Thursday, October 18, 2007

Three for the Price of Several Hundred.

I’m not a great film reviewer, more of a watcher type who likes to sink into the story and later get asked, what did you like about it, and answer, I dunno, it was cool. No, they ask, what did you really think? What did you think of that X character, or Y plot device, or the scene editing around Z? And I say, I dunno, it was pretty cool, I guess.

But this time is different. I had the chance to see not one, not two, but three movies on a transatlantic flight a couple days ago, and now is my chance to offer deep and insightful reviews of some of the movies now playing on one of the world’s most popular airlines. So, let’s get started.

By the way, this wasn’t one of those frou-frou airplanes with little flatscreens embedded in the seatbacks where you could choose your own channel, oh no. This was the good old fashioned kind with actual CRTs hanging from the ceiling, CRTs so mature and proven that every one featured a slightly different hue and brightness, adding a texture and colorful richness to the viewing experience that kids these days just can’t appreciate.

Anyway, first up was some flick about a bunch of teenagers in school uniforms running around waving magic wands at each other. There were a lot of special effects and earnest faces and wind blowing, and fiery stuff, and scads of scowling old duffers dressed up like medieval magistrates and some biddy in a pink housecoat looking either smug or pissed off, she must have been part cat. I never put on the headphones so it looked pretty stupid, but if I remember right the author of the book got richer than the Queen, so it must be pretty good. On the down side, I’m sure a lot of kids with round framed glasses have had the shit kicked out of them in 8th grade because of it.

An hour or so after it ended they started another one and this time I remembered to put on my headphones. It was called Evan Almighty and I promised to give it at least five minutes to catch my interest. It starred an enormously talented funny man whose name I forget who was a total dork with regards to his family, but they were the perfect loving family anyways, three good kids and a gorgeous, even-tempered wife who all looked with loving wonderment and patience on their adorably confusing patriarch. This was so incredibly realistic I was moved both to tears (except the air in the plane was too dry for that) and to remove my headphones at five minutes exactly. I glanced up now and then at the rest of it, and it was apparent the producers had seen The Santa Clause and decided to mix that idea with some typically Hollywood misinterpretations of the important of Scripture, turning the Bible into a comic book made just for laughs, except God played God just like in the original (which was actually pretty funny in parts), and He has a way of looking like He knows what He’s talking about, even if you can’t hear Him (which wasn’t a problem of faith, remember, I had the headphones off).

Then came movie number three, by which time I was delirious with dry air, unnaturally extended daylight, and far too many Diet Cokes. It was a stylish caper film that looked a lot like Oceans Eleven except it was called Oceans Thirteen, and since I never saw Twelve I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to watch it. Between blinks I caught glimpses of some very stylish actors mugging stylishly as they repartee'd with great apparent wit and style, and saw a lot of flashing casino lights, and there was an earthquake, and Al Pacino running around in a panic, and cell phones and a roulette wheel, and George Clooney bought a house at Lake Como and distorted the real estate market, but that part was a dream because I was there last Saturday (BRAG) and this was Tuesday, and then someone used a helicopter to steal a bunch of diamonds, and my Coke was warm and I really had to pee.

Well, there you have it. PJ, you need to join our club, because I know you can aspire to review movies almost as well as I can. All you have to do is believe.

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