Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lady in the Water swims with style as Clerks II serves up laughs with fries

Yesterday,Little Sister and I did something we haven't done in quite awhile-we took in a double feature of Lady in the Water and Clerks II:Electric Boogaloo(couldn't resist,surely Kevin Smith will forgive me). We missed most of the trailers for Lady but caught a couple for C2,which I'll cover towards the end of this review.

Lady in the Water stars Paul Giametti as Cleveland Heep,the super of an apartment complex with some pretty odd tenants like a guy who is bodybuilding on only one side of his body,a gang of chatty stoners,a crossword puzzle whiz and his rather observant son,plus the newest addition to the bunch,a cranky books and movie critic(brilliantly underplayed by Bob Balaban). Cleveland's life changes when Story(the lovely Bryce Dallas Howard),a narf on a mission to inspire one particular human to write something that will lead to making the world a better place.

Thanks to a ancient legend told to him by the mother of one of his tenants(the mom and daughter team,played by Cindy Cheung and June Kyoko Lu,are my favorite characters in this piece),Cleveland realizes that he's meant to help Story with her quest and to protect her from a scrunt,which is a nasty hyenalike critter determined to take Story out of the picture before she can return home to her people and that other people in the complex are also destined to assist her as well.

It's best to recall the original advertising for this movie that called it "A Bedtime Story For Adults" when you watch it-it's an accurate description of the plot and the mood set here. Yes,this requires more than your average suspense of disbelief but hey,M. Knight delivers the goods and it's a refreshing bit of what if myths were real? fantasy that makes your imagination soar. And to all those critics who are all ticked about Balaban's character being a scrunt's lunch:get over yourselves,please! Not everything is a personal attack on you. For example,I'm a plus size gal but did I get all worked up over Shallow Hal? No,because it's just a movie with fat jokes,no more or less. It's not about every big girl in the world. Besides,that scene with Balaban and the scrunt was one of the best oddly humorous bits in the movie and wouldn't you want the critic to have atleast one good onscreen moment?

Clerks II takes up the lives of Quik Stop boys Dante and Randal as they have to take jobs at a Moobys restaurant due to the their old workplace burning down. Not much has changed;Randal is still his usual viciously snarky self while Dante plans to marry Emma(played by Smith's wife,Jennifer Scwalbach)who sports a Mrs. Hicks t-shirt and wants the two of them to head down to Florida where her dad will give Dante a car wash to run. Jay and Silent Bob are in tow and yes,there are some cameos by the regular Kevin Smith players as well as new characters like Elias,(Trevor Fehrman)a Christian Lord of the Rings/Transformers geek who also works at Moobys and takes the brunt of Randal's ire.

Dante is again torn between two women;his fiance and his boss,Becky(Rosario Dawson)who totally gets him but is as hesistant as he is to commit to anyone,claiming not to believe in "romantic love". Since this is supposed to be Dante's last day in Jersey,Randal plans a rather naughty surpise to send him off while Becky winds up telling him that she's pregnant. Various hijinks ensue,with plenty of laughs and some well underplayed emotional moments. There are some phrases from this movie that you'll want to share with others that will bring a mutual grin such as "Pillowpants","Inter-species erotica" and a couple that are a)too damn raunchy and b)can get you beaten up if said in the wrong neighborhood.

Clerks II is a fun film that makes an excellant bookend to the first film while giving even non Kevin Smith fans a good time. Jason Mewes doing that tribute to Silence of the Lambs,Randal's showdown with a old high school enemy and the inpromptu musical number that breaks out complete with Jay and Silent Bob in pigtails are some of the best scenes I've watched this summer. Also,the next time I hear Samantha Fox's "Naughty Girls",the image that comes to mind will be courtesy of Kevin Smith's twisted thought patterns-thanks for the future yaks,Kevin!

I caught about two interesting trailers before C2: Crank and The Covenant. The Covenant is about a gang of teenage boys who possess magical powers and wind up have some in-fighting. It looked like a cross between The Craft and Lost Boys(click the title link to check it out),with the guys jumping off of high places and flying around,plus tons of Hot Topic gear in effect.

Crank is about a hitman named Chev Chelios whose has been poisoned and wants to get some payback before he croaks. It stars Jason Statham and has a very Transporter vibe to it. I wouldn't rush right and see it in theaters but it does looks like a decent timekiller that'll make for a decent DVD rental later on.

Double features are good for many reasons-you don't have to give up one movie for the other and if one of your picks stinks,the other is bound to be better. Little Sister and I were lucky that both movies were kickass and that we didn't have any snacks with us during Clerks II. Do be careful if you eat while watching C2,the chances of choking on your popcorn will be greatly increased within the first ten minutes(Joel Siegel is a total wussy wimp).


PJS said...

OK I just went and looked for the trailer for "Covenant" online.

Looks like fun! (also looks sort of, erm, hot.)

lady t said...

I'm sure Covenant will find an audience(I have no idea who any of those guys are)but those boys are too bland for my taste. Atleast Lost Boys had Keifer Sutherland as a vampire(he was so damn sexy....must stop drooling!)