Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Friday, July 18, 2003  

And in fact, I am aware that I've been a bit single minded lately. Possibly this is the characteristic that has earned me my rep as "earnest" and "humorless." (Or maybe if I just dropped an F-bomb or two...)

So switching gears, rather violently, here's a couplathree movie reviews.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Something to do with the Black Pearl
I'll admit it: I like me the pirates. Sure, you've got your raping and pillaging, which is more of a Republican thing, but you've also got your devil-may-care flouting of authority, which is kind of Green. So it was with some enthusiasm that I attended a screening this past week.

If you put aside all your expectations--and I mean all--you'll have a good time. You'll have an even better time if you leave just after the last swordfight in the cave (don't worry, you'll know it when you see it), and avoid the following two Disney add-on endings, which have the effect of crushing the life out of you.

Before then, it's mostly a rollicking adventure in which the good pirates (call 'em the Greens) are trying to rescue various people from the bad pirates (call 'em the Neocons) whilst the British stand in is as chumps (Republicans or Dems as you like--they're kinda establishmentarian-but-not-so-bad types). Johnny Depp plays an off-kilter pirate who does a credible job of making you think he's alternately Atilla-the-Pirate and Robin Hood. And the shots of boats and sea are eye candy of the first order. A nice break from the exploding metal and asphalt of the usual summer blockbuster.

Terminator 3: the not quite yet Rise of the Machines
Speaking of exploding metal... I don't know what to say about T3. I love the franchise, even love Arnie as the Terminator (playing a robot is his speed), but I didn't love this movie. It was essentially an unnecessary set-up to T4, kind of an homage to the series without actually being a part of the series. Let's hope they get Cameron for the next one, cause this Mostow kid ain't cuttin it.

The only reason T3 was made was to revive the plot, which essentially ended after T2, when it appeared the world was saved. No world is ever safe while there are still profits to be made, however, and so we get this thing. I'll save you the trouble of seeing the movie by telling you what happens: no, the world isn't actually safe, and judgment day actually comes, despite what you were told in the last movie. There. Now wait for T4.

Charlie's Angels: Fully Throttling the Audience with Very Large Effects
In our final colon-ated movie (summer movies have come to this--they're all derivative of something, so they all have qualifiers in the titles; not a good sign), we have Charlie's Angels, about which I had only the lowest expectations. Sadly, it met them.

If you liked the first film (a funny lark), you will find all of the pieces in this one, but unfortunately, they're patched together to create an overstimulating Frankenstein's monster. It's action effect after action effect, salted liberally with comedy and incessent pop culture references. The problem is that they're all packed so tightly together in service of such a slim plot, that you feel both overwhelmed and yet strangely unfullfilled (like gorging on chocolate).

Here in Portland we have a thing called the Mission Theater--a brewpub that shows movies. I'm wondering if it might not be more tolerable there. Perhaps even more so if you got a running start with the beer.

All right, now back to our regularly-scheduled earnest commentary about the President.

posted by Jeff | 10:48 AM |
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