May 2011 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Atom Egoyan: The Adjuster (1991)

Andrew COMMENTARYThere's not a single character in The Adjuster that hasn't constituted their entire reality on the basis of how someone else looks at them.  There have been hints that Egoyan was going to make a film that pushes the deconstruction of identity this far, but to this point it was kept somewhat under control.  At least with Speaking Parts I was able to see the fragments of individuals and what they really want, The Adjuster just provides us with people with no initial entrance or exit point.


Cool Dog (2011)

The following will contain spoilers for the movie Cool Dog. If you think you might want to experience the coolness of this dog for yourself, you have been warned. Also, for those that are reading this and have not seen Cool Dog (i.e. most of you), I swear I am not making any of this up.

But before getting into this dog and his coolness I want you to picture this movie in your head. Right now, just stop and imagine what a movie called Cool Dog would consist of. Have you done it? Good. That movie you just pictured is probably better than this movie. No matter how many wacky and/or extreme activities that normally dogs don't do that the dog you pictured in your head was doing, this movie probably has you beat by a good dozen activities.

For all intents and purposes, Cool Dog follows the formal structure of a film, but that's about it. The plot is about as straight forward as it gets: Boy (named Jimmy) loves dog (named Rainy). Boy is forced to move from small town to big city where he can't bring dog. This is because landlord hates dogs (*gasp*) and also hates kids (*doublegasp*). Dog manages to find way to city and reunites with boy and together they foil the landlord who is selling animals illegally or something. I’m leaving a lot out but nothing you couldn’t guess. This is all pretty standard kid's movie fare (even the animal selling part really). Calling this movie bad would be entirely inaccurate, though, as it’s kind of in a category of it’s own.


Midnight in Paris (2011)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site

Midnight in Paris reminds me of a scene in a documentary made a decade ago called Cinemania. The movie is about a gaggle of cinephiles who live off disability or other means and spend their spare time seeing every movie in theaters that they can. One man sheepishly admits he'd actually managed to save up enough to go on a trip to Paris just so he could sit in a cafe. He seems down on the experience: it wasn't nearly as thrilling as the movies made it look.


When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site

Danny LIKELoneliness is a killer, and it's infinitely worse when you're surrounded by other lonely people. This tensions is acutely tuned by Mikio Naruse in When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, a character study about someone who has lost control of her fate to the melancholy world she's resigned herself to.

Let me back up for a second. Mama is a hostess in Tokyo's Ginza district. The district is an intricate series of restaurants and bars that fill up at the end of the work day. One of the older women working, she spends her nights drinking and carousing. She has a number of wealthy clients who enjoy her charms, but she resists them when they make their amorous advances towards her bedroom.


Kung-Fu Panda 2 (2011)

ANDREW LIKEIt's been fairly easy to rag on Dreamworks and I admit to being fairly guilty of taking cheap jabs at some of their films.  Too many times they feel infected with quickly aging pop-culture references that die out shortly after being introduced.  However their Kung Fu Panda series, bright and creative, lacks any of those notions.  This sequel, much like the original, seems content to tell a fun story without dipping into the Top 40 Pop Charts.