The Picture Show

So in recent weeks I went to not one but two movies, which I almost never do; there just aren't that many that are worth it. But I saw Knight and Day with my little sister (21), and Despicable Me with my little brother (13).

I liked Despicable Me less, so I'll do it first. Notice: "I liked it less", not "I disliked it more". That right there is an achievement, kids.

My only complaint about the picture is, it's made by Universal, so not only is there a bunch of NBC product-placement, but it plays a bit too much to the port-side bleachers, if you take my meaning. And even without the political aspect, the "Ugly American Tourist" and "Evil Matronly Church-lady Type" are sheer laziness, I'm sorry, and are essentially the same thing as "Greedy Jewish Moneylender" and "Obsequious Dialect-Speaking Black Dude".

Still, though, as Leftist Sucker Punches go, it's a love-tap, and barely mars an otherwise enjoyable picture. I think I enjoyed it a bit more than several Pixar films, though it's undisputably made to a lower standard. Actually my biggest complaint, and I know I'm the only one who cares, is, "Don't they know how long it takes to get to the moon?"

Yeah. I'm sorry. I know I'm sick.

As for Knight and Day...wow. Just wow. That car chase? Yeah, I've only seen one that beat it, and that was in Advent Children. I'll say that again: this film's car chase is bested only by one in an entirely CGI movie based on a video game, made for Japanese audiences. You have come in second to the gods, gentlemen.

Indeed, this movie has, essentially, nothing I didn't like. Yeah, I know, it's me, I'm scared too. But basically, I watch movies as a writer; I can't turn it off, and so anytime something's happening, I basically will start thinking, "Here's what would be really cool if it happened next." And in Knight and Day, almost unique among films, every time I think, "This would be cool," the picture goes and does it. They even had this: the perpetual energy source in question still overheats.

Lisa, in this house we respect the laws of thermodynamics!

I'm sorry, but I'm impressed by an actual realistic version of that "perpetual energy source" that ruins so many spy movies. It's a pet peeve of mine, this idea that there can be such a thing. I mean, my sister's got Tesla tattooed on her arm, ask her about the tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists who think he had a way to get free energy, if not for The Man, man. Yeah.

You know a picture's good when the only flaw it has is, "If she shoots those pistols right by his head, wouldn't his ears be bleeding?"—that is, when the only problem is the same unrealistic gunplay every other movie has (also, you can't use two SMGs on two different targets; you really can't use an SMG one-handed at all).

Which raises the question, what the Hell, Michigan, were the critics smoking? Apparently they all decided Knight and Day was mediocre. Um, how? Because it didn't accurately portray espionage? Yeah, I too am thrilled by portrayals of in depth financial analysis and phone-tap transcripts—all the fun of reading your wireless bill, plus the raw excitement of a trip to the CPA! Quite honestly, name me one flat note in the whole performance—you can't, can you?

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