Friday, October 28, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #20
The Legend of Zorro
starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, some kid, swordfights
directed by Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro, GoldenEye, The Sex Thief)
I make a mediocre meatloaf. It's not for lack of trying, but it's just so frustrating. How hard can it be, really? I mean, the whole reason meatloaf has poor reputation isn't because it tastes bad (it doesn't). The bad rap comes from the fact that it's so goddamn easy to make that home meal-preparers have simply gone to the well too many times in an effort to not kill themselves making food their kids aren't going to eat anyway. Sure, we could make braised lamb medallions in a red wine truffles-and-saffron sauce with foie gras slivers and roasted tips of white asparagus, but if the kids aren't going to eat, they might as well not eat something that takes 5 minutes to mash together in a bowl, am I right? I'm right.
Ground beef, some onion, salt and pepper, ketchup, an egg, some dry ingredient filler (a lot of people use bread crumbs, but I think they get soggy, so I prefer oatmeal), some Worcestershire, whole baby sweet pickles, raisins... drop it all in a pan and forget about it for an hour. What could be easier than that?
And yet still it always comes out sort of... uninspiring. Maybe I should try some of that FoodNetwork Emeril guy's variation and "take it up a peg" or whatever he says, but that only usually means adding a bunch of garlic and some cayenne. I'm sure he's a fine chef and everything, but the only thing I ever take away from that show is garlic and cayenne, garlic and cayenne... If I ever ate at one of his restaurants, I'd be afraid to order dessert.
Bah. Fabulous meatloaf is just one of those unanswerable questions like "why are we here?" or "is there a higher power?" or "where do babies come from?"
The one that really bakes my noodle is: "How could Catherine Zeta-Jones be Welsh?"
There's no way she's really from Wales. No. Way. I've been to Wales. I'm not even sure they have women there, let alone ones that look like that.
Think about the famous people we all know and love who are from Wales: Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Monty Python's Terry Jones... what do they all have in common? Bulbous heads. Pasty skin. Drunk. Married to Elizabeth Taylor.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is none of these things. Take all those things into consideration and the picture you get of a Welsh woman is this:
It sure as hell isn't this:
The weirdness of it is kind of balanced out by the thought of what she must let a creepy old guy like Michael Douglas do to her on a regular basis, but it isn't quite enough of a distraction to put the nationality question to rest.
I mean, come on, in the first Zorro movie and then in this new sequel she played a hot-ass Latina. Those are two ethnicities that it should be fundamentally impossible to confuse, Welsh and Latina. It's one of the basic truths that binds the universe together. I think it's Newton's Fifth Law: "Thou Canst Not Travel From Cardiff to Cancún Unremarked-upon". Look it up if you don't believe me.
I guess statistically, though, it shouldn't be impossible for Wales to produce someone who's not doughy and wretched-looking with skin like a cadaver. Wales has also, for instance, give us Christian Bale. But nobody confuses Christian Bale with Ricardo Montalban. That's all I'm saying.
Despite the impossible Welsh-as-Mexican angle, I remember thoroughly enjoying the first Zorro movie. You can make all the jokes you want about my fondness for men wearing black masks and carrying whips, go ahead. It's funny because it's true, I know. But that movie was just so fucking goofy, it was hard not to like it. The hero was goofy, the plot was goofy, that bad guy with the giant blonde head was goofy... and in the end: big giant explosions. It was charming in the same way that... well, it's hard to explain. Go get a piece of bread, load it up with peanut butter and then feed it to your dog. The feeling was similar to watching that.
The reviews say this sequel has failed to capture the spirit of that first one. Except for the other reviews that say it has nailed it yet again, almost exactly. Today's word is: "mixed".
The TV ads feature lots of Banderas (hot), CZJ (hott) and some kid playing their offspring. Not hot. Plus it's rated PG instead of PG-13, so that means no bloody stabbings.
It prominently features a child-actor doing precocious things and has no blood. Sounds like some Disney Channel shit to me. I'm suspicious.
So that's one demerit.
But it's got our Cathy, so that's a plus. But no nudity, another minus.
The reputation of the first film is a plus.
As is the fact that the director once directed a dirty "unrated" film in the early '70s called The Sex Thief. Huge plus just for the effort. A resumé like that will always get you the benefit of the doubt in my book.
Tallying up, my math says The Legend of Zorro warrants:
Two (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.
Twll dîn pob Sais!
Cymru am byth!