This Is It: Already a moneymaker before the weekend even sets in, I can’t help but read the title of the Michael Jackson rehearsal doc This Is It as a carnie-barker cry (just in time for Halloween): this is it, this is it, this is all you get of Michael ’cause he’s dead, so step right up and have a gander! I know it’s supposed to be a tribute to the fallen Jackson’s artistry in his final days, but it skeeves me out, as does all of the trailer-and-interview blather about how Jackson and his cohorts were putting on a multijillion dollar fifty-night series of stadium concerts for l-o-v-e, world peace, and the rainforests. I’m happy to hear that Jackson wasn’t a complete mess before he died; I’m just as happy not to watch the rail-thin proof that he could still shake it.
Gentlemen Broncos: I’m a little confused about the career trajectory of Jared Hess, writer-director behind Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. Nacho Libre, despite somehow being more scattershot than the pleasantly plotless Dynamite, was actually a pretty decent-sized hit that didn’t cost a ton of money, and Hess’s new movie comes from Fox Searchlight, which made a lot of money off of his debut. Yet Gentlemen Broncos looks a bit like a dump: a two-city opening without much promotion, even though Hess’s past movies both achieved crossover success a lot more readily than coastal-critic approval. Maybe Hess has gone too far into deadpan grotesquerie; I personally loved Napoleon Dynamite‘s comic-strip rhythms, but the Broncos trailer looks halfway between Dynamite and the more raucous, vulgar Nacho without a Jack Black figure to make the clowning legit. This all seems to be confirmed by Simon Abrams in his review. I hope it’s at least amusing, though, because it has Sam Rockwell, Jermaine Clement, and Michael Angarano, who I briefly regarded as the poor man’s Shia until I realized that between Snow Angels and his turn as lil’ William Miller in Almost Famous, Angarano is probably a better actor.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day: Oh man. Bros haven’t been this excited about a sequel since Old School: Full Throttle or Braveheart II: Brave Harder. Wait, those don’t exist, so this might be bro movie of the decade. I saw the original movie in college, as you do, and sort of dug its Tarantino-by-way-of-Ed-Burns low-expectation vibe. Ben Sutton suggests that this is probably a fans-only type of deal. Since I’m only a quarter Irish and even less of a Boondocks fan, mathematically I should probably just watch ten or fifteen minutes of it on cable someday.