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Reviews from the Aisle #2

My Thoughts On: August 13th, 2003

Part 2. I hope to continue to 10 before discontinuing this series, it's fun.

Well, it's time for another Review from the Aisle, the tale of one lonely usher, one little theater, and the bad movies within. I probably should've waited until after the weekend, but I figure I had better get this out of my system now before the weekend bombards me with our two newest releases - Freaky Friday and Gigli. Those two will probably warrant their own post.

*** 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.

As always, I'm gonna try to keep the focus on giving you insights about the more interesting aspects of some of the movies out today, reactions and other such cliffnotes that only someone in the 'biz can show, but I can't promise I won't spoil something in the process. Since I haven't seen most of the movies, I can't always say for certainty that a scene I might've walked in on was important or not. So warning noted, on with the review.

Bend It Like Beckham:

After leaving our theater for a while, Bend It Like Beckham made something of a re-release, I believe the movie companies thought that in light of it's positive reviews, it would get a stronger reception this time around. Like me, most people didn't seem to care about it coming back. It seems to me that the movie is more of a novelty international appeal more than anything. Indian girl in England plays soccer and has a romance angle thrown in. Whoopty.

No interesting things to note about the movie other than the fact that next to no one cared it came back. Including me.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:

I decided that it was time to actually sit down and see a movie, and LXG was in our theater, so I decided I'd watch it in spite of the negative reviews I've heard. I would've watched Pirates of the Caribbean, but we don't have that one yet (our theater is a part of a two-theater complex, being the smaller of the two, we get the second-hand or family/ghetto youth movies, while they get the blockbusters and large releases). My first note was that it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone complained about. It used a ton of characters, which I guess is part of it's novelty, and had a decent amount of action and a perfectly fine storyline. Somewhat predictable at points, but what novel action movie isn't?

I don't give ratings when it comes to reviews, I just give recommendations. I recommend you see this if you have already seen some other better movies. Totally a popcorn flick. Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah) rules although he needed more fight scenes. Of course, Alan Quatermain (Sean Connery) makes an excellent lead. You wonder who the American rifleman is? I don't recall an American rifleman/government operative in olde timey literature. Where did that character come from? On further inquiry, turns out it's Tom Sawyer (Shane West), of the old Mark Twain lore, grown up a little. His role is a great compliment and contrasts Connery's perfectly. And of course, Skinner the Invisible Man (Tony Curran) makes a great character in his own right, decent twist further along in the film too, but I won't spoil it for you.

28 Days Later:

Now, I downloaded this movie after getting it at the theater, knowing that I wouldn't want to go anywhere to see it. After seeing several clips of the film during theater checks that we ushers do routinely, I'm questioning whether or not I'll really sit down and see this movie, period. It doesn't look that good. I'm going to check back at some point with my thoughts after seeing it.

What I did notice was that during the later showings, 28 Days Later was still bringing people in. Mostly young adults and lots of middle-aged people with leather goods.

As a part of a promotion with Big Red chewing gum, I had to pass out samples after the film. These people weren't very enthused leaving the movie, but did jump on the free gum bandwagon.

... I know there is an insight in that story, I just don't know what it is.

Terminator 3:

I've seen the opening to this and a few action scenes. T3 comes off as very cheesy, for starters. Schwarzenegger, as another cyborg Terminator sent back in time to defend John Connor (the future leader of the rebellion - played by Nick Stahl), wakes up in a field, where he walks into a women's strip club entirely naked, and persuades the male stripper to give him his clothes. On the other hand, the other Terminator, T-X (Kristianna Loken) wakes up naked (of course, you get to see her ass)... and gets pulled over by a cop. Being a Terminator with the advanced molten metal of the T2's T-1000, uses her shape-shifting to... make her tits bigger? The bad jokes and B-movie comedic relief appear abundant already and I haven't seen too many scenes.

So anyways, the cyborg fight scenes were cool, with lots of heavy metal fighting between the Terminator and T-X. The plot is as confusing as ever - with CyberDyne gone, SkyNet was not supposed to be developed... but it was anyways, the collapse of CyberDyne only delayed the launch date, and Connor still leads the rebellion, only since he can't be located in this era (he lives without ID or any particular wearabouts) the T-X, a female Terminator, is sent back to kill Connor's lieutenants, amongst which is his future wife, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes).

Supposedly it gets better in the second half, but the Terminator in the strip club doesn't start out he movie right at all. I'll probably watch it for the action, not for it's bad B-movie storyline. On the same note I really hated the time travelling and paradoxial storylines of the first two movies.

Finding Nemo:

No longer having it's own theater, Finding Nemo is beginning to die down. If you ever wanted to go see it without having to worry about a lot of people being there, now is the time.

Gigli Sneak Preview:

We had an advanced screening of Gigli, which I unfortunately didn't get to stick around for. The promoter did say to me though that the turnout was ''disappointing''. Customers for Legally Blonde 2 walked by the group and commented... ''Is this the line for Legally Blonde 2?''

Right, a line for Legally Blonde 2. Haha.

Spy Kids 3-D:

A little girl asked me with baited anticipation, ''What do we do with the glasses after we're done watching the movie?''

''You can keep them.''

''Yay!''

Fortunately, no more kids vomiting this week from the special 3-D effects.

Freaky Friday:

We opened this movie Wednesday, and from previews it seems like a really bad remake of a 1976 movie by the same name. I cringed going into this theater for the first time, as I walked in on a scene with Jamie Lee Curtis trying on several ''fashionable'' outfits and looking at boys walking the street. Ugh.

The scene that imparts the transformation? After overhearing their bickering in a cheesy chinese restaurant, the waitress supplants them with two mystical fortune cookies that make them switch bodies.

Already I'm annoyed by the group of movie-goers to this movie, which actually do turn out to be mother/daughters. I don't know enough about the movie yet to comment on it, besides the plot synopsis is horrible and the movie looks terrible.

Johnny English:

We got rid of this movie, but with Gigli coming in to fill it's place... I worry.

Dr. Strangelove:

I saw this black and white 1964 movie called ''Dr. Strangelove - or - How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb''. Totally a comedic testimate to the cold-war era bomb scare arms race, this movie was better than anything we have out at my cinema right now. Maybe I'll keep trying to post Olde Timey alternatives at the end of these reviews.

Well, not nearly as exciting as last week, but we'll see what this weekend's exhibition of Freaky Friday and Gigli bring. Until then, later from the 'ush. And if you go to see a movie this weekend... pick up after yourself! Lazy bastards.

- Phoebus Apollo

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