Coming Soon-Ish: Acronyms, Pompeii, and More Romances With Time Travel

A.C.O.D.

I’m kind of a sucker for independent, Sundance, dysfunctional family dramady stuff, but they don’t always turn out that well. This one, however, I have some hopes for. I mean, the cast alone: Adam Scott, Catherine O’Hara, Richard Jenkins, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Amy Poehler, Jane Lynch, etc. That’s a good cast, and it looks like a good script. I’m trying to decide what my favorite line is. It’s probably one of these:

“Don’t say that.”

“And I’ve just coined a new term, and I think it’s clever.”

“I know you think you know better. That’s a trait you get from your father.”
“I do know better.”

“That’s a stupid lie. Honey, you were an accident.”

My only real concern is that I have absolutely zero interest in what looks to be Adam Scott’s affair with Jessica Alba. Hopefully, it will be handled in a way that doesn’t make me want to hit myself in the head.

JJ Abrams Mystery Project Teaser

I like a decent amount of JJ Abrams stuff, so I’m usually happy to see his name attached to something, but . . . this teaser didn’t really do anything for me at all. I mean, the ending is a little weird/creepy, yes, and it’s kind of interesting — but not interesting enough for me to be hanging off the edge of my seat, wondering, “Holy shit, what is this new thing? Why won’t you tell me, JJ Abrams? WHY WON’T YOU TELL ME?”

Personally, I blame the voiceover for this. A dude walking around black and white Limbo with some asshole saying cryptic things like, “Because what begins at the water will end there, and what ends there shall once more begin,” is just annoying. You’re trying too hard, Abrams. Artificial attempts at intrigue are not my thing.

Pompeii

“But in a city forever lost, the greatest secret still waits.” And that secret is ab-tastic Jon Snow, striding out from the dark like a MAN.

Oh, this is going to be terrible.

Apparently, Paul W.S. Anderson has decided to turn one of history’s most horrifying geological disaster stories into an epic action adventure, one filled — no doubt — with super slow mo fighting scenes. And for some reason, Kiefer Sutherland and Jared Harris are participating. WHY?

About Now

Knowing full well that everybody in the planet is making the same joke . . . Rachel McAdams sure likes her time-travel romances, doesn’t she? One of these days, she’s going to be the one moving through space and time.

I’m . . . iffy on this one. There are parts that look genuinely funny, pretty much the parts with Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy. (“This is such a weird joke.”) But I’m a little concerned about all the rules and consequences because I get the impression this is going to be extremely hand-wavy. Mind you, I don’t care about the science or anything. This is pretty clearly a magic time travel movie, and I don’t want or need too much physics stuff. But when Bill Nighy says that time catches up to everyone, even time-travellers, I need that to play out in a believable and preferably non-syrupy sweet manner. Which I’m not sure I’m going to get.

Also, Gleeson’s character says, “I never know what the future holds, just like everyone else.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but unlike everyone else, you can go back and fix things if you’re unhappy with how they’ve played out, JACKASS.”

And finally . . . C.O.G.

Yup. More acronyms and more dramady, but this one is based on a story by David Sedaris. Sadly, I haven’t read it yet. Fortunately, I own the book that it’s in. I may have to move Naked higher in my To-Read pile.

This actually looks like it could be pretty good, although knowing something of Sedaris’s work, I can’t help but feel it’s going to stray somewhat in tone at the end. But there are a lot of good lines here — I’m particularly fond of “Everything I’ve ever bought, every piece of food, it all comes with its own history . . . of some miserable person rubbing their grubby little fingers all over it” — and if the movie can walk the delicate balance of not being a total dick to religious people without forsaking the main character’s atheism for a feel-good conversion to Christianity . . . well, that would be impressive.

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6 Responses to Coming Soon-Ish: Acronyms, Pompeii, and More Romances With Time Travel

  1. Teacups says:

    ACOD has both a Party Down reunion and a Parks & Rec… thing, which I guess can’t be called a reunion because that show’s still on and Adam Scott and Amy Poehler are still in it. Anyway, Ben’s wife is now his stepmother, which should be odd. Also, the trailer has Okkervil River in it. I approve of all of these things.

  2. Teacups says:

    “But when Bill Nighy says that time catches up to everyone, even time-travellers, I need that to play out in a believable and preferably non-syrupy sweet manner. Which I’m not sure I’m going to get.”
    So About Time was on while I was visiting my parents, and trust me, everything plays out in a syrupy sweet manner. EVERYTHING. Not great on the believability front either.

    Although the Tim/Bill Nighy storyline was admittedly better and somewhat less syrupy than the rest of the movie. It had some level of actual conflict, and wasn’t as creepy, since they’re on a level playing field and don’t manipulate each other. ‘Cause dude, Tim uses his abilities to stalk McAdams, prevent her from meeting her boyfriend, and impress her with a bunch of lies. It’s worse than the trying-to-hook-up-with-Rita section of Groundhog Day, and Tim’s meant to be sweet and kind. Even though he hardly ever uses his superpowers for unselfish reasons, and certainly never thinks about using them to help strangers or do good on any kind of wider scale. Apparently someone never picked up that whole deal about power coming with responsibility. I swear to God, I kind of wanted to punch the little git in the face.

    Also, the whole thing was basically just a wish-fulfillment fantasy with no actual stakes, which probably more of a no-no in storytelling, but it’s the ethics and responsibility thing that really annoys me.

    • Disappointing, but I guess not entirely surprising. While we’re — kind of — on the subject, do you like Groundhog Day? It seems basically beloved by everyone, but I’m kind of ambivalent about it. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, so I don’t remember that much. I just know that I laughed pretty hard at the suicide scenes (which, wow, that sounds like such a terrible thing when you just type it out like that) and about LOST MY MIND at the ending when he’s like, “Yeah, let’s live here.” I pretty much wanted to punch him in the face right then.

      I actually wrote a paper about this movie. (It was extremely laid back and may have even included profanity. I was pretty sure I could get away with it with that teacher, and it was at the end of the semester, so I was feeling punchy.) It’s probably not that good, but now I kind of want to see if I can find it.

      • Teacups says:

        I like Groundhog Day okay. I’m happy to watch it if it’s on, but I’ve never considered buying the DVD or anything. I do hate that last line, because I just can’t buy that he would want to live in what had effectively been his prison for so long. Or at least, I can’t see it as a happy ending. More like location Stockholm Syndrome.

        I also don’t like Andie McDowell, and I think that last day could’ve used a little more buildup.

        Did you get away with the paper? If you do find it, I’d love to read it.

        • Yeah, I seem to remember finding Andie McDowell a little annoying. Like, maybe she was kind of righteous about just how Nice and Giving and Wonderful she was? But it’s been a long time, so I could be misremembering. I’ve honestly never been a huge Andie McDowell fan. Don’t particularly like her in Four Weddings and a Funeral, either.

          I did get away with the paper — I think my teacher was ready for the end of the semester, too, and it made him laugh — but I haven’t tracked it down so far. If I do run across it, and it’s not too embarrassing, I may post it. 🙂

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