Wednesday, May 26th, 2004
Stories Often Told
I was really only lukewarm on the first Shrek – it was pleasant but a little bit milquetoast for my liking. It felt overly restrained, maybe because of the poor track record to that point of any animated feature that wasn’t Disney. Well I think that the success of the first one gave them the confidence to go all out on the sequel, and it’s fantastic. Shrek 2 is far and away the most fun I’ve had at a movie in recent memory. It starts a little slowly with the same safe tone as the first film, but completely takes off when Shrek and Fiona travel to the land of Far Far Away. The sight gags and jokes keep coming fast and furious for the duration of the film and don’t let up for a minute – Everything from the prison break through the grand finale is non-stop laugh-out-loud funny. Antonio Banderas’ Puss-In-Boots steals the show, no mean feat considering the level of voice talent involved. Hell, even the soundtrack is impressive. Not surprisingly, two more sequels have been given the go-ahead and the studio is in talks to secure the voice talent. As much as I’m looking forward to The Incredibles this Fall, I can’t imagine it topping Shrek 2 as best animated film of the year. Hell, restricting it to the animated category is doing it a disservice – this is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. Go see it.
Harvey Pekar originally did this strip singing the praises of Billy Bragg for publication in Entertainment Weekly, but they backed out after a previous strip with Sean Penn got a little too controversial for their tastes.
One show I’m looking forward to at NXNE this year is the Rainbow Quartz Records showcase at Healey’s on Friday June 11, which will feature Volebeats, Myracle Brah and Denise James. Not familiar with the artists? The label (the self-proclaimed “source for perfect guitar pop”) has set up a special NXNE minisite to get you acquainted..
The final 24 commentary for the year. Sniff. So yeah, I dunno. As I expected, season 3 sputtered out at the end. As promised, they did manage to write out most of the current cast which at least offers the opportunity of a blank slate for season 4, and hopefully with the late season start date they’ll have the time to put together a better storyline and not fly by the seat of their pants so much. I got excited at the start of the finale when the warning came up promising graphic violence, but I guess their standards for ‘graphic’ are different from mine. I guess cutting a guys hand off with a fire axe is graphic. My question is who on earth keeps an axe in a classroom in this day and age? I thought kids weren’t even allowed to bring butter knives to school. Geez. I’m a little surprised Chase survived – telling Jack that he was quitting the field before the mission was over was just dumb. Hasn’t he ever seen any cop revenge movies? He may as well have pulled out a picture of the boat he just finished paying off and talked about his plans to sail around the world when this was all over. It’s a shame Palmer is leaving but after this season, there’s really no way he could have stayed on without it being contrary to how the character was written from day one. Finally, Jack’s breakdown at the very end? It was affecting – it was good to show the other side to his ultra-intense super-agent persona. Poor Jack needs a vacation. But honestly, in every scene from the hospital on, I was waiting for his nose to start bleeding. So there you have it. Let’s get on with our lives, shall we?
np – The New Pornographers / Electric Version