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[youtube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuE98oeL-e0]

Catfish (2010) – Is it a documentary or not?  That’s a question that hangs all over Catfish.  By most appearances it would seem like it has to be faked.  This documentation of a NY photographer who discovers that everything may not be square about the child prodigy painting his photographs has some probability issues which quickly led to claims that it’s a faux documentary, an accusation the filmmakers wouldn’t admit to or deny.  Even if it is all staged, the movie has a lot of interesting elements that warrant discussion.  It shows an audience how much can be accomplished in cinema with, what is for many, everyday technology.  This film has been made possible because of facebook, cell phones, hand held digital cameras, google maps, GPS, etc.  The technologically impaired may need tech subtitles to grasp what they’re looking at.  It is also an interesting look into the ease with which social media can be misused.  If you’ve ever told a lie over facebook and enjoyed the ramifications which rippled out because of it the people of Catfish will open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.  But if these factors don’t intrigue you then Catfish is just a small curiosity.  Despite the interesting subject and unique form of it, it’s a pretty minimal drama without a great deal of payoff.

[youtube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io7A7IwwOsU]

Gambit (1966) – An almost lost gem of the 60’s con/thief/heist/people stealing stuff genre.  If charming efforts like Charade, To Catch A Thief or the original Pink Panther are your style then Gambit is a winner.  Michael Caine plays a wanna be cat burglar who recruits Shirley McClain in his attempt to swindle an Arab billionaire out of his most prized possession.  He has a fool proof plan that would work to perfection, if only everyone did as exactly as he thinks they should.  The movie is a great example of a breezy, light weight genre that few people get right, or even try, in this day and age.  Look for a Coen Brother scripted remake to appear next year starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz.  If it’s half as good as this I’ll flip.  Gambit is only available via streaming on Amazon or to order directly from Universal Studios.

 

[youtube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf4oDjHUmkY]

Fast Five (2011) – Ridiculous, homoerotic silliness.  I think this may be the first time I’ve ever jumped into a franchsie 5 movies into its existence.  Not that that matters much.  The Furious franchise usual suspects run around in cars one more time to increasingly comical results.  I suspect the goofy nature of this series has been in place since the beginning but things are positively Loony Tunes for entry number five.  A bus flips over a car and doesn’t damage the car or the people in the bus.  Diesel and Walker drive a sports car off a 300 ft. cliff, land in the water with a Wile E. Coyote inspired splash and are better off than the coyote ever was.  The same duo use two muscle cars to drag a 3 ton safe through the streets of Rio De Janeiro.  They crash it into anything that can’t move and a few things that can but not a soul is injured, much less killed.  And then there’s The Rock.  If no actor has ever accurately portrayed roid rage on celluloid, it’s been done now.  Ripped and glistening as if he’s about to explode from all the HGH pulsating through his veins, The Rock rams through every scene like a pissed off linebacker sacking a helpless quarterback.  And putting Rock and Diesel in the same frame at the same time provides no end of hilarity.  Not since the Barbarian Brothers have two actors accounted for so much on screen testosterone.  I’m surprised the cameras didn’t explode filming the two of them.  As they gaze intensely at each other you’re left to ponder what’s going through their mind, “How much can you bench?” or “When can we turn off the camera and bench press each other?”

 


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