Tuesday, December 2, 2008


"Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them." -- Pauline Kael

If Kael had seen Timur Bekmembatov's insanely over the top but extremely entertaining action thriller WANTED, she'd probably appreciate it for what it is: great trash cinema. Mixing FIGHT CLUB, THE MATRIX, OFFICE SPACE, and Michael Bay into a blender, this bloody, action-packed blockbuster from last summer (a sequel is already being written) was one of the few hard-core, R-rated actioners of the year to have fun with the genre. Its story is so asinine, its action is so ludicrous, that I just couldn't help but enjoy myself on a purely carnal level of movie pleasure. A half-naked Angelina Jolie, lots of two-fisted, John Woo-style gun fights, and enough splashy action cinematography to choke a horse. What's not to love? It's not CITIZEN KANE, but for what it is, it really gets the job done.

Also on DVD today is the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy STEP BROTHERS, which I missed in the theaters last summer, and is arriving today via Netflix. Looking forward to checking it out. Also released is THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE, which I also missed this past summer, and I intend on renting later this week.


Joel said...

I think it's one of the best movies of the year. Blessedly R-rated, unadulterated fun, the most I've had at an action movie, since...well, I'm not sure. Seen it twice, and loved it even more the second time. Will probably make it on my Top Ten of the Year. Biggest surprise of the year, considering I hated the trailer.

Never saw "Step Brothers." Never really wanted to. You'll have to offer up at least a quick review of it. If you like it, I may check it out.

I think "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is the second most underrated movie of the year (next to "The Happening," of course :P). Really strong stuff. I did have a problem with the supporting characters, but other than that, I loved it and gave it ***1/2. Just don't think of the previous movie. It's nothing like that.

Actionman said...

I saw Wanted once in the theater and really enjoyed it. I'd give it ***1/2. It was derivative but very stylish. I am gonna pick the DVD up tonight hopefully.

Well...I loved the first X-Files movie...I take it you didn't? I am sort of bummed to not be getting an Alien-centric movie as I always found that the alien mythology was the heart of the show. And I must re-watch that first movie once a year; I think it's VERY underrated.

Looking forward to seeing this new one; any chance to hang out with Mulder and Scully is fine by me.

I will do a Step Brothers review in an upcoming DVD review piece; I tend to watch a few movies from Netflix and then do a bunch of mini-reviews.

I still have full reviews for Encounters at the End of the World and Synecedoche, NY coming up, though I need to see the latter again before writing a full critique.

Joel said...

No, I love the first film, as well. Just think of the non-mythology episodes when watching the sequel. The show is phenomenal, and the movies are horribly underrated.