Snicketís A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicketís A Series of Unfortunate
Events throws you in a few different directions at once. Itís kind
of like those days when itís sunny, but the ground is still wet from
a recent rainfall. Youíre seeing something that is possible, but the
contradiction is yet another reminder that we live in a flawed world.
Sorry, the holidays always do this to me.
with Lemony Snicketís, weíve got three too-attractive-for-children
children that force you to say things like, ďthat oldest daughter
is going to be beautiful when she grows up,Ē even though youíd probably
jump her now. Ah, keeping up appearances. So these kids are orphaned
and are let into the custody of a distant cousin, Count Olaf.† Heís
a failed actor out to kill the children and get their inheritance.
Jim Carrey is six notches above over-the-top as Olaf. He even gets
some Peter Sellers action as he takes on other personae when it looks
like the kids might escape his clutches.
Carrey isnít the only one to go over the top (when heís playing a
character named Count Olaf, I suppose heís got an excuse). Director
Brad Siberling goes there too, raiding Tim Burtonís cutting room floor.
Siberling spends so much time on the atmosphere of the movie he doesnít
realize that, for as beautiful as the movie is, heís made it completely
and utterly depressing. Another fairy tale for the goth kids.
secondary characters are great, too. Meryl Streep plays a woman afraid
of everything and Billy Connolly (The Duke from Boondock Saints)
plays a snake-loving relative.
the end of the day, itís a fun watch. It doesnít seem like a kidís
movie for kids. More like a kidís movie for adults with a Peter Pan
complex. Altogether, there are eleven of the Lemony Snicket books,
which means that weíve got another potential Harry Potter series on
our hands. The best thing to do is make friends now and accept the
fact that youíre just going to have to get used to it.†
are so many things wrong with this movie that I donít know where to
begin. We could start with the fact that Adam Sandler is in it. Itís
like heís playing one of his trademarked idiot man-child characters
who grew up. Now heís got the family.
neurotic wife, who you canít bear, even though you know sheís a fictitious
character. Her alcoholic mother who serves as the comic relief and
quits getting lit for long enough to offer some sage-like advice to
her nut bag daughter. The maid and her daughter who can barely speak
English and the fact that itís all supposed to be heartwarming. Iím
surprised that my head didnít explode like the guy in Scanners.
Spanglish is the sort of movie that leaves people with permanent nervous twitches.
It ruins lives, ends marriages, and kills libidos. No one with good
sense and a penis should voluntarily see this movie. Of course this
sort of thing just has to come out right before Christmas. Just when
you thought you were going to finally be able to make it though the
holidays without a visit to a mental facility. Now youíre going to
have to drink twice as much just to serve as an emotional solvent
for your soul.
you do wind up seeing Spanglish, you can be saved. Just stay
drunk from Christmas Eve through New Yearís and you should be all
right. It may seem like amputating a limb that you have a mild case
of ringworm on, but sometimes you just have to let those hard-to-reach-chips
of the Phoenix
Flight of the Phoenix was
an assignment that I wasnít particularly looking forward to. It features
Dennis Quaid as the main character in a remake of a lesser-known Jimmy
Stewart movie. The reason itís lesser known is because itís not particularly
an ominous assignment with overtones of extreme personal boredom.
Itís like a trip to the DMV with previews. I can see the future of
this movie: out on DVD by Valentineís Day, in the $5.47 bin at Wal-Mart
by Memorial Day. An all around bad idea from the start.†
it was. Oil riggers whose plane crashes. Multiple obstacles to overcome.
Terrible special effects. Giovanni Ribisi trying to go mainstream.
You know the drill (Get it?).
itís for occasions like this that I keep the Jehovahís Witness literature
in my bookbag. I went around to the six other people in the theater,
telling them that Dennis Quaid was a Witness. It was good enough for
him, so it was good enough for the theater patrons. I recruited four
out of the six. The only reason I didnít nab the other two is because
they were already members.
two that were already enrolled in The Program took me out for a Chinese
buffet lunch afterward. They also offered me a great rate on a refinance
loan and told me I couldnít lose.
got drunk on cheap wine and saw Flight of the Phoenix again.
Somehow it was better on Mad Dog 20/20.
not afraid to admit that the original Oceanís Eleven is one
of my favorite movies. Not the Rat Pack piece of crap from the Ď60s.
Whatís so exciting about watching a bunch of guys who are friends
in real life get smashed and sing songs together? Then when the booze
runs out, they knock off a casino.
talking about the original remake. Or whatever you want to call it.
It was clever, well-directed, had great dialogue, great characters,
and it was a lot of fun. Any movie that makes me forget that Julia
Roberts is in it has to be doing something right. If you missed it,
itís about eleven guys who knock off the vault to three major Vegas
three years later. The guy they knocked off tracks them down and gives
them three weeks to pay him back with interest or its curtains. So
they head to Europe in hopes of puling off a few big jobs to save
their lives, only to find a bored French millionaire hitting their
marks before they do.
has some of the pizzazz that the last one had, but for the most part
it falls short. It was well directed and well made, but it gave me
that aching balls feeling that I got when watching Frank and Dean.
You feel like youíre watching a bunch of friends sitting around.
somehow youíre supposed to be excited by all of this. Oceanís Twelve
spends so much time trying to be more clever than its predecessor
that it almost comes off as pretentious. I was fully aware of the
presence of the fish-faced Julia Roberts this time around. But she
was only in it about twenty minutes, so I didnít mind too much. And
the whole Brad Pitt/Catherine Zeta-Jones thing seemed even more contrived
than her marriage to Michael Douglas.
to make matters worse, it took longer to end than Return of the
youíre going to see Oceanís Twelve for the sole purpose of
drooling at Clooney and Pitt, you shouldnít be too disappointed. But
if youíre in that other ten percent, expect to listen to the fairer
sex pound away at their parts and dehydrate themselves away in the
throes of ecstasy as youíre pummeled with clever cameos.
a somewhat pleasant time at and not being too grossly disappointed
by the first two Blade movies, I figured thereíd be no problem
with Blade: Trinity. Sometimes it really hurts being wrong.
was like a cross between Shaft, James Bond, and Dracula. How could
you drop the ball with that formula? Like so many television shows
have done in the past, they added other characters. ďThe Brady BunchĒ
had cousin Oliver, and ďThe X-FilesĒ had Robert Patrick.
so did Blade. Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds play a couple of fellow
vampire hunters who help Blade take on the granddaddy of all vampires,
Dracula himself. Now, you think this is going to be pretty sweet,
but it really isnít. Even though the first two Blade movies werenít
exactly cinematic masterpieces, they had a certain graceful lyricism
to them. The violence was poetic, even if the special effects took
a little time to evolve.
Blade: Trinity just has moments that are the pinnacle of cheese.
instance: Whenever Abigail (Biel) has one of the patented fight scenes
characterized by breakneck editing and a Hong Kong wire team, we now
get a plug for the ipod. I remember when people used to crack their
knuckles or roll their necks before a fight. Now the hip thing is
to put in your earbuds, blare whatever passes for rap these days as
you smite your opponents with style, but without mercy.
have a friend who likes to ask your opinion, but he doesnít really
want it. He merely wants a confirmation of his plan of action. I could
never rationally endorse that behavior until now. Blade: Trinity
is the kind of movie that if I had not seen it already, I would ask
anyone whoís seen it his or her opinion on it (and everyone whoís
seen it says itís booty). A hundred and fifty people could tell me
it sucks and Iíd still go see it.
very much like my friend who I just mentioned, Iíd walk in the door
or run into someone whoís opinion I had asked for and say, ďyou were
right, that sucked.Ē