FILM CRITICISM N…


FILM CRITICISM
Net: It seems that our readers are aficionados of fine film. Continue, oh cimenaphiles:

From Dizzie Gillespie: As long as Malik Shabazz has already initiated the “Godzilla” ranting, I might as well throw in my two cents worth. As an admitted “Godzilla” fan, having both digested the cartoon and a dozen or so of the Toho films, I was, of course, inclined to see the film. I absolutely agree with Malik — it sucked.
But it takes more than a bad script or director to make a truly bad film — it also takes several noteworthily bad performances as well. Net: Of course, that can be blamed on the writer — but we won’t comment on any of those today, will we? The “heroine” of the film (the actress’s name I can’t recall) was spectacularly unconvincing and deserves to suffer the same fate as Elizabeth Berkeley after “Showgirls.” (Come to think of it, it might have been Berkeley.) The cute redhead from “NewsRadio” Net: Phil Hartman, R.I.P. got one or two laughably bad lines and showed absolutely no skin. Net: No skin?!?! There go our weekend movie plans. Hank Azaria was a walking Brooklynite parody. Net: But isn’t every Brooklynite a parody in and of himself? Every army guy came straight out of a Tom Clancy novel Net: Don’t mention that name around here. You might end up all black and purple and so on.
The only good performance came from that French dude from “The Professional.” Even Matthew Broderick, who handles his comic lines with typical brilliance, seemed lost when the movie asked him to do drama. Net: Maybe they asked him on his day off.
The biggest disappointment was the big guy himself — the tragic/comic hero/villain of the Toho films had as much personality as my Aramark hamburger. Net: Does that mean Godzilla crawls a lot? Not to mention some major continuity errors — if Godzilla can breathe fire, as he does in two scenes to waste a couple tanks, why doesn’t any human actor mention this throughout the course of the film? Net: Because it goes without saying, you numbskull! ALL sea-spawned giant man-eating reptiles can breathe fire. Like, DUH!!! Why doesn’t he fry Broderick and the others when he’s chasing them at the end of the film instead of engaging in a 15-minute chase scene where he ALMOST gets them four or five times? Net: Because movie prices are up to $8, and you’d feel cheated if the film ended any earlier than it did.
If you like campy monster movies as I do, catch the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Stopfest ’98” movies instead, because 1) You won’t be out eight bucks, 2) You can drink at home, and these movies are more fun when you’re blasted, and 3) You won’t suffer the major hearing damage that inevitably occurs while sitting for even five minutes in a General Cinema-plex. Last night’s “Destroy All Monsters” featured just about every big rubber monster ever to come out of the Toho stables Net: Except for NITWIT’s (with the glaring exception of Gamera – but that’s another story). Monster-philia! Net: Thank you for your erudite commentary, Dizzie. You were fiesty, yet firm. We like that. Now, on to a pillow fight.

From Mister Elroy: This is a warning to all of you folks out there in NetworkLand. Do not be fooled by Beany Baby‘s futile attempts to heap praise upon the movie “The Pillow Book.” The truth is, it sucks. First of all, the writer or director is Wayne Wang, not Wang Wong, as Beany wrote (sorry, Net people — I guess that spoils the song joke). Net: Not at all. Everybody have fun tonight/Everybody Wayne Wang tonight. See, it’s not quite the same, but Wayne is almost homophonic, and, as you know, homophonia runs rampant in this forum. Secondly, it shouldn’t be surprising that “Chinese Box” is bad, because “The Pillow Book” is probably the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Net: Obviously, you’ve never seen the 1987 classic, “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama,” unless, of course, you were at Stardust lanes last weekend.
It is too long, has poor sound quality and features a lot of unnecessary full-frontal male nudity. Net: Actually, full-frontal male nudity is absolutely essential to ensure the continuance of the human race. Don’t knock it. I don’t have a problem with celebrating the human form, but seeing a 300-pound white guy with a ‘fro whip it out just isn’t called for. Net: So what bothers you about that? The weight, the ‘fro or the penis envy?
The movie is about a Japanese woman who has a calligraphy fetish. She likes men who are skilled in the art of Chinese and Japanese characters — who will paint them on her nude body and allow her to do the same to them. Sounds harmless, right? Oh, no. Besides lots of fat, naked guys, this atrocious flick features a book publisher who we get to see SKINNING A HUMAN CORPSE for the calligraphy book that is written on it.
“The Pillow Book” drags on and on and on without much of any point at all, and some annoying Chinese Jazz tune from the ’40s Net: Undoubtedly a classic from the stories Shanghai jazz tradition plays over and over in the background. So no one out there see this movie under any circumstances whatsoever. Net: Unless, of course, it dissuades New Delhi from nuking Islamabad. The only reason I saw the whole thing was to get my $2 worth that I paid to Bijou.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

From Cygnus Saint: Hi, gorgeous Network!
I thought it would never happen to me, but here I am, writing a public service announcement. Net: We’re so proud of you, Cygnus. You’ve been a long-time and valued contributor, and we know you were skeptical when we went all do-gooder last fall, but we hope you appreciate the mix of sarcasm and spirituality that is today’s Net. And what, pray tell, is your announcement? Excuses aside, Thursday I found a pretty necklace on the St. Paul campus. It was lying amid the grass close to where those flubber-shaped guys from Bailey play frisbee. Anyway, the necklace is silver-colored and has several little, tiny cute hearts hanging from it. Nettie knows my address so it can act as middle man. Net: There’s nothing manly about us, kiddo — but we’ll help. Ciao!