Beast Banner February 2008
ISSUE #123
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Features

ArrowPRIMARY FEVER
A sickening report from New Hampshire
Ian Murphy & Paul Jones

ArrowDumb as Dixie
The manly myth of SC politics
Allan Uthman

ArrowMonkeywrenching the System
Ron Paul's revolution, the anti-war solution
Stan Goff

ArrowI'm Very Tired
Deprived and depraved
Rich Herschlag

Faux-tures

ArrowThe BEAST Abridged Guide to Black History
29 days of off-color justice

ArrowSurge on over to Anbar Province!
A message from the Al Anbar Board of Tourism

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
War-triggering prank

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Letters

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The Eye

Jesus, how I hate this time of year. Dogshit in dirty snow, commercially vague holidays, oppressive cold and the lack of sunlight are all definite factors in my annual urge to blow my brains out. But what usually has me pulling the old Winchester out of the closet (and sometimes actually loading ol’ Mabel) is the slew of crap movies that come out between January and April. This year I just might finally turn the safety off.

Of course it’s a negligible and forgettable (don’t forget PG-13-rated!) blood fart of a horror movie that’ll make the old pin hit the shell.

The trailer for The Eye was probably the worst I’ve seen in my life. It’s probably unfair to take shots at the poor hack who was stuck with the thankless job of stitching together this quilt of skid-marked underwear, but an apology is definitely owed here. Who came up with this shit—a computer program?

I’m talking about The Eye! The title alone makes me want to gouge mine out. And the plot? Bah! Jessica Alba plays a sweet little blind girl who undergoes that magic operation that Stevie Wonder was supposed to get. She’s even got creepy blue contact lenses on to let you know she’s blind, because her actual performance won’t convince you. Alba gets the operation, everything’s all blurry (duh…) and she starts seeing weird and creepy shit. It’s all very scary, and when Parker Posey shows up (even scarier if you see the trailer in Hi-Def!) you’re disoriented for a minute, because you realize she’s still alive! Oh, and whoever Alba got the eyes from was probably deranged, and Alba sees this loony tune’s reflection in mirrors. As her own!

Selling Amway products is more fulfilling than this crap. Or eating an entire can of non-butter-flavored Crisco. Translating Shakespeare into Pig Latin. Reading stereo instructions. Being seen at a mall hanging out! Being seen in public with Kenny G. Being Kenny G! Reading to a blind person. Going to a high school reunion. Going to your high school reunion! Chalk up another one for wasted resources and my diminishing will to live.

 

Strange Wilderness

When I saw the name Happy Madison Productions on the trailer for Strange Wilderness, I knew that I was facing another movie filled with Adam Sandler’s marginally entertaining pothead buddies that he doesn’t want to stick in his… real movies. Also in tow would be a sub-standard plot (even for this sort of thing), and a surprising supporting role from a veteran actor who needs to make a movie every 5 years so his health insurance from the Screen Actors Guild doesn’t lapse (see Ernest Borgnine).

The deal just gets worse: Steve Zahn acting like Owen Wilson as the head some low-grade version of Wildboyz. It looks like they use stolen Marlon Perkins footage from old episodes of Wild Kingdom and put forced narration over it. Then there’s that shitty Mac kid from the last Die Hard movie and the fat kid from Superbad, both doing a bang-up job of converting oxygen into carbon dioxide

Strange Wilderness looks like it’s filled with enough weed humor that it could either be used as an entrapment tool or a training video for aspiring retards. Because you know that trying to create your own Bigfoot footage when the crappy nature show you work for is facing cancellation is nothing but a goddamn laugh riot waiting to happen. But only if you’re high enough—and I’m not talking about watching this movie on a plane.

On the other hand, that part where they’re making fun of the shark with the overbite actually made me want to catch it on cable in a year, so what the hell do I know? I’ll tell you what I do know—every ticket for this movie should come with a pot brownie. That’s what I know.

 

Over Her Dead Body

Have you ever been asked a question so stupid that dignifying it with an answer would be a crime against nature? I mean one so brain-dead that it takes all of your willpower not to beat the person who asked it to death? And at the same time, the question is saddening, because now you have to know that the person who asked it exists. It’s like getting slipped a mickey and waking up to find yourself getting double-teamed by Mormons.

Over HER Dead Body? How about over my dead body!? A romantic comedy with a supernatural twist? “With a Desperate Housewives”cast member no less? And the fact that the genuinely funny (for now) Paul Rudd is in it is supposed to make everything all right?

The good news is that Eva Longoria is dead in it, but her fiancé (Rudd) is ready to move on with some girl who looks as phony as a Chinese redhead and seriously needs a nosejob. So Longoria’s ghost decides to haunt the new chick by creating a series of hilariously haunted debacles, making Nosejob look like a wackadoo until she backs off.

Obviously this looks bad, but Over Her Dead Body is like the Ghost of Christmas Future for 2008. Minus maybe a dozen movies, 2007 was one of the worst years on record. Granted, it’s my record and that record is indeed broken, at least it certainly sounds that way. But this just feels like a small puddle on the floor that’s dripping down from the ceiling. Now you can wipe it up or even deny it if you want to. But make no mistake—there will come a day when you’re forced to watch your upstairs neighbor take a hearty dump. And he’s out of Lysol.

 

Fool’s Gold

That wacky Matthew McConaughey. If he’s not looking generally greasy and/or smarmy, he’s doing things in his real life that are far more interesting than anything he’s ever done in movies: Sparking gay innuendo with Lance Armstrong, getting stoned out of what little mind he seems to have, stripping down naked and playing conga drums in his backyard. Maybe not good stuff, but it beats the hell out of Fool’s Gold.

Ol’ Mack (as he seems to be the type of guy who could go for that nickname in a really big way) is playing some dipshit treasure hunter whose wife (played by teenage boy Kate Hudson) wants to divorce him. Through circumstances detrimental to the audience, Mack comes across a treasure map or some such crap, indicating the location of Aztec or Nazi gold (everyone in this movie is blond after all) or whatever. Of course some rival seasoned treasure hunter is also interested in getting to said booty. Mack and Hudson bicker along the way, but I’m guessing they will mend their divorce-bound ways in the end, by the way they writhe around with each other in some sort of slimy sex dungeon (should’ve called it Romancing the Stoner).

Despite the promise of Indiana Jones-type adventure from the plane crash and various other shenanigans going on in the trailer, I’m guessing that guys are supposed to be interested in Fool’s Gold. I’m not. And do you know what the worst part is about Fool’s Gold? You can’t even blame this one on the writer’s strike!

 

Jumper

You know when someone dies in a soap opera or a comic book, and months later they show up without a scratch, and it blows your mind? Or it should, except that always happens in soap operas and comic books, so it’s totally routine? If you’re saying that you don’t watch soap operas or read comic books, you’re lying and you should be ashamed of yourself. Stop lying! You know what I’m talking about.

But who’s this mystery resurrectee, you ask? It’s none other than Hayden Christiansen, who played Anakin Skywalker, and ultimately Darth Vader, in the second two Star Wars prequels. What’s odd about seeing him again is that George Lucas couldn’t direct an obese woman to beat her kids in a dollar store, and anyone who makes their name in a Star Wars movie is contractually bound to leave it at the door on the way out, after which they live out their days in obscurity or sci-fi conventions. But their inability to act is theirs to keep.

And Christiansen keeps it with Jumper. If special effects were tits this movie would be Dolly Parton. It’s about some dopey kid who suddenly realizes he’s got the ability to teleport himself wherever. The kid gets older, gets a cute girlfriend to leave in the dark about the power he flagrantly abuses and a blond-headed Samuel L. Jackson comes calling. I’m guessing he wants revenge for when Anakin Skywalker cut off Mace Windu’s hands and let the Emperor kill him. Jackson leads a team who exterminates people who teleport, and all of a sudden some British kid who can also teleport shows up to help Anakin fight off the bad guys. It’s sort of “Sliders” meets Highlander.

Wonk, wonk. The effects look neat, but so what? This is an extreme sports drink version of any superhero storyline, done by the guy who made the first Bourne movie and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a scene with Angelina Jolie getting bent over a tabletop counter or Matt Damon kicking someone’s ass with an Etch-a-Sketch to fall back on. This is more like a bad X-Men spin-off minus the social subtext or even a plot, but especially presence. When filmmakers don’t even try to make it look like they’re trying, it does wonders for any residual guilt you may have had about downloading movies.

 

Witless Protection

Every time Larry the Cable Guy puts out a new movie I’m overcome with the same rage, sadness and disappointment that left a numbing part of itself forever embedded within me the night that Bush got “re-elected.” It’s not quite that fuuuudddggge moment you have when you realize you’re doing something you’re going to regret in a big way—when your mind is stricken with fear and also fully aware of what your body is doing, but completely powerless to stop it. You can laugh about those moments later, unless you end up getting raped in prison.

No, I’m talking about those rare and painful instances where you feel like the weeping Indian looks in that ‘70s anti-pollution ad. I’m talking about grief, people. But at the same time I’m talking about Larry.

The only reason something bad happens multiple times is that someone allows it to happen. But these horrible things also happen because people want them to happen. Like Larry’s movies. They keep coming out because some corn-fed crackers who’ve got a thing for putting fingers in their sisters keep going to see them. Throw in the fact that this dumb fucking white man will work for a keg of Schlitz and a case of baked bean-flavored pork rinds and you’ve got yourself a recipe for hell.

Add in a liberal and copious amount of fart jokes, a pithy title such as Witless Protection, a plot with a redneck deputy who inadvertently kidnaps an heiress/material witness in a high profile FBI case revolv—that’s it. I can’t even bring myself to talk about Witless Protection anymore. I’ve said too much already. I can’t tell if I’m more bored or angry that it exists. How is anyone supposed to get excited about seeing this misappropriation of life as a fucking cop?

This movie is a hell where I see familiar faces—Eric Roberts, Yaphet Kotto and Peter Stomare (the tall blonde freaky guy from Fargo) are all there. I know that house payments have to be made here, but is being homeless that much worse? For that matter, is being sodomized at gunpoint worse?

 

Semi-Pro

Will Farrell playing the same egomaniac, inept dinosaur of a sports figure is getting old. Sure, these movies have their funny moments but it’s more like wading through some kind of mixed bag of mystery treats that’s mostly stale hard candy, a few generic gummy worms, and if you’re really lucky, a couple of bite-sized Snickers bars. For the most part it’s a bust and when you look at that dust-covered candy dish on your coffee table months later, you’ll have that daily reminder that you’ve been taken for a ride. How’s it taste?

Will Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Andre 3000 from OutKast. They’re all on what looks to be a ‘70s minor league basketball team (judging by the afros and Harrrelson’s wig) that’s about to get the plug pulled on it or something unless they win some kind of Super Bowl for low-end basketball. Of course they’re the underdogs, because they suck and do it more for the chicks and the fame than the actual sport.

When I decide to put forth the effort to actually watch Semi-Pro on cable in no less than a year, I imagine I’ll laugh at points, but more to the point I expect I’ll congratulate myself for not actually spending money to see it in a theater.



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