Journal of Pirate Lingo*


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12.17.03 - 6:37 p.m.

Summer of 1997: Angi and I were living in Austin, didn't know anybody. So whenever our coworkers went to see a movie, we tagged along. But summer of 97 was a dire time to be a movie-goer. In case you've forgotten how bad things were, here are some notes I jotted down at the time. Scale is 1-10.

Men in Black: 3.5

Going to the movies this summer has been so depressing. It's like doing the limbo; the bar keeps getting lower and lower. I'm tired of coming out of theatres saying things like, "Well... at least it didn't have any talking pigs or dogs playing basketball." Men in Black was not funny, not exciting and the aliens sucked. Next.

Con Air: 3

Nice man on bad plane, must fight. Ooh, bad men. Kill bad men, nice man! BOOM! Lot of fight! Why nice man talk with ludicrous Southern accent? Why nice man in Las Vegas? BOOM! Movie over now.

Can You Swallow a Watermelon, Part 1:

Why is Nicholas Cage, a model prisoner who just got paroled, put on a plane that's otherwise populated solely by unbelievably evil, psychotic murderers and crack fiends?

Lost World: 2

The bus scene was funny but the rest of this tepid rehash just plain stunk. Stunk like a skunk. Stank like a sewage tank. I refuse to give any sympathy to characters stupid enough to take a baby T-rex into their trailer and expect to walk away with all their limbs intact. What did they think would happen, the baby's huge vicious parents would go “meh” and walk away? The laws of nature dictate that people this stupid will inevitably be devoured by wild animals. But in Lost World the theory of natural selection is conspicuously out to lunch.

Can You Swallow a Watermelon, Part 2:

Good thing Jeff Goldbloom's stowaway daughter knows gymnastics -- it's their only chance against the deadly, razor-clawed raptors!

Q: "If you hate action movies so much, why go see 'em, ya pinko Commie bastard?"

A: I don’t hate action movies. I just hate bad action movies And not all the slam-bam movies I saw this summer were bad. For example...

Face Off: 7

Critics babbled ceaselessly about Face Off’s “balletic violence”, but this comparison is ridiculous and insulting. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Face Off ballet
Cool boat chases hells yeah no way
People wearing tights thank god, no sad but true
Secret gravity boot prison you bet nope
Margaret Cho (sigh) yes a point for ballet
foolish, time consuming and
ultimately pointless dancing
no (even Travolta refrains) yes! don’t deny it!
Explosions, bullets flying
everywhere, evil drug dealers
is the pope catholic? as they say in Spain, “no”
expensive you can rent it $$$
can you eat popcorn while
watching it?
be my guest yeah right
is there a plot? supposedly supposedly

As you can see, Face Off wins in almost all departments. The story (a silly-putty mess too absurd for my mind to recall) is actually sort of peripheral -- it’s just a flimsy vapor that wafts through fine performances by Travolta & Cage. Woo’s gunfights are the real showpiece here, and the action -- c’est magnifique! If your idea of a good time is watching people shoot at, stab and otherwise attempt to kill each other, in stylish and extravagent fashion, then a) go see this movie immediately and b) stay away from my house.

Can You Swallow a Watermelon, Part 3

"So then, the BAD guy gets the GOOD guy's face..."

Die Hard: 7


Another classic I finally got around to renting. I don't know why Bruce Willis is so entertaining, but he is, and it keeps the movie cruising along. I was rooting for the bad guys, but as it turns out I would've been better off rooting for Wil E. Coyote. You'd think these crack German terrorists would devote at least a couple weekends per year to target practice, but their aim is as bad as their accents. These guys couldn't hit their shoes, let alone their enemies, and this stunning lack of even the most basic firing skill gives them trouble right off the bat. When you factor in John McClane's monk-like ability to withstand approximately 7,534 punches, kicks, head butts and cuts without falling down, while simultaneously fighting back with fists and snappy repartee, the result seems inevitable: our hapless villains go to pieces faster then a mango in a blender. The terrorists will learn from their mistakes, though, and I predict complete and unequivocal victory for the forces of evil come Die Hard II.

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