Reviews from the Aisle #1
I've been working at a theater for well over a year now, and have been working in theaters since about 1998 (man, I need a new line of work). Now in all truth, I've grown to hate, HATE movies. But I'm essentially forced to see them, because I've been working at theaters for so long. I do everything at the theater, I sell tickets, I rip them, I sell concessions, and I even clean up behind our customers. In fact, there are probably customers who I've done ALL these things for. I know plenty of days come where I go from the box office to the concessions stand and the customer is like Didn't you just sell me the ticket? and I'm like Yeah and I'll probably be cleaning up after you too!
So, I learn a lot about the movies through gossip with employees, through theater checks where I'm required to enter a movie, walk down the aisle, and come back up to make sure the movie is running fine, and through seeing their endings or openings as I clean a movie. Even more during the ad block previews, when the previews showcase the film.
So I decided to make a column out of it. Combine everything movie-related that I learn from work into one condensed can of soup, for you to heat up on the stovetop and consume.
Now, due to the nature of the Reviews from the Aisle, there is a...
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
Reading this article may spoil key elements of any movie out in a theater today, since I openly discuss what I see and hear going about my casual usher business.
Now I'm going to TRY not to spoil anything, but I won't guarentee that I won't if it makes for a good anecdote. Also, I may not even know it's a spoiler until after I see the movie myself, so I may unintentionally reveal something. I hope that reading this review may reveal interesting points about a movie that might change your mind as to whether or not you're going to see it, so I'm going to try to aim at that.
Warnings taken care of, on with the reviews!
Spy Kids 3-D:
Spy Kids 3-D opened this weekend, and our theater is the ghetto family theater. We are part of a two-theater pair, so movies we get, our sister theater doesn't get, and visca versa. Since we are the smaller theater, we get less of the good movies, more of the bad ones. But this movie did a lot more business than I think anyone expected, and in fact, was at the top of the box office for it's opening weekend.
And boy was it filthy. Tuesdays are typically the slowest of the slow at our theater, and this Tuesday every showing of Spy Kids 3-D rivalled the weekend's showings in filthyness. Sunday I was working and it seemed some child vomited in the theater because of the 3-D special effects. Go fucking figure, I KNEW something like this would happen. And of course being an usher it was the duty of myself and my cohort to make sure it's dealt with. So I was told it was at the front of the theater, 3 rows in. Not really paying attention, I start picking things up in the theater from the BACK, and about oh say, 3 rows in... slip! Thud! I think they got back and front confused. Ugh.
Now, I didn't get any on me that I couldn't wipe off immediately after a long spout of cursing about the filthy parents who bring their kids to puke in our establishment. And be damned if I didn't make the other usher clean it up. I slipped in it - you get to clean it up.
Well, on to actual comments about the movie itself. I've seen many scenes and would sit in Spy Kids 3-D (like any other bad movie) during my breaks to see just how bad it is. And man, it is bad. Sylvester Stallone makes an unintentionally funny villian in the film, but that's it's only virtues. The movie's plot - two Spy Kids from the first installment get intermixed with an evil villian, the Toymaker, who is making a virtual reality game called Game Over which he plans on using to enslave the minds of all children across the world. The graphics are sub-par, really poorly done, and the 3-D effect is annoying at best. At one point Juni Cortez (the brother spy) is challenged to the Mega Race, the game's most dangerous race, to prove that he is The Guy, a person told about in the technical manual of the game who will lead players beyond the unwinnable Level 5... needless to say, the plot paradigms don't get much more complex than this. I still remember Spy Kids 2, when we had that, the Island of Lost Dreams. It was a terrible movie, where the plot didn't make much sense at all. Spy Kids 3-D stays true to tradition in this sense, and the over-the-top Spy Kids world just gets worse and worse by this 3rd installment. Stallone (the Toymaker) and Grandpa the grandfather spy of the Spy Kids both have some kind of plot drama going on, but the twist isn't very engaging at all.
I always notice the stuff at the end of the movies, because well, I usually clean them. At the end of Spy Kids 3-D, past the credits, there is a short segment showing the two child actors who play the Spy Kids in their first audition tapes for the first movie. If you are a cynic at all and wind up going to this movie, stay till the end, and tell me this - are these two kids not really all that enthused or motivated to act in ANY capacity? The girl seems to me to be so terribly apathetic about her part that it's as if ANY kid could have put on an audition just as good.
And if you go to this movie, be sure to throw away the plastic wrapper on your 3-D glasses. All those little plastic wrappers annoy the shit out of me.
I found it exceptionally funny that the villian to this movie is a bitter Frenchman who wants to become King of England so he can turn the island of Britain into the world's largest prison state. Rowan Atkinson is still himself though, which means the movie probably isn't worth watching.
Legally Blonde 2:
We recently lost this movie then got it back. Terrible movie. Elle Woods, a lawyer (see: first movie) gets fired based on her principles, and somehow something happens with her dog's mother who gets trapped in an animal research facility. So to counter it, Elle rallies the troops to pass... anti-animal testing legislation?
Not only do I disagree with this movie on a philosophical sense (animal testing should be legal), and on a principled sense (the Elle Woods character Reese Witherspoon plays is a role model for NO SANE HUMAN), it even goes to sicken me on a moral sense (it's really rather disheartening to hear a blonde bimbo lecture me on my voice). No scene is quite as bad as the Snap Cup scene, which you will understand if you are ever dragged to this fine, fine piece of filmology.
Yes, I know filmology is not a word. I bet Reese Witherspoon does not.
Now we had this but I downloaded it to watch it the Tuesday before it came out. Terrible movie. The plot is way too convoluted, and for the first 45 minutes or so you don't even get to SEE the Hulk. A lot of the dialogue is bad as well.
However, once we got it in our theater, I got further rooted in the general goodness of the action scenes. I enjoyed that at least. I still say if they cut out 20 minutes of plot development, and about 3 degrees of plot convolution, and insert into it more building up of the Absorbing Man and more action scenes, this movie would've been great.
This is a bad movie but one that I would say leaves room for a significantly better sequel, so I actually look forward to seeing if they make Hulk 2. But man, did they screw up the origin story of the Hulk or what? There wasn't a single accident that made him the Hulk... it was genetic engineering prior to birth, then an incidental exposure to gamma radiation, then gamma-radiation activated nanotechnic robots which impart the transformation.
Whatever, just give me the Hulk. That's all I wanted to watch the movie for. I would not watch this movie again, but I would watch the action scenes on a break.
28 Days Later:
A semi-zombie movie (no real undead, just infected angry people who act kinda like zombies, but are really quick and deadly unlike your traditional zombie), this movie looks okay. I downloaded it and probably will watch it. I guess my only note is that there is an alternate ending at the end of the film, after the credits. I didn't see it because I want to see the movie first, but there is the heads up if you go to the movie to wait through the credits for the alternate ending.
Finding Nemo is still going strong, but I won't spend the time to watch this in the theater. I might download it if I can find a Finding Nemo file that isn't Fight Club or Ninja Scroll renamed as Finding Nemo. After having it so long, I've seen pretty much every scene, so I pretty much have seen the movie anyways. I'd recommend this one, good kids flick, good family Pixar movie. Pixar was the only thing Steve Jobs ever did right.
Charlies Angels 2:
An 80 year old woman came out of this movie one day. Excuse me sir, I was sitting in this movie, and it's terrible. Is there any way I can get my money back? I come here to watch movies all the time but that movie is just terrible.
Be damned if I did not see to it that this kindly old woman got her money back with the swiftest kindness and courtesy.
How To Deal:
The Mandy Moore movie didn't even hold my attention on a man this is a bad movie basis. Seeing as which, when I did theater checks in this movie my mind usually just wandered on thinking about more interesting things, like warping kitchen linoleum tiles or molding cheese.
I was actually surprised that this movie was a little better than I expected. I hated the dog, but liked the fact that Sinbad wasn't really all that good a guy, until the very predictable end. Good but very generic kids cartoon. Take your kids to this if they've seen Finding Nemo already.
And stay away from Rugrats Go Wild! Terrible movie!
We don't have Seabiscuit, but our advertisement pre-show opens with the Seabiscuit trailer, so I'll be cleaning a theater up and this will hit me out of nowhere. I am in NO WAY interested in hearing about a horse. It's a horse. Horse riders are not athletes. I don't care that it was a fast horse or that Americans really liked him back in 1938. This is 2003. I eat Seabiscuit's grandchildren as double cheeseburgers at McDonalds. Enough.
Well, I saved the worst for last. Swimming Pool, while being totally miscategorized as a Rated R Thriller/Drama is in fact more appropriately labelled a bad NC-17 French Softcore Porn. A crime author... okay, screw it. This movie has no plot of substance. It has a 40-year old writer with pent up sexual issues and a clearly underage (but probably for storyline purposes 18) year old french slut, who in 3/4ths of her scenes she is naked, or bouncing up on top of an ugly Frenchmen nude in simulated sex scene while the 40 year old watches, or she's touching herself through her bathing suit, or simply is TALKING about doing something filthy while wearing something skimpy. Many of the camera pans on her are intentionally full body long pans, or overhead shots accentuating her young curves. She is even topless in a majority of her dialogue-based scenes, and of course, she doesn't care that her breasts are just hanging out as she's talking, because she's French, and France is a pervert nation. Only in a French movie is a young girl like this bringing home 40 year old French businessmen with no real prostitution angle thrown in, merely on the angle that she's just really slutty. I cannot emphasise enough that the frenchmen she brings home are all the atypical disgusting, perverted, old frenchmen too. Or as I like to call, the native French.
I'm going to spoil the ending to this one. The 55 year old Mexican gardener is digging near where a dead body (how a murder is thrown into this, I am too incredulously irritated with the film to figure out) is buried, so to distract him from discovering it the film-long sexually repressed 40 year old hag writer who occupies the house with her publisher's daughter (the publisher is out of town through the whole movie) flashes the old Mexican gardener, and he goes inside the house to find her in a LONG CAMERA PAN full body nude scene laying naked on the bed, of course, the camera pan starting from her FEET and going UP.
Of course, we continue, with his hand tracing up her legs... and her feet cringing... and me getting nauseated... running out of the theater in disgust.
Wanting to see a lot of nudity is no excuse to see this movie. I've seen real pornography with girls that look just as good at the girl in this movie which don't challenge your ideas of age limits and who weren't boning really ugly old French guys.
Oh, and of course, I can't leave this review without noting... the primary demographic watching this film were lecherous 50 year old couples and middle-aged women. Grandpa goes in with Auntie to watch this movie so he can oggle a girl old enough to be his granddaughter. And you might think oh well they went in thinking it was something else... no, I hear them coming out of the theater, complimenting the film and it's plot.
Don't encourage anyone who goes to see this film, it's more or less just encouraging old men to leer at nude youths. I bet we could bust at least half of the audience going to this film on http://www.perverted-justice.com/
My Final Thoughts:
Well, this week has been a expidition into bad film. I'll be sure to do my damnest in keeping you up to date on it. Assuming I can stick to something and actually do a part 2!
Until then, this is Good ol' PA, signing off.