[Only two major films open this week, but Shopgirl and Good Night, and Good Luck finally are going wide(ish), so they're included here as well.]
This week is sort of a bummer to round up, because there's nothing that evokes seething hatred from critics, or even something pathetic to mock. Instead (the 60 second version): Chicken Little is disappointing and juvenile, nothing happens in Jarhead (not necessarily a bad thing), Claire Danes totally rules, and everyone in the media loves Edward R. Murrow. As always, for details read on.
- Chicken Little: When A. O. Scott calls your massive new release "a terrible movie," you know you're in trouble. And I'm sorry, Disney, because while no one else is quite as harsh as old A.O., neitherisanyoneexactlyover the moon about this one. Basically, unless you're going with (little) kids - or are one - skip it.
- Jarhead: Nobody hates it, but some love it desperately while others end up more than a little annoyed. Our friend Roger Ebert values the movie because it's aimless and almost entirely event-free. To him, those qualities reflect the lives of the film's subjects; to others, they're sources of greatirritation. Almost everyone praises the film's look, and there are lots and lots of references to Full Metal Jacket (evoked by the film) and Apocalypse Now (actually watched in it). These boys, they love the smell of napalm in the morning.
- Shopgirl: Peoplereally digthis movie, and I'm reasonably sure it's not just because they're obsessed with My So-Called Life. Even the gloriously grumpy Mick LaSalle is uncommonly moved by the film, praising both the direction and its performances. In these days of extreme big screen hyperactivity, it's nice to come across a movie that reviewers praise with the word "quiet."
- Good Night, and Good Luck: Everyone loves George Clooney - I think at this point we just have to accept that. And people seem to have a hard time separating their affection for him and their nostalgic longing for the idealized integrity of Edward R. Murrow from the movie itself - it's almost impossible to find a review free of some sort ofreminiscing. Generally, the consensus is that the movie is good - important, even - but probably not great.