I awoke this morning to a pair of squirrels making love in a tree right outside my window. Good morning, squirrels! Hey, I have a question about squirrels. I'm familiar with roadkill squirrels, but what happens when squirrels just die of natural causes? There are so many squirrels around. But where are all the squirrel corpses? Funny business, is alls I'm saying.
There are a lot of things opening this week, none of which are about squirrels:
Oliver Stone's W. takes on our sitting president--ballsy move, boring movie. Eli Sanders: "It's hard to say for sure how liberals, who are certainly Stone's intended audience, will react to this movie. A lot of them probably can't get enough of seeing Bush mocked and deconstructed, and will therefore love this. But a good number of them, one suspects, will be bored—they'll go in wanting a new, revelatory way of seeing the president and come out having had a few good chuckles amid one long, familiar flashback that they're very ready not to have happen again."
Disney pretends to make a documentary, calls it Morning Light. I do not recommend it: "Morning Light, a dumb vanity project from aging sailboat enthusiast Roy Disney, is a bland bundle of innocuously fabricated truth: Roy Disney buys fancy sailboat. Roy Disney recruits attractive Young People™ to pilot said boat. Young People™ recite scripted monologues about sailing over pretty sailing montages. Sailboat enters famous sailboat race. After much Togetherness™ and Lesson-Learning-At-Sea™, Young People™ almost win. Young People™'s lives will never be the same."
David Schmader on Sex Drive, the illegitimate grandson of Porky's: "In an inspired move, Sex Drive's teenybopper cocksman is played by a schlub—Clark Duke, a doughy, cute young actor whose dorky exterior only makes his sexual cockiness that much funnier. As the film makes its way through its preordained paces—cussing babies take a virginity-vanquishing road trip, trouble ensues—Duke's studly schlub manages to keep the proceedings mildly fresh. If a mildly fresh teen-sex comedy is what you're after, here it is."
And Paul Constant has very little love for Barry Levinson's latest Hollywood satire, What Just Happened?: "The worst sin of the movie is that, purgatory-like, it just doesn't end; there is no closure, and nothing gets any better or worse. If you have no taste for Hollywood movies about Hollywood movies, you should stay as far away from this movie as you possibly can. If you like good Hollywood insider movies like The Player and Levinson's own Wag the Dog, you should stay as far away from this movie as you possibly can."
Schmader breaks down the best and less-than-best of the lightly horror-themed Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival: "Hidden within the hit-and-miss horror is an impressive collection of gay documentaries, by which I mean documentaries about gay people—musicians, artists, writers, porn stars, drag queens, and activists—which add up to a fascinating minifest of queer life stories you won't see anywhere else." Complete schedule here.
PLUS! I deliver my most inane column yet, on the "history" of talking dogs.
In Limited Runs: Lucky for you, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story is still playing at Central Cinema. Go see it! There's lots of classic horror/sci-fi/thrills at the Grand Illusion, including Invasion of the Body Snatchers (pods!), They Live (Rowdy!), and Galaxy of Terror (worm rape!). SIFF Cinema has the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival doc Jazz on a Summer's Day (Dave Segal: "Besides the excellent performances by Thelonious Monk Trio, Jimmy Giuffre 3, Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Chico Hamilton Quintet, and others, it’s interesting to see so many smart-looking black and white jazz fans harmoniously digging the scene"). At the Frye, film critic Robert Horton gives a talk on Alexandria...Why? and the Egyptian late-night is Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
As always, you can find our complete Movie Times here. Happy weekend!