Big Hitter: Weekend Movie Advice, Shawshank, and Viral Video!

Movies This Weekend That Might Interest You
Last weekend was the worst of the year, at least in terms of box office grosses. This weekend isn't much better. Two of the films have flaws (Jennifer's Body, The Informant!) and one seems to be made up entirely of flaws (Love Happens). Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is probably worth a watch if you're headed to the theater with a child. Bright Star is in 19 theaters -- I'd recommend it if you're a fan of slower paced (yet intimate) love stories. My best advice? See if your cable or dish provider has In the Loop on demand. That's 90 minutes of pure hilarity.

Press Releases of Note
Tickets for Michael Jackson's This is It go on sale September 27, 2009. Here's the website. Mark those calenders!

Sequel Rumor of the Day
Sacha Howells did a nice roundup of movie news for us today, so I'll leave it in his capable hands. Teaser: A Coen Bros. remake?

Quote of the Day

Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. -- John Adams

What I Watched Last Night Besides a Movie
Yesterday I saw Capitalism: A Love Story. I can't officially review it but I can say it left a hell of an impression. I've been a vocal critic of Michael Moore's work (Didn't dig Sicko, appreciated Roger & Me), because I think it's far too easy to paint a persuasive argument via string music and half-truths, but anyone who sees this should realize that Mr. Moore has hit upon some very damning (and completely unarguable) facts about capitalism vs. democracy. The wealth gap keeps widening, and I haven't seen a coherent argument yet as to why that's a good thing. This is Moore's finest work because it presents an argument all sides of the political spectrum should be upset about: the subversion of democracy for short-term profits.

What I'm Reading Right Now
Pat Conroy's latest work, South of Broad. I'm a longtime Conroy fan, he's one of the few fiction writers I actually envy on a sentence by sentence basis. He's astonishingly good with atmosphere. South of Broad isn't amazing, but it is a nice stroll down memory lane.

Jennifer's BodyDeep Thought of the Day
I've read a lot lately on the "feminist" perspective of Jennifer's Body. Is it feminist? I don't think so, but it may have been intended that way. But it's not effective, unfortunately. However, it got me to thinking about four things that our society seemingly never questions on that front. Here goes, in no particular order:

1) Why don't women ever coach men's sports teams at the highest levels? Men coach women's teams at the highest levels. But can you imagine a woman interviewing for an NBA job? Why not?

2) Ten percent of the working directors in Hollywood are women. And yet, no boycotts, no calls for equality, no taking to the streets in protest. It's accepted as is, de facto, the way it's always been. Highly unusual.

3) On that note, no woman has ever won an Academy Award for Best Director. Only three have been nominated. Think of how staggering that math is. By my count there have been over 300 nominees for Best Director. Less than one percent have been women. Zero percent have won.

4) But on the other side of the equation women now dominate our culture in college enrollment rates. Something like 56 percent of all college students are women, and women have been in the majority there for the past 30 years. That's right, the pendulum has officially shifted. We're going to end up with a culture of highly intelligent women ... without any highly intelligent men to provide balance. That's an equation for greatness!

Last point: On my review a commenter noted the film needed to be reviewed by "a feminist." Malarkey, for a number of reasons. First off, men can want equality and justice for women, it's not completely unheard of. Secondly, if we segment out "this person can only speak with intelligence on this topic" we dismiss the idea that people can learn new things and attempt new points of view. It also suggests that a feminist is the same thing all the world round, regardless of background, socioeconomic status, creed, or religion. It's a logically devoid argument, and not one I'll cotton to -- you can tell by my use of "cotton" that I'm serious. Each and every writer on the web comes with his or her own set of biases. To wash away a complex situation with a label is at best obtuse and at worse willfully ignorant.

Videos For You
LG is running a $100,000 video contest right now. That's a pretty good amount of coin for five minutes of video. Here's one that has more range than most romantic comedies these days, and in 85 minutes less time:

Next up, our own Dre Rivas made a nice homage to The Shawshank Redemption.


Lastly, a little music to get your weekend rolling.