About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Seen April 20, 2008, Sunday morning/afternoon at the AMC Empire, Auditorium #9. 1 Slithy Toad.

In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

And I guess even this occasionally funny but too often flat attempt at comedy might seem to be good, considering how dismal the movie choices have been in recent weeks. I'd like to like Street Kings, but the reviews have been so awful I can't bear to go and the 68% drop in the second office box office... Prom Night has some eye candy and probably isn't bad (there are some decent actors in the cast, even), but I'm not 16 any more and have seen this one before. There are so many things to like about the idea of Leatherheads, but again it just seems so mediocre from everything I've read that I couldn't bear to go. I even had a chance to see it on the mammoth Odeon Leicester Square in London, or on the biggest auditorium however big it might be at the Odeon Kensington, but when I didn't want to pay $7 to see in NYC the $30 or $20 version in London is not going to do it either.

So off out of desperation to see something, anything, and because my younger brother said he really liked, off I went to the 11:00 AMCinema showing this morning. And yeah, I got some laughs out of it. There's a really good fake orgasm. A nice dinner scene. And it's better than the 40 Year Old Virgin which I walked out of, but no Superbad. I rested my eyes a bit during the slow middle stretch, and when I stopped resting them I decided I didn't so much want to walk out but didn't want to make it the exclusive focus of my attention. I reached into my backpack, got out my NY Times Magazine, and found enough light to knock off the last corner of the main Sunday crossword and then start in on the cryptic.

The main problem I have with a lot of these Apatow movies, and which was avoided in Superbad, is the lack of heart. I like a good fake orgasm joke just as much as the next literary agent -- I'll have what she's having -- but I want to care about the people involved. I didn't care about anyone in this movie. The guy isn't likable except as a symbol for All Dropped Men Everywhere. Was I supposed to root for him to get back with his ex? Was I supposed to root for him to join up with Rachel? In both cases, Why? What did it matter? Part of me says I'm being too harsh on a movie that does at least have some good laughs and some imaginative moments. Yes, I need to give credit for doing the Dracula story by way of Avenue Q, but can I ignore the fact that the crossword puzzle seemed more interesting than the movie?

Here's hoping that Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay will be even half as good as its poster... Because I like going to movies, I hate it when there aren't any good ones.

I got my first glimpse of the coming attraction for The Incredible Hulk. Ed Norton? Robert Downey in Iron Man, and now Ed Norton in The Incredible Hulk?

I'm going to try and find time to do more posting over the next few days, though there's still a lot of stuff to do following on London Book Fair, and it's a short week in the office since I'm off on a long Malice Domestic weekend where Charlaine Harris is Guest of Honor. But I'd like to talk about my English Country Walk and maybe other things from the London trip, and I did get a request to post on audio rights so I should, and I want to say something about Sunday in the Park with George, and I can become Blogger #1,689.282 to write about the Amazon Kindle. I'll do my best.


Redzilla said...

My reaction to the second Harold & Kumar movie was the same: if only it's as good as the poster.

As for Sarah Marshall--is it the scourge of the friend of a friend phenomenon? Judd Apatow makes it big and gives a leg-up to his buddies, whether they deserve it or not.

And Incredible Hulk? Please, not even Ang Freaking Lee pulled that off. What makes these jehus think they can?

Lynxswift said...

I would very much like to hear about the Kindle. I'd especially like to know if it has a decent sci-fi/fantasy selection :).