It’s film time yet again

Prozac Nation.

I didn’t know that there was even a film of the book. It turns out the film was made back in 2000 for release in 2001, but got shelved for one reason and another, and was only finally released in 2005. Christina Ricci plays shrieky, self-centred Jewish American princess, Elizabeth Wurzel. Jessica Lange plays her scarcely less neurotic mother. I couldn’t work out whether her father was as bad as her mother claimed. That part was under­developed.

Ricci did a good job portraying the deranged Wurtzel who seemed to think the universe revolved around her and her problems. I couldn’t decide whether I should have some sympathy for Wurztel because her barking mad mother seemed to be a major factor in her own troubled world.

The Chinese name of the film is 少女初体验 (shào nǚ chū tǐyàn) which seems to mean something like “Young woman at the beginning of learning through personal experience” (accuracy of translation not guaranteed). Way to go with the punchy titles.


Chain of Fools.

Guess who’s in this one? Yup, Salma Hayek. It’s straight-to-video, I-bought-a-new-BMW-out-of-it kind of film. Steve Zahn is a mild-mannered barber who ends up involved in the theft of some valuable Chinese coins. Salma Hayek is the hot cop who recently posed for Playboy (Woo hoo! Fan service!) and gets her man in more ways than one. The film is punctuated by flashbacks which only progressively reveal the truth. I thought it was quite an interesting use of such a device. The film came out in 2000.

The IMDb review says

anyways this movie is just awesome i recommend it for everyone to watch

which is bad enough, but then says

if u like SNATCH then watch this

I can take that in more than one way. This sort of writing is a good argument against universal literacy.


Click.

Adam Sandler rides again in this kind of ripoff of It’s a Wonderful Life. Our man’s an architect who keeps ignoring family in favour of work. He needs a universal remote to control various devices around his house and gets a universal remote that controls his life from the mysterious Morty (although the name gives the game away). It allows him to fast forward through various parts of his life, especially when his boss, played by David Hasselhoff as a suitably smooth creep, is making it hard for him. However, every time he makes the jump, he finds that he’s missed out on a whole bunch of stuff with his family.

I think it should be obvious by now that it’s one of those films about work vs. family and how family should come first. I wonder how many people watched the film and said, “Yeah, my boss is always telling me, ‘Family first’.”

And being an Adam Sandler film, there were those pointless, mawkish Adam Sandler moments.

The Chinese title is “Life Remote Control”. Again, easy with the snappy titles, guys.


Mini’s First Time.

I’d never heard of this one and wasn’t certain what I was going to get. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by this reasonably decent black comedy about a rebellious teenage girl (with somewhat scary fake teeth) who starts having a relationship with her step-father (by accident; he hires a call girl; she’s it etc.) and devises a scheme to get her mother committed. But mummy kind of kills herself and gets murdered, and Mini manages to get her step-father banged up for it.

I wouldn’t describe it as an outstanding example of this genre, but it’s entertaining enough.

The film was obviously distributed by the same bunch of pirates as Prozac Nation because on the back of the sleeves of both films I’m informed “Christina Ricci’s Performance Rivets Attention”. Even the Chinese title is similar: “Mini at the beginning of an intimate personal learning experience”. It just trips off the tongue.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Is there some excuse for the length of this one? How long is the third instalment going to be? I found my attention drifting. I believe there was talk about the film being banned here. I’m not sure it was, but apart from the length, there was nothing in it to upset Nanny. Hollywood needs to be re-educated, though.

The plot needed focus, but as you can see from my attempt at a summary,there’s way too much happening even to be partially resolved in one film.

Will and Elizabeth get arrested on their wedding day for aiding and abetting Jack. To save himself and Elizabeth, Will must retrieve Jack’s compass for the East India Company. The East India Company wants to use it to find Davy Jones’ heart. (Some sort of corporate takeover, it seems.) Meanwhile, Jack has had his own dealings with Davy Jones with whom he made an agreement to be the captain of the Black Pearl for 13 (or 30) years. Jack has his own reason for wanting Davy Jones’ heart. They’re all thwarted by ex-Commander Norrington who eventually gets the heart and delivers it to the East India Company agent. Jack gets eaten by the kraken, and Barbossa suddenly turns up out of nowhere.

There seem to be at least two shorter films here, one about Will and Elizabeth saving themselves from the evil corporation; the other about Jack and his dealings with Davy Jones. The latter could be the subplot to the former and vice versa for both films. The second subplot would be the scheming by the East India company running through both. The fourth film would be Will, Elizabeth and Jack trying to save the day against the East India Company, Davy Jones, and Barbossa (perhaps).

This isn’t a bad film, per se, but it is flabby. Hollywood needs some lipo, I think.

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