The Town

Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, was an unexpected delight- assured, authentic, and relatively taut. The plot, from Dennis "Boston is the new Purgatory" Lehane, got a little murky in the end; Ben's brother Casey and Amy Ryan had to work overtime to cover for weak performances elsewhere, but such flaws were easy to overlook after going in with one eyebrow raised skeptically.

Expectations for his sophomore effort, The Town then, were considerably higher- tempering them once again is his decision to take the lead in front of the camera as well. Despite quiet, solid work in Hollywoodland, State Of Play, and Extract his last leading role was in Jersey Girl, at the height of Bennifer-related inanity.

But he's more than up to the task- The Town trades some of Gone Baby Gone's atmospheric intensity for straightforward heist action, and Affleck himself plays a solid leading man, but is an even better casting agent- every supporting role is superbly cast and superbly inhabited.


The film starts with perhaps fancifully enhanced claims about Boston's Charlestown neighborhood producing more bank robbers per captia than anywhere else. That may not be true (at least since the Irish mob was gentrified out in the 90s), but The Town does an excellent job at drawing from the real-life close knit feel of the place to create a fictional, moody haven for thugs and hard-living wiseguys.

It's a different flavor than the Boston of Scorsese's The Departed (almost clinically austere in comparison) or the hidden malice lurking in Gone Baby Gone (which turns out to be a smokescreen). The cops in The Town's Charlestown turn their heads when the odds aren't in their favor, everyone (except Affleck's character) drinks and does oxy or coke. The cloudy sky rushes over the Bunker Hill Monument in time-lapse in two different shots- life goes on in twilight.

Piercing the clouds, and literally mentioning sunny days in key dialogue, is Rebecca Hall's love interest. She gives it her best, but the role isn't really there. Affleck's foursome of masked bank robbers takes her briefly hostage to begin the film, and the ensuing romance, unknowingly with one of her captors, never feels real enough to be worth the reveal we all know is coming. Hall's gift might be for wry understatement (like in Vicky Cristina Barcelona or Please Give), but I felt like she might have sold the melodrama of this part if it had more depth to it.

The time spent on the love interest, then, seems like the main culprit that deprives us of more time spent with Affleck's livewire best friend, an ex-convict brought to life beyond the cliche by Jeremy Renner.

Or perhaps we could have gotten more time with Jon Hamm's squinting, bluntly smug FBI-agent as he rapidly closes in. The "Mad Men" breakout star absolutely nails the one face-off he and Affleck have, and gains steam as the film goes on and we see he's just as unconcerned with the people that get in his way as any bank robber.

But if those characters seem underutilized, Chris Cooper's single scene as Affleck's incarcerated father and Blake Lively's handful of key moments as Affleck's former flame are perfectly paced and timed. Cooper's scene is almost a brief intermission, halfway through the film, that underplays a key plot element and leaves a realistic amount unspoken- Lively is perhaps the most memorable of the entire casy, if only because her raw performance is the least expected.

There's something unyieldingly linear about The Town that I admire the more I think about it. It ends with a minor flourish, but the majority of the screenplay establishes clear stakes, sets us dramatic revelations for the last third of the film (all of which are thankfully not overdone in the slightest), and then leaves the heavy lifting for the more-than-capable cast.

As perhaps unexpectedly autuer-like Affleck has been as a director so far, it helps that he started out as an internationally famous movie star- The Town boasts the same cinematographer (Robert Elswit) and editor (Dylan Tichenor) of P. T. Anderson's There Will Be Blood, Oscar nominees (with Elswit winning) for their work. (This after double winner John Toll lensed Gone Baby Gone). The result is a film seamless in aesthetic and pace, making the possibility of a Best Picture nomination seem less and less like a longshot.

In a slow September, it's easy to recommend an artful, gripping thriller like The Town.

IMDB #169 Star Trek

I would've sworn I'd covered last year's Star Trek reboot pretty thoroughly, but then I remembered it wasn't one of the Best Picture nominees for some unfathomable reason.

So strap in, hold on, for a thrill ride that takes the framework of a beloved cultural icon and makes it even better.

That's right, I boldly went there.

The Key Players:

J.J. Abrams is the superproducer and director who masterminded or co-masterminded awesome things like "LOST," "Alias," "Fringe," Cloverfield, Mission Impossible III and also "Felicity." Breaking his teeth as a screenwriter (Forever Young? Really?) and maturing as a tv producer, he's been on a course as a blockbuster visionary ever since writing and directing the "LOST" pilot (the most expensive pilot ever at the time) in 2004.

Leading men Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are probably most-associated with Star Trek this early in their careers- which is a relief for Pine (The Princess Diaries 2, Just My Luck), but a slap in the face to fans of Quinto's work on "Heroes."

So many, many other roles support these two: surely we could get to them all, but my favorites are Karl Urban's about-face into scene-stealing comedy from Lord Of The Rings seriousness and our old friend Simon Pegg from the third countdown entry.

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The Story:

A massive Romulan ship, captained by a crazy Romulan named Nero (Bana), comes seemingly out of nowhere and attacks the USS Kelvin- in the fracas, the Kelvin's captain is killed, and George Kirk briefly takes command before evacuating the ship, setting a collision course to buy the escape shuttles time, and tearfully saying goodbye over the ship's comm to his wife and newborn son.

Some years later, we see that son, young James Tiberius Kirk, steal his stepfather's car and drive it off a cliff as he jumps out- we also see a young Spock on planet Vulcan, struggling with his half-human, half Vulcan heritage. Some years even later than that they both join Starfleet as young adults, Kirk (Pine) because he was tired of back-country bar brawling and Spock (Quinto) out of a seemingly knee-jerk response to the prejudice of the Vulcan Science Academy.

Eventually, Spock graduates with honors and serves as an instructor or TA or something and accuses Cadet Kirk of cheating on a test simulation. The hearing is interrupted by news of an attack on Vulcan, and everyone rushes off to man the new fleet of ships (the rest of the Federation is busy in the Laurentian system, which must be super far away because it only takes three minutes to get to Vulcan at warp).

Adventures and peril follow, during which each of the characters we semi-recognize rise (Uhura, McCoy, Sulu, Checkov, Scott) take over their destined posts and save the day in various ways. Also there's another Spock floating around (Nimoy, of course) for some reason, and a giant ball of something called "red matter."

The Artistry:

A disclaimer: I would describe my appreciation for "Star Trek" the original series as 'casually enthusiastic' at best- I mean, I love the premise, the characters, and so forth, but I can't say I have the whole thing memorized, and I wouldn't defend the stodgy pacing and Shatner's scenery-chewing to someone without the patience for them.

To me, it's always been a relic of another time- I was more into the "Star Trek"s that were on tv during my youth, the later years of "The Next Generation" and the heyday of "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager." But for all that the loss of a sense of philosophical trappings and parlimentary debate to the film reboot doesn't pain me in the slightest.

I wrote here about how great I thought the film was (and here and there about its technical merits during the 2010 Oscarthon), but to sum up: great script, great performances, excellently made (lens flares aside), shoddy science but all-around fun.

Here's the paradox: I would have like it probably less if I cared a whole bunch about the original series, but I also would have liked it less if I knew nothing about it at all.

Why? Because nostalgia is a tricky thing- an ideal of the past, not the thing itself- and considering it went off the air before I was born, "nostalgia" might even be too strong a word. All Star Trek had to do for me then, was remind of the parts I enjoyed of TOS without replicating it exactly. That would be the camraderie between Kirk, McCoy and Spock (check), the basic concept and design of the Federation (check), spaceships that fire space torpedoes at one another (check), and Leonard Nimoy (super-check!).

In a way I think it's partly an issue of ownership, of primacy. There are these big, pop-culture institutions that exist before we all come along and participate in the culture, and even now that we can watch them all on DVD it's hard to feel included- "Star Trek" is great, but it was never meant for me to see in the first place.

And then these remakes come along, and as disheartening as the paucity of originality in Hollywood can be, it helps these institutions belong to entire new generations. This could be why I'll argue for Batman Begins over Batman every time, or the new "Battlestar Galactica" over the old one.

You still have to make a good film- the Transformers and G. I. Joes of the world can testify to that. But J.J. Abrams, with his madcap camera shaking, lens flaring, witty sensibility fully intact, has managed to create something new and old all at once, and I can't wait for the sequel.


Does it matter how we get there? Kirk and Spock end up as Captain and First Officer of the Enterprise after saving Earth (but not Vulcan, which implodes on itself), Nero explodes, the stage is set for the vague, open-ended mission "To explore strange new worlds" and so on.

Hopefully Abrams and co. will take this as a cue to make new stuff up for the sequels instead of rehashing old villains like Khan and so forth.


Overall: Should It Be Higher, Lower?

Well, I did see it three times in the theater. Let's nudge it up a bit. I just realized that when I'm finally done I should re-rank the 250 films I cover, a project that will be nearly as impossible as watching them all (except that Crash will be last).

The Legacy:

It was the first Star Trek film to win an Oscar (for makeup), the highest grossing ever, and the launch of a new franchise. Not too shabby so far.

The Best Video Of It On YouTube:

This clip (where Kirk goads Spock into attacking him) wins solely because the poster titled in "Erotic Asphyxiation IN SPACE."

Leftover Thoughts:

-Michael Giacchino's score here is so great I'm thinking about tagging his name in all of the countdown entries in which he appears.

-Can you do the "live long and prosper" hand thing? If not I feel for you, because it's awesome.

-I'm working on a screenplay for a kids' movie called Ouroboros about a snake that comically always mistakes its own tail for food.

Coming Up...

168. The Wages Of Fear

167. Ratatouilee

166. Dog Day Afternoon

IMDB #170 V For Vendetta

A vague idea: when viewing violent, voluminous vestiges of visual vehicles of verbalization (as V for Vendetta, a virulent volume of vastly vivacious verse, verily), the vein of vindictive votaries may veer to volatile vandilizations void of valid and virtuous veneration of the value therein vaunted.

Ahem. What I mean is, fans of Alan Moore (and David Lloyd)'s landmark graphic novel may be unfairly prone to dislike its 2006 film adaptation before even seeing it. And it's perfectly understandable, given Moore's long history of getting butchered by Hollywood, which reached a nadir with The Leage Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

But we're here to review the film, on its own, with a gracious acknowledgment that Alan Moore deserves nearly all of the credit for the great parts of the film and none of the blame for the not-as-great parts. Okay? Let's dive in, then.

The Key Players:

Director James McTeigue has gone on to direct Ninja Assasin, and could have a long, fruitful career in his own right. But I'd bet when you search him on imdb his pull credit will always be "Second Unit Director, The Matrix," as it is right now. Because V for Vendetta is really a product of co-writers and co-producers Andy and Larry Wachowski, masterminds of The Matrix trilogy and the bonkers Speed Racer live adaptation.

Our cast, it is super-loaded: Natalie Portman had by last decade parlayed her dramatic indie chops and Star Wars prequel overexposure into A-list star status. Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, the Lord of the Rings series) was brought in to replace James Purefoy as the title character.

In support are Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, The End of the Affair), John Hurt (1984, Alien), and Stephen Fry (Gosford Park, Jeeves!).

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The Story:

SO much going on here: it's the near future, totalitarian England (that seems to happen a lot, huh?)- a despot named Adam Sutler (Hurt) has come to power, riding a wave of paranoia and fear after a terrorist biological attack.

Evey Hammond (Portman) heads out after curfew, only to be accosted by sleazy, corrupt "Fingermen" (like the gestapo)- she's saved by a cloaked, Guy Fawkes-masked, seemingly super-strong man who introduces himself as only 'V' (Weaving), who invites her to see a concert with him.

That concert turns out to be the 1812 Overture, hacked into the police loudspeakers, as a backdrop to his detonation of the Old Bailey (part of the Crown Court buildings), right at the stroke of midnight, turning the calendar to November 5th (Guy Fawkes' day).

The next day, an irate Sutler berates his underlings (ironically via huge, 1984-style tv screen), including his right hand man Creedy and Chief Police Inspector Finch (Rea), and promises are made to capture the terrorist immediately, and the girl who was with him.

Finch follows a lead on said girl to Evey's place of employment, the British Television Network where she's a PA. Just as the news crews are busy proclaiming last night's explosion a "planned demolition," V shows up with a bomb strapped to his chest, hijacks the signal, and sends out a message eloquently decrying the government, the apathy and fear that led to their power, and exhorting one and all to show up at Paliament one year hence, when he'll blow that up too.

Evey sees V nearly caught during his escape (as they were already coincidentally there, looking for her), and maces a policeman to help him, getting knocked on the head for her trouble. V takes her to his lair, to spare her the secret prison route of Creedy's secret police.

Then we see V sneak in to the home of "The Voice of London," Bill O'Reilly-like pundit Lewis Prothero, and kill him- Evey, revealing her parents' abduction and deaths at the regime's hands, promises to help him kill another important party member, a pedophile priest, but she tries to warn the man and runs away, frightened of V's murder-spree.

V also kills (more humanely) a Dr. Surridge, and at this point we realize V is killing not just important regime members, but people who held him captive many years before at Larkhill Detention Center, where the party performed awful genetic experiments on "undesirables" killing all but the man in the cell with Roman Numeral V on the door, who was transformed as a result.

Evey meanwhile, goes to the home of Gordon (Fry), a tv comedian (what a stretch) and her friend. He's recently been emboldened by V's actions, and stages a skit mocking Chancellor Sutler on his latest show- for which he is hooded and taken away, of course. Evey tries to sneak out a window, but is snatched as well.

She's tossed in a cell, her head is shaved, she's tortured and questioned- but will she cooperate and give them V's location? The shadowy interrogator promises her that's all they want, and she'll be free. And why do all of Finch's superior's want him to stop looking into Larkhill and V's past, once he realizes the pattern of those getting murdered?

The Artistry:

V For Vendetta had a couple different crosses to bear, so to speak- both in their way impossible ones. There's the Alan Moore contingent, a bitter, frothing, reclusive mass that had been burned a few times and were pessimists by nature, as well as The Matrix fans, the die-hards that shook their heads and got into the sequels, and the die-softers that could still get pumped about a Wachowski project that they didn't write themselves.

Would their new project, rife with many of the same dystopian themes, reclaim that Matrix magic without turning Moore's beloved think-piece into a prolonged music video?

Turns out more yes than no, even if Moore and many of his fans disagree. Certain subplots were logically removed, and the focus shifted slightly, but the result is a rollicking fable on its own merits.

There's an action scene very, very late that lusicrous slow-mo nonsense, as jarringly out of place as the "bullet time" scene in The Matrix was breathtaking and innovative, but otherwise the filmmakers show some restraint and focus on the performances.

Weaving's jovial, theatrical turn (perhaps mostly in the ADR booth) creates a memorable character without a face to remember. Hurt's few scenes are all memorable bombastic scenery-chewing. Portman's early innocence is a little forced to me (though her accent was fine to my American ears), but I warmed to her sincerity as the film went on- and the role of audience cipher is always a little thankless.

The MVP is really Stephen Rea, though, at his weary, doleful, Stephen-Rea-iest best. He mopes from point to point, and underplays the reactions to the conspiracy he uncovers quite well.

In fact, the biggest thing I miss from the graphic novel is a scene where his character, equally reserved, goes to the ruins of Larkhill and trips on acid until he has a revelation- Rea takes the same trip and has a much milder revelation, but apparently sober.

Otherwise mostly everything went right- V For Vendetta clocks in at a snappy 2:10, especially for all of the exposition it has to dole out the entire time. The colors are muted, the nostalgic fancies of V are all there.

The film's commitment to general theatricality is perhaps what make it worth reviewing. Witness the insane, not-Alan-Moore's-at-all monologue by which V introduces himself (as parodied above). Or the glossy, dreamlike reading of the prison-cell note.

Yes, the film changes from a morally ambigous study of anarchism vs. facism to a liberal freedom fighter's quest to topple ultra-conserativism (still sorta facist, though), and its even brief couching of the origins of the conflict in terms of American wars makes it more of an American fable. Well...I'm an American liberal, so tough.


Evey finds a note, from a fellow prisoner named Valerie who had been rounded up as a homosexual, and the story of her life gives Evey the courage to defy her inquisitor and accept that she'll be killed. At which point he tells her she's free to go. So she walks out of her cell... into V's home. Turns out he's been torturing her, to teach her to live without fear.

She's enraged, but also emboldened by the ordeal, and decides to leave. V is sad, and asks that she come back before Nov. 5th, once more.

Finch eventually discovers that the government itself engineered the bioattack that led to their takeover (gasp!), but also that his informant was V. So who knows? (except that we know). V strikes a deal with Creevey to hand himself over in exchange for the life of Sutler (this is a suprisingly easy deal to broker.

The day arrives, and Creedy delivers- Sutler gets one in the head. Then a whole group of soldiers take a whole bunch of shots at V, but he's still standing, and kills them with knives in that nut-bonkers, indulgent sequence, and Creedy as well. That's why you don't make deals with people in masks, Creedy.

V stumbles back to his train full of explosives, says goodbye to Evey, who earlier came to see him off as promised, and dies. Finch arrives (he had a hunch about it, or something), but Evey stares him down and flips the train on to head it toward Parliament.

Which then explodes, and the people all takes off their Guy Fawkes masks (V sent them to everyone in the mail) and watch the fireworks, unsure of what awaits them tomorrow.


Overall: Should It Be Higher, Lower?

Maybe a little lower? It's super-fun, but I don't know if it's top 200 material.

The Legacy:

A decent-enough box office return and positive reviews will suffice for now. The real legacy- it's the best Alan Moore adaptation to date, and for all the things different from the source, it's more than made up for it in the extra sales thereby generated. The flashy, worse-every-time-I-watch-it Watchmen can't even come close, you ask me.

The Best Video Of It On YouTube:

The so-cheesy-it's-fun alliterative speech, kinetic-typography-style!

Leftover Thoughts:

-Neil Gaiman has a pretty good theory about how the excreable LoXG adaptation is really the best thing to happen to comic book movies, since all the reviews (and the consensus) was "ruins a great comic," and helped us take it for granted that comics can be great literature that films can then ruin.

-The Wikipedia article on the Wachowski brothers REFERENCES ITSELF WHAT? Also both imdb and Wikipedia are rife with the seemingly unconfirmed theory that Larry Wachowski has undergone a sex change operation and is now known as Lana, to the point that both names are changed in the user-edited databases.

-Hey it's Patrick from "Coupling"! Neat. I heard that Jeff is in Prince of Persia and just the thought of taking him seriously in an action movie cracked me up.

-If I ever have a mansion (or a lair), The Shadow Gallery would be a pretty good name.

Coming Up...

169. Star Trek

168. The Wages of Fear

167. Ratatouille

Too Good Not To Share

At the library where I work, a lady was checking out The Transporter. She asked if we had the sequels, but we just at The Transporter 3, not 2. She thought about it and asked me, earnestly:

"Do you think I'll be able to understand what's going on?"

To which I replied: "You mean... transporting? I think you'll be okay."

I left a voicemail for Dave, proud owner of all three Transporters, and got this email the next day:


Here's what I would have told that woman...

Well, "The Transporter 2" is a bit sleeker than its predecesor. Louis Leterrier assumes full control of the film, as opposed to sharing the helm with Cory Yuen on the first film. The second film picks up in a new, unexpected locale: Miami, Florida. Frank Martin has now taken a position as a transporter... Of children. He serves as the personal chaffeur and Dr. Ruth for the Billings Family. Jefferson Billings, as portrayed by the Golden Globe-nominated, Chute defeating, and WNBA fan Matthew Modine, is the family patriarch who serves as the director the National Drug Control Policy and is hell-bent on cleaning up the country's drug lords. How one becomes a director of a policy remains to be seen. Gianni Chellini happens to be Miami's most nefarious drug lord. Chellini is played by Italy's own Allessandro Gassman, who's film credits include "Windsurf" and "Big Deal After 20 Years," dispatches his henchwoman, the sultry Lola. Lola, not Russian in the slightest attempts to kidnap the Billings' son at a doctor's appointment Martin has taken him to. A wild shoot-out ensues, with Martin blowing up the office with an oxygen tank. Lola then intercepts Martin, and young Jack Billings, at the entrance to the Billings' estate. Lola forces her way into the vehicle and a wild chase ensues. To sum the chase best, Martin drives his Audi A8 W12 off of a parking garage rooftop into another building that is under construction. Obviously, the special effects make this sequence completely believable. Martin is then taken for a face-to-face meeting with Gianni. While meeting at Gianni's warehouse, Gianni kidnaps Jack and Martin's car is booby-trapped with bomb under the carriage. Martin notices the bomb via a puddle and proceeds to flip the car over, and catch the bomb on a crane hook. However, the Audi A8 W12 is ruined from the impact on the ground. Lola and Gianni have announced their demands and receive payment for the safe return of fair Jack. Unknown to the Billings family and the local authorities, Jack has been infected with a lethal virus that will kill anyone who comes into contact with it within 48 hours. Martin is not happy or amused by this. Martin takes matters into his own hands. Many Russians die because they have a deal with Italian drug lords that work in cooperation with Colombian suppliers. Martin fights a very large man for mild comic relief. Martin winds up with some of the all important antidote and delivers a vial to cure ailing Jack. Martin goes to Gianni's home and fights off numerous henchmen. Finally, preparing to battle Gianni, Lola steps in. A struggle ensues and Lola ends up as a part of an art piece in the living room. Martin then steals Gianni's Ferrari and chases down an airplane. Once aboard, Martin does two things: Displays his British hospitality and KILLS! The plane crashes and an underwater battle ensues. Martin incapacitates Gianni by crushing his spine with his elbow. The antidote is then synthesized from Gianni's blood to cure all the world's problems. I am leaving out the intricate subplot surrounding Gianni's sexuality, the arrival and importance of Tarconi's dinner, and the influence of French New Wave Cinema upon Leterrier's vision. I would say that it is utterly pivotal that you watch this movie to fully understand the multiple storylines that make up what is often described as the greatest action movie trilogy that stars Jason Statham of all-time."

August In Actual Movie Taglines

The Other Guys

Actual tagline: When the top cops are busy...our only hope is... The Other Guys.

As far as Using The Title In A Sentence goes, it could be a lot worse. Though after seeing it I can tell you that the 'top cops' are hardly in the film any longer than they're in the trailer.

Step Up 3-D

Actual tagline: Two Worlds. One Dream.

OR: Take the biggest step of all in 3D

I would have extrapolated that first one much more, but in ascending order: "one Dream. Two Worlds. Three Dimensions. Eight Dollars Extra."

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Eat, Pray, Love

Actual tagline: Let Yourself Go This August

I'm sure they mean it spiritually and all, but aren't they really just saying "let yourself go TO THE THEATER AND PAY FOR THIS"? Look how the 'GO' is in a bigger font and all.

Also can't agree more with Nathan Heller of Slate regarding the lack of commas on the poster: "Eat Pray Love is not a title. It's a random and nonsensical jumble of words. It is a score card in the most boring game of Scrabble imaginable."

The Expendables

Actual tagline: Choose your weapon.

OR: Heroes today. Legends forever.

OR: Semper Fight.

Could these vary any more in quality? From the decently intriguing "Choose your weapon," which underscores both that it's an action movie and that it has many, many stars, to the cheeseball second, to the awful pun on "semper fi(delis)." Which means "always faithful" and is about loyalty, not fighting.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Actual tagline: An epic of epic epicness.

OR: Get the hot girl. Defeat her evil exes. Hit love where it hurts.

Blah on the second one, hooray for the very internet-friendly first one. And what a great film! It doesn't even matter that it tanked at the box office, because it didn't need to do well enough for a sequel (unlike, say, Serenity or something). Plus now it won't be overexposed and annoying. It's a win for everyone but Universal!

Vampires Suck

Actual tagline: Some sagas just won't die.

OR: From the guys who couldn't sit through another vampire movie!

As many problems as there are with the 'Twilight Saga,' I would much, much, much rather that the more informal saga of Friedberg and Seltzer's "_____ Movie" parodies (though lately they've moved on to actual titles, perhaps to avoid brand recognition) would die.

I realized that I wouldn't feel sad at all if Friedberg and Seltzer themselves died in a tragic auto accident (or, in fitting with their oeuvre, a tragic movie-prop-feces-related accident or something). Not one iota. Even if Uwe Boll died, I'd be kind of like "Aw, he really believed in what he was doing." Not these dudes.

The second tag even makes them the ones seemingly victimized by bad films. Oh you just couldn't sit through another one, could you? Boo hoo.

Nanny McPhee Returns

Actual tagline: You'll Believe That Pigs Can Fly!

OR: Who's Your Nanny?

Never saw the first one, no interest in this one. But if you told me there was a movie written by and starring Emma Thompson (who has an Oscar in each regard), directed by someone (Susanna White) that directed six episodes of "Bleak House" and four of "Generation Kill," I would probably sign up without knowing anything else and be pretty surprised.

Piranha 3D

Actual tagline: There's Something in the Water

OR: This Summer 3D Shows Its Teeth

The internets tell me that the French poster had the much more apt "Sea, Sex and Blood" tagline, much better than the bland American examples (Water, Teeth, we get it). I actually saw Piranha 3-D and I would say it was kinda dissapointing, but there were piranhas, and they were in 3-D. So it pretty much delivers.

The Switch

Actual tagline: The most unexpected comedy ever conceived.

If you're referring to a Jeffrey Eugenides short story somehow becoming an obviously bland and toothless romantic comedy, then that is pretty unexpected, yeah.

Lottery Ticket

Actual tagline: Winning is just the beginning. Surviving is another story.

So... surviving is 'another story' in that it.... isn't the beginning? I guess that makes sense?

Normally the phrase goes "[SOMETHING] is easy, [SOME OTHER THING] is another story." They kind of tried to fir a square peg in a round hole here.

The Last Exorcism

Actual tagline: Believe In Him.

Him who? Based on the poster it's a tossup between Jesus and Eli Roth. I dislike horror in general, and I especially dislike this recent spate of horror films that take skeptics who have lost their faith and then punish them with real supernatural religious voodoo (The Reaping, The Excorcism of Emily Rose, this thing).


Actual tagline: Who's Taking Who?

OR: Everyone's after something.

I believe it's "Who's Taking Whom?"

Fun Fact: I saw a trailer for Takers this spring when I randomly saw The Losers- as that film also starred Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana, and a generic prettyboy (Chris Evans and Paul Walker may in fact be the same person) I was briefly under the impression that either they ran the trailer for the movie I was about to see, or that I was in the wrong theater entirely.

Wasn't that fun? Coming soon: September! Maybe all at once I dunno!

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