Thursday, June 28, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Deluxe Omnibus Collection

So as I sat, tears streaming down my face when, despite the amazing porn posting yesterday in a cheap and ridiculous attempt to drive traffic to my blog, I noticed that I had had two page impressions, which would include me yesterday, when I posted the "Eyes Wide Shut" review, and then me today, right now. I began to conclude that the world, or at least the World Wide Web, may not be ready for an idea as important as reviews of movies you have never seen. Maybe I really am the crazy grocery cart woman of the Internets, pushing my junk filled blog around the dirty corners of the Web and talking to myself in non sequiters that no one can or wants to understand. And, every once in a while, someone happens upon my lonely existence and tosses me a quarter out of pity, but, over all, no one wants me or my creaky-wheeled postings, and no one really notices when I fall asleep one day in a drunken stupor and roll over on my own blog, causing the both of us to tumble unconscious into the duck pond, where I get dysentery from the filthy, vermin infested water and my blog just grows rusty and neglected.

"That's why no one wants to read your junk," my wife suddenly interjects, always one for constructive criticism.

"Because I don't have enough pornographic keywords?" I ask. "Or because my blog and I are laying in the duck pond?"

"No, although that metaphor is both disgusting and sad. Seriously, though, why would anyone read the novel when they want to see the movie?"

I frown so hard the sides of my mouth hit my shoulder blades. "What do you mean?"

"Your posts," she spits, as if just saying the words leaves a nasty taste in her mouth. "They are 60,000 words long, and they go on and on in blurry column after blurry column. Who would want to read that?"

"Ho, no, no!" I exclaim exlamatorily, "You under-estimate the intelligence of the virtual community! This is a high-class, technologically advanced group of people here! They are looking for in-depth, witty yet profound criticism."

She spits again, maybe having a saliva problem. "Technologically advanced? George Bush has a website, you know. And high-class? The top searches on Yahoo right now are 'Paris Hilton Naked', 'WWE', 'Britney Spears Naked', 'Transformers', and 'Avril Lavigne Naked", That there's some culture, lemme tell you."

"But-" I stammered as only people do in poorly written dialogue. "But-but-"

"You do have a large but to overcome, I know," says my wife. "But let me suggest something. Stop posting 96 theses and comprehensive manifestos of ignorant reviews. It's like Schoedenhaur noted in his critical thinking essay, "Cultural Manifestations of Dynamic Tension Learning", when the ad-ition of psycho-analytical metamorphoses leads to "abiotic synthesis", the mind of the higher digresses to the base, and the "watched kettle" becomes a dichotic praxis of proto-viable pedagogy. Know what I mean?"

I blinked, shaking my head. "I'm sorry, I didn't hear a word you said. I was busy daydreaming of Jennifer Connelly in a white tank-top"

The stinging slap of justice burned my cheek like a kiss from an angry buffalo. "Ow!" I whined like a little girl, "Whadda you gotta do that for!"

"Your damn posts are too long!"

"Well, I am rubber and you are glue and whatever you say about my blog bounces off my blog and the computer monitor and sticks to you, because it misses me!" I waved my hands like a mental patient. "Get outta here! You don't know anything about blogs and skillful writing! Move on! Go clean the house and do your hair and whatever!" And I sat patiently, waiting for her to remove her presence.

There. She's gone. Ok, now that it's just you, me, and everyone in the whole wide world, let me suggest something. Knowing that most people on the Internets have the attention span of a squirrel with ADD, I have independently of any outside influences come to the conclusion that my last few posts have been too long. Therefore, tonight, please join me for an exciting experiment. I will continue in reviewing films that I have never seen, but I am going to limit the reviews to the basic information you will require to understand the films and my ignorant opinions of them. You may want to get ready to print this, because, I'm warning you, it will go fast. But I am not the one to insult the intelligence of my constant readers, especially since I am my only constant reader, so, while keeping the reviews to the barest minimum needed for creative criticism, I am going to provide you with not one, not two, not eight, but ELEVEN reviews, all in this one posting. Hopefully, by mimicking the rapid fire stimulation of modern media, I will capture both the hearts and the minds of passing Internet travelers, while providing an valuable community service-

("And not putting people to sleep!" my wife yelled from the kitchen.)

("Shaddup!" I yelled back.)

-in offering for your reviewing pleasure a collection of eleven classic reviews. Without further ado, because it stinks enough in here already, I offer you a first: The Reviews of the Ignorant Deluxe Omnibus Treasury. Pay close attention, and keep your hands and arms inside the blog until it comes to a complete and final stop. Things are gonna get pretty fast in here.

("Thank God!")

("I said 'Shaddup'!")

1. Music and Lyrics


My Rating: 0 Stars

2. Georgia Rule

Also sucks

My Rating: 0 Stars

3. The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Royally sucks. I mean, read that title again. Do you want to see that? Do you even want to read the title again?

My Rating: 0 Stars

4. Factory Girl

Horribly, terribly, nightmarishly suck-a-licious. And, despite the fact that she seems to want to take off her clothes in various public places, a trait I normally approve of, Sienna Miller isn't that cute. Jude Law cheated on her with a fat nanny. That outta tell you something.

My Rating: 0 Stars

5. Hannibal Rising

See how much the above four films suck? Multiply that by twenty, divide by desecrated memories of better films, add a few "blows monkey dongs" and "god-awful"s, and that is how much this sucks. If you do the math, that equals super-sucks with a cherry on top.

My Rating: 0 Stars

6. Number 23

Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

My Rating: 23 Stars x 0 Stars STILL = 0 Stars

7. Alpha Dog

Justin Timberlake. 'Nuff said. Sucks

My Rating: 0 Stars

8. Catch and Release

How about we just release? Really, now, if you love something, set it free. So go free, little film, and never come this way again. Su-u-u-u-u-u-ucks.

My Rating: 0 Stars

9. Arthur and the Invisibles

Wasn't this a pre-fab sixties head band that sang "Winchester Cathedral"? Whatever. I just read that this was one of the highest grossing films every in Europe. Which can only mean one thing: Sucks.

My Rating: 0 Stars (counting the invisible ones)

10. Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj

What? What?!!!! Did someone ask for this?????!!!!! I can't even comment on this, or even ever think of it ever again. Whoever greenlighted this should be made should be shot into space instantly, before I am done typing this sentence.

My Rating: 0,000,000,000,000,000 stars

11. The Good German & The Good Shepard

I don't know if these are the same movie or not, and I don't know if they are about a dog or not, but I've grouped them here together because of the thing they share: Sucking!!! So, in case these are not the same movie, I apologize for destroying the integrity of the eleven promised reviews and hope you will be able to trust me again as we continue to build our relationship. If they are the same, then I have one thing to say: Sucks! If they are not the same, then I have two things to say: Sucks and Sucks!

My Rating: 0 stars, or, possibly, 0 and 0 stars

Whoo! That wore me out! Can' That does it, though, for all you 'instant gratification' channel-surfing Internet zombies; eleven concise yet informative reviews. Now, you'll have to excuse me while I go lay down and go into congestive heart failure.

Clarification: It has been mentioned from the previous review that I seemed to imply that Tom Cruise was of a same-sex orientation. If any litigious types are reading, please make note: that could not be further from the truth, and I hope that that type of slanderous accusation was not inferred. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Being gay. I mean, I'm not. But there's nothing wrong if you're like that. I have a lot of friends that I frequently accuse of being gay. But not me. Nope. I'm 110% man. Me, I sure am not gay. But some people are, and that's ok. Just not me. I'm a happy hetero. So not gay. In fact, I'm so not gay I'm gonna take my penis out now and talk to it. And dress it up. And put mascara on it. And practice braiding hair. Wait. No I'm not. That's not what I'm going to do at all. I mean, not that there is anything wrong if someone wants to do that. But I'm not. I mean, I might take my penis out, but I'm not going to do all those other things. Not to accuse you of being gay if you do that, of course, but there is nothing wrong with that. Being gay, that is. Or doing that stuff to your penis. It's just not for me. I mean, I like to take my penis out as much as the next non-gay person, but that other stuff? Pffft! No way. I just take it out. And, uh, show it to people. Like women. But not men. Never. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Anyhow, the previous review was not meant to cast dispersion on the sexual preferences of Tom Cruise. It was only meant to imply that he was as sexual as a Ken doll, with a rounded lump where his genitalia should be.

Wait, no it wasn't. I need to go now. My brain tumor is acting up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Eyes Wide Shut

As I understand, it has been the talk of the Internets as to why this blog has gone so long between postings. And I have a perfectly valid reason that I couldn't post over the past few days. I was dead.

Ok, that was a lie. Sorry about that. But it would be cool, to be posting from the Afterlife. You know, all "Oh, I just saw that hot angel float by. I would have chased her but I have to WRITE THIS STUPID BLOG!" Or, "Scalded in a lake of fire again today. Twenty-seven thousand days down, eternity more to go". Something like that.

But that whole thing about being dead, that was a lie. I actually was attempting a new experiment to drive traffic to this god-forsaken no man's land of a web log. Since posting consistently was not making anyone more interested in the Frog Blog, I decided that maybe by NOT posting anything, all kinds of people would become interested and traffic would spike to the bagazillions and everyone would be happy and hold hands and hug. But the experiment failed miserably. Not only didn't anyone else come to the Frog Blog, but I didn't even come to the Frog Blog. Here I am, the only person who regularly visits my own blog, laughing and chuckling at its witty pop-culture bon mots (or, as the French say, Bon-bon mots) and marvelling at its clever insight, and then, one day, I quit coming. And my blog is left all alone on the World Wide Web, floating in cyberspace like the Millennium Falcon with its hyperdrive broken. There is my blog, crying, isolated and alone, only the occasional porn hunter stopping by to see if there are naked pictures of Jennifer Connelly and instead discovering a monkey riding a donkey and cussing as they shut down their browser. All alone, my blog becomes Puff the Magic Dragon of the Internets, forgotten as its former friend moves on to grown up pursuits, like work and Sudoku.

Well, blog, cry no more, Daddy's home! And, since my strategy of not posting anything didn't lead to the expected flood of traffic, I have done a 360 (along with a triple reverse gainer, a reverse Ollie kickflip, and a Lord Half-Nelson), and will now be resorting to the most proven of Internets traffic generators, the true Holy Grail of the Web, the one search word that will find the world beating a path to your doorstep (and usually forgetting to wipe its feet on the way in)


Ok, granted, this is a family site, so no hardcore, anal-plugging, rim-jobbing, Strawberry Cheesecake nastiness here. In fact, I won't even allow those words to be used on this blog, except maybe as key-words that would be picked up by search engines. Otherwise, though, there is no place for that kind of filth polluting these hallowed halls of respectable ignorant criticism. No, on this blog, it is my firm pledge that there will be no mention of Donkey-Punching, or Dirty Sanchez, or Space Docking, or Bukkake. I don't even know what a fifth of that stuff is, and I've never tried any of it, at least not since middle school. No, and, in addition, there will be no mention of "mouth on (blank)" (and you can fill in your own blank here, using words such as "genitals","nipples", "ears", "Uranus", "exhaust pipes", "nuns", "Michael Jackson", "balloons at a kid's birthday party", "Chicken sandwiches", "Iraq", "the Mexican border", "social justice", "hair weaves", "Croft & Barrow", "videotape", and "another mouth"). None of that smut will be allowed to pollute these pages, outside of in a cheap attempt to be noticed by the search engines, ANY search engine. Please.

No, today, constant reader (and, by constant reader, I guess I mean myself), we will be discussing the type of soft-core crap that makes up Cinemax programming from 11 pm to 3 am. But we're gonna get even more pretentious than that. I mean, it's all well and good to take cheap shots at "Sexual Competitors" and "Dangerous Passions" and "Dangerous Competitors", and "Dangerous Passions of Sexual Competitors" and "Babar, King of the Elephants" and all the other junk that consists of a group of woman on a Caribbean island attempting to find themselves on vacation by having relations under sheer, blowing curtains and taking showers under waterfalls. This is like tipping cows into barrels, or something like that. No, here, we aim for the highbrow. It's too easy, and nothing is easy but the author on the Frog Blog. No mention of Pearl Necklaces either, whatever they are. No, we're gonna head straight to the pretentious brain of soft core porn as we present for your reviewing pleasure, the ignorant review of-

Eyes Wide Shut

Let me start out by saying I really don't mean to pick on Nicole Kidman. As stated previously, before she injected her skin to the tautness of a red rubber playground ball, she was a very beautiful woman. And she really can act; if you haven't seen the film "To Die For", quit reading this stupid thing and go check it out. She is incredibly gorgeous and displays a humor blacker than my shriveled heart. Seriously, this is a good flick. But I've seen it, so I'm not going to be giving you my opinion of it. I'm gonna stick to what I haven't seen, in this case, "Eyes Wide Shut".

So no hard feelings towards Nicole. At least Stanley Kubrick, as the director of this fiasco, had the good sense to realize that NO ONE would want to see Nicole hidden behind a squid mask, like in "The Hours". He knew that naked chicks sell films as well as poorly written, overly long blogs, so he had Nicole get naked. But then he went a little too far, and he cast Mr. Kidman, otherwise known as Tom Cruise, as the star. Picking on Tom Cruise is like picking on the after-midnight line-up on Cinemax; it's been done before and better, and it is just, somehow, TOO easy. I could fill up the rest of the space on this blog with "Tom Cruise is a Scientologist Nut, jumping on couches and making fun of the mentally ill (ie, Brooke Shields)", but that is so, like, fourteen months ago. No, I'm gonna leave Tom Cruise's personal life alone, and concentrate instead on academic film criticism, like how gay all Tom Cruise's roles are. Wait. I meant, like how similar all Tom Cruise's roles are. Hot-shot pilot. Hot-shot race car driver. Hot-shot football player. Hot-shot unicorn rider. Hot-shot Outsider. Hot-shot bartender. Hot-shot prostitute hirerer who dances in his underwear. Hot-shot pool shark. Hot-shot vampire. Hot-shot Irish farmer. Hot-shot impossible mission dude. These could practically be the same role. And what is the one overriding theme of all these parts? Yup, that they like to pat other guys on the asses. Wait, no. That they were all originally played by Elvis, with Ann-Margaret playing the part of Nicole Kidman.

There is one other problem with this flick: Stanley Kubrick. I mean, I know the guy is one of the greatest directors of all times and all, but the true question I have to ask is, why? "2001: An Odd Spacity"? Boring. Stupid. Who cares about naked babies floating around gorillas or whatever. "The Shining"? Boring. Stupid. He takes the greatest Stephen King story of all times (although trucks might disagree,: See "The Top Films of All Times According to Trucks") and turns it into the Jack Nicholson freak show, with Olive Oil and a kid who talks through his finger along for the ride. "Barry Lyndon"? Boring. Stupid. And I don't even know what this is. Maybe something about the Kennedy family revenge on the true killer of JFK? "Spartacus"? There is nothing else I can say other than that. Sure, "Full Metal Jacket" is about to rock, and I salute it. "Dr. Strangelove" is funny in a groovy kinda way. And "A Clockwork Orange", despite being way past the time limit of a great movie, is also interesting. But, hey, even I can accidentally write an entertaining blog entry every once in a while. Overall, when the Kubrick films are seen together, I'm seeing a lot of the back of my eyelids.

So this poor mess has one positive (stark naked Nicole Kidman), two negatives (stark naked Tom Cruise and, possibly, a stark naked Stanley Kubrick behind the camera) and, while I am no mathamatologist and I don't come from Mathmagic Land, I can add up the above equation and know that it equals '6'. Wait, no, '7'. Wait, uh, I don't know. But I do know that it equals a black mark on the face of humanity.

So what's this heaping pile of film canisters about, anyhow? Well, being a soft-core porn film with an English accent (I can see it, standing there drinking tea with it's pinkie sticking out, discussing interior design with Tom Cruise. Wait, not Tom Cruise. I mean Christopher Lowell) and a superiority complex, the plot goes a little something like this: Nicole Kidman wants to get away from her hectic job by taking a trip to a Caribbean Island. Once she gets there, she right away takes off her glasses and her gray suit and takes a shower in a waterfall. Tom Cruise, who is a poor poolboy at the hotel where rich people come to take waterfall showers, spies on her and falls in love. He becomes determined to show her how to relax, to unwind "island-style". During a Caribbean luau, while the Beach Boys sing their hit song, "Kokomo, Indiana", Tom and Nicole sneak off to the beach, where they have relations in slow-motion. Nicole feels guilty, like she is neglecting her work. Her friend, played by Tawny Kitaen, tells her to lighten up and enjoy herself. The friend then has relations in the hotel room with the surprisingly white Caribbean bartender while curtains blow around them, always obscuring his penis but allowing her breasts to be on full display, while it rains outside. Nicole sees this while hiding in the bathroom, and becomes so aroused that she joins in in a sequence of girl on girl on white bartender action, while the curtains continue to blow and the synthesizer music pulses in the background. Unfortunately, Tom shows up in the room to surprise Nicole with a personal performance by the Beach Boys and catches this menage a trois (or, in translation, "zoo of trouts") and runs back to his disgusting hovel in the village. There, a bunch of people walk around naked wearing animal masks to show this movie is classy. Nicole follows him and, after chasing away the people in animal masks, apologizes, saying she was just trying to relax and enjoy the island experience. Tom is so overwhelmed by her apology that they have relations in his hovel, while his carefully chosen silk curtains blow around them. The next day, as Tom sees Nicole to the airport, he asks, "Will I ever see you again?" Nicole starts to turn, smiles, takes off her glasses, throws her hair around in slow motion, then runs back to him and they embrace. It turns out Tom is not really the pool boy, but the governor of the whitest island in the Caribbean. The film ends with a freeze frame of their hug. Then, The Beach Boys sing their cover of "Livin' La Vida Loca" while palm trees blow in the breeze and Tawny Kitaen has relations with the entirely white hotel staff on the beach.

As you can see from the above description, except for the people walking around in animal masks (which would be playing on the IFC Channel), the whole thing could be playing on Cinemax right now. And sucking harder than Tawny Kitaen with the bell boy, or the Beach Boys without Brian Wilson. And why does it suck so royally? Well, you may be surprised to find out that it isn't because it doesn't star Jennifer Connelly. No, Jennifer Connelly has class, and she doesn't belong in lame, pretentious porn wannabes like this. I applaud her for her superior intelligence in not being involved with this mess, and, at the same time, applaud her gorgeousness just because. The film also doesn't mega-suck just because Tom Cruise is naked, or because naked people wear animal masks, or because there is no interesting plot, or believable, sympathetic characters, or dynamic conflict, or windows with mini-blinds instead of sheer curtains. No, it royally sucks because, in casting a married couple, most normal, sensible, non-deviant viewers would think there would be an opportunity to see really for-real relations between famous people on the screen. I mean, they're married and all, and what do married people do but have fights, damage their children, and have relations? Well, I will tell you now, you have more of a chance of seeing really for-real relations between George W. Bush and a walrus than between Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. I mean (and, again, I hate to bash Nicole) as attractive as she can be, Nicole Kidman is about as sensual as an ice sculpture on a cruise ship with the Ebola virus in the ventilation system. Except in "To Die For" (and I thought I already told you to stop reading this crap and go see that movie!), she just is not sexy. I'd expect her vagina to have teeth. As for Tom Cruise, well, Tom Cruise is hom- uh, homogeneous, a very bland, very non-sensuous individual. You could throw an old work boot on a board and it would be more sexually exciting than these two together.

So, when seen as a whole, and you have the naked yet icy Nicole Kidman, the ga-uh, gamely earnest yet non-sensuous Tom Cruise, the over-rated control freak Stanley Kubrick behind the camera, a lot of blowing curtains, a lot of pretentious pornography for people that want to watch other people naked but don't want to get dirty doing it, and, for bad measure, a bunch of people in animal masks. And, for all I know, an elevator full of blood. Put it all together and what do you get? A flaming wad of shinola that is too good for late-night pay cable but to bad for the average viewer. The only way anyone can enjoy this movie is with eyes ACTUALLY shut. I'll pass.

Oy, I've got to move on before my head implodes. Excuse me while I go check out "Sexual Adventurers" on Cinemax, then again on Cinemax II, then again on Cinemax Action. Then again, with subtitles, on Cinemax en Espanol, and, by then, it'll probably be time for "Babar, King of the Elephants".

My Rating: 0 Stars

Trivia: The sequel to "Eyes Wide Shut", "Mouths Partially Agape", was planned by Stanley Kubrick but never completed, due to the fact that, unlike myself, he had actually died. Fellow director and friend Steven Spielberg took over the seventeen thousand notebooks, eight hundred sketchbooks, thirteen hundred coloring books, sixty-four fabric swatches, two full-scale models, and seven pounds of sliced cheese that Kubrick had developed in planning the never-completed film, and, as a tribute, turned it into his own hit, "Jurassic Park II".

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: The Butterfly Effect

As a way of introducing this most recent review of a film I have never seen, allow me to present this brief, one-act play, set in a pleasantly shambling house on a balmy spring evening, for two players and a full orchestra:

Me: Man, I am tired. I think I'll go to sleep, which is what people typically do when they are tired.

My Wife: (snarling) Why are you going to sleep! There's a great movie on the DVR. Come watch it or we'll get divorced and I'll take you for what little you're worth! (Hysterically) And I'll burn this house down!

Me: (resigned) Ok, ok, what's this movie.

My Wife: It's called "The Butterfly Effect" and it stars Ashton Kutcher-

Me: (holding the sides of my head in an attempt to keep them from exploding) AAAHH! OHHH! LAAA! EEEE! (various other unintelligible sounds) Sweet Lord Jesus Almighty! AAAAHHH!!

My Wife: What the **** is wrong with you!

Me: Where's the divorce papers! I'll sign! I'll sign! Whatever you do, just don't make me watch that MOVIE!!!!

Finale (as the French would say)

The Butterfly Effect

Ok, so that was the PG version of that play. The NC-17 version included a lot of swearing and gratuitious nudity as well as dismemberment and a hearty dose of blasphemy. Plus, there was a second act, where, after my wife left me, Jennifer Connelly came to my door, saying she'd been reading my posts about her and wanted to meet me, and we fell passionately in love and were married, wearing our matching white tank tops, and we ran away together to a tropical island where they sprayed for mosquitos bi-weekly. Unfortunately, I got so excited thinking about that second act that I never was able to write it without feeling faint, so it remains in my archives, incomplete, for future scholars to consider what might have been.

That said, in the interest of the Sunshine Laws, I must make a few disclosures before I continue this review. First, I am a supernatural junkie. By that, I do not mean I float through the air shooting black-tar heroin. No, I mean I love the supernatural stories. Anything creepy, kooky, mysterious and ooky and I'm there. Ghosts stealing a little girl into a closet. I'm there. Vampires taking over a New England town. I'm there. Zombies taking over shopping malls, military compounds, England, and secluded cabins? There, there, there, and there. Ghosts posessing Whoopi Goldberg and making her kiss Demi Moore? Uh, not so much, but I guess I'll still go there. The remake of "Black Christmas"? Yeah, well, we all have our limits. But I do like to see dead people. Second, I don't really have a second, but, since I started with a first and am too lazy to scroll back up and take it out, I'll put a second here to justify it. That, children, is called 'parallel construction', or something like that. And, really, it is all about the children, isn't it?

Speaking of Demi Moore, this piece of caca stars Mr. Demi Moore, who I am sure is a fine individual and apparently has many fans that are not me. I'd rather sit at a Justin Timberlake concert with my eyes pinned open like "A Clockwork Orange" than watch anything with Ashton Kutcher in it. I think it all started with that show on MTV, "Punk'd". First (or was THIS the second?), there was the stupid spelling of "Punk'd". Why "Punk'd"? MTV can't afford an 'e'? I mean, come on, Mr. Kutcher, I'd like to buy a vowel. "Punked"! The word is "Punked"! I never realized how annoying an 'e' is. Well, except for "silent 'e'" when you're taking your second grade spelling test. That 'e' pretty much sucks, too. Damn '4' out of '20' points!

Second (or is this 'third'? Now I'm all confused), he is so incredibly annoying on that show that I'd rather have my face dipped in hot plastic than look at him even one time. He sits there, all gangsta'd (oh no! there I went and left the 'e' out! It must be epidemic!) up, the camera all jump-cuts and wiggly hand-held, smirking while he talks in staccato bursts of random words, apparently describing the B-list celebrity they are going to take for a ride in a fake limo, or slip a butcher knife into their pocket while going through airport security, or fill their trunk with bricks of cocaine and then call the DEA, or burn down their house and build a teepee in its place. Then Ashton and his punkees stand around and laugh at how funny they are. What a terrible show. In the history of television, this has to be one of the least entertaining, smug, self-congratulatory shows ever, next to "The McNeil-Lehrer Report". I'd rather watch twelve hours of out-takes from "Car 54, Where Are You?" than ever accidentally turn this show on again. And I blame these negative feelings inside myself on Ashton Kutcher.

I also blame global warming, third trimester abortions, passenger pigeon extinction, and deep-fried Snickers bars on Ashton Kutcher. Why? Because, when these things take place, I can only imagine him and some star of "The Hills" laughing and pointing at the camera. But this is a film review blog, not a television review blog, and I sincerely apologize to my readers (reader? accidental stuble-uponer while looking for IMDB?) for taking up so much time on "Punk'd". As atonment for my transgressions, I will forever ban "Punk'd" from this blog, never to allow it to reveal it's ugly head again. In addition, to show that I am down with the kids (at least in a court-ordered kind of way), I will attempt a never before seen feat. At great personal and professional risk, and bringing with it the danger of collapsing the whole of the Internets, I will attempt to prove myself truely sorry for taking so much of your time and Blogger's space writing about "Punk'd" by, as pentinance, composing the entire next paragraph, containing the body of my review of "The Butterfly Effect", without using the letter 'e'. Allow me a moment of silence to prepare and tell my family that I love them.

Ok, and now, as never seen by anyone before or during, since no one is reading this, the amazing, astounding, collossal 'e' free ignorant review:

Th Buttrfly Ffct

Hr is a movi that is mor trrible than vn you can imagin. It is somwhat of a squl to "Jurassic Park", taking it's prmis from th ida xprssd by Jff Goldblum that, if a buttrfly in China fluttrs its wings, an angl gts its wings on th othr sid of th plant, and if a gazll in Africa lts a fart, Gorg Bush is llctd prsidnt on th othr sid of th plant. Ashton Kutchr plays "Jam Gunn", a srial killr who njoys tucking his pnis btwn his lgs whil dancing around to tchno music. But, whnvr h dos this, thr million Chins ar put to work in swat shops on th othr sid of th plant. Thn, whnvr his nighbors complain about th hidous loud tchno music coming from his apartmnt, a bird gts th flu on th othr sid of th plant. Ri vnts nsu. Mrcifully, th whol mss nds whn th polic com and arrst Ashton Kutchr for crims against humanity. H is put on trial in the Hagu, whr h is found guilty and sntncd to dath by lctric chair. But Urop dosn't own an lctric chair, so thy lt him go with the promis to b good. H thn runs around Urop with his pnis inbtwn his lgs, and Hilarity nsus. Finally, bcaus of mass snzzing fits on th othr sid of th plant, Ashton Kutchr is capturd, frozn in a block of ic, and kpt burid nxt to Walt Disny whr h can do no mor harm to th othr sid of th plant. As you can s, this is xactly nough lmntary thought to mak tnag girls fl thy ar smart, but, for anyon ovr th ag of svntn, ngough alrady! Lik my dar mothr llucidats vry day, ach of ight arly lphants at nough ggs to vntually vn th Arth. Xcllnt! Long liv th Intrnt!


(Gulps a full glass of water)(Gulps a full glass of CC and Coke)(Gulps a full glass of Milk of Magnesia)(Spits out a full glass of Milk of Magnesia)(Almost gulps a full glass of bleach, but sees the yucky green face on it and puts it down)(Gulps a full glass of white paste)(Smashes said glass in the fireplace)

(That other, non-gulping sound you may hear is the sound of the Blogger spellcheck locking up and melting)

And there you have it! The first and only 'e' free review on the Internet! Write this down in your diary, you were here when it happened! Like the day of your circumcision or the day you got your first tongue kiss from your elementary school principal, this is something you will never forget. And now aren't you sorry you even thought about skipping past this to the Spanish political blog next door. T-shirts and soundtracks available in the lobby.

And for anyone who missed the gist of the above review and is wondering what my true opinion is of "The Butterfly Effect", I'll provide a brief synopsis: Sucks.

My Rating: 0 'e's

Trivia: "The Butterfly Effect" spawned several little-known sequels, including "The Unicorn Effect", "The Little Pony Effect", "The Sparkly Trapper Keeper Effect", and "The Slam Book Covered in Rainbow Stickers Effect".

Correction: Ok, this is the absolute last time I am ever going to correct anything other than other people's opinions and grammar. It has become apparent that Frank Zappa is no relation to Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum, who played the role of Mr. Green Jeans on "Captain Kangaroo", as was indicated in a previous post. In addition, Mr. Green Jeans never said anything about "pissing in a tent". Frank Zappa's father, of course, was Eddie Albert, who was known for his role of Oliver Wendell Douglas on television's "Green Acres", the greatest show of all-time, and I mean that. And the quote about "pissing in a tent" was, obviously, uttered by Gandhi on the day of his wedding to Mother Theresa, upon seeing that four different guests had bought them blenders, totally ignoring the registry. We are happy to set the record straight and are sorry to have previously provided incorrect information. We are also happy that no one actually reads this so we were not served with a "Cease and Desist" notice. We regret any inconvenience it may have caused me to type this.

On the Photographic Art, A Reflection

I have received a suggestion that, in order to increase the traffic on this blog from, like, 0 to maybe, I don't know, 1, or at least 1/2, that I include in my posts some graphically pleasing images. It is suggested that to include images with the posts would enliven the page and make people stop to read the astounding reviews of films I have never seen. So, without further delay, here are some pleasing images to support my reviews. Now I'll sit back and watch the traffic roll in.

Here, for example, is a picture of a monkey riding a donkey. This picture makes me sad, as I wish the monkey was wearing a hat.

And here is a famous picture of a cheetah licking a dog while some customer service agent looks on. Is this picture a metaphor for the frustrations of a service-based economy? Is that customer-service lady waiting for a kiss from the cheetah? Does the cheetah represent big business, the customer-service lady the worker, and the dog the suspicious fuzzy face of justice? Like trigonometry, we may never understand.

And there we go. Exciting graphics shamelessly posted to drive amazing masses of traffic to this blog. I'll have to let the person who suggested it know whether- wait, what? What'd you say, honey? Hold on just a moment, faithful blog readers. Honey, what'd you say? I couldn't hear over my typing. Pictures of films? Huh? Not random? But I thought- but you said-I thought that you said...Pictures of films that I've reviewed? I don't know, I guess no one would want to see...But I thought if I put any ol' picture I found, it would...uh, uh...

Oh crap. Never mind. Please ignore the above pictures and stop back tomorrow for some enlightening ignorant film reviews. Sorry about that. I've had a tragic misunderstanding. Please click "Next Blog" and move along. Nothing to see here, folks. Nothing to see here.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: The Hours

"Beauty is truth and truth, beauty. That is all ye know and all ye need to know"
- D. Grecian Urn
B.C. 1203
8:37 pm

I received a request from a formally loyal reader (ok, she read 2 posts, but that is more loyal than 100% of my other readers, including you. Wait. Most of my other readers have consistently read 0 posts. So, if loyalty is consistency, maybe they are more loyal) who asked about the possibility that I review "The Hours". Ok, it wasn't a loyal reader. It was my mother. Who then stopped reading this blog. In fact, I believe she is now working on her own blog consisting only of reasons never to read this blog. Because of this sort of disloyalty, I at first dismissed her suggestion to review "The Hours". But she is my mother and all, and she did go through the pain of being surgically implanted with me in utero (or, as the French say, l'in utero) for no more reward than two hundred dollar bills, so I feel I owe her a debt. Besides, I'm afraid of her. I mean, those horrible memories, like that time I had her dresses on the wire hangers....oooooh, shivers! I doubt I'll ever get rid of those marks. So, in honor of my mother, or at least in the hopes of winning her back as a loyal reader (if, for no other reason, than to see herself be made famous by mention on the ol' Frog Blog), I will review "The Hours". Besides, when thinking of my mother, I can only remember the words of my best friend in third grade, who waxed philosophical by saying "Yo momma so fat, she has to surf the Internet on a garage door". And then he used to take my lunch money. And punch me in the face. Repeatedly. The folly of youth, I miss it so.

The Hours

In the interest of the fairness doctrine, I must take a moment to disclose. While I have never seen the film of "The Hours", I did pick up the book. Of course, I immediately put it down, as it begin to burn my fingers with womanly issues. But I did pick it up. I am also a student of the written word, so I know who Virginia Woolf is. Or, at least, I know her name. Big Bad Virginia, as we used to call her, and, by we, I mean me. Right now. In this blog. She wrote some greatly poetic books, like "Stopping by the Lighthouse on a Snowy Evening" and "Hollywood Wives", then she cut off her ear for art. Then she tried to kill herself by jumping off of the snowy lighthouse, but was saved by dolphins, who found her and dragged her, kicking and screaming, back to shore. Then she tried to kill herself by walking into the ocean holding a curling iron in one hand and a hair dryer in the other. She had forgotten to plug them in, though (or at least hadn't used a long enough extension cord), and they did nothing to hasten her death. The shininess of the curling iron and hairdryer, though, did attract some sharks, which dragged her, kicking and screaming, back to shore. And then bit off her legs. After this, it was recommended by her doctor that she not be allowed around the ocean, but should take a nice vacation. Unfortunately, her travel agent figured the sea would be a good place to get away from the stress of the ocean, and booked her a trip to the beach. Where she promptly tried to kill herself by 1) Hanging herself with seaweed B) Eating large quantities of driftwood III) Shutting her head repeatedly in the cooler V) Walking barefoot across the hot asphalt parking lot 5) Swimming less than an hour after eating X) Burying herself up to the neck in sand along with her lover and having her husband watch it on closed-circuit television while the tide came in and C) Attempting to buy a share in a high-rise, beach-front condo so that she could plummet to her death from the balcony (her credit wasn't good enough to get higher than the second floor). After all of these attempts, she was finally accidentally killed after she loaded her pockets with pretty stones she found on the shore and, while wading in the surf, was struck by a Russian nuclear submarine. Unfortunately, the manuscript of what many consider her best work, but which I consider only work, "A Room of One's Own" was saved due to the fact that she had written it on waterproof Mylar balloons, and it was later made into the classic film, "Playboy: Girls of Cyberspace".

Now that you are thoroughly depressed to the point that you, too, need a vacation (But, please, if you wish to kill yourself, try the mountains rather than the sea: at least there are many more natural opportunities to plummet to your death without promoting development of the coastline), you might be asking yourself , "Self, although I have always been afraid of Virginia Woolf, what does she have to do with 'The Hours'?" Well, "The Hours" is the story of Virginia Woolf and how she continues to reach from beyond the grave to torment the lives of women. There is also some lesbianism, but the boring kind, not the good kind that can be found on the Internets. In "The Hours", Virginia Woolf, played by Nicole Kidman, is trying to write what would become one of her better known works, "Mrs. Doubtfire", when she kills herself. She then comes back to haunt generations of woman, such as Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore, causing chaos and death in their lives whenever they say her name three times, turn in a circle, then look in a mirror. The Spirit of Virginia wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone she touches after being released by these silly women, and it takes the manly power of Ed Harris to get these women into shape and force the evil spirit of Virginia back into the mirror where she can do no more harm. Of course, the film ends with Claire Daines walking up to the same mirror and smiling, leaving the viewer knowing that she, too, will dance with Woolf by releasing her from her looking-glass prison, a fate that most likely would be explored in the sequel, "The Two Hours" (i.e. "Hungry Like the Woolf", "Where Woolf?", and "The Woolf-man Always Rings Twice")

Despite some classic lines (I am sure people cheered like crazy when Ed Harris, before punching Virginia Woolf back into the cursed mirror, growled, "I got your room of your own RIGHT HERE!", or, in a fit of rage during the climactic fight, he snarled, "To the lighthouse- BITCH!"), this movie is a dreadful concoction of boring and pointless, with a pinch of horribly boring thrown in. The immediate problem is immediately immediate: Nicole Kidman is done up in ugly make-up. Now, Nicole Kidman, back in the days before she Botoxed herself to the point that her eyes stretched all the way around her head and met in the back, was an incredibly beautiful woman. So you hire her for a movie, you would think you'd want her parading around wearing nothing, not hideous deformity makeup. If you need an ugly chick, there are plenty of those around that you can hire. Look out your window right now and I'm sure you'll see someone uglier than Nicole Kidman, possibly just your reflection. Now, if you run out and ask her if she wants to be in a movie you are making, I guarantee she is either going to pepper spray you or say yes. So why hire Nicole Kidman and ugly her up? Oh, sure, you can argue that Virginia Woolf was no prom queen, but you also didn't see anyone lining up to see her on the silver screen. Besides, I've seen photographs of Virginia Woolf, and, while she's no Jennifer Connelly, she also doesn't resemble the Thing that the people who made this film have created out of Nicole Kidman. That Thing would be more comfortable in the Star Wars Cantina than in this film. Or maybe, because she died in the sea, the film producers thought she also should look like she crawled up out of the sea to start with. If that is the case, then, be upfront with your audience and say, in your film ads, "Starring Nicole Kidman as Virginia 'Horseshoe Crabface' Woolf". Then make them sign a release form in case they die of fright when they see the inhuman deformity that stars in this film. Whatever they were going for with that make-up, they failed miserably. Nicole Kidman looks more like a Down syndrome burn victim than Virginia Woolf. Couldn't they get Eric Stoltz to recreate "Mask"?

Putting aside the hideousness (hideosity? hideomonstrosity?) of Nicole Kidman's make-up, the above paragraph hints at another fatal flaw in this flick, and, if you can't see where this is going, then you really are new to the Frog Blog. Ok, you are making a movie starring almost all females (well, and Ed Harris, but I have never seen his penis, have you? I mean, outside of dreams.) You get Nicole Kidman, who is usually easy on the eyes, at least without the Phantom of the Opera get-up. You get Julianne Moore, who I also find incredibly attractive, in fact even more so than the extremely, chemically taut look of the modern-day Ms. Kidman. You get Meryl Streep, who always comes across as classy. And you stop. Who have you forgotten? Here is a solid collection of actresses, yet you have missed the greatest actress ever to commit herself to celluloid acetate. Of course, as always, I am speaking of the incomparable Jennifer Connelly. I mean, good cast and all, yay for you, but how can you leave out Jennifer Connelly? And, with the magic of computer imaging, why hire ANY other actresses? Why not just have Jennifer Connelly play all the parts? In a white tank top? And, of course, without the ugly make-up. If any filmmakers ever dared to put that hideous type of make-up on the stunning Jennifer Connelly, they would be committing a sin of such magnitude the Pope himself would personally come claw out their eyes with his bare hands. It would be a crime against humanity, just under the Russian pogroms as disgusting travesties of human nature go. I mean, seeing Jennifer Connelly made up like Squidhead would be equal to seeing the Mona Lisa without her moustache, or the statue of David without his testicles, the Venus de Milo without her arms, or a store-brand can of soup in an Andy Warhol print. It would be equal to running concrete highways across a beautiful, unspoiled country, damming a rushing river to make a recreational lake, destroying native species and habitats in Central Florida to build a theme park, or tearing the tops off of mountains to get to coal just under the surface. These are things, like the uglying up of Jennifer Connelly, that humans just couldn't do, or else how could we live with ourselves as a species? I mean, it is hard enough to wake up to myself as an individual. What would I do if I couldn't live with myself as a species? So maybe we are fortunate as thoughtful creatures that Jennifer Connelly isn't in this movie, that she avoided the trap of a fake nose like a cannoli stuck to her face. Yet her radiant existence in other films is enough to file this poop smear of a movie under "Trash".

My Rating: 0 stars, although I can point to Nicole Kidman in "The Hours" when my children are acting up and say, "Be good, or she's coming for you..." So, as a discipline technique, I'll give the film a 10. But as a film, I'm sticking with 0

Trivia: "The Hours" grossed less than one-nanillionth of the last film made about Virginia Woolf, "Wolfen". In that classic film, Virginia Woolf and her clan of hairy man-beasts track down human prey so that they can read to them using various self-indulgent literary techniques while disemboweling them with their teeth. Based on the lost diaries of Virginia Woolf during her little-known 'feral' period (March of 1897 to September of 1911), "Wolfen" is a terrifying account of the dangers of combining stream-of-consciousness narration and non-linear chronology with six-inch claws and homicidal attitude.

Correction: Yet again, someone who thinks they are all that feels the need to correct my correction from yesterday, in which I attributed a quote about "pissing out of the tent" to the immortal Mr. Moose. And, always one to admit a wrong, especially when it is someone else's, I must say that it does appear I had an incorrect source of the quote. The actual quote was uttered by the immortal Frank "Mr. Green Jeans" Zappa, popular overall wearing handy-man and all-around side-kick to Captain Kangaroo. We apologize for the error. And, by 'we', I mean 'someone who is not me'.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Independence Day

My name is Matt, and I have not seen the worldwide highest grossing film of 1996.

The first step is to admit it.

Ok, I am not a film snob. I like all the usual, mainstream, pop culture films. I mean, I love "Mauvaises frequentations" (or, as the French say, uh...well, "Mauvaises frequentations") as much as the next person. And I was right there lining up for "Society of the Spectacle" on opening night with the hardcore fans, dressed up like characters from the flick, all in black and smoking really long, skinny cigarettes with our pinkies sticking out. And I had the lunch box from "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover" and the action figures from "The Decalogue" and both the bed sheets and the coloring books from "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (and, admittedly, I loved the breakfast cereal based on "Cimmarron", "Cinnamon Cimmarron Flakes"- although, the 87% sugar content may be the reason I have no teeth now) And I think there are few people, outside of those who were never children, that don't look back fondly on trading bubblegum cards from "Ikiru" on the playground. ("Hey, I've got two 'Watanabe's (Watanabis? Watanabeses?) . Trade me one for your 'Kanji'.") So, obviously, I am no film snob. I like the same commercial, mass-market crap as everyone else, only I like it more, and if anyone else says I don't like it more, then same back to you. I am rubber and you are glue and whatever you say about me bounces off and sticks to you. And your mother.

That said, I remember the days when Hollywood didn't tell us what to like. Films just came and and started happening. Take "Wild, Wild West". No, seriously. Take it. Please. Get it outta here. Then, take "Jurassic Park". Here was a little art house film, made to be seen by maybe half a dozen people, the usual film snobs that were interested in the usual snobbish stuff, stuff that you and me and the average Joe and John Doe and Timmy Average and Jane Medium and Horatio Mean and Phillip Middle and Billy Downthecenter and Sally Probability don't care about. Stuff like "character development" and "story" and "motivation" and "protagonist" (although I did once have to have a big, pus-filled protagonist removed from my inner thigh). This is the stuff for the snobs, not the average tub of popcorn scarfing beasts like you and me and average Joe and John Doe and etc., etc., etc, and esq. No, we just want to hide in a dark theater, take off our shirts, kick back, get comfortable, and enjoy a no-brain film while talking on our cell phones and throwing Skittles down the aisle. And take our crying babies into an 'R' rated film at quarter 'til eleven. We're simple folk.

So here comes this little art-house flick, "Jurassic Park", made for, what, a coupla hundred grand or so, starring no one we've ever heard of and directed by Steven Spielberg, but well before he made a name for himself? I mean, I know I'd never heard of the guy, 'cause this was before they opened up that "Munich" roller coaster down in Florida. Prior to "Jurassic Park", Spielberg had done, what, maybe three films? And no one had seen those. You had "1941", of course. And "Empire of the Sun", which no one, including myself, has ever seen. And "Always". And that was about it. Oh, yeah, and that TV show, "Amazing Stories", that lasted all of 2 seasons. So, looking at this, and leaving out things like "Jaws", "ET", "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and it's sequels, and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", I mean, the guy's career had been kinda a flop. So I doubt anyone expected much of some hoity-toity art flick with a limited budget and the unpronounceable title of "Jurassic Park".

And we all know what happened next. With little publicity and poor studio support, "Jurassic Park" became the little dinosaur that roared (man, am I clever or am I clever!). So here was a film that we weren't told to like, there was no mass market blitz of T-shirts and plush animals, but we, the people, saw this tiny little flick full of big heart, and made it one of the highest grossing films of all time, taking in a quananabillion dollars in this universe, and who knows how many more countless gobs of shiny green cash in universes undiscovered. The point, though, is that WE decided "Jurassic Park" was going to be a hit. We, the People. In order to form a more perfect Union. Establish Justice and Ensure Domestic Tranquility. Not some studio. WE made it a hit. Well, you did. I didn't really. 'Cause I was afraid of the Velociraptors.

That, though, was 1993. Fast-forward a few years to 1996. No, too far. That's '98. Back, just a little. NO! I said a little! That's 1989! Just give me the thing! Ok, fast forward to 1996, slowly, slowly, there and- DAMN! That's 1997! Ok, fast forward to 1997, then remember 1996. In this year, we coulda had our choice of any little quality art house film. I mean, with positive word of mouth, I'm sure a touching character study like "The Rock" might have been a hit. Or, if the screens hadn't all been taken up by one film, maybe some of us could have seen a little-known but heartwarming film made on a shoestring budget called "Twister". But, nooooooo. Here comes a film, looming like an enormous spaceship over the local Septuptaplex, sucking all the air out of our atmosphere and sending us all, mindless and shambling, towards the screens where it was playing. Not me, no way. I hid in a shopping center, fighting for my life, while the rest of you shuffled along, moaning "Brains! BRAINS!" heading to hand over your hard-earned dollars to the mind-controlling studios. But I never did it. I never saw, in the theater, on DVD, on TV, on bootleg Beta, on my cell phone, or even in my dreams from the chip that the government implanted into my head, the worldwide highest grossing film of 1996, allowing me to write an ignorant review of the thing. And what film is that, you ask? Silly one, I don't blame you for forgetting. You weren't yourself as you stumbled to the silver screen, fighting me in that sporting goods store on your way. No, I don't blame you for forgetting. But I will remember, because, to forget, to deny, is to risk our humanity. I will remember if only to ever prevent it from happening again. Of course, the pre-programmed, big-budget blockbuster I was talking about was

Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story

That's right. I have never seen "Entertaining Ang-" What? ! What's that crap! That's not what I was talking about! I mean, I never have seen that, but who has? What is this? Get this off of here! Garbage like that surely won't drive any traffic to this site. Someone has been hacking my blog, I think. Anyhow, sorry about that, my dedicated readers. And, like I always say, no dedicated readers are my dedicated readers. So, I sincerely apologize. I don't know what that junk is or how this happened. Let's try this again.

Independence Day

That's right. I have never seen "Independence Day". Why, you might ask? And, if you haven't, then go ahead and ask now. Why? In unison. Why? In three-part harmony. Why? Well, first of all, I have scanned the cast list back and forth, and I cannot see where Jennifer Connolly is in this movie anywhere. I mean, everyone, EVERYONE ever is in this movie. If you look far enough down, you'll see I was in this movie. Even further, under gaffer, you'll see your name, too. I mean, it's not like you were invited to the craft services table or anything, but there, there's your name. We were ALL in this movie. Will Smith, Jeff Golblum (playing the same character he played in "Jurassic Park", for all you trivia buffs- Dr. David Banner), Bill Paxton or Pullman (one of them- I'm not sure which), Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid, Vivica J. Fox, Brent Spiner, Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Devito, Jack Nicholson, Dakota Fanning, that old lady from "Titanic", Marcel Marceau, Carol Channing, Mary Lou Retton, 'Captain' Lou Albano, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny performing TOGETHER, Milton Berl, Sid Ceasar, Ann Margret, Greta Garbo, Al Jolson, Buster Keaton, Richard Dawson, Adam Sandler, that little lady from "Poltergeist", David Lee Roth, Bruce Willis, Carrot Top, Tom Hanks (under heavy prosthetics), Bob Hope, Roy Rogers, Tim Conway, Frank Sinatra, Bob Denver, John Denver (both with and without the Muppets), President William Jefferson Clinton, Roger Moore (Sean Connery was not available), Gene Simmons, Julie Roberts, Senor Wences, Benji, Chevy Chase, Brad Pitt, the entire Ziegfeld Follies, Julie Andrews, Tom Cruise, Jackie Chan, Heavy-D, TWO different John Wayne impersonators, Harrison Ford, Eric Idle, Angelina Jolie, Sam Donaldson, Howard Stern, Jim J. Bullock, the Ringling Brother's and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the casts of "Friends" AND "Seinfeld" (and "Moesha"), Bobcat Goldthwait, Ken Griffeys Sr. and Jr., Ron Howard, Meryl Streep, a performing bear, the Blue Man Group, and millions and millions more, too numerous to mention without risking collapse of the Internets. And Steve Guttenberg. But, that said, read that list again and tell me what's missing. Ok, you don't have to, I'll give you the answer: Jennifer Connelly. How on Earth and beyond can you make a film with EVERY person on the planet, and not put Jennifer Connelly in it? This is a question for philosophers and thinkers well out of my league to ponder. But I can tell you the result: A giant interdimensionary plateau of suck previously unforeseen in all mathematical and theological possibilities.

But the lack of Jennifer Connelly alone does not necessarily spell doom for a film; it only creates a hurdle that is difficult to overcome. No, "Independence Day" also is 145 minutes long!!!! No doubt this was because each of the millions of stars demanded at least 7.2 nanoseconds of screen time, but the film just dug it's own grave here. No Jennifer Connelly + 145 minutes + phony looking spaceships spells, uh, well, it spells nojenniferconnelly145minutesphoneylookingspaceships, but it means epic stink-bomb.

I just realized I have gone on and on without providing a synopsis of the plot. At first, I thought, do I really want to take all this time from my readers? Since, however, I realized I wasn't taking any one's time (well, other than my own, and, of course, my family's, since they have been waiting in the car to go to a friend's funeral since I started this- "Just one more minute, honey! Don't honk the horn so much! You'll wake the neighbors!"), I'll run down a brief plot summary, at least what I can remember from the TV commercials. A giant spaceship looms down over all the cities of the world. Then it blows up the White House. Then Will Smith says, "Don't mess with the U.S.!" since it's Independence day and everything. Then the aliens fight, blow some stuff up, Randy Quaid talks about the plate in his head, we fight back, Bruce Willis blows up an asteroid and it gives the aliens a disease that kills them all. And, in the end, Jeff Goldblum looks sadly at a smoldering chunk of alien flesh and says, " 'Twas herpes that killed the beast".

As you can see from this description, terrible. Were it not for mind-control, no one would have seen this thing. I had previously mentioned that you probably don't remember it, and that is just fine. If I hadn't spent 1996 tied up in a pit dug in a neighbor's crawlspace rubbing lotion on my skin, I probably would have been forced to see this, too. Fortunately, I escaped it, which allows me to bring you this ignorant review. So, just remember, when you hear the siren's call to head down to the theater and see "Pirates of the Carribean: At Wit's End" or "Harry Potter XXI: Harry Potter and the Collection of Pension", the studios have again taken control of your mind. Look around for a little flick with a big heart, like "Spiderman III", and see that, instead. Or, even better, head to the mall and fight zombies. And, if you can't find zombies, fight the sales clerks and then the mall security. They love that. Or, even bettererer, offer yourself up to your weird neighbor for safe-keeping in their hand-dug earthen pit. Just make sure and put on the lotion when they tell you to. The hose hurts.

My Rating: 0 stars, but only because (-) stars is currently a mathematical impossibility, and we don't want the children who visit this sight to be witness to mathematical impossibilities. And, really, it's all about the children.

Trivia: The sequel to "Independence Day", "Born on the 4th of July", became the highest grossing film ever to feature Tom Cruise in a wheelchair, NOT starring Nicole Kidman. It is best known for the classic ending, where Jeff Goldblum runs at the camera screaming "They're here already! YOU'RE NEXT!" It is also well known due to the fact that every person who entered the theater had to prove he or she had life insurance and then take a full physical exam (including prostate check, even for the women) before the projector was legally allowed to start.

Correction: It has been pointed out by certain people that, in a previous post, I claimed a quote about "pissing in a tent" was uttered by the legendary Captain Kangaroo, and that this is not accurate. I wanted to take a moment to correct these people. Of course, this quote was not made by Captain Kangaroo himself, but by his sidekick, Mister Moose. I hope all you people now stand corrected.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Ok, today I logged on here to post another amazingly insightful review of a film I have never seen when I realized something horrible: my fly had been open and my penis was hanging out for the ENTIRE DAY! This wouldn't have been so bad, had it been a regular day spent sleeping, watching DVDs, and eating chips from the bag. But this was NOT a regular day. This was the day that I a) led an a cappella (or, as they say in France, l'acappella) singing group at a nursing home, 2) welcomed a plane of African orphans to America, and III) gave a speech to a church group on ethics in the government. If there was ever a bad day to walk around with your penis hanging out, today was that day.

But, of course, then I woke up and realized that it had all been a bad dream. My penis was safely tucked between my legs, and I was lying cozily on the couch with a half-eaten bag of chips on my belly and an empty bag of chips at my side. So all was well with the world. But all that chewing and sleeping made me tired, so tired that I felt I couldn't move from the couch to the keyboard and create a thrilling film review for my blog. But then I asked myself, "Self, what are you doing? How can you skip out on the no people who visit your blog everyday? Do you not realize that, if you keep your inspiring ideas to yourself, no one will have the benefit from being able to access them, whereas, if you vomit them from your brain to your blog, no one will simply access them? What a depressing thought. It's like the old saying: if a blog falls on the web with no one around, who's mind is terribly wasted? Or something like that.

So, realizing I was way too tired to write a coherent review, and realizing that, if I made an attempt at thrilling composition, I would live up to nobody's standards, which would be perfect, since nobody would be reading it, I decided to do the 1st thing they teach you in English in kindergarten: when you can't write in complete, meaningful sentences using standard English, write a list. "Perfect!" I exclaimed so loudly I frightened the dog. Here is a genre often followed by lazy practitioners of language arts, a form used by everyone from Moses to the editors of "The Book of Lists" to the editors of "The Book of Lists 2", to my grandmother when she is going shopping. An amazing amount of astounding knowledge and enlightened information can be packed into a few short lines that would take about eighty seconds flat to compose, getting me safely back on the couch, licking the salt from my fingers. And, it provides yet another format to present to you, the echo of the empty Internets, nuggets of wisdom that will better allow you to broaden your filmatic experience. So, hopefully, you will find this new presentation, which, in honor of all the great "-o-ramas" throughout history (ie, Circ-o-rama, Confed-o-rama, O-rama-lama-ding-dong, Barak O-rama, etc.) I am calling "List-o-rama", as glorious as my ignorant film reviews, and it will become a regular feature in the Frog Blog, providing yet another forum for no one to read as no one stops by to learn nothing while taking the Internets by storm. Plus, when I am just feeling plain lazy, it will allow me to satisfy my unspoken contract to the lonely surfers of the Internets to freshen these hallowed pages while spending as little time on construction and word choice as possible. Yeah, baby!

Without further ado (as I just finished going ado, or, as they say in France, adieu), allow me to put my Listing Cap on, please put your penises (peni? penies?) away, zip up our collective flies, and I will proudly present to you List-o-rama! And always remember- the list is light.

Top Twenty-Two Movies according to Trucks and Other Heavy Commercial Equipment:

1. Trucks
2. Trucks!
3. Trucks II (although far and away inferior to the original)
4. The Girl in the Red Truck
5. Trucker Woman
6. Truck Stop Women
7. Truck Stop
8. Truckin'
9. Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive
10. Truck Busters
11. Space Truckers
12. Carros, Amor, Vida, y el Viaje (the subtitled version, not the crappy dubbed edition)
13. National Lampoon's Vacation
14. CB Hustlers
15. Every Which Way But Loose
16. The Hot Spot (hey, trucks love Jennifer Connelly, too!)
17. Duel
18. Bigfoot Presents: Monster Truck Rally
19. Cars
20. Terms of Endearment
21. Speed
22. Taxi Driver*

*Of course, this entry caused great controversy during the 105th Truck Annual Meeting and Garage Sale, as several large and cranky utility trucks accused a contingency of taxis of infiltrating the meeting and skewing the vote. Since it is recognized by the Truck Film Review Board, I've included it on this list, but, if you disagree, don't come turfing my lawn or driving up my gas prices with your wasteful idling. Instead, just remove it from the list and substitute # 23. The Last Temptation of Dump Trucks.

And there, ladies and gentlemen and trucks, you have the first edition of the new feature List-o-rama! Print it out and trade with your friends! Read it backwards for hidden messages (hint: the Walrus was Paul)! But please remember, the above is the sole expression and opinion of trucks and in no way reflects the views and thoughts of this author. If you seek any of these movies out, please be sure and note that trucks have no eyes, brains, or fingers needed to operate a DVD player, as well as a lack of cognitive ability, "Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive" aside, so their views and opinions may differ from your own. But at least it is recognized that Jennifer Connelly is the universal language of hotness.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: ??????

Continuing our perfect record here at the Frog Blog of 0 posts having any interest to anyone, my wife suggested that, possibly, if I were to write a positive review of a film, people would react positively. Well, I find this argument offensive, primarily because it comes from my wife, but secondarily because it implies that people dislike negativity. And that's just wrong. When I look around us in the world today at all the positive things taking place, all the optimism in bloom, it just makes me want to puke blood. And yet, who is happy? Where are these happy people? I mean, you'd think if positive beliefs and experiences were the key to success, we'd all be bouncing around our days with rigor mortis like grins stretched from ear to ear and back again, what with all the joyous things we come in contact with every day. For example, look at your local news. There's a murder, a rape, two robberies, a stabbing, your favorite team lost, and it's gonna rain tomorrow. Ok, bad example. How about national news? Gas prices up, Iraq going down, another country has added us to the hate list, global warming really is real, bees are becoming extinct, the 2008 presidential campaigns have been going on for a year now, and some additional member of congress has been caught either sleeping with an underage staff member or stealing or stealing from an underage staff member while sleeping with him/her/them. Ugh. Of course, you could always take a vacation, assuming that you can afford to drive or fly and the place you are headed isn't a) underwater, b) on fire, c) owned by Disney, d) quarantined, or e) involved in a takeover, coup, civil war, invasion, or random bombing. But there is, at least, always my dog, who loves me unconditionally bird flu from eating contaminated sparrows in the back yard.

Never mind. Let's try a positive review of a film I've never seen and see in unison if we can at least forget the gas prices.

National Lampoon's Vacation

Here, now, is a film to be positive about. Funny, true, with just a little bit of an edge, it stars Chevy Chase on a trip to Wally World with his ever-changing family. This film brings back memories of actual family vacations-

Wait. I've seen this movie.

Ok, never mind. Let me think of something else. "National Lampoon's European Vacation"? Not if I want to stay positive. Besides, I've seen that, too. Start over.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Now here, here is a film I can get behind! Technically amazing, this flick is a funny homage slash parody of 30's and 40's era animation as well as the detective noir (or, as they say in France, "black"). Bob Hoskins stars as Eddie-

Man! Wait! I've seen this, too! I am so sorry. This positive thing is harder than it looks on "The Cosby Show". I'll try one more time.

The Departed

No one puts together a better flick than Martin Scorsese. Exciting and interesting despite both it's running time and Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed" is Scorsese's best pic since "Goodfellas". Here, convention is turned upside down as the criminal is the good guy and the cop is the bad-

Who am I kidding. I've seen this, too. I just can't hack it. I am a failure. I can't give a positive review of a film I haven't seen, because, well, IF IT LOOKED LIKE I'D LIKE IT, I'VE PROBABLY SEEN IT!!!!!!!! I guess if it takes positive reviews to drive traffic to this blog, I'd be wise to hang it up. I don't know now to write positive. I've cheated myself through life only to end up here, bitter and hostile, blogging myself raw! I might as well hang the ol' URL up and cry like a little girl in the middle of a demolition derby ring, or Paris Hilton as she's hauled off to jail. I've failed! Everything my kindergarten teacher said about me is true; I really AM a washed-up, sarcastic, foul-tempered, unpleasant old nag! And I thought I'd grow out of it!

(sound of sobbing so blubbery that it sets off the smoke alarm)

But wait! What have we here? (Or, as the French would say, "Je ne sais pas?") A gift from the movie gods? A vision from the IMDB? Dare I clutch hope to my expansive breast. or is it just a mirage? Take my hand, good reader, for I washed it just yesterday, and let us go forward, for I may, just may, allow myself to dream with anticipation that I really have found a film that I have never seen about which I can write a positive review. It's like the old saying: At the end of his life, the man looked back at his pathway of footprints through the sands of time and said, "God, you always promised to walk with me. Yet, at the times when I faced the most troubles and needed your support, I only see one set of footprints in the sand. Why are these steps alone when we should have been together, especially in my times of greatest despair and hardship?" God smiled down upon him and said in a voice most basso, "My son, my child. Of course during the hardest times there is only one set of footprints, for it is during those times that I pushed you over and ran ahead so that I could get them over with sooner."

Ok, following that brief philosophical interlude, I bring you this positive review:

Waking the Dead

Ok, I have no idea what this film is about, but I have to admit that it is an absolute, top-of-the-charts-with-a-bullet instant classic, and I can tell you why in two sets of two words: "Jennifer Connelly" and "Sexual Situations". I mean, I see the poster for it, and she's laying there, smiling that radiant Jennifer Connelly smile, and I can just imagine that, if the poster went over another four feet, she would be wearing a white T-shirt. In fact, I bet for this whole movie she's wearing a white T-shirt. This film is amazing, a wonderful expression of Jennifer Connelly's acting in a film starring Jennifer Connelly and including a poster featuring Jennifer Connelly. Inspiring. Granted, the film is not without it's flaws. First, it does star some other people, but I am sure that you, like myself, can overlook these other people in the glorious presence of Jennifer Connelly. B, it is 105 minutes long, which violates my absolute rule that no film can be that good if it is over 90 minutes. But I will assume those extra fifteen minutes were in there because the director had too much great footage of Jennifer Connelly's acting that he or she just couldn't bear to leave it on the cutting-room floor. Besides, like we all learned from our politicians, rules are made to be broken.

Lastly, the film is called "Waking the Dead", which, if it doesn't involve zombie Princess Dianas (Diani? Diananas?), or at least some gratuitous brain-eating, is a horrendous title. I have a feeling that this flick is a whole lotta talking and very little if any gratuitous brain-eating. But I'm gonna assume that the studio had some over-budget pre-ordained blockbuster coming out at the same time, and the studio heads feared that, if they called this something like "Jennifer Connelly's Sexual Situations", all the money that they needed to make to recoup (or, as the French say, re'coup) their astronomical waste of spending on their blockbuster would instead be sucked up as people lined up again and again to see this. In fact, the President may have heard via the CIA (Cinema Information Association) that a film was coming out called "Jennifer Connelly's Sexual Situations" and insisted under threat of unlawful jailing without access to counsel in Cuba that the studio heads immediately change the title or else risk destroying the entire U.S. of A.' s economy by sucking up ALL free currency in a matter of a few days and wiping out the Dow Jones Industrial or the Federal Reserve or some such nonsense. So, the studio heads, despite their love of illegal Cuban cigars, immediately changed the title to "Waking the Dead" so that people would fall asleep just thinking about it. But they didn't count on the fact that the most powerful force in the Universe is the pull of Jennifer Connelly's beauty, and, hence, this film would one day be reviewed on a blog read by no one by a guy who had never seen the film. Take that, you pinko studio heads!

But this film is so great, so profound in it's hiring of Jennifer Connelly, that I feel they should make a sequel, albeit with a little difference in focus. In the sequel, "Waking the Dead II: Blood Harvest", Jennifer Connelly is a zombie-killing scientist in a tight, white tank-top who must wade through swamps, fighting a brain-eating zombie plague caused by Tony Blair, so that she can take her rightful place as President of the United States and provide the cure for zombie as well as the cure for cancer and a viable alternative fuel source that she discovered in her biophysics lab, wearing a skin-tight white spandex lab coat. And, after much kung fu fighting, then curing the zombies, Jennifer Connelly would just stand there for an extra bonus fifteen minutes (making the film, again, a total of 105 minutes), looking beautiful and winning every film award known to man, and a few known only to fishes.

My Rating: A Quadrillion, Billion, Million, Quintillion, Bazillion and a half Stars. (While remaining positive, I did feel the need to take 1/2 stars off the rating of this film due to the fact that a) it stars some other schmucks besides Jennifer Connelly and 2) It is dramatically inferior to the proposed sequel, which I hope, by tomorrow, some studio exec will have enough sense to contact me to option. I'd add that 1/2 star back if I thought that sort of unrealistic optimism would actually make a difference in the world, but I took a blood oath to remain true to the negative viewpoint of the critic. A hard life, to be sure, but pfffffft! to you! And I seriously doubt that that half a star will make any difference in your vacation plans or gas prices. So back atcha!)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Citizen Kane

Ok, so the plan to review a current film was a rip-roaring flop, leading to an increase of over 300 times the 0 viewers who had previously stopped by. First and last time I ever listen to my wife. So, for today's unqualified, uneducated film review, I figured I would turn to the true film historians in the audience, those who appreciate a classic when someone else tells them it is, the autuers out there (or, as the French would say, l'autuers). Figuring that, within my rich and full life, I have seen maybe 4 films made prior to 1975, I expected I would have a bounty of choices for review, enough to cause a mutiny of true film lovers visiting this site. And, as usual, I was right. But I didn't want to just choose any classic film that I had never seen to review. Nooooooo, I mean, I've never seen "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", but, just typing the title, I actually kinda want to. And I've never seen "Spartacus", but we used to act it out on the playground. In college. And I've never seen "The Ice Follies of 1939", but, really, we can ask ourselves, has ANYONE really seen "The Ice Follies of 1939"? No, I needed a bigger target, an institution, a film known far and wide among people who do nothing but watch movies and talk about watching movies as the greatest, the most meaningful, the most powerful film ever made. But then, sadly, I realized I had seen "Cabin Boy" starring Chris Elliott, so, technically, it wasn't eligible to be ignorantly reviewed. But just as I was about to commit the ultimate sin and tell a lie on the Internets, another film that I had never seen exploded into my head like a watermelon dropped from a five-storey building. And that film, for those who skipped the title (and, honestly, that orange title font is kinda hideous), is:

Citizen Kane

Now, in the interest of truth and justice, I must admit that I truly, honestly, no-crosses-count have no idea what this film is about. In fact, I had to look up the title just to spell it correctly. I was first calling it "Citizen Canine", but that, I think, was something on "The Muppet Show". Then I tried "Citizen Cane", which does have a nice Christmas-y kinda vibe, but didn't seem right either. So, finally, I broke one of my cardinal rules of life (right after "It's better to have them in the tent pissing out than out of the tent pissing in", which was passed on to me by the wisest of wise sages, Captain Kangaroo), which is "Never do research when you can just make it up", and I actually keyed the name of this flick into the search engine provided by the good folks at Google, and was kindly asked if I meant, "Citizen Kane", which I thought was the name of either a wrestler or a rapper, but I guess is the correct spelling for this movie. So there. Don't let it be said I don't care about the education of today's youths.

Anyhow, now that I actually know the name of this film, let me provide a brief synopsis. First, Orson Wells is a guy named Citizen Kane, who sets fire to some newspaper and then starts screaming out "Rosebud! Rosebud! Let down your hair!" while the whole place burns down. Now, for those who actually may be out to watch this snooze-fest, before I let it be known that Rosebud is the name of his pet sled when he was a kid (and I thought the pet slipper I had as a child was bad!), I will warn you that there are possible spoilers in this review. Wait a minute, I did that backwards. Sorry. Ok, let me try again. So there are spoilers coming, meaning that the big surprise of the movie is that Rosebud is the name of Citizen's pet sled. That's it. There you go. Now, you tell me, if you had watched all seven hours of this black-and-white insomnia cure to find out the big surprise is that the guy had a pet sled he was apparently in love with , that you wouldn't feel you had been hit in the mouth with the bumper of a '68 Volkswagen Beetle. I mean, this movie was made in dog-time, where every minute is multiplied by seven, just to get to the big surprise that the guy loves a sled. Of all the big surprises in filmdom, that really has to be one of the lamest. My advice to all good people of the Earth (unless you live somewhere where there is a civil war, or not enough sanitary water to avoid dysentery, or in a place that the United States has just invaded; in these cases, you probably have better things to do. Get back when you have electricity enough to run a DVD player) to rally their best scientific minds (you, too, Iran) and create a time machine so we can go back and petition the studio to change the ending to something truly surprising. I mean, what if Mrs. Kane pulled down her pants to reveal that she was really a man? Or Citizen Kane realized at the end of the movie that he had been murdered and was haunting the place the whole time? Or that he discoverd that Darth Vader was his father AND that Soylent Green is people! Now those, those would be some classy, thrilling surprises, all of which are examples of true surprise endings from, respectively, "The Crying Game", "The Sixth Sense", "The Empire Strikes Back", and "The Ice Follies of 1939", but, if you haven't seen any of the above and you don't want to spoil the flicks, be aware that this sentence contains spoilers. Wait. I did that backwards again.

Yeah, well, surprise ending aside, since this movie is such a giant stinking pile of chiaroscuro (or, as the French say, le chiaroscuro), why is it considered such a classic? I mean, reread the above. Go ahead, I'll wait. Seriously. Why are you still reading this? I said, read the above! Ok, now I see that you don't take me seriously and refuse to listen to anything I say. That, I don't appreciate. You can leave the blog so I can go on with the people who listen. That's right, go ahead, leave. See if I care. It didn't mean anything to me anyhow. Yeah, I'm talking to you. I've had enough a thousand times over. Leave. Leave. Just LEAVE, jeez!

Alright, now that they are gone, for those of you who reread the above, you will notice that this blog is not particularly well written or, for that matter, interesting. In fact, maybe if it was interesting, I could increase my traffic. Hmmmmm... In addition, you probably noticed that "Citizen Kane" is a boring and pointless mess. And that brings to mind two questions: Question A- Why do I continue to write this? And, Question 2- Why is "Citizen Kane" considered one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, film of all times. I can't say that I can answer either of those, but I do have a supposition to the second. Years ago (and, as soon as we get that time machine, we can verify this) the studio that produced "Citizen Kane" realized that they had a bomb of Hiroshimic (Hiroshimisan? Hiroshimation?) proportions on it's figurative hands, and it decided to pay some hack to start saying that it was the greatest film ever made. And this guy called two friends and offered them some nude pix of Greta Garbo or something to say the same thing. And then they called two friends and then they called two friends, and, before they knew it, something great came into their lives, like a new lover or a large some of money. In addition, their "greatest film ever made" spiel started to reach actual film critics, who took one look at the title and said, "Oh, balderdash! (or whatever curses old time film critics used) If this thing is the greatest film ever made, I may actually have to watch it!" But, considering that it would be more exciting to watch turtle races than this sleep-inducing waste, the old time (or, as the Old English would say, "old-tyme") film critics put on their best hats and spats and exclaimed in unison with the studio hacks, "Why, yes! Although no one actually witnessed us watching this, we also feel it is the best film of all time!" And the claim was passed on from generation to generation of film critics; each one taking one look at the film, cringing at the thought of sitting through it, and then saying, in a faux-English accented voice, "Why, I bloody also think this is the bloody greatest film of all bloody time! In fact, it may be the greatest film of all space as well!" And each generation struggled to outdo the previous with their acclaim for "Citizen Kane", all to avoid actually watching the thing, until we come to today, when it is a little-known but frequently whispered fact that- no one alive today has actually seen "Citizen Kane"! In fact, no copies of it exist at this point, because no one saw interest in making copies. Oh, sure, you could go to Amazon and find copies for sale, but that doesn't mean that the film is actually there. No, if you were fool enough to BUY one of these copies and actually tempt fate by putting it in your DVD or VCR or Betamax, you would find it is totally blank! And that, my friends, is the TRUE surprise of "Citizen Kane". Of course, the powers that be know there is no one who would actually check to see if there are any copies of it. So the film critics just keep going on about "greatest film of all time" and the public just politely nods its figurative head and buys another ticket for the "Transformers" movie.

As if this review was not already almost as coma-causing as the film itself, there is one more thing to note about "Citizen Kane". It stars and was directed by the great (or, as the French would say, le grand) Orson Welles. This film, however, was not what made Orson Welles great. Nor was it his appearances on the "Tonight Show", where Johnny Carson demonstrated his understated and refined wit by calling him fat, or even his drunken commercials for Paul Masson wine. And, believe it or not, it was not even for his award-winning performance in "History of the World, Part I". No, Orson Welles, of course, is best known for the final performance of his career, the astounding role of "Unicron", in the classic animated smash (in fact, the #1 animated robot changing into cars movie of all time) "Transformers: The Movie" (as opposed to, apparently, "Transformers: The Toys" or "Transformers: The TV Cartoon Commercial" or "Transformers: The Breakfast Cereal"). It is widely understood that, after only Marlon Brando in "The Godfather" and Chris Elliott in "Cabin Boy", Orson Welles work as Unicron is the third best performance of all space and time! Based on long-standing scientific study, the only way this performance could even be improved is if the part of Unicron was instead played by the raven-haired goddess Jennifer Connelly, who would, of course, be appearing in a tasteful white T-shirt.

That said, I must admit I have never seen "Transformers: The Movie" because, well, I was not a pimply, four-eyed freak who was afraid of girls back in the day when the thing came out. Therefore, this review comes full circle, as I exalt a performance I've never seen in the second "Transformers" reference in a single post. And now that I have provided a pitch-perfect simulation of watching "Citizen Kane" by putting you all asleep, I will provide you with my rating.

My Rating: for this epic dull-fest of overblown accolades, I offer the only honest rating ever given of this film with (drum roll, please!): 0 stars of Orson Welles proportions, although just typing the review makes me feel really sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(sound of soft snoring)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Shrek the Third

So my wife suggested that, in order to increase the readership of this astounding website from the current '0', I should review a film I have seen. I attempted to explain to her (in a very, very slow voice) that I didn't need to know anything about a film to have an opinion on it, I only needed to have an opinion, and the desire to share it with as many people as possible. She then suggested that, in order to maybe even double my readership (imagine, two, maybe three times the current audience of 0!) I could consider reviewing a current film, something sucking the disposable income from the teens of America, and, possibly, the heavily leveraged income from the young families of America (the rich, of course, just hire someone to go bootleg a flick; they don't have to go see it themselves). Well, I wanted to stay true to my mission, which I forgot for a moment because I actually started looking at what is playing at my local Sextuplaplex (which, of course, is the six theater cinema down the street, not the neon lit one with the little booths. Get your head outta the gutter and into the classroom) and thought to myself, "Self, I'd like to see that 'Knocked Up'." But then I snapped back to reality and, after recovering from the sting, remembered that I was not trying to choose what film to go see, but what film would I not go see and have an opinion about anyhow.

So, looking at what was playing in my local theater (or, as the French say, theatre), I made my choice. I figured I might actually, at some point, watch "Spiderman III", so count that out. Ditto for that "Pirates" movie, but that I'd have to catch on DVD, where I could watch it in four or five chunks over the course of a week, falling asleep each time. Outside of "Knocked Up", which I expect I will see, those are all the movies that are being made at this time. But wait! (Mas non! for the French) There is one more thing out right now! A current movie that I expect to spend a great part of my life attempting to avoid! A blockbuster that, from where I'm sitting, all pasty and sweaty in my room, looks to be more 'bust' than 'block'! There it is! Man, I'd really like to see that 'Knocked Up'. And that chick is no Jennifer Connelly, but she sure is cute- Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, there's the current film that I have not seen and will make every attempt at not seeing! Which, in case you skipped right past the title, brings us to:

Shrek the Third

Ok, before I begin to express my God-given uninformed opinion, in order to preserve artistic integrity, I must allow a moment of disclosure. I have seen Shreks 1 & 2. I can't say I despised Numero One-o, despite a valiant attempt to despise it and way too many fart jokes. I also can't say I remember even fifteen seconds of Numero Duo, for those who habla. I also have been hit by the persuasive and inescapable marketing for what I like to refer to as The Third, from McDonald's glasses to constant commercials while I've parked my kids for their daily eight hours in front of the educational opportunities presented by the Nickelodeon Network. So I do have some idea of what this film is about.

A brief synopsis, based on what I gather from the McDonald's toys: Shrek has had a lot of babies by various fairytale princesses, all of them looking more or less like him; that is, much like a green version of those little pink squeeze dolls they sell in Spencer Gifts, the ones where you squeeze the round bellies and their eyes pop out. There is one, apparently, that he conceived with the Donkey (voiced by the near award winning Eddie Murphy), because, well, from the McDonald's toys at least, it looks like the donkey. Much like Bill Clinton, upon proving his virility, the people of the kingdom were so impressed that they elected Shrek to be their absolute monarch. His wife, however, the hideous Mrs. Shrek, was royally P-O'd, and she announced that they couldn't accept the position. The unwashed masses, however, seeing that their will was not being done, demanded that, if Shrek the Fertile was not to be king, then he had to find them one. This sets up the plot, sending Shrek and the Donkey and the cat off on another adventure to find a new king. Meanwhile, all the fairytale princesses (princessessess? princessi?) that Shrek had impregnated and left show up at the castle, prepared to fight Mrs. Shrek for their baby daddy and a chunk of the royal treasure as child support. So, while Shrek is off, sailing the world, looking for a new king and raising money for hurricane relief, Mrs. Shrek, despite her hideous appearance, fights off all challengers and Tony Blair, saves the kingdom, comes up with a workable plan for national health care, wins both the popular vote and the electoral college, and installs herself as King before Shrek gets back. When he does arrive home, carrying two more babies he has conceived in his travels, along with huge amounts of cash he has generated with his prodigious fund-raising skills, Mrs. Shrek sees him as part of a vast, Right fairy-wing conspiracy and throws him out of the kingdom (or, as they say in Old English, kingdomme). Shrek, of course, is more than happy about this, and he proceeds immediately back to Arkans-uh- back to the swamp, to McDonald's, where he can eat Big Macs and buy his souvenir drinking glasses while hitting on The Little Mermaid, who has fallen on hard times and now must make a living selling Fillet O' Fish at the McDonald's counter.

As you can see, this is a horrible, horrible, horrible movie. Firstly, why make a film aimed and marketed at kiddies containing mass quantities of sex and gratuitous scandal-mongering and shady business deals? I mean, poop and fart jokes are just fine for kids, especially when wrapped in a cynical attitude that hurls disrespect and contempt at every institution it encounters. But sex and corrupt business? Way outta line. Secondly, there is the little matter of Justin Timberlake. Now, I may not have mentioned it in the above synopsis, mainly because I didn't want you to stop reading when you saw his name (Seriously, with a readership of 0, I can't afford to lose 1 person, especially if it is myself), but Justin Timberlake is in this movie, or at least his voice is in this movie. This alone is ridiculous. No teeny-bopper that ever bought an INSYNCXS album bought it to hear this goof-ball's voice. They bought it 'cause they had been brainwashed into thinking he is "hot", probably through some vast Right-wing conspiracy. They bought it to lick the CD cover, not to hear the guy. And yet, the creators of The Third (as I like to call it) actually thought to put not the guy himself, but just his voice in this travesty. But then, that said creators feel rational humans would actually want to watch ANYTHING starring this wienie is beyond the comprehension of anyone but Einstein. Any film containing Justin Timberlake, from "Black Moaning Snake" (which, I believe, may be playing at the local Sextuplaplex) to that "white-boys-are-gangsta" thing I don't remember the name of, to that American Idol flick, "From Justin to Kelly" (who is this "Kelly", and where was Britt during this? Hmmmmm, Mister Studly-Yet-Wholesome PreTeen Dream?), anything where the call sheet includes the names "Justin" and "Timberlake" together will create a giant sucking vortex of suck. So The Third (as I like to call it) was doomed from the moment Cameron Diaz stamped her foot and said she wasn't coming back unless they found something for Justin to do. They shoulda answered, "Sure- he can clean up the donkey poop while filming" (and then they coulda laughed and laughed at themselves for saying 'poop').

Even better, they shoulda said, "Ok, bye-bye-bye Ms. Diaz. We'll replace you with the talented and non-pockmarked Jennifer Connelly, who wins awards while you're best known for wearing a red dress in the rain and getting semen splashed in your hair." And then Jennifer Connelly's voice could step into this disaster and save the whole thing, because just the beauty of her voice would knock all memory of Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy from the viewer. In fact, when the film-makers put the inevitable "Quartiary Shrek" in production, they would do wise to heed my words; don't hire back any of the actors from the first three, ESPECIALLY not the curly-haired god of crapiola Justin Timberlake, but instead record the astonishing Jennifer Connelly reading ANYTHING (and I mean ANYTHING, or else I wouldn't keep typing it in capital letters- dry-cleaning bill, back of a detergent box, road signs, ANYTHING). You wouldn't even have to process any animation. Just let people sit in a darkened theater (or, in France, a 'theatre') and cry silent tears of joy while Jennifer Connelly reads a Chinese take-out menu. Of course, put her in a white T-shirt, or, if you're going for classy, a white dress like in "The Rocketeer", and you've got both the Best Picture winner AND a film with a potential billion star rating that could implode all of the Internets when I typed it. AND, you could do McDonald's glasses of this. I'd have to buy the whole set, just so I could drink out of the many moods of Jennifer Connelly's voice ("Yeah, I already have the "Jaunty" and the "Seductive" glasses, but when do you get in the "Angry"?) If they made McDonald's glasses of Jennifer Connelly's voice, I'd just have to sit around the house all day, drinking Biggie-sized sodas and sobbing silent tears of joy. Which, I guess, is pretty much what I do anyhow.

Alas, we are cursed with the likes of "Shrek the Third" (or, as I like to call it, "The Third"), a weak and totally unnecessary three-quel that forces on us shameless sex and questionable land deals, as well as allowing Justin Timberlake to pay the rent one more month. Plus, the added stench of even more 'poop' jokes. In fact, in the spirit of the thing, I think the true title should be "Shrek the Turd".

("Turd", heh, heh, heh, heh. William Shakespeare stuff there, folks)

My Rating: Zero stars, including the foul presence of Mr. Timberlake, who is definitely NOT a star. So, yeah, zero stars. Zero, as in void, as in voiding, like at the doctor's office. Voiding. Like poop. Poop. Heh, heh, heh. Poop.