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Every year

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It seems like once each year I have to have that cold that gives me that one night of a huge fever and then a day of just being wiped out.

Last night and today were it.

I hate the feeling: I was cold all night last night, but still I sweat up a storm. And then today, I was just wiped: after everyone left, I just slept until just after 11, and then pretty much lounged and watched a movie and some overdue TV.

Not exactly relaxing, but it was good for me in spite of it all.

I’ve always found it fascinating how I can morph a cold or something into pretty similar symptoms. And I’m sure my mother can vouch for the fact that I’ve always had to spike that one outrageous fever to break it all. But I’m a little surprised that it took me so long into the season to finally catch some bug.

It’s not a great week to be sick, but not that bad, either. Easter week is, as I’ve mentioned before, a busy one for those in the line of church work. Jenni’s got an event Saturday and then the Easter breakfast and worship on Sunday. And this year, we’ll be hosting the family gathering. I’m actually looking forward to all of it, in spite of the work involved to get ready. I love cooking for gatherings and I like hosting. I just don’t like having to clean…Oh well.

So, I can review three movies from the weekend and today…Here’s the quick and dirty reviews.

“The Other Guys” is a movie that I don’t remember hearing about, but that isn’t terribly surprising: my grip on pop culture is tenuous at best. It’s a pretty typical Will Ferrell movie: he’s a guy who acts “normal,” but that normal is 90 degrees out of normal from the rest of the world. He’s a cop who, with his partner, is stuck riding out a desk job until they stumble on a really big case. They then manage to solve it through some bungling, brilliant deduction, and, of course, huge chase scenes.

This is a hugely uneven movie: the beginning is funny and slapstick, and the last 20 minutes or so also run at that pace, but the middle part gets lost and too busy telling the story to remember to keep up the comedy, or the writers decided that was the right time to just get weird.

But it is what it is, and I guess it didn’t try too hard to be anything more than just a screwball comedy, so I’ve got to give it that much.

Three out of Five Stars.

Our next lucky victim is “Prince Cinders,” a 25 minute animated short based on a short story. The story is a twisted take on the Cinderella story: four princes all live together in a castle. Three of them are “handsome,” (read: hairy, strong and good dancers), and the fourth is weak, not hairy, and because of this, is made to do all of the housework for the other three. On the day of the big party (at a disco, no less), the fairy appears to grant wishes to Prince Cinders, but through her ineptitude, she turns him into a large ape in a swimsuit. Hilarity should ensue as the Prince finds out that he really is worthy just the way he is, but instead, this film gets bogged down in being strange for the sake of being strange.

I’ve got to say that I expected more from this movie than I got, but I’m not sure why I expected more. But the animation was poorly done, the sound was not good, and this, unfortunately, all was too distracting from the rest of the movie. Three out of five stars.

“Red” is a movie that I think suffers from being a great concept, having a really effective preview, and a great cast. But it didn’t use any of that very effectively at all.

Bruce Willis is a retired CIA black ops agent who is suddenly targeted for assassination. As he works to find out why someone’s out to kill him, he reunites with his old partners: Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren (who plays a wonderfully charming, mysterious, and overly protective sharpshooter who is running a bed and breakfast in her retirement).

It’s a great idea for a story: full of double- and triple-crosses leading pretty high up in the government to murder a list of people who were involved in a CIA mission from over 30 years ago. Coupled with the great actors, it’s really an entertaining idea and the first half of the movie had great promise.

But then they seemed to stop wanting to use the great skill of the actors very well at all. Willis is just a tough guy who wants revenge and to get his girlfriend back safely; Freeman is dying of cancer anyway, so they don’t bother giving him much of a role or a backstory; and Malkovich is, as usual, an unhinged paranoid living in the bayou. It’s well paced, but there was so much more they could have done with this movie: all of the characters have a history working with each other, but they don’t bring much of that up at all; and all of these actors have pretty good comedic chops, or at least are cast out of character…Why wasn’t this made funnier?

It’s probably all nitpicking, but I was disappointed by what in the previews and ads all looked very entertaining.

If you like action movies, though, this is probably a good movie for you. But I can only give it a three out of five stars.

Off to bed to recover from this cold.

See you tomorrow.