Little Movies That Can

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I’d like to talk about movies today – and I want to address our intolerance for anything in theaters that’s even a teensy bit subtle or nuanced.  Because there’s a movie out there that sort of puts the “b” in subtle, but you’d never know it because no one thinks it’s worth it.  Before I get to it however,  judging from yesterday’s  2010 VMAs poll it’s ALL about Jared Leto. Holy Cow (nor is that a nod to Lady Gaga’s horrifying dress)! The guy has a rabid fan base that won’t quit. Did he get you hooked with My So Called Life? Apparently he’s still got it. And no matter how may people tell me Drake is it, I still don’t believe. By the way, does anyone think Drake bears an uncanny resemblance to David Schwimmer? I do. Ross probably wouldn’t impress me with his rapping either. But: speaking of hunky icons, George Clooney’s got a new film out right now and even though it’s got at least $20 million dollars in the bank, it’s not getting great reviews (neither is Resident Evil but I’m not particularly concerned about that gem’s viewership). But here’s the what. If the verbiage of Kanye’s latest song is any indication, all we really care about are(%^&&$#s and  other *(^&*U’s.  While a quiet, understated performance from a great actor who isn’t gutting people right and left and holding firearms with every appendage while bellowing? Not crucial.  On Saturday someone texted me asking if I wanted to join everyone to watch “the game” in a bar somewhere in Los Angeles.  What I didn’t reveal was that I had no idea what game they were talking about (I’m just never going to be able to keep up with all – or maybe even any – of the sporting events going on around me).  What I did reveal was we were off to see The American,  the new George Clooney movie and couldn’t watch the game. “wtf? That has terbl wd of mth. They say realy bd movi” came the reply text.  Now if you get a text or any kind of message saying The American isn’t worth it,  I’m here to tell you to ignore them.  And just go see it. Nor is it  going to be in theaters for long (because of the wd of mth). Don’t listen. It’s very good  — even though it’s not a bullet-ridden extravaganza. Rather, it’s a gorgeous, little movie about a man who decides to check out. Seeing this dark, brooding film  made me think about all the reasons we went to movies this summer in the first place. We went to see nice-looking people hook up. We went to see nice-looking people take out bad guys who are threatening less-nice-looking people and their children. We went to see older nice-looking people band together to take out rogue dictators in dangerous drug-trafficked lands. And finally, we went to watch nice-looking people plant dreams inside the minds of others, so they might ultimately stop being haunted by their nice-looking deceased spouses.  The American is not like them at all  – even though it features a nice-looking man and several nice-looking women –  but I would recommend it because you’ll still be thinking about it afterward. First of all, there’s not a lot of talking in this film. Something we are usually uncomfortable with unless in its place there’s a great deal of a) gunfire b) marauding creatures or c) sex. Also, for a movie called The American it’s one of the most appealing advertisements for Italy and quaint Italian villages I’ve seen in a long time. That said, what the movie does show us is a man – an assassin – holed up in a little town where everyone is suspicious, and who’s trying really hard to get out of a dangerous line of work.  The whole thing is shrouded in mystery and you never know who’s good and who’s bad (until the end).  But that shouldn’t turn you off because Clooney is at his (quiet, muscular) best and he’s also a weapons whiz, and the whole thing is fascinating without being over-the- top.  It’s smart and subtle and for that reason,  if you find yourself looking for something intelligent and not flashy to catch at your local cineplex this weekend, you might want to watch The American. It’s a pretty good ltl mvie in spite of its nt grt wd of mth.

Today’s poll:

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these George Clooney movies is your favorite:

1) Syriana
2) Ocean’s Eleven
3) Up In The Air
4) Michael Clayton

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