Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Trek Watch: Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

As we say good-bye to Leonard Nimoy, I wanted to give one of the Star Trek movies a whirl.  And Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home seemed a good choice.  It's lighter, was directed by Nimoy, and has a strong character thread for Spock.

just a couple of bros, trading colorful metaphors

I'm actually a fan of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, not the least because it truly felt like an episode of the original show taken to its logical extreme - exploration leading to realization of some greater truth about humanity, etc... And the direction by Robert Wise is impeccable.  I'm also a fan of Star Treks II and III, both great action movies, expanding on the ideas from the TV series, both the commentary of The Star Seeds and the pioneering science you'd see Kirk and Co coming upon from planet to planet, episode to episode.

Star Trek IV, of course, picks up the threads of II and III and completes a trilogy of related movies, sending the crew of the Enterprise home to face court-martial for the events of the prior two movies.  Spock has returned to life in the events of III, and keeps up a stoic as he finds his footing.  And, of course, the world will end if we don't travel back into the past, enjoy a Michelob and grab some humpback whales.  Returning to the roots of Trek, Star Trek IV sets up a conflict that can't be resolved with phasers or photon torpedoes, setting up what a wacky adventure for our faithful crew in the 1980's.

Of course, y'all don't need a plot synopsis of Star Trek IV.

And, of course, it's not like I haven't written about the movie before.

This movie marked another evolution in Spock's character - the movie where he fully accepts his human nature and the inherent illogic of humanity as part of his own nature.  His mother's reminder that his friends have substituted the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one" was ignored to save him, he in turn applies to the comatose Chekov.  And he embraces the human notion of "guessing" rather than working from facts and numbers.

It's not the A Plot of the movie, but it's interesting to see what must have been on the minds of Nimoy and Harve Bennett, who acted as story developers but also as Director and Producer, respectively (for you kids who weren't around yet, saving the whales was kind of a big thing back in the '80's).






Thursday, February 26, 2015

GUEST POST: AmyC talks "Fifty Shades, Forty-Three Dollars"

Editor's Note:  Every once in a great while, there's a particular need to bring in an expert here at The Signal Watch.  I posted on Fifty Shades of Grey on Monday, and mentioned I'd seen the movie with longtime pal, AmyC.  She was game, and I hadn't had opportunity to hang with her in a long time, so it seemed the ideal opportunity.  I want to thank Amy, because not only did she go to the movie, she brought a perspective to the whole event that made it all seem like less my usual descent into madness with a movie like Santa with Muscles, and, instead, she was a fantastic sounding board as we discussed "what does this movie mean?" en route and on the return trip from the movie.  

Without further ado, here's Amy's post...


Fifty Shades, Forty-three Dollars

Ever since The League pitched the idea of going to see Fifty Shades of Grey, I’ve been excited about going to see a movie that I would have otherwise done my level best to ignore, mostly because I think that bad movies transcend themselves when shared, and become transformed into good experiences through the alchemy of shared derision. I actually consider myself something of an aficionado of horrible movies, having snickered my way through The Room, Showgirls, Goblin 2, and various other legendarily bad pieces of dreck. And while I hadn’t managed to get through the book, despite a heroic effort on my part, I’d managed to absorb enough of the story indirectly to be dead-certain it was NOT going to be a good movie. Most of my exposure to the content was through YouTube videos featuring parody-readings of excerpts from the books.

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4

I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that I have spent a good portion of my professional life teaching classes about sexuality. Generally, most of my time was spent talking about sexually-transmitted infections, birth control, and the ins-and-outs of human reproductive anatomy, but I also took every chance I could get to talk to people about consent, the value and power of mutual pleasure, and respect for one’s self and the person or people one becomes intimate with throughout one’s life. I’ve also had the great privilege of helping some people deal with the aftermath of sexual assaults and abusive relationships, which has made me wary of how our culture portrays love and sexuality in our entertainment.

However, since I knew I was going to be seeing it with a friend, in a theater full of people that would mostly be sincere fans, instead of ignoring it or tut-tutting it, I started psyching myself up for seeing it by actively looking for information about tie-in (heh!) products and things that fans were hoping to see in the film. I got a good chuckle about the sex toys, lubricants, and various other odds and ends for sale at Target , and an actual belly laugh out of the existence of a Christian Grey teddy bear in a wee little grey suit, kitted out with a little Venetian mask and a tiny pair of handcuffs. I read a surprisingly thoughtful essay about the transition in the Anastasia character’s make-up and styling from the film’s makeup artist (the lip color gets darker throughout the film since it’s part of the book that Christian is fascinated by Anastasia’s lower lip) that accompanies a set of cosmetics assembled by a high-end cosmetic company Make-Up Forever that’s being sold through Sephora. There’s a lot of official product out there, and it’s fascinating in its variety and far-ranging price-points.



Monday, February 23, 2015

SW Watches: Fifty Shades of Grey (yes, really)

I hate to miss a bit of good, out-of-control cultural ephemera - especially when it is not aimed at me, and I do not understand it.  And in this manner, I joined forces with longtime pal AmyC, a person of great character whom I've known since 1993.*  Her post will go up soon, but is so different in tone, I thought I'd give y'all some breathing space between my comments and her own.

This post is going to contain some discussion of naughty adult things.  If the discussion of sex, movies, movie sex, awkward movie sex, light bondage and/ or things that I generally withhold from conversation at work, with my parents and/ or their pastor might bother you a bit, come back in a couple of days.  I'm sure we'll be back to talking about Superman again by then.



This discussion will be spoiler laden, which is not my usual SOP, but either you're going to see this movie or you won't, and to really discuss it, we kind of have to talk about it in less than elliptical terms.

Sci-Fi Watch: 2010 (1984)

While you chumps were all watching The Oscars, I managed to extend my Oscar-free streak to something like my 15th year* by watching the extraordinarily unnecessary follow-up to Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi opus, 2001: a Space Odyssey, the mostly ignored and relegated to condescension and jeers, 1984's 2010.



I vividly remember seeing the movie with The Admiral, who must have realized ten minutes into the movie I'd never seen 2001, because we hadn't even made it to the car in the parking lot before he kind of apologized.  But I was good.  I'd basically followed the movie, was pleased to see Roy Scheider in something, it contained spaceships and computers and danger and I felt like I was watching a movie geared at grown-ups and what was happening had not totally escaped me.  Honestly, it probably helped me better understand 2001 a few years later when I did watch it on VHS.

But watching the two movies on the same day, it's impossible not to note the tonal, narrative and other differences, and to see why Kubrick's movie - polarizing as it might be - is at least the one people remember and talk about.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Noir Watch: The Big Heat (1953)

I have to assume I've annoyed you people before by talking about the 1953 Fritz Lang directed noir, The Big Heat.  But, what's not to like?  Glenn Ford as a straight-and-narrow cop pushed too far, Lee Marvin as a semi-psychotic mob heavy, Gloria Grahame as...  Gloria Grahame, really (and what more do you need?).

The title does not refer to the lady depicted on the poster


Sci-Fi Sunday: Forbidden Planet and 2001: A Space Odyssey

It's Sci-Fi movie day on Turner Classic Movies, and I'm doing some encoding of home videos and watching of movies on cable.

I first saw Forbidden Planet during the Paramount Summer Film Series, probably around 97' or 98'.  With my buddy Matt, come to think of it.

None of this ever really happens in the movie, but, whatevs...

They tell me the movie is a sci-fi version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, but I have no idea.  I've never seen or read it.  But I have seen Forbidden Planet about seven or eight times, and every time, I like it better.  Sure, it stars Leslie Nielsen of Naked Gun fame in a dramatic role, which is weird, but it's such a great bit of its time and a snapshot of exploration sci-fi that is a now-kind-of-dead genre (and if you can't see the direct impact on Star Trek, you aren't paying attention).

The visual and audio FX in this movie make it an amazing experience, with the debut of Robbie the Robot, Krell architecture, amazing sets, spaceships, matte backgrounds that are truly massive and alien.  And even the hand-drawn animation of the Id Monster holds up amazingly well, in its way.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Aqua-Dude Revealed


This is Aquaman from the upcoming Superman vs/ and Batman: Don of Sandwiches by Zack Sny.... zzzzzzzzzz....

I don't care.  I'm not planning to see it.

As I said elsewhere - I'm excited for Jason Momoa, but less excited that the DCU is basically turning the JLA into an early 00's nu-metal band.

But if this take on Aquaman came as any surprise to you after the past ten years of Zack Snyder films, well, start paying attention, my man.  I like Jason Momoa in theory more than practice - he hasn't been in anything I've really liked and I gave up on Game of Thrones when he went away (spoilers!), but he seems like such a cool guy.  I want for him to succeed.

I have no problem with his casting or even, really, this look for Aquaman, as Aquaman is a character whose look and characterization the past 2-3 decades have been more fluid than a spoonful of mercury on a hotplate.  I like Aquaman in theory, but the only Aquaman comics I've liked were in JLA comics and the Sub-Diego storyline in his own, about 10 years ago.  Maybe he'll make for a sellable action figure this way.  What do I know?

But I do not, at all, get why DC thinks that targeting a very specific 18-24 year old is the answer for their IP farm.  Marvel has shown, to the tune of billions of dollars, that adherence to the comic book looks and fidelity to the road-tested comics and cartoon versions of the characters is a winning formula across multiple generations of movie goers and toy buyers.  It seems like getting this specific is potentially extremely limiting to the appeal of the DCU.  I mean, I have not seen one kid who seemed to give a crap about Man of Steel in the 2 years since the film's release.  Not one t-shirt, not one Halloween costume, not one kid clutching an action figure.  That's a problem.

This is not the solution, ya dum dums.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekend Movie Rollcall: The Naked Gun, I Know That Voice, The Secret of Nimh, Part of Krull

This weekend was Valentine's weekend, but it was also the tail end of a long workweek.

Our Friday night "I don't want to think too hard" selection was The Naked Gun, one of the finest movies you could possibly show a 12 year old.  And, indeed, my memory of seeing the movie the first time is that I literally laughed myself almost out of my seat just during the credit sequence.



Really, it's tough to top Lt. Frank Drebin when it comes to movie heroes.  He's a fighter, a lover, a man of action.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Holy Cats, True Believers! Sony and Marvel are going to share Spider-Man!

According to Comic Book Resources and no less than the Marvel website, Spider-Man is going to get rebooted (again) and join in with the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As if you didn't know:  Sony has had the Spider-Man film rights since way back in the day, and as Marvel was their own studio and is now owned by Disney, Spider-Man has never been a part of the Marvel Universe in films or television.  At least not since he was web-slinging on The Electric Company.

I know it would lose the GDP of Croatia for Sony, but I'd love to see this on the big screen

I have to assume that a weak showing for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and a critical smackdown on the sequel meant that Sony may have decided they'd prefer to share in the money-printing machine the Marvel folks have got going on over at Disney rather than just keep stamping their feet and insisting they know how to do this.  (I think you can point to whatever went down on Spider-Man 3 vis-a-vis studio notes as the beginning of the problem).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

SW Watches: Predator (1987)

I love the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, Predator, with the kind of unironic enthusiasm you never really recapture after the age of 13, when we rented this flick during the golden era of action movies with a hard R-rating.  And this is not a movie that earned its hard R from gratuitous nudity of the era (in fact, nary a boob is seen that isn't an oiled pectoral muscle).  It's just straight up Reagan-era ultraviolence from Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Shane Black, Bill Duke and more.

And, of course, The Predator, one of the groundbreaking action movie concepts that no one has still really improved upon almost 30 years later.

I watched the movie for three reasons:
  • I was recently gifted a Predator-themed shirt by CanadianSimon, and so I wanted to watch the movie in his honor
  • Last summer I heard rumors that screen-writer/ actor Shane Black (who is in this movie) would be rebooting the franchise - and I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what he does.  I wouldn't trust too many other folks to take this on, but Shane Black is the right person for the job
  • I was more than half-way into a bottle of Malbec and watching Predator suddenly seemed absolutely necessary*


Friday, February 6, 2015

SW Watches: The Big Lebowski

I'll never really be sure I understand what the Coen Bros. were thinking with this one.  That's not to say it doesn't work, but it's an odd bit of noir-detective, what with our detective in this mystery barely participating, a cowboy narrator and all the bowling.  At the end of the day, it's really a movie, I guess, about two very different guys who love and understand one another not just despite their differences, but because of them.  Maybe.

The movie certainly leans on the trappings of the Chandler or Hammett detective novel, which - 20 years after the fact, would get associated with noir detective movies, mostly thanks to the success of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe adaptations.  There's the wealthy, non-ambulatory older gentleman in his castle asking for assistance, a sexy ice-queen of a daughter with schemes of her own, third and fourth parties working at cross-purposes, niggling idiots who cross the path of our detective who just get in the way, and repeated blackouts for our hero.

But, really, all our hero wants to do is go bowling and get a replacement rug for his living room.



Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dan Aykroyd Double Bill: SW Watches "Ghostbusters" and "Trading Places"

With the announcement of the upcoming relaunch of Ghostbusters, I had the movie on my brain.  So when it showed up on Bravo last night after Captain America ended (and it seemed Bravo was playing Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 over and over last night), I tuned in.



There's nothing new to say about the movie at this point, and I kind of feel like any discussion of the movie needs to be refereed by or deferred to Stuart, our resident Ghostbusters nut.


This does give me an opportunity to say that I really like the four announced stars of the Ghostbusters reboot, and I hope the movie does them justice.  But I also hope it's a complete reboot, keeping mostly the concept of a for-profit ghost hunting venture and then paving their own way.  Making the same movie over sounds tedious at best, and the best way to keep us Ghostbusters fans happy is not to just remind us "this is the same but different" with, I dunno, a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man who is a cowboy instead of a sailor.

There's also been the spate of Ghost Hunters-type TV shows that Leslie Jones, herself, has spoofed on SNL that I think would make a welcome launch pad for a different take on the concept.*




And, because it's the weeked and I still have basic cable, I watched the 1983 Eddie Murphy/ Dan Aykroyd/ Jamie Lee Curtis movie, Trading Places this morning for absolutely no reason.  I think there's a rule that all of us have to watch this movie every 3 years or the Elder Gods will return, or something.

I also had the stray thought watching the movie this time that Trading Places could make for a pretty good Broadway Musical, if you got the right music.  It has a ludicrous set-up, unlikely romance, stereotypes interacting, and a pretty simple structure.

Call me, Broadway Producers.  I'm here to help you make money.  I'll also share my thoughts on Police Academy IV with you.





*Buddy Matt and I had an idea for a show called "Ghost C.O.P's." we wanted to do as a web video, but we got lazy and never did it, and I've always been sad about that.  C.O.P's, of course, stood for "Challengers of the Paranormals".  Trust me, it was really, really good.**

**this may or may not be true


SW Watches: Captain America (2011)

It had been a while since we watched 2011's Captain America (or, Captain America: The First Avenger, if you want to get fancy).  I mean, not that long a while, but we kind of forgot to watch it to get prepped for Agent Carter, which, it seems, people aren't watching in significant numbers.

Which... what are you people doing out there?  Stop watching CSI.




If you saw Captain America 2 this summer, the difference between the two movies is certainly striking.  One a warm-hearted nostalgic superhero romp in a world of skeleton-faced villains and good guys on one side and bad guys in black jodhpurs.  Heck, it's got a musical number.  And, of course, Cap 2 being all about the excesses and compromised values of shadow wars and secret power grabs.

I don't have much to add.  You guys know I'm in the bag for the Cap movies.

I'm still glad Marvel didn't see any reason they needed to make Cap edgy or extreme or whatever.  Even in the context of our throwback-nostalgic-era of the movie which people still like to think of in Capra-esque terms, and which the movie plays to, Steve is the idealist to the point of getting beat up on the regular for standing up for himself and for pushing back against bullies.  That adherence to ideals is refreshing not just in this movie, but puts Rogers on a whole other level, giving his allies something to cling to in the storm in the sequel.  It would have been great to see a bit more of Steve Rogers as baritone voiced leader and less as buddy-calling-on-his-friends in the first installment, because I think that informed a bit about how Cap was made the hapless straightman a bit in Avengers.   But Cap 2 certainly took a different tack on that, and I expect something different in the coming Avengers sequel.

And, of course, the movie introduced us to Agent Carter played by Haley Atwell, and that is a very good thing.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

SW Watches: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Man, I have no idea how I never saw this movie.  I remember renting it at least once back in the dark ages when you had to return a movie in 48 hours, and then sometimes you'd get home with it and some friend would be all like "Hey, we're gonna go to Slippy Village for a super rad time!" and by the time you recovered from that journey, all you had time to do was return the videotape.

Anyway - this movie was @#$%ing awesome.  I am not sure it would have been this much in my wheelhouse back in college, but these days, it's absolutely the kind of thing I totally dig.  Super taut thriller with a dude in way over his head, and starring actors I can take seriously?  Sign me up.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This Fant4stic 4 Trailer is in no way exciting



I confess I hoped Fox would embrace the Kirby-ness of the FF, but, instead, they clearly translated this from Ultimate FF, a comic nobody ever cared about and I wouldn't recommend.

Maybe the next trailer will knock my socks off, but this looks as lackluster as the last two FF movies.  Which, wow, that's actually kind of hard to do.

Discuss.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SW Watches: Raising Arizona (1987)

Truly, one of the great comedies and a movie everyone should see.  I like to think it has something for everyone, and it's one of the few movies in my life I actually kind of forced on my folks, KareBear and The Admiral.



It's also a movie that, if you grew up with it, you probably quote twice a day at this point without realizing it.  Just an absolutely brilliant script.  Good enough that you've seen a man's repeated crimes and incarcerations, a couple's entire courtship, and marriage, their failure to conceive and the hatching of a plan, and you haven't even seen the credits roll.

And, of course, the theme song, Way Out There, one of the most instantly recognizable movie soundtracks I can think of that wasn't the work of Johns Williams or Barry.

Jamie and I are Childfree or Childless Americans or whatever you want to call it, but that doesn't men we don't like the childrens.  We just want them to not be in our home 24 hours a day.  Or to touch our stuff.  This April, Steanso and Aimers are welcoming their own little Nathan Jr..  It's a blessed event and all that, but as HI is stressing over Dip-Tet tests and saving for the orthodonture, the stuff played for comedic effect is kind of much funnier.  It doesn't hurt that I've been watching all of y'all go through this, one after another.

Of course, that kind of makes me and Jamie Gayle and Evelle Snoats in this scenario.  I suspect this makes me Evelle.

So, we'll see if Jason starts to feel the pressure and returns to his old ways with arrival of The Wee Baby Seamus (as we've insisted on calling the baby until he arrives), but I'm not sure Austin is ready for that much bad guitar playing.

Anyhow, y'all don't need me telling you how good this movie is.  And I don't have the energy to write up anything about the deeper themes of the movie.  You guys can ponder than on your own.

But I guess I'm on a bit of a Coen Bros. kick.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream Merges With The Infinite

As noted in the title, we lost a musical pioneer this week.  Edgar Froese has merged with The Infinite.  (Thanks to Cavender for the link.)

My first exposure to Tangerine Dream was, oddly, as a reference in cult sci-fi book The Architect of Sleep that I read at summer camp when I was a kid.  The hero of the book was a Tangerine Dream fan who accidentally made his way to a parallel Earth where apes had not evolved to be the bipedal species.  Instead, raccoons were living in a sort of feudal, dark-ages-like society.  I dunno.  It's been almost 30 years.*

My take away was the hero was kind of a slacker-stoner who was into stuff even more mellow than Dark Side of the Moon's second half.  At some point in my youth, then, I was buying Tangerine Dream on vinyl and cassette and chilling out like a champ under my Captain America and Michael Jordan posters.

I also recall, not too long after reading the book - and I can't remember if it was before or after I owned any Tangerine Dream, this movie came on the local UHF station, and it was directed by Michael Mann and had a score by Tangerine Dream.  Thief?  you ask.  Ha.  NO.  The Keep, one of the most unjustly hidden gems of the 1980's.  (edit: this is now available on Amazon Instant!  holy cats!)



Anyway, after that I noticed Tangerine Dream did a lot of scores.  The aforementioned Thief, Sorcerer, Risky Business**, Near Dark.  Legend, anybody?

Yeah, Tangerine Dream can sound dated, but I put that up to how much they stamped a certain period of music, the massive influence they had and the army of imitators who flooded movie scores - never quite hitting the same level.

But we're not going to do this post and then not give you some examples.

So, here we go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SW Watches: To Live and Die in LA


It's not entirely clear how I've never seen this movie as I've wanted to see this movie since at least 7th grade.  Somehow I never connected free time + availability + making it a priority.  But that's the magic of being friends with SimonUK.  You can say things like "Hey, I've never seen To Live and Die in LA." and he'll say "Cheerio, pip pip!  Why, I 've loads of copies of To Live and Die in LA., Gov'nuh!"*  But, yes, it's SimonUK, so of course he owned a copy.  Because he's a hoarder and he has a problem I'm more or less enabling.

And, thus, with Manhunter included, I somehow watched two William Petersen vehicles in less than 24 hours.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Because life is funny, we watched both Manhunter (1986) and Red Dragon (2002) in the same week

Late edit:  It occurs to me I should have prefaced this post by saying - Manhunter is the 1986 adaptation of Thomas Harris' excellent 1981 novel, Red Dragon.  It was directed by Michael Mann, who brought us Miami Vice, Heat and a version of Last of the Mohicans that is one of manliest damned movies you'll see in this life or any other.  The novel and Manhunter predate the 1988 release of Harris' follow up, Silence of the Lambs.  To get you up to speed, both feature Hannibal Lecter, America's favorite serial killer.  Anthony Hopkins, of course, made the role famous in the 1991 film of the same name.  In 2002, seeing an opportunity to make some dough, someone decided to remake the book Red Dragon as a movie with Hopkins instead of Brian Cox as Lecter.

I didn't see Red Dragon when it came out for a a few reasons.
  • I had already read the Thomas Harris book Red Dragon
  • I had seen Manhunter at least three times
  • Brett Ratner is not my favorite director
  • I had skipped the other Hannibal Lecter movie, I think.  The one with Juliann Moore and Ray Liotta, because nothing about what I read made me want to see it.  And I never have seen it.


I've also never seen The Hannibal Prequel or the NBC TV show.  I just don't know that I'm that into a protagonist who consumes other humans.  That's not a judgment on the wide Hannibal Lecter  fanbase, that's more a "wondering aloud" sort of comment.  I will say this, having watched Silence of the Lambs again prior to the New Year, and then watching both movies did restore my appreciation for the subtleties that originated in Harris' novels that have made it to the big screen, and for how Hopkins and his fellow actors brought that to life.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SW Watches: The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)


I'm not entirely clear on the reason, but The Hudsucker Proxy took a beating both critically and at the box office upon its release in 1994.  I saw it for my 19th birthday with JAL, and we loved the hell out of this thing.  It was immediately added to the list of highly quotable movies, and added the word "Dingus" to my vocabulary.  In '95, when we all showed up for the first day of the highly competitive film production program at UT and people asked what we wanted to make, I said something about Star Wars and then paused as all the folks who just talked about Truffaut and whatnot around the room glared at me, and said "You know...  for kids!".

JAL thought it was funny, at least.

Maybe the movie is too ambitious for it's own good.  Maybe it broke the Coen Bros' SOP a bit too much to work with a real budget and to have name stars like Paul Newman in the room.  The plot is less ambitious than Miller's Crossing, but perhaps too complicated for the light-comedy audience that doesn't want to keep up with the whole "circles and wheels of time" symbolism, metaphor, imagery, etc..  that absolutely permeates the film, right down to a Hula Hoop as the failure and success of a corporation's fortunes (and we can talk about throwing a disc out the window as the film' conclusion some other time).

I dunno.  But reviews at the time weren't good, and even when critics discuss the movie today, it's with a bit of a sigh, like Jennifer Jason Leigh doesn't totally kill it in every scene she's in.

Those critics can kind of go to hell, in my humble opinion.