BootLeg Betty

Ya Don’t Say! Things I Learned At The Movies!

A list of things learned at the movies in 2008
By Chris Hicks
Deseret News
Published: January 2, 2009

Things I learned at the movies during 2008:

Movies are scarier in Spanish. (“The Orphanage”)

Movies are not scary in shaky-cam. (“Cloverfield”)

It is apparently written into Will Farrell’s contract that he must strip and scream in all his movies. (“Semi-Pro,” “Step Brothers”)

“Enchanted’s” Amy Adams is equally convincing as a ditsy ’30s show-biz hedonist and an innocent ’60s Catholic nun. (“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” “Doubt”)

Jim Carrey is better as a cartoon Dr. Seuss character (“Horton Hears a Who”) than a live-action Dr. Seuss character (2000’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”)

Slasher movies that were bad in the ’80s aren’t any better as 21st century remakes. (“Prom Night”)

Adding a “green” message doesn’t make a stupid idea any more palatable. (“The Happening”)

Advance skepticism aside, Robert Downey Jr. makes a great superhero. (“Ironman”)

Bette Midler is a scene-stealer as a supporting player but she needs a new movie in which to star. (“Then She Found Me”)

All superheroes are not created equal. (“The Incredible Hulk,” “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”)

Pixar is incapable of making a bad movie. (“WALL*E”)

Eddie Murphy is incapable of making a good movie. (“Meet Dave”)

Will Smith is capable of making bad movies. (“Hancock,” “Seven Pounds”)

Brendan Fraser should try starring opposite real people instead of green-screen monsters. (“Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”)

Mike Myers, like far too many comedy filmmakers, equates sleazy with funny. (“The Love Guru”)

Once in awhile a sequel can equal — and even surpass — its predecessor. (“The Dark Knight”)

Never remake a classic. (“The Women,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still”)

Don’t kill off Brad Pitt halfway through your movie … even if it does star George Clooney. (“Burn After Reading”)

Although they take years to produce and are expensive, without a decent script even animated films can stink. (“Fly Me to the Moon,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Space Chimps,” “Igor,” “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” “Azur and Asmar,” “Delgo”)

Child actors can outshine their adult counterparts when given the chance. (“Under the Same Moon,” “Slumdog Millionaire”)

Live-action films appear to be animated when too much computer-graphics work is used. (“The Incredible Hulk,” “Australia”)

Animated films can appear to be live-action when attention to detail is employed. (The first half of “WALL*E”)

Samuel L. Jackson is fun to watch even when his movies are bad. (“Jumper,” “Lakeview Terrace,” “Soul Men,” “The Spirit”)

A simple story of humanity can be deeply moving. (“The Visitor”)

Even a beloved iconic character can be undone by a stupid ending. (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”)

If the songs are popular, singers aren’t required to make a musical a hit. (“Mamma Mia!)

Christmas movies aren’t necessarily full of cheer. (“A Christmas Tale,” “Four Christmases,” “Nothing Like the Holidays”)

If you are Owen Wilson and need a hit, star opposite children or a dog. (“Drillbit Taylor,” “Marley & Me”)

They can still make Westerns like they used to. (“Appaloosa”)

Those blatant turn-off-your-cell-phone theater messages don’t work. (Every movie I’ve attended this year.)

E-MAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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