|KEX'S AMAZING WORLD|
|Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only an error to be exposed. -- H.L. Menken|
Saving Private Ryan
Shaving Ryan's Privates
There is something spooky about renting movies that makes me a little nervous. No matter what movie I go to rent, someone, somewhere, apparently already knows what Iím going to select. How else can you describe the chilling message that appears at the beginning of every rented film I pop into my VCR. Iím telling you, it gives me the willies every time I see it.
I canít quote the message word for word, but it goes something like this: "This film has been altered from its original version, and reformatted to fit your screen." Is that spooky or what? I can only wonder, how did they know what kind of TV I have? How did they know what size my screen is? Most important of all, how did they know what movie I was going to rent?
Naturally my first thought was that there was some sort of infiltrator in my household, feeding information to some sort of movie rental consortium someplace. So I was careful this week not to let anyone else know exactly what I intended to rent. That wasnít all that difficult, because until I got to the rental place, I didnít even really know what I intended to rent. Still, I popped my selection into the VCR, and there was the message.
I donít know how they do it, but I think somebody needs to look into this. Talk about big brother watching.
Oh, yeah, the movie review. Once upon a time, there was a movie director who became well known, and developed a popular following by making fun, light-hearted movies that people loved to go see. Just about every film he ever made was a box office smash, and people really loved his work.
Then somewhere along the line, he got the idea that he didnít need to make films for the people anymore. Instead, he could satisfy his own whims with self-indulgent crap. Most of what followed ranged from annoying and generally painful to watch, to full blown trash. Its not an uncommon kind of thing in Hollywood: Let a man make a few successful films, and suddenly he starts to think roses grow where he pees.
But enough about Woody Allen. Or not enough: Maybe somebody should tattoo the manís name over the lenses of Steven Spielbergís eyeballs. If ever there was a man hell bent on tripping merrily down Allenís path of self-righteousness, its Spielberg. I toss into evidence the general body of work he has done over the last 10 years or so.
Donít get me wrong here: Schindlerís List was one of the great films of all time. Not just by our estimation here at K.A.W., but its either in or very near the AFI top 10 as well. Amistad was a perfectly credible and good movie, and our target this week, Saving Private Ryan got roundly screwed a couple of years ago when it was bested for Oscar honors by the unspeakably dull and pretentious Shakespeare In Love. K.A.W. was still in its infancy when that debacle erupted, and I wasnít doing reviews yet. But if I had been, there might very well be a review rating entitled "Sucked as bad as Shakespeare In Love."
Iíve made the point here that winning the Oscar for Best Picture is not necessarily an indication that a particular movie is good. Consider the assaults on our sensibilities that have been awarded the coveted statue the past few years Titanic, Shakespeare In LoveAmerican Beauty...its almost as if Hollywood is trying to convince us that some of their collectively most obnoxious celluloid bowl movements really represent high art.
But back to Spielberg: Here is a guy with a reputation of possessing the proverbial Midas Touch. That reputation isnít entirely illegitimate, because it was built on entertaining and fun stories about sharks, flying saucers, alien visitors, Indiana Jones and what not. Of course, we deliberately leave reference to 1942 off the list, because that film nearly sucked the universe right out of existance; even Spielberg is human.
So, he develops this golden touch reputation, the latter mention notwithstanding, and just like Allen, decides to slow down a bit and start making sort of personal type movies. Naturally the studios toss about a hundred million bucks a shot at him, because afterall, he is Spielberg. And what does he use the vast resources of Hollywood to tell us, with these new, personal type films? The Holocaust was bad. Slavery was bad. Now with Private Ryan, he really stretches the envelop and tells us (drum roll) war is bad. Damn Steve. Donít go sticking your neck out any there buddy.
There is only one member of the cast of this film who ever appears as much of anything other than a glorified extra with a couple of lines. That is Tom Hanks, who gets a nomination for a Best Actor Oscar about as often as Sylvestor Stallone gets nominated for a Golden Raspberry for worst actor. In other words, about everytime one of them appears in a film. Hanks is a Captain who is trying to rescue a soldier who has already lost 3 brothers in the war. So, he leads his ragtag bunch of perennial film extras behind German lines, and proceeds to show us that war really is hell.
Okay, so I liked Saving Private Ryan in the sense that is a well made, maybe even important film. I can even forgive Spielberg his desires to try to make important movies. But hey Steve, for a hundred million bucks, could you at least go out on the limb a little?
Last Week:The Time Machine:
Before I start my review this week, I saw a couple of things in the paper that I thought worthy of note. First of all, most of the loyal readers, or anyone else who might bother to go look it up, will recall or note that I bagged the movie Blackhawk Down pretty hard. A few of my readers may well have thought I was too hard on it, but I think events are beginning to back my stance on this one.
I noticed that in the weekly box-office rankings, Snow Dogs outdrew Blackhawk Down last week. Not only that, but Blackhawk Down has been out for 10 weeks, and Snow Dogs has only been out for 7 weeks, and take a wild guess which one has drawn better over its total to date? Wow, you guys are getting good: Snow Dogs has the better box-office numbers so far.
Now, just how wildly lame does a movie have to be to get wiped at the box-office by a movie about sled dog racing? Quick show of hands here; how many of you out there have ever watched a sled dog race? I thought so. Okay, how many of you would bother to watch one if it went right past your house? Looks about the same, and I agree. The simple fact of the matter is that nobody south of Alaska has ever seen, or would ever want to see a sled dog race. Even less people want to see a movie about one. So lets face it. Only about 20,000 people live in Alaska, and 19,000 of them have never seen a sled dog race either.
One other quick note. As feared, Jeepers Creepers 2 is set to go into production at the end of April, 2002. It will be written and directed by Victor Salva, who directed the first version. I guess it must be hard for a convicted child molester to find honest work. All I can say is, I TRIED to warn you people.
On to matters at hand. Some of you may be aware that the newly released version of The Time Machine was directed by Simon Wells. By some obvious fluke of the magnificent sperm lottery, he happens to be the grandson of Herbert George Wells, author of the original story which is a shining classic of science fiction. The guess here is that Simon has much less to worry about from the bagging his movie is going to take on this page than from the potential wrath of his long departed ancestor.
Poor old H.G. must be spinning so rapidly in his grave that there is probably significant danger that he may coming booming out of the ground somewhere in China any minute now. Heck, maybe he'll just strike oil first and Simon will never have to work again. We can certainly hope so, because his last significant cinematic project was the animated Prince of Egypt. I don't know how much more evidence is necessary that artistic or literary talent just didn't run in the family.
I'll give this new version of The Time Machine a modecum of credit. Visually, it wasn't awful. Some of the scenery was downright magnificent. I was particularly struck by the scenes taking place in olden days New York City. But its awfully hard to simply look at a movie for 96 minutes and come away entertained. In fact, its not something I'd usually criticize any movie for, but this film actually suffered significantly from its lenghth; it was way to short to tell a compelling story.
Guy Pearce played the lead as a sort of stereotypical professor of engineering who loses his fiance to a violent crime. This leads him to build a time machine, in order to attempt to travel into the past and save her from the evil. Unfortunately, his attempt fails when he saves her from the initial threat, only to watch her die as the result of an unfortuate accident. After spending 3 years of diligent intellectual effort to devise a machine capable of defying almost every law known to physics, he gives up his quest after one attempt, deciding that he can't change the past. With that kind of sticktoitiveness, its a wonder he doesn't wander the streets naked the first time he fumbles with a button on his shirt.
After quickly giving up on attempting to salvage his past life, he proceeds into the distant future. His first stop is New York City a couple of decades from now, where humanity is busy colonizing the moon. Apparently the effort lapses into disaster after a nuclear accident blows the moon to pieces. In the initial pre-September 11 edition of this movie, there was a lengthy sequence showing pieces of the shattered moon descending earthward and laying waste to N.Y.C. Unfortunately, there were fears that audience sensibilities might be damaged, and all of those shots were effectively edited out. Effectively, we had to wait 3 months to see this movie, and the only part of it that might have been remotely interesting to watch ended up on the cutting room floor.
The time traveler ventures 800,000 years further into the future, where he meets the peaceful Eloi. They have built a magnificent cave-dwelling type city, although I couldn't quite figure out how. They didn't seem capable of figuring out how to propogate themselves, let alone construct a functional, safe dwelling area. Once there, the time traveler meets a beautiful young woman (Omero Mumba). In real life, she is some sort of musical artist. I think she was mostly in the film to entice the audience with her breasts. They were approximately concealed by a tight, chain-mail shirt. The construction thereof was well beyond the Eloi.
The Eloi are preyed upon by the cannibalistic, trogladite Moorlocks. Seeing them gave me a horrifying flashback to Tim Burton's crummy remake of Planet of the Apes Last summer. The leader of the Moorlocks is played by Jeremy Irons, who was made up to look like the lead singer of The Edgar Winter group. After seeing Irons in this piece of trash, and a little over a year ago in Dungeons and Dragons, I've become very concerned as to this man's obviously very serious financial problems. Why else would he appear in movies like these. My idea is to pass around the hat for him, so to speak. If you'd like to contribute to the "Save Jeremy Irons From a Future Living In A Cardboard Box Fund", send me your pledge via my email.
Once again, we have here a case where somebody tinkered with a classic movie, only to embarass themselves and torpedo their own future. Thus, Simon Wells has proven to be no threat to the memory of his grandfather, unless he takes on more of the elder's wonderful work by filming them in the future. I guess if H.G. really had ever invented a time machine, HIS first stop would have been to venture into the future and murder his own grandson.
Last Week: The Jungle Book 2:
Originally the folks at Disney slated this movie as a straight to video project. The fact that they decided to give it a theater run first speaks less to the pride they apparently felt in it than a further demonstration that they are a bunch of money grubbing weasels. Of course, if you have ever been to Disneyland or Disneyworld, you are already well aware that the people at Disney are a bunch of moneygrubbing weasels.
The truly painful part of it all is that the Disney people have elevated shameless moneygrubbing to such a spectacularly elevated art. These people not only know how to get into your pocket, they know how to get there deep and often. At Disneyland, for example, you don't even sniff a single ride or attraction until you have been passed by or through a couple of dozen giftshops. That is once you are actually inside the park.
No, these days, before you even get inside the actual themepark, the Disney people make you walk through an enormous outdoor mall called Downtown Disney. If you aren't already somewhat financially strapped, you will then have the opportunity to huck up a month's wages for a well paid professional to cover admissions for a small sized family to actually go in.
THEN, everytime you actually get off of a ride, they walk you through yet another giftshop. For example, once you get off spacemountain, you are somehow going to have to drag the kiddies past shelves full of Disney characters in spacesuits and the like. Then if you take one of those safari river rides, the journey will end with yet another safari through a giftshop where every conceivable Disney character is adorned in a pith helmet and hunter jacket.
By the time the average family man leaves Disneyland after a single day of frolic and fun, you can usually tell that the poor guy is giving some serious thought to declaring bankruptcy as his first act of business the following day. Somewhere in the corporate offices of Disney, I'm convinced there hangs a sign that proclaims, "Never sell for a buck what you can abscond for 10.
So, what was The Jungle Book 2 all about? It was about Disney scalping the public for 8 bucks a shot on movie tickets in advance of pimping a movie they originally intended to just sell for $14.99. I guess that is shrewed, but frankly, there wasn't much here to get excited about.
The soundtrack wasn't anything to compare to the original. In fact, the only memorable tune in the entire film was a reprise of Bear Necessities. The original had one of the better soundtracks in the history of Disney animated films, and that represents a high standard. This film made the soundtrack into an afterthought. But that was better than the plot.
The storyline is pretty easy to summarize--Mogley feels miserable, he wanders into the jungle to be terrorized by Sheer Kahn, he outwits the tiger nemesis again, then goes back to the village. The end. It doesn't even appear that all that much time has elapsed between the end of the first story and the resumption of this one. In fact, it might as well have been 10 minutes, although the two projects are temporily seperated by nearly 40 years.
That 40 years has been signficant too...for example, the vulture characters, which were an amusing sendup of the Beatles 4 decades ago are just mop haired birds now. Mind you, this movie wasn't terrible. I think a lot of kids will even find it enjoyable. Its just nothing worth getting excited about...not that the Disney animation studios have dazzled us particularly the last couple of years.
This movie does remind me of a true story though. Its of the kind we enjoy at K.A.W., so I'll share it. Many, many years ago, a young newspaper writer in San Francisco became ill. He was attended by a young nurse, who helped him regain his health. The writer wasn't really able to reward her financially, but as payment he offered her an original manuscript of a story he had been writing, and told her to hang onto it. He predicted that someday, it might be of value, and if she ever found herself in need, she might be able to sell it.
She didn't for many years, because she actually treasured the manuscript greatly. But the time came when financial needs beset her, and she eventually sold it to a publisher. The rewards were such that she lived comfortably the rest of her life. The young writer had made a pretty good name for himself. He was Ruyard Kipling. The manuscript she had held and treasured for so many years was the original handwritten copy of the first Jungle Book. It just goes to show, you never know what might happen.
This movie basically sets us up for The Jungle Book 3. In that movie, oil will be discovered in the jungle, and George Bush Jr. will tell us that we need to invade because King Louie has developed a weapon of mass destruction (fire). So we'll invade, slaughter all the animals and burn and kill everyone in Mogley's village. But its okay, because they all dress and talk funny, and the Bush family gets all the oil. So we aren't supposed to ask what the downside is.
Last Week: 50 First Dates:
I truly wish that I could wake up tomorrow morning and forget that I saw this movie. How much pain is one person really supposed to be able to endure? One movie; Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Who in the hell came up with that? Who's life in the movie industry has been so overwhelmingly rotten that they said to themselves, "Lets pay all those bastards back."
I'm thinking Drew Barrymore probably is holding a similar wish in her life. She has to wake up every morning now with memories of bedding Tom Green and making out with Adam Sandler. We experienced the pain of watching this movie. She has more or less lived it, and more. They say that fame has a price. Drew Barrymore should be the most famous person in the universe. And keep in mind here that I don't particularly like her.
This movie is about a complete imbecile (Sandler) who somehow manages to become a veterinarian at a large aquarium in Hawaii. He gets his jollies by hitting on every single female tourist that visits the islands. Right away we realize that this movie must take place in some alternate universe where creepy, goofy guys actually score a lot. In other words, this is purely a work of fiction.
Then one day, while waiting for his broken down boat to be towed ashore, he wanders into a small cafe where he meets the girl of his dreams (Barrymore). They hit it off immediately, but when he returns to find her the next morning, he is startled by the fact that she doesn't seem to remember him. He is utterly mystified by her response, until her friends in the cafe explain the situation to him.
It seems that she was involved in a bad car accident about a year earlier, and has lost all of her short term memory. Consequently, with the aid of her father and brother who somehow try to maintain the illusion, she relives the same day of her life over and over, never remembering what happened to her, or what happened the previous day of her life.
It becomes immediately apparent that the only people in the entire world more clueless than Sandler's character, who still sees some potential for a relationship in this situation, are the girl's father and brother. They actually devote their lives to helping her maintain the fantasy, rather than just sending her to an institution where she would obviously be a lot better off. It also isn't really clear how they bring in money just to maintain the situation on a day to day basis or just to keep food on the table. Supposedly they are both former fishermen, and that typically isn't one of the world's most lucrative professions.
For that matter, once Sandler meets Barrymore, he is suddenly capable of spending all of his time trying to work out a new relationship with her on a day to day basis. I guess none of the animals at his aquarium never need his attention, so he is free to avoid actually going to work for all but one day very late in the movie. Don't try this at home folks, if you have some interest or necessity of keeping your job.
Eventually Sandler comes up with a solution to the problem so obvious that it further underscores how mentally challenged Drew's father and brother are: He makes a videotape which he makes her watch every morning, that permits her to realize what has happened to her, rather than just playing along with a hopeless fantasy. Not that it helps much, because she still can't remember anything that happens to her from day to day, nor will she ever be able to.
This is made clear by her doctor, played by Dan Ackroyd. Suddenly we realize why this film was made in the first place. It was a make work project for two fairly recent SNL alums, and one very ancient and now nearly forgotten SNL alum. Most of us haven't seen much of Ackroyd lately, unless you happen to work the counter at the Krispy Kreme shop near where he lives. Taking one look at him, one quickly realizes that he has been spending a good deal of his spare time there of late.
Ackroyd has an embarassingly small role in this film. But at least he comes off as reasonably capable in the role. Rob Schneider has never played a role in a film that didn't leave me wondering how much money had to change hands to get this guy into show business in any capacity that didn't involve emptying trash cans or cleaning toilets. A little of the man goes beyond a long way. We saw more than a little of him in 50 First Dates, and the experience was more than enough to explain why so many empty seats came to watch the screening we attended.
Okay. Fair is fair. This movie has been in release for a few weeks now, but based on what I saw, it isn't exactly enjoying any phenomenal long term drawing power. The guess here is that just about everyone who could actually overcome the revulsions of a film starring Sandler, Barrymore and Schneider took this film in during the first 3 screenings, and everyone who has seen it since has wandered into the theater more or less by accident. The film is creating some sort of mental fog similar to the affliction it describes. I heard all 4 of the other people we watched the movie with asking the same question as they wandered out; "What the hell was that?"
Last Week: Hotel Rwanda:
Once upon a time, in a once great land called America, a group of people who we will call neo-cons gained control over most of the government. The neo-cons were mostly greedy, money driven morons who didn't care much about anything, or for anyone but themselves, and they ushered in an unprecedented era of astonishingly hostile "me firstism" among the population that they actually had the gaul to label as a form of high morality.
The neo-cons only had one problem. The President who was serving at the time wasn't one of them, at least in name, although he spent so much time kissing their collective asses and promoting most of their repugnant agenda that it was usually pretty hard to really tell the difference.
No matter. He wasn't really one of them, so they set about getting rid of him. They almost succeeded too. They managed to distract most of the population with titilating stories of how the President was getting a blow job from a woman who wasn't even his wife. GASP! Said the American public. We can't have that kind of thing going on.
Now, it didn't matter much that a pretty healthy percentage of the neo-cons were guilty of more or less the same thing, or worse, if not at the time, at least recently in their lives. In fact, most of them were guilty of much worse things. But the neo-cons managed to convince everyone that what the President did was just about the worst thing anyone could do.
Then the President did something really bad. Rather than just standing up to the neo-cons and saying, "Look you bunch of hypocritic, self-righteous pricks, its none of your damned business!", he lied about it. Then the neo-cons really had a field day. It wasn't so much what he did, they said, it was that he lied.
So, while the neo-cons and the President battled it out over something incredibly retarded, the world turned coldly on, as it is want to do. In another far away land called Africa, in a country called Rwanda, a terrible fight broke out between a small handful of people who really weren't any different from each other.
It happens sometimes in the course of human history that long standing misunderstandings or ancient grudges can play out between groups of people, that lead to terrible slaughters for no really good reason. But that isn't really what happened in Rwanda. It wasn't anything that semi-understandable.
There was a time in Rwanda's history when it was ruled by a group of invaders from a European country called Belgium, who felt that they had the moral superiority to control Rwanda by virtue of the fact that they had white skin, and the people in Rwanda had black skin. That kind of thing happened a lot in history. But the people in Belgium tried to create some sort of order in Rwanda by seperating the native people into two groups: the Tutsi and the Hutu. The former were cast because they had somewhat darker skin and larger noses. The lighter skinned, narrow nosed Hutu helped rule Rwanda for Belgium.
Then one day, the Belgians decided to grant Rwanda independence, so they more or less left. When they did, they put the Tutsi's in charge, which royally pissed off the Hutus, who had things pretty good for a long time. So tremendous anomosity broke out between the two groups until it boiled over in the mid 90's, while the neo-cons were battling with the American President.
So while America was fascinated about stories concerning where their President was putting his slick willy, a million innocent people were being slaughtered in Rwanda. We couldn't be bothered with paying attention, because after all, we had to know all about where our President was putting his wang. That was more important.
Actually, the U.S. and the other major western nations didn't ignore the situation in Rwanda entirely. They made sure that all of the white folk were safely evacuated, so the black people could carry out their relentless slaughter without our having much of a stake in it. We wouldn't want things to be messy or dangerous for white folk.
That was all a few years ago. The neo-cons now control the entire government, and its even okay for President's to lie now. Especially if its about things much more serious than blow jobs. The neo-cons love to talk about keeping government out of people's lives, then spend most of their time intruding into people's lives. But one important thing still hasn't changed: They still find ways to distract us, and keep us from caring about terrible things that are happening in other places, especially Africa.
They have found that one of the best ways to keep us from worrying about the plight of poor, innocent brown people is to make them out to be dangerous, evil monsters. Then we can go in and kill them ourselves with a clean conscious. Meanwhile, we don't pay much attention when really evil people start killing innocent people. To learn about the latest case of a terrible genocide going on in Africa that your neo-con led government doesn't want you to care about, click on the banner below:
Thirty years ago in his novel Centennial, James Michener warned that the day would soon come when if you wanted to see the wild, unspoiled beauty of Colorado, you'd have to go to Wyoming. Things have evidently become worse than the great writer ever imagined. After 3 decades of uncontrolled growth and a lot of irresponsible leadership, if you want to experience the magnificent beauty of Colorado these days, you have to check out the Canadian Rockies in Alberta.
Things aren't much better in Utah or Nevada either. Both states, as depicted in this film, looked an awful lot like Canada too. Maybe Sony Pictures just decided to cheap it out, and signed their actors to large contracts, which they paid off in Canadian dollars. Or maybe with gas prices the way they are these days, its just cheaper to make a movie about a gas guzzling behemoth up north.
Here is one of those quick quizzes we have become famous for at K.A.W. What is worse than traveling across America (Canada) with a couple of obnoxious teenage kids and Robin Williams? Answer, and quite a few of you probably got this right: Watching a movie about a couple of obnoxious teenage kids and Robin Williams traveling across America (Canada) in an RV.
This film is to road movies in general what Gilbert Godfried is to Comedy; irritating, condescending and not terribly funny. That said, I'll give it at least this much credit: It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Then again, I doubt that anything could be as bad as I expected this film to be. That is how low my expectations have fallen for Hollywood comedies, especially if they involve Robin Williams in any fashion.
As a general rule, Robin Williams can do for a movie what a skunk can do for a formal banquet. He didn't do anything to make this film particularly good, but he was able to keep his style toned down enough to permit other members of the cast to pull up the curve.
The plot here is pretty formulated. Robin Williams plays a highly stressed corporate executive who fears losing his job to a younger member of the staff. His company is trying to seal a merger with a Colorado based soda company, but the deal is about to fall through. So Williams' boss forces him to cancel a planned family vacation to Hawaii in order to help move the merger forward.
Williams' character is such a wuss that he can't come clean with his family and just admit that his job is in jeopardy. So instead of alerting them to his professional problems, he concocts a family RV vacation to Colorado as an alternative to the Hawaii trip. Along the way, he plans to finish his presentation in time to deliver once he arrives in Boulder.
During the agonizing adventure, Williams and family encounter a host of problems with their rented RV, the most serious of which involves having to clean out the sewer system. If a good script for this film ever existed, it apparently got flushed along with the ton or so of excrement that ended up getting purged from the RV, and the remainder this film struggled through a parade of jokes and sight gags we have seen 100 times before.
We can include meeting a hick family from Texas led by Jeff Daniels, although for the life of me, I can't figure out what he was doing in this movie. Naturally Daniels and clan were a recurring nemesis horror for Williams' brood, but as one could predict, they turn out to be not so bad. They even end up saving the day and Williams job...what a shock.
The only thought that can keep one interested in watching this movie is that Williams might murder his entire spoiled, bitching family and dump the bodies somewhere in the wilderness. That might have made the entire experience worth watching, especially if his homicidal rampage was punished with devine retribution, and he met a similarly horrible ending. Perhaps they all could have been butchered by Daniels and company. One of the lead off running gags in this film was christening of the rented RV as "the rolling terd." Personally, I think it might have been a better title and description of the entire film.
Last Week: Arctic Tale:
I know. It has been a couple weeks since I posted a new review. I actually went to see Underdog a couple weeks ago, but never bothered to post a review. In the first place, it just happens every once in awhile that you smack into a movie so bad that you just don't really want to admit that you have seen it. Worse still, the professional critics out there are bagging it so bad that anything I would have said about it would have just been piling on.
All of the "dog of a movie in the dog days of summer" and "this mutt should have been put down" lines were already written way too often. So what was left really? The original Underdog cartoon was created more or less as a ploy to sell breakfast cereal. I'm not sure what they were trying to sell this time, outside of movie tickets to anyone dumb enough to go see it. Now do you understand why I didn't want to review it?
I guess all that is left is to wait until they come out with the live action version of another of the cartoon icons of my childhood...and this one is inevitable given the trends of HOllywood lately. See see see! It's Tennesse Tuxedo! Phineaus J. Whoopee, you're the greatest. I can't wait. Especially if they toss in a good Commander McBragg as a short. Ruh roh. If this one wasn't already in production, I'll bet it will be by tomorrow. Me and my big mouth.
Now...let's talk about a movie that evidently most of you haven't heard of and none of you have seen. I can make that assessment without difficulty, based upon the fact that we saw this film in the company of exactly 4 other people on a Saturday evening in a busy theater in a north Denver suburb. That means it isn't exactly cleaning up at the box-office, and that is a shame.
A couple years ago, National Geographic produced the excellent March of the Penguins, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary. Now they take us to the top of the world, for another documentary exploring the plight of polar bears and walruses, two animals that have flourished for millenia in the harsh conditions of the Arctic, only to find their way of life threatened by growing effects of global warming.
Like March of the Penguins, not a single human is ever seen in this film. But our effects on the way of life of the wildlife of the Arctic is pronounced. The subject of global warming is actually presented lightly in this film, but it's effects are readily apparent to anyone with an I.Q. over 12. Naturally, that rules out every member of the current administration as well as the sum of conservative radio talk show hosts, but the rest of you should have no problem.
Now, I realize that there are those of you out there who are spoonfed most of your opinions by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. I know, because I get and read your emails regularly. But it's time to lay the truth on you, harder and colder than the Arctic winters USED to be. These men are morons. They regularly pass judgements on the work and findings of most of the scientists on the planet, despite the fact that virtually none of them has taken a real science course since at least high school, and probably haven't actually passed one in even longer.
Therefore, just how good of an idea is it to take your opinions on what is going on in the world of science from their ilk? Sorry to break this to you folks, but it is absolutely idiotic. Now, some of these guys just might take offense at me referring to them in this manner. Tough. I'm not hard to find. If any of them ever have the guts to desire to debate me on this issue, I am quite easy to reach, and I can make the time.
That won't happen though. It's easy enough to sit around behind a studio microphone and pontificate. It's quiet another thing to sit across from someone with the command of the facts and come off looking anything other than moronic and pathetic when you are as wrong as these guys are. Besides, every last one of them is a coward and a bully to boot.
Yes Limbaugh. Yes Beck. Yes O'Reilly. You have just been called out. Have the guts to take up the challenge? No? Bok Bok Bok Begack!!! firstname.lastname@example.org. Further contact information will be provided. Bring it on. Chicken?
Now, for the rest of you...if you liked March of the Penguins, you will enjoy this one too. As good? No. But National Geographic has nothing but the highest standards in production values, and this is an entertaining, informative and sometimes heartbreaking movie experience. Go see it, and take the kids.
Copyright 1999-2005, 2006