Sunday, January 21, 2007

It will be awhile before I write a list of my favorite movies of 2006. I don't see so many movies in a year, and mostly it feels like an even dumber enterprise than a list of albums- There's not as much emotional encoding, stuff doesn't strike me as strongly.

It will take me awhile to get through all the movies I heard were good. Tomorrow I'll be seeing INLAND EMPIRE.

But I just saw Idiocracy, now that it's on DVD. And holy shit that was funny. Not so well-made a movie, with the voiceover going over things that could probably be really well-executed, but it works really better as a satire than Borat did, and it works better as science-fiction than Children Of Men. These are specific criteria, those movies work better as movies. Idiocracy might be better than Office Space, if only on an idea level since it's not as likable. But I liked it a lot, I thought it did the whole smart/dumb comedy really well. I like movies, I haven't seen that many that came out this year.

I know it's better than For Your Consideration, though. I laughed out loud exactly once at that movie, and that laugh was not as sustained as the ones in Idiocracy.

These are just comedies, I haven't even seen Talladega Nights or Jackass Number Two. I don't really expect I'd like the latter, but you know. Saying. But yeah, good comedy in 2006. I also really liked the "Middle America" episode of Wonder Showzen, which falls along similar lines to a lot of this stuff. (Not like other episodes of Wonder Showzen weren't really good, but in terms of contempt for a large swath of America, that one fits the trend.)

I also saw Michael Showalter's The Baxter, from 2005, which has a likable cast and is mildly funny and I think succeeds at what it wants to be, and what it wants to be is something I like. Different from these other stuff for being gentle and a romantic comedy and things like that. It's kind of weird/interesting in its sincerity as opposed to the absurdism of Stella (which is actually a minor character's name in this movie). At the same time, there's still this level of self-awareness and ridiculousness, which is both subtle and played kind of straight, but still- Michael Showalter majored in semiotics and a lot of the comedy in something like Wet Hot American Summer comes just from the presence of cliches. So, it's a weird movie, but it works because of how likable the cast is, and their ability to play both angles, so it just becomes this thing that very much is what it is. Partly it's an exercise. Some scenes don't make sense. But essentially it comes down to being a romantic comedy, but cast with people that a certain type of people like and find relatable so it works for this audience which is not Nora Ephron. Anyway, if you think you'd like it, you probably will.

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