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More dead end trends

Maybe the newspaper movie, which I mentioned a few postings back as a "Dead End Trends," has got some life in it after all. I've been reminded that there is indeed a third film that falls into that category in addition to "State of Play" and "The Soloist" -- Rod Lurie's "Nothing But the Truth" -- thus fulfilling the hallowed "rule of three" that distinguishes a meaningless "trend" from a meaningless coincidence. Plus, other pundits have pontificated on the matter, including Marshall Fine in his blog "Hollywood and Fine" and Patrick Goldstein's story in his column "The Big Picture"  in the L.A. Times. Does this mean that, since the trend lives, maybe newspapers will also? (Answer: no).

Meanwhile, some other ephemeral trends have come and gone. But maybe they, too, will find a second life.

Lost and Found Worlds:

These are films in which someone discovers a passage to a new or lost world, often a world inhabited by extinct beasts, dinosaurs and out of work print journalists. Among those are this summer's Pixar animated "Up" and "Land of the Lost,"  a big screen adaptation of the old TV show. I could also include some shows set in prehistoric times like the animated sequel Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and the Jack Black, Michael Cera caveman comedy, "Year One." The message? Maybe they're just trying to get us used to the idea of  our own world becoming lost, as is the case in the following trend.

(Dead) Ends of the World:

This is really more a perennial genre than a current trend, but we have been seeing more of them lately. They include the sequel "Terminator Salvation,"  Roland Emmerich's "2012" and "Citizen Game,"  which sounds like "The Matrix" by way of "Rollerball"  I'm tempted also to include "Angels & Demons," Ron Howard's follow up to his adaptation of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," and which, if faithful to the book, should involve not just the Antichrist but also Antimatter.

Speaking of which, I was wondering how Barack Obama was doing in terms of hits when his name is paired with the word "Antichrist." As you might recall when I checked this last year on August 28 before the election it was 501,000 hits. After being in office for about 100 days it has, predictably, more than doubled to 1,100,000. His opponent John McCain, also predictabl,  has dropped from 425,000 to 184,000. (My own count, ominously, has increased to 145). I bring this up in part because the two candidates'  now resolved conflict between youth and age (Obama winning the election and the Antichrist vote) might be reflected in the following trend:

Doddering mentor/dumb young kid:


In this trend, old age and youth reconcile their differences as an accomplished geezer takes a shine to a green youngster (male, usually, except for Woody Allen's film) and shows him (or her, with Woody) the ropes (and more besides, again with Woody). For reasons I can't quite fathom, in most of these movies the codger is a magician, an obvious example being the Dumbledore/Harry connection in the newest frachise entry "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince" Then there are also the not so great "The Great Buck Howard" and Michael Caine as a crapulous retired prestidigitator geezer in "Is Anybody There?" In the non-magician category there's the old guy teaching the young guy how to prepare the dead in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winner "Departures," the desperate sounding Woody Allen movie, "Whatever Works" and, once again, "Up,"where the magic is all computer generated.


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Peter Keough tosses away all pretenses of objectivity, good taste and sanity and writes what he damn well pleases under the guise of a film blog.

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