the following entry has been approved for all audiences

So I’m at a (utterly forgettable) movie with Mark and am intently watching the previews, as usual. Don’t talk to me during them, because I like to do the five-second review afterwards: “Not even when it’s on TBS in five years and I have the flu.” Some comedian once said that moviegoers will pay to go see the dumbest crap but somehow after every preview you become the most elite, unforgiving movie critic on the planet: “No. NEXT.” I forget who said that, but it made me laugh.

Then sometimes you watch a preview and you torture yourself with “what was he in?!” because it’s driving you crazy and you can’t place that guy to save your life and you have to know now. The worst is when you turn to your friend to ask them, and they’re about to ask you the same thing. Then you’re just screwed, because we’re years away from the IMDB brain chip. No, actually, worse is when your friend says, “I have no idea,” and they don’t even tear their eyes away from the screen to give you a courtesy glance because it’s of so little consequence to them, and then you know that you must have seen the guy in some obscure role that you’ll never remember because he was something like a dancing goblin in the tossing-of-the-baby-in-the-striped-outfit scene in Labyrinth. (Please, I know the striped baby’s name was Toby. I’m sorry to tell you that I knew that movie by heart when I was like nine. I know it was basically a two hour long David Bowie video, but it was also a bona fide event in my childhood.)

This just made me think about other movies I know by heart: Heathers, Dazed and Confused, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Breakfast Club, The Princess Bride, Clueless, Clerks, Back to the Future, Napolean Dynamite, Singles… damn, that’s a lot of uselessness taking up room in my brain.

Ahem, anyway. Then sometimes there’s that preview for the most vapid, pointless piece of nothingness with Ashton Kutcher or his genetic equivalent stumbling through a series of double entendres, mistaken identity, and/or kicks to the crotch, and then at the end of the movie (while standing at the altar next to his icy, malicious fiancee, natch) he realizes that he’s really in love with the sweet, underdog girl next door, and the entire thing is set to a Goo Goo Dolls song, and during this preview I’m always sitting behind the girl that turns to her friend and says, “That looks so cute!” and it makes me instantly love MY friend who’s next to me all the more, because they’re making a snarky comment and turning off their cell phone.

So yeah, I’m watching a trailer that features Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell being macho. Machine guns, sunglass removal in slow motion, and lines like, “You play the wrong games and the wrong people die!” It looks like a million other movies just like it that I’d never see, but wait… are they fighting crime on a… jetski? Huh. Then we finally get to the title. And it’s Miami Vice.

I almost spit out my Diet Coke. Mark had seen the preview before and anticipated my reaction, so he didn’t elbow me in the beginning and say, “This is the MIAMI VICE remake.” He let me experience it and then almost choke on my soda, and for that I’m grateful.

I don’t so much want to say something like, “Why are they remaking everything these days?” because it’s really the dumbest small talk topic, right after, “Can you believe this weather?” But really, why are they? I guess because a few of them did well and then the avalanche of mediocrity was just inevitable.

Anyway, here are some movies coming out that actually look neat: this one and that one. But they’re just previews. Who can actually formulate an informed opinion based on a preview?

Besides, you know, me.

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