The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 07 November 2007]

Movie roundup, part six

Stranger than Fiction, The Black Dahlia, Blades of Glory, Hot Fuzz, Zero Kelvin and March of the Penguins.

Stranger Than Fiction: An odd and quirky dramedy with Will Ferrell showing that he is a much more versatile actor than previously shown.

It’s far from a perfect movie, but it’s refreshing to see a director try something out of the mainstream, and it has some touching moments.

Worth seeing.

The Black Dahlia: An adaptation of James Ellroy’s incredible novel that, while not as bad as it could have been, misses the mark completely.

It’s time for Hollywood to accept the fact that Ellroy’s novels are much too densely plotted to make sense as movies.

The movie doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be—is it noir, is it a period piece, is it a thriller, is it a whodunit? Apparently Brian De Palma doesn’t know, and neither will you.

Buy the novel instead.

Blades of Glory: When it comes to Will Ferrell vehicles, you expect a thin premise stretched as far as it will go and lots of over-the-top antics, and that’s exactly what you get with Blades of Glory. The problem is that the premise is so thin it can’t be measured without lasers and the antics are stale and as hung-over as Ferrell’s character.

Plus, it’s not like figure skating needs to be spoofed.

Watch Anchorman again instead.

Hot Fuzz: I stopped watching about 45 minutes in when nothing had happened. Perhaps it got better after that. Who knows.

Zero Kelvin: Norwegian movie about trappers in Greenland. It’s billed as a thriller, which it is not. Zero Kelvin is a psychological drama about the relationship between three damaged men isolated in a drafty hut in Greenland for a year. Stellan Skarsgård turns in a fantastic performance as a deranged trapper, and the cinematography is stunning, but it’s an incredibly bleak movie, even by Scandinavian standards.

Worth watching if you’re feeling a bit too cheerful.

March of the Penguins: Whew, talk about a rough ecological niche. Watching the struggle the emperor penguins go through in order to breed is heart wrenching. Gorgeously filmed and with a narration that drips pathos, you get caught up in rooting for these stupid birds to overcome their obstacles.

Bonus for the way the filmmakers turned the leopard seal into an avatar of Evil.

This movie must really be something to see in HD.

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