Jersey Girl: I absolutely love Kevin Smith. His gift for dialogue is nearly unmatched in film today. Up until now (with a couple of rare exceptions), we've only seen that gift turned towards comedy. While much of this movie is hilarious, there are also an equal amount of dramatic moments that are extraordinarily powerful. You can actually see Kevin growing as a writer and as a filmmaker. Keep pushing yourself, Kevin. It's a joy to watch.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Written by Charlie Kaufman, the same man behind Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. Man, does it show. Another twisted look inside one man's mind, artfully arranged. Unfortunately, I believe I figured out the "twist" very early, but probably part of that was because I had heard part of an interview with Elijah Wood that I really shouldn't have (I'm very anti-spoiler, and this definitely was one...). One thing about the movie that I haven't seen or heard others touch on: the effects. They show many different ways of things being "erased" from his mind. Sometimes it's simply lighting, other times it's a well-placed cut, but much of the time, digital effects in varying ways. Every single method is used at just the right time for the greatest emotional impact. Bravo.
Shaolin Soccer: Thanks to Gail, the owner of Metropolis Comics, I got free tickets to a preview of this, so technomonkey and I went tonight. I had already seen the bootleg DVD, thanks to shironiku, but Joel hadn't seen it at all. Two years ago, self got to see the American version at Comic-Con, and also picked up the original on DVD (which Stephen Chow signed for him). I now can say that I agree with self, the American version is better. I seriously doubted I was going to be able to say that, since I enjoyed the DVD so much, but with one exception, all of the jokes are carried off much better in the new version. Even if you've already watched the original version, go see it in the theaters. One warning, however: while the commercials for the movie are dubbed, the actual movie itself is subtitled. So, if you hate to read, then you're in trouble. But, trust me, it's worth the effort.
Yeah, I'm feeling a little like Ron Brewington for giving all positive reviews, but these days I pretty much only go to movies that I have a strong indication that I'll like them, so it's really not that much of a surprise...Unlike when I was seeing four movies a week, every week, as part of my job...