Monday, March 29, 2004


THE LADYKILLERS: Joel and Ethan Coen proved mortal last year with the release of INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, which was obviously the movie they really didn't want to make under normal circumstances. Here is a fine return to form, although not close to the highs of FARGO or THE BIG LEBOWSKI set 6 and 7 years ago. Tom Hanks, in I daresay his most assured comedic performance (although not the crazy, manic, MONEY PIT and SPLASH Hanks that we grew to love in the 80's), guides a series of insanely different criminal characters into the heist of a casino vault, one that can be reached by digging through an old woman's root cellar. Irma P. Hall plays the religious, stern old woman to perfection. Marlon Wayans, a truly offbeat casting choice for the Coens, is pretty damn funny. All of the characters have their moments, but the low point for the Coens comes when they have a character with Irritated Bowel Syndrome. I never thought they'd stoop to those kind of jokes, and it was already mined for comedy in ALONG CAME POLLY (which I didn't see, but the trailers showed enough). All-in-all, a fine movie though.

SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED: Jonathan may remember when we watched the first installment of this, and how unbearable I thought it was. Well, step into DOO 2 and find something that is slightly more unbearable. When you can't enjoy how hot Sarah Michelle Gellar is, or find Alicia Silverstone unattractive, or can't stop wondering how Freddie Prinze, Jr. is still allowed to have work, or find Matthew Lillard's impression of Shaggy to only be grating (when it was fairly amazing the 1st go-around), then the rest of the movie is really impossible to enjoy--which you wouldn't, because it's never a movie that pays off on its "ideas," they merely serve the function to advertise products or sell memorabilia to kids. Warner Brothers has become the biggest sham of a studio in this regard--almost all of their franchise type pictures only serve this function, and who could blame them when they can make millions with it?


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