Chaos Attraction

Weekend Entertainment Review

2005-06-13, 4:53 p.m.

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Reviews of things I saw this weekend:

Friday: Saw The Tempest on campus. For those of you who've read this thing for years, it's another one of these free Shakespeare plays put on at the end of the year again. I didn't think I'd get to see it this year, since Mom wanted to pick me up to go to Aunt Susie's that night and they were only showing it on Friday and Saturday, without their usual daytime quad show Thursday. (Bleah.) I kept asking when they were going to leave, because I'd be pissed off if I skipped the show to stay home and wait for them, only to not have them show up till 10 p.m. when the show ended. Which is entirely possible these days. Anyway, somehow Mom got the idea I'd already bought tickets to this show and said Thursday night at 11 p.m. that never mind, they'd get me on Saturday. Then I felt guilty.

But anyway, if I'd had to miss a show, I fear this might have been a good one to miss. Not that it was bad, but they've done better. I had to give them props for set decoration (that particular theater works great as an island, and the hole in the stage really worked well for things), and the body paint on Ariel was damned cool, but sometimes I couldn't help but think it'd be nice if some folks improved their costumes. Ferdinand wears a "UCD Rowing Team" shirt through the first act. I guess it's for the joke factor of them getting shipwrecked (and supposedly Ferdinand being dead), but he doesn't look like a prince at all in that getup. Two of the lords were dressed as nerds for no particular reason, though the one wandering about with a cell phone was funny. And Caliban was a good actor (one of the best in this show), but they needed to put him in more than just ragged shorts with CD's attached to one leg and a furry cape and gloves, you know? I guess the kids just come up with their own outfits most of the time, but sometimes they could use a little help.

Mainly I was just annoyed at the woodenness of most of the male actors. I guess it was kind of telling that Prospero was played by a girl, and a short one at that, and she did a lot better than all the various prince/duke/king-types wandering the stage doing dead voices. Ditto the drunken butler and jester, also played by chicks. But I guess given the small pool they have to select from, there's only so much they can do.

Something funny did occur to me this go-round: it must be a trademark of the professor/director to throw in a funny modern dance in every show. I'm used to that going on in say, scenes set in a tavern or at a formal event, but this time when the various nymphs and goddesses came out to bless Ferdinand and Miranda, they broke out in a sort-of-break-dancing dance, and it really stuck out to me somehow. But I like the wacky dancing.

And I have to admit that I liked when they finally showed Prospero's home, which had a "Cave Sweet Cave" sign- and NINTENDO. Which Ferdinand and Miranda are playing in lieu of having sex, and then the nerd-lords wander in to play it later. Hee hee hee.

Saturday: After much waiting (parents didn't show till 3 p.m.), we went to my aunt's house for Kristen's graduation dinner. Mainly we sat around watching movies- In Good Company and A Series of Unfortunate Events. IGC looks like it's quite a good flick. Alas, half the time I couldn't fucking hear the dialogue over everyone else yakking. Luckily, the crowd had thinned out by the time the second movie was put on, so I could at least hear that one.

I am not a Lemony Snicket fan (as I always say, my life's depressing enough- why choose to read depressing stuff?), but the movie was better than I figured it would be. I'm amused by the idea of Violet as a teenage Goth MacGyver, mainly. Her brother looked familiar to me, but I could never figure out why. And the baby's pretty funny. (I liked the line about how a happy ending for the baby would involve her "sharpening her little monkey teeth.") And the puzzle aspects of it were cool, like the cipher bit and the eye/spyglass thing. And I had to enjoy the line, "Why are all of our relatives not related to us?" Hah.

Sunday: Once again doing anything I can to avoid cleaning, I watched a few episodes of Moonlighting (whatever happened to Bruce Willis? I know he got bald and old and grizzled, but he seems to have lost every drop of charm and humor since those days. It's very sad), and then went to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was quite good for what it was- let's face it, you're there because Brad is hot, especially because Angelina is hot, and guns and knives and explosions are fun. Plus I have a thing for spy couple movies. And man, Angelina is HOT. On the "girls to go gay for" list, she's #1 for me. (Of course: big eyes, big lips, batshit crazy. There you go.)

I quite liked the counselor scenes- those were very funny. Heck, just watching her fake being a big-eyed, quiet suburban housewife was so bizarre it was amusing. And you have to enjoy the whole chick spy thing, not to mention the shooting-up-of-the-house bit, combined with "You still alive, baby?"

But come on- these two people aren't having sex, even after "five or six" years of marriage? If they aren't, there is no hope for any of us.

And Adam Brody is in it, pretty much playing "If Seth became a spy." As we walked out of the theater, someone said, "Aw, Seth Cohen brings everyone together! Just like Christmukkah!" Likewise, Vince Vaughn is doing his same ol stuff, only supposedly he's also a spy. Not that I can believe that too much. But then again, I am not impressed with Vince Vaughn.

And now, to finish the entry, I'm going to do some spoilering. So be forewarned, if you must stay pristine and pure, stop now.
Um, yeah. The plot? Needs fixing.

Basically, "John" and "Jane" work for different spy agencies, "Fake Construction Firm, Or Something," and "I-Temp." These two have been together "five or six years" BEFORE either agency notices that they are married to other spies. At which point, in order to make sure neither squeals office secrets to the other, both agencies team up (yeah, does this sound plausible to you? Me neither. Have them put out separate hits, yes, but together?) to get these two to kill each other off. Again, kind of stupid.

So they use Adam Brody's character as a dummy, and both J&J are told to kill this guy. Brad shows up and interferes with Angelina's setup, which blows up without anyone getting killed, and it's possible that one could have ID'd the other. (He ID's her via her destroyed laptop, she ID's him by um, watching him shake his leg and pee on camera. Um, yeah.) The policy at both agencies is: if someone spots you, you get 48 hours to kill them before we kill you. Naturally, both of them give it a pretty good go and fail at it, and thus have to team up beyond the bedroom while both of their agencies blow up the house, wreck the car, etc.
Then they get the idea that they can get the dogs called off if they get something more important than they are, so they rescue Adam Brody, take him to a hotel room, and ask him why he's wanted so bad. And it turns out that he tells them the whole "I'm just a decoy, both your agencies teamed up to kill you" plot. Which leads to a shootout at the nearest fake Wal-Mart....and then the movie cuts to the marital counseling three weeks later, and it's over!

So, WTF happened? Did they just double-handedly KILL EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THEIR AGENCIES (all of whom just happened to show up at Fake Wal-Mart that day?) in order to call off the dogs? Seriously, if they had no way to get something more important than themselves to get the dogs to call off, they probably should have been running out of the country at the end of this flick. You know damn well they didn't just toodle back casually and start redoing their house.

Now, from what I can tell on this site, the plot used to make a lot more sense than it does now. They had leaders of the agencies that got cut out, as well as a final showdown. That was just stupid, because this movie NEEDED a final resolution beyond "Hey, Brad and Angelina are having sex again and redoing the house!" I can only hope someone puts those scenes on DVD or something.

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