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Monday, April 24, 2006

Silent Hill (**1/2)

Fell asleep about fifteen minutes into Silent Hill. I was tired.  Periodically, I opened my eyes to see if I should try to pay attention, decided I didn't need to.  Finally, in the last half hour, I figured I'd see how it ends so I stayed awake.  Despite sleeping through most of the movie, I got the gist of it. There was one point where the Borg Queen was burning people at the stake.  She yelled “Burn her!” almost as often as the vampires in Underworld yelled, “Leave us!” After around the third "Burn her!" I turned to Lance and said, "That's her answer to everything."  Then Radha Mitchell basically said the same dialogue: "You think burning is the answer!"  I said to Lance, "See? I can write this shit in my sleep."  Lance liked Silent Hill a lot.  I've got nothing against it.

American Dreamz (no stars)

April 24, 2006
Shit With A “T”
There are times when I feel that I'm my own worst enemy.  You'd think I'd be on my side all of the time.  I certainly expect myself to be.  Then there are the days when I'm convinced otherwise, like when I somehow botched the time of the Friday afternoon matinee of Lucky Number Slevin .  I arrived at the theatre 20 minutes late for it.  Disappointed, I scanned for whatever was playing next.
American Dreamz .
Despite knowing better, despite the unfunny trailers, horrible premise, and even the insipidness of spelling “dreams” with a “z”, knowing all this and more, I bought a ticket a ticket anyway. I royally fucked myself.
I like Paul Weitz .  I love American Pie and About a Boy In Good Company was all right.  I like Hugh Grant Mandy Moore ain't not bad-looking.  None of that fucking mattered.  Here is the unfunniest “comedy” I've seen in years – a boneheaded, ill-conceived, incompetently-obvious send up of American Idol and the current administration.
Try to follow the satire here:  Hugh Grant is a Simon Cowell clone.  He's self-loathing and repugnant.  Hilarious!  Dennis Quaid is a George Bush clone.  He's a dumbfuck bumpkin who doesn't know anything but wishes he were smart.  Outrageous!  Willem DaFoe is a Dick Cheney clone.  He's the power behind the Presidency, the puppetmaster.  Oh man, this is too much!  Mandy Moore is a scheming sociopath who wants to be a pop star.  I'm doubling over from the pain of my sides splitting!  That's not all,  Moore 's character's name is Sally Kendoo.  Can-do!  Holy crap, I get it!  What, there's more comedy?  A terrorist named Omer who secretly yearns to sing show tunes is sent to the OC, where he ends up living with his rich relatives, one of whom is an untalented, deluded flaming homosexual who wants to be a contestant on American Dreamz.  Omer is mistaken for his gay cousin and ends up on American Dreamz, where he's ordered to blow up the President, who is a guest judge.  He's like an Arab William Hung with a bomb strapped to his ass - oh man, this is too funny!  There's also a Hasidic Jew rapper who's also a contestant.  I'm laughing on the inside.  By "laughing," I mean "feel the urge to kill."  Inside and out.
Those are the set ups.  Here are the punchlines:  The President may be an idiot but he has a good heart.  He got off easy.  Simon Cowell is an asshole who deserves to die, and does.  Mandy Moore, standing in for the Kelly Clarksons and Carrie Underwoods of American Idol,  is a bitch who deserves to die, but doesn't because she's so pretty.  Here's one that might be news to al-Qaeda: All terrorists secretly wish they were Americans.  They even huddle in their sand-dusted tents in the middle of the desert to watch (and vote!  How does that work?) on American Idol.  The people who try out for American Idol are untalented and pathetic losers.  These are the jokes.  Can you believe they only charge $10 for all this comedy?
I contemplated walking out several times.  If I had, however, I would have missed the following exchange, after Grant, who has a serious hard on for Moore, went to Ohio to meet her.  Grant rolls into Moore 's driveway in a red Ferrari and then makes a crack about how hard it was to rent a Ferrari in Bumblefuck, Ohio.
Hugh Grant:  That was a joke.
Mandy Moore :  I'm aware.
Grant:  You didn't laugh.
Moore :  It wasn't funny.
The whole movie is that Ferrari joke.  This is probably the worst movie of the year.  An embarrassing atrocity.