Wednesday, December 04, 2002

The Movie I Watched Last Night XLV
Josie and the Pussycats
The first time I saw this movie -- not fully paying attention while at a hotel -- I didn't realize how similar the plot was to that of Zoolander. The storyline tells the tale of a down-on-its-luck rock band -- Josie and the Pussycats, based on Dan DeCarlo's Archie Comics characters -- that rapidly climbs the ladder to fame with the help of an evil mastermind. Alan Cumming's Paul Reubens-like portrayal of the band manager Wyatt Frame is strongly yet simperingly evil as he assists Parker Posey's insecure Fiona character embed subliminal marketing messages in pop music. The band catches onto the plot and foils their evil plan. Shades of Zoolander in its script and Charlie's Angels in its cinematography, Josie and the Pussycats includes some snarky asides about the comic book (i.e. the Cabot twins' exchange: "Why are you here?" "I was in the comic book."), arch commentary on the state of pop music (Exhibit A: the Seth Green-fronted boy band Du Jour, which provides some of the best scenes), and a wonderful soundtrack featuring Letters to Cleo's Kay Hanley. Despite its genetic distance from the comic book and cartoons, Josie and the Pussycats is a fun pop romp. Mindless entertainment, but mindless entertainment I'll probably seek out again. That Rachael Leigh Cook is a cutey, to be sure.

The Exorcist
I'm afraid to go out on a limb here, but after watching this movie, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about -- or how it can consistently rank among the scariest movies of all time. Perhaps it's a period thing; the movie came out the year I was born and, I'm sure, was groundbreaking for its time. But seriously? I found The Exorcist light on suspense, much less horror or gore. The opening scenes set in Iraq, while among the best in the film, are tenuously tied to the rest of the movie's events, and while some of the possession's special effects are notable, on the whole, I was disappointed. I'm curious whether that might be because it's practically set in a single room -- the bedroom of the possessed child -- or because the movie's progeny have desentitized me and other movie viewers. Regardless, there was some nice commentary on the ability of the medical profession and on the role a crisis of faith can play in a clergy man's church life. In any event, I'd much rather watch The Omen, which followed three years later. Chalk this up to a Netflix Halloween rental watched a month too late.

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