The Ice Storm

I returned from my previously mentioned travels late Friday evening, just before Atlanta’s weather turned icy. Like David, I don’t mind (and sometimes even enjoy) the cold weather, but ice storms are not fun. I didn’t have any good reason to brave the icy roads (or more precisely Atlanta’s notoriously bad drivers trying to navigate icy roads), so I’ve been more or less trapped in my apartment with the few meager DVDs I could scavenge from a nearby blue-and-yellow family-friendly videostore. Because my electricty was out for two or three hours last night, I didn’t even get to watch these films until fairly late, instead reading Hunter S. Thompson’s latest, which I’d picked up for some “light” airplane reading, by candlelight.

After a stressful but exciting week, which I may describe later, I was not in the mood for anything heavy, leading to an unintentional double dose of Christina Applegate films, the mildly entertaining Will Ferrell vehicle, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and rumored Sundance fave, Employee of the Month. I’ll skip the Anchorman review for now, given that most people have probably already formed an opinion of the Will Ferrell-Vince Vaughan-unsuspecting blond actress genre.

And I’m only going to comment quickly on Employee of the Month to say that it suffered from many of the excesses associated with the pseudo-indie formula, specifically an annoying over-use of fast-motion camera effects (I’m guessing the director has seen Requiem for a Dream one too many times) and a privileging of quirkiness for the sake of quirkiness, without making that quality very interesting or relevant to the film itself. The gunplay that comes later in this film suggests that the director has also been watching too many Guy Ritchie films, but as this reviewer notes, Matt Dillon’s role in teh film suggests that the best way to describe Employee of the Month is as a poor man’s Wild Things. Not recommended unless you’re really bored. Or a big Matt Dillon or Steve Zahn fan.

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