Some Movies

Terminator: Salvation – Passable summer nonsense, although the series’ timeline and, well, point – never all that clear – have been ground into mush by the needs of sequelization. Sam Worthington proves that not all Australians can break off the accent like Hugh Jackman or Eric Bana (whose breakout role in Chopper I’m watching right now).

Up – A tear-jerker within the first 10 minutes, a sad and beautiful package of love stories that, alas, like Wall-E, devolves into an actionfest in the final act. But it does pass the “haunting” test – I am thinking about it days later.

The Brothers Bloom – Aaaand here’s one that fails the test. Rian Johnson’s followup to Brick plays a similar trick, placing a troupe of eccentric genre characters (with eccentric genre dialogue) in a modern setting, although the bleached suburbs have been replaced by a world tour of sexy spy locales. Frothy, cute, although it really fails to justify its final 20 minutes (the romance that we care about has been dealt with beforehand).

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Really, just a total piece of shit.

Kung Fu Panda – A kids’ movie that understands what kids want – to be treated like adults and get spoiled with big dumb action scenes. Trite, but good at what it’s supposed to be good at.

Star Trek – I haven’t enjoyed the revisionism that casts this as the only good piece of Star Trek-iana, but I’m on the bandwagon. Solid action movie with fantastic acting, especially from Simon Pegg.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil – The best movie of the year thus far.

The Hangover – The most 1980s-y movie of 2009.

Yi Yi – A masterpiece, the best movie Robert Altman never made.

Michael Calderone was right!

I return to this blog, on a slow-ish day beset by laptop errors, to defend the honor of Michael Calderone. He reported that Matthew Cooper had a “new gig” writing for The Atlantic’s political page. Cooper responded that he was “still @tpmmedia” and FishbowlDC reported that Cooper was “pulling double duty” at both news orgs.

Well, whatever. I really loved Cooper’s output for Portfolio, but his “duty” at TPM, as “editor-at-large,” has produced… what, exactly? At TPMDC, where reporters Brian Beutler and Eric Kleefeld churn out thousands of words every day, Cooper has produced a total of 103 posts since January 19. By contrast, Beutler and Kleefeld wrote 13 posts today. Cooper slowed down dramatically after March 5, and his latest post, on “The Old Pulitzers,” went up on April 20. If writing one post for The Atlantic and none for TPM is “double duty,” I think we’re out of the recession.