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Shocking news! Alamo destroyed by the girl next door!

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I hate watching movies on television. It’s the commercials. Movies are not dramatically designed to be interrupted every 10 minutes for "a word form our sponsors." It’s like this: suppose you’re having sex and just when it’s starting to get really good and you’re really hitting your rhythm some dude taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hold on there, eh. Did you know Always with wings is three times as absorbent? Neat-O. And check out this stupid SUV you’ll never be able to afford, nifty huh? And hey, by the way, this beer will get you laid, oh wait, you’re already getting laid. Okay, back to it then."

Do you think that might sort of ruin the sexual experience? Kind of set it back a bit? How much of a climax can you possibly build with all those interruptions? Well, it’s the same with movies. Breaking them up and putting them on TV is simply wrong.

TV shows are only slightly better because they, at least, have a bunch of mini climaxes that keep you intrigued over the commercial breaks. But realistically this is a waste of time too. Thankfully, the best TV shows are put onto DVD so you can watch them commercial free, non-stop, and plow through a whole season in a matter of days. A perfect example of this is 24 , the best TV show ever. 24 stars Keifer Sutherland as a counter-terrorist agent who has a really long, hard day. Told in real time, an hour on the show equals an hour in real life. Watched back-to-back on DVD 24 is so gripping I once called in sick to work and cancelled reservations at the Rimrock just so I could lie on the floor and enjoy eight straight hours . Season one and two are available at any respectable video store so when it starts to rain outside, don’t complain about having nothing to do.

The other good thing about 24 is that it co-stars Elisha Cuthbert, hot Canadian actress of the moment. Elisha’s new flick, opening this week at the Village 8, is called The Girl Next Door and it just might be my new favourite teen comedy, up there with Fast Times at Ridgemont High , and Clueless.

The Girl Next Door is about Matthew, the shy, smart, when-I-grow-up-I-wanna-be-president kid who falls in love with Danielle (Cuthbert) when he glances next door and sees her naked. They develop a touchingly sweet relationship and she teaches the play-it-safe kid the importance of letting loose and being daring as a means to maintaining a well-rounded life. And she should know, she’s a porn star. Or at least she was, now she’s house sitting for her aunt and looking for a career change.

The plot thickens when her old porn producer shows up, because he misses her and wants her back in the business. Matthew and his dorky-yet-hilarious buddies must save the day and learn all those important lessons you need before you get out of high school. Like how to ball a porn star and what happens when you accidentally eat ecstasy.

It sounds like a standard 90-minute male fantasy for geeks but director Luke Greenfeld injects enough humour, surprise, and really good music (not current pop garbage crap but gems by The Who, Marvin Gaye, Sloan, and Muddy Waters) to ensure The Girl Next Door a spot as one of the year’s best films. Go see it even if it’s just to behold the amazing onscreen chemistry between Elisha Cuthbert (she’s from Calgary you know) and Emile Hirsch (who cares where he’s from but he’s a killer actor.) This movie’s tag line goes, "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" I say sure, drink it up.

Also opening is The Alamo a very historically correct film that’s so boring it seems to take longer than the 13-day battle upon which it’s based. Billy Bob Thorton is decent as Davy Crockett but the rest of the film is a crock.

Next on the chopping the block, The Whole Ten Yards, the sequel to that hitman/mobster comedy The Whole Nine Yards . The first one was popular, and the solid cast (Bruce Willis, Amamda Peet, Matthew Perry) are all back. Okay, Matthew Perry is not solid, nor was he in the first one, but he’s back and he’s taking his sissy, sappy Friends-character acting to hyperbolically bad levels in this movie.

Perry constantly falls down and runs into things until you really hope and pray someone would just shoot him and put an end to his chickenshitery. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen and you’re forced to suffer through this movie which is not nearly as funny as the original, which wasn’t that funny to begin with. My advice is skip this one, not worth the 12 bucks. Skip it on video too, not worth the $5.50. With luck The Whole Ten Yards will be playing on TV in a couple years and you can skip it there as well. Because, as we know, TV movies suck.

At Village 8 April 9-15: The Whole Ten Yards, Alamo, The Girl Next Door, Hidalgo, The Prince and Me, Hellboy, Home on the Range, Walking Tall, Ladykillers, Scooby Doo 2, Starsky and Hutch.

At Rainbow Theatre April 9-15: Lord of the Rings.

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