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Sydney Life

Spider-Man is a Whinger


I saw Spider-Man 3 last night at the Imax. I like my movies pretty cheesy, so the schmaltz didn’t bother me. What did annoy me was Kirsten Dunst being obviously dubbed in a singing scene, Tobey Maguire being whingy and the only hot guy in the film becoming deformed (sorry … I should have said “Spoiler Alert”). Don’t even start me on the gratuitous shot of Spidey swinging across the screen in front of a massive American flag.

Watching a movie at Imax is also distracting – you end up looking left, right, left, right, as your eyes can’t take in the whole screen at once. In someways this made the movie better as the effects were super shmick, but it couldn’t hide the fact that Spider-Man is essentially an annoying superhero. I did like the appearance of Topher Grace (from That ‘7os Show). It’s amazing how a weedy guy can be transformed into buff with the help of a discreetly padded lycra suit.

There were a few fun moments when Spidey turns to the dark side – evidently that meant brushing his hair down over his face and busting some Saturday Night Fever dance moves on the footpath in NYC. One of the only redeeming moments – all movies should have dancing after all.

Tobey Maguire is so little boy-looking – which may be appealing to the tween age group, but I much prefer guys who don’t look they’re going to sit in a gutter and cry if the going gets tough. Harsh, but fair.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Shooter


I saw Shooter last night with Alec and Uncle Alec. It starred Marky Mark (AKA Mark Wahlberg these days) in a non-pants dropping role. Which made me sad actually, because Marky Mark isn’t much of an actor – and I miss his pants-dropping days.

Luckily for all, MM didn’t have a lot of dialog. His chief role was to look like a grown up boy scout – lots of solemn looks, peering intently down the barrel of a rifle and running shots that showed his fine running technique. I’m not sure when those furrow lines appeared in his brow. They sully his youthful good looks and make him look … squinty.

The plot of the movie was something about MM as a sniper who gets called in to help foil a plot to assassinate the US president. God only knows if it was a true story, most people would laugh at the proposal and offer the would-be shooter a hand … Want to get rid of GWB? Let me drive your getaway car!

A highly enjoyable movie, with lots of testosterone that got me nicely pumped and wanting to run in the snow with MM.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Turtle Power


Alec made me a deal – he’d download me Finding Jane, the new Jane Austin movie, if I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with him. I help up my end of the bargain and saw TNMT with Alec and Daniel this week. What a blast from the past. The graphics were pretty cool, but it wasn’t as funny as I was hoping for.

I highly appreciated the turtle-on-turtle action, with Raphael and Leonardo facing off in battle (Raph won), but I wanted more of Michaelangelo, my fave turtle when I was a kid. The movie reminded me a lot of Ghostbusters. Demons attacking the city, gargoyles on tops of buildings coming to life, a green vortex spinning into the sky… Splinter also reminded me of a combination of Mr Miagui from Karate Kid and Yoda. Not the most original of movies – high on nostalga value though.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Virgin Suicides


I just finished reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (1993). It tells the story of the five Lisbon sisters who commit suicide. The book is set in the ’70s – Sofia Coppola captured the imagery of the period well with her movie version of the novel, but she gave the characters a certain ethereal dreaminess rather than the biting wit and realism that Jeffrey gives them in the book.

The story is told by the girls’ neighbours – teenage boys obsessed with the girls, which gives the reader a sense of being an observer in their lives. It’s a technique that detaches the reader from the girls and instead of feeling what the girls had been feeling, you’re left in the same position as the obsessed teenage boys – struggling to find an explanation for the acts.

The book is beautifully written – rather than being Gothic and romantic, the language speaks of the decay of the girls’ lives – the girls are described with all their flaws – chubby, stick legs, double-chinned, but still objects of obsession.

Why would teenage girls want to commit suicide? As the first sister to suicide, Cecilia, says when asked the same question, “You’ve obviously never been a 13-year-old girl”.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Pink in Concert


I saw Pink last night at the Entertainment Centre with Tanya and Karina for her “I’m Not Dead” Australian tour.

It was only a small group – Pink, three dancers, two backup singers and a band – but the show went off.

Highlights of the show:

*During Stupid Girls Pink dressed up as Lindsay Lohan, with her back-up dancers dressing as Paris and Nicky Hilton.

*Hard core acrobatics with Pink suspended from the ceiling.

*The song Dear Mr President sang along with clips of the Iraq war and George W Bush looking like an idiot.

*The singing of my fave Pink song Family Portrait even though it’s not new at all anymore.

*Finishing the show off with Let’s Get This Party Started – it made me want to dance!

Not so highlight moments:

*A woman near us sitting on someone’s shoulders and taking her top off. Don’t flash your boobs at Pink lady! She’s not gay!

*The huge unit of a guy in front of us filming the entire show on his mobile phone. Just enjoy the music dude!

*Leaving my camera on my bedside table. Idiot!

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Number 23


Candice and I ditched dance class and watched the new Jim Carrey movie. It was advertised as a thriller – but, disappointingly, thrilling, it ain’t!

The basic premise is that Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) is a dog catcher who stumbles upon a book called “The Number 23”, which is about the strange phenomena and paranoia surrounding the number 23. The book has many strange events and co-incidences mirroring Walter’s life, such as the letters in his name adding up to 23. Ooooh, spooky!

Once Walter starts reading the book, strange things begin to happen – like dreaming of killing his wife – but Walter is obsessed and can’t stop. Finding the number 23 in everything around you isn’t hard if you’re looking for it, so I wasn’t that impressed by all the 23s in Walter’s life. They even managed to sully my favourite colour by announcing that somehow pink = 23 as well. Whatever!

When one of the characters says “2 divided by 3 is .666 – the devil’s number” it made me role my eyes. It’s actually .6 repeated, but let’s not let facts get in the way of telling a really bad story.

The film’s redeeming features include the style (very film noir), the awesome cakes that Walter’s wife makes (like one made into a dalmatian puppy) and Jim Carrey’s hair. Very mid-life rock star. Very hip for a dog catcher.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Sunshine

I hadn’t read anything about Sunshine before going in for a wet ANZAC Day session, so I had no idea what I was getting into.

Sunshine was written by Alex Garland (The Beach) and directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later… and Trainspotting) – and stars Rose Byrne, Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger and Memoirs of a Geisha).

The basic storyline is that 50 years in the future, the sun is dying and humankind’s last hope is to send a team of astronauts aboard the Icarus 2 to the sun carrying a huge bomb to re-ignite the sun. The fact that the first group sent on the mission (Icarus 1) never came home should have been a huge warning sign that the plan was not magnificent.

The movie reminded me of Alien – minus the aliens. Sometimes human behaviour can be scarier than the supernatural.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Stomp The Yard


I saw the newest dancing movie today with Lach, Lynette, Dan, Sue and Mylinda. The only preview was for The Simpson’s Movie – I guess advertisers are yet to harness the power of dance audiences. Yay!

The storyline was pretty formulaic (bad boy joins new school, falls for cute girl, gets kicked out of school then reinstated and happy ending ensues), but the dancing was awesome. As noted by Dan, several of the crumpers from Rize feature in the opening scene – even though the movie is technically meant to be about a style of dance battling called “stepping” there was definitely some crumping and hip-hop featuring strongly.

I learned some new moves today – the python hiss, the wolves under-the-chin arm-rest and the elbow slide (pictured), which seems to be like spirit fingers in that it has the power to win all competitions when pulled off at the pertinent moment. Must remember this move for my next urban dance match.

We followed the film with a dance class of our own – it didn’t quite match the testosterone level of the movie (semi-naked raging black men – bring it on!) but it made me feel better about the friand I ate for lunch.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Spoiler Alert – Hot Fuzz at the Movies

From the director of Shaun of the Dead.

Small country towns are always full of weirdos. If you find yourself in said situation, be mindful of the following:

  • The escaped swan will get the bad guy in the end if you don’t get him first.
  • Model villages with church spires are a lawsuit waiting to happen – but are also useful for impaling bad guys on.
  • The supermarket can be a war zone. Deal with employees throwing knives at you by creating a battering ram out of trolleys.
  • Putting on aviator sunglasses will lower your voice, change its tonal qualities and make you sound all bad-ass – save this for the worst case scenarios as once you lay the smack down on their country hick-asses, grannys with machine guns will come out of the woodwork.
  • If someone is stabbed in the throat with their own garden shears, it’s most likely NOT an accident.
  • There is always time to go to the pub for a pint or local store for a Cornetto, even if you’re an on-duty police officer. In fact, it’s probably a good idea as there’s nothing else to do other than sit at home and water your peace lily.
  • Men in black robes meeting in the moonlight will always be up to no good. Beware of their scythes – they’re extra pointy.

Also: snaps to Shelley for complaining about the lack of air-con and getting us free movie tix.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.