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Old July 23 2012, 11:16 PM   #864
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


110. Hotel for Dogs (C)
111. Election (B)


Hotel for Dogs: Ah, family entertainment, where teenage love is never sexual, kids can commit numerous crimes (theft, trespassing, even reckless endangerment) without repercussions, and a teacher and a social worker can afford to live in New York City, as well as buy and operate a hotel that appears to be free. The appeal here is with the animals, not the humans, and sequences that exclude the humans entirely (or simply make them the butt of jokes) are the best the film has to offer. And, Gods, do the Hollywood studios spend considerably less money on visual effects when it comes to this sort of thing? I've seen better looking work on Babylon 5.

Election: Don't be confused by Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon's presence in this movie -- this is a dark, cynical comedy, more so than Alexander Payne's later work. At times, it's surprising that a major studio (Paramount) backed the film, especially since the characters remain so utterly delusional throughout (four of them provide voice over illuminating their inner thoughts, which are often foolish). Even the epilogue, the result of testing and re-shoots, emphasizes this point, especially when it comes to Broderick's character. Visually, however, the movie is rather unappealing. No doubt this is partly the point, but I'd argue that the blandness of Omaha (where most of the film was shot) is to the film's detriment, and Payne doesn't provide the same level of editorial and photographic interest that he would later bring to a film like Sideways.

Theatres: 41
Home Video: 62 +2
Computer: 8
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