Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, 2007

Worst. Soundtrack. Ever. When I did those rewatches a while back I thought the scores were pretty obtrusive and thought to myself, "Why don't more movies just use songs as the score?" It was just a fleeting thought. I don't think I deserved this kind of punishment in response. Like, not only do the songs start off bad, and not only is each one worse than the last, but the songs themselves actually get worse as they go along. I mean, yes, music is a matter of taste and I don't mean to insult you if you enjoy these songs but, man, it's like they were carefully calibrated to cause me pain. Blast this soundtrack at me for a couple of minutes and I will give up the dictatorship of Panama.

Anyway, the dialogue is altogether too precious — and it puts its worst foot forward on this count, making me think for the first twenty minutes that we had a zero on our hands. I never believed for a second that the title character was anything but a construct designed to show off the hipness of the screenwriter. The movie's treatment of the adoptive parents — condemn the likable one, redeem the repulsive one — feels less like nuance than like gimmicky authorial sleight-of-hand. But I guess it was reasonably watchable and I'd be lying if I said I didn't snicker a couple of times.

Donnie Darko
Richard Kelly, 2001
#10, 2001 Skandies

This movie didn't make sense to me so I went online to see what I had missed. Apparently what I had missed is that there's some sort of companion book that you're supposed to read in order to learn what you have just witnessed. You know, the way Infocom would put ridiculous puzzles into its games so that you had to pay once for the game and then again for the fuckin' Invisiclues. Fuck that.

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