Monday, January 23, 2006

More Quick Ones, Jan. 23, 2006

Saw Love Liza starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on good reviews and the fact it stars Hoffman and has Kathy Bates in it. Both of those two could read the phone book and make it interesting (even a Midwestern small-town one without any interesting foreign names). However, they couldn't save Love Liza. Essentially it's a movie about huffing gasoline. The bookends of the movie are the suicide of Hoffman's wife, Liza (hence the huffing), but that's all they are, and they contain the exact amount of relevancy that bookends do: They hold up the middle, but only mechanically. This flick is a waste of time, sorry to say.

Saw Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo because the wife likes Rob Schneider, and sometimes sick, cheap laughs are the order of the day - especially when they can be had for a buck at a RedBox. There are about three and a half sick, cheap yuks in the film, all of them provided by Eddie Griffin's pimp character, so don't go out of your way. The highlight (such as it is) is in the extras where we are taken through the audition of the woman who will appear in a throwaway shot where she's washing a window in a wet t-shirt. I'd always hoped against hope that when they were casting a part like that that it wouldn't be a frat boy grunt-fest, but alas one more illusion of mine is shattered. Not only do they barely contain their sniggering as they direct each of the women on how to rub her breasts on the wet glass, but then we're treated to them then watching the tape thereof afterwards and practically tugging off together. It's one of the ickiest "recorded for posterity" moments I've seen.

Saw The Island, which of course nakedly recycles Logan's Run, Brave New Word, and THX 1138. It's a competent thriller because Michael Bay directed it. Yes, he's good at what he does, even if he does get grief from film snobs because his films are too kinetic and blatantly manipulative. But, like King Kong, we've seen this a few times, so one's thoughts drift to popcorn procurement, throwing in a load of laundry, what's that under my fingernail?, and not even bothering to pause it for the trip to the restroom and so on. Fun, but no more mysterious than the 267th time eating Capn' Crunch to discover a funny cartoon face at the bottom of the cereal bowl.

Speaking of King Kong, I got to see the end because a dear friend who's SO didn't want to go see it dragged me along (had to walk out the first time as it was too intense for my eldest daughter). Y'know what? Besides being the retread we all know it is, it's a bit too much. I walked out with a headache from all the fights and screaming. I'll admit the ape's death is done very well - SPOILER ALERT - because we see his pupils dilate, hear his last breath, and when he slides off the platform, he's clearly dead - END SPOILER ALERT. It makes me wonder what kind of research they did to clearly telegraph the death of a living thing - what sort of queues that we all recognize without having to be told. And, this movie could have and should have been shaved down to a 1 hour 45 minute movie from its current 32 hours and 10 minutes. Now that fans are re-editing movies on their PCs, I'd love to get ahold of the "good parts" fan edit of this flick.

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