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Showing posts from June, 2009

Finding a New Universe

Movie Title: Land of the Lost (2009)
Spoilers: No

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What does Land of the Lost sound like it's going to be about? If you had no idea that it was a comedy and that it had Will Ferrell in it, the title would make you think it was a science fiction piece from the 1950s where a traveling lot of short-haired men with military cuts and one or two pretty white women with long blond hair stumble into some dimensional portal to a secret universe and…get lost.

I can just see the exaggerated font of the oversized letters on posters in a cafĂ©: “Land of the Lost.” In all odds, the acting would be terrible by our standards, whether it fit the time period it was released in or not. “The Valley That Time Forgot,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” that’s how titles used to sound. ‘Twas an age of extravagant thinking that gave birth to the refined science fiction works of today.

Would that Land of the Lost, starring Will Ferrell, was some old, cheesy flyin…

Going Up

Movie Title: Up (2009)
Spoilers: No

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Should you ever get tired of your surroundings and decide you want a change of scenery from the featureless lots that are your and your neighbor's backyards, you should try sending thousands and thousands of balloons up your chimney so that your whole house will float off of its foundation to a spot of your choosing. Once you get it off the ground, you just have to steer the thing (and make sure it doesn’t fall apart in route, but nevermind that concern).

Floating your house with balloons would, of course, never work in real life. For one thing, you’d need enough balloons to cover half the state of Wyoming. But it will work if done in your imagination. Alternatively, you could forego imagining and just watch the movie Up where an old and brokenhearted Carl Fredericksen (Edward Asner) decides to fulfill his childhood dream and the dream of his late wife by moving their house to South America in the spirit of the great adventurer, Charles Muntz (C…

I'm Wondering

Movie Title: The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Spoilers: No

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Having never seen the original 1974 version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, I am unable to compare it to the 2009 remake, starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington. The original had Walter Matthau as “Lt. Garber” and Robert Shau as “Blue,” the head of the color-code-named villains. Some things have changed in the latest addition, but the basics are still there: a subway train is hijacked and hostages are taken and will be harmed if a large ransom is not paid.

You are supposed to wonder how, even if the ransom is paid, the bad guys could ever expect to make it away. All the exits are blocked off. The effort seems futile. But I’m wondering a few other things, like why in this otherwise exciting thriller we have the usual routine of the cops sucking at their jobs and the terrorist leader “Ryder” (John Travolta) who decides he will only talk with newbie transit operator Walter Garber (Denzel Washington)—who happened to be…

Maddening

Extremely hard work can do things to a man...bad things. A $6 pitcher of beer will do much worse things, sometimes making him do things (and withstand things) he otherwise wouldn't be able to.

It was last night when a day's worth of stress and agony, combined with a large pitcher of Miller Genuine Draft, resulted in my having some bragging rights. I listened to all 9 minutes and 31 seconds of this maddening video made by some fool with too much time on his hands.

I promise, I listened to the whole thing. Can you? Dare you try? Try the first 30 seconds. I bet you don't make it 2 minutes in...



(JH)

The Need for Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy

Movie Title: Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Spoilers: No

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To some of us, it’s a sad truth that mankind has not outgrown his craving for belief in the supernatural. This craving very often spills over into our choice of movies. Movies with supernatural themes can be big hits or otherwise held in high regard just because of their supernatural element. You have The Exorcist and Amityville Horror, both revered horror series’. And in another category, there’s the 1990 film Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

When I saw Ghost in theatres as a young man, there wasn’t a dry set of eyes in the house, and that included my own. Everyone was so touched to see two lovers separated by the throws of death. But I remember something else that stuck with me and never went away—the terror I felt in watching two men dragged to Hell by those poorly drawn, groaning, black demons that grabbed onto them and took them to Hell for the lives of wickedness they lived. It was scary, terrifying even. Ghost was a…