Reviews

Here some kids teach Fleck a lesson about doing his job.Arthur Fleck is a heavily medicated guy with Tourette's syndrome and a fulfilling fantasy life who works as a clown in Gotham City.  He does typical clown stuff like spinning signs outside a store that's going out of business, murdering three Wayne Enterprises yuppies, and taking the gun into a children's hospital to cheer up the kiddies.  He's also an aspiring stand up comic: "aspiring" in the sense that John Belushi aspired to cut back on the coke.  His only discernable joke is a "knock-knock" joke, the punchline of which is him committing suicide.  Turns out he's not doing so well on the stand-up circuit.

Meanwhile, Gotham City has become a real piece of crap.  New York-style garbage heaps litter this crime infested landscape of jerks, whose singular preoccupation it seems is to beat up Arthur Fleck.  Even kids take a piece of him as he just tries to live his psychotically-delusioned life among all the unsympathetic jerks that infest this horrible city.  So pretty much New York.

Here Douglas and Shia pose for this civil war portrait.Twenty-three years after the original, Gordon Gekko returns, fresh from prison with a new book to promote all about greed. Divorced and estranged from his only remaining child Winnie (as in "the Pooh"), this new grandfatherly Gordo hands out life-lessons and schemes to get back all his hard-stolen dough from his daughter, who doesn't want it anyway. So... umm, well he doesn't have to scheme very hard really.

Anyway, things have changed in the twenty years since Gordo was king. Speculation fever has gripped Wall Street, we're told and led to the ruin of our entire financial system. Instead of good-old-fashioned insider trading, these days odd guys like Bretton James (Josh Brolin) make billions by doing questionable things. Some sort of questionable things having to do with, umm, bad debt? Sub-prime mortgage bundling? Oil speculation? Illegal DVD sales?

Ok, I'm not exactly sure what Bretton James does in the movie, but he's a bad guy. I'm pretty sure of that anyway. Even though he does give Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) a great job after he loses his last one, and takes him out speed racing on awesome motorcycles. Yes, he does give Jake the motorcycle afterward too, but he's a bad guy doing questionable things. Of that I'm, like, 40% certain.

District 9, nowhere you want to be.Apparently some of you are curious about what would happen if a bunch of weird aliens came to earth and got thrown into a ghetto in South Africa, huh? What, longing for apartheid already?

Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is a guy with a great new job. He works for a really big company, just married the boss' daughter, and thus got handed a great new promotion evicting a bunch of icky alien guys from their disease ridden hovels. Yup, things are looking bright.

Jeff Bridges starts the New Earth Army, a hippie commune for psychics on a Fort Bragg Army base.  Yup, you read right.Ever wonder what would happen if the U.S. Government bankrolled a hippie to figure out how the Army could take advantage of psychics? Probably not, if you're like most Americans, but nevertheless someone went ahead and made a movie about it anyway.

Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) is your typical Ann Arbor newspaper reporter. His wife's just left him for a guy with one arm and he feels a burning need to do something important. So it's off to Iraq (this is 2004 or so) via Kuwait, where he meets a very strange guy named Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) at a bar. It turns out Bob (McGregor) has heard the name before. See before he trundled off to the war zone, he interviewed a local whack-job named Gus (Stephen Root) who told him all about Lyn, psychic stuff, and how he learned to kill a hamster "with his mind."

When it comes to paranoid ravings, it doesn't get much better than Stephen Root.

Here Nolan tries to direct DiCaprio, but he's on the phone with Scorsese.How hard is it to make someone form an idea that you suggest?  That's the subject of Inception, Christopher Nolan's latest foray into semi-confusing jump-cuts, flashbacks, and asynchronous story telling ala Memento.

It's sometime in the near future, and mankind, for some reason that's not entirely clear, has developed the technology for people to jump into the dreams of other people.  Unlike 1984's Dreamscape, however, this time nobody has to be a tortured psychic longing for redemption to do it: now you just hook up some electronic gizmos and you're off.  You can even do it sitting next to a guy on an airplane.

Like most new technologies -- especially those that are perfect for hardcore abuse like this one is -- a shadow economy has developed. In this one, trained dream invaders hire themselves out to the highest bidder.  Enter Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a dream ronin looking for redemption.  Desperate to see his estranged kids again, Cobb takes a conspicuously dangerous final assignment for a rich corporate clod (Ken Watanabe), who wants Cobb to plant an idea in the mind of a business rival (Cillian Murphy).

No, that's not the same guy from Sixteen Candles.  That's Gedde, this is Ken.  Yes, I looked it up.

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