Nothing better than a snowstorm to help you catch up on DVDs:
MAN ON WIRE: I’m petrified of heights. There, I said it. Just typing that sentence made my palms sweat. I didn’t envision a high place or anything, I’m just that scared of heights. At the same time, I’m fascinated with them. I want to be able to look down for a seven-story building without fear, but it’s just not me. That’s what made Man on Wire — the story of Philippe Petit walking a tightrope from one World Trade Center building to the next in 1970 something — so intense for me. That, and the man may be the most animated storyteller this side of Tommy DeVito. But beneath the story itself is the most perfect tribute to the grandeur and stature of the World Trade Centers that has been made so far, almost accidentally. If it was the intention of director James Marsh, then he deserves the Best Director Oscar. GRADE: A-
STEP BROTHERS: In 2001, me, my buddy Big, my brother Mark and his buddy Kez had Sunday season tickets to the Phillies and we kept an extra ticket for friends who wanted to come on various weeks. One Sunday, Kez brought his buddy who turned out to have the worst potty mouth I had ever heard. Imagine Tom Cruise from Tropic Thunder, only stoned so he has no governor for what he’s saying. I’m not averse to cursing, I take part in it at all appropriate times. But it was so loud and often, Big and I cringed every time another F-bomb dropped because we had to come back next week and deal with the ire of the people around us. The lesson? Cursing is awesome, but not in mixed company. It’s the same in movies — you have to do it right, or you’re going to ruin the scene. Luckily, Step Brothers has some of the best cursing I’ve ever heard from some of the weirdest people you’d think would be doing it right. Richard Jenkins may have a chance for an Oscar this year for The Visitor, but he drops enough dutifully placed F-bombs in this to earn a double-digit Hail Mary penance. It’s one of the times where the cursing actually helps the movie. Not that it needed any in the first place, it’s the funniest movie of the year. A couple years ago, I probably would have hated this because it has no point whatsoever. But now I appreciate that. It doesn’t have to be lambaste Hollywood, or have pot smokers solve a murder, have an Isreali superspy save a Brooklyn neighborhood or incorporate any crazy B-story that would ruin the movie. It’s just a fun, original script loaded with so many spot-on jokes, even more spot-on swears and fantastic chemistry between Will Farrell and John C. Reilly that you feel jealous they get to have so much fun at work. I’d like to suggest Farrell to make another movie this year very quickly. I haven’t liked anything he’s done since Night at the Roxbury, but ate up Step Brothers and Semi Pro with a spoon. GRADE: A-
We’re not without news today in case you need something to warm you up:
You can blame the cold, you can blame the snow, you can blame fire-breathing dragons guarding the doors to every movie theater in the country. But I’ll bet Hollywood knows exactly where to aim its disappointment with Yes Man only opening to $18 million. I’ll bet that person can contort his face in 8 trillion directions, too. Don’t be surprised if this is the last time anyone counts on Jim Carrey to open a movie.
The Bad Idea Jeans seem to be making the rounds. I’d be shocked if anyone paid 10 cents to see this garbage, seeing as everyone who saw it the first time around is still trying to get their five bucks back.
Maybe if you read this, you won’t feel the need to watch the Prison Break fall finale tonight. Good luck with that.
Metacritic is SLACKING big-time getting up its top 10 movie list. So in the interest moving things along and giving you some things that won’t be on that list anyway, the AV Club gives some obscure stars their chance to rank the best movies of the year.