By Brad Friedman on 6/20/2004, 2:54pm PT  

Last night, on a beautiful summer's eve, we took the 40 minute drive or so to one of the few remaining Drive-In Movie's remaining in Southern California. We tend to seek out such places no matter where on the road we might be. Nothing makes a marginal movie better, than seeing it on the cheap and under the stars.

To that end, a few weeks ago near Solvang, we caught both Shrek 2 and Mean Girls. The first was a whole lotta fun, highly recommended, and the second was much better than expected --- and not only because it included some great and smart and actually funny "anti-Liberal" satire. Some thing that is not easy to find these days.

Last night, we saw two more nearer to home. The first was Around the World in 80 Days, which to my great delight and surprise I am herewith proclaiming "an Instant Disney Classic!", and The Stepford Wives which I am herewith proclaiming "uh...not so much".

Actually, Stepford was about as stupid and knee-jerky as they come. Disappointingly unfunny, unscary, and unsmart. All in all, an enormously good idea/opportunity squandered for reasons that likely have to do with "business as usual" amongst the Hollywood Studio Food Chains. Save your time and money. But don't be afraid to catch Around the World... as it was genuinely well done, and actually quite amusing.

Though I'd still recommend you try to catch Control Room first --- as reviewed here previously --- since it'll be harder to find at a later date and it's truly an important film for Americans to see.