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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘No Reservations,’ ‘The Simpsons Movie,’ ‘I Know Who Killed Me’

It’s another slow week at the movies for me. I know, I know: “only” three movies in a week sounds like a lot, and it is, compared to what the average person sees (three movies in a year in the theater is closer). But I usually average more like six. So it feels like kind of a barren week for me.

On the other hand, two of the four wide releases this Friday won’t screen for critics at all, and at least one of next Friday’s wide releases won’t screen, so my options are just a tad limited this week. Not that there aren’t screenings of smaller films happening, of course… but it’s not like I’ve been twiddling my thumbs, either, not with these stacks of DVDs to be gotten through, and I’m trying to cover a little more TV, and not to mention some non-movie work that is begging me to get it done…

Monday night I saw No Resverations, the new studio remake of the wonderful German film Mostly Martha, and I am delighted to report that Hollywood didn’t ruin it. This remains a nice romantic dramedy about actual grownup characters, and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart — two of my favorites — are terrific. [opens wide July 27]

Even though The Simpsons Movie opened today in the U.K., I still can’t see it till tomorrow. I’ll run right home after the evening screening and write a review and get it posted ASAP, but I won’t be happy about having to do that. [opens wide July 27]

And I really will have to get it done right away, because I have to turn around and run right out first thing Friday morning to a “courtesy screening” of the Lindsay Lohan epic I Know Who Killed Me. The film opens wide that day, but Sony is kind enough to spare us the horror of sitting in a multiplex crowd with gangs of teenage Lohan wannabes, for which I am very grateful. I promise not to let the studio’s kindness sway me when it comes time to write that review.

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  • Lindsay Lohan fans should take advantage of what’s likely to be Miss Firecrotch’s last movie for a while… the talk on the news channels earlier today was that because of her booze-and-coke difficulties right now, no one’s going to cast her in a movie (because it’ll be impossible to get a completion bond for any movie she’s in) until her legal problems are resolved.

    Maybe her movie should be called I Know Who Killed My Career.

    Where’s your review of Sunshine, MaryAnn? Definitely going to see it this Saturday.

  • MaryAnn

    It’s coming, it’s coming…

    I’ve been really swamped with non-movie stuff this week. And I don’t mean the Harry Potter book. :->

  • Josh

    It should not be “I Know Who Killed My Career” but “I Know What Killed My Career.” I think it will be sooner than later that we see Lindsay on the screen again; the small screen in a special episode of A&E’s Intervention. I just feel so sorry for the girl. Yes, she screwed up, but throwing her in and out of rehab is not going to help. The change has to come from internal sources, not external. A great majority of people that are forced into rehab fail because there needs to be what is called cognitive dissonance, an awakening of the person to the problem. Lindsay needs some serious therapy, along some of the other starlets.

  • Josh

    And by therapy, I am not talking about drug rehab of course. I am talking about actual therapy to deal with some of the issues that are going on in her life

  • Not to go on a rant here (apologies to Dennis Miller), but the only reason rehab is being discussed as an alternative for Lindsay Lohan is because she’s wealthy and famous. What she really needs, before the therapy you propose, is to be charged, prosecuted, and (if found guilty) sent to jail for the exact same amount of time that a non-wealthy person with two DUIs and a felony narcotic possession charge would receive. We should consider ourselves fortunate that she didn’t kill anyone while driving around drunk with cocaine in her pockets.

  • Josh

    I agree Clay. The helps she so desperately needs should be provided to her behind bars, not in a rehab facility. I am just sick of people thinking Rehab is the automatic cure for everyone. Rehab is an effective tool for those who want help, not those who are rushed in there by others. I feel sad because Lohan is so much more talented than a lot of the others she surrounds herself with.

  • misterb

    Hmmm, my local paper (SJ Mercury-News) had a Simpson’s Movie review today (Thursday) which is doubly odd because they usually run all their movie reviews on Friday.

    Yet another example of anti-blogger prejudice from Fox?

  • MaryAnn

    I wish I were rich and famous enough to find myself suffering from “exhaustion” and checking into a spa-like rehab resort for a month or go. God, that would be wonderful…

  • anybody else thinking of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” song?

  • I always hear Warren Zevon’s “Detox Mansion” in my head when I read these stories.

  • MBI

    “anybody else thinking of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” song?”

    A funny song about saying fuck you to anyone suggesting you have a drinking problem is not quite so appropriately applied to a person who’s about to go to jail.

  • MaryAnn

    Yet another example of anti-blogger prejudice from Fox?

    Sounds like it.

    A funny song about saying fuck you to anyone suggesting you have a drinking problem is not quite so appropriately applied to a person who’s about to go to jail.

    Lindsay Lohan will never go to jail. Or, if she does, it will signal a sea change in our culture, that it no longer coddles celebs. I don’t see that coming just yet. It’s coming, but not yet.

  • Well, Paris Hilton went to jail… apparently Lindsay said “Paris, I’ll see your 2 DUIs and raise you a cocaine possession.”

    If Lindsay DOESN’T go to jail, then the state of California is pretty messed up.

  • MaryAnn

    Paris didn’t go to jail for long…

  • misterb

    If Lindsay doesn’t go to jail, California might be the kind of place where you could kill 2 people with a knife and get away with it by driving a Ford Bronco down the freeway.

    The real question is: will Phil Spector get away with it? If he doesn’t, it just means his hit records were too long ago. They only punish the has-beens out here.

  • “A funny song about saying fuck you to anyone suggesting you have a drinking problem is not quite so appropriately applied to a person who’s about to go to jail.”

    first of all, i don’t think it’s a “funny” song at all — but basically, the “fuck you”, that’s what people like lindsay lohan and paris hilton and brittany spears are saying when they’ve been warned time and time again and given more chances than any “normal” american citizen (especially the poor one and people of color)would have had their car confiscated, their license revoked and huge fines, not to mention jail time, come down on them.

    second of all, i don’t have any real sympathy for these rich, spoiled, living bratz(tm)dolls, so i’ll mock them if i choose.

  • MaryAnn

    Yeah, it’s really hard to have sympathy for the likes of Hilton and Lohan. Anyone can make a mistake once, but to keep making the same mistake when you have literally every resource available to help you straighten out is disgusting. Gee, it almost makes you believe they actually enjoy being fucked-up cokeheads.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else. But then we must give everyone else — the not rich, famous, and (allegedly) fabulous — the same benefit of the doubt.

  • amanohyo

    Yeah, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with drug use if you aren’t hurting anyone other than yourself (although simply buying some drugs indirectly supports the violent crimes of drug cartels), but there’s no excuse for driving drunk/high and risking innocent lives just because you’re a selfish brat.

    Sometimes I think that celebrities make so many stupid mistakes because they know that they have the resources to recover quickly and relatively painlessly when things go wrong. One big, stupid mistake is enough to screw up the life of the average person for a long time (often forever), but the rich and famous usually find a way to bounce back several times until they either learn something or fall so hard that nothing can save them.

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