The fifth San Francisco International Animation Festival kicks off tonight at the Embarcadero with Here Comes the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized, a colorfully eccentric interpretation (by four different artists) of the acclaimed 2009 album by indie-rock stalwarts The Decemberists. The festivities wind to a close Sunday with Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, Brent Green's moving tribute to a Kentucky hardware-store clerk who, during the 1970s, built a crazy-quilt house to cure his wife's cancer. Elsewhere:
It’s a formidable comedy match: Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, reunited for the first time since their years together at Saturday Night Live, each having graduated to movies and, in Fey's case, the Emmy-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock, which she created and stars in.
They find themselves gamely butting heads in Megamind, the animated satire in which Ferrell plays the titular super-villain, ordinarily hapless in his attempts to subdue Brad Pitt’s cocksure crime fighter, Metro Man. When one of Megamind's schemes actually pays off, leaving him without a worthy nemesis and Metro City vulnerable, the diabolical genius becomes the unlikely savior of a city in crisis.
Never mind the barely functional story line that provides a flimsy backdrop for Will Ferrell’s improvised riffs and Mark Wahlberg’s empty-headed rants in The Other Guys, the latest collaboration from Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Since teaming up after coinciding runs on Saturday Night Live – Ferrell as the show’s most charismatic star, McKay as its head writer – they have lampooned TV talking heads in 2004’s Anchorman and asinine adrenaline junkies in 2006’s Talladega Nights. Here, they target buddy-cop clichés, among them two rock-star detectives straight out of Michael Bay’s playbook.
I have seen only a single episode of Land of the Lost, the popular mid-’70s TV series that inspired (loosely speaking) Will Ferrell’s latest foray into the creative abyss, yet I can reasonably assume, given its three seasons on NBC and the years of syndication that followed, that it was more ambitious than director Brad Silberling’s stillborn comedy of the same name.
Was it better looking? Let’s not get carried away.