I wanted to love District 9 as much as the raving fanboys over at AICN but, as a whole, it didn't fully thrill me somehow. I like most of the faux-documentary stuff early on, which sets up a lot of ideas that resonate on a lot of different levels, but once the second half turns into a more straightforward action picture those ideas dissolve a little and what matters more is exploding heads and ass-kicking "prawn" creatures which, admittedly, look amazing for a mere $30 million bucks (I'll take the look of this film any day over Transformers 2 or Terminator 4 or GI Joe). And there's definitely some strong, disturbing political commentary here early on that separates D-9 from the summer's other boneheaded action pictures and makes it well worth a look. I particularly like the scene where our hero, exploited by the "establishment," must slaughter an innocent "prawn." Let's hope Blomkamp keeps his budgets small and doesn't end up helming a future mindless summer franchise based on toys. But that's probably too much to hope for.
Of course, the reason to see Julie and Julia is Streep's performance as Julia Child, and that's plenty reason enough. For me, there was a point about a half hour in when I ceased marvelling at her amazing impersonation and just accepted her fully as Child. Go ahead and hand her the Oscar. Too bad the rest of the movie, involving a contemporary Amy Adams as a new blogger cooking her way through Julia's famous cookbook, is far less compelling (and, from what I've read, Epron-ized into a more palatable romantic-comedy framework than the book it's based on). I suppose the two stories are cleverly integrated, to some extent, but the parallels between the two women don't resonate much. Perhaps a better dual storyline would have been one where we watch one of the "servantless housewives" of the 60's and 70's that Child was writing for finding herself "liberated" by the cookbook. Or, better yet, just a film that followed Child's full career, not just the period up to her first publication. But that would have been too "traditional" for today's Hollywood.
GI Joe has one great chase through the streets of Paris that culminates in the Eiffel Tower getting eaten up by nano-somethings. You've seen it already in clips. Knowing to skip this shit is half the battle. But I always lose.