We’re creeping into that time of year when there are less and less high-profile movies to write about. So I struggled a little bit with today’s comic.

I’ve been told by some that I should make a more concentrated effort to talk about movies that aren’t some big, dumb blockbuster or over hyped sequel. But in the back of my mind, I fear that if I don’t make fun of stuff people have at least a peripheral knowledge of, I’m going to have a lot of frustrated readers scratching their heads saying “Huh?”

I mean, even if you don’t go to the movies that often, odds are you’re going to get the joke I make about Alvin and The Chipmunks before the joke I make for The Diving Bell and The Butterfly – know what I mean?

That said, the joke I made about a movie (I assume?) not everyone has seen – Juno – kind of straddles the line between making fun of the film and making fun of our experience in real life.

Seriously – I feel like I’ve been hearing about Juno for months. And it was pissing me off. Great articles about the film and its performances being Oscar worthy. All this talk about screenwriter Diablo Cody… and I can’t see it! It makes me feel lame.

Of course, it didn’t help that my partners-in-crime, Joe Dunn and Gordon McAlpin from The Triple Feature live in major metropolitan areas. I mentioned that I still hadn’t seen Juno during last week’s broadcast. “Seriously?” said Joe. “I’ve seen it, like, three times.”

If I were Charlie Brown, you’d see that little black squiggly line of frustration over my head right now.

I can’t be the only one experiencing this frustration. Look at this FAQ for Juno over at IMDB (man, that’s a lot of acronyms). It lists the release date for the film and the first seven paragraphs are about it’s release in the US.

It opened December 5 in New York and Los Angeles, then Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Dallas/Ft. Worth, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, and Toronto on December 14. On December 21, it adds 17 cities and is running in a total of 200 theaters. By Christmas it expands to 1,000 theaters. Finally, on January 4, it expands nationwide.

I *hate* it when studios do this. Basically they sneak the movie in big cities so it can be eligible for the Oscars before the end of the year deadline. Then, in an effort to stay topical and ahead of the competition, entertainment journalists start covering the film, doing reviews and interviews. Now that the hype is in place and I’m ready to see it, I can’t and it leaves me with the worst case of cinematic blue balls. QUIT TEASING ME, ALREADY!

That said, I finally got to see the movie on Saturday and I enjoyed it a lot. My only complaint? Not enough Michael Cera! That kid has the market cornered on awkward sweetness. Beyond that, I think the movie does a great job of telling it’s story and putting the spotlight on Ellen Page in another great performance. There seem to be so few female characters in film with a wit like Juno’s, so it’s refreshing to see something like that on screen. All of the supporting performances feel authentic, especially those of Juno’s understanding parents (played by J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney).

I don’t know if the film is quite the Oscar contender that some critics have built it up to be. In some ways, the film didn’t meet the high expectations I walked in with. But I’m sure that’s mostly the effect of hype. I’d love to see this movie again and I’m sure when it comes out on DVD in a few months, I’m going to buy it and treasure it like the unique jewel that it is. See it if it’s in your town. I mean, it should be by now, right?

The Triple Feature

One last note – I want to encourage everyone to call in LIVE during our broadcast of The Triple Feature tonight at 9:00 PM CST. Tonight, Joe, Gordon and I will be doing our much-anticipated Top 5 of 2007 show and we want as many listeners as possible to call in and keep us honest! Will our picks be completely off base or right on the money? Do they jive with your picks for the year’s best? Call in and let us know!

Again, the show starts at 9:00 PM CST and we WILL be taking your calls. So be sure to dial us in! See you there!

↓ Transcript
December 9, 2007

I read an awesome review for June! I can’t wait to see it!

Too bad it’s only in New York and L.A.

December 25, 2007

I just saw a commercial that said Juno would be “everywhere” today!

They only add 17 cities to its release.

December 28, 2007

Will Juno ever come to our town?

We may have to prepare ourselves for the eventuality that we might never see it!

Present day

I’m afraid I may never learn to trust again...