Well, we’re at war.
(Pause while washed by wave of despair.)
Yeah, fuck that. Let’s make fun of things.
So, movie wasteland. While most of us (the ones who like their shit solidly blown the fuck up, anyway) eagerly await The Hulk, The Matrix II & III, X-Men II, LOTR:ROTK, and of course BARL:VPN–NAMBLA III, the studios are having a field day flinging poo-balls at a slavering audience and watching us make terrible faces as we tentatively lick their dire swill. Basically, spring and fall movies are proof positive of Hollywood’s fundamental contempt for its audiences. “Look at those fucking jackals,” they hiss, “twisting our dicks over release dates on the blockbusters. Christ, I hate them. That’s it, I’m greenlighting Autumn in New York, just to see them howl.” How else do you explain such ghastly, unwatchable, incomprehensible movies? Oh, and now would be a good time to point out that I am passing judgment on all these movies purely on their ads and some judicious faux-research at IMDB. I haven’t seen any of them, and have no plans to, barring some sadomasochistic impulse. So yes, I’m full of shit.
But you can’t tell me any of these movies are any good. Well, you can. I just won’t listen to you.
Anyway! What else have we got? Oh, yes, there’s The Hunted, with slumming Oscar-huggers running around playing soldier; one evidently hacks civilians into chum, and the other one tracks him with silent, steely, baggy-eyed determination. Maw! Best take the bottle away from Brian Dennehy and give him a sponge bath! He’s gonna be pissed when he finds out they remade First Blood without tellin’ him! Directed by William Friedkin, a man who actually seems uncomfortable with dialogue, but who has obviously found his dream actor in Benicio Del Toro, a man who seems to revel in incomprehensibility. Also featured: minor characters with names like Crumley, Stokes and Boggs. At least one of these people, I am certain, will be chomping on a cigar.
Moving right along, we find Basic, a troublingly eponymous title. One is further discouraged by a relentless ad campaign that features an anonymous radio “critic” being quoted as saying “John Travolta proves once again that he’s one of America’s best actors!” Yes. And Jenna Elfman shall be his queen. Give me a fucking break. But the biggest danger sign here is the heart-stopping phrase, “Directed by John McTiernan.” AIIIEEEE! This is the same man who last year perpetrated the Rollerball remake as well as such turgid, humorless fare as The Hunt for Red October, Predator and the execrable Last Action Hero, itself an immortal Hollywood joke. A final stake in the heart: the IMDB capsule review from the user boards (always a pithy bunch) simply contains the rather direct summation: “AWFUL FILM.” I bet Ain’t It Cool News spends about three pages of gibbering ink to this effect.
Then there’s Stephen King’s latest, Dreamcatcher, which is of course directed by . . . Lawrence Kasdan? Oooookaaaay. Anyway, this movie is obviously about the voracious insects that live in Jason Lee’s brain and eat the sections of his mind that would normally allow this talented person to select good roles in good movies. He used to have this ability; I cite Almost Famous and . . . uh . . . Almost Famous. Okay, maybe he got lucky once. Perhaps Kevin Smith (this is flamebait, but it’s sincere flamebait: Kevin Smith is an awful hack who should be slow-roasted to an internal temperature of a million.) gave him this awful infestation. But things are looking up for Jason, yessirree! IMDB lists such stellar upcoming roles like “PR Exec #1” and “Dishevelled Man.” Yes, I’m serious. Anyway, this movie is evidently about weird aliens who inhabit human hosts and then are birthed via explosive, bloody anal expulsion. WHO WANTS POPCORN?
And finally, because I can hardly bear to go on, we have the obligatory Screemy-Queeny Offering! Fags are soooo funny, aren’t they? Especially to straight people! Hence, Boat Trip, which features the further horror of watching the Toboggan Ride of Terribleness that is the horrific career of Cuba Gooding Jr. See, Cuba is straight! And for some idiotic reason, he finds himself on a cruise! A gay cruise! Then he mugs a lot and runs away from the Scary Fairies until oh no! He has to pretend to be a ca-razy gay person! Holy fucking shit! Somebody kill me! Better, someone kill Cuba. He’s clearly begging for it. BONUS: I know the IMDB site chops off plot summary quotes on the main movie pages more or less arbitrarily, but the cut-off point for Boat Trip’s is really good: “Jerry and Nick are two best buddies whose love lives have hit rock bottom, Jerry’s especially, having just vomited… (more)”
Yes! More! More!
It’s just too bad we have to wait until fall for Autumn in New York II.