Sunday, January 17, 2010


the only way i can imagine following up myles' recent posts concerning two finer film slices, as well as the three back-to-back "Best Of '09" lists by each Hockey Masker, is with a review of unapologetic fluff.

my wife is a sucker for a good action flick, which she refers to as "bang-bang-shoot-em-ups." and, whether she would admit this to your face or not, "bang-bang-shoot-em-ups" are her absolute most favorite film genre. granted, she is nearly always disturbed by the inherent violence of action films, praying "Oh Jesus!" everytime anybody gets shot. likewise, the required foul language in action films surprises and disgusts latonya each time, as she crinkles her forehead and solemnly declares, "if they keep this up, i'm turning this off." she's a lady who suffers an odd paradox for her art, simultaneously hoping the best and the worst for everyone in these film: she understands that people gotta get banged-banged-and-shot-up in action flicks, but she just wants them to do it nicely.

also, even more than action flicks, latonya's a sucker for john travolta. but, even more than john travolta, she's a total sucker for denzel. and still more than denzel, she's a wicked sucker for an action flick pitching john travolta against denzel. for latonya stephanie still, THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 should have been the trifecta of lazy sunday film watching. she even gleefully plopped back on her movie pillow as if this trifecta marked her birthday twice in a single year.

regretfully, PELHAM 123 did not deliver the trifecta it promised. there were bangs, so latonya prayed her reverential "Oh Jesus!" and travolta tried his best to cuss like nick nolte in a samuel l. jackson costume, so her forehead cringed. but the film lacked the most vital element of action flicks: tension. even with time running out and hostages dying and denzel running four-minute-miles in loafers and the gorgeous john turturro screaming his adam's apple off in the background, PELHAM 123 was a total flatline. i've felt more suspense waiting to see if all my microwave popcorn actually popped.

i think we both agreed that THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 deserves 2 travolta neck tats out of 5. roger ebert said it best in the opening line of his review: "There's nothing much wrong with Tony Scott's 'The Taking of Pelham 123' except that there's not much really right about it." save this for your next bout of flu or mono or dysentery. this is a great film for when you don't have time or energy for a film.

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speaking of denzel, i would like to add that our very own guest reviewer, tiffani riggers, wrote a humdinger of a review for THE BOOK OF ELI on her personal page. the lady knows her way around a good film. i'm anxious to publish more by her in the weeks to come.


Tiffani R said...

I'm thankful for both the shoutout and the word to the wise about this film. I was thinking about adding it to my queue but have officially decided that I would rather skip this one and watch two great action movies (one each for DW and JT) instead. I don't know yet what those will be, but off the top of my head for some reason I think "Training Day" and "Face Off" - weird, but true.

I wish I could watch movies with LaTonya. I spent a good portion of the Book of Eli squeezing my eyes so tightly closed (with occasional peeks) that a couple times I realized I was not breathing. I think between the two of us it would be pretty hilarious to watch one of these films.

the hamster said...

latonya is gaa-gaa for FACE OFF.

TRAINING DAY is cuss-tastic. if you don't like the cursing, skip it. sometimes i like the swear-bombs. makes me feel at home.

myleswerntz said...

I just don't understand the Travolta appeal. He always looks bloated.