October 27, 2008

Weekend in Reviews

Quarantine - I am not a huge fan of scary movies. I mean, I've watched plenty of them but I don't usually go out of my way to do so and if I do intentionally watch one, I do it at home where I'm easily able to hit pause if it gets too scary and, like, double check the locks and stuff. But for some reason I can't really explain, I went and saw Quarantine in the theater on Saturday night. The movie starts innocently enough with a female reporter and her male camera man shooting a "day in the life" story at a Los Angeles fire station. The first several minutes are full of jocularity and the sort of innocent fun people have when they're bored which almost makes you forget you're watching a horror movie, until they get a call that sends them to a totally creepy apartment building. That's where they find an old woman infected with some kind of mutant rabies and the face eating and general awfulness commence. It's very scary and moderately riveting with an ending that is, unfortunately, totally foretold in the trailer. The entire film, by the way, is shot with a hand-held camera by the cameraman so we only ever see what he sees and how he sees it, which means popping a Dramamine before you take in the flick is a sound idea.

Dirty Deeds - Milo Ventimiglia is the guy in high school who is too cool for the big shots and is above all the high school bullshit and thus pulls pranks on the "cool kids" and their school spirited activities thus creating his own brand of bullshit. Anyway, in an attempt to save a freshman geek from torture and also get into the good graces of said geek's sister (played by Lacey Chabert who is either not a good actress or is just getting type cast in the most excruciatingly boring way), he agrees to complete the school's legendary Dirty Deeds which is a list of 10 things that a person must do before the Homecoming pep rally. Some of the deeds are boring (drink a beer in front of a cop), others are cheesy (steal the giant inflatable leprechaun from the car dealership and take it to the school), and one or two are actually funny - in particular, Milo had a way of making his trip to the grocery store to jack off into a loaf of bread and then put it back on the shelf rather hilarious. I think it was when he looked at the re-sealed bread and whispered with utter sincerity "I'll call you tomorrow" and then kissed it, that he really won me over. That joke is taken to the worst possible place when the school's principal (Tom Amandes - my beloved Harold Abbott from Everwood) purchases that same loaf of bread and immediately takes it home and absent mindedly makes and eats a sandwich. It's a mostly forgettable, farcical teen comedy with one major thing going for it - among the extras on the DVD is a "behind the scenes interviews with the cast" package during which Tom Amandes says "I show up and eat a cum sandwich, it's not Shakespeare." I almost fainted when I heard those words come out of his mouth. I may never be able to watch Everwood the same way again!

On a tangentially related note - I don't know if I'd ever heard anyone pronounce Milo Ventimiglia's name before and in my head, it's always been "Mee-low Ventimeelia" but someone in the interview package pronounced it "My-low" and...if that's really the way he pronounces it, I don't care for it.

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