Movies can be predictable

By Kevin Wilson

I saw “Spiderman 2” two weekends ago, and I could spend thousands of words elaborating on it.
Instead, I’ll just give you this paragraph. Read Roger Ebert’s review of the movie. I agree with everything he said, and he has a Pulitzer Prize that says he’s better at writing than I am.
I love movies, and a great opportunity has come up within Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. Ben Kessler left us recently, and he did a weekly column for our Ticket page called, “Ben to the Movies.”
Ben was from England, and something he said hit home with me. He was tired of watching countless American actors play Robin Hood, with no attempt at a British accent. As a way of paying Hollywood back, he had an impossible dream of doing a movie about Billy the Kid, starring Hugh Grant.
(Can you see Hugh stammering through a scene now? “Well, it seems that you are rather upset at the way that I am beating you at this card game that we call poker. My, I can’t imagine what you must think of me right now. I’m deducing that violence is our only way out of this quandary I seem to have created. Very well then, we shall meet at bloody dawn.” Are you shaking with anger yet?)
With Ben gone, there’s an opportunity for somebody else to fill in. Should it be me?
If I was to write a regular movie review column, it wouldn’t be about whether or not you will enjoy the movie. You respect my free time to watch movies and I’ll respect yours. For all I care, you can watch “Gigli 2: Electric Boogaloo.”
No, the essence of my reviews would be based on what the movie meant to Kevin Wilson, and Kevin Wilson alone.
There wouldn’t be a rating system based on thumbs, because a “thumbs up” in Iran is equivalent to using the “middle finger” in America, and I don’t want to upset an Iranian reader in case I have one. The rating system wouldn’t be based on popcorn boxes, either — I can’t even finish the whole bag when I’m in the theater, even when my friends mooch off of my bag.
It would be a rating of 0-5, where a five would mean “This movie changed my life” and a zero would say, “I must warn others.”
But I’m not going to be wasteful like those professional reviewers. Why wait weeks for a movie review, when I can give it to you RIGHT NOW, without seeing the movie?
Let’s try it out with some upcoming releases, with generic descriptions from Yahoo! Movies and my sample review:
• I, Robot: Will Smith stars as a homicide detective in the year 2035 who is the only person who believes that a robot can commit murder.
Review: I’d seen it before in the Terminator series, but not like this. I stood and I applauded, with full knowledge that Will Smith’s career would go down in white-hot flames, and I had a front-row seat to the movie that started it all. As for the movie, it’s a two.
• The Bourne Supremacy: Matt Damon again plays the spy Jason Bourne, brought out of retirement to find the killer who took his name.
Review: If Bourne’s not right in front of you, he doesn’t exist. If only that was true of Ben Affleck, the world would be a better place. Worth the price of admission, “Supremacy” is an action movie with smarts, just like its predecessor. It’s a four.
• Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: Two likeable underdogs set out on a Friday night quest to satisfy their craving for White Castle hamburgers and end up on a mind-altering road trip of epic proportions.
Review: My Hollywood-to-English dictionary says “mind-altering” translates to “marijuana.” Wow, two guys get high on drugs and go on a road trip? What will Hollywood think of next? Maybe they’ll follow it up with a movie about a white guy and black guy working together as cops. Harold and Kumar get a one.
There. I’ve managed to save you a few hours worth of movie viewing. Now, does anybody want the rest of my popcorn?

Kevin Wilson is the managing editor at the Portales News-Tribune. He can be reached at 356-4481, ext. 32, or by e-mail:
Kevin_Wilson@link.freedom.com