Well I've finally escaped the hectic insanity that is Golden. I write to you from the serenity of the Big Apple, the soothing shrill of sirens, horns and garbage trucks, the gentle scents of urine and weed and cooked garbage and the pleasant clinging of my shirt to my back, particulate matter to my face. But all this calm and beauty makes me uneasy. I miss the Lodge, I miss fishtailing on the Mt. 7 road, I miss the Mohawk for God's sake! But enough about me. Let's review some movies.
Kate & Leopold
Look, this is a chick flick. It's a bit preposterous, but I like Hugh Jackman. He plays a 19th century nobleman who comes to present day New York and woos the uptight career woman Meg Ryan, who looks like she's been squeezed into saran wrap. The supporting characters are engaging, especially Liev Schreiber (who played a Canadian in The Hurricane). I wouldn't recommend this to any man, but if you are forced to watch it, pay attention. There is some excellent romancing advice in this movie, from the old school. Follow it.
2 out of 5 Yams
This movie sucks. I didn't really like it when it first came out and I definitely hate it now. It's a classic example of Hollywood's inability to stage an exciting gun fight. The biggest action scene in this movie is a bunch of commandos shooting trees! The four-minute homo-erotic sweaty-bicep handshake between Arnold and Carl Weathers is much more gripping (pun intended). Sure the alien hunter guy is cool looking, but you only see him in the last ten minutes. If you must, rent the sequel with Danny Glover where at least there's some decent action.
1 out of 5 yams
Arnold's latest and the first movie pulled after 9/11, this movie is such a mess that I can't even really remember what happened. I had high hopes, too. The first 20 minutes start with the wrongheaded randomness of some of the bad action classics of the '80's. When Arnold smashes up the liberal newspaper representing the Colombian rebels, I thought we were going to go somewhere. But then the plot veers into Arnold doing the McGyver in the jungle and confusedly exploring the freudian roots of the guilt over his family's destruction. The politics are safe and muddy and in the end you just don't care. I think John Leguizamo and John Turturro were in this movie, but I can't remember. I hope they got paid well.
1 out of 5 Yams
Enemy at the Gates
To be fair, we only watched the first 20 minutes of this movie. But they were way cool. It begins with a crazy, fantastic, hollywood interpretation of the siege of Stalingrad, trying so hard to be "realistic" that it's deliciously unreal. The intro climaxes in one of the better sniper scenes I've seen in a long time, very Yam-worthy! It just had that ponderous feeling, that weight of seriousness, that you knew was going to take the movie into a super-boring direction. Also, as one of us pointed out, "I can't watch a movie where the Nazis are identified by their american accents and the Russians by their english ones."
1st 20 minutes: 4 out of 5 Yams; the rest: probably 2 (maybe 3) out of 5 Yams
The only reason this bloated, confused mess won an Oscar was because there was no way hollywood was going to allow a chinese movie (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) to take home the gold. The beginning is cool, but the fight scenes are brutally edited (the standard american technique to disguise actors and stuntmen who can't actually fight) and coated with that weird shimmery filter. Joaquin is enjoyable as the corrupt Caesar, but it's just not enough to carry the movie to it's inevitable, nonsensical ending. Go rent Caligula instead.
2 out of 5 Yams
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Oh yeah, we also watched the preview/making of the Two Towers. Looks kind of cool, but there was an ominous lack of the ents. They better be keeping them hidden as a surprise for the next movie, because if there are no ents in the Two Towers I'm heading up a posse myself and going director-hunting in New Zealand.
Gnash, tear, rip, snarl! Give me more mediocre movies to savage. We don't suffer fools lightly up here on Mt. 7! Conan out.