The trends of our times:
Mark Caro at the Chicago Tribune thinks "We seem to have entered a golden era of woeful movie titles." He can see arguments for the relative lousiness of "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" and "The Squid and the Whale," but really takes issue with forgettable titles ("Did [Ashton] Kutcher also star in ‘Just Friends,’ ‘Just Married,’ ‘Just Like Heaven’ or ‘Kingdom of Heaven’?") and the lousy compound titles so often bestowed on sequels ("Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"), which raises that old contention of sequel-naming â€” as observed by the cinetrix a while back:
Over dinner with a bunch of contentious folks the other night the argument was made that the only truly acceptable sequel appellation was "Electric Boogaloo." The cinetrix concedes the point.
Caryn James at the New York Times tries to trend-spot too, pointing out that "that tabloid-ready subject â€” when ordinary people kill â€” is the serious center of several high-profile films." As with many of James’ attempts to wrestle broad themes, this piece left us bemused â€” surely we would have remembered if the majority of films previous to this point had reserved on-screen killing strictly for gibbering psychos with "REDRUM" scrawled on their foreheads with a Sharpie? She chooses "Bubble," "Match Point" and "A History of Violence" to make her case that…oh, hell, we honestly dunno. Also, in what way were the murders in "Match Point" "intimate and unexpected"? Did anyone who’d even watched the trailer expect otherwise? It’s the ending that was unusual.
Finally, Charles Masters at the Hollywood Reporter leads us to believe the phase we’re in is merely a heartwarming polar one, as the folks at Paramount Classics pick up two Arctic nature docs, "White Planet" and "The Call of the North," with visions of penguins and dollars signs dancing in their heads.
+ The worst movie title ever? (Chicago Tribune)
+ Electric Boogaloo (Pullquote)
+ Ordinary Killers: A Theme of the Movie Moment (NY Times)
+ Polar "Planet" spins at Paramount Classics (Hollywood Reporter)