcending the physical or even emotional plane and bordering on the spiritual, so much so that when they are intimate, a string of six to eight singing cartoon bluebirds with human voices shoot out of Ben's ass upon completion of the act.
OK, so this might not be the first time I've considered this. Or even really the four hundredth. But celebrities get all that press coverage, so it can't just be for nothing. They have to be demonstrably better than us on a nearly supernatural level, otherwise Us Weekly and E! TV and Joan Rivers wouldn't make any goddamn sense at all, would they? I mean, 50% of our popular culture would be based on a lie, and an arbitrary one at that. And that just can't be possible.
Some people believe in Jesus or Allah or Tom Cruise or whatever. For me, my existential cohesion, like Damocles' sword, dangles over my head, suspended precariously by a thread interwoven from the twin filaments of Popular Culture and the American Electoral System. Should either one ever fail me, the whole of my identity would be about as stable as a Pontchartrain levee.
Not this identity. I mean my real one. This one, being entirely manufactured, should be fine. I keep it saved on my hard drive. I doubt you'd notice an interruption in blog-service. One of the many benefits of keeping expectations low.
Speaking of low expetations, the main love interest in this film is actually a dead guy. Strong selling point, in my opinion. It's also quite popular. It's the same central plot point of Sandra Bullock's upcoming Premonition. Except in that one, the dude doesn't stay dead. But he's not a zombie. Yeah, I know. That one will be will be available for you to ignore in theaters March 16th.
Apparently Ms. Garner's dude dies just before they're supposed to get married, so she moves in with a gay guy and a fat guy. No sexual tension there as one is into dudes and the other one is, well, fat. Think of the last time any guy in a movie with a waist size over 36 got laid on screen. My point exactly.
So she's all safe to be scooped up by in-swooper funeral guest Timothy Olyphant. Those of you who have HBO will recognize him from his role on their recently departed series Deadwood, where he played Sherrif Clenchy McTeethgritter, thwarting evil-doers with his serious mustache and the protruding bits of bone and muscle that stick out at the base of your jaw if you close it too hard. He was the pretty, pretty weak link in rapidly degrading show that, by the end, had become so arch it was practically a circle.
I hate you, David Milch.
Anyway, she grieves and heals and whatever, kinda like Gwyneth Paltrow had to do in Bounce, except there the skeevy post-mortem interloper was played by--gasp!--Ben Affleck.
Does no one ever have new ideas, ever?
This whole process is making me bitter. I hear Alicia Keys plays a lesbian in Smokin' Aces. If only I weren't castrated.
I guess if the plot can't be original, it all comes down to character, dialogue, production value and the general competence of the filmmaking. This Catch and Release was directed by Susannah Grant, who busts her DGA cherry on this one. First time is never good, from what I learned in 1980s R-rated sex comedies. So it's got that bit of infallible wisdom working against it.
Ms. Grant did write the thing as well though. And unlike co-star Kevin Smith, she's actually quite accomplished. She also wrote Erin Brockovich and 28 Days (the non-zombie one)... and In Her Shoes which was terrible, but I give her a pass on that because it co-starred Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette as sisters, who look about as alike as my testicles.
Whoops, sorry, I suppose you don't really get that reference. Best we move on. But first I would be remiss if I didn't warn everyone about the dangers of the bicycle banana seat.
She also got her start writing for Party of Five, so I'm sure this movie will be very measured and not at all over-broad. Or at least as much as we can expect from someone with a sick obsession with dead family members.
I might be emasculated, but I still have a Y chromosome, so the best I can do:
One (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.
It embarrasses me that it scored that high.
PS- I have no time to proofread, sadly. Feel free to ignore the content and make fun of the bad sentence structure and typos in the comments! It's my Friday gift to you!