movies this week: distracted by books

The Monster Book Sale is going on this weekend in Austin. Tons of library books and donated books are going to be on sale for $1 or $2, and then on Sunday the leftovers will go for $3 a bag or $5 a box. And all the money goes to Austin libraries, so how can I resist?
A smart bookcase store really should post ads outside of this sale, they would absolutely clean up on business.
Anyway, you can see where my mind is today, since I am going to the book sale after work. I have the baby stroller in my car so I won’t have to lug around a big bag of heavy books. My mind is not on movies, other than wondering if I can get some cheap film books. Last time I found a nice copy of The Celluloid Closet lost on the Architecture table.

But surprise, surprise, lots of movies are opening in Austin today. Who’d have thought it?
New movies in Austin this week:
Cellular—I saw a preview for this recently. A woman is being kidnapped and dials a random number on her cell phone and implores the guy who answers to save her. William H. Macy is somehow involved. Larry Cohen is somehow involved. I am somehow uninterested, mostly because I cannot stand to watch Kim Basinger.
This reminds me, I need to make sure my cel phone is charged in case I need to call my sister while I’m at the book sale. Sometimes I find interesting books I think she might need in her classroom. I already know to grab anytyhing even remotely related to Tolkien for her.
Code 46—In the dark and restrictive future, Tim Robbins is sent to investigate Samantha Morton, and of course they fall in love. But it cannot be, of course, because blah blah blah futuristic dystopian crap blah blah blah. See Brazil, 1984, Minority Report, and about half the sf movies from the past 20 years.
What intrigues me about this movie isn’t the movie itself, it’s that in looking up the details on IMDb, I noticed the writer and director’s next planned project: a movie of Tristram Shandy. That has to be one of the most unfilmable books ever. (I read about a third of the book and simply couldn’t stand it anymore.) What kind of people want to make a movie out of it? You’d have to be entirely insane. So maybe I’d like to see a movie written and directed by such twisted people.
Criminal—This is a remake of Nine Queens, an Argentinian caper film that I wanted to see and somehow never did. Co-scripted by Steven Soderbergh, who knows how to make a good caper movie. Premiered in Austin a few weeks ago and had a good reception. I ought to pick at least one—the original or the remake—and see it, but probably not both.
Speaking of Soderbergh, I’m really hoping I can score a cheap copy of A Confederacy of Dunces for my boyfriend, who started reading it but had to return his copy to the library. I think everyone should read this book. Unfortunately, a lot of other people think this too, so it’s very difficult to find a cheap/used copy. Wish me luck.
Ju-on (The Grudge)—This is the original Japanese movie, not the American remake due in theaters soon. It’s supposed to be scary and creepy and spooky. If so, it may be the first haunted-house horror movie that I might be at all compelled to see. Or not. I’m not that fond of being scared.
Do you know what the scariest book is that I ever got at the Monster Book Sale? I got it as part of a bag deal on Sunday last time and I think it may have cost me a quarter, at most. It was a novelization of the movie Young Frankenstein. I think it will make a lovely Christmas gift.
I also found a brand-new, practically unopened copy of Macho Sluts, but I’m not sure if I know anyone for whom it would be an appropriate gift.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster—An “official” documentary about those wacky RIAA-loving rockers. I’d rather rent This is Spinal Tap again.
My Mother Likes Women—It sounds to me like All That Heaven Allows but with a young woman instead of Rock Hudson, set in Spain, and funnier. This might not be a bad thing, mind you.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse—I ignored the first one. Can I ignore the second one? Please?
My boyfriend’s review of this movie was, and I quote, “Milla Jovovich. Hubba hubba.” Some week I’ll have to get him to do “Movies This Week” as a guest entry. I am sure it would be lots of fun to read.
THX 1138: The Director’s Cut—George Lucas really should leave his old films the hell alone and work on writing better scripts for the new ones. Don’t even get me started on the original Star Wars trilogy: I refuse to see the movies until they return to the same cut I saw when they were first released. This has been a rant. Thank you.
Ahem. For those of you who didn’t know, this is a pre-DVD rerelease of Lucas’s first film, originally released in 1970, to which he has added more modern special effects and whatnot. I’ve calmed down now.
What the #$*! Do We Know?!—Have you asked yourself recently, “Whatever happend to Marlee Matlin?” I hadn’t, but you might. Apparently she’s starring as a crazy-lady-or-is-she in this cult film with an unpronouncable title, which is about quantum physics. Now you know. What you do with that information is up to you.
Notable events/revivals in Austin:
Allegro Non Troppo—Alamo Downtown on Thursday 9/16. Alamo is showing this movie with live accompaniment from Brown Whornet. I’m wondering if this gentle parody of Fantasia is as much fun as I remember it being when I saw it on video in college. My favorite Bruno Bozzetto animated short isn’t in this movie, it’s called “The Bug” and I would love to see it again if only I could find it. Alamo? Anyone?
Dear Pillow—Continuing at Alamo Village all week at 9:45 pm. I keep hearing more and more good things about this movie, so I may actually get off my butt and go this weekend.
The Naked Feminist—At Alamo Downtown on Wednesday 9/15. A 2003 documentary, which played at SXSW, about feminism and porn. I ought to see this.
Nine Queens—Alamo Downtown on Sunday. See info on Criminal above. This is part of a special promotion that Alamo Downtown is doing on Sunday where they’re showing movies all day and they are free for college students. Anyone at UT want to loan me their ID?
Tron—Alamo Downtown at midnight on Friday and Saturday. I have never seen this movie. I don’t really want to. But if this is your thing, you should go because Alamo will have some guy in a Tron suit there. Woooo.
We still have House of Games, sex, lies, and videotape, and The Front at home. We’ve got to watch them sometime. I’m also thinking of seeing Napoleon Dynamite at Alamo Downtown on Monday night when it only costs a dollar. (If you guys all get there before I do and it sells out I will be very very sad.)
Meanwhile, I’m hoping my boyfriend won’t laugh at me when I come home tonight with a huge bag full of books and nowhere to store them. Um, they’re all gifts, honey. That’s right, gifts. Isn’t that unselfish of me? And I’m probably going back on Sunday too. Stop laughing.

4 thoughts on “movies this week: distracted by books”

  1. Ha! Tron! It’s both really bad and really, really great. But you’re right– the first experience should not be had surrounded by fanboys wearing homemade neon suits and carrying frisbees. Shudder.

  2. Tristam Shandy as a movie?? I suffered thru that in a lit class and started seeing everything as phallic symbols. I also learned that “nose” was a euphemism for “penis.” And I wonder how the movie will handle the page that is solid black.
    I really like your commentaries on various films–sometimes it saves me money.

  3. Don’t worry, Jette, if you miss Tron in the theater, you can watch Columbine’s DVD when we see you in November!
    Actually, I think mcf is right — it’s both a really bad and a really great movie. The effects are fabulous for the time period, and let’s face it, you’re just not going to fully appreciate South Park’s rendition of Moses until you see this film.

  4. Marlee Matlin has made a decent half-career as one of Josh Lyman’s many female nemeses on The West Wing for several seasons now. But now that it’s turned into The West ER there’s probably little room for someone who can’t scream.
    PS – Props to Sue on the money-saving bit. Reading your reviews is like the Wilford Brimley codger said in The Lost Boys: “Who needs to watch TV when you’ve got the TV Guide?”

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