Back to the Movies

I’ve been back to the movies during the last few weeks. “Batman Begins” was surprisingly enjoyable. “War of the Worlds” seemed like a decent enough time when I was watching it, but now seems entirely forgettable. The writers of the documentary “March of the Penguins” spent too much time trying to give the penguins human traits. “Wedding Crashers” was a ton of fun, especially if seen in a theater that serves Schlafly. “Me and You and Everyone We Know” was very strange and – at times – pretty great. Terrific soundtrack and some very memorable scenes and individual images. In rentals, “Bad Education” was very good, and “Finding Neverland” was even better. I’m halfway through the very impressive movie “A Very Long Engagement.” (They weren’t kidding with that title; it’s very long.)

Still on movies: Slate has published Field Maloney’s “The O Factor: Was Owen Wilson the key to the Wes Anderson phenomenon?” It doesn’t have much good to say about the highly cool Noah Baumbach, but the central question is well put: “What if Owen Wilson, America’s resident goofy roue with the broken nose and the lazy nasal draw, was the rudder keeping USS Anderson on course, steering its captain away from solipsism and ironic overload?” Where, exactly, does Maloney think Anderson has drifted?

“Rather than develop as a storyteller, Anderson appeared to have floated off to an adolescent never-never land where everyone wears Lacoste, colorful and quirky toys abound, and a vintage emo soundtrack gets piped in whenever a little poignancy is required – a Michael Jackson ranch for the Salinger set.”

That’s pretty great writing.