PAUL: Welcome back to NOT At The Movies, where we make totally unfair snap judgments about movies we haven’t seen based on crap we glean from the trailer, and stuff we just make up. We’ve finally recovered from not seeing Tom Cruise’s eyepatch movie, so today we run down the reasons we WON’T be seeing Inkheart.
It’s stunning that we have no interest in this picture. The Ulm and I should be ground-zero for this thing — between us we’ve got five kids under twelve and a raging case of arrested development. Plus, the Ulm just bought the Monster Manual.
SARGE: What the hell is Inkheart?
PAUL: There’s part of Inkheart’s problem, right there, Sarge … you’re on the hook to keep your rampaging two-year-old entertained all by yourself this weekend, and you don’t even know about the big family film that’s coming out.
ULM: Didn’t we already see this movie? I thought it was called “The Neverending Story”?
PAUL: There’s another movie I never saw that I hate. What was it about, some kid flying around on a guy in a bear suit or some damn thing?
ULM: Actually the best part of The Neverending Story was when Peter Griffin rode the dragon.
PAUL: I hate Inkheart because it is a generic family fantasy trailer and it makes me want to kill myself. It has the fairytale voice over announcer, “magical” music, and British accents to let us know we’re in for some quality family entertainment. It’s like every forgettable fantasy picture from the last ten years chucked into a machine and set on blend. Maybe fantasy is the ultimate derivative genre but can I at least get an interesting take on the same old crap? A sideways penetration of the Wizard of Oz’s backstory doesn’t get my pulse going.
ULM: Yeah, Wicked was okay, but damn it, enough is enough.
PAUL: Wicked? What the hell is the matter with you? Oz has one thing going for it –
ULM: Yeah, the original book has been in the public domain since 1956! Why does everything have to be so referential to the great works of the past? Has the blood run so thin that it is not enough to do movies based on books and remakes based on movies based on books, but we now must make movies based on books that are built on the bones of other famous movies and books. Where does it end?
PAUL: It doesn’t. The pop culture landscape is an enormous sausage built from all the animal noses, rat feces and intestines of the great works of the past …
ULM: Righto. Okay, then, I got a great premise: how about a troubled young boy and his wise-cracking older brother fall into a magic TV that is running the original version of Star Wars where Han Solo shot first? The two of them need to warn Luke that his entire reality will be re-digitized into an unrecognizable mess unless the three of them go on an epic journey to bring Spider-Man, Indiana Jones and the Terminator to set things right …
(one of the top ten Star Wars shirts)
SARGE: I think Em just climaxed.
PAUL: Narnia — the first one — largely delivered on the premise of being “Lord of the Rings that I can see with my little kids.” The effects were decent and the story ticked along so it didn’t bother me that it had Christ Lion and smartass little British kids as the heroes.
ULM: Why does everyone have a freakin’ English accent in fantasy stories? I’m tired of Sarge and his Anglo-Saxon tribe dominating my fantasy life.
PAUL: Not all the fantasists were English. Robert E. Howard was a red-blooded Texan! But English accents are absolute panty-peelers to your average American, or even sub-average Americans like us. It’s like, with Sarge — he’s a flesh-eating ogre, right?
SARGE: Oi! Enough of that, now!
PAUL: But he answers the phone here at Appy, and it’s like all, “‘Ello, darling, this is Sarge, how can I ‘elp you” bullshit and everyone thinks he’s erudite when he’s really this bulky, sweaty mass of a man. It’s all down to the accent.
ULM: Gandalf! Enough with the Englishmen already! What about the monsters?
PAUL: The Inkheart trailer does show me some monsters, but they’re pretty weak. Flying monkeys, unicorns, and Helen Mirren.
PAUL: She was hot in The Queen, so far as I’m concerned, but that’s not getting me into theatre for this picture. The Inkheart trailer has all the warmth of a Swiss watch. But what do you expect from a movie where the main character’s name is, “Flowchart”?
PAUL: No, that’s not really fair. It’s Folchart or something like that. But this trailer feels like it spewed out of a flowchart.
ULM: I like to make flowcharts …
PAUL: Stop it. We grew up before there was specialized fantasy entertainment for kids. We had to make do with crap like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Doctor Dolittle if we couldn’t convince our parents to take us to see Logan’s Run so we could see some tits, for chrissakes.
ULM (dreamy): Jessica 6. The robot scene. About 20 minutes in….
(bow down to Jenny Agutter at Den of Geek)
PAUL: And if we did see a movie aimed at kids, it was none of this empowering life lessons crap and product placement commercial hooey … it was like a haunted house of nightmares and unexpected tragedies. I mean, movies like Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka aren’t all that warm and fuzzy — it’s about dreadful children and this threatening chocolate guy, and they behead a freaking chicken during the water ride.
ULM: They beheaded a chicken? Really? Shit, I don’t remember. I think I feel a trauma coming on …
PAUL: Don’t even get me started on the animal movies. Go to see an animal movie when we were kids and get ready to cry. Old Yeller — BANG, shoot the dog. Ring of Bright Water — chop, cut the otter in half with a shovel. Born Free … oh, look, the lions are running BANG they’re shot. What the hell? I like darker movies for my kids with some genuine emotion — Millions was great, so was Monster House, and Iron Giant — but hell, the stuff we grew up on was torture. Maybe it is better the way it is today.
ULM: Did they really behead a chicken? That’s just wrong.
PAUL: Check it — at about the :50 mark.
SARGE: Oi! This is making me hungry.
PAUL: I don’t like the way he’s looking at us.
ULM: You mean like in one of those old cartoons, where there are two guys in a rowboat, and one looks at the other and he turns into a pork chop?
SARGE: Oi! Just because I was in the Royal Navy don’t make me a bleedin’ cannibal.
ULM: I’m getting nervous. We better cut this off.
PAUL: That’s the first smart thing you’ve said all day. For Not At The Movies, I’m Paul …
ULM: … and I’m the Ulm …
SARGE: … and I’m peckish …
ALL: … and until next time, the Balcony is Empty because we won’t be buying tickets.Explore posts in the same categories: Not At The Movies