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Notes from the back row

Rocket's red glare

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You have to hand it to the good old Village 8. United 93 , the tragic 9/11 airplane movie about a bunch of people whose survival instincts kicked in when they heroically brought down their own doomed flight opens this Friday, but not up here. Damn straight, who really wants to see that anyhow? We already know how it ends and I’m still wondering about the ethics of dramatizing tragedies for cash and propaganda. How much are your loved ones memories worth?

In any case, that crap is blowing all the American critics’ minds but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure it’s a decent movie but I’m tired of the whole USA/Go Team crap. Can I say that? Sure, it’s slow season.

Sticking with movies that are playing up here, how about Robin Williams’s newest mistake RV? This is supposed to be a comedy about a guy who takes his family on vacation in a gi-normous motor home but all it ends up being is a testament to how totally unfunny Robin Williams actually is. Get back on the coke, Mork, it was your only saving grace. This shitheap of a film can be summarized by a line of its own dialogue, "I could actually throw up from how bored I am." Nuff said.

Moving right along, the Village 8 is also opening Stick It , a teenage rebellion, rock and roll gymnastics movie for the teeny bopper mall crowd. Written by the same chick that wrote Bring It On, this one’s about Haley, a tough kid/vandal who has to go to gymnastic camp instead of jail. Chock full of clichés, (like the bitchy adversary who comes around at the end) this feminist-wanna-be film also features plenty of shots of young girls asses and abs. Kinda sweet, like a handful of Skittles before they start to stick to your hand. Except the film ends up taking us nowhere and that whole "be yourself and you’ll do just great" message is getting kinda old too. Still, I’ve seen worse movies and you can realistically make a fun afternoon with this one if it’s raining and you're ripped on pot.

But how about a decent, if somewhat overdone, videogame movie? Silent Hill , directed by Chris Gans ( Brotherhood of the Wolf) and written by Roger Avery ( Pulp Fiction, Killing Zoe) is actually really cool. Sure it’s based on a video game and contains lots of elements we’ve all seen before, but when said elements are living dead girls, grisly monsters and a dude hog-tied with barbed wire slithering across a bathroom floor can you really go wrong?

The story is about a mom and daughter who flee their husband/dad and end up in a ghost town where they’re soon separated, forcing mom to go on a quest which involves going to hell and fighting demons and religious fanatics. Exactly what I’m talking about. Sure there’s some terrible dialogue and the story is a bit out there but this movie not only walks alongside the devil, it holds his hand. Check it out.

And if you’re looking for a dose of Canadiana, and you always should be in our U.S. media-inundated lives, check out The Rocket , the Maurice Richard biopic hockey movie. It’s another sports/underdog flick like we’ve all seen before. But remember being a kid and watching that French cartoon The Sweater , when God himself sent down a bunch of moths to eat that poor kid’s Leafs jersey? That ruled. Man, do I hate Ontario. Go Habs.

AT VILLAGE 8 April 28-May 4: RV; Silent Hill; Stick; American Dreamz; Lucky Number Slevin; Thank You for Smoking; Ice Age 2; Rocket; Sentinel; Scary Movie 4 .

AT RAINBOW THEATRE May 2-4: Failure to Launch . (Closed April 28-May 1.)

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