Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If You Get Caught, Lie

THIS WAS the default lunch, as today Speed TV re-ran the 2011 Grand Prix Espagna, from Catalunya, which is my second favorite course. Yeah. I think so. Spa, Catalunya, Monza. Then probably Singapore, because it's ridiculous. Imagine F1 racing in Pittsburgh. Or maybe in Jersey.*
But the traditional pastrami dish, which this time was going to be an omelet with pastrami inside, sort of like an omelet with hash filling, was out because the pastrami in the fridge had gone over, very likely because that's what happens when Christmastime comes around and everybody else in the known universe insists on feeding you. So at the last minute, I bolted out to the store and grabbed some bacon. So I had a turkey, bacon and cheese with both cheddar and American cheese and two kinds of mustard. (Oh, and the Ketchupo!(R) is made with a new Heinz product, ketchup with balsamic vinegar, which WOO-HOO!)
This is not the movie of the day, even if you hold a non-metaphoric gun to my head. It happened to be on when nothing else was, and SHEESH! What a dog. There are small flashes of what they meant to do, Russell Brand is intermittently amusing, Helen Mirren is appropriately icy and quirky by turns, but it has a heart as black and cold as Jennifer Garner's. It seems like they meant to do a fairly pure update to the original-- eventually Our Hero gives in, goes to AA, and accepts his small part in the charity wing of the soulless corporation whose teat he formerly gorged upon, and thus honorably wins the penniless girl who turned out to be a genius kiddie lit author, which is all bullshit, but at least bullshit authentic to our times-- but, as always happens with addicts, too many things must have seemed like good ideas. In a way, it was like going to a flea circus and finding ticks. You either get that metaphor or you don't. I'm not going to elaborate.

Not that the original was actually any better.

What was very clearly designed as a vehicle for Dudley Moore to show off his classic British stage sketch comedy sensibilities, not to mention Liza Minelli to pull the original J-Lo, trying to convince us that Liza with a Z was really just Linda from the Bronx, degenerated into a writer's group monstrosity. The sky was the limit. If they wanted to get Sir John Gielgud to act in their farce, so be it. If they wanted to kill his character off, so be that as well. They even included a speech in which one character justified a killing and then asserted that his being justified in protecting his family's house and food gave him reign and justification in killing for any reason he saw fit. (Oh, and that damned theme song? It took, like, six people to write that thing. Okay, four, but two of them were Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager, and if that didn't foreshadow the coming cocaine epidemic, I don't know what else would have.)

But the re-do? The final scene was a shot of Arthur driving his one true love down Fifth Avenue in the Batmobile with flames coming out of the turbine. And Fifth Avenue was so clearly glass painted (or whatever the computer photo-shop equivalent is) that when they disolved from that into a cartooned Fifth Avenue backdrop, it was actually, disappointingly, anti climactic.

So do I recommend it? The sandwich was good. But other than that, man, I just don't care.

*Never mind. That's only funny if you follow F1 way too closely. But this is. "Moon. New York City. What do I have to do, draw you a map!?"

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