nothing worse than seeing one of your childhood heroes fortify a
cliché. Sadly, it appears that old dogs really can’t learn new tricks.
The last time we saw Harrison Ford he was in Hollywood Homicide.
After bringing starchy, generic potato chips to that summer movie
season potluck, he did the right thing by not showing his grizzled
head for 3 years.
when you screw up, you lay low and regroup. You’re supposed to figure
out where you went wrong and come back better and stronger.
does he do instead? He hangs out at home with a corpse and for his
comeback he stars in a movie about bank robbers holding his wife
and kids hostage until he gets the robbers their money. But of course
he’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. Fightin’
mad as hell.
is so predictable that expecting suspense out of it is like trying
to get laid in a convent. Instead it hits us with an arsenal of
high tech gadgetry on which the plot leans like a drunken basket
case. “Here, play with Mr. Ford’s key, you jerks.” And as for the
villain we’ve got an albino Englishman because we all know that
a villain is so much more sinister with an English accent.
entire time I sat through Firewall, I couldn’t help but wonder
why the hell Ford doesn’t just get it over with and do the last
Indiana Jones movie. Give everyone what they’re all waiting
for and retire. Show up at the Oscars for a lifetime achievement
award just before you hit 80, wearing really thick glasses with
even thicker frames. Everyone will still kiss your ass, but at least
if you do it this way they’ll have less material at a Friar’s Club
Roast that you’re just about due for.
you saw even one of the Final Destination movies you know
it was based on a briefly interesting premise that never quite gelled:
fate—rather than a psychopath with a bad sweater or a hockey mask—killing
idiotic teenagers. It didn’t justify a feature length movie, let
alone a sequel. One time, shame on them. Two times, shame on you.
times? YOU DIE!!!!!!!
least you deserve to. Because it’s a carbon copy of the last two
movies. Dumb teenagers, beheadings, tanning salon disasters, roller
coaster accidents, nail guns, fireworks, bullshit, cunnilingus,
goose down pillows, espresso, girls with shoe box asses wearing
jeans they have no business owning, cups full of pencils, wheat
pennies, book ends, pinky rings, mint green ties, flying saucers
over East Rutherford, religious cult activity, very big hair, Jersey
tunnel hookers, erectile dysfunction, burping dogs, excessive use
of the word girth, old people swearing, Jheri curls, dollar store
slippers, bicycle-riding circus bears, people who replace their
first names with adjectives, bad golf shirts, very small dogs, asshole
Robert Frost, expensive nose hair trimmers, people who really
know how to grieve, 3-D glasses, BLT sandwiches, Nehru jackets,
pubic wigs, Cher impersonators, drowning in 3 inches of water, learning
disorders, “Blades of Steel,” fresh linens, glow-in-the-dark condoms,
tuxedos with white jackets, Disney movies starring Kurt Russell,
farting weasels, people you went to high school with, the feeling
you’ve been cheated, three-month old bong water, raw bacon and luncheon
meats, Uncle Ben, charcoal briquettes, bubble wrap, memories, pussy
willows, the clap, five-finger discounts, mom jeans, the “Pledge
of Allegiance” and the Loch Ness monster.
course a movie that flashes all of those things should be nowhere
near a disappointment. But Final Destination 3 is. It is.
a process called brainstorming where every idea that springs to
mind is written down. The good ideas and the bad ones are separated,
then the bad ones are sent to oblivion. Or to UPN. Or New Jersey,
depending on how bad the idea is. But there’s a third type of idea:
the one that should never have been mentioned.
once in a while, this classification of idea actually comes to fruition.
One happened some years back when the band Suicidal Tendencies re-recorded
their classic first album. Horribly. Another example of this type
of war crime is the rumor of Bruce Lee’s estate allowing a movie
starring him combining computer-generated effects and already existing
you can remake The Pink Panther.
fact of the matter is there is not a soul alive who possesses the
comedic prowess that Peter Sellers did when he made the first Pink
Panther, or any of the sequels. Remaking this movie or
doing a prequel or whatever the hell anyone connected with this
movie thinks they’re doing is right down there with child molestation,
incest, starting a Steve Miller cover band or enabling the Rolling
Stones by paying hundreds of dollars to see them live. Let them
enjoy their golden years, you jackals.
for Steve Martin, you can take a page from Winona Ryder’s book.
When asked if she wanted to play the Audrey Hepburn role in the
1995 remake of Sabrina, she gracefully bowed out saying that
those were shoes that she knew better than to try and fill. You’ve
been known to be funny, Martin, but not recently; and even then
not funny enough to guess what shoe size Peter Sellers was. We’re
all mad and disappointed. And by the way, if you remake Dr.
Strangelove, I will end you.
a Stranger Calls
or two back, I got sick for the first time in nearly two years.
I rarely get sick, but when I do, I’m usually a big wuss about it.
I’ll admit it. This is also the first time I got sick since I turned
30, and those of us who’ve hit that magical age know your body starts
doing some funky shit as it heads downhill.
my case it was a fever dream. I’ve had only one before in my life.
It involved Robin Williams and Minnie Driver enlisting my help to
stop Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s secret police. This was a crazy
dream. I mean, these clowns had their own rent-a-cops with golf
carts and everything. And fire! There was fire, too! You’ve got
to be careful what you watch before you pass out when your fever’s
about to spike.
this more recent dream reminded me of a trip I took to the movies.
I say this not because there was some deranged killer chasing me,
an imaginary monster under the bed, or Oscar winners trying to take
over the world. I bring this up because my latest fever dream was
a monotonous hell from which I could not escape. And there was no
point to it either. It was just old people at some kind of UN banquet
who had to keep moving crap around. And just when we thought we
were done, there was still more stuff that had to get moved. And
the worst part was that nothing happened.
brings me to When a Stranger Calls, where nothing happens.
A girl is babysitting and some nutbag calls up and scares said teenybopper
babysitter. Then there’s a noise. What can it be? Let’s take five
minutes of built up suspense only to find out it’s a cat. Then the
nut calls back and freaks out the babysitter a little bit more.
Then another noise, followed by another few minutes of suspense
and a loose shutter. It’s false alarm city before it eventually
comes out that the lunatic’s in the house the whole time. Ooooooooooooh!
you recognize the footprint in this turd, that’s because this is
a remake of a film by the same name. Which was also bad, but at
least had the balls to kill off the kids. The remake doesn’t. The
only ounce of street cred that the new When a Stranger Calls
offers is using Lance Henriksen as the voice of the…well, he’s
not really a killer. He’s not that bad either. Is he a terrorist?
Nah, terrorizer! Yes! Terrorizer!
the baddie what you like; When a Stranger Calls was abhorrent
on every level. It was like a false starts mix tape—like watching
a copy of a movie that someone who doesn’t know how to work a VCR
made for you or copied from a DVD that keeps skipping. I’d make
a dumb phone company joke here, but that would make as much sense
as a sequel to this movie—which I’m sure is on the way.
no secret that for his last few films, Woody Allen’s pulled his
source material out of a toilet that couldn’t quite keep it down.
We’ve had a string of bad comedies that gave you a damn good idea
what it’s like to be a slug covered in salt, as we’re asked one
too many times to accept that Allen is still sexually attractive
to a woman in her 20s. Not to mention the trademarked neuroticism
turned up to 11 and that 90-minute feeling of déjà vu you get once
the opening credits roll.
Match Point is a different kind of Woody Allen movie. It’s not
a comedy at all. As a matter of fact, it’s a total 180 from his
traditional style of film laden with pretentious New Yorkers sauntering
around Manhattan dealing with their comical relationship problems
and cases of the crazies.
Point takes place in London and follows a former tennis pro
(Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) as he’s accepted into an aristocratic old
money family and somehow still finds the ability to make incredibly
bad decisions as he diddles his soon-to-be sister-in-law (Scarlett
Johansson). It started off interesting enough, but once the honeymoon
period wore off, my friend and I were left to our own devices to
make the movie engaging.
were like Homer Simpson at the opera. We made fart noises, talked
in “Monty Python” voices, hell—we even mooned the screen. My friend
shrieked “Catholic guilt” and spoke in tongues as she started throwing
individual birth control pills at the screen. She pulled out the
biggest dildo I’ve seen in my life and stood up, shaking it like
a magic wand at the screen and demanding Woody Allen’s head on a
spit. That thing had some jiggle.
spent the remaining hour-and-a-half making fun of the movie before
heading home, bitching about Allen on the way.
realize until hours later that with Allen being the jazz enthusiast
that he is, Match Point was about the notes that weren’t
played, rather than the very few that were. Sure, the solos
were kind of long and drawn out. Almost too “jammy” at points: giving
new meaning to the term self-indulgent. Well, that’s Woody
Allen for you. But Goddamn that man if he didn’t bring it back home
when all was said and done.