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There is a current vogue for movies about ugly, geeky kids who for some inexplicable reason are romantically irresistible to the drop-dead gorgeous leading lady of the picture. For proof of this watch almost every movie that Jessie Eisenberg or Micahel Cera have ever made. Without wanting to sound like a bigot I wonder if this has anything to do with the fantasies of 90% of Hollywood's power-brokers who before attaining their positions as producers, directors and agents were ugly, geeky kids of a certain ethnic/religious persuasion who were anything but irresistible to the beautiful girls they fantasized about in school while getting straight "A"s and having their lunch money stolen by the football team. This movie is yet another one of these geeky kid fantasies. It might be believable if the "geek" had a dynamic personality, amazing sense of humor or perhaps some superhuman power or Love Potion No. 9 in his backpack but no. In this movie, surely one of the most beautiful women to have ever walked the planet (Maxim readers have my back on this opinion by the way) can't take her eyes of the beady-eyed, rodent-like features of Cameron Fife's pathetic character when she sees him at a toga party and before he has even spoken one word. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but come on! Add to this the fact that metaphorically his character has all the fizz and personality of yesterdays unfinished beer, It is all to ridiculous for words. The only nerd who could ever seriously get away with this "beauty and the geek" nonsense was Woody Allen - and Cameron, you sir are no Woody Allen.
Malcolm in the Middle (2000)
Must see TV.
This is the only show that I cannot miss - even in re-runs. It is right up there along-side The Simpsons, 3rd Rock, and Married with Children for style, uniqueness and down-right hilariousness. The writing is amazing, the acting incredible and the characters have been mined from pure gold. I agree and disagree with the comparisons to the Simpsons. The shows are definitely on a par in terms of smarts and humor and the way the plots develop from seemingly random happenings are definitely similar. But to my mind the difference is in the way the jokes are presented: the Simpsons writers pummel you in the gut with punch after hilarious punch while the Malcolm writers hold your head and force you to watch while they cringe-fully punch each other. Genius pure Genius.
Under Fire (1983)
Remember those awful low budget WWII movies with Sherman tanks masquerading as German Panzers and German soldiers running around looking for a bullet to hit them. That's what the opening scenes of this movie brought to mind. Rebel African soldiers moving through the Chad countryside riding, wait for it... "Indian" Elephants, are attacked by a spindly rocket-firing helicopter and later a wing-mounted-machine-gun firing DC3. What? Nick Nolte as fearless reporter stands up on top of a 3-ton truck to get a better shot of being shot while Ed Harris in the guise of grizzled veteran mercenary inexplicably takes shelter underneath. Pure hogwash. Unfortunately they still do make them like they used to. Oh and Gene Hackman later sings and plays piano. Other highlights: Gun-toting, graffiti-writing masked mimes (I'm not making this up) That was all I could stand.