Saturday, December 29, 2007

Avery's Reviews, No. 1

I couldn't think of anything wittier to call this post. I could have called it "Avery's Cinema Fest and Wii Video Game Review Spectacular, No. 1," but that's just a bit pretentious, don't you think? Like I assume you have nothing better to do than to waste your day reading long-ass titles of mediocre blog posts.

Now, if I were Dooce, I'd totally make you suffer through it. But Dooce I ain't, so you get the sucky short title.

Hey, you don't pay me enough to be witty anyhow, so you'll take what meager scraps I give you and you'll like 'em!

Moving on.

First, the movie reviews...

Ron and I got a chance before Christmas to take in a movie child-free. This may have skewed our opinions just a tad. Anything we can do child-free these days makes the thing we're doing seem exponentially more enjoyable. Take for instance:

  • Grocery shopping
    Like a hand-in-hand stroll down a fluorescent-lit garden path lined with Kraft Mac and Cheese trees and Palmolive bushes.

  • Oil change
    A veritable cornucopia of treasures in the form of outdated magazines, tepid waiting room coffee, and exchanges of sparkling repartee with total strangers equally mechanically-disinclined.

  • Root canal
    A carnival for your mouth!

Understanding this, you'll just have to take my word for it that "Walk Hard" was one fantastic movie!


I have admired John C. Reilly since I saw him in "Boogie Nights", but my admiration turned to true puffy heartedness with "Talladega Nights." While Will Ferrell may be the pinnacle ass clown of stupid-funny movies, "Walk Hard" is Reilly's chance to prove he's got the chops to rival the master. And prove it he does.

The movie, a spoof on "Walk the Line" (and "Ray" tangentially), stars Reilly as Dewey Cox, a Johnny Cash-esque music legend, following him from his tragic childhood through his rise to fame, and his eventual downfall, followed, of course, by his triumphant return to the stage. Guest stars abound, to hilarious effect, as only marginally disguised figures of rock n' roll history. (The bit with the Beatles has to be my favorite.)

The only thing I didn't like about the movie was that it ended too soon! (Well, that, and there was a little matter of Reilly's distracting cro-magnon ridge, which made him resemble one of the Cavemen during his hippie phase. But otherwise, it was all good!)

Why, even Ron gave it a glowing "It wasn't bad" review. And for him, that's saying something.

The next movie I saw was "Alvin and the Chipmunks" with Ethan.


As a kid movie, this one rated highly. Well, with my boy anyhow. You know, the one who licks windows in public places and kicks squirrels.

So, if you have one of those, then this movie may be right up your alley. Or if your child likes adorable talking CGI rodents, you may find it an okay way to waste some time. Just don't go into it expecting much for yourself. It's not Shrek.

There were adult-friendly elements to the movie that mostly fell flat. Though David Cross did a decent job of trying to liven up a wooden script, his normal Tobias Funke delivery was missing. And Jason Lee as Dave? Lint has more personality.

So, go for the kids. But if they're not pestering you, skip it.

And finally, Dapoppins and I took in a showing of "Sweeney Todd" yesterday afternoon.


And I promised her I wouldn't remark on her lateness, or her microscopically small bladder, so don't even think about asking! I'm not saying a word.

But I will tell you that the movie was great. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter did admirably well as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, and with Tim Burton at the helm, this particular adaptation was visually stunning, as to be expected.

Detractors of the movie have remarked on the amount of blood and gore. Well, duh, people. He's the Demon Barber of Fleet Street! He butchers people and makes them into meat pies. If you know nothing else about Sweeney Todd, at least wrap your mind around that.

And the blood didn't even resemble the real stuff. It was much brighter in color, and was the consistency of water. And it squirted a lot more than real blood does. Why, when I hack up my victims--

Oh, wait.


Moving on.

To the Wiiiiiiii!!!!!

For those of you lucky enough to own such a fine video gaming system, you already know the inherent joy that comes from said ownership--the hours of enjoyment for you and your whole family as you kick the crap out of each other in boxing, baseball, golf, tennis, and bowling. Yes, Wii Sports is a fine game.

Another fine game, in my humble and completely unbiased opinion, is Super Mario Galaxy.


That should come as no surprise. It was Yahoo's Game of the Year, and Action Adventure Game of the Year. And it's a rollicking good time!

Ethan especially likes the "multi-player function", but don't be duped into thinking that means you can play with two people at once. Only one person can play, but another person can point a second Wiimote at the screen and aid in capturing star bits. Which just happens to be perfect for us, since the game is way beyond Ethan's abilities just yet.

And Ron's, too, apparently, though he would like you all to know that he owned me at bowling.

And I maintain that my 187 was a respectable score, and he can bite me. Hard.

Anywho, I'm also enjoying my Zelda: Twilight Princess, as I knew I would. Any other Zeldaphiles in the house besides this guy?


Nice ears, dude.

Bet those get you all the chicks!


holly said...

i *love* child-free activities.
1) ikea shopping
2) getting petrol
3) going to the toilet
oh, i've said too much

what is it about men that they can't like a movie? they just acknowledge it doesn't suck. what is that about? does liking a movie challenge their manhood? sheesh. they'll watch any old pile of crap on tv, but movies? "oh, it wasn't the worst thing i've seen." no, that would be that thing you watched *all the way through* yesterday... i think it had zombies.

Natalie said...

We lurved Alvin. I lurved it because of my son though. He danced and laughed his little bummy off the entire time. Yeah, Dave was pretty flat, I agree. His AAALLLLLVVVIIIIINNN! Fell really short.

We saw Enchanted over the holiday and we ALL enjoyed it immensley (Hi, I'm Natalie and I just crawled out from under a rock).

And that Wii. You are sooo rubbing that in my face. Although I'm not complaining, I had a fabulous Christmas.

Jo Beaufoix said...

We took Miss E to the cinema for the first time yesterday. We saw Bmovie. She loved it. I thought it was ok. I can't wait t see Sweeney Todd. I love Tim Burton films, especially when they contain Johnny Depp. Yum.

Meleah Rebeccah said...

I have admired John C. Reilly since I saw him in "Boogie Nights""

Oh ME TOO. I love that guy. I really do want to see this movie. Nice Review!

Ps... Personally, I think YOU are MUCH funnier and wittier than Dooce.

The Lazy Iguana said...

All my activities are child free. But sometimes people insist on lugging their kid around, and then they are always saying things to me like "don't say that word, kids are around". To which I say "you think your kid does not already know this word? I worked in a #@$#@$ public mother@#R#@ school #@#@$#@head! I have the stab wound to prove it".

And then they go away. And somehow it is "my fault". Whatever.

And public schools are not that bad. I was never stabbed, assaulted, or anything. I was a little concerned that my vehicle would be targeted, but it never was. And I worked at a school FAR AWAY from where I lived, so I would not get egged.

And I have a patented way of preventing people from lugging kids around. By executive man law, all activities begin AND end with a bar involved somehow. People do not want to take kids there, so problem solved.

I have been to conventions where people are dressed up like things. It is hard to not laugh. I mean I like video games and TV shows too - but you do not see me dressing up like Mr. Spock or and elf or whatever. I have also gone to movies where people are dressed up like things. Again - hard to not laugh.

This reminds me of a great "motivational" poster I have. Ill post it for Sunday.

Jill said...

'Tis the season to go to the cinema!!

We saw Alvin last week...the girls loved it as did we.

I LOVE Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, but I have a problem with gore-even fun looking bright red blood grosses me out-so I'll probably never see it.

As for the Wii-ours broke last week-3 weeks before the warranty expired-they're sending us a new one. I miss it's become a much loved member of the family!

Walk Hard looks like my kind of flick-we'll have to catch it next time we get a sitter.

Let's see - what else? (SO much to cover in this comment...) Yes, yes-activities I used to DREAD have taken on a new enjoyment level when I do them child-free. That includes running to the dry cleaner, paying bills, or the holy grail, food shopping. I always tell my husband that the degree of difficulty performing any of these tasks QUADRUPLES with a children present.

Callan said...

Good reviews. I'll definitely take them under consideration.

You're right about certain things being more enjoyable when the kids stay home. Years ago hubby and I were buying a used car, which is always big fun, and the salesman tried to get us to pay more than we were willing by giving us the "your time is worth money too" line. We told him this was like a date for us since the kids were with a babysitter. Of course, then he laughed and said, "Ah then you should be paying me for showing you such a good time."

On second thought some things suck with or without kids.

suchsimplepleasures said...

could you please explain...what is a "child free activity"?

dying to see sweeney todd! dying! love depp...i have to bring a towel with me, to wipe all the drool...even if he is full of white makeup and all murder-y and stuff...still smoking hot!

wii...great exercise. said...

howdy avery,
your kidless date activity bit cracked me up. thanks for the giggle, kathleen :)

clairec23 said...

I really badly desire a Wii but I've more chance of getting a child free grocery shopping extravaganza...

I want to see the chipmunks (cos I loved them when I was a kid) but the My Name is Earl dude puts me off bigtime. I donnae like him...

I don't think my son has licked a window (in public) yet but I'm sure he would kick a squirrel if he got close enough to one so maybe I should bring him!

terri said...

I loved Talladega Nights, so Walk Hard is definitely on my must-see list. Especially after this rave review!

I am still holding my ground against getting the Wii. With more than 60 PS2 games, we decided to just "get the kids" Guitar Hero III and I, I mean THEY, are having a blast with it.

And Johnny Depp.... YUM! Even as a murdering butcher, count me in.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I love Zelda! We got it here too, but as usual I will have to wait my turn, and by the time I actually get to play everyone will hang around telling me what to do. So annoying. Maybe that's why I like Guild Wars so much. I totally PWN my little nublets! ;-)

Emma Sometimes said...

Walk Hard looks pretty funny. Alvin and the Chipmunks looks good but Syndrome/Earl ordering around Alvin just is a stretch for me crazy. I don't like knife/blood movies. Ew. I think all horror should be removed from the planet. (but NOT Johnny Depp, oh, no...)

PS. She does have a tiny bladder doesn't she?

M@ said...

That zelda is a man?

Doozie said...


loveyh said...


I am rocking it--and I only have a lowly Gamecube. :) Enjoy the reviews, though.

4 days 'til I'm 30..6 days 'til PF Changs and drag queens!!

Mert said...

I have only seen Alvin with the kiddies unfortunately... it was bearable. ;)

dawn224 said...

I *just* got the Dewey Cox joke. I'm slow.