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Micmacs (2010) – Jean Pierre-Jeunet (Amelie) returns from a prolonged directorial absence, 5 years, with this quirky piece of creative fluff.  Bazil (Dany Boon) looses his father in childhood to a landmine.  As an adult he suffers a bullet to the head during a criminal getaway.  It remains lodged in his head and could kill him at any moment.  One day he discovers that the makers of the landmine and the bullet are neighboring arms manufacturers, both run by vile, amoral business scumbags.  He sets out with a group of landfill living crusaders to turn the companies on each other in what is mostly a lighthearted revenge fable.  Jeunet’s innovative camera work and playful sense of fun work overtime here.  Boon has the clever physicality of Chaplin but only uses it in small doses.  It’s a fun lark of a movie but for Jeunet it feels like a minor work, something to get him back in the swing of things until a more ambitious project comes around.  Worth seeing though.

Collapse (2009) – Michael Ruppert stares into the camera and tells us that bad hasn’t even started yet.  Michael believes that the world as it currently functions is doomed.  And it’s not a matter religious fundamentalism or corrupt morality that will destroy us, its simple math, physics and time.  Nearly every single product produced uses oil in some form or fashion in its creation or transportation to market.  Oil is finite.  The moment of peak oil has passed.  It will run out sooner rather than later.  Once that happens, shit hits the fan on a scale that no one wants to imagine.  Hard logic to argue with.  Human ingenuity don’t fail us now.  If Ruppert is wrong we’ll go along on our road bump laden way and look back at him as just another roadside prophet preaching doomsday.  If Rupert is right start watching Mad Max movies for survival tips ASAP.  Ruppert’s best tip?  Buy organic seeds.

Machete (2010) – Here’s the problem making films rooted in the aesthetic of 70’s exploitation trash, they mostly suck and emulating them without the lens of reinterpretation, Tarantino, or parody, Black Dynamite, is a fool’s errand.  For every inspired chuckle or bit of lunacy that works there are miles of celluloid totaling scores of films that just sit there and bore you to death with their listless lack of talent.  Machete wants to be one of those movies and that’s what it is.  It’s a silly bit of garbage that thinks because it’s garbage that everything is fine.  But it’s not, it’s just garbage.  And it’s made by Robert Rodriguez who usually makes garbage anyway, but here he’s trying to make fun garbage but since he’s always trying to do that, and rarely succeeding, why would he succeed here?  Meat faced role player Danny Trejo finally gets his shot at leading a film but it was better as an idea than an actuality.  Trejo imparts very little charm or presence in a flatly written part that requires him to be stoic and stab people.  This opportunity for overcooked slaughtering of racist dirt bags and their immigrant victims gets boring fast.  In Grindhouse it worked great as a 2 minute gag preview, all those bits are here, but as a full blown movie it’s a chore.  It’s one note, overlong, intentionally but unamusingly stupid and it’s first 5 minutes are about all that’s worth watching.  For schlock fans only.

 

The A-Team (2010) – Misplaced nostalgia strikes again.  Bombastic and tiresome action rehash of semi-iconic 80’s TV show works hard but achieves little.  It’s almost a shame because the cast was game and there was something resembling chemistry between these guys.  Neeson, Cooper, Copley and the Ultimate Fighter guy all seem invested in this goofy shit.  A smartly written, less transparent film would’ve helped too.  A giggle sneaks through here and there but this ADD addled film is in a constant state of roid rage.  It’s a sense of impatience with itself and silly eagerness to blow shit up that keeps A-Team from being fun.

 

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