Issue: 11.06
e-mail me e-mail Brian
Hi Gang, and greetings from Hollywood!

Shalom, Gang!

Firstly, my apologies for having abandoned everyone. Oy, the techno-tsores I’ve had! My computer died last September, and when I announced I was going to get a new one, naturally, everyone had an opinion as to what I should buy. And since my idea of high-tech is a microwave with a turntable in it, I didn’t know who to trust. Well, my Godson finally made up my mind for me and bought me a new one for the holidays. Then of course, we discovered the new system wouldn’t support my beloved dial-up modem, and again I was khokt by kibitzers as to which ISP to go with.

Anyway, the bottom line is, I have a new computer, a new ISP and I’m back in the twenty-first century, more or less.

I wish I could have warned everyone of the onslaught of drek that polluted the theatres over the last eight months or so. Thank God I can deduct the cost of a theatre ticket, so I don’t feel too bad about paying ten bucks to waste two hours.

I think the biggest disappointment for me was the re-make of the classic “Clash of the Titans”. If you thought the CGI version of “Godzilla” was abysmal, wait till you see this one. If the mindless bastardization of the storyline (it takes real brass baitsim to rewrite classic mythology,) wasn’t bad enough, they littered it with unnecessary characters who did little more than pad the payroll. Then, there’s the casting. Liam Neeson was wasted in the role of Zeus. Sam Worthington was made to spew dialogue almost as absurd as his G.I. Joe haircut. In this one, Perseus come across like a character from a Japanese anime, grunting and grimacing his way through situations that are overstated and in most cases, ridiculous. The Kraken looked suspiciously like the Rancor from “Return of the Jedi”, and for some reason someone in the think tank decided to make Pegasus black, and Zeus’ wife Hera, who caused all the trouble for Perseus in the first place, an ancillary character.

The CGI effects were fair, which is more than can be said for the cinematography, which seems to go in and out of focus at will.

As an action/adventure flick, I’d give it a seven. As a retelling of a classic story and a classic film, I’d like to give it a sound horsewhipping. God help us all if these people decide to remake “The Ten Commandments”, wherein they’ll probably have space aliens beam the Israelites across the Red Sea, and using a plasma ray to carve the tablets. In any case, “Clash” is a definite ‘must buy’ so in years hence you’ll be able to show your grandkids just how bad movie making can be.

On the other hand, I’ve been dining on a nice diet of crow over Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”. Sometimes we get so caught up in someone’s ‘image’ we lose sight of their genius, and so it was with this film. I made the mistake of judging it by a few scenes they release to the critics for pre-release articles. But in my own defence, maybe they should have picked different scenes. And while I still say the heads bobbing on the moat surrounding the Red Queen’s castle was nauseating, it was one flaw in a cinematic diamond. The end result of this flick was superb. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone much under the age of ten, but only because they might not get all the symbolism and you’ll have to keep pausing the film to explain it. Unlike “Titans” Burton used CGI to enhance the story rather than making it the focus. “Alice” embodies the same strong story and quasi-dark comedy as he used in “The Addams Family”, and while the light fantasy aspect of the story is missing, it remains an excellent film and worthy of inclusion in your collection.

Till next month, Gang!

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