Sunday, September 21, 2008

Movies You Almost See

"I almost called you!" several people in my life have been fond of saying. ("I almost answered!" if I'd been smart enough to think of it, would have been my reply.) There are myriad reasons for almost doing things, including the number of times lately why I almost-but-didn't go to the movies.

This weekend's Exhibit A: Ghost Town. I was tempted to see this because:

1. It got fairly positive reviews.
2. Yet, in a rarity, I didn't read the reviews that closely to know exactly what it's about.
3. I love Kristen Wiig (who may get more laughs per minute of screentime than any other actress working today).
4. Ricky Gervais cracked me up in his Daily Show appearance.
5. It looks like a low-key change of pace.

So what's the rumpus? Did I not go because:

1. It's nice outside?
2. Greg Kinnear is in it? (I've never understood the general affection for him.)
3. David Koepp, the culprit behind Indiana Jones and the Laziest Way to Make a Buck, one of the worst screenplays to be green-lit into a major studio production since the advent of sound, wrote and directed it?
4. I dislike movies about ghosts?

Perhaps it's a deluxe combo of those reasons. Perhaps I'll go see it eventually anyway -- if somebody wants to persuade me, feel free to do so here -- though it looks more like something I'd catch on DVD, which will probably be available by Christmas. I was going to try to work into this frayed thread of thought a question about which movies people have regretted not seeing in theaters; I know I have my coulda-woulda-shoulda list, usually comedies that are more fun to see with an audience, or epics that need to fill a wide screen. Right now, though, the titles escape me.

Nothing would make me almost want to see Righteous Kill, however, and not just for the reasons Jason Bellamy mentions. And not just because I correctly fingered the villain sight unseen, from reading the first paragraph of Owen Gleiberman's review alone. (I cross-checked my hunch with the feedback page on the Internet Movie Database, where viewers spill the endings so you don't have to endure the awful movies that precede them....) No, I refuse to see Righteous Kill mainly because Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, two of the greatest American actors of all time, play a pair of cops named Turk and Rooster.

That's right. Turk. And Rooster. It doesn't take a seer to guess which is which.

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