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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#1,368: Burn After Reading

Say what you will about the Coen Bros., but I really like their nihilistic streak as of late. I didn't like this as much as No Country for Old Men, but for two movies in a row by people I thought I didn't like, it's almost enough to make me want to go back and check out some of their older movies again, in case I'm the one that changed. I did change my location: I'm in Cleveland for a few weeks. It's a winter wonderland!

Other movies I've seen lately:

Notes from The Day the Earth Stood Still - seen under some delightfully bad projection ("It's okay Bill, just make sure most of the image is actually on the screen!"). - The helicopters looked weird at all times, but I wonder why you'd assemble a team of the world's finest scientists and then put them in the air at the expected blast zone. - There was an 800 number on the screen that I didn't quite catch - The US Dept. of Defense is still using a "mainframe?" Really? Still? - obligatory christ pose - stolen clerks gag - running from the bugs at the end made no attempt to make sense - The big thing here was that 10-15 minutes in I was genuinely wondering when Will Smith was going to show up, and then the movie has his kid in it, talking about how his dad would be fighting the aliens, except that he's dead. It seems that the entire movie was kind of an elaborate meta joke. - Keanu got to do his matrix birthing scene again, but I think Norm MacDonald would have been as good or better as Klaatu.

Punisher: War Zone - This was an absolute cartoon. Even the kills weren't particularly interesting or exciting, might as well have been video game footage, except that they lose points for recreating a move from Boondock Saints of all things. Luckily, I mixed up the times on a trip theater hopping, so I walked out around the time the Punisher was punching his wife's grave in favor of...

Bolt! In 3D! - I do like the 3D in a movie. This one was a bit too long and repetitive, I say. No Meet the Robinsons here. The show-in-the-show scenes were pretty great. Weird that they just lifted the goodfeathers wholesale though. Overall, I liked it, but I would have rather seen the movie that Lilo & Stitch director Chris Sanders was going to make.

The Visitor - This movie offers the message that Yes Man seems to offer, and I'm sure it does a better job of it. It could have ended about 20 minutes sooner with no distinguishable difference to the outcome.

Stuck - For an accomplished director and lead actress, this was surprisingly amateurish. Bleah.

The Mist - I expected to dislike this one. Heard bad things, and the opening was a little Happening-like. But then it was quite good. They just kept doing things I liked. Right down to the ending. Well done.

Ghost Town - First time I've seen Ricky Gervais not playing Ricky Gervais. Few directorial things I thought were neat, too. And featuring Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller's pal Cameron) in a new spin on the role of Ghost Dad! And (highlight to read spoiler:) a lot of people getting hit by busses, which I always love to see in a movie.

So...5 for 8. That's pretty good. According to IMDB, I've seen about 40 movies released in 2008, but I don't know that I've seen enough that I liked to make a top 10 for the year. I guess I should actually see some of the movies topping everyone else's lists so I can like 'em too.

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