Sunday, March 16, 2014

Charlie's Angels


It's been a trying few weeks chez Maine, what with Norman's continuous attempts to attain nirvana with methylated spirits and lighter fluid and with my legal battles over the future of Vicki on Ricki . I have received a letter from Fortescue and Drumgoole, the London solicitors who represent Ewan MacGregor. He is also, apparently, developing a one-person stage show based on the life of Ricki Lake. His solicitors are sending threatening notices that any attempt of mine to present a thoughtful, balanced cabaret act on the life and times of darling Ricki will be dealt with severely as they will clearly impinge on their client's ability to develop a similar act. Apparently Ewan has been taking diva lessons from someone named Eddie Izzard and plans to tour major Corn Belt towns with his show sometime in the spring.

This is hardly my first show business reverse; I will continue to soldier on. Next week, I have a quick cameo on The Young and the Religious as a nun with a big secret between my legs. Joseph, my manager is also in talks with Spielberg's people about my playing one of the velociraptors in the next Jurassic Park. It would be a done deal but there’s some question as to whether I'll be able to fit inside the costume. The thighs are not what they once were. My dear friend, singer Jason Graae has also suggested a duet for his next album. However, I draw the line at singing 'Ting' 'Ting' while he does the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore .

To take a little break from all the uncertainties of life, Norman and I did sneak off on Sunday to a matinee of Charlie’s Angels where, we were pleased to see that, in some parallel universe, everything's coming up cleavage. For those of you too young to remember the 1970s, once upon a time there was a camp TV series with a rotating cast of pretty young things who pretended to be detectives and who did kung fu in stretch pants. Now they've blown it up for the big screen, and cast lovely hot young current actresses as the angels. This winsome trio can do anything from skydiving to scuba without ever having their mascara run. I’ll have to inquire into the brand of cosmetics they use.

Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu, as the interchangeable characters who are the angels, spend so much time tossing their hair in slow motion, that I thought at first it was some sort of extended Revlon commercial, or perhaps a Miss Breck contest. No sooner do they finish looking like Miss Crème Rinse of 2000 when there would be explosions, gymnastics and a lot of slow motion martial arts stuff lifted right out of The Matrix . I was convinced for a few minutes that we were watching outtakes from the rushes of the sequel to that hit that's currently shooting in Australia. Later on, there was some sort of plot involving high tech espionage which convinced me that this was an old episode of Mission: Impossible minus Peter Graves, only the set design looked more like something out of The Prisoner .

There's no acting to speak of in this film, but the attractive cast seems to be having a good time. The plot makes no sense, but it isn't important anyway. The director, who goes by the improbable name of McG, has obviously grown up on a diet of bad MTV videos, as no sequence seems to connect to any other in any logical way. The visuals are pretty though, kind of like album covers for artists you've never heard of. The whole thing is strung together over a lot of late 70s and early 80s hits, usually with 'Angel' somewhere in the title so the soundtrack album should be a real nostalgia fest. The movie seems to be taking place modern day, but there are lots of 1970s period anachronisms, I assume designed as in jokes. The whole thing is a bit of a mess, which someone like Julien Temple might have been able to make into something special. The current artistic staff seems to have taken the whole thing way to seriously. They also had the idiotic idea of putting the annoying Tom Green (Mr. Drew Barrymore) into the film as a figure named Chad, who fortunately doesn’t have too many scenes. The rest of the supporting cast (Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell, Tim Curry) does better as they recognize that they’re trapped in the middle of a cartoon and ham it up accordingly.

This is one of those frothy movies that you forget an hour later and is probably best-enjoyed late night on HBO when you can fall asleep in the middle guilt free.

Exploding offices. Sky diving African chieftains. Drew Barrymore in male drag looking eerily like James Spader. Wasted Sam Rockwell. Even more wasted Tim Curry. Gratuitous spy satellites. Naked woman hanging from window by a sheet. Gratuitous office B&D behavior.

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