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Katherine Heigl – Hot or Not?

October 9, 2011

Flavor of the Week?

I watched Knocked Up on E!  yesterday.  For its genre, the movie starts out strong.  I don’t get the impression that Apatow ever has a problem beginning a story.  Whether or not he can nail the landing, so to speak, is something else entirely, and I’ll get to that later.  The movie got me thinking about Katherine Heigl, who I’m on the fence about right now.  I like her, and if she can finally put the nail in Aniston’s coffin as the rom-com Queen, more power to her.  I think she’s likeable, she has a broad emotional range, she can act, but I’m not convinced she has the depth to break out of the type of films she gets cast in, especially now that she’s got about ten of them under her belt.  How many more can her career handle before she goes the way of the Cameron Diaz’s of the world?

Who advised her to accentuate the crows feet?

I want to think she’s better than that, but it’s tough to tell with an actress who’s been written into a corner the way she has, in films that, like Knocked Up, start off strong, but degenerate into something so hackneyed that you feel like an asshole for rooting for the film for the entire 3 FUCKING HOURS it takes to air on television.  I hated E!, I hated Apatow, I pretty much hated life by the time this movie finally wrapped it up with a grande finale we saw coming since the opening credits.  But you know what?  Still hated Aniston, didn’t hate Heigl.

Like most romantic comedies, Knocked Up relies on the affability of the cast, and themore we like them the less it matters what actually happens in terms of plot.  Like I said, Apatow covers his bases here, and he knows how to set up characters and conflict quickly and effectively.  Heigl’s character is an up and coming entertaiment news reporter, Rogan plays the clueless loser with a heart of gold.  Simple.  They have drunken sex and get pregnant, and now they need to navigate their shifting relationship as they prepare to birth and raise this child.  The middle of the film is dedicated to dialogue, mostly, and the interactions between friends and family, getting to know you, mild hijinks, and it’s very well done.  Heigl is convincing in her reluctance to come out to her friends as being in this relationship, she’s convincing in her distress, and in her vulnerability, and manages to carry the movie when scenes start to lag or rely on cheap, situational humor, which is increasingly often as the show wears on.  But nothing is going to carry this movie through its shallow, pasted together, pseudo-sensitive conclusion.  Filmmakers think that the audience won’t notice when they bail on the last thirty pages of their screenplay, and maybe a lot of viewers don’t know that they notice, but to me it’s the make-or-break difference between a There’s Something About Mary (Hey, Diaz had her day, not saying she didn’t) and a Leap Year (yeah, that movie happened).  What’s frustrating is that Apatow could follow through, he just doesn’t.  So one the one hand, he gave Heigl that break, but on the other hand, she’s been playing “almost memorable” ever since, and the deeper she digs that hole, the harder it is to get out of, if it ever even reaches that point.

So, Katherine Heigl, Yea or Nay?  Does she have what it takes to carry a quality film, or do you think she already caught her wave?

Marry Me, Steve! Why I Love ‘Tough Love.’

October 4, 2011

steve ward, tough love, review

The inimitable Steve Ward returned to television Sunday night with the season premiere of his reality series Tough Love.  I almost missed this love-lorn extravaganza because “Sunday at 9:30” in Hawaii could mean pretty much anything, and I don’t watch enough television to have learned  how to determine which time the local networks really mean.  The last I’d heard, the show was supposed to air at 10pm Wednesday, so you can imagine my delight when I happened to turn on the television and this show, which had bowed out for about a year after the lackluster Tough Love: Couples of 2010, was airing right at that very minute!  Eight new, hopeless, desperate, and/or psychotic women, all scrambling to find the man of their dreams, with the perfectly manicured Steve Ward ready to stand by, look pretty, and state the god damned obvious.

I love Steve Ward.  Let me just say that right now.  He talks an unparalleled level of sense out of everyone I’ve seen on reality television (by nature an intellectually grim genre), and he’s made a very lucrative living divulging very simple things, for instance: Don’t drink and text.  Should people need to be told this?  In this day and age anyone who is active in the dating scene has probably already humiliated themselves via drunken text, which should be a live-and-learn one off, so no, we should not need to be told this.  DO people need to be told this?  Let me just remind you of this little gem:

“thougt u were dif. thougt u cared”

I don’t care about people who don’t have the sense to step away from the phone when they can no longer operate it responsibly.

Anyway, Steve can be a bit of a tool sometimes, but he understands the dynamics of power and knows how to work the fact that he has all of it in his Tough Love boot camp.  Steve sizes people up quickly and accurately, and drives his points home with swift severity that’s tailored to how much vehemence the woman in question can handle.  He isn’t out to hurt people’s feelings, but he is blunt, he does speak his mind, and he’s pretty much always right.  Some of the women cop an attitude and fight back, but no one, on any iteration of Tough Love, has ever won against Steve Ward.

Rather than argue, I like it better when the women break down and cry.  This gets under Steve’s skin much better.  He’s not a back pedaler, but his temper will do a complete one eighty when he’s reduced one of his girls to tears.  Plus, I just like when he makes them cry, because everything he says is true.  That’s why it’s TOUGH LOVE!

Watching Steve callously state the obvious is fun, but equally amusing, however, is watching Steve lose his cool in the face of such idiocy.  What’s fun about this is that Steve doesn’t lose his cool, ever, which is very bad for ratings.  Therefore, over the years he’s adopted this hair-trigger temper persona, and every once in a while, at random and sometimes inappropriate intervals, Steve will completely fly off the handle and start yelling and cursing.  He used to be really bad at this: his breaks in temper were so choreographed it was actually more baffling than it was entertaining, but he’s gotten much better at it since season one.

What I really like about Tough Love is that although it’s just another reality TV gimmick, it operates on two different levels, endeavoring to both help people and to entertain me.  I get to sit back and enjoy myself without feeling like I’m profiting from someone else’s selfishness or misfortune.  I don’t think a lot of reality TV can say that.
For instance, let’s look at a show that helps people without entertaining me.  Hoarders or Buried Alive fits this bill.  These sad people are barricaded in their homes, desperate for help but rejecting and sniping at anyone who reaches out to them.  I sometimes pause on this show with a sense of morbid fascination that lasts about two minutes;  just in time for the show I was actually watching to have finished its commercial break.

steve ward, tough love, review

Hoarders is not melodramatic, there are hardly any fights, it’s not swanky, and Steve Ward isn’t there in an immaculate suit laying the verbal smack down.  So why the hell would I watch that?  A lot of people feel that way, which is why Hoarders is not nearly as popular as Keeping up with the Kardashians.

steve ward, tough love, review

Which would you watch, seriously?

Keeping Up with the Kardashians entertains millions of viewers, but has helped no one, not even the Kardashians if sense of self-worth (not to be confused with ego!) is anything to go by.  I’ve never actually seen a full episode of this show, but if Kardashians were rat poison, I’ve seen enough news coverage to wipe out a third world nation.  This is because the single aim of this show is to entertain, and what appeals to people is the fantasy element of the lavish lifestyle that most of us will never attain.  Having said that, I think the percentage of viewers who would actually trade their lives and families to be a Kardashian is basically nil.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Anyway, Tough Love has that Kardashian-esque element of fantasy, with its Malibu Barbie mansion in pink and purple.  The place is utterly tacky and perfect for inspiring in viewers that awe-driven sense of envy.  Utterly tacky, unlike Royal Family-type class, is potentially attainable.

I also like to look at what recruiters must have been looking for when they chose these eight women.  Jane’s appeal is obvious: she has mental and emotional issues that are not going to be resolved on this show, and her sole purpose is to piss the other women off and cause problems.  Always present is the lighthearted blonde who falls in love on the first date – she matches up easily with any variety of men, to make Steve look as though he’s hit one out of the park in his first at bat.  There’s always a stripper too, so we can witness the way life choices need to be examined when looking for love.  All of these things set the show up for a naturally unfolding arc that will maintain a sense of growth and purpose.

While the women of Tough Love can spit and scream with the best of them, at the heart of the show is the positive goal to help them overcome their hang ups.  Whether or not this actually happens is moot, but by watching it I can feel I’m supporting a good cause, at no cost to myself!  It’s win win.

Top 5 Recent Films That Should Have Never Been Made

October 2, 2011

First off let me just admit that there are a lot of movies that I won’t watch because the quality of the trailer or title or word of mouth prematurely annihilated any interest I may have had.  This includes anything with roman numerals, such as Harry Potter VIII, Twilight V, Pirates of the Carribean IV, etc.  2011 has been a dry year in this regard, with a record-breaking 27 sequels on the docket.

By and large, super hero movies are out as well either because it’s a super hero I’ve never heard of, or it’s a super hero I have heard of (usually in the context of 1970’s Super Friends reruns) who I don’t think is cool enough to deserve his own movie, i.e. Green Lantern or the Wonder Twins.  So while I may have heard from numerous sources that Green Lantern is the worst film of 2011, I’ll never know for sure because I’m not dumb enough to watch it in the first place.  And guess what: when they make a Wonder Twins film, I’m not going to watch that either.

First up in the list of films that should have never been made:

1. Arthur

This film should obviously have never been made, because it already had been made, and there was no way anyone was ever going to top Steve Gordon’s opus, so I don’t know why they even tried.  Hubris is the only excuse.  I knew this film was going to be horrible, but I gave it ten minutes anyway, either out of morbid curiosity, masochism, or the simple need to prove myself right. Although I didn’t watch the whole thing, I posit that one of the many reasons it sucked big time is because the Linda Morolla role – a meaty and respectable part in the original, a role actresses would actually want – was watered down to something Jennifer Aniston would have played ten years ago (and is still trying to play today).  Which brings us to number two:

2.  Anything with Jennifer Aniston

             etc.

Jennifer Aniston is an insipid, sitcom-level actress, and she has no business being on the big screen. Her series of tragic love affairs are the only thing keeping her in the public eye, and she’s been using that to dominate tabloid covers for what, the last ten years?  She’s 42!  If she hasn’t found it by now, it ain’t gonna happen, not with the way she chews through men.  I guess actors with dignity have the sense to stay out of the tabloids, while actors with no talent have no other choice.

Anyway, I’m counting Jennifer Aniston movies #1-47 all as one film that should have never been made.  (Really, when we look back on this era of female stars, what will we have to say for ourselves?)

3.  Hereafter

Clint Eastwood thinks he can get away with an awful lot, but I’m drawing the line at Hereafter.  Eastwood tends to make moody, pseudo-profound films that actually have very little content or depth, which give the impression that he ponders the meaning of life over a bowl of cereal in the morning.  Hereafter is a prime example of this tendency, with a meandering, noncommittal plot about communicating with the souls of the dead.  For all that actually happens – tsunami, cooking class, kids getting hit by cars – none of it really goes anywhere, and the characters are as vague as the rest of the film: they could have depth, but they just don’t.  I waited for this film to make its point for about two hours, and it never happened.  So my point is, this film should have never been made.

4.  The Smurfs

Smurfs suck.  They have always sucked.  I have not seen this movie, but its existence annoys me.  I hate Smurfs.  To make myself feel better I chose this Spanish poster image, but it turns out I hate los Pitufos also.

5.  Grown Ups

This film isn’t super-recent.  In fact, it’s not even the most recent work of crap Sandler has put out lately, but since Jennifer Aniston was in his last film, Just Go With It, I figured that was covered on the list of films that shouldn’t have been made, although it does rank lower on my scale since I got a paycheck out of that one and learned how to play poker.

The reason I’ve included Grown Ups is because it’s a prime example of the self-indulgent tripe that comes from having more money than you do talent.  At his best, Sandler isn’t a bad actor, but he’s never been much of a writer and that really shows in this script, which could be summed up as: “A bunch of guys get together and do fun stuff.”  Even Just Go With It at least had a plot.  I’m sure they had a great time filming it, but it had no heart, no story, and like all of Sandler’s work, the comedy was juvenile and cheap.  I know not everyone is looking for depth in a lighthearted comedy flick, and that’s fine, but at least show me something that hasn’t been done before.  “Man gets shot with arrow,” while not the oldest trick in the book, is still pretty decrepit by any comedic standard.  This movie brought absolutely nothing to the table, and a year after its release it’s already as though it had never been made.  Therefore, it should never have been made.

I think that sentiment really hits the core of this exercise: none of the above films brought anything to the table.  Arthur is a bad remake of a good film; completely unnecessary.   I dare anyone to recall the the title of a single Aniston film.  Hereafter, for all its smoke and melodrama, had nothing to say about anything.  Smurfs are and have always been godawful – we didn’t need a feature length film to reiterate that, and no one even remembered that Grown Ups exists and was only released last year.  So.  What other films should have never been made?

The more you know!

October 2, 2011

 

“Antidepressants can increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, teens, and young adults.”

A singing endorsement!  It probably won’t cause heart disease, liver failure, or stroke, but it might do the exact opposite of what it’s meant to do.

How do they even know this?  Who signed their child up for the test run on this product?  Was it outsourced to an exploitable third world nation?  Were the test subjects suicidal because of the product or because they’d been farmed out to a drug company?

What a great and flexible field, pharmacology (from the Greek pharmacon, meaning poison).  If massive headaches were a side effect of Advil, they’d send that formula back to the lab, but in the brave (and lucrative!) new world of antidepression medication, increased depression is an acceptable result.  Who knew!

 

 

 

 

The King’s Speech

May 5, 2011

King George bursts into song to practice speaking.  Camptown Races is fine, Swanee River is fine, but Once Upon a Dream had not even been written at that time, and wouldn’t be until 1959, for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

Iris rates this film: Just Okay

-EDITED!-

Okay, that isn’t fair, to seem to dismiss a film for a single anachronism.  I’m not changing my rating, but I do have actual reasons for rating it thus.

First of all, some good things.  The performances, as most of you know or have heard, are really quite good.  Firth delivers a comprehensive stammer that had me sinking into the sofa with second-hand embarrassment.  I was sympathetic to his character and identified easily with his hang-ups and fears, not because I harbor any similar, but because the part was well-written and human.  Geoffrey Rush as the speech therapist has more to work with in terms of character and expression, and though he performs very well, it’s almost because of this that Firth runs away with the show: the scope of Bertie’s character exceeds the range of emotions appropriate for or befitting his station, and this battle between Bertie the man and King George the figure-head is visible through the subtly and restraint of Firth’s portrayal.

Bonham Carter is the weakest of the three, in the role of…Queen.  If I haven’t caught the character’s name after two hours, it must not matter very much.  Anyway, her performance was far from poor, but it was transparent at times, and rather than watching her character, I could see the wheels turning as Bonham Carter played the character, which is always disconcerting, especially opposite Firth’s exceedingly strong performance.  What she may have been able to get away with in other roles didn’t fly here, and I more than once caught her at a loss for what to do with her hands.  However, I did enjoy her moments as the Pushy Noblewoman trope, as much as that trope annoys me in general.  That brings me to what brought the movie down for me, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s extremely subjective.

I  have difficulty watching monarchy-themed movies, probably because I’m American and the cultural context sails right past me.  It was fascinating to watch Rush’s spirited Lionel still to cold anxiety in the face of Bonham Carter’s whoever in blue-blooded hell she was.  Obviously, as mentioned above, it wasn’t the performances I found problematic, but the apparent cultural belief that the nobility is excused from civility and basic courtesy.  If Michelle Obama showed up in my kitchen, she certainly wouldn’t preface the encounter with  “You may call me Your First Ladiness.”  That’s just straight obnoxious. You don’t qualify for automatic awe just because you inherited the throne; I’ll respect you when you earn my respect.

Americans don’t want to be governed by anyone we don’t think would fit in at the family barbecue, least of all by those who believe themselves too good for our barbecue. This royal family definitely thought they were too good for any barbecue, and they might get away with that in England, but people immigrated to this country expressly to get away from that brand of bullshit.  The value system on which this country was founded is completely different:  Big News, I know.  I’m not saying one is better, I’m just explaining why the context of the movie set a rift with me from the very beginning.  I can’t judge the quality of the film on that criterion, but obviously it influenced my overall enjoyment.

The movie is long, somewhere around two hours.  In that time it meanders a bit trying to convey the circumstances of Bertie’s condition.  While I never felt it was dragging, there were an awful lot of circumstances that need covering, from his overbearing father the king, to his teasing brother, the heir to the throne; plus multiple incidents of crippling anxiety facing a crowd.  I don’t know that for all that information the story arced as well as it could have.  By the end of the story, this guy still can’t speak in public.  I liked the contrast of the confident sounding voice on the radio against shots of the nervous wreck delivering the speech at the end, but really?  This guy has loosened up, kind of.  He’s a little bit better at public speaking, except that wasn’t even public speaking.  He was standing in an enclosed room with his speech therapist, which is not at all similar to the conditions of the film’s opening non-speech before thosands.  I think it’s interesting though that the radio, the bane of his public life, becomes an unforeseen boon when he can just deliver his speeched in private and then wave it off on the balcony afterwards.  There were interesting things going on throughout the entire thing; I’m just saying, for a two hour film, becoming marginally better at public speaking doesn’t really cut it.  Becoming somewhat less of an asshole to your friend and articulation coach isn’t really a very strong character arc.

Maybe I’m just used to the sweeping success stories of American Cinema.  Actually, it’s not as though I needed him to become a phenomenal public speaker.  I didn’t need him to open up and become a completely different person.  But the sum of all these subtle changes could have left a greater impact, possibly, again, if I were British and had a better historical context for King George VI.  I don’t know anything about this guy but what the film gave me; I have no idea what sort of reputation he garnered during World War II.   I imagine understanding George VI historically adds dimension to the character, but frankly such an argument in support of the film is fallacious.  Most movies aren’t biographical and thus are required to build characters from scratch.  That most movies are worse than this one is beside the point: I’m saying it can and has been done often, so I’m not letting The King’s Speech off the hook.  Character building was there, but it seems like they were relying on history to tell the second half of the story, which doesn’t even make sense.  A story from start to finish is a closed circuit.  History may present context, it may be the allure of certain types of films, but it’s no substitute for content.

In all good films audiences either want what the protagonist wants, or emphatically hope for the opposite.  It’s called emotional investment, and it wasn’t clear what ours was supposed to be in this film.  Does Bertie want to become king?  Does he want a close friend?  Does he want to be a powerful speaker?  Sort of, to all of the above.  If I’m not sure what the protagonist really wants, how am I supposed to empathize when he does or doesn’t get it?  Bertie sort of wants all of those things, he sort of gets them, and he’s sort of happy about it.  Okay, well, that’s why it was only a sort of good film.  Hence, I reiterate:

This film is Just Okay.

Some outriggers, some movie reviews, some white supremacy…

April 22, 2011

This is an outrigger at the cove across from where I work.  In the far distance you can see Molokini, a popular snorkeling spot to which, being poor, I have never been.  Not the form in the middle distance.  That's just a rock.  Behind Molokini is the island Kaho'olawe, which is good for nothing, as far as I can tell.  Rumor has it it is used to conceal and conduct top secret military experiments, but the person who told me that was a ways off his nut, so who knows.  He also said they were conducting top secret military experiments in the cavernous bowels of Mt. Haleakala.  I don't know, but that seems like an awful lot of top secret ops for just a few square miles.  This is also the  guy who revealed his murder method of drowning the bludgeoned victim in a bucket of salt water before tossing them in the Pacific.  As far as I know that has not happened.

Anyway, what we do know is that back when the US declared martial law on the islands during WWII, the military used Kaho'olawe for not so secret target practice and continued to do so until 1990.  This is probably because Hawaii was a US state by then and all the live-fire training was putting off tourists looking to lounge on the white sandy beaches of Maui.  How the actual residents of the island felt about it was largely irrelevant and always has been.  White Supremacy, GO!  I can't get too uppity about it really because I would have needed a visa to get here otherwise, which probably would have deterred me completely and I would have ended up in Fresno or something.  I don't know what Fresno is, but it sounds horrible.

So a conservation party got a hold of Kaho'olawe and are working to rebuild the native tree population, which has been difficult because there isn't one.  The island has no fresh water and it nearly never rains.  It was used as a penal colony in the 1800's which didn't really work either because the prisoners would just swim back to Maui when they got too hungry.  It failed also as a cattle ranch for obvious reasons, and after they were no longer let to pelt it with bullets the US couldn't really think of any use for it, so they had no problem handing it over to the native Hawaiians for their wildlife and cultural preservation projects.  Of course, by then there were hardly any native Hawaiians left because most of them got small pox or various sexually transmitted diseases from European traders way back when.   I was wondering, if Hawaii only became a state in '59, what did the US do for an even number of stars on the flag?  Did they just leave the rows uneven?  Or did they just put a bunch of stars on it and later decide they represented states?  Anyway as far as flags go, I don't think the US is a very good one, as it isn't very visually striking.  Same with the Union Jack, and especially the Hawaiian state flag, which looks Jack and Old Glory vomited forth an incestuous love child.  Even Canada has a better flag.  I mean, it's got a leaf on it, which isn't real tough.  Bhutan has dragon.  Tough but not visually effective.  Although, being culturally illiterate, maybe in Bhutan dragons aren't tough either.  Here are some more outriggers:

 


This is the same spot, from a different angle, on a different day.  These things are here all the time, but they were only twice worth taking pictures of.  I have a digital camera which, on a sunny day, is actually worse than my starter camera back when I was nine.  You all remember what film was, yeah?  Well, on that camera I had to look through the viewfinder to line up my shot, and hope it came out alright.  Sometimes entire roles at a time were undevelopable, which was a bummer.  My current camera doesn't have that problem.  In fact, no pictures are ever developed, but they do make it onto this blog now and again.  Actually that isn't true because Long's Drugs has been sending me "a courtesy call" since February, reminding me to pick up a couple of head shots that I don't want, since I needed them that day within one minute of the order, and thought they could just print them off like most people can generally do in their homes.  Well, they couldn't and after that day the pictures were no longer relevant so I'm waiting to see who caves first, them or me.  It's April now and they just called this morning, so it looks like they're really after their twenty cents.  It's just a recording, so I don't feel bad hanging up on them repeatedly.  

Anyway like I was saying, my digital camera is the next best thing to crap on a sunny day because I can't see the screen and it doesn't have a viewfinder, so I just snap away and hope it turns out alright.  I mean, I can kind of get the gist of it, if I know where my visual landmarks are.  That random swimmer in the first shot was not one of them.  Even this wouldn't be a problem if A) I were rich or B) …


Well, this wouldn't be a problem if I were rich because A) I could buy a camera with digital output and a viewfinder, and B) I could afford a proper computer and photo-editing software so that I could fix my crappy shots into works of magnificence.  That's just going to have to wait until…That's just going to have to wait.

Movies I recommend: The Fighter.  For the first time in a very long time Christian Bale has put forth the performance of which I  have long known he was capable.  I was rooting for him back when he was working for Disney and singing for his supper.  Then he finally made it, but all of his movies were absolute crap.  Well, they finally gave him something to work with, or else he got sick of being crap, so he plays an excellent crack addict in this film and I can feel smug in my ages old prediction that he would prove himself worthy.  

Other people I have made positive predictions about long beforehand: Heath Ledger, but he up and died.  I don't think anyone will argue with me though that at the time of his death he was on the fast track to renowned success, and not the fleeting kind.  Prediction two: Joey King.  She starred as Ramona Quimby in the recent adaptation of Beezus and Ramona, and she acted her costars straight off the set.  She will make a significant name for herself, and her child-star status will have no effect on her later career unless to bolster it.  The chick who plays her sister, who's on the teen tabloids these days, hang on, wikipedia…Selena Gomez, has maybe a year left before her career takes a dive, unless her agents are really creative.  Even then, creative agents are no substitute for charisma and talent, of which she has neither.  Two years tops, but that's optimistic.

Movies that sucked: Due Date, with Robert Downey Jr. and that bearded guy who''s in pretty much every movie lately.  Downey Jr. is a talented actor, but word around the campfire is he leads what could be considered an excessive lifestyle, which would explain why he appears to be taking whatever crap movie comes his way and pays the best.  Felony ain't free, boys and girls!  Anyway, that bearded guy isn't half bad either, nor was the concept for the movie, which was something along the lines of "Odd Couple on the Road."  In fact, I was looking forward to seeing it.  So imagine my disappointment…
What did them in was the writing.  It was shit.  The writer's thought process was entirely transparent, and not to mention juvenile.  First of all, the movie is divided into roughly one thousand mini scenes, each of virtually no consequence.  The writer thought "Here's a one liner.  Oh, that's great!  Here's another one liner.  Here's a zany monologue!  This is hilarious."  The problem was that he wasn't very intelligent, so his one liners are trite and forgettable.  On top of that, he wasn't able to work more than one into a conversation, so every scene ends before it gets anywhere.  That means the entire thing is inching along on the power of these crap jokes, and you're left not so much wondering where the movie is going, but where it went.  I'm an hour into this thing and they're dumping Beard Guy's father's ashes into the grand canyon, and I'm like, how the hell did we get here.  I know shit has been happening, but the scenes were so short that none of it appeared to have any meaning.  And, at the end of the day, it didn't.  It was a meaningless film with a level of humor that might appeal to teenage boys, but even they won't be quoting the better lines amongst themselves.  It will make its way onto no one's favorites and die the silent death of mediocrity.
Anyway, Downey Jr. better jump to it, because he can't ride the wave of Tropic Thunder forever.

That's all for today.  I have my cast party tomorrow the Pulp Fiction play that I didn't tell you guys I was in.  That film has withstood the test of time, and is quotable to this day.

Sex and the City 2

December 6, 2010

I made up for seeing one good movie by watching Sex and the City 2, which just about counterbalances every good film ever made with its sheer suckitude.  I did not pick this movie out, before you blame me for wasting a dollar on what promised beyond doubt to be one of the worst films ever produced.  However, unlike most bad films, which I simply turn off, I watched the entire thing, and I was trying to figure out why.  As I watched it I realized that the problem was that there was an actual story, and it wasn't entirely bad.  Mindblowingly original, no.  But there was a driving conflict, much as the film struggled to stifle it under fifteen tons of OMG-Girls-Just-Wanna-Have-Fun!

Carrie McSuperFab at some point in the history of Sex and the City married the man of her dreams, Rich-o McAlsoFab, but tragically, after two years of married life, he no longer wants to accompany her to fabulous parties and glitzy events.  He just wants to stay at home and watch TV.  And you know what, I agree that that sucks.  So I was glad when Carrie popped a verbal cap in his ass and forced him to attend to his half of the relationship.  I think it's a perfectly decent premise for a movie.  Unfortunately, after that brief nod to plot development, the rest of the film degenerated into someone's bedtime fantasy : "Oh my god, wouldn't that be so great if I got to wear this awesome dress, and then go to a red carpet event, and then, oh, I know, I would get invited to be the empress of Abu Dhabi for a week, and have sexy hunks wait on me hand and foot, and wear all these SUPERFAB outfits!  Let me think about what I would wear…"  Meanwhile, I'm sitting on the couch waiting for the story to resume, and in the meantime wondering in what reality it would be sensible to wear a one-sleeved, off the shoulder rayon pantsuit to go camel riding in the goddamn desert.  For one thing, hello, tan lines?  I thought the Fab Force Four woud at least care about that.  And this is after McSuperFab complains that she's not dressed for camel riding.

In fact, the magnitude of suck defies recapitulation.  I've actually pissed myself off thinking about this movie.  I mean, I can find a dollar in the street, but those two hours are GONE FOREVER.  And I know I've already posted a rant about the depiction of homosexuals in the media, but while other minority representation seems to have been shelved for the time being, people are so forward about homosexual representation that it's actually backwards.   I mean come on.  "Her gay best friend is marrying my gay best friend!" like they belong in the specific subset "Gay" of the category "Friend", wherein they might achieve "best" status, but are excluded from ever being just plain "friend."  Would anyone ever proudly announce "My black best friend is marrying her black best friend!" or "My Chinese friend is marrying her Chinese friend!" or "Her dwarf is marrying my dwarf!  Isn't that SUPERFABULOUS??"  It's fucking ridiculous.  I'm sorry, I'll stop now.  I have a preoccupation with the machinations of the media, and it runs away with me sometimes.

For some good news, I'm coming to NJ for Christmas.  My sweaters here were stolen, so please allow me to borrow some winter clothes when I come to visit!  I'm serious.  I don't think I even own any shoes that aren't flip flops right now.