|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|
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Also Last Week: The Long Kiss Goodnight:
Director Renny Harlin established his credentials as a action/adventure type with hit films like Die Hard,Die Hard II, and Nightmare On Elm Street 4. But as happens with some frequency in Hollywood, the generally public didn't really knew who he was until dame fortune smiled excessively heavily upon him and he had the good fortune to win the heart and hand of Geena Davis.
At that point a lesser mortal, or at least a smarter one, would have probably just retired to a quiet mountain retreat and lived off of Davis' royalties and whatever new projects she decided upon, not to mention the obvious fringe benefits to be associated with being married to Davis. I mean, its not like the man was creating great art the public was screaming for anyway. The Die Hard films were fun and entertaining enough, but its not like we are talking Schindler's List here. If Harlin had directed a concentration camp film, we would have been treated to the spectacle of Germans (or somebody) blowing things up in the camps every few minutes.
No, Harlin instead decided to take the low road, and got the weird ass idea of making Davis into some sort of kick-ass female action hero. The first film Harlin directed that starred his new wife was the infinitely forgetable Cutthroat Island. That movie may well hold the distinction of being the only action/adventure/pirate type movie I have ever mostly slept through. But at least having sat in a room where the film played from beginning to end put me in rare company among film-goers. The $50 million project bombed so badly that a few critics suggested that Harlin ought to be required to pay it back himself.
Not to be discouraged, Harlin made another effort at turning Davis into an action hero, leading us to wonder just why the man was so obsessed with the idea. I get the feeling that even a cursory study of the film we are reviewing this week might reveal a lot more about Harlin's sick sexual fantasies than any of us ever wanted to know. The film in question is The Long Kiss Goodnight, and I intend to dissect it in all its bizzare glory.
First of all, we ponder the title itself. There was no kiss goodnight in this movie, let alone a long one. I don't remember much kissing going on at all. Was there something being revealed here about the relationship between Davis and Harlin by this point in the marriage? Had it all become a loveless sham, with Harling expressing a title revealing the intimacy he longed for, but was not receiving? We can but speculate.
Next, we get a revealing look at Harlin's fantasy image of Davis. Rather than the sweet, self-deprecating and generally beautiful red-head that most of us have come to love, Harlin has a sick image of a short-haired blonde dominant ass-kicking bitch. What is up with that? I mean, most men fantasize about someone that looks an awful lot like Davis as she is. Harlin apparently has the luxury of taking the matter a step further and viewing Davis not only in some weird, personally idealized fashion, but one that makes us believe he must have some real, deep seated S/M issues floating around in his little directorial brain.
The fundamental premise of The Long Kiss Goodnight is rather hard to swallow at face value. Geena Davis plays the role of an ordinary, sweet housewife with a mysterious past. It seems that she more or less washed up on a beach 8 years ago, two months pregnant, with no idea of who she is or what her past life was about.
She gets married, has the baby, and somehow assumes a new identity which somehow permits her to become a school teacher and model mother, inspite of the fact that most colleges would look dimly upon admitting someone to the teaching program without being able to establish something about her past life. I suspect actually finding employment as a teacher under the circumstances would have proven equally challenging.
While not teaching, being an ideal wife or attending P.T.A. meetings, Davis' character apparently forks over all the spare household money to private investigators to help her find out about her past life. After nearly spending all the family's disposable income on competent investigators who don't turn up any answers, ultimately a bottom-of-the-barrel guy as portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson is hired. Naturally, since he is the last rather pathetic hope, he actually begins turning up leads, although we suspect that this guy would have trouble finding his own ass with both hands in clear weather.
It turns out that in her previous life, Davis was the C.I.A. agent Charly Baltimore, a tougher than nails spy who handled a lot of the tough cases. Not only does she discover her true identity, but she does so just in time to uncover a rogue C.I.A. plot: The agency is planning to stage a terrorist attack against a small town Christmas parade and blame it on a Middle Eastern faction. Apparently the agency commits atrocities of that nature every time they need additional funding. The plot apparently centers around a large bomb that is going to be driven into town aboard a semi, thus offering Harlin with his trademark opportunity to film a large explosion. The film has already offered a number of small ones.
The film has a lot of exciting action sequences, some good comedy and is mostly entertaining. Samuel L. Jackson provides most of the movie's best moments, although he seems to be along mostly to absorb punishment for Davis. The bad guys save the hard blows for Jackson, preferring to try to do Davis in with such lame measures as locking her in a meat freezer. Just as a curious note to the readers, can anyone remember even one action film ever in which a good guy ever failed to escape a meat freezer? I can't, although we have seen the gimmick often enough. You would think that eventually bad guys would wise up to the fact that certain deathtraps just never work.
Still in all, the film was a bit frustrating and illogical. One can't really get past the fact that Davis' character built a new life for herself awfully easily, or that she was so readily willing to dump it completely upon discovering her old identity...or worse still, that she flipped back and was ready to go back to it again. We almost got dizzy with her mood changes. Further, there was the matter of little aids that helped her regain her lost past: For instance, the suitcase with the secret compartment containing a high powered rifle. Gee, don't you think that would have rattled around a bit, or at least been unseemingly heavy on a past family vacation to Yellowstone? Questions like that go unanswered, but then again, Hollywood doesn't want us exhibiting the intelligence to ask them. A better justification for this page couldn't exist.
Last Week: Unfaithful:
I was actually having some difficulty developing my own reaction as I left this movie, so I turned to my female viewing companion and asked her the most pertinent possible question. At least as a male, I thought I already knew the answer, but I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss something even more obvious.
The question I asked was this. Suppose for a moment that you are a reasonably attractive woman in your late thirties or early 40's. That isn't a reach for her, because she is. Further, suppose that you have a comfortable, upper middle class lifestyle, a bright young son, and a husband that looks like Richard Gere who obviously worships the ground you trod casually upon. Would the thought ever cross your mind of risking throwing all the above away by cheating on him with a greezy kid from France?
It would be difficult to precisely express her reaction to that question, but suffice it to say that "NOT ONLY NO BUT HELL NO!!!!" is at least reasonably close. That is pretty much what I expected, but she is sort of hot for Richard Gere, so I thought maybe a larger sample of female input might be appropriate.
So after the movie, I spent some time polling other women in the appropriate age group, and darned if I didn't keep getting similar answers: "What, is she fricking crazy?" "Someone should horsewhip the little bitch until she grows some sense glands." "When God passed out brains, she must have picked out one with a lot of pretty lace and nothing that actually works." Dang, woman can be so catty.
Unfaithful is losely based on an old French movie called L'Unfaithful." Okay, no it isn't. The movie is actually entitled Le Femme Infidele, but how crap packed hard up is Hollywood for ideas these days when they are remaking old French movies? Its almost unbearable to think about. I guess everyone is getting tired of endlessly recycling all of our own ideas, so now Hollywood is importing crap.
Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) is the attractive, early 40ish woman in question, who decides to casually jeopardize what most women would probably view as a Valhalla like life to have a roll in the hay with a young, romantic Frenchman, Paul Martel (Oliver Martinez). She meets him outside of his apartment on a windy Manhatten day, when she collides with him and scrapes her knee. He invites her up to his place, assuring her that he isn't an axe murderer. I could only helplessly shout at the screen, "NO! HE IS WORSE! HE IS A GREEZY LITTLE FRENCH GUY!" Naturally that didn't help.
Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) begins to get suspicious when he sees his wife becoming increasingly distant and uninterested in him. Since Edward runs a security company, it isn't that difficult for him to hire someone to have his wife watched. At this point we begin to realize what a completely hopeless imbecile Connie really is. If you have some ambition in life to become a cheating wife, its best not to marry a guy who can put 50 private detectives covertly on your ass, if he so desires.
On a rainy day, Connie decides to drop in on Paul unexpectedly, and sees him in the arms of another woman. Once again she exposes herself as a complete moron. Apparently this woman actually believes that a young, good looking French playboy will reserve all his affections for an aging housewife. Even in an alternative universe where you can still use a payphone for a quarter (that happens in this film) that remains a complete absurdity.
When Connie realizes that she is nothing more than one of Paul's assorted playtoys, she hacks out the movie's most absurd line: "God, what have I become?" Allow me to spell it out for you Connie dear:
and so on.
Eventually Edward moves to end the affair, leading to a conclusion that screams moral ambiguity like Tonya Harding at a "MAKE ME RICH AND FAMOUS BY SENDING ME LOTS OF MONEY" telethon. A lot of the Kexkateers will probably like this movie. But in order to assign it even a crumb of credibility, I think you have to swallow an awfully unlikely premise: That a typical woman would willingly sacrifice a comfortable life with Richard Gere for a little sex with a French guy in a pigsty. Yeah, that could happen.
Last Week: (crap) X 2:
I was walking through Target a few days ago when I happened past a display of the recently released DVD for Jackass the Movie. The attached advertisement proudly proclaimed, "This DVD contains 27 minutes of footage not seen in theaters." Oh, terrific!
I have news for the people who are trying to peddle that DVD. It already contains about an hour and a half of footage I didn't see in the theaters. Moreover, I have no interest whatsoever in experiencing either the hour and a half or the new 27 minutes. The guess here is that most of the new footage contains scenes of people being bandaged, stitched up, hauled off in ambulances, and uttering lines like, "Dude, that hurt like a sonovabitch."
Let me qualify all of this by noting that I don't share the views of those who object to works like Jackass on the grounds that it might inspire impressionable teens to copy what they see. In fact, I think that is one of the better reasons to make movies of that nature. Hell, we are better off without anyone who would try some of that stuff just because they saw it on the screen. I'm all for about 10 sequels.
Hurry up and make them, before those testosterone poisoned adolescents grow up, start driving, move into trailers and tune in to A.M. talk radio. America needs more males who proudly slap bumper stickers on their pickups proclaiming "You can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hands" like Toronto needs another tourism endorsement from the W.H.O.
Speaking of movies that appeal to the "give me blood, give me guts, kick some foreigners in the nuts" crowd, this week we were shanghaied into viewing X 2, yet another of those horrid sequels to painfully crappy movies that shouldn't have been made in the first place. The Marvel X-men have been appealing to arrested adolescents for about 3 decades now, which is a pretty good case that the taste for crap is inherited generationally.
Here is a newsflash. Patrick Stewart is still bald. I know that won't come as a particular shock to Stewart's dwindling base of fans. But for those less familiar with his history, it could be a bit of a relevation. Stewart appears for all of 10 minutes in this film and as Professor Xavier, he is head honcho of the X-men. Talk about your career doing some serious circling of the drain; Stewart has been relegated to a bit player in his own franchise.
The star of the show remains Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). I still think he looks a lot like Clint Eastwood. He even clings to a stoogie as often as possible. But this movie excavates a whole new level of bottomfeeding by climaxing with a battle between 6'3" Wolverine and some girl who appears to tip the scales at about 96 pounds soaking wet. At least in the last X-Men movie, Wolverine had to battle a guy bigger than he was. But having the hero beat up a girl is just a new low in depravity, even for Hollywood.
I'd like to summarize the plot to this movie, except that it didn't have one to speak of. It was mostly a parade of special effects revolving around a retarded story about a senator who wants to wipe out the mutants because they are different and he feels threatened by them. Its a little like the way a lot of Americans feel about Iraq lately, except a lot of high level politicans aren't making a bundle off of wiping out mutants. Even if the movies can't take us completely out of reality, they have at least the benefit of making it a little less sleezy.
That brings me to another point. I'll bet you are all surprised. Hear about this one? Govenor Bush has committed $62 billion to developing a secular school system in Iraq so that a bunch of religious fanatics don't end up taking over and kicking our butts back out now that we have a new source of cheap labor. So, the corporate fat cats here in the U.S. of A can export a few million more jobs. Hell, we surely don't want to build a bunch of new factories, then loose them quickly, right?
Of course, the St. Vrain school district 30 miles up the road from where I live declared bankruptcy just a couple of months ago. In my state, 80% of the existing schools have been declared to be in need of significant repair. Several other school districts are suffering serious financial woes. But at least we are going to make sure Iraqi kids get a good secular education. Oh, by the way, we are also committing several tens of billions of dollars to making sure that Iraqi citizens have universal and adequate health care. Since one out of every 5 of you reading this don't have any health care at all, I have to think you are all pleased.
I want to tell you a story too....In 1983, a report issued to then Secretary of State George Shultz charged Iraq with the nearly daily use of illegal chemical weapons. Back in those days, we pretty much thought Sadam Hussein was the coolest thing since velcro, so we did exactly nothing about it. In fact, later that year, Donald Rumsfeld was dispatched to Iraq to negotiate the construction of an oil pipeline from Iraq to Jordan, which would be built by Bechtel. The deal eventually fell apart.
However, Sadam threw Bechtel an olive branch by contracting them to build, get this folks, a CHEMICAL PLANT!? in 1988, just outside of Baghdad. Construction began days later. But it was never completed, because our relations with Sadam soured and we went to war with Iraq in the early 90's. This story has a happy ending though, that is, if you are a fan of greedy corporate fat cats and the Republicans they own (not that the Democrats, aka "Republicans in bad suits" are a damned bit better). As you are aware if you've been reading the papers, we just got done whupping Iraq again, this time but good. And guess who just landed a big contract to help clean up? If you said Halliburton Inc you are right, but Bechtel also landed a $680 million contract. On the board of Bechtel sits none other than George Shultz. Is this a great country or what?
Last Week: Shrek 2:
Things around Disney Studios these days are unraveling faster than three dollar tee shirts from K-Mart. First, they are dealing with a growing public relations nightmare over their refusal to allow subsidiary companies, Miramax and Buena Vista, to release Michael Moore's new documentary, Farenheit 911. It seems the folks at Disney get a lot of tax perks from the state of Florida, and they don't want to piss off the Bush family, specifically Florida Govenor Jeb Bush. So, Disney is trying to squash the release deal.
The public backlash over that was bad enough, but then things started getting a lot worse when people actually started seeing the movie, and in some cases not. The film was shown an unprecedented 5 times on the opening day at Cannes, all to packed houses. It received a 20 minute ovation at the close of the initial showing. That kind of reception is going to make it tough for the Disney people to try to justify their corporate censorship.
Then, to make matters worse, a Wall Street Journal columnist, who has a rather lengthy reputation as a Disney/Eisner apologist, wrote a rather scathing review of the film last week. The problem was, he hadn't seen it yet. As of this writing, he most likely still hasn't. His claims that the film was inaccurate, as was his entire review, was based on a review of an early, prerelease synopsis of the film. Maybe next time he can just go off of the title.
Now another major headache is thundering down upon once mighty Disney Studios. It is the very plain reality that they are no longer the leaders in production of quality animated features. Their last several releases have varied widely in quality from very good, like Finding Nemo, to absolute crap, like Home on the Range. Meanwhile, the folks at Dreamworks are rolling out a continuing series of high quality features that appeal to both adults and children.
Shrek 2 is an animated feature which will appeal to children, but most of the humor is clearly aimed at adults. In the first 5 minutes of the film, there are 7 send ups of various Hollywood movies. Overall, I counted 16 film parodies within Shrek 2's 90 minute running time, not to mention a variety of TV satires, and a few on society in general.
The movie essentially picks up where the last one left off. Shrek (Michael Meyers) and Feona (Cameron Diaz) are returning from their honeymoon, and have been invited to the castle of Leona's parents, the king and queen of Far Far Away. They are intending to throw a ball in honor of the marriage of Shrek and Feona. But Shrek is reluctant to go, fearing that Leona's parents won't accept him.
Shrek's ever present sidekick, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is around getting in the newlywed couples way, and generally being annoying. Leona persuades Shrek to make the journey to Far Far Away, and Donkey invites himself along for the adventure.
Things immediately go sour when the King and Queen see Shrek and Leona, and are shocked to see that Shrek is an ogre, and Feona has decided to remain one. In short order, Shrek and the King (John Cleese) get into a major disagreement, threating to drive a wedge between him and his new wife.
Meanwhile, the Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders) is pressuring the king to break up Shrek and Feona. Her son is Prince Charming, Feona's original intended. The Godmother wants Feona and Prince Charming to get together, so he can eventually rise to his rightful position as king of Far Far Away.
The King decides to have Shrek done away with, so he hires the kingdom's most feared ogre dispatcher, Puss-in-Boots (Antonio Bandaras). Initially Puss tries to do away with Shrek, but is shortly won over to help Shrek in the cause of preserving the marriage. So Shrek, Donkey and Puss set off on a daring attempt to steal a magic "happily ever after" potion from the Fairy Godmother.
The addition of the Puss-in-boots character to his new film was its best feature, as he is tremendously well animated and ends up stealing the film. That's not an easy thing to do for an animated character in a bit role. Bandaras handles the voice over to perfection. The overall animation effort is outstanding, and the storyline is sufficiently fast movie to keep both adults and children involved.
Shrek 2 is opening in a record number of theaters around the country, and will undoubtedly end up as one of the years top box-office attractions, at least for family fare, if not all genres considered. This is definitely a good family film, although considering the price of tickets these days, its almost impossible to figure how a even a modestly sized family could afford the journey.
Last Week: Cinderella Man:
I'm not sure what is says about our culture that in two of the last three summers, the big feel good movie has been a sugar coated, revisionist history about a depression era sports story. A couple of years ago, it was a mostly accurate, but highly dramatized retelling of the Seabiscuit saga. That one can mostly be forgiven for its flaws, because who doesn't like horses?
Cinderella Man isn't going to get the same pass from me, which evidently makes me rare among reviewers, who are gushing over this movie like they have a big financial stake in it, or its a rich man about to marry their homely daughter. I have three pretty big problems with this film, so we might as well take aim and fire early.
First of all, the film absolutely villifies boxing legend Max Baer, and a more undeserving target was never dressed up in black for the title of movie heavy. The real life Baer is remembered by boxing insiders as a kind hearted man who was probably one of the most devastating punchers in the history of the sport. However, he seldom lost his temper in the ring.
The man founded a major heart fund charity which is active to this day, and was the father of actor/director/producer Max Baer jr, who most of you probably know very well as Jethro Bodine of Beverly Hillbillies fame. Baer himself had a movie career, which made him almost as popular as his sometimes clownish ring exploits.
Inspite of his reputation as a powerful puncher, he was hardly the unstoppable ring force that director Ron Howard tries to portray him being in this film. In fact, by the time he won the title, which he held for a relatively short period of time, he had already suffered defeat 7 times in his boxing career. Its true that Braddock was a heavy underdog, about 10 to 1 at the time of the fight, but this film fails to even note that Baer did practically no training at all for the fight, so the Braddock victory wasn't all that stunning to insiders of the time.
If somebody wanted to make a really interesting character study about a depression era boxer, Baer might actually have been a much better subject. But in America these day, and pretty much always, we tend to favor rags to riches stories about underdogs that make good. So Braddock becomes a natural for tainted Hollywood limelight. If one were to believe the climatic prefight scene in this film, every single person in Madison Square Garden Bowl the night of this title fight was pulling for Braddock. I half expected a cut away shot to some white haired old lady, Baer's mother, burning Max's birth certificate at ringside and leading cheers for Braddock.
Some of the story is accurate. Braddock was a well respected amateur fighter, who turned pro and had some success. But his rather brittle hands derailed his career, and he pretty much hit bottom, even having to accept public assistance. That should give modern Americans even more reason not to like the movie all that much...the man went on welfare!
My second problem with this film was an extreme continuity fiasco. The timeline of the film begins in 1929, with Braddock at the peak of his early success. We meet his wife Mae (Rene Zellwegger) and his buddy manager Joe Gould (Paul Giammatti). we also see Jim and Mae's 3 kids. Flash four years into the future, and Jim is now nearly destitute, and his boxing career is suffering due to his fragile hands. Curiously, the kids haven't aged a single day. By the time Braddock fights Baer, its 1934, but the kids still haven't aged.
My final problem with this film was Russell Crowe. I just didn't particularly like him in the role. Physically, he just didn't have the build of a boxer, and probably is a bit too old to play even the aging Braddock. Further, he was guilty of sporadically putting on his best Sylvestor Stallone as Rocky imitation, trying to convey the air of a somewhat punchdrunk boxer. Yet, at other times, we almost envisioned him belting out a soliquy from Hamlet, so precise was his delivery.
This is being billed in some quarters as the best movie of the year to date, which doesn't exactly compliment anything that has been released up until now. It shows Ron Howard's usual mastery at dramatic emotional manipulation. I really think the man could make a Civil War epic and have most of the audience pulling for the south if he so chose. Nonetheless, the extreme revisionism that pulls the strings in this movie is almost unexcusable, and anyone with even a slight knowledge of boxing history will leave the theater not only a bit angry, but probably wishing the film had been made about the more flawed and interesting of the two men, Baer.
Last week: You Me and Dupree:
This movie had a certain "ness" about it. I think you call it awful "ness." If you are unfortunate enough to have to sit through this foul litterbox of a movie, that will probably be pretty funny. Too bad nothing in the film itself is.
If this movie were a baseball team, it would be the Kansas City Royals. If it were a comedian, it would be Gilbert Godfried. This movie would have been better if Gilbert Godfried had been in it. There is a line I never thought I would type. There is a line I never thought anyone would type.
This just in folks: Matt Dillion can't act. That's probably why you haven't seen him in a movie for about 5 years. No one else has been stupid enought to cast him in anything.Curiously, however, Michael Douglas does appear in this film. His presence reminds of of two things.
First of all, he has made a lot of good movies in his career, and this definitely isn't one of them. Second, he is starting to look almost as ancient as his father. The other major character in the film is portrayed by Kate Hudson. The screen chemistry between Hudson and Dillion was so completely lacking that I began to wonder if their scenes together were shot with each actor in different cities, and then simply spliced and edited together. I've seen better interaction between movie stars and CGI effects.
It might be worthwhile to note why we ended up seeing this movie. In the first place, Little Man was pretty much out of the question. As long time readers of this page are aware, there are no links to AT The Movies With Kex on any Wayans Brothers fan sites. Besides, any film that is based on a very old Bugs Bunny cartoon just isn't going to get reviewed here, although it probably wouldn't have been blasted much harder.
The other two major options were Superman and The Devil Wears Prada. Call this movie a compromise. She didn't want to see the former all that much, and I didn't want to see the latter all that much.
Molly (Kate Hudson) and Carl Petersen (Matt Dillon) are a well to do young couple just getting started in marriage. But they are wrestling with two problems. First of all, Molly's father (Michael Douglas), who owns the company Carl works for, doesn't like him very much. The second problem is that Carl's best friend, Dupree (Owen Wilson) has just lost his job and apartment, and has no place to go. So Carl invites him to stay with them until he gets back on his feet.
Right away, we come to the realization that Carl is an idiot. We have no reason to believe that Dupree has ever been anything other than a slacker and evidently, Carl is too dense to figure it out. Dupree does everthing imaginable to inadvertently sabotage Carl and Molly's lives, and it doesn't take long for her to want him out. unfortunately, Carl is too much of a brain dead stick to simply kick him out.
Curiously, Molly eventually begins to be charmed by Dupree's qualities, although I was never able to figure out what they were. Meanwhile, Carl grows distant and even more dislikable, if that is possible, due to Dupree's antics, and his conflicts with Molly's father.
Its not entirely inappropriate that Wilson plays the role of an annoying character who hangs around until he wears out his welcome. I have pretty much that exact impression of him as an actor. But the film plods along until eventually, Carl and Molly's relationship falls apart, then the great reconciliation comes thanks to Dupree.
All ends well, and somehow or another, Dupree finds himself by becoming a successful motivational speaker. In the real world, people do make money as motivational speakers, but they have to be good at something other than screwing up. This film doesn't have much to offer, and I strongly suggest that you avoid joining this dismal threesome.
Previously: Bee Movie:
Watching this movie is about as much fun as being attacked by a swarm of African killer bees. Who could have possibly thought that this was a good idea? People don't like bees. Bees aren't funny. They aren't cute. They aren't cuddly. We tolerate them at all because a by-product of their spit makes a wonderful sweetener.
The movie begins with a title message that contains a stupid but oft told mistruth: Something about how nobody has ever figured out how bees fly. This bit of nonsense is often repeated by moronic right wing Christians who think it provides proof of the exitance of God. To wit, if some creature can do something impossible, then God must exist! Bee. S. (sorry)
Actually, bee flight isn't a mystery at all. Remember the first thing about flight you ever learned in physics class? The class none of the Bible thumpers took? The formula for flight is lift + thrust is greater than weight + drag.
Bee bodies aren't very aerodynamic, so they have a rather high drag coefficient. BUT...they weigh almost nothing. Their wings, while small, can generate a lot of lift and thrust through extremely rapid movement. If you compare the design of a bee to the design of an F-14, no, they don't look like they ought to be able to fly. But the appropriate models is not an airplane, but rather a helicopter.
Jerry Seinfeld voices the main character in this film, a young bee who is looking for more in life than doing the same job every day for the remainder of his existance. Seinfeld is an appropriate choice. He isn't all that likeable, cute, cuddly or very funny. Still, as a comic, one would suspect that he could have come up with a few things to make this movie mildly entertaining. He failed.
The whole movie fails for reasons that are pretty obvious, and one that requires viewing, something I won't recommend. After assaulting us with a tedious swarm of stupid bee puns in the first five minutes, it became wildly apparent that the writers didn't have a clue as to what to do in terms of plot. So they came up with an idea so retarded that a strong case could be made for settling the writers' strike by handing them a pay cut.
Evidently, bees are completely capable of conversing with humans,but they don't because they have rules against it. Those pesky humans are constantly swatting them with magazines and wiping out their hives with frisbees, so bees figure it is best just not to talk to us. But when Barry B Benson's (Seinfeld) is saved by a kindly lady (Renee Zellweger), he befriends her, which suggests the creepiest animal/human relationship since the remake of Planet of the Apes.
While spending time in the human world, Barry learns that humans are "stealing" honey for consumption. So Barry launches a lawsuit to force humans to return all the honey and not use it anymore. Naturally, that leads to a glut of honey, and the bees stop producing it, which has all sorts of catastrophic consequences.
I guess Barry is kind of the George W. Bush of the bee world. He does something stupid without thinking it out, which leads to disaster. The difference between Barry and Bush and the rest of the conservatives is that he is able to recognize his errors, and tries to put them right. The conservatives just deny that there is really a problem until everyone dies from it.
Remember a few weeks ago when I challenged conservative talk show hosts, national or local, to engage me in a debate on global warming? I'm still waiting for one of you to pick up the gauntlet. Of course, none of you will.
Okay...Bee Movie isn't good enough to be a B-movie. Again, it breaks the 90 minute rule and grows exceedingly tedious. The animation isn't particularly impressive by contemporary standards and the jokes aren't worth it. Very young children might find this entertaining, but adults will probably find it more painful than sitting through a movie featuring Barney or The Wiggles. If you go see Bee Movie, you'll come home feeling stung.
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