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May 18 - June 1, 2005 Issue #75
 Jesus Considers "Nuke-ular" Option
SURRENDER MONKEYS
Liberal Strategy in Culture Wars: Play Dead

by Allan Uthman
WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK!
Serious Risk of Bullshit
by Matt Taibbi
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Promotional Celebrity Relationship
El Legend de Tom Delay
by Matt Taibbi
FROM OIL TO OZ
by Matt Higgins
ONE OF THESE DAYS
by William Rivers Pitt
CITGO DOESN'T SUCK
Buy gas at Citgo.
No, really...
LETTERS FROM LYNNDIE
 
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    by Michael Gildea
Your guide to what sucks and what doesn't on the silver screen
Kicking and Screaming

You know, there is no end to the complete and utter ridiculousness of which little league parents are capable. Oh sure, weíve all seen the news footage on the Fox network of dads/coaches reacting more objectionably than I do after I do 15 minutes into an Ashton Kutcher movie. You always think, "what an asshole..." and the whole thing makes you sick, or at least it makes you laugh.

Normally, sports movies are a trip to snooze city. Thereís always the task that a filmmaker takes on of getting into the head of the obsessive coach/athlete and their win-or-die philosophy of the sport. Itís really annoying to me. Maybe itís my general apathy or inability to relate to that mentality.

But throwing in Will Farrell is disarming. The man is so funny on every level that you get sucked in regardless of what the movieís about.

Unfortunately, Kicking and Screaming gets into that worn out "team of underdogs overcoming adversity" groove, not to mention the obligatory cheesy scenes where the kids dance. In the end, thereís a 1:1 funny to eye-rolling scene ratio. Thereís nothing especially memorable in this movie; itís just really designed as a kidís movie thatís a little less painful to adults. And thatís just what it is.

Mindhunters

A lot of movies that come out have been sitting on a shelf for a while. This goes to show that even the least scrupulous of film executives are afraid to unload certain colossal pieces of crap onto the public. Or theyíre just waiting for that one opportune moment, when the most gullible of filmgoers will bite. You know that one really mean low blow youíre waiting to use? Mindhunters is that line.

I read somewhere that Mindhunters has been sitting on a shelf for the last three years. After you finish watching it, you wonít wonder why. Itís a terrible movie thatís trying to skitch a ride on the "CSI" crazeís Hummer, and it copies Agatha Christieís Ten Little Indians so obviously that only a terrible hack director like Renny Harlin could be delusional enough to tackle the project.

You remember Harlin. Cliffhanger. Cutthroat Island. Die Hard 2. Exorcist: The Beginning. I know that all directors are supposed to get the occasional "get out of jail free" card, but I donít think a directorís entire career is supposed to be based on his inability to make a good movie.

Mindhunters stars Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, LL Cool J, and a bunch of people you havenít heard of. Right now, Kilmer is sitting somewhere, telling himself that he knew this day would come, and crying himself to sleep.

Monster-in-Law

Iím told itís been a good 15 years since Jane Fonda has made a movie. Say what you like about her personal politics, or what were once her personal politics, but the womanís a damn good actress.

So Fondaís either ready for a comeback or sheís sick of daytime TV and exercise videos. Iím going to guess on the latter. Why else would Fonda opt to make a "comeback" with a remake of a Godzilla movie, playing a demented Barbara Walters clone squaring off against Jennifer Lopez in a series of cliched catfights? Alimony from Ted Turner running out? Or has she just reached the age where she doesnít mind giving up and has decided that itís okay to become a marketing tool? That thereís no shame in playing a concept instead of a character?

Welcome to the 21st century, Jane. Welcome to the 21st century.

Unleashed

Unleashed did something that a summer movie rarely does. It gave me hope for the rest of the summer. Hope that the next few months arenít going to be filled with movies completely devoid of substance.

I donít say this because Unleashed was a deep movie. Not at all. It was a series of really great fight scenes linked by metaphors for animal cruelty. What do you want? You see the commercial and you know what to expect. Especially from an American-made Jet Li movie.

I was given hope because I recently saw the law of averages in action. If youíre not familiar with the law of averages, it basically means that if you ask 100 women to sleep with you, a certain percentage of them is bound to say yes. If youíre looking for an example.

I got sucked into a sales job about two weeks back. They were like a cult. Dressed up in shirts and ties. Traveling to the outskirts of civilization to sell picture frames and remote control flying saucers. They sold nearly $500 worth of crap in a little over eight hours, and they got paid that day based on the law of averages.

Needless to say, I didnít show up for my would-be first day of work. But I figure that if 100 movies are released this summer, at least five of them are bound to be good. As for Unleashed, itís something to do if you donít bother to show up for your first day of work, but itís not really worth calling in for.

 
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