08 September 2006

ganking DVDs

I had nothing new to watch last night, so I opened the two Blockbuster DVDs that Chris still had sent to our apartment after he moved out.

Either way, we'd have had to open them in order to return them to Blockbuster, so opening and watching seemed to make as much sense as not. It was rather like a grab bag, since I had no idea what would be in them. So what was there? Poseidon and Akeelah and the Bee.

Poseidon: Battling the elements once again, Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm) re-creates Ronald Neame's 1972 action classic with help from an ensemble cast that includes Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum and Stacy Ferguson (aka "Fergie" of The Black Eyed Peas). A tidal wave spells disaster for a boatload of New Year's Eve revelers when it capsizes the mammoth vessel, pitching the passengers into a desperate battle for survival.

Yeah, I was not impressed. The characters are pretty two-dimensional, and I wasn't drawn to feel anything for any of them--not even the cute little kid who nearly drowns. Mostly I just sat back thinking that "rogue waves" were the dumbest idea of any disaster movie ever. There are so many real elements of disaster to deal with--Why make one up? Message: If the common laws of Earth science go kaplooie, you're probably screwed--especially if you're an asshole who makes lame jokes, or you're in a racial minority. **

Akeelah and the Bee: With an aptitude for words, 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is determined to spell her way out of South Los Angeles, entering scores of local contests and eventually landing a chance to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Despite discouragement from her mother (Angela Bassett), Akeelah gets support from her bookish tutor (Laurence Fishburne), her principal (Curtis Armstrong) and proud members of her community.

I enjoyed it, but then I always did enjoy movies about intelligent kids--Little Man Tate, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and so on. The plot is predictable, but the drama is good and the neighbors and family interaction make it interesting. Message: Laurence Fishburne is still Morpheus, even when he's not Morpheus. ****

Then, I spiced some mead, took a shower, and fell asleep watching Mononoke-hime.

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