Saturday, January 28, 2006

No Lubricant, No Foreplay, Just Sahara.

2005, USA
Breck Eisner

Today, I’ve feel as if I’ve achieved something. Most people have to drink solidly for upwards of 30 years to sustain significant brain damage, and I only had to watch Sahara once. It’s like I crammed a lifetime of brownouts and short term memory loss into just under two hours. I’ve never been ahead of the curve in my life, and let me tell you it feels good. I suppose I could have just cooked indoors with a charcoal grill to simulate the same progression of dizziness, mild euphoria, nausea, and death, but then I would have had the pleasure of watching Matthew McConaughey “act” by artfully alternating between roguish and rakish facial expressions. Or I could have watched all of Firefly in one day again.

Here but for the grace of God go you.

Sahara is the kind of movie someone would make if they got all their inspiration from a six year old kid playing in a sandbox with Tonka trucks. There’s all kinds of nonsense about Confederate gold, Civil War ironclads, toxic waste and some ridiculous disease that makes people cough a lot and wear stupid contact lenses. It would demean both you and me to explain to plot further, so it will have to suffice when I say that’s it’s an impossible adventure story told with what’s meant to be infectious energy and enthusiasm but is really just infectious mad cow disease-lunacy. And since this is an American film set in Africa, there’s that charming subtext in which it takes a white man to save the noble savages from themselves. Not only is this insulting, it’s also inaccurate. It would take at least a dozen white men to save Africa; one to show the native how to boil water and not get AIDS, and the rest to keep the first guy from being burned as a witch.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Because that changes the temperature we set the oven.

But what bothers me most about this film is not that it’s dumb, but rather that it’s lazy, a complaint I’ve been extending to the entire entertainment industry lately. Sahara is the latest in a long line of stupid summer blockbusters stretching back to Jaws in 1976, but it seems that lately, they (take your prejudiced pick: they = Hollywood limousine liberals, the gay mafia; Israel) are not even bothering to wrap the crap they’re trying to serve us within the artifice of a script at all. A bunch of attractive people in a tropical climate blowing things up do not a movie make, not even if you spice it up with lame American historical fiction and plenty of “whoo-hoo”s yelped in a carefree southern drawl. And what’s evident here in Sahara is demonstrably present in other forms of media. If you’re going to stuff some focus group designed pap down by throat like an installment of Whore Gaggers, at least get me in the mood first. But no, they’re not even trying anymore. Music has degenerated to the point that the Pussycat Dolls have two hit singles now. The Britney Spears and Christina Aguileras of the world I’m willing to forgive. A hot young girl in skimpy clothes, lip-synching to a catchy tune penned by whatever corporation owns her, that I can understand, but the Pussycat Dolls? There’s maybe 10 girls in this group, and 9 of them don’t even pretend to sing, they just jump on trampolines like the dancers on The Man Show. Are we as consumers considered to be idiotic enough that we would see 9 girls on trampolines on television and then go buy a music CD? How does that even make sense? Maybe they’re just hoping we’ve seen Sahara, and we’re in-between the dizziness and mild euphoria stages.


Anonymous D. DUKE said...

Pussycat Dolls suck. I'm more of a
Prussian Blue fan myself.

14 words pleeb.

1:36 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Aren't we all? The Gathering Of The Gods DVD has already sold dozens of copies in Idaho and Melbourne alone!

10:36 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

I should probably should step up and whine about the industry's kak-handed approach to movies set in or about Africa (either that, or mock you tirelessly over at the Lunatics review), but I really can't be bothered to stop herding cattle/hijacking cars/ridiculing Thomas Jane long enough to try.

I am a bit surprised at how little Nelson Mandela looks like Sidney Poitier in real life, though.

7:36 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

I should probably also learn how to proof-read.

7:37 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

It's OK. You're African, so it's just important that you try.

8:52 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Thanks for being so understanding, Ash - and while I'm at it, thanks for the humanitarian aid and reruns of Da Vinci's Inquest. God knows, your people have made our part of the continent a better place.

9:30 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Da Vinci's Inquest? That's the legacy my country has given you? Being among the 5 999 999 999 people never having seen the show, I can't even tell if that's an insult. I'll assume it is.

7:50 p.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Da Vinci's Inquest, Due South, Cold Squad... we must have really pissed Canada off at some stage in our history.

Have you seen Charlie Jade? A painfully derivative Canadian / SA sci-fi series set in Cape Town. To be fair, I think our side should shoulder most of the blame for the utter lameness of it all - but hats off to post-prod for making my home city look so damn attractive.

3:37 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

You guys have television?

1:47 p.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

You guys have actors that I don't want to kick in the shins?

4:55 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home