Thursday, January 08, 2004

Brief Takes

Saw some movies over the holidays. One was called Dreamcatcher, based on a book by Stephen King. You'll want to skip it. I'd forgotten how repulsively scatological is Mr. King's sense of humor. It's about an alien creature who gets inside you and then gets out by…Well, let me put it this way. You know how food goes in one end and out the other? That's the idea. Only the digestive process does not go smoothly. We rented it on the recommendation of one of the tattooed, nose-ear-and-lip-pierced college-age brainiacs who work behind the counter.

Another one you'll want to skip is The Order. My daughter thought we ought to get it because certain of her friends had so enthused. She forgets sometimes how bright she is and how stupid most of her friends are. Her mother fell asleep during the course of it. We told her the next day she was lucky. No number of frequent utterances of the name of "Jesus" and the phrase "Our Lord" and the command "Go back to hell where you came from" can redeem this nth example to the nth power of Hollywood's love of things religious. Nor can any degree of secretive, arcane and impossible-to-follow skullduggery involving an ancient order of priests (so ancient no one's ever heard of them) and a human creature called a sin-eater who gets his power from Satan knows where. There was one good line. One priest to another: "Women. Can't live with 'em…can't live with 'em."

A couple you will want to see: Out of Time with Denzel Washington, and Identity with Ray Liotta and John Cusack. The first is a thriller that does its job, but I can't say anything about the latter without giving too much away, except that you make sure the kids are tucked away and you have a stomach for violence.

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