Kino Korner by Michael Gildea
you are not a movie AND a slightly current or reformed comic
book geek, you probably have no business seeing this movie,
or even bothering to read the rest of this review.
see, it takes a certain breed to go to this sort of movie.
You need one part guy (we’ll get to the girls who go to
these things on a WHOLE different platform) who on some
small level needs to hang onto something in his past for
some reason that no source on Earth will ever know. And
the rest of the equation is the desire to drool over—or
yank it right there in the theater to—Jessica Alba. Admittedly,
I am guilty on both counts.
first part of you has seen other films of this kind. X-Men.
Spider-Man. Daredevil. X-Men 2. The Hulk. Spider-Man 2.
You can stick Hellboy in there somewhere. And Sin
point is that there are more sequels and slightly obscure
comic-based flicks coming out. Some have hit home runs,
some have been okay, but a whole lot more new comics are
finding ways onto the silver screen. And we’re starting
to get to the bottom of the barrel. I’d like to thank Ben
Affleck and Jennifer Garner for starting this shit up when
Daredevil came out.
reason I mention Daredevil is because that particular
movie was like a low-rent version of Spider-Man.
Bruce Campbell once said that it was like they made Daredevil
out of unused footage from Spider-Man. Now we’ve
got Fantastic Four, which doesn’t come off as the
next big thing, but more like an X-Men, Jr. with
a dash of Hulk on the side. It’s marginally silly
and mildly entertaining, but you’re okay as long as your
expectations are low.
there’s the matter of Jessica Alba. Up until I saw her in
Sin City, I just thought she was a mildly exotic
chick who made bad movies and worse TV shows. The chick’s
hot! I’m not the kind of guy to get stupid just because
a girl looks good, but DAMN! The Hotness! I could grunt
for a half hour thinking about her.
if you’re my friend Tom Paccio, you’re saying: “Damn! Look
at that donkey! Look at that onion! That shit looks tasty!
course, this is after seeing that picture of her in the
blue tights online, and it led up to the first time I saw
someone eat raw oysters in a movie theater. So anyway, the
comic book movie thing is getting old. They’re crawling
out of the woodwork and they’re not delivering like they
used to. It’s still better than an episode of “Dharma &
Greg,” but if you still don’t give a rat’s ass, then leave
can’t tell you how sick I am of this type of horror movie.
A single mom and her creepy kid move into an apartment building
that could’ve been used in a Nine Inch Nails video. Things
get crazier as spooky things happen once the freaky midget
starts channeling some kid who’s been dead since before
the Civil War or some bizarre scenario like that. It’s scary,
all right. It’s just the part that I find scary is how this
shit gets made and why people go to see it.
visualize some broom closet that serves as an Island of
Misfit Toys for screenplays. Except all of the scripts are
the same. They’re all boring, they’ve all been done, and
they’re all terrible. At least you’re 99.9% sure that they’re
all bad, but then something happens. They tell you who’s
playing the lead.
this case we’ve got Jennifer Connelly. You know Jennifer
Connelly. She’s the actress who was a little thick but had
the most magnificent breasts known to man. (Incidentally,
this isn’t how I’d describe Jennifer Connelly in conversation.
This just happens to be the way that just about every man
knows her. I always tell people she was in A Beautiful
Mind and then people say, “Was she the one riding the
horse bouncing up and down in Career Opportunities?
Yeah, she was. Yeah. She was.) We’ve also got John C. Reilly,
who’s one of the best character actors going today. The
fact that he’s been in the last two Scorsese movies (The
Aviator, Gangs of New York) and did three movies with
Paul Thomas Anderson ought to tell you something, but here
he sucks. Just because you’ve seen the guy’s previous work
and he’s never sucked doesn’t mean that he’ll never do a
if you are indeed in the mood for a Ring knockoff
and you’ve made up your mind that you are absolutely going
to piss the better part of ten bucks away, then be my guest.
I’m not going to be there to stop you. However, if you see
me at the Market Arcade on some Monday evening for a seven-ish
show and you ask me to talk you out of it, I’ll do my best.
Come on! We’ll go see Episode III again instead. It’ll
once read an interview with Roger Ebert in which he said
something about how he loves his job because he gets to
go see every movie. Then he turned around with something
to the effect of how he has to see every movie,
including the bad ones.
thought ran through my head for every moment of Rebound.
Well, the difference between Mr. Ebert and myself is that
Mr. Ebert has a considerably more comfortable living as
a result of his craft than I do. I don’t know if Mr. Ebert
is bribed or not to say what he says about movies sometimes.
I’d like to say he’s not, but every once in a while he’ll
knock a good one down. It’s a tough call with the man. I’d
like to say that I wouldn’t mind a bit more suffering with
a raise in pay conditional, but I just couldn’t do it this
time. This has never happened before.
walked out of a movie. Oh sure, I once reviewed a film I
didn’t see (There was a film called Exorcist: The Beginning
that I refused to see because the film studio took an idea
that would’ve been interesting and wiped their asses with
it. It’s a long story that isn’t interesting enough to retell
let alone go back to), but I’ve never actually walked out
of a movie. I almost walked out of a $1.50 theater showing
of the 1993's Bad Girls—you know, the all-girl western
with Andie MacDowell, Madeline Stowe, and Drew Barrymore?
I forced myself to stay through that one.
Rebound! The movie where Martin Lawrence plays a
once-great three-time loser basketball coach who’s reduced
to turning borderline special ed kids into a fantastic team
that goes all the way to the top? Yeah, that one. What kind
of mental deficient do you have to be in order go balls
out crazy for these movies? To quote Napoleon Dynamite:
couldn’t do it, man. I just couldn’t do it. This was just
all kinds of bad. It’s like a bad remake of School of
Rock—instead of having it in a private school, move
it to the city. Same thing, just different wardrobes.
if you’ve got a budding youngster who doesn’t know any better,
I’d say go for it. What they get, they get. What they don’t
blows over their heads anyway, right? And you’re a tough
cookie, right? Take your kid who you’re not even sure is
yours to go see some shitty movie. And then there’s you,
who hasn’t been able to see what you want because that Whore
Island escapee who washed up behind your buddy’s beach house
that one night and eleven months later she’s got really
bad postpartum depression and needs to get away from that
other kid you’re not sure is yours for a while.
isn’t it? No. The truth is that bottle of Wild Turkey that
I downed before the movie started got right on top of me
and I passed out maybe fifteen minutes in. I woke up in
an alley behind the theater and I was really sunburnt. I
was covered in puke and I had a black eye. My ass was kind
of sore, too come to think of it. And of course my wallet
was gone. No, there are some movies that some people are
simply not meant to see. How many people do you know that
have never seen Pulp Fiction, Memento, or another
classic like that? This person knows that it’s supposed
to be a good movie and wants to see it, but doesn’t ever
quite get around to seeing for a long while. You know who
I mean? Sometimes, only bad can come from a trip to the
movies. I fought the law and the law won on this one.
now that I think about it, I technically didn’t walk out.
More like thrown out. Yeah, thrown out. A sorry Martin Lawrence
movie has not bested me! Hah!
of the Worlds
knew exactly I was going to write the second I left the
theater after seeing War of the Worlds. I knew exactly
what I was going to talk about and precisely what to mention
when I give my questionably valued opinion about this movie.
Then I remembered something. I remembered that Steven Spielberg
directed this movie, I should’ve known that there was going
to be some horseshit sugar and molasses-covered bomb of
a happy ending stuck in its ass. I should’ve known right
what Spielberg did with this movie was kind of outstanding
in a Steven Spielberg sort of way. Or for at least as outstanding
as he can be. He set the story in New Jersey (a town that
Thomas Paccio will undoubtedly tell you that is a place
where everything is broke. Not broken, broke), which is
an ideal setting when an EMP has killed every piece of machinery
in the area. Everything’s broke in Jersey, so you don’t
really have to spend much on a location.
had me right up to the point when I realized a 100% happy
ending was going to show up. That bastard had me good, as
he told a story of and alien invasion wherein people are
eviscerated and people are trying to escape, and the whole
concept told from a ground level perspective was indeed
probably going to blow something here, so I’m going to ruin
the ending here for anyone who might kind of care. Anyway,
we’ve got the point in the film where none other than Mr.
Tom Cruise himself plays a Johnny Punchclock dock worker/shitty
father. His resentful and angry son runs off during an alien
invasion to try and help. The fucking kid ran into a cloud
of fire! He’s dead for crissakes! I was fine with everything,
up until the last five minutes or so.
a scene where Tom Cruise and ‘child actor of the ages’ Dakota
Fanning walk up to the ex-wife’s house up a street of brownstones
in Boston. There’s a trashed city behind them, but looking
at this street, unraked leaves substitute for actual destruction.
The old money family walks to the front door, without so
much as a smudge on the white Polo sweaters tied around
their shoulders (at least have somebody’s arm in a sling!
Jesus!). Suddenly, out of nowhere comes the hipster son
who was not only believed dead, but earlier in the movie
was calling his father an asshole. Father and son hug.
I didn’t mind the way in which the aliens were vanquished.
I knew that microbes would be the downfall of the invaders
and I thought that was done very well. But this was trying
to be E.T. And what would a big-time sci-fi thriller
be without Morgan Freeman?
now know that the cheesedick element of the movie was inevitable.
I know that, but the majority of the movie was spellbinding,
almost debilitating, from a visual standpoint. It looked
a lot like Minority Report, and the crazy hillbilly
characters were at points too much, but the final product
now there’s the subject of Tom Cruise. This guy is like
the Michael Jackson of Hollywood, as far as demented shit
and bizarre situations are concerned. Doesn’t he want to
wrestle Brooke Shields or something to settle a dispute
over postpartum depression or something like that? I thought
I heard he tried to shank Matt Lauer after an onscreen argument.
Getting water thrown on him in London? That’s rich! But
the guy made me forget what a nutjob he can be, so hey.
Whatever floats his boat. If people do a good enough job
at work and can separate their deranged private lives from
leaking into a big movie, let them.
personal politics of our former (and future?) foe aside,
War of the Worlds is worth the price of admission.
I’d say to check it out.