Sunday, January 20, 2008

Movie Review: Juno

Inky and I hit the road yesterday to take the opportunity to get out of our one horse town. So we went to the Baltimore Burbs, which is kind of like a 3 3/4 horse area. After lunch at Baja Fresh and some record shopping at Sound Garden we decided to head to the local shrine to vast consumerism: Arundel Mills Mall. We shopped, browsed, bought some shoes and people watched to kill time before our movie started. The people of greater Baltimore are very interesting to watch, just annoying as fuck to listen to from time to time, but more on that later.

You've all heard about Juno by now, and chances are, you've already decided if you're going to see it. If you haven't, let me tell you that you should. It's a great little movie, that reminds you that movies can be fun, interesting and engaging without spending more than the GNP of a third world nation to make them. I can't say much more than the massive public outpouring of praise of star Ellen Page hasn't already said but, lets just say she's great in her role. It's hard to pull off cool and quirky 16 year old who takes getting knocked up in stride, but Ellen does it. She makes Juno a character you can't help but like, even if she has poor taste in men.

Paulie Bleeker may be cool in Juno's eyes but I just don't get Michael Cera. I thought he was reaching to play his character in Superbad, but as it turns out he may have all the range of Tom Cruise, who also always seems to play the same role. Still, Juno's feelings for Bleeker are enough for us to get on board with her choices and feel happy for her in the end, so I won't bag on Cera too much.

The supporting cast was great in this film, highlighted by Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons and the wonderful Allison Janney. Juno's world is full of people who almost don't seem to notice how strange she is... almost. Simmons, in his turn as her father Mac, takes the news of her pregnancy at 16 rather in stride, and is also prepared for all her off the wall comments. Bateman as a potential adoptive father, seems to see the person he once was in the mirror of Juno, and uses that to make some choices. In all the cast weaves a believable tale of extraordinary event and puts it in the most ordinary context.

This is an A plus movie, and features some great little funny lines and a strong focus on the soundtrack which was built around Kimya Dawson. Sadly, I missed a few jokes, and some of the lyrics in the softer songs because the people of Baltimore CAN NOT SHUT THE FUCK UP IN A MOVIE! Seriously! And I hate to be like this, but are you going out of your way to be a stereotype? Anyway, I didn't let a little side commentary stop me from enjoying the flick, and I think you should check it out too. Just stay away from any zip code that starts with 212...

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