Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,’ ‘Swing Vote,’ ‘Tropic Thunder,’ ‘Sixty Six,’ ‘Stealing America: Vote by Vote’

I like the Mummy movies and I don’t care who knows it. And I am absolutely determined to enjoy The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor [opens wide August 1] as much as I possibly can. If that means I have to plug my ears and loudly sing-a-ling “La la la, I can’t hear you!” every time director Rob Cohen — taking over for Stephen Sommers — does something stupid, so be it. If it means I have to acknowledge that even Maria Bello is not so cool that she can replace Rachel Weisz, so be it. My expectations of pretty low for this one: just gimme a not-entirely-stupid summer historical action fantasy, and I’ll be fine. Holy crap: I just discovered Russell Wong is in this. *swoon*

I feel like Swing Vote [opens wide August 1] is coming out of nowhere — I’ve barely been marketing to about it at all. All I know is that Kevin Costner plays an “apathetic, loveable loser,” and those are the roles he’s best in, so I’m there. Also it has Nathan Lane and Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer as the President of the United States. Some high-profile women in the cast might be nice, but I can’t have everything, now can I?

It’s all boys again in Tropic Thunder [opens wide August 13] — Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Steve Coogan, and Robert Downey Jr — but at least two and a half of them are pretty decent. Maybe even three of them, if you count half of Black and half of Stiller as one. It’s directed by Stiller, too: if he can harken back to the genius he demonstrated with his Ben Stiller Show so long ago, he could be looking at an upgrade in my esteem.

I don’t know much about Sixty Six [opens limited August 1] except that it’s a British film from two years back, it features the goddess Catherine Tate (recently of Doctor Who) among its cast, and it’s from director Paul Weiland, who’s a vet of Blackadder and Mr. Bean but who came to Hollywood this year with the execrable Made of Honor. Two outta three ain’t bad, I guess.

Stealing America: Vote by Vote [opens limited August 1] is not, alas, science fiction, but a documentary. *sigh*

(Technorati tags: , , , , )



Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/flick/public_html/wptest/wp-content/themes/FlickFilosopher/loop-single.php on line 106
posted in:
movie buzz
  • Donald

    I went in with low expectations to see The Mummy 3 this weekend and i still came out disappointed. Its even worse than Indiana Jones 4.

  • headneep

    I saw “Sixty-Six” at a Jewish Film Festival in March, MaryAnn. It is absolutely hilarious! It’s about time Universal released it. I guess if “Made of Honor” is what it took for them to let more people see “Sixty-Six” then . . . whatever it takes.

  • Joseph

    I’ve seen ads for Swing Vote all over the DC Metro system for months. Maybe they’re focusing their marketing on what they think would be interested regions, and NY isn’t one of them?

  • Sam

    It is getting good promotion on TV in AZ as well which one would not think would be the biggest market…so I guess perhaps you are the only one who has not seen the promos. They started a couple of months ago and are now picking up more steam which is good since this little movie is opening opposite the Mummy and I hope it gets some attention during this crucial voting season.

  • I like the Mummy movies and I don’t care who knows it.
    –MaryAnn Johanson

    I used to like the Mummy movies but as the late George Carlin would said, you live, you grow…

    Seriously, the last one just wasn’t all that great compared to the first one. And the fact that my beloved Rachel Weisz chose to take a pass on the current sequel doesn’t exactly endear me to it.

    And surely, we all have enough memories of the last Godzilla movie to know that Maria Bello doesn’t have what it takes to make up for a really bad script. Even if she is as easy on the eyes as Ms. Weisz.

  • Sara

    I feel like MaryAnn re: Swing Vote…as if it is coming out of nowhere. Then reading on this pats, I see where it has gotten more marketing in various places than others. I’m looking forward to this movie and I’m wondering if Costner is counting on DVD rentals and sales for that one as much as revenue from theatres. He’s putting it out in plenty of time for folks to see it before the presidential election and he put a ton of his own money into it.

  • amanohyo

    I thought the second Mummy movie had a few hilarious moments. If I recall correctly, near the end of the movie, there’s a shot where the Mummy runs in from off camera and falls to his knees, holding his hands outstretched and screaming “Nooooooo!”

    I thought nothing could top the corniness of the classic crane shot lifting away from a fist-pumping, shouted “Nooooo!,” (famously used to hilarious effect by Lucas) but I was wrong. There’s something extra goofy about having the actor actually run into the shot before delivering the line.

    I might be thinking of a different movie, but in one of the Mummy movies, two women in golden Princess Leia bikinis have a poorly choreographed knife fight that’s pretty funny. Also, I remember being tickled to see that CG Dwayne Johnson was a better actor than real Dwayne Johnson. I’m dreading this third movie though; hopefully it will be cheesy bad like the others, and not just bad bad.

    At the very least, they’d better not waste Li and Yeoh.

  • Ide Cyan

    So, is there any chance you might see “The Midnight Meat Train” before Lionsgate lets it vanish from the small number of theatres that will be playing it?

  • MaryAnn

    Joseph wrote:

    I’ve seen ads for Swing Vote all over the DC Metro system for months. Maybe they’re focusing their marketing on what they think would be interested regions, and NY isn’t one of them?

    Could be. Ads for the film only started showing up in Manhattan in the last couple of weeks.

    Sam wrote:

    It is getting good promotion on TV in AZ as well which one would not think would be the biggest market…

    The film is set in New Mexico, so perhaps they’re thinking there’s a regional tie-in.

    Ide Cyan wrote:

    is there any chance you might see “The Midnight Meat Train”

    I haven’t heard about screenings, so perhaps not. It’s not the kind of thing I’d go out of my way to catch at the multiplex after it opens. Not that I’m ruling it out, mind you…

  • Ide Cyan

    I’ve been following some of the discussion on the IMDB message board for “The Midnight Meat Train”, regarding its release in theatres, and it seems that Lionsgate is seriously trying to bury it. Apparently it’s going to play in obscure markets and discount theatres. So far I haven’t even been able to find out anything about it opening in Montréal, on regular screens. It had two very successful screenings at the Fantasia Festival, which is where I was able to see it, and I’ll be very disappointed if there’s no real theatrical release here, even if only for a single week.

  • Hdj

    The problem with Meat train is, It’s not the type of movies you want kids to see, or event hear about. if it does play in discount theaters , thats no help to me because I don’t have dollar theaters around here or Drive in’s . Although, My cable company provides me with a card that I can get in for free at select theaters on Tuesdays.

  • amanohyo

    I don’t mean to derail this tender meat train discussion (that’s right, double groan), but I just saw that Tropic Thunder got greenlighted. Woo Hoo! I was scared that RDJ wouldn’t be able to pull off the blackface material, but it must have worked.

  • Joy

    amanohyo,

    I saw Tropic Thunder last sunday in Dallas for a sneak preview. It is one of the funniest movies I have EVER seen. Everyone in the theatre was completely busting a gut….most people left the theatre in tears from laughing so hard. We just looked at each other and laughed at what we had seen. We laughed all the way home reciting our favorite lines. RDJr is phenomenal, Jack Black is funnier than I’ve seen him in a long while, and Ben Stiller is not annoying. FUNNYYYYYY

    I can’t wait for her review.
    Check out the link for a fictional website about Downey’s character in the film.

    Joy

  • Tonio said:

    And surely, we all have enough memories of the last Godzilla movie to know that Maria Bello doesn’t have what it takes to make up for a really bad script. Even if she is as easy on the eyes as Ms. Weisz.

    Tonio, Maria Bello wasn’t in Godzilla. That was Maria Pitillo.

  • MaryAnn

    Maria Bello was in *A History of Violence.* And *The Cooler.* And she was on *ER* for a while. She’s been in some crap movies, too (*Coyote Ugly,* for one), but she’s pretty much always awesome, even in the crap.

  • Maria was also damn good in Payback. She’s a consistently good actress who historically has fallen just a touch short of being an A-lister.

Pin It on Pinterest