As a busy father of two young girls, I have very little time to go to the theater to see movies that aren’t filled with talking animals or wizards named Harry. Most of my movie watching happens at home, in my recliner, on the big screen HDTV. I’m normally content with this, but every so often a film comes out that I feel the need to see with a hundred other people in an uncomfortable seat after having spent too much money on candy that I didn’t even really want, all while sipping a titanic sized soda that will inevitably make me have to pee before the movie’s over. Yay for theaters. On August 20th, a film swam into theaters that seemed worth one of these rare excursions: Piranha 3D!
This is a B-Movie in every sense of the phrase, and the saving grace is that it knows it. The plot can be fully explained in a single, short sentence: Earthquake releases Mesolithic Piranha into a spring break lake. Boom – there you have it. You need to know nothing else, and every other plot detail you discover will only serve to bore you. You won’t care about the characters or their arcs. In fact, your interest in the characters of Piranha 3D will be limited to only a question of their life span, which is exactly as it should be. One of the biggest problems with the movie is that it tries to convince you the characters DO matter by spending an inordinate amount of time with them, but we’ll get into that more later.
Music is an intensely personal thing. Each of us have wildly different reactions to the rhythms, words, and beats that someone else put together for us. Sometimes we hear a song that connects with us, electrifies us, inspires us and we rush out to inform others that we’ve stumbled across the next great band. Sometimes they agree, while other times we’re greeted with confused grimaces before our friends tell us they hate it. It’s a mystery why one person can be entranced by a certain band and another person, similar to the first in a million ways, finds the music awful. This is what I’m thinking about as I present you with my next musical offering: The Books – The Way Out.
The Books are an electronic/funk/folk/noise-pop/other-ill-fitting-labels duo from New York City that started working together in 1999. The idea was simple, to utilize random vocal samples from various sources and incorporate them into synthesized beats. The execution of that simple idea stradles the fine line between genius and madness, and I willingly give myself over to their insanity. This band is one of the most exciting discoveries I’ve made in months.
There aren’t many companies in the big leagues of the beer game in the United States. Truth be told, after the recent mergers there are only two major players in the game today: Anheuser-Busch InBev and Miller Coors. Those two companies make up more then 80% of the beer sold in the USA. You might think that’s enough for them, but they wouldn’t agree. They want a piece of the Craft Brewer’s pie too!
The cold hard truth is that Americans are starting to pay attention to their taste buds, and they’re throwing their “Buds” in the trash. The first half of this year, the big beer business was down 2.7% in sales while the independent market grew by 9%. There is no way the mighty corporations would stand for this. You might expect them to begin a smear campaign against independent breweries (like claiming the quality standards are bad) or running ads depicting people frowning as they drink “bitter” beers, but they haven’t gone down that road – yet. Instead, they are doing something a bit more devious. They’re pretending to be independent.
Before you read any further, I feel you need to know that I waited for half an hour to get into a midnight showing of this movie. I’m a fan of the Scott Pilgrim comics and will be getting the video-game as soon as it releases on the Xbox Marketplace. That said, I’ll try to be as unbiased and straight with you as I can in this review………………………………….
If you appreciate comedy at all, you’ve already heard about this movie. If your religious beliefs forbid you from laughing, let me fill you in. Mark Walberg and Will Farrell star as two cops whose careers are not where they were hoping they would be. Constantly subjected to the ridicule of the other detectives, including the balls-to-the-wall hot shots played by Dewayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson, they’re just trying to get by. The previews show a straight-shooting Mark Walberg trying to deal with a less-than-normal Will Farrell and hilarity ensues. Question is, is it worth your time?
Ok, first of all I’ve got to get this out of the way. This entire movie is less-than-normal. Everyone is a satire on what they’re supposed to be, and the few characters that are supposed to be straight-laced come off looking like they’re in the wrong film. That being said, it’s a great “buddy cop” movie. The dialogue is very funny and I found myself laughing the hardest whenever Mark and Will were fighting. There is an exceptional argument concerning Lions and Tuna that almost made me leak a lttle of the cherry-coke I had been enjoying.
I’m not sure what to think of Nicholas Cage. He’ll put out a fairly average family-adventure movie (National Treasure) that my wife and I can watch in the same room without groaning at the others choice. Then he’ll crank out a few steaming piles of shit (Wicker Man, Bangkok Dangerous) that make me all but give up on him. Then when I’m not looking, he’ll drop a monster of a performance on me (Kick Ass) and make me worship him yet again. I swear I need Lithium when I go to his films because he causes me to act bipolar.
Thank you Jon Turteltaub for making me believe again. Thank you for bringing back a Nicholas that my wife and I can enjoy together. Thank you for taking a musical cartoon about a lazy mouse with a penchant for fucking with janitorial tools and crafting a movie that I would be willing to pay to see again.