Before I get to my sad weekly movie, I need to talk about the new Star Trek trailer: SO BAD.

I can’t even talk about how bad this looks. Alex showed it to me last night and I just started sputtering “SO bad. SO unbelievably bad.” Hoverbikes! Spunky children! (Just like those Star Wars prequels)! “I will not allow you to lecture me.” “Then why don’t you stop me?” It’s like Amok Time, but with a naked chick to quell the homoerotic subtext. (I like to think about the fact that slash fiction might not exist if it weren’t for Star Trek sometimes.)

Other movie trailer that makes me despair for all of cinema: Confessions of a Shopaholic.

It honestly doesn’t look like the same class of train wreck as Star Trek: The New Class, but I just get angry every time I see it. Something inside me just twitches, I think the part that wishes this kind of faux-Bridget Jones thing was over already. Also, most poorly timed movie ever, yes? The premise of the story is basically: “Credit card debt, LOL.” Actually, it might be the best timed movie ever, since the full premise is: “Credit card debt, LOL. Wait, cute girl with huge debts falls for rich guy! Problem solved.” It’s totally the new depression version of those golddigger musicals from the 1930s. We’re in the money, indeed.

Anyway:

  1. Joe Vs. The Volcano (John Patrick Shanley, 1990): This movie managed to be both totally awesome and completely terrible at the same time. I kind of admire it for that, even though I can’t really excuse its astounding feats of racism. The story is — Joe is a hypochondriac who finds out he’s dying which allows him to finally start living. He does this by agreeing to jump into a volcano so an industrialist can buy minerals from a fictional island tribe who’ve got crazy superstitions. A magical black cab driver played by Ossie Davis teaches him how to dress. Then he meets some Meg Ryans (she plays three different characters, for no apparent reason). He and the third Meg Ryan go on a boat to the island — but then the boat sinks, so they ride his ridiculous steamer trunks until they drift to the appropriate island.


Then they realize they’re suddenly in love, so they jump into the volcano together. Then they get magically shot out of the volcano, the whole island civilization (a civilization that combines Polynesian, Hebrew, Italian, and other traditions to be equal-opportunity offensive to all ethnicities — seriously, Nathan Lane is involved) is destroyed, but it’s a happy ending, because they realize that blonde Meg Ryan’s dad actually defrauded Joe, by paying his doctor to tell him he was dying of a brain cloud, but actually Joe is totally fine and therefore just almost killed himself for no reason.
It jumps around in tone like crazy, and some of the parts are totally awesome.
The whole first part in the factory looks like Metropolis or Brazil. The way that Shanley creates the fluorescent light atmosphere is really great.

This opening image of the crooked path is pretty clever as an way to start the movie, as well. It’s interesting and German Expressionist-y, and it’s a pretty clear signal about how the narrative’s going to proceed.
I also found LA Meg Ryan really funny, almost despite myself. The bit where she recites the poem? Priceless. “Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair… covered the emptiness of my hand.”

Of course, this is a movie where he’s a prince just for not boning her.
I totally get why it’s a cult movie, because it’s really unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and it’s kind of a mess with flashes of greatness. But seriously.

I have no response to that.