Monday, November 21, 2005


I've always liked movie previews, sometimes as much as movies themselves, and so I like the movie previews section on where I can watch all the latest previews. This weekend I watched two new previews, one for The Break-Up, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan, and another called Hostel, a Saw-like horror movie that, supposedly, is based on a true story. Let's do this:

The Break-Up: This looks like a modern update on the War of the Roses, where a now dissolved couple, Aniston and Vaughan, exact brutal revenges on each other for whatever perceieved cruelties they suffered in the relationship. Aniston is certain to play a waitress, as she does in every film, delightfully living out what her life would have been like had her wealthy upbringing not landed her some acting roles. Seriously, she is such a good waitress in these films of hers, I would totally be happy to be waited on by her. "Sure, I would love a warm-up, thank you." Anyway, here's the problem: the traditional Hollywoodian romantic narrative demands that a couple overcome numerous obstacles that keep them apart before, at the climactic culmination of the film's dramatic efforts, they can be reunited. And I would say that Hollywood has kept in ever-stricter line with that arc. So, you know, they fight or whatever, but they're going to get back together. How about a film called The Break-Up where there's, like, somebody crying on a bathroom floor, and then a lot of obsessive late-night phone calls, followed by one person getting married and the other writing painfully violent scenarios involving the ex in their journal? Starring America's old-ass sweethearts Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Now that's funny!

The Hostel: This movie is about some weird Nine Inch Nails abandoned warehouse where you can dress up in leather gimp outfits and torture people for, like, a hundred bucks. In the preview it says that it is based on a true story, but I don't know. What does that even mean? They could have some side-narrative about a guy who's estranged from his daughter but still writes her letters every day and then throw in a bunch of stuff about a weird sadistic torture factory and say that it's based on a true story, right? But what I want to know is at what point did it become mandatory that every horror movie feature someone tied to a straight-backed metal chair in a dank green-tinted room with no plumbing or electricity, getting a toe or finger cut off with bolt cutters? Is this the culmination of all that is scary? For sure it is the culmination of all that is gross. Also: this movie was produced by Quentin Tarantino, so it's going to have a horrific surf-rock and lost 70s funk b-sides soundtrack. And Samuel L. Jackson. As a terrorpimp.


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