January 11, 2006

Craptastic Four

I took out an email subscription to Merriam-Webster's word of the Day in order to improve my vocabulary, but since I’ve gotten busy at work it has turned into three words, every couple of days, and I never really retain them. I'm always itching to get them out of my inbox, so I tell myself I know what they mean and click Delete, and later on in the week I'll be killing myself because one of those words will perfectly describe a situation--and I won't remember it. Oh, I’ll know the definition, but not be able to come up with even the first letter of the word. This is probably why my vocabulary hasn't really grown all that much since college, when I was exposed to (insufferably) literate professors every day. My brain has gotten lazy. I can tell by my regular use of the words 'dude', 'heinous' and 'retarded'. I sound like Ted (Theodore) Logan.

Stomachache from pie. Never eating pie again. We all know that's a lie, but I have to lie my stomach to make it feel better. I will tell it fruit juice and plain noodles to make it happy. Health food, stomach, from now I on, I promise. Please take me back; it won't be like before. I'm sorry I done you wrong.

If you're concerned about my weight-out, don't worry--I did that first thing this morning, having eaten nothing but a half-cup of oatmeal for brekkies. I actually did lose weight--only 3 pounds, but it's something--so I got my money back, and I am not a failure. Just an underachiever. Which I celebrated by eating an unholy amount of lunch. Being tired sure throws your judgment off.

Last night I watched (The?) Fantastic Four. I had never seen it before, as I generally see movies a few months past their release date. If I'm not itching to see it (like the newest Harry Potter or the whole LOTR shebang) I just wait for them to come out on DVD, after all the action figures have gone clearance. And this movie is a perfect example of why this is okay. It makes me glad that I'm not really missing anything by being too damn busy to get out at night. Aren't, oh, 90% of all movies total crap anyway? If I want some mindless escapism, I'll watch TV—which is like 95% crap, yes, but I don’t have to leave the house. Mindful escapism, I'll read a book. In bed. No pause buttons or loud theater patrons, and no long drive home. Yeah, books are better than film. [ßJustification of Anti-Social Lifestyle] Huh? [...] Hm. Thought I heard something just then.

Anyways, I was really disappointed in a lot of aspects of this movie. A big number one would be the plot, but it's an action movie based on a comic book, so obviously nobody gives a damn about the plot. It's the same with any long-running character-based series that gets turned into a movie (X-Men, The Flintstones, Shaft): the plot doesn't really matter, since you're only watching it to see the characters do something cool. Usually with the aid of CGI. This isn’t a blanket rule; the plot for X-Men wasn’t patently bad, I’m just saying the criteria for action movie plots are a little more lax than others. Plot holes don't matter so much, and the storyline just has to be enough that we either laugh or cry between showdown scenes. But this script was bad. I just wanted to say that I noticed.

Another annoying factor was Jessica Alba's character. [Sidenote: Who in the hell is Jessica Alba? Is she a pop singer or something? I don't think I've seen her in any other movies--is she new? Is she foreign? And why do people give me that look when I ask them who she is, and they tell me her name like it's got her resume stapled to it? Why am I supposed to know who she is? Is it just because she's pretty? Wouldn't that be sad, if I was supposed to know her name just because she's pretty? I don't get it. Moving on.] Jessica plays The Invisible Woman (feminist sigh); although she can also generate force fields, they leave her physically drained and give her a nosebleed (double feminist sigh). Her main function is to be GPA (Generic Protagonist Ass) and to get the shit kicked out of her until the boys show up (feminist GRRRR). I think we have seen this character somewhere before... Oh, yes--it was in EVERY OTHER MOVIE WITH A FEMALE SUPERHERO. Why does the industry suck so hard, I ask you? Why do women get the crap powers? And why can't they even use the crap powers properly? Jessica’s big face-off with the bad guy seems to be her getting in one good punch, then getting bitch slapped like Sailor Moon until Tuxedo Mask—I mean, The Human Torch—shows up and saves her ineffectual-but-shapely ass.

I can handle the cheesy plot, and even the catering to the male demographic, but movies that give credence to the idea that women will never be able to solve problems without a man make me ill—and no, it’s not the pie. And it’s not a radical feminist ideal that women can freakin’ take care of themselves. All the men scoffing right now? Imagine that in every superhero movie you’ve even seen, a woman takes down the bad guy. Or a group of women, with their combined powers. Seems a little odd, huh? And probably not just because you’ve never seen that happen in a movie EVER. I’m glad I didn’t give this movie a dime of my money (I watched a friend’s copy), since the only reason Hollywood gets away with this crap is because we pay them to.

I leave you to examine your DVD collection with an objective eye, while I have at the TUMS.

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