Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Peverett Phile Extra: I'm An Ogre

Hi there, and welcome to another Peverett Phile Extra. Today we went to see Shrek The Third. I cannot remember the last time Jen, Logan and I went to the movies together. It was also the first time we went to the AMC theater at Universal Studios. What a massive theater. And they serve beer! I didn't drink any at 10:30 in the morning, though. Anyway, this entry is dedicated to Shrek, so without further ado...


Starring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Justin Timberlake, Larry King, John Krasinski, Ian McShane, Cheri Oteri, Regis Philbin, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris. Shrek's gone soft. Seriously. He used to be nastier and more ogre-ish. Now he's all family-mannish and boring. Donkey, too. He just dotes on his little dragon/donkey babies. The only one you can count on to be really nuts these days is Puss in Boots. So when it's time to save the kingdom of Far Far Away from a coup by Charming, it's less about Shrek coming in to fix things than a gang of princesses like Cinderella and Snow White and Rapunzel collectively deciding to kick a little butt. I wanted to like this more than I did. I was a big fan of the first film but aw it a year later on DVD after it came out. The second one was less obnoxious and generally funnier and smarter all around. And now it seems like they've run out of ideas and are content to just go right for the butt-scratching jokes. It starts out funny, front-loaded with all the best bits, before settling into the let's-just-sell-more-toys phase. The coolest thing about it was again, that would be Puss. He's become more than a sidekick, written and "drawn" with much more personality than even a lead character like Fiona. And it's also nice to hear Sedaris, who's one of my favorites, voicing Cinderella. But all the "Ye Olde Foot Locker" and "Versarchery" jokes. It was funny the first couple of times, the product placement that isn't exactly product placement (but still sort of is), but now it just feels like what happens when you stretch a joke with your friends past the point of making each other laugh, and you're just doing it to keep doing it. Speaking of selling more toys... Maybe I'm not supposed to notice when I'm soaking in advertising. Maybe the point is to inundate us all subliminally. But I can't help but feel assaulted by the billboards and sides of buses and Happy Meals and dolls on the shelves at Target and commercials and then infomercials masquerading as bits on "American Idol". It makes you feel like you don't even need to go see the movie, like it's already playing itself out for you in public.

Okay, while I'm here, let's talk geek.


You'd think that Spider-Man creator Stan Lee would receive privileged information about Spider-Man 4, but apparently he doesn't even know what is going on in the comics, let alone the movie scripts. Still, he is smart enough to know what should happen in the next installment of the series: Dr. Curt Connors, who we've briefly seen in parts 2 and 3, should finally turn into The Lizard. Of course, an appearance from the scaly villain has been expected since Connors was first alluded to in the first film. In addition to suggesting that The Lizard should be the next villain, in a video interview with Reelz Channel's Dailies, Lee also discusses the possibility of Peter Parker ending up with Gwen Stacy rather than Mary Jane in part 4. Lee's suggestion is simply that, a suggestion, as long as he has no real creative input, but he is right to say The Lizard is a logical next step. Certainly such logic makes it less of a surprise when we hear rumors about the villain already being a lock for the film. However, expecting a villain because of onscreen allusions means we should also logically predict that Man-Wolf and Robot-Master will show up at some point, too. Anyway, Lee probably wants to see another one of his own creations like The Lizard on the big screen instead of any of Spidey's newer villains, like Carnage, who is also being talked about for #4. For me, either villain or both is fine, just as long as Spidey doesn't team up with Venom to fight them. I actually stopped reading the comics following the Maximum Carnage storyline (though I did give the good-guy Venom series a fair shot), and I'd probably stop watching the movies at the same point. I know the end of Spider-Man 3 suggests this couldn't happen, but you never know -- either with comic books or the movies.

Are you sick and tired of all the political talk as of late? Having a hard time finding a candidate to stand behind? Well, might I suggest a young fellownamed Harvey Dent. According to a message on the teaser site for next summer's The Dark Knight, Mr. Dent is running for District Attorney of Gotham City. His tagline: I Believe in Harvey Dent. That's right, Warner Bros. has already begun the marketing train for Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins follow-up by first releasing a pic of the Bat symbol flying through hyper speed (or something like that), and now we have a photo of Aaron Eckhart all decked out in Dent gear. Don't get your hopes up too high though -- Dent's "gear" consists only of a flashy suit and a blue tie. But he looks smashing! They're obviously having a little fun with us; we're not sure if this is actually a picture of Eckhart as Dent, but I imagine the final outcome won't look much different. Now if I were take a wild guess, I would say that Warners might try to set up a little backstory in their marketing campaign before the movie hits. From what I've heard, Dent will be the newly-appointed DA when the film opens up. So are they setting things up? Will we next see a newspaper headline that reports a crime committed by Joker? Perhaps a Wanted poster? Or am I reading too far into this? Still no word on whether that so-called teaser (supposedly featuring the Joker) is real, but word is it's playing ahead of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Two months to go; we'll see. In the meantime, stay tuned to the Phile as we'll let you know where you can vote for Mr. Dent come this November. The Dark Knight hits theaters on July 18, 2008.

Okay, there you have it. A Shrek review, Spider-Man and Batman news. We are less then 50 views away from hitting 2000. I am so excited. My friend Ron is also finishing up the art work for the Peverett Phile t-shirts and mouse pads and that kind of swag. So, spread the word, not the turd. And for the best Monte Cristo sandwich, go to Gator's Dockside. 'Nuff said.

No comments: