Friday, February 10, 2006

Roger Ebert is a funny man

I read Roger Ebert's movie reviews every week. I don't always agree with his assessment of a film, but he's a good writer and has forgotten more about film than most people will ever learn in the first place. He's also really funny, and he had a couple of lines that cracked me up in this morning's batch of reviews.

From his review of Final Destination 3, which includes some discussion of the teen horror genre in general:

There must be dozens of films in this genre. At Sundance 2006 there was at least a positive development in "Wristcutters," when the characters discover that after you kill yourself, the world is pretty much the same as it was before, except grungy, poverty-stricken and depressing. In "Wristcutters 2," they should have a Third World suicide victim who finds the afterlife an improvement and thinks he is in heaven.

But the real zinger for me came in the Curious George review. My reaction is mostly due to my personal experience of childhood and my subsequent failure to be impressed with my parents' parenting skills:

...I know what 4-year-olds think, because I was one, an expert one, and I believe that up to a certain age all children enjoy more or less the same things: Bright colors, vivid drawings, encouraging music, a plot that is exciting but not too scary, and a character they can identify with. This character should have an older friend who guides him through neat adventures and keeps things from getting too scary. If that doesn't describe what you liked when you were 3 or 4, then I blame your parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chainsaw.

Betcha didn't know my maiden name was Annie Chainsaw!

Ken's new look

MSNBC carried a story on Ken's new look. You know, the former Mr. Barbie? He looks a little like Paul Walker of post-before-this-one fame, but he looks a LOT like Dick Casablancas from Veronica Mars. Stay away, Barbie. Stay far, far away.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Jean-Paul Belmondo of the New Preposterousness

The Austin Chronicle has a funny article on Paul Walker, star of many goofball B-movies like The Fast and the Furious and Into the Blue. A brief excerpt:

Characterized by vacant eyes, cheerfully bewildered mien, and a distinctly floppy carriage, tripping and bounding about the frame in a uniform of skater T-shirts and cargo shorts, the Paul Walker presence (at zenith in 2 Fast 2 Furious and nadir in Timeline) becomes the ultimate expression of the style through subversion so total as to push beyond any imaginable absurdity. Because no matter how slaphappy the narrative or psychotic the montage, nothing trumps the fugue state induced by seeing a badass action hero as played by a golden retriever puppy.

I haven't given huge amounts of thought to Paul Walker, but it's true that his presence in a movie is shorthand for "this movie is not precisely 'good', but it's probably fun with beer".