Rant: “Sex and the City 2”

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What could a movie about four dazzling urbanite New Yorkers have to do with “Waxwork II,” a sequel so bad I wish I was smart enough to invent my own hot tub time machine so I could go back in time and disinvent it? The most important thing is that “SATC 2” was constructed around the Waxwork II Rule. At every turn in “Sex and the City 2,” if you listen very carefully, you’ll hear whispers of “this movie has the kitchen sink and everything in the kitchen and the plumbing, too.” Except the plumbing, in this scenario, is solid gold. And adorned with black diamonds. And has some cleavage painted somewhere on it.

Given that I already wrote a review extolling my frustrations, I’ll keep this rant short. There are so many things wrong with “Sex and the City 2” that it’s hard for me to pick a good spot to dump my disappointment. Let’s start with the major flaw: This movie, much like “Waxwork II,” isn’t much of a movie. The plot is weak at best. Gone are the problems of the original film, where we cared about the characters and they wore clothes that didn’t make them look as if they’ve just escaped from Cirque de Soleil. (Somebody in this crew has to own plain ole’ blue jeans, dammit.) And because there is no plot, Michael Patrick King accessorizes like a madman. No compelling storyline? Well, let’s add some earrings longer than the seven-inch heel of Carrie’s hot-pink platform. No human drama? A fashion show in the Abu Dhabi desert will fix that right up.

The accessorizing gets worse when the girls wander the marketplace because they wear half-shirts that bear near-obscene amounts of cleavage (give those funbags some shade!). In a Muslim country. Don’t get me started on Samantha giving some dude a handjob in a restaurant where people are trying to eat. Now, I’m all about self-expression and I’m no prude, but letting it all hang out isn’t funny, it’s disrespectful to the culture and Muslim values. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are surrounded by women wearing burkas, women without their privilege and their many rights, and they don themselves up like princesses. Spare me.

What else has me so fightin’ mad? The dialogue. Oh dear God is this dialogue bad. It might even be worse than anything you’ll find in “Waxwork II.” In “Sex and the City 2,” everyone uptalks like the dickens, chirping and smirking at what they think is their own cleverness. (Sarah Jessica Parker, whose Carrie wasn’t my favorite, is the prime offender. It’s too bad we can’t jail people for making bad puns.) But these jokes aren’t clever. They are hammy and totally fake. There’s not a drop of real feeling behind them … which is the problem of this sequel. King doesn’t give a flying fig about his characters; he just cares that they’re wearing pretty frocks. But pretty frocks do not a good movie make.

And blue jeans, people. Never trust anyone who doesn’t own one pair of plain ole’ blue jeans.

To movies, good and bad.

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Seriously?

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They are making Scream Four, and Wes Craven and the guy that wrote the screenplay are both returning. That’s the good news. And really, it’s the only good news. There’s no reason, I mean no fucking reason, why this movie needs to be made.

As Randy said in Scream 2 (of all places), “The horror genre was destroyed by sequels,” and he could not have been more right.

It seems like this franchise has nowhere to go, as Scream 3 answered whatever “questions” may have been on our minds, and drove what was once a fresh product straight into the ground. But, I guess it’s true what they say, horror villians “and the franchises from whence they came” can’t be stopped.

Hayden Panettiere is in it, though, and if it means I get to see her with her guts hanging out again (as long as she doesn’t get back up), like this scene from “Heroes” then that might just be enough to make me see it. Maybe. Probably not.

To movies, good and bad.

Why?

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I might have more to say about this later on, but I doubt it, as everything that could be said has already been said, and I, unlike the inept hacks that gave us Waxwork 2: Lost in Time, have learned to know when to shut up (or have I? I mean, I am calling out the *cough cough* so-called *cough cough* screen writers of the Worst Sequel Ever) and so I will let this single picture be worth all the words that could ever be said about the so-called “prequel” (it’s a sequel, Lucas, just admit it!) from that far far away galaxy.

To movies, good and bad.

Sequel Watch–Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

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Welcome to a new feature that will appear whenever the mood strikes. It will “subtly suggest” a sequel for your viewing (dis)pleasure. They will be short and to the point posts, or at least they should be, but who knows how long they will actually end up being. There are no rules when you are lost in time, except of course for the “Waxwork 2 Rule”

One of the best sequels out there, and possibly one of the few that actually surpasses its predecessor. That however, is a discussion for another time, since these “Sequel Watch” segments should go against the entire stylistic approach to writing on this blog and be short succinct affairs, and not long winded verbal masturbation.

And in the spirit of brevity I will just say this, “If you haven’t seen this movie watch it as soon as you are able. If you have seen this movie, then you are aware of it awesomeness and you should get it out of your DVD collection (I know you own it. How can you watch this movie and then resist the urge to go out and buy it–or at the very least download it illegally, or legally for that matter) and watch it now.

If you need further convincing and encouragement I give you this:

To movies, good and bad.

Terminator Two(part one)

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I still haven’t been able to bring myself to sit down for a repeated viewing of the worst sequel ever, otherwise known as “That Cleveland Steamer Masquerading as a movie” called Waxwork 2: Lost in time. See, the mission of the blog as stated here, is to really explore what makes WW2: LIT so terrible, to answer the question, if you will, of why it sucks harder than a two-bit street-walker addicted to heroin and who always come up short when it’s time to pay the pimp.

In order to do that, I (we, once I get some contributors) will venture into the realm of what makes a good sequel. What makes it work? I think there is no more appropriate sequel to start this discussion than Terminator Two: Judgment Day.

Already we know that this film is not quite going to live up to its predecessor. How do we know this? The answer to that question is easy, simple, and straightforward: the colon and sub-title. The movie is often referred to as Terminator Two, or simply T2, but the fact remains that its official title is still Terminator Two: Judgment Day .

An overlong and colon-aided title does not a bad movie make. This is true, and I never said Judgment Day (the OTHER name this movie is known  by, thereby giving us 4 different ways to refer to it,surely a sign of hype and style over substance–it is Cameron) was a bad movie. In fact, I quite enjoy it and think it is one of the better sequels to ever grace the screen, big or small. But what makes it so good?

Well, for starters it brings back members of the original cast. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, Arnold “The Governator” Schwarzenegger as the (unfortunately loveable) Terminator, and that dude that plays the Psychiatrist, Dr. Silverman, I believe the character’s name is, but I am not sure. Nor do I care. But this is what the actor looks like,(

(and I was close, the character’s name is Dr. Silberman). Anyway, the main players are all played by the original actors, which is something that cannot be said of the obsession of this blog. See, Waxwork 2 immediately decides to get a different actress for the lead, and man did they make a bad choice because the woman who plays Sarah in WW2: LIT couldn’t act her way out of a wet paper bag if the bottom had already ripped out.

As M.Carter put it in her email to me after having watched this waste of time and money (despite my frequent warnings not to, but hey sometimes we just have to experience things ourselves, not matter what other people tell us), “Why in the world did they bring in a new Sarah? I call this the Soap Opera Syndrome, and it entails switching major actors from one day to the next and thinking we won’t notice.”

Well said, M. I couldn’t have put it better myself. And now onto further analysis of the movie at hand.

T2 does suffer the colon syndrome, but this minor flaw is completely trumped by the fact that the original members of the original cast (those whose characters survived anyway, and those that also happen to be T-800s) return, and they give strong performances, especially Linda Hamilton. As Sarah Connor she is desperate, and nihilistic. She is not a complete nihilist, though, as she cannot allow herself to fall entirely down that rabbit hole because she is “the mother of the future,” or as he is more commonly known by his name of manhood, John Connor (oh, wait, wrong movie), and thus she cannot fully embrace the fact that Judgment Day will happen, as much as she wants to.

At this point I will say this: If you have been living under a rock for the past nineteen years, or if you are like twelve, go here to check out the plot and other such detail of T2: Judgment Day (And yet another way to call this movie, what is that, like 5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–this has Cameron written all over it).

I do not mean to imply that Sarah wants Judgment Day, simply that she knows it is on its way and that just wants to get it over with so that she can finish her work of raising Jesus Christ, I mean John Connor, to teach the other survivors the skills needed to “smash those metal mohterfuckers into junk.” Sarah has a mission, and that is to keep her son alive so that he can become The One (man, now that movie had some rotten sequels) and lead humanity against the…oh, you get the idea.

Hamilton’s performance it at once intense and vulnerable. At this point in the story Sarah Connor is a bit crazy, and Hamilotn portrays a realistic, and fucking scary, vision of a woman on the edge. Hamilton the actress, and by extension Connor the character, who is calm and collected one moment, though it is plain to see her anger and tension bubbling like molten lava in the lava pit until it finally starts to push up through the conduit, past the kamin, whatever the hell that is, and finally erupting out of the crater, which takes us to the next moment when she is a screaming madwoman spouting off predictions of doom, death, nuclear war and killer (they’re cyborgs, not robots–someone should have told McG that) with spittle flying out of her mouth.

Here is a approximate visual representation of the entire process:

English: Volcano

1. Magma chamber
2. Bedrock
3. Conduit (pipe)
4. Base
5. Sill
6. Branch pipe
7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano
8. Flank
9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano
10. Throat
11. Parasitic cone
12. Lava flow

13. Vent

14. Crater

15. Ash cloud

So that is the volcanic process, and here is how it finally culminates:

Some saavy readers (if there are actually any readers at all) may have noticed the (part one) in the title of this post. Yes, it is true, there is a second part to the exploration of Terminator Two and why it is a good sequel, but still inferior to the original Terminator. And don’t worry, I didn’t forget (though I realize you may have, as this  post is now over a thousand words) that the point it to show way WW2: LIT is truly the worst sequel ever, but as I said before, that requires me watching it again, and I am not ready for that, so in the meantime I am looking at what makes sequels (and I guess movies in general, but especially sequels) work.

I then intend to mock WW2: LIT incessantly for not following the rules that make a sequel bearable and watchable. Neither of those words can in good faith and honesty be applies to Waxwork 2: Lost in Time, aka the worst sequel ever.

So come back later for part two of this jolly exploration of Judgment Day.

To movies, good and bad.

Unreliable

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That is how I would describe this article. Any list that lays claim to what the worst sequels are, but excludes Lost in Time the bumbling movie that is as nonsensical as it is painful is not to be trusted. I liken the experience of watching this movie with that of cuddling with a porcupine (not that I have ever cuddled with such a prickly critter, I just have a vivid imagination) or having sex with a jelly fish–the stingy kind, of course (again, never had sex with a jellyfish, but my imagination tends to run wild at times).

Though in the bad poster/movie art category Staying Alive definitely takes the cake.

He looks like he has traveled back to a time when it was cool for men to look all oiled up and sport a torn leotard (and no, there really never was such a time, so I guess he traveled into an entirely different dimension). Don’t forget the headband, either, without it, that messy mop on his head that he calls hair might fall into his eyes and glisten with sweat. Can’t have that. No way no how because if we did, then we would be distracted from his slicked up hard body.

Oh, and the knee high leggings are also a nice touch. He looks like he was on his way to a Flashdance convention, but somehow ended up on the set of Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” video. Or Overdog’s crazy labyrinth (who knows, maybe they are the same place; they sure do kind of look alike).

So yes, EW, I agree that Staying Alive is a craptastic movie and it’s poster art is atrocious, but it can’t hold a bum (homeless person or ass, take your pick) scented candle to the stinker that is Waxwork 2: Lost in Time. But yes, if we were judging solely on movie poster coolness then WW2: LIT would be the winner, I mean, it’s not a great poster, but at least it isn’t terrible. It suggests some horror and strange adventures, but unfortunately it cannot deliver on those subtle suggestions. We shouldn’t judge books by their covers, nor movies by their posters, but if we did, there would be no doubt that Staying Alive would take the title of worst sequel ever.

After all, how could this poster not beat that vision of a sweaty and bewildered looking John Travolta in the movie that single-handedly ended his career until Look Who’s Talking (and later Pulp Fiction), which itself had a pretty craptacular sequel?

To movies, good and bad.

A Risky Endeavor

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When I got the idea for this blog I was drunk. Really really really drunk. Also, I was thinking about this movie. Don’t ask me why because I don’t have an answer for you. If I had to venture a guess I would say that I was thinking about this movie because it is, in fact, terrible, and not in that it’s so terrible it’s good kind of way, but rather the it’s so terrible it’s terrible one.

So I thought that I would warn the world to keep far far away from this piece of celluloid trash, and hence in my drunken state this idea was born. I think it is a good idea, a great idea in fact, but there is just one little problem…

If I am going to be writing about this movie (and I am) then I need to have strong working knowledge of it (which I don’t). Sure, I’ve seen it, but only once, and believe me brothers and sisters, once is more than enough. I remember a lot of what makes it so terrible, but my memory lacks the details and minutia that sends this from just being a mediocre and senseless movie into the realm of “Holy Crap! Compared to Waxwork 2: Lost in Time Transformers 2: Rise of the Fallen is a piece of cinematic genius!” Unfortunately this means that I will have to watch the damned thing again, or at least I should for posterity’s sake.

Wish me luck. I’m going to need lots of it. How much, you ask? Well, here is the trailer, and I would just like to say when the movie voice man says “more horror than you can handle,” he really should say “more stupidity than you can shake a stick at.”

See for yourselves:

To movies, good and bad.