Episode 50 : The Tragedy of Bathsharks

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Added on Sun, 18 Oct 2009 13:46:54 -0700.
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Quick turnabout for our landmark fiftieth episode, as arbitrary round numbers must be landmarks, although we're really still playing catch-up. This time round we take a butcher's hook at Pixar's latest, Up, along with Surrogates and the duelling 'land' movies, Zombieland and Adventureland.

Up is an astonishingly fine film, and one of Pixar's best films, and some would argue their best. With an emotional maturity that's noticeably absent from all of their previous films mixed with their typical attention to detail and deeply amusing lines and setpieces, this comes very highly recommended. Well, apart from the 3D add-on, which remains a pointless, audience-fleecing gimmick.

There's the kernel of a decent film somewhere at the heart of Surrogates, but it's effectively smothered by some disinterested performances mad outright inept story-telling. In essence a whodunnit with a technophobic overcoat, the central story is never too captivating to care about and it does a far better job of explaining the one side of its social theme than the other. Avoidable.

In a land overrun by zombies, which for the sake of argument we'll call Zombieland, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson struggle to survive and find Twinkies, largely by expedience of Woody Harrelson shooting zombies in the head. A wry, sarcastic take on the deluge of zombie films slewing our way of late, it's a very amusing, if forgettable flick that's worth a look. Rubbish date movie, though.

Cleaning up the other film starring Jesse Eisenberg and ending in 'land', Adventureland sees a student taking a crappy summer job at the local amusement park, whereupon he meets a girl and falls into a relationship drama. Sounds much like the set-up for any teen-oriented rom-com, but this raises itself well above its genremates with a sharp, witty script and Eisenberg's charming delivery. Proving to be touching, likeable and deeply amusing, this is well worth a look in.

That is all for now. We'll be back sometime soon, so until then keep your nose clean and if you can't be good, be lucky.