“They are ruining the ending,” she said.
“What do I care, I don’t even know you,” I replied.
It was the Tuesday special, in a small theater with old seats. Half crazy and more than moderately disabled people were chanting from the back row:
“Hot chocolate, Hot OJ, Hot coffee, Hot hot dogs,” went the chant. Pause, repeat.
I expected to see them after the movie shouting, “Bring out your dead” in front of the pancake house next door. I saw them in my head, like a movie, with Styrofoam cups in their hands. I also expected to see actual dead people as well.
My seat dipped to left, slightly and I bought no refreshments. The movie last two hours and it seemed like two hours.
I wanted to like it, and I guess I did, in a way. Nick Cage was Nick Cage, but his daughter was a real delight – funny, cute, expressive and articulate. When she asked, “What do you cuxt’s want?” when facing down some bad guys, I really bought it. (She wasn’t really asking a question.)
The violence was not up to the caliber of the movie “Shoot ‘em Up’,” but then, what movie is? They made up for the lack of it with quantity -- Head explosions, bazooka rides, etc. – gore galore. I’ve both seen and expected better – but the film was sharp and crisp, and though I expected the graphic violence, many others might be in for a surprise.
Based just on the trailers, this movie looked more like “Spy Kids” than a John Woo’s greatest hits remake. It’s not Spy Kids, trust me, it’s much more a graphic novel than a comic book. Think Watchman, not Jughead.
The people that have been marketing this movie must have never seen this movie – or, maybe they did, and the campaign they put out is actually another, different, film -- a short satire on something uniquely American that features cartoons and guns in a world where no one can die, even if they should, (“I’ll get that wascally wabbit,” but he won’t.)
It’s probably about money. This is clearly a cult movie, but, at times, it must have seemed to the money boys that it might be much much more if you just nudged it the right way -- by lying. I can see the temptation, but can also imagine a lot of disappointed parents that the studios might never get back after the cute little girl says, “mother fucker” the second time in anger. She really is adorable, by the way.
I grew up in Oklahoma and I was considered strange. After I moved to California I realized I wasn’t – well, I am, but compared to??? Because of the stress that I received in early childhood, I like my entertainment to be over the top of what I see as over the top. If I could imagine it, why would I want to see it? If it’s not stranger, or at least better, than me, why bother? – It would be like having an argument with someone I agreed with over something I agreed on.
But, I’ll see it again, just not right away. I’ll see it at one of the midnight movies in a funky art house, on a night that the “Big Lebowski’s” is not playing. I’ll be the one in the back chanting lines from Donny Darko to all that are interested.