Quickly about G.I. Joe…

Just saw. Review will probably be up at Escapist tomorrow afternoon. But, very briefly:

This is one nutty movie, and I think it’s the most “action” fun I’ve had at any movie this summer unless you want to count “Up” as action. It’s as malnutritious as a giant bowl of Count Chocula, but it’s also every bit as fun and nostalgiac. The whole thing plays out like they dumped a bucket of Joe figures on the floor with a couple of little kids, TRANSCRIBED the ensuing afternoon’s make-believe session (“And then Snake Eyes was there! And then Storm Shadow came, and they had a fight! And then the two girls had a fight! And one of them could be invisible! And then Storm Shadow had a jet-pack! And then…”) and spent $175 Million making a 90-minute movie out of it. I regard this as high praise… I’m not sure everyone else will.

But I think EVERYONE should at least go see it, because I like this as a “template” of how to do these better than “Transformers.” Ninja-with-a-jetpack wins every time 😉

Good Hair

Chris Rock has been struggling for a long time now trying to find a movie vehicle that allows him to be as funny AND smart as he is in his standup… easier said than done for black comic actors not named Will Smith or Eddie Murphy. Previously the closest he got was “Head of State,” a wildly-uneven, already-forgotten boxoffice dud centered around the ka-raaaaazy premise of a Black presidential candidate… 😉

Now he’s produced his own film, a comic documentary about the hugely-profitable yet (to most white people, myself included) business of special chemical, treatments and equipment to “straighten” black women’s hair; plus the offbeat, somewhat-troubling cultural issues surrounding it:



I’d say this looks like the Chris Rock movie I’ve been waiting for.

Thought For The Day 8/4/09

A quick case-study in how – in this age of the “end of the print critic” – mainstream-media film reporting is generally done by high-functioning morons:

FIRST, here’s Robert Downey Jr. giving a colorfully-flippant description of his upcoming “Sherlock Holmes” re-imagining’s fresh take (some have called it an Apatow-style “bromance” variation) on the franchise central relationship:
DOWNEY: “We’re two men who happen to be roommates, wrestle a lot and share a bed. It’s bad-ass,”

Okay, show of hands: We all “get” that he’s being ‘cute,’ matter-of-factly describing the relationship in a shorthand that sounds like something that it isn’t, yes? Well, here’s how the New York Post put it: http://www.nypost.com/seven/08042009/gossip/pagesix/gay_sherlock_holmes_could_backfire_for_g_182825.htm

Headline: “GAY TWIST ON SHERLOCK HOLMES COULD BACKFIRE FOR GUY RITCHIE.” Yeah.

This comes to us courtesy the “Page Six” section, which for good measure goes to once-respected film critic turned right wing quote-monger Michael Medved to get his response to their misrepres… er… I mean “news story.”

MEDVED: “I think they’re just trying to generate controversy . . . They know that making Holmes and Watson homosexual will take away two-thirds of their box office.”

In other words, even MICHAEL friggin’ MEDVED ‘gets’ that the quote is in jest. When you can’t even get MEDVED to go along with your sensational non-story, you know you’ve crossed a “stupid-line.”

This, of course, does not STOP the story from being linkable at Andrew Breitbart’s right-wing movie-buff circle-jerk known as “Big Hollywood,” under the headline “SHERLOCK HOLMES, DR. WATSON HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP IN NEW FILM.”
http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/

“Big Hollywood,” it may also be noted, has published FOUR stories in the past two days on the subject of FURY at the supposed lack of patriotism in the new G.I. Joe movie. None of the four stories come from sources who have actually SEEN the film.

Lesson over.

Thought For The Day 8/3/09

A popular thing in certain circles these days are trying to get states to pass what are called “Ultrasound Bills.” Essentially, these are laws requiring women who’re seeking to terminate a pregnancy to undergo and view an ultrasound prior to making their final decision. It’s quasi-justified under the theme of requiring “full disclosure” of information; but – regardless of where you stand on the “abortion issue” – I think most reasonable people can see that the hoped-for result (those pushing the bills are pro-life lobbyists pretty-much right down the line) is for patients to be swayed away from abortion by an emotional-reaction to the sight of the fetus moving around. Because, as anyone who has had to commute, work in retail or visit the DMV lately can tell you, the one thing the world DESPERATELY needs is more people in it…

Well, points for creativity to the Quiverfull set, in any case. Know what I’d LOVE to see, though? For a pro-choice group to, in the name of “equal time” put up a bill ALSO requiring women seeking abortions to – before or after the ultrasound – sit in a room with a dozen speakers blasting the sound of high-pitched teething-screams while an automated paintball gun fires volleys of pureed-squash at her face and vents pump in the distinct aroma of a malfunctioning Diaper Genie.

Think the Ultrasound Bill folks would be cool with that? One tasteless, base appeal to short-term emotion-based reaction is as good as another, no? After all, it’s just about making sure she gets ALL the information she can, right? 😉