Sunday, June 21, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Prayer to Optimus Prime


let me

I would be
so much

if I could

Holes in the
wall with
a Ray

that comes
out of my

and melts
those I

into a
of clay

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Proposal

The Proposal
Dir: Jon Swift
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins

The Proposal (working title: The Modest Proposal) is a deliciously quirky romantic comedy, in which Ryan Reynolds plays an overworked and underappreciated secretary to a powerful business tycoon (Sandra Bullock). Bullock’s life is perfect (or so she thinks) until she finds out she’s being deported back to Canada unless she can obtain a green card, and fast.

Bullock learns that green cards are not easy to come by, as she attempts to marry homeless man after homeless man in a hilarious homeless marriage montage. Each homeless marriage doesn’t work out for one reason or another: one homeless man refuses to marry for less than true love, another one stabs her with a rusty fork three times, and another turns out to be gay. The montage is done to the song “Safety Dance.”

Bullock sits in her dark office, on the verge of tears. What is she going to do? At that very moment, Reynolds shuffles into her office. He knows she’s in a foul mood, and he’s liable to be chewed out for the slightest infraction. “Here are those Canadian labels you wanted,” he mumbles barely audibly.

“Did you say Canadian babies?”

“No, I—”

“That’s brilliant!” interrupts Bullock, madness gleaming in her eye. “All this time, I’ve been trying to find ways to prove that I’m American. But all I really need to do is prove that I’m not Canadian.”

“I really don’t think that’s how—”

“And what’s the one thing a true Canadian would never do?”

Reynolds gulps. “Uh… Cheer for an American hockey team?” He smiles nervously, hoping against hope that this is all she’s after, but something in her voice tells him it’s not.

“No. The one thing a Canadian would never do is eat a Canadian baby!”

“Ahh, yes,” says Reynolds, as he backs away towards the door.

“C’mon,” she says, grabbing him by the arm. “We’re going to get some dinner.”

“Can we get Italian? I’ve been craving pasta all day.”

“No… We’re getting Canadian.”

Reynolds drives Bullock to Canada. They cruise around the suburbs, until she spots a young woman pushing a baby carriage along the sidewalk. Bullock dashes out and grabs the baby.
“Drive, drive!” When she unfurls the blanket, the “baby” is revealed to be nothing more than a doll. “Blast! Let’s find another one.”

Another hilarious montage ensues, in which Reynolds and Bullock raid baby carriage after baby carriage in an attempt to kidnap a Canadian baby they intend to kill and eat (played to “Don’t Stop Believing”). In various carriages they find a sack full of cans, a baby-shaped potato, a cinder block, and a sack full of kittens. They are about to eat the potato and call it a day, when they spot one last baby carriage.

“It doesn’t matter,” says Bullock. “It’s not going to have a baby in it anyway. There’s not a single baby in this entire country.”

“You can’t just give up on your dream now,” says Reynolds. “It doesn’t matter that you came up with it last night, or that it’s completely psychotic and evil. It’s your dream, and you’re so close. Now go eat that baby!”

“You’re right!” Bullock dashes out of the car one more time, and grabs the bundle from the carriage. She can hardly believe it; it’s a real baby! She opens wide, preparing for a nice mouthful.

“Hey!” the mother yells. “Put down my baby!”

“Say that again,” Bullock says, her voice shaking.

“I said put down my baby, you freak!”

Bullock lowers the baby back into the carriage. She can’t believe it. She was so close to eating a real baby. “Where are you from?” Bullock asks. But she already knows the answer.

“I’m from Brooklyn, you crazy bitch. Now get away from me before I call the police.”

Reynolds puts his arm on her shoulder. “You want to go home?” She nods.

As they ride back, Reynolds consoles her, and after a short while, they’re laughing deep belly laughs at the silliness of life. He is completely charming, and they realize that they were in love the entire time. They are promptly married, and Bullock gets her green card and gets to stay in the United States. The end.

4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Dir: Tony Scott
Starring: John Travolta, Denzel Washington
Runtime: 1 hr 46 mins

The Taking of Pelham 123 is a non-stop thrill ride under the city of New York, and maybe even into outer space. A criminal mastermind (Travolta) hijacks a subway train with one simple goal in mind: he wants to take Pelham 123 all the way to the moon. He doesn't want any money; he has no political agenda. All he wants to do is get that subway train with himself, and the hijacked passengers, onto the Earth's moon.

The main plot is broken up with a series of flashbacks, in which a young Travolta stares longingly at the moon, establishing the lunar obsession that will one day cause him to hijack a train. "Papa" the moonstruck boy says, "One day, I want to ride a subway up there, up there on the moon!"

"You shut your yapper about all this moon mumbo jumbo," his father slurs. The heavy stench of dessert wine practically wafts off the screen. "Ain't no subway ever going to be on the moon." Then his father beats him. He beats him for dreaming the same dreams he himself once dreamt as a young boy. Dreams that could never be more than dreams. He wants his son to forget these silly dreams of subways and moons.

But the boy never forgets them. If anything, the beatings only harden his will to succeed.

A simple man (Washington) goes work at his simple job of controlling New York's subways. It's not the most exciting job in the world, and that's just the way he likes it. He has several cop buddies who go after the real bad guys. The only "bad guy" Washington has to deal with is the occasional late train. Speaking of which, it looks like Pelham 123 is stuck.

"Pelham 123, respond," says Washington into the phone, expecting the train's operator to respond with something about signal problems, or perhaps a joke about molemen blocking the tracks.

Instead there is only a sinister laugh.

"Who is this?" demands Washington.

"This is the man who is going to take this subway to the moon! If I don't get on the moon in 59 minutes, in this train, I'm going to start killing hostages!"

Negotiations begin as the clock runs down. Washington offers money, but Travolta will not compromise on his one demand.

"I've spoken to NASA," says Washington. "There's going to be a moon mission in three months. We've worked out an agreement that if you give yourself up peacefully, we can put you on that shuttle, under police custody of course."

"You don't understand, do you?" screams Travolta. "This isn't about getting to the moon in one of your fancy space shuttles. This is about getting to the moon on the subway."

"I'm trying to work with you," pleads Washington "But there are no tracks that go to the moon. Subways go underground; the moon is in outer space. Please, listen to me!"

"Life is simple now. You just have to get this train on the moon," Travolta screams, and then hangs up.

*Spoiler Alert*

Washington comes up with a plan that's just crazy enough to work. Local residents cooperate, as they transform Pelham 123's next stop to look like the moon. They even remove the tile lettering of "34th Street" and replace them with "The Moon."

Washington announces over the train intercom, "Next stop- the moon!"

The subway pulls into Moon Station. A euphoric Travolta exits the train, and is promptly tackled by the "moon police" and dragged off to "moon jail." Travolta doesn't even care; his dream has come true. But his cell-mate, Travis, reveals the disturbing truth to Travolta in a poignant final scene.

"This ain't no moon jail, man. This is just jail. We on Earth. Look around you, man. We on Earth."

We on Earth.

4 out of 5 stars.