Tough times in old Birdegaard. The king woke up one day to learn he'd been a coma for two years. He'd been having the strangest dream. In it, he looked out the window of his royal bed chamber to see an exuberant black man doing exercises in the middle of the courtyard. He was doing bicep curls and grinning ear to ear, but while looking at him, the king was gripped by a creeping sense of horror. He stumbled backwards and fell into bed and there the dream would end, before repeating itself. Luckily for the king, interspersed between the nightmares were erotic dreams in which he enjoyed the company of several beautiful young women while actor Tom Cruise was forced at knifepoint to reveal the full tale of his involvement with the Church of Scientology.
The timing of the king's awakening was fortuitous. Too weak to move his head, he glanced to his left, where he saw a heavyset attendant monkeying with his IV drip. With a strength of voice that surprised him, the king said, "Admiral Reid!"
The admiral, whose back had been turned, his hands busily working in front of him, wheeled around, the color drained from his face.
"What are you doing?" the king demanded, his suspicion undisguised.
"Er, masturbating?" Reid replied, hopefully.
"No, you weren't. You're trying to kill me, aren't you?"
"That's right!" Reid exclaimed, his mustache twitching, as the royal guards rushed into the room. "I was trying to finish you. My one purpose in life is to ruin you. You and all your kind."
"All my kind?" the king cried. "I'm the king, man."
And with that, the king had Admiral Reid thrown in the dungeon, and his thoughts turned to more pleasant affairs.
"A History of Violence" is one of those films that causes a collective delusion on the part of movie critics, who all decide by some sort of tacit consensus that they're going to lavish praise something, even though it's not any good.
This movie sucked. For a number of reasons. But I don't have time to elaborate right now.
I winded up seeing "In Her Shoes" according to the bylaws of the elaborate process by which my better half and I choose to see movies. The short version is, it was her turn to choose and I figured I was game, even though I'd received ample critical warning about this film, which is based on a book by the Proust of our time, "Good in Bed" author Jennifer Weiner.
Good news for the guys, though. Cameron Diaz's ass has an unbilled starring role, mostly appearing clad in panties. The bad news for everyone is that we walked out of the theater half-way through when the major character played by Shirley MacLaine was introduced a full hour into the movie and we realized the torture was nowhere near its conclusion. Some clever dialogue, but not enough to make up for this clunker's myriad flaws.
In the past however long I've also seen "The Aristrocrats," which I recommend despite its imperfections, and "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," which I thought wasn't terrible. For some reason I allowed myself to fall under its spell, unlike almost every critic apparently, and found myself sufficiently frightened, especially the eyes dissolving into rivers of black ink parts towards the beginning.
Lefty critics pegged "Exorcism" as part of the anti-science trend in pop culture, but I just didn't see it. For once, I'm the one to say, "Lighten up, it's just a movie." The courtroom scenes in the second half are pretty preposterous, I admit, but no more so than any episode of "Law and Order" ever. "Law and Order," the show where you're arrested Tuesday, tried Wednesday, sentenced Thursday and appeal on Friday.