Kino Korner: Movie Reviews by Michael Gildea
Dukes of Hazzard
are a few different kinds of people who will go to see The
Dukes of Hazzard. You will see those who just want to
see a dumb action movie that will allow them to be declared
legally braindead for a better part of two hours and don’t
want to have any semblance of a thought after paying way
too much for their ticket. There’s also the type of person
who will see this movie as a celebration of Americana. You
know, the fun-lovin’, Coors-drinkin’ good ol’ boy who lives
to perpetuate stereotypes and has a good-lookin’ cousin.
Then we’ve got the third type of person, who goes to this
kind of flick for the sole purpose of laughing at the other
two types of people.
asked about The Dukes of Hazzard, the movie version
of the early-‘80s TV show about two cousins who are almost
always feuding with the law, star Johnny Knoxville replied
that the movie’s “just an excuse to blow shit up and look
at Jessica [Simpson]’s legs.” You’ve got to admire the man’s
honesty, if not his film choices. Knoxville started to show
some brains when he stopped getting the shit beat out of
himself on MTV and hanging with white trash skate rats who
got surprisingly rich off their lack of common sense (who
am I kidding? I’d have been in on that show in an instant).
But when he actually started making movies, none of them
were actually any good.
let’s consider the source of Hazzard. The show was
about two guys who did odd jobs around town and drove around
in a hot orange car with a confederate flag painted on the
roof. There was also this weird incestuous thing going on
with their hot cousin Daisy and their pale yet leathery
Uncle Jesse. There was always some fussin’ and a feudin’
going on with Boss Hogg and the local law, and Daisy was
always the one to figure out how to save the day.
actual movie is like a 90-minute infomercial for the current
white trash chic movement. It flaunts moonshine, bad fashion,
and NASCAR (does the whole word really need to be capitalized?),
while saying absolutely nothing. And it’s all done in hopes
of keeping trucker hat sales from plummeting.
we’ve got the latest in an ongoing series of dumpy-hot southern
belle pop singers with Jessica Simpson, who plays Daisy.
You know Daisy. The smart one. Jessica Simpson as
the smart one. Come on! Casting-wise, that’s right
on par with casting Keanu Reeves as the guy with too much
information in his head in Johnny Mnemonic. Then
we’ve got the matter of Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse and
Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg. I know the world’s gone to hell
since their heyday, but has it really gotten this bad? Well,
I just saw a commercial for Maxwell House with
Nascar guys singing the Madness song “Our House.” So I guess
You’ve got Stifler and Johnny Knoxville in a Down Home Hee
Haw White Trash shitty mud puddle of a southern cesspool
with Jessica Simpson. And the two guys who should really
be ashamed of themselves for thinking of making this
movie, let alone actually starring in it. If that’s your
bag, today’s your day! Everyone is so arousingly filmed
in this movie that if you’re turned on by even one of them,
you’ll be passed out for days after perpetually pleasuring
yourself at the very thought of them. You’ll be dangerously
dehydrated and look years younger. So if you want to see
a terrible movie or try out a new beauty secret, go see
Dukes of Hazzard.
remember seeing the preview for Stealth right after
this year’s Oscars ceremony. The Guy Who Got His Ass Kicked
By The Hulk (Josh Lucas), That Hot Girl Who Was In The Chainsaw
Massacre And The Last Blade Movie That Was Okay
(Jessica Biel), and The Guy Who Just Won The Oscar For Ray
And Was Up For Another One For Collateral (Jamie
Foxx) are hotshot fighter pilots who have to take out an
evil, artificially intelligent state-of-the-art jet fighter
that’s threatening to destroy the world. I also remember
thinking that Jamie Foxx must have made this movie before
he got that Oscar.
on the plot, it goes without saying that we’re looking at
the typical summer action blockbuster based almost entirely
on computer-generated visual effects. This practice will
usually entice filmgoers the same way that shiny things
attract newborn babies or fully grown chimpanzees. You know
the recipe for this kind of gig: a lot of fighting, a little
sauce, and a villain with a creepy robotic voice that really
wants to be HAL. Stir and let sit in an air conditioned
theater for a better part of two hours. Don’t eat a big
meal beforehand, bring your lowest expectations, and you
might even enjoy it.
So how’s your summer so far? Oh, you’ve got a picture of
her in your camera phone? Yeah, she’s nice! Oh, you hit
that shit already? Good for you! Good for you. And you say
your ex’s best friend is calling you up, too? Well, what
the hell else could she want to do at two in the morning?
Well, you’re young. You could pull it off. Why not try and
hit them both? I would if I were your age again. Enjoy it
now, man; it’s going to be gone someday.
I’ve got pictures of two of my dogs. And one of my cats.
Yeah. He is a cute little guy, isn’t he? We call him Kitten...
of the Penguins
cleanse the pallet of the usual crap that gets splattered
across the screen every summer, a fresh breeze in the form
of an animal documentary will come to shoo away the landfill
smell usually exclusively found at the multiplexes.
this year, we’ve got March of the Penguins, the result
of French filmmaker Luc Jacquet’s 13-month visit to Antarctica
on the trail of emperor penguins. If you’ve seen Animal
Planet or and episode of “Nature” on PBS, you know that
there’ll be a lot of single-file walking, some rat-bastard
leopard seals, and baby penguins standing on their mother’s
feet as they learn to walk. And a lot of cute shit as they
just might sing that song from the Mentos commercial with
all of those birds.
pretty straightforward, but you don’t ever quite get sick
of it. The Americanized version, now in theaters, features
narration by everyone’s favorite Cookie Crisp Syndrome victim,
Morgan Freeman. Aside from the damned seals and possibility
of freezing to death, the whole thing lends to a very soothing
experience. And you can take kids to see it and not have
to worry about having to buy a March of the Penguins
kids value meal at a fast food chain on the way home. Plus
the kids may actually learn something. Maybe if the kid
I keep locked in my basement behaves, I’ll take him to see
understand that the French version didn’t have Freeman’s
narration. Instead I’m told it had “whimsical” narration
by French adults making kiddie voices for some of the main
penguins. For once, I can say that the Americanized version
sounds better than the original. Who knows; maybe I’ll torment
myself if the French language track is available on the
of the Penguins is sure to please, regardless of whether
you take the extra ten minutes in the parking lot or not.
But just to give you the heads up, bring the Kleenex or
a dry hanky. You’re probably going to need it.
you’ve ever gone to the pound, you’ll usually see a lot
of different kinds of dogs. You’ll see the kind that are
great with kids and other dogs. You’ll find the ones that
are happy as all hell to see you. There’s also the dogs
that know how to play the game of getting adopted when people
show up and are just generally friendly, or very, very smart.
you’ve got the dogs on death row. They’ve got bad rap sheets.
They projectile shit when you bring them out of their cage,
pissing all over the place and whining because they’re nervous
as all hell. If you’re anything like me, this is the one
that you take home, because you know this is the sorry bastard’s
last chance before he goes in for The Big Sleep.
movies are not like dogs, because no matter how boring they
may be, like a golden retriever or a purebred cocker spaniel,
dogs are generally good-natured slobs that’ll love you no
matter what. Movies don’t do that.
speaking, bad movies do gnaw on your furniture, piss on
your floor, bust into your room and trash the place out
of boredom. Wait—that was a bad point, because I do all
of those things in a theater when I see a boring or bad
movie. Never mind.
Love Dogs is the traditional date movie template that
involves an almost comically embittered divorcee whose meddling
family (that’s just plain wacky!) wants to see her get “back
into the game,” maybe more than she does! I don’t know about
you, but my sides are splitting already! So she winds up
meeting this really nice guy online after a series of comic
mishaps. Will our heroine get past her damage and finally
find happiness or will her despondency get the better of
her, sending her into a downward spiral of Oprah, magnetic
ribbons for her fuel efficient mini-SUV, and a steady diet
of contemporary female singer/songwriters that write albums
about their children?
Love Dogs is like that dog you see at the pound that
you can tell right off the bat is going to need a lot of
attention. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the
dog who sits in a crate all day. But the good news is that,
unlike a dog, a movie had no feelings. Sometimes they instill
feelings, but most of them are actually dead inside. Just
Must Love Dogs at the pound unless you’re the kind
of person who likes that kind of dog. Then you can start
buying it sweaters and other stupid outfits when the weather
gets colder and feeding it food out of your mouth…you goon.