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".

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