The Cinema of the Four
Just Go With It,
The career of the amateur consulting cinematologist is a most undependable thing. A week or two may pass without a single investigation, and then three cases can come up within as many days. Of course, such activity also comes with it less time to record said investigations. Thus, I shall have to let my notes suffice on this occasion.
"Just Go With It" was, to this viewer's eye, the Adam Sandler equivalent of an energetic young rock star who turns to ballads later in his career. At some point, midway through, I noticed the curious incident of the silent theater-goers. Theater-goers are not supposed to be silent during a comedy. That usual movie albatross Jennifer Aniston seemed to be in her perfect role as the slightly sad All-American girl who seems to be overlooked in favor of the Angelina Jolies of the world. (Angelina was not in this movie, of course, but one quickly sees how the tabloids cast Ms. Aniston in a similar role.)
The solution to the mystery of "Just Go With It" appeared in the credits: "Based on the play, 'Cactus Flower'". Ah! The old movie with Walter Mathau and Goldie Hawn! A remake of a not-that-funny film from the seventies. No wonder the laughs weren't coming.
"Gnomeo and Juliet" was, at least, a little more up front about its base material. In fact, at one point the titular garden gnome has a conversation with a statue of William Shakespeare (voiced by Patrick Stewart), about the "Romeo and Juliet" tale being played out. Shakespeare plainly points out that the lovers are doomed to die, as that's how the story goes. But apparently some of the laughs from Adam Sandler movie found there way into the land of 3-D garden gnome feuds.
And then there was the matter of "I Am Number Four," a tale of aliens living on Earth that was a little reminiscent of "Starman" and a lot like the set-up for a television series. Not a bad little cinematic digression, although too much the half-told tale in preparing itself for sequels. One seemingly important alien box appears again and again in the movie without ever telling us what is inside of it, for example. The worst of this sequel anticipation, of course, that the most engaging actor in the film, Timothy Olyphant, is the one that definitely won't be appearing in any of said sequels.
An interesting week at the movies, but the month ahead looks far more promising for the amateur cinematologist!
What great-grandfather Sherlock might have said: