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Old September 19 2012, 07:48 AM   #1038
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

138. The Tourist (D)
139. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (C+)
140. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (B)
141. Spies Like Us (D)
142. Mr. Mom (F)
143. Inside Man (B+)

Just spent a week on vacation, and polished off several movies on DVD. The Tourist was an empty shell of a movie. Johnny Depp sleep-walked through a script that plodded along with multiple cliches until it culminated in an audience-insulting twist. Not sure how the ending worked in the French original, but it marks a disastrous turn in a movie that is stupid without being much fun at all.

I also saw the first two Austin Powers films, the first of which I had never seen. The second film, I think, is the best -- although Fat Bastard is painful to watch, and the film belabors many jokes past the point of any amusement. Still, I think it's more disciplined than the first installment, which has a funny premise that is often unexploited and stops dead in its tracks constantly to repeat jokes only Mike Myers finds hilarious.

Spies Like Us (bundled with the Austin Powers films) was a total mess of a movie. Rarely funny, it reminds us that the time when Chevy Chase could open a movie was mercifully brief. John Landis' direction is dull (considering the number of cameos, it seems plausible that he was focused on getting as many friends in the picture rather than making a decent movie), and the script, which is credited to many hands (including co-star Dan Akroyd) is so lazy that it fails to even establish that the main characters are friends, let alone include a joke or two.

Mr. Mom is such a waste of talent I don't know where to begin. Then again, considering the script (by John Hughes), I'm sure most of the actors in blink-and-you'll miss it parts were happy that they didn't have to exert much effort for the money. The gender politics, given the premise (dad has to be a homemaker and mom has to work -- the horror) are rather outdated. Even in 1983 I suspect many found it backwards by at least a couple of decades.

Then there's Inside Man, a bank heist movie that holds up, for the most part. It relies on the police being a little bit lazy after the heist is over, I think, but not too lazy that it doesn't hold together. Thank god Spike Lee was never able to get a sequel off the ground, though. The film doesn't need one. Although far from his more politically-minded cinema of the 1980s and 90s, this is a thriller that (refreshingly) is able to engage with race and other issues that wouldn't come up in the hands of another filmmaker.

Theatres: 46
Home Video: 88+6
Computer: 9
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