what a silly movie! out of all of ben stiller's recent works - meet the parents, there's something about mary, and mystery men, i rank this one the lowest. wasn't it funny though? yeah, i laughed, but it was just silly funny, almost like a saturday night sketch done on a bigger movie scale. the funniest scene is in the beginning, when zoolander's roommates die in a tragic gas station accident. will ferrell just rubs me the wrong way. i laugh at his stuff, and i know he's a different character in this movie (jacobim mugatu), but everytime i see him, it seems like he's doing the same character but in subtle, different ways. for my money, bill murray will always be the king of understated-yet-very-funny humor. will ferrell is just too over the top for me. milla jovovich looks pretty hot as katinka. i'm not a big jovovich fan, even in fifth element (i thought she was overacting), but i like her in zoolander.

i don't know, this movie seems like a joke stretched out too long. yeah yeah, male models, funny. but 90 minutes of sustained comedy? no, i am not buying it. and what's with that orgy scene? save your money for shallow hal instead. even though i haven't seen it, i bet it's going to be way funnier, and probably some sort of nice message about the nature of beauty hidden underneath the laughs as well!

can i get some more tony shalhoub? i did realize it was shalhoub season. i see him friday night in the man who wasn't there, and now i see him again in this movie. let's just say the man who wasn't there was a better role for him.

13 ghosts is definitely scary, but compared with that other dark castle entertainment remake house on haunted hill (1999), i'm not sure which one is scarier. the basic ingredient for the scare factor of 13 ghosts is that you can't see the ghosts, you can't see these evil spirits that are inside the house and who are trying to kill the living. and when you can see them with special glasses, there's nothing you can do but run because there's no way to hurt them. it's a good date movie because it gives the girl (okay, i'm being sexist here) a good reason to cling on to her boyfriend. i of course watched the movie alone, and not only that, but i was the only person in the dark theatre, surrounded by nothing but empty seats, so that in itself was kind of creepy. but i have a high threshold for cinematic horror, and at no point during the movie did i have to cover my eyes with my hands (although since there weren't any witnesses there, you're just going to have to take my word for it) nor did i jump out of my seat (like i did for jeepers creepers).

some thoughts:

  • for one thing, it's a horror movie i've never seen the likes of before. a house with a bunch of ghosts trapped inside. haunted mansion? sort of, but the house is a glass house with sliding glass walls for windows that have binding spells written on them to keep the ghosts from breaking through. must've been a nightmare trying to film it, keeping the reflections of the crew down to a minimum.
  • one of the most grisly deaths i have seen in a long time is in this movie. when the lawyer gets killed early on in the movie, he is sliced in half vertically from the side by a glass door. and just to show you what exactly happened, the front part of his body slides off the glass first, revealing the cross-section of his body on the other side, which then also slides off the glass. just thinking about it gives me the creeps! it's reminescent of the cow dissection scene in the cell.
  • i love the token black character in the movie, maggie the maid (rah digga). the token black person is the voice of reason, she says what the audience is saying. "why don't we get the hell out of here?" "i'm not sticking around for this!" i am happy to report that she survives the movie.
  • the tv trailer for the movie advertised "extreme graphic violence and some nudity." did it deliver? well, the violence part is obvious. you have ghosts, they're going to kill people. but nudity? i was curious how they'd work this angle. the obvious answer is that somehow shannon elizabeth is involved. surprisingly, that is not the case (although you do catch a glimmer of something naughty this way comes when she's attacked by the ghost known as the jackel). how they sneak nudity into a horror movie that's essentially about a family trapped in a haunted house is they have naked ghosts! duh, so obvious! this presents somewhat of a mental crisis in the male viewer, because he doesn't know whether he should be titillated by the glimpses of dead flesh or horrified and disgusted. it's an interesting situation, and one that i spent more time than i should on.
  • the ending is *so* stupid. something about love conquering all kind of thing. it's stupid, but it made me feel good because it was happy, so it wasn't that bad.

recommend? yes or no? yes, i'm giving this movie a "go see." well, if you like horror movies that is. horror films of this calibre and high production value don't come along very often. the story isn't bad (not as bad as dracula 2000 from last year, total stinker, saved only by jeri ryan and jennifer esposito) and i found some of the ideas pretty original. if you love gory death scenes, you can't miss the one of the lawyer getting sliced. if you're watching it because it has shannon elizabeth and you're madly in love with her since american pie, save yourself the dough because she only appears in half of the movie then she's abducted by ghosts (no, it doesn't involved a tv) and doesn't reappear until the near end.




i woke up this morning at 8am in order to go visit laurie at the museum of science, where she was working in the sun lab. i got up with every intention of going, but it's hard fighting the the forces of sleep, and i ended up choosing sleep over taking the t into town to go to the museum just to visit laurie while she's working.

i woke up two hours later to aim some people on this monday where i wasn't working (gloat? no, i would never do that!). after noontime i found my way to the fresh pond cinema, where the night before i had carefully selected two movies to watch, 13 ghosts and zoolander. i bought a ticket for 13 ghosts and went into the theatre, where i was the only person in the room. after the movie was over, i came out because i had about 40 more minutes before my next film, zoolander. 20 minutes before the movie started i snuck back into the theatre. whew! what a rush as i felt the excitement of the adrenaline in my system, knowing i'm doing something that i'm not suppose to do. i have never snuck into a movie before. i hear it's a pretty common practice, especially this time of the day, monday afternoon when once again i was the only person watching zoolander. still, why face the humiliation of discovery when i really don't mind paying for another ticket? nevertheless, goaded by some of the shadier elements in the office who believe i never do anything bad, i decided to go for it. obviously this doesn't make me a bad ass by any stretch of the imagination, but hopefully it's the first step to establishing some credibility in the world of wickedness.

it was weird, i was the only person watching the movie both times. i always wonder if they play the movie anyway even if nobody's in the theatre? i might've found my answer, and the answer is yes. since i snuck into zoolander and i was the only one in there, that means nobody bought a ticket for that movie (since the only person there, me, didn't pay for it!). regardless, they still played the film anyway. i was afraid i'd get busted, because it'd be easy to pick out the criminal because he's the guy watching a movie that no tickets have been sold for!

after the movies i marched in the freezing rain to alewife and took the subway to harvard square. i went to the funny farm on eliot street to buy some little toys for the office. the woman there asked where i worked and was giddy with delight when she heard the company name, "oh, that's a great name!" i ended up getting one growing hand, 4 debutantes, 2 hula girls, and one pencil monkey. with purchase made, i took the bus back home.