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Notes From The Back Row

Sugar, Oh Angelina

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I miss being a kid. Getting up at the crack of dawn, fixing some cereal and getting serious about Saturday morning cartoons. Back then nothing beat watching psychedelic colours with a nice sugar buzz. Well, now us adults can re-live those glorious moments in the theatre with The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D , opening Friday at the Village 8.

Based on stories written by his eight-year-old son, Robert Rodriguez ( Sin City, Spy Kids) delves back into the family genre. Young Max creates a dreamworld to deal with his parents’ constant bickering. His imaginary protagonists, Shark Boy and Lava Girl, come to life and enlist his aid in saving their planet from villains who look a lot like Max’s teacher and the class bully. Full of cookies, candy and nifty 3D effects, the film’s disjointed setting lacks the social structure that made Dorothy’s Oz so dramatically compelling, making Shark Boy and Lava Girl simple, kiddy fare. But when your eyes are sizzling from the blue/red glasses and your synapses are firing on a triple-speed sugar rush the effect can be quite nostalgic.

Buy the jumbo box of Froot Loops, smuggle them into the theatre and just start chowing fistfuls right out of the box. You’ll enjoy it much more.

Speaking of box-chowing and dreams… Angelina Jolie has a new movie out, co-starring the luckiest bastard on earth, Brad Pitt. Since those two have been completely off the public radar lately, here’s the deal. In Mr and Mrs Smith they play a married couple going through relationship difficulties. Each is unaware the other is a hired killer but the dirty little secrets come to light when the Smiths are instructed to kill each other. They try; it turns them on. They hump, and then team up to fight their bosses, who’ve decided to do them both in. Add clever dialogue. Cue happy ending.

While it looks a bit like the movie panders to the tabloid sensationalism of late, Mr and Mrs Smith actually has plenty of smart and saucy sexual repartee and even more niftily shot Hong Kong-esque action. There’re no sappy Hollywood morals and lessons being crammed down your throat and really, when you’re dealing with the hottest woman of all time and this generation’s coolest actor, who doesn’t love a little eroticized domestic violence? Angelina dishes it out as well as she takes it and the only real fault is that director Doug Liman had to substitute violence for sex to keep his PG-13 rating and happy ending. Strange how it seems it's okay to beat your wife in Hollywood, just don't go down on her. All that violence ends up making the picture seem a tad long but come on now, is there really such a thing as too much Angelina? No, there is not, and anyone who says there is should be given a Tabasco enema and kicked in the teeth. That or be forced to spend a day watching Renée Zellweger films.

Also opening this weekend, just not in Whistler, is It’s All Gone Pete Tong , the latest from Fubar director Michael Dowse. It’s a mockumentary about DJ Frankie Wilde, a god of the Ibiza club scene who loves his fame, women and the clubby drugged-out lifestyle. When Wilde starts to go deaf he realizes he doesn’t know how to do anything but spin records for tweakers and he undergoes a soul-seeking journey for redemption. With his dry sense of humour, Dowse lambastes club culture, bandwagoners and the culture of excess. It’s a seductive, intimate film with a point and it’s Canadian so check it out. Meanwhile I’m gonna try and hire Angelina to kick the shit out of me. Oh Angelina.

AT VILLAGE 8 June 10-16: Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl, Mr & Mrs Smith, Batman Begins (starts Wed), Lords of Dogtown, Cinderella Man, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Madagascar, Star Wars III, The Longest Yard.

AT RAINBOW THEATRE June 10-16: Monster In Law.

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