In the aftermath of Toronto's earthquake last week, pictures are starting to flow in documenting the extent of the damage seen around the city last week ..... and they're not for the squeamish.
And people in the rest of Canada say we're prone to overreaction eh? Well, they didn't live through the terror of a major earthquake AND an armed occupation in the same week either, so screw them. I'm barely hanging on here.
In the aftermath of the G20 let's-justify-the-expense photo-op staged yesterday, complete with media props such as burning police cars and endless CNN/CBC video loops of supposed “black bloc” urban terrorists trashing the same 3 windows at the Adidas Store and Starbucks downtown, you really have to wonder how gullible both sets of clowns think we all are. Well, if the subsequent twitterverse chatter and media coverage is any indication, it's hard to question the tactics of the right at the very least. In order for protest to be effective, it requires focus. The left continues to struggle with focus/direction and perpetually lose in the public opinion arena because of it. Yesterday's fisaco, the direct result of splinter groups within a larger and unfocused protest have come to dominate and define the day's events. It's yet another example of the left just not playing in the same league as their opponents. Amateurs.
The entire protest has been marginalized by the violence of a few, their voices drowned out in a sea of media noise focused on the flashpoints. Once again, the politicos played the media like a fiddle, leaving police cars burning for hours and looters untouched for the world and local media to lap up, record and regurgitate for the following 24 hour news cycle. I find it depressing that NO ONE mentions this (Hume came closest yesterday, but otherwise it almost never gets acknowledged). The left are like sheep - disorganized and unaware that most of what transpired yesterday played out exactly on cue and as expected. The G20/politico's/globalists understand and manipulate media optics to their advantage. For the most part all they need to do is pepper the set with visual symbols of power (security fences/riot gear/ temporary extensions of policing powers/etc.) and then just wait for the protestors to take the bait. Like clockwork, they inevitably do. It may be Machiavellian and smack of paranoia, but it's where the real power rests – understanding and directing the optics to marginalize your opposition ….and until the left understands this and finally starts working the optics to their own advantage, they will remain sadly powerless to effect change and advance their agenda.
In a shout out to the Roncesvalles BIA, the original estimate of 10,000 protestors was, in the early afternoon, revised to around half that amount. By 6pm however, the media estimates had climbed back up to 10,000 (it makes for better copy). With 5500 police in place and ON THE STREETS - that's one cop per protestor (or two if you believe the higher crowd estimates) - surely the 4 hour looting and property destruction photo-op-spree could have been dealt with more effectively. 19,000 cops and 0 firemen? Please......
It's a far cry from the 200,000(!?!) attendees of last year's Polish Festival, where I believe the Toronto Police Service coughed up an extra 3 officers, but then again, no one wants Keith Denning dead either.
This entire G20 weekend has been about the projection of symbolic power. The location, timing, extra security provisions, media centres, fake lakes, burning police cars, cops in riot gear, military helicopters, road restrictions, cement barriers and the +$1B price tag are all props to remind us who's in charge.
…..and it ain't you and I, that's for fucking sure.
To quote a black comedian whose name I can't remember, only white people run toward police in riot gear, bedlam, fire and explosions. Black people, quite sensibly, run away from them.
With all the hoopla surrounding the G20 meeting in Toronto this weekend, I've been trying to get a handle on the exact nature of the planned and ongoing protests and marches. What exactly are they protesting? I mean, there's no lack of horseshit that needs to be protested against, but protesting that “inequality” exists is a little like marching against sunburns or dumb blonde people. Understandable but ultimately pointless. The funniest thing I heard was a commentary that Zoltan McFlinty & Lindabill Blair's expansion of police powers was the“galvanizing issue” onto which all manner of pissy protestor from anti-goat-farming activists to flat earth proponents to natives complaining that we stole their land could mutually glom on to. Jesus Christ, you can't be serious. Protesting the need for all this security is the justification for the marches that the security is apparently there in the first place for? Talk about flying up your own ass and billing me while you do it.
How is it that we allowed the politico/corporate/industry clowns to spend all this money protecting themselves from a bunch of anti-everything wahoos in the centre of the biggest city in Canada on the first full weekend of the summer? Why aren't they holding this giant circle jerk in an empty field in Saskatchewan or in downtown Detroit where nobody lives? It just boggles the mind and drains the spirit.
The most dramatic emotion I can conjure up for this circus of banality is apathy. Is it any wonder regular people feel so helpless when it comes to effecting real change in the world. It's pointless when leaders feel it necessary to isolate themselves from their constituents behind 3 metre fences and 20,000 rented cops and demonstrator yobs smash windows at Swiss Chalets and downtown coffee shops. Gut instinct – fuck them all. Quite frankly I'm sick to death of Syd Ryan, David Miller, Bill Blair, Stephen Harper and anarchists dressed in black. What we need is an international law that forbids gatherings of more than 3 world leaders in any one place at any one time. There should be 6 or 7 separate and smaller G3 meetings and a memo with the results forwarded to Goldman Sachs for approval and implementation.
And seriously 19,000 cops couldn't stop 30 thugs from breaking a bunch of store windows. What the fuck are they there for then? Lindabill.... you've got some 'splain'n to do. Miller is angry again - well, what did you expect, ya fuckin' idiot? It's beyond me how anyone could listen to Miller talk and fight the urge to just wander over a slap him every time he opens his whining craw.
At least the Conservatives have kiboshed any chance of electing one of their own in the GTA as a result of this ill-planned fiasco.
But seriously..... fuck them. They should elect a representative from each side, plunk them down on an island and have them fight it out to the death a la John Boorman's 1968 Hell in the Pacific. Syd Ryan versus German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a pantsuit deathmatch would be particularly interesting.
Limited entries on the blog of late, what with the World Cup and summer in full swing, but I thought a quick review on a couple of recent flicks might be worth a shot.
From 1962 comes an interesting film called Le combat dans l'île and starring Romy Schneider and Jean-Louis Trintignant. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this one because I realize a marginal Nouvelle Vague film from a virtually unknown film maker won't likely make it's way home to any of your DVD players. It's actually a pretty decent film, a meditation on right and left wing politics playing out in a love triangle between two childhood friends and the woman they both love. Worth a look for those who have exhausted Bresson, Renoir and Becker's catalog and are looking for something in a similar vein..... which isn't this crowd to be sure.
I tuned in and then out of the Hughes Brothers Book of Eli with Denzel. For whatever reason, I just didn't buy into the original conceit here and found myself comparing Eli to every other post-apocalyptic movie I've seen. This one's 1 part Mad Max, and 1 part dry Waterworld and 2 parts who-gives-a-shit. Nice cinematography, dull movie.
HBO's new series Hung is a modest success, mostly the result of another excellent turn by Thomas Jane but the series strikes a bit of a one-note dead zone by about episode 6. I'll post in greater length on this one later....ha ha.
The 3rd season of Burn Notice is worth a look. A couple of top-notch episodes are peppered in amongst a few mediocre ones.
I've should watch The Road and Green Zone, but can't seem to find the interest.
When it was announced a few years ago that Hollywood would be remaking the Universal classic The Wolf Man (1941), I must admit I didn't bristle with adversity as I normally do when confronted with news of (the now inevitable) classic horror remake. I was intrigued, and as heavy-hitter thespians began to become attached to the project, lending it legitimacy, I grew more excited. I should have reserved my zeal, however, as this anemic and tepid "re-imagining" of a centuries old tale falls flat on almost all fronts.
2010's iconic horror reboot du jour is guilty of the gravest crime a film can commit: it is boring. Director Joe Johnston certainly has a flair for the visual (though I wondered more and more, due to the excessive use of CGI, how much of that vision is Johnston's, and how much belongs to the art/VFX department), but pretty pictures do not a good film make, a fact nowhere more evident than here.
The Wolfman had great promise, and relies on a very simple story, one that should be very difficult to muddle up. However, the filmmakers have achieved the extraordinary and done exactly that. The Wolfman falls prey to that which hobbles so many modern horror films: How many times must we endure pointless back story and tangential evidence that justifies a characters' actions? Is it not good enough (and far more frightening) to simply have a criminal/monster/etc. acting without motive? An evil act committed solely out of primal randomness is far more frightening than if the motivations or rationale for that same act were explained in great detail. Have modern filmmakers learned nothing from Hitchcock?
The original 1941 film ran an economical 70 minutes; the "Unrated Director's Cut" on the 2010 DVD flirts with the two-hour mark, much of the running time devoted to Larry Talbot's (Benicio del Toro) bloated, unnecessary history. The only effect this has is a "one step forward, two steps back" kind of reverse inertia, and The Wolfman sputters out of the gates and spends the rest of the running time trying to find a foothold, but merely ends up chasing its own tail.
Also missing from the remake is the darkly predatorial angle of the original. There is, in George Waggner's film, a sexuality, an inherent concept in the idea of man as beast hunting prey. In the new film, we get a laughable "love story" angle that is DOA. The filmmakers manage to de-claw the most potent element of the story, crippling the film irrevocably.
Lon Chaney Jr. gave his all as Larry Talbot, and while many scoff at Chaney's characterizations throughout his career as hammy or overacted, I see in his Talbot (as well as in his best, and much later, role in Jack Hill's Spider Baby) a great sadness, a real desperation of a man who has lost control of himself and can do nothing to stop his inevitable descent Perhaps this was informed by Chaney's very real life problem, his overwhelming alcoholism - or perhaps by an innate sense of humanity and an understanding of the character - I don't know, but I can be certain that there is much more life in Chaney's Talbot than in del Toro's. Or, in fact, in any of the principles in the new film. Hugo Weaving puts up a game attempt, but his effort only underscores the dreary, mailed-in turns by Anthony Hopkins, del Toro, and Emily Blunt. I know it's ultimately cinematic fluff, but please, guys, can you at least pretend you haven't swallowed a handful of Xanax before Johnston called "Action"?
Among the famous four (perhaps unfairly disregarding Claude Rains' Invisible Man) Universal monsters, the Wolf Man is unique in that he is primarily human, and only becomes a monster once a month, much like my girlfriend. Dracula is an undead bloodsucker; The Monster is, well, a monster, a grotesque approximation of a man, cobbled together with rotting flesh and a diseased mind and brought to life by electricity; and Imhotep is a resurrected Egyptian Mummy hell-bent on revenge. Only Larry Talbot spends 30 days of the month a normal - though troubled - man, and one horrible night, a monster. Also unique in the Wolf Man tale is that it is not simply derived from a single author's pen, but rather stems from ancient myths and pagan beliefs, and to this day holds very real credence in the mythologies and traditions of many cultures. And it is certainly not difficult to make a simple psycho-analytic reading of the man becoming a wolf (literally or figuratively), as the consummation of the body by sexual and primal urges. Take a stroll down Richmond or Adelaide on a Saturday night, full moon or otherwise, and you'll see a thousand Larry Talbots. That the filmmakers of 2010's The Wolfman bafflingly side-step this aspect of the story in favour of dusty asides and CGI creature wankery is the great shame and ultimate failure of this film.
I must say, though, after all this, that I am thankful for this remake, which may sound strange, but is not disingenuous. It reminded me of the wonderful power of the earlier film, and I can only hope that it will lead keen younger viewers back to the source and perhaps open a door of discovery to a whole realm of classic film monsters. And whether or not they scare the modern viewer, at least they won't bore him.
A strange day today. The humans seemed prone to the oddest actions all day long. I happened to be at the FBW around noon today (unlike say.....Kendall) installing the second of our new cash drawers and as we unlocked the front door and flipped the open sign over, a man wandered in and bee-lined it for the ice cream counter. He then asked Virginia if he was the first ice cream customer of the day. How do you answer that? He saw us unlock the door – it's clear glass and he was just on the other side of it. I was tempted to say “no”, just to take any pleasure of being first at something away from him. Nick rescued me, I left to help a friend move some furniture, and then back to Segredos until 7pm tonight.
In the afternoon, I responded to a complaint emailed about some FBE staff curmudgeon who wouldn't let a pregnant women use her gift certificate monies for an ice cream. What a bunch of pricks I said. I suggested she leave the hipster-wanna-be-dredges of Leslieville and move to a real hipster neighbourhood like Roncey. Not only would we let her use her gift certificates for ice cream at the FBW but that we also covered hair styling, takeout sushi and dog grooming at participating local retailers.
It was pretty steady on video most of the evening. A guy asked if “Manderplank”, a German film he spied on the new wall earlier in the week, had been returned. Rather than try and figure out what he was after I simply said.... “no”. Somebody named Sylwia Ducka called. Seems we've been pestering her about returning a movie she claims she never rented and in an effort to stop us, she was calling to tell us to stop calling. I mentioned that we'd stop calling when she brought our movie back and that of the 8 movies she had rented from the FBW she'd now lost 2 of them. She asked if she could close her account but I had already done so. I mentioned I'd likely have a better year financially now that she was no longer a customer. She didn't get it because her name is Sylwia Ducka. I should have asked her if she had Manderplank too.
The FBW's second most annoying customer came wandering up to the counter about 9pm and mentioned that the new Karate Kid movie was just fantastic. Had I seen it? My response – Nope and there's not nearly enough time remaining on my game clock to invest the 98 minutes it would take to watch it. She seemed unhappy that I wouldn't play along.
Not playing along seems to be my new mantra. I just can't stomach mollycoddling the endless parade of hipster clowns and aging yuppies seem to expect that from the world. They're like dogs rolling over and presenting their bellies to be scratched. Sorry but rub your own belly, buddy. The West-end's most annoying customer showed up for ice cream at about 9:30pm. She used to be a complete souse, but seems to have that under control lately. I hid in the back until she left because she always wants to chat like we're old drinking buddies. Back in the day, I'm pretty sure she never knew she was in a video store and probably assumed she was talking to me at the Intersteer or something, so in a way we kinda are old drinking buddies.
Instead of listening to 4 hours of Joey-programmed hiphop, I noted the play list on Grooveshark was called “Scott Friendly”. It was all old Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt blues tunes from the 30's. The music I listened to back on the bayou back when I was a little chitlin'. I'd love to spend an hour in Joey's head and perceive the world like she does, just for a little bit. I'll betcha it's fabulous. With my luck I'd probably get stuck in one of her alt-ctrl-del coma moments and I'd just black out with my eyes wide open.
We all agreed that Michael Cera is moving quickly from adorable to creepy.
Will Smith's devil spawn must be stopped before the inevitable Karate Kid sequel.
Whilst anticipation of the 2010 World Cup heightens around here every day, it seems there is no better time to shout about the best footie film in recent memory, The Damned United. Michael Sheen shines as prickly northern football manager Brian Clough in this "based on a true story" type affair adapted for the screen by writer Peter Morgan (Last king of Scotland, The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and helmed by promising new British director Tom Hooper. The performances here are strong. Honestly, I'd written off Michael Sheen as merely a Tony Blair impersonator, but with Frost/Nixon and now this he's really demonstrated a range and a unique ability for impersonation that makes him practically peerless. The Damned United isn't really a sports film at all. It is a much more personal story of greed, ambition, success, failure and friendship to which football just happens to be the backdrop. The film has only a few frames of game footage and skips over important matches instead showing us only the final score. I think this lies at the centre of the films strengths whilst also contributing to it's underwhelming distribution and reception. You see, despite the fact a large mainstream audience would have enjoyed this film if they were to ever watch it, it's hard for people to see it as anything other than a sports flick about someone they've never heard of (at least outside of the UK). No matter how many times I offer this one up as a recommendation, I get very few bites. It's this kind of lazy pigeon-holing by the viewing public that leads to so much focus grouped, target marketed remakes of remakes. Quality films like this should really be the bread and butter of cinema. Nothing too art house or experimental yet nothing insulting to your average intellect, just well written and well told stories. A look at some future projects reveals that writer Peter Morgan was rumoured to have penned the next James Bond film (to be directed by Sam effin Mendes!) though his name now has disappeared from the IMDB credits. He's also writing a new screen adaptation of John Le Carres' Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Director Tom Hooper has recently been announced to direct a new adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden and Michael Sheen has had a part in the next really big 3D film, Tron:Legacy. Shine on you crazy diamond.
Writer/director Roy Andersson's You, The Living (2007) is the first film from the 66-year-old Norwegian filmmaker since his critically-acclaimed (and yet sadly, virtually-ignored) Songs From the Second Floor in 2001. I stumbled across it researching and assembling lists for the upcoming summer flyer and don't recall reading or hearing about it before that.
You, the Living picks up where Songs left off – it's another bizarrely-low-key, absurdist comedy with plenty to say about the modern human condition. The film is a collection of vignettes, mostly shot in medium length and framed like video portraits within drably-urban Scandinavian backdrops. Its droll, Tati-meets-Monty-Python sensibilities will turn many off, but buried in these grim little snapshots is a thread of insightful commentary about our modern existence that I often find missing in English-language cinema. You, the Living is the inverse of a film like Up in the Air. Where Reitman bangs us over the head with broad state-of-society strokes and George Clooney, Roy Andersson's story telling is supremely subtle and populated with dumpy regular folk. For me, it was 100 times more effective and a had much more to say with about a 10th as much dialogue.
Shutter Island (2009)
One of the prices we're beginning to pay for our Apple-sponsored existence these days manifests itself in the mixed reaction to Martin Scorsese's latest film. Shutter Island is a brilliant film, amongst the very best American films I've seen this year, but it fell flat at the box office and couldn't find an audience. I think it might be the film that marks Scorsese entrance into irrelevance as a working director. The typical film audience has changed in recent years, in ways that are becoming clearer each day, as a world of effortless instant-everything settles into place. Film and TV have not been spared the collapse of attention spans either and a film like Shutter Island doesn't work with today's audience, at least in part because it requires they indulge the filmmaker enough latitude to develop/frame DiCaprio's character before the reveal. I could be way off base here, but the art of storytelling is changing and I think the Scorsese/Eastwood School is falling out of favour.
That said, there's much to savour here for fans of traditional cinema.
I only had the opportunity to check out one film during this years Hot Docs festival and luckily that one film was the stellar The Parking Lot Movie.
The documentary is about a small parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia that is operated by a diverse collection of outcasts, intellectuals, and weirdos. Past employees share past experiences and horror customer stories that are wildly entertaining, while the current employees live out new horror stories caught on film. First time director Meghan Echman is a natural behind the camera and edits this film to perfection. It flows extremely well and in my head i found myself saying "please don't end" as the film went on.
So how on earth could a film about a parking lot be so entertaining? Well, the film actually has little to do with the parking lot per say. It is about people in a lowly respectable position having to deal with people who look down upon them. Sound familiar? The film can get angsty but rightly so, when you are watching a woman in a hummer arguing with the attendant over 40 cents you get more than a little steamed. Luckily all the attendants hold their own to often hilarious effect.
The loyalty the workers have to the parking lot is the result of the loyalty they have to their boss. Chris Farina, the owner of the lot, treats his workers with respect and friendliness. This in turn boosts the workers morale, as one of the attendants notes; if their boss wasn't Chris then he wouldn't chase cars down the street for a measly buck or two. It no longer becomes money for the lot, it becomes Chris's money and the attendants aren't about to let people steal from him.
The film is reminiscent of I Like Killing Flies in that it features personal philosophies from someone you would expect to not be too interesting. Only here it is multiplied countless times and every talking head has something to share that is either insightful, interesting or hilarious. At the end of the film it is revealed what the workers are doing now with their lives since filming and it's not the least bit surprising that many have gone on do to amazing things. Some are university professors, some are writers, and some are famous musicians. During the Q & A with the director, Meghan went on to say that as she has been touring she has noticed that some people really resonate with the film and i'm glad to be one of those people. As i walked out of the theater a man in a blazer and tie walking up the aisle beside me said to the party he was with that the film was awful and i immediately thought of something Scott had said once, "You can usually tell within a few moments whether or not someone has worked in customer service or not".
For me the film was such a parallel on what i experience working at The Film Buff. Chris Farina is very much like Scott and we go out of our way to make sure people don't take advantage of the business because it's not stealing from the store, it's stealing from a friend. Us employees at the Buff are a group of personal philosophers, deadbeat dreamers, and understimulated wackos who wage a personal war everyday against those who would look down their nose at us as we scoop them ice cream or rent them Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
The rights have yet to get picked up but they will be. A fantastic documentary through and through.
Ahh planes... for some the aeroplane represents mans ability to achieve one of its most primeval dreams. The desire to fly was first embedded within us when our earliest ancestors first gazed upon the majestic flight of birds. From Icarus to Superman, there lies within our collective unconsciousness the urge to conquer the skies. The plane not only represents our ability to fulfill this urge but also our mastering of machine.
For others, such as myself, the plane is a floating hallway that gets you from point A to point B, with the time in-between being nothing more than a marathon to see how many free drinks you can down, how many warm cup of nuts you can score, and see how long you can keep your eyes open through the in-flight film.
This is parts 4 through 6 of an ongoing series:
Flight: Miami to Toronto Film: The Boys Are Back Director: Scott Hicks Class: Business (the only way to fly) Drink: Whiskey sodas Meal: Beef quesadilla
I didn't know much about The Boys are Back when i tuned the radio to the English audio track. Basically it's a straight forward drama about a man (Clive Owen) raising two children alone after his wife dies of cancer. I think if you watch TBAB knowing that it's based on a true story then you may get more out of it than i did. I, however, found this out after my viewing and found myself easily distracted with anything else while watching this by-the-numbers drama. At the very least it has the most substance out of the films I have seen so far in the air but that didn't stop me from falling asleep halfway through my second double whiskey soda. I awoke to a scene in the film where the eldest son who offered to take care of the younger son so Clive Owen can go away on a work trip was having a raging party in Clive Owen's beach house. Soon the party gets out of hand and is crashed by some mean Aussies who rip apart the house and the boys hide out in a closet and cry. Clive Owen gets a phone call while away from a neighbor and heads back home to find the boys in their care. The eldest son gets angry at Clive and decides to move back to England where he was in school. Maybe i missed a few points but this pissed me off to no end. Clive Owen trusted this ginger headed Brit jerk off and the kid throws a party for Aussie punks the first night and then goes off on Clive Owen for being a bad father!? Well i say no, Clive was being a terrific Dad, you were the jerk-off, so screw you British child, and screw this movie. I switched to the Maltshoppe classics station, stared out over the Eastern seaborne and sang in time with Dusty "Just wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin', plannin' and dreamin' his kiss is the start, that won't get you into his heart ...." __________________________________________________________________ Flight: Toronto to Orlando Film: The Young Victoria Director: Jean-Marc Vallée Class: Business-Like Drink: Bloody Marys (What do you expect it was the red eye) Meal: Pancakes and sausage
What can be said about The Young Victoria that hasn't been said? Plenty. Actually this one is kind of a write off, the audio was playing in my headphones but i was much more concerned with getting my drinks refilled and when breakfast would be ready. From what I could gather this film is about a young Queen Victoria and her relationship with Prince Albert. Albert is played by the guy who hung himself in Milk. I found out that i look like this guy when i use a certain effect on my webcam. See: Oh wait.. i just double checked and he isn't actually in this movie. Still isn't it weird i look like this guy? The guy who made CRAZY made this, and it really doesn't show at all. This is a safe and easy flick, where not too much happens. It plays much like a trashy romantic novel, it's not bad but hell, was it ever boring for me. I don't particularly have an interest in the time period or the history but if it's up your alley i'm sure there's a wealth of great times to be had with this picture. So in summary; someone gets shot, people stand up and say "God save the Queen", Victoria acts like a brat, Paul Bettany looks awesome, and it ends with a few text screens that wrap up the story but i couldn't read them because the screens on the plane were too damn small so i have no idea what happens at the end. Can someone fill me in? Does she invade France?
I sensually switched to the oldies station and rocked out with Edie Money overlooking the state of Atlanta "I've got two tickets to paradise, won't you pack your bags, we'll leave tonight, I've got two tickets to paradise, I've got two tickets to paradise.oh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh oh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh" __________________________________________________________________ Flight: Orlando to Toronto Film: Did You Hear About The Morgans? Director: Marc Lawrence Class: Business suits Drink: Double vodka sodas Meal: Philly cheese calzone
Ok, so what does it say about me that i actually watched this one in its entirety? I think it has more to do with the fact that this was a night flight and there was no way i was gonna doze off. So, when the stewardess announced this gem would be playing shortly i ordered two double vodka sodas more and got ready for the experience of a waste of time. To say the jokes in DYHATM? miss their intended marks isn't fair, the issue is there aren't many jokes at all. There were a few times where i chuckled aloud at Hugh Grant looking like a British buffon, with my female co-passenger shooting me deadly glances whenever i would guffaw. My biggest gripe with this film is that the premise of people forced into the witness protection program and at first they hate it but then become stronger because of it was probably the premise of one episode of every sitcom i watched growing up. They did it in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, they did it in The Simpsons, they did it in Perfect Strangers, they did it in Family Matters, they did it in King of the Hill and they all did it within 30 minutes. So, what can this film do with the same story and 100 minutes? Well a hell whole lot worse than those sitcoms did it. To be fair Sam Elliot is in this and he's always a lot of fun to watch. Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker would make the ugliest babies and make the least believable couple of all time. I really hoped the killer would catch them and be done with it. Gave me the same feeling of frustration i had when i was younger and watching cartoons really wanting that coyote to get that god damn roadrunner. I fuzzed it all out during the end credits, took a glance at the glittering lights below and guessed we were over New York. Tuned into a classic rock station and sang softly into the dark void of night "Carry on my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are done, lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more...."
Disclaimer: The planes i've been taking don't have the option to choose what you want to watch, as i hear many planes have now. If i could choose what i wanted to watch you best believe it wouldn't be the titles i have seen so far. I was thinking about what the similarities may be with all these films and why they are shown to airplane passengers and it's because all of these films fall into the same genre; safe. All the films so far in this series are the equivalent of kindergarten glue; try as hard as you want but you'll never get high off of it. What attracts me to cinema is how unsafe it can be, how it can push boundaries; in turn the power of one film can change the views of society. All of us at The Film Buff, or at least the contributors to this blog, are obsessed with unsafe, unprotected, daring film. Society, however, is not. These films are shown not because they'll relax you or entertain you, they are shown to not offend you. The films, much like airline food and service, is not meant to serve you the person but you the people. It's when you notice that you are offended by what's not suppose to, that's when we become persons. Homogeneity be damned.... but damn do I love those warm cups of nuts mmmmmm....