Sat 12 Aug 2006 4:53 AM
Depending on the films selected by whatever computer program or malicious human the airlines employ, an inflight movie experience can really help a flight speed by (King Kong and various Hugh Jackman vehicles being about top shelf). On a bad day, it’s like thumbscrews on top of the rack. I spent 12 hours about two and one-half feet away from a video screen. After this Clockwork Orange flight, I’m actually unable to think or write about anything else but what was giving me a headache on the plane.
She’s the Man
It’s as stupid as the title, poster, and previews have likely led you to believe. A friend described his impressions of the film gleaned from the poster thusly: “Slapstick, gay jokes, credits.”
The film claims to be based on Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. The shipwreck thing has been replaced by a preachy-p.c.-gender-soccer subplot and in a clever conceit the entire film functions as a train wreck. Also omitted were the witty dialog and masterful suspension of disbelief.
The doughy faced Amanda Bynes unnecessarily mugs her way through 105 minutes of celluloid–a baffling running time, with 90 minutes or less being the rule of thumb for movies this disinterested and cash hungry.
David Cross is hilarious as the principal of the school where all of this impossible bullshit takes place. He manages to do this by pretending he’s the only one in the scene, by my reckoning.
Movie fans will be sad to hear that the kinetic, intimidating soccer guy from Lock, Stock and Two
Smoking Barrels is here as well.
There is a lot of yelling and music cues, and as predicted the film kind of sticks it to the gays–a somewhat baffling development considering that the source material explores a metaphysical view of gender and sexuality that was later to be aped, er, adopted by Virginia Woolf. Imagine if Shakespeare had a sister. Would this sister have been able to run away to London to drink and write plays? Apparently, if she faked a southern accent for no reason at all and taped her tits down, yes.
The Office: An American Workplace
It was ok.
I spent most of the movie wondering how such ugly blackface comedy stylings made it past the studio suits in this age of tolerance, and was astounded when the credits rolled to learn I had been watching a real black man. Mos Def (referred to by everybody the whole movie as “The Kid”) sho ’nuff is happy when he’s working in this film. Damn it, he’s a simple man who wants to bake and decorate cakes while reforming crooked cops.
Nothing against Mos Def, as he actually does all right, considering what he’s working with. Bruce Willis is pretty good as well, as a drunk cop who’s so drunk, you wonder how he finds the time to get drunk. Transporting Mos Def the titular 16 blocks from his holding cell to the courthouse proves to be as difficult as not drinking. Things kick off when Bruce Willis stops mid-route to buy a bottle of twist-cap red wine which he starts drinking in the liquor store against the protests of the proprietors. This interval is all the bad guys need to start shooting at Lawdy Lawdy! Mos Def.
Then the cops also turn out to be bad guys and familiar faces slip into familiar roles. Bruce Willis winces in the movie. I think he’s always wincing, actually. He has a bad leg. And then he gets shot in the hand, which leads to more wincing. Mos Def at one point comments that he never smiles.
This is not surprising, because the movie is never, ever funny–a bad choice given that it doesn’t deliver the sublimation promised by drama.
There is one twist, followed by a turn, and then later everything sorts itself out about twenty minutes after I stopped caring. A Barry White song plays during the credits, so don’t leave early!
Pride & Prejudice
This latest incarnation is worth watching for the scene where Dame Judi Dench royally bitches out the famously A-cupped Keira Knightley, who should really gain ten pounds and be shoved out of the pictures. One gets the sense she doesn’t understand her lines or give a shit. All she can do is crinkle her eyes and fake a warm smile, as well as occasionally get haughty in that by rote manner that’s sort of killed this type of film. Buh buh BUH BUH buh buh buh. BUUH Buh buh buh. Buuuh BUH! *Door slams*
Donald Sutherland seems to get more charming with age, and is well-placed as a kindly uncle. He presides over countrified dance hall gaiety that always feels forced.
Other than that it was too boring to watch, with audience members of all demographics dropping like flies. It was sooo boring. At one point Mr. Darcy was talking to Mr. Bingley out on the moors and I was like, “What the fuck could possibly still be happening in this movie?”
Mercifully not screened despite being scheduled.
Add to this a 24-hour layover at SFO courtesy of the TSA and transatlantic alarmists and maybe terrorists at some point as well and I am hangdog. Maybe you should watch Jackie Brown tonight. Really, think about it.