Monday, August 10, 2009

G.I. J...ust Shoot Me

It was supposed to be an even trade.

In exchange for not complaining (too much) for being dragged (kicking and screaming, but in a quiet, uncomplaining way -- ahem) to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and promising not to fall asleep, My Friend agreed to a double feature of my choosing; I was planning on Pulp Fiction and perhaps The Night of the Hunter, one of the creepiest, most awesome movies I know of -- or another childhood favorite. I recently introduced the kid to Old Boy, so I was looking forward to showing off my movie tastes.

Plans have changed.

After that God Awful 2-hour experience, I believe now I'm fully prepared to chop off the old nose to spite my face. Yes, I believe I'll be Netflixing "Love in the Time of Cholera" or "Music and Lyrics" soon -- better, both.

It's not much worth going into the details; in fact, on the drive home, neither of us could stop repeating how awful, unimpressive and seemingly neverending the worthless waste of time was. (I was secretly hoping it'd be one of these hate-yourself-for-liking-it summer Blockbusters that I'm still inclined to love). After leaving some of my brain cells back in the theater, ten minutes later we were quickly forgetting many of the main "plot points" -- all I could do was shake my head, give Friend a haaaard time (naturally), and comment on how sad it was that I respected some of the actors and their normally decent choice in roles.

Basically, the uber-elite Joes (including Marlon Wayans as "Ripcord," and Channing Tatum as "Duke" -- a man who would be after my heart, had he not contributed to this cinematic slop) are given the mission of saving the world from widespread destruction, and ultimate domination, via some nano technology that was developed by an evil doer who has a longstanding hatred for the French; something to do with his ancestor being made to wear a scalding hot mask that deformed him and relegated him to the outskirts of, say, society.

The choice of the French as a main target of hate was fitting, as this movie is about as dumb as a stereotypically Big American Blockbuster can get. This nano technology -- I believe it manifested in "nanomites" -- is some green junk that descends upon people and places and eats them up (think images of the Eiffel Tower being attacked by those little bugs in "The Mummy" that come swarming out ... only in The Mummy, you feel sorry for those characters being swarmed on, whereas in G.I. Joe I was hoping the green bugs would fly off the screen and start to eat away at my very own flesh).

There's a beautiful "Baroness" (Sienna Miller) who's working with the bad men, at one point all major cities are being threatened and Wayans flies his crazy jet, which you knew he was going to comandeer about 2 minutes into the movie, from one side of the planet to the other in, oh, about 12 seconds. Of course, during the action scenes you don't know which way is up or who's really heading where. Sadly, my long-maintained respect for Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Lookout, 500 Days of Summer) has diminished after his taking part in this mess; and, I suppose Dennis Quaid (who plays the gung-ho, hardcore head military man) hasn't exactly been making movie magic in his films the past good while with the gems "Vantage Point" (God, that was awful) and "American Dreamz" to his name ... but it's sad to see the native Houstonian in this bunk nevertheless.

It was aw-ful.

I guess they're banking on nostalgia and the Transformers crowd to come out en masse (two showtimes were sold out this afternoon, which was fine because it just led to some Big Buck Hunter playing in the theater arcade to work on my shooting skills in preparation for my upcoming trip to the gun range, but I digress).

In other news, I haven't worked at the University (of Houston) in a WEEK because of some conference that has dragged my professor-bosses off. Buuuuut, hopefully they'll put me back to work this week; I miss the smell of the classrooms, driving to campus with my bosslady and gossipping about the faculty, and just feeling for the first time that I'm doing something useful at the workplace.

Also, idle afternoons with Little Morgan leads to movie marathons (can't complain) or days spent wandering the Kemah, Texas, boardwalk attempting to entertain her while the greedy little rat spends all my money.

But, I'm happier for many reasons than I have been in quite some time. People (or maybe just the pace) may be slower in Tejas than in that cold, hard New York city, but goooood lordy, the people sure are nice, thoughtful, generous and I'm re-picking up all the crazy old sayings I grew up repeating. Moreover, there are so many opportunities to get into drag-down political debates because people are crazier here!

In the event that I decide to take pity on Friend and myself, I maaaaayyy still dig out The Night of the Hunter -- it's so-uh-oh good:

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