Let’s Toast To Your Non-Idiocy

Once again, this is taking too long. So let’s just go…

Ratatouille – I heard somebody call it “Ratatoolee” today. And that seems like the least of the problems people are going to have in taking their kids to a movie about rats cooking French food. Let’s state that again. Rats. Cooking. French food. There’s absolutely no part of that that isn’t a strike against commercial viability. And that’s even if you didn’t know it was for kids.

But do you know it’s for kids? Are you positive? Now, I’m not saying there are any concepts or “situations” that are exclusively adult, but it just seems… slow. And I don’t mean that as a negative. For once. It’s just not the sort of frantic and/or simplistic kind of movie you’ve come to expect. Even from Pixar. Absolutely none of the kids in the theater seemed to care. None of them were anything less than rapt with the whole thing. And they should have been. Although it is concerning to think that they’ll now be going home and wanting to cook. That seems dangerous.

Live Free Or Die Hard – I suppose I owe Len Wiseman an apology. But I don’t want him getting ahead of himself. Because both his Underworld movies are still two of the most irritating messes I’ve ever seen. But he didn’t ruin Die Hard. Not even a little (like Renny Harlin.)

People are upset because things were a little muted: the violence, the language, etc. The reason given, by those who care to give one, is that this somehow doesn’t match the John MacLane we’ve come to know. But it’s been 12 years. A man can’t learn to curse a little less?

Regardless, if you can’t magically get over your thirst for nonsensical blood and perfectly sensible cursing, you’re really going to miss something. After the first time I thought it might be better than With A Vengeance. But then I remembered I thought the same thing about The Lost World being better than the original until I went and watched the original again and saw what an idiot I had been for those few weeks. But after seeing it again (though admittedly, not rewatching With A Vengeance – though I did so just a few weeks ago) I am certain it is better. Mostly because of a massively superior ending.

Nancy Drew – Is Emma Roberts a star? And if so, why? I suppose a better, or at least more fair question, is how? Because it’s not as if Hilary Duff or Raven or whoever I’m not young enough to know about are in some way good at, well, anything they’re famous for doing, but at least you can track the path they took to get where they are. All I’ve got on Emma Roberts is Aquamarine. In which she was completely overshadowed by her two tremendously more talented costars (JoJo Levesque and Sara Paxton.) And, of course, that she’s the daughter of Eric Roberts. Which unfortunately, doesn’t count for as much as it ought to.

But none of that has much to do with Nancy Drew. The movie. Or the character, really. And you better know the character going in. Because they assume that you do. The opening is some sort of weird psychological hostage situation where Nancy talks two church robbers into giving themselves up. I assume. Since we don’t actually see her talking so much as giving one of them a lemon square. And then she moves to Los Angeles. Where I’m supposed to believe she’s in for quite the culture shock since she won’t be able to work with the police or… well, that might be it. Because otherwise there really doesn’t seem to be a problem. Except for the ensuing mystery which seems stolen from an abc Family version of The Black Dahlia. And Scooby Doo since there some kind of fake ghost story involved as well. And a secret tunnel. And oh, then somebody tries to run Nancy down with an SUV and leaves a timebomb conveniently on the front seat of her roadster. She throws said bomb into an open manhole. Where it’s sure to not cause any damage.

There’s also a strange interlude where Nancy wanders onto a movie set where Bruce Willis is playing a 50’s detective. Nancy corrects him on some anachronistic dialog, he offers to have her replace Adam Goldberg as the director of the movie and then…I think Nancy just walks away. Again, not sure. This movie really wants me to work for stuff. And the stuff really isn’t worth it.

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