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.

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