Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Movies. We all watch them. Some of us decided we'd rather watch movies than getting a real college degree. We've all seen thousands of movies, and a lot of them we can agree are pretty good. Others, we might agree, just suck.

We've already looked at the detritus of the film industry of the past year. Now, let's take a look at what we went into without much in the way of an expectation and walked out pleasantly surprised. A rare quality in a film, indeed.

So, what was my thought provoking query?

You know what was surprisingly good, but you'd never think it? (category: movie)

Eric Nordtrom: Pride and Prejudice.

Tamara: Match Point. I truly didn't believe that Woody Allen had it in him to make another movie worth viewing. And Scarlet Johansen--very tasty, indeed.

Natalie: Hitch -- cute, cute, cute. (Don't tell anyone, though.)

Jim D.: War of the Worlds (which was a very interesting portrayal of the American refugee experience and more serious in tone than most action-adventure alien flicks) and The 40 Year Old Virgin (which, though vulgar, was well written and actually clever, amusing, and possessed some level of heart). So rarely is a film "surprisingly good," though, although there are a few movies here and there which, although not "surprisingly good" may indeed rebut the presumption that they are crap.

Ryan V.: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Yes, it was over-the-top. But it was still good. After kicking us the crotch for two lifeless, C-SPAN-esque prequels, Lucas finally delivered a dark, enjoyable film.

Peabo: Cinderella Man. I just think it is tough to do a movie that is centered around boxing and avoid it being predictable or cliché. Since it was based on a true story, you knew it may not have a happy ending, and since I didn’t know the history or story of the boxer I really didn’t know how it would end.

Denise: Munich. Saw it on a whim and enjoyed it. Mossad entertaining? Yep.

RHPT: Be Cool. It was a fun, irreverent movie, and Andre 3000 was hilarious.

Nathan: The Phantom of the Opera (musical from last year)

Social Bobcat: Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo - yes, it has Rob Schneider in it and yes, most of his encounters with clients are mildly funny at best, but the main gigolo, gay aquarium repairman, and Eddie Griffith man-pimp more than make up for the cost of admission.

Maxwell: In Her Shoes. A screener was sent to me and I didn't hate it.

Harms: I finally saw Anchorman and it was hilarious. They mis-marketed the hell out of that thing. It should have been sold as an Apatow vehicle (tender, yet humiliating) and not a Will Ferrell vehicle (Puerile, but occasionally hil-aryous, and then usually involving urine).

Apatow / Feig style production triumphed again this year with "40 Year-old Virgin".

Steanso: DeadBirds

CrackBass: Constantine…overcame Keanu, and not nearly as bad as I expected. Does that count?

Reed-o: Sideways

I hate to admit it because it's such a yuppie movie, but I did enjoy it and the actor who was on Wings was pretty funny in it.

Jamie: World's Fastest Indian. Being a regular reader of Entertainment Weekly (I know...for shame! for shame! Hey, it's a great bathroom read) this one shockingly fell beneath my radar.

I can't tell you how long it's been since I saw a movie where I knew absolutely nothing about the premise going in. Enjoyable for Ryan, me, my parents, and his parents, which is not an easy challenge! Very cute movie.

The League: I dunno. Jamie just picked my first selection. I wasn't as wary about 40 Year-old Virgin as some. In Good Company with Scarlett Johannson (sp?), Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid was also a better movie than I thought it would be, even if I felt the ending was a pretty firm departure from reality. I suspect the producers wanted an ending that the original screenplay probably didn't have.


I am surprised Jim D. didn't take this opportunity to admit his secret love of King Kong.

No single movie really took the lead here for most responses. Kind of nice. Look at all the movies you have available to you that you didn't know about previously.

The "Boo" goes out to Nordstrom. Pride and Prejudice? You owe us a 200 word explanation of why this one would fall beneath your expectations.

I also get a "boo" for not having a better answer to my own question.

The response answer is a tie between Denise, because she made me laugh, and The Social Bobcat, for actually seeing a Deuce Bigalow movie ans sticking by his guns. I mean, really, how many of you guys bashing Deuce Bigalow actually saw the movie?

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