(Pop) Culture Shock

It comes in waves

In 30 Minutes or Less you’ll wish you’d seen Planet of the Apes

Posted by emzkbd on August 22, 2011

Yes it’s Bachelor Monday! But here in the Midwest, we’re watching da Bears lose horribly instead of relishing the deviance of Bachelor Pad contestants. So instead of staying up until midnight to watch the re-broadcast, I’ll be bringing a Bachelor Pad recap tomorrow! Hope you can wait because I’m so antsy that I’m sure to dream sequence my own rose ceremony, complete with a buck naked Micheal Stagliano.

I fell a little behind in my theater ventures. Two weekends past, I caught 30 Minutes or Less. I thought, hey, I enjoyed Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of a cocky, coordinated Zuckerberg in The Social Network, and I was eager to see what he would bring next after such subtly comedic performances in Adventureland and Zombieland. Not to mention, I was hoping to point out the similarities between my part-time pizza delivering boyfriend and Eisenberg’s pot-smoking speedster who’ll have a pizza pie at your doorstep in, yep, you guessed it, 30 minutes or less. I expected Super Bad-esque shenanigans in between drop-offs, especially with Aziz Ansari mouthing off about Eisenberg’s character Nick sleeping with his sister. Nope, limited hijinks, and even fewer quotable one-liners… if any. Packing the action, if you can call it that, into a film that’s not even three times the bake time in its title, you’ll be glad it’s short because it’s such a waste of time. Shoulda called it Wasteland!

In a nut shell, two white trash dumbells, played by Danny McBride and Nick Swardson, decide to force Nick to rob a bank, by strapping a bomb to his chest, so that they can hire an assassin to kill McBride’s millionaire pops. Neither of these two comedians bring any heat in the kitchen. I was waiting for their moronic thought proceses to evoke laughter, but instead all I got was a bunch of pubescent sex chatter. Talk about a cockslap in the face!

So as I suggested by the title, we weren’t too far into this film before we realized we should have seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which we heard had gotten good reviews, but come on, the Mark Wahlberg re-boot was bad enough. All these filmmakers think they can make these classic films bigger, better… more bad ass. Otherwise, I swear they must be thinking, let’s tell the story that’s not been told. Ok, I follow you… and then there it is–a prequel! As if Hollywood couldn’t get any more predictable, they expect us to pay $10 and watch what we already know. Of course the apes are gonna win out in this one, and yet, I still paid for it.

Call me curious, but I wanted to see how a relationship between James Franco and Freida Pinto would work out through an ape invasion. These two didn’t have much chemistry, but it didn’t matter. They don’t freak like monkeys, so she might as well have been his adopted Indian sister. And is it just me or did she have like three lines in the entire movie? “Oh no Will, the apes are coming! Hold me and kiss me with a passionate gentleness that makes interracial dating look less awkward?”

Most of the movie, I felt like playing therapist to Franco’s Will, whose father has Alzheimer’s. Dude, you can’t play god! Did we not learn anything from 28 Days Later (they tested on chimps, too)? But he perseveres onward, hoping to discover a cure for the disease but ends up caring for the orphaned chimp Caesar who’s been passed the effects of one of Will’s test strains through birth. Caesar is a smart chimp… so much so that I would trade his infant self for half the people I work with on a day to day basis. I tell ya, it has to be easier to work with animals who fling their fecal matter and pick insects from their mates’ hair.

I think the most appealing part of the film is watching Caesar evolve in such a short period of time. Forget the tearful plot points involving Will’s sick father played by John Lithgow, whose mind first improves from the side effects of the same drug but then rapidly degrades as the plot unfolds. It’s the chimps you really sympathize with!! They’re caged and treated poorly, like most of the young married wives I know. Just kidding!

And poor Tom Felton! It’s going to take awhile for him to escape the villianous typecast of Draco Malfoy. Such a cruel, cruel boy! He doesn’t wield a wander, but he is sure an angry twentysomething with his electro-shocking taser. Just like in the Harry Potter franchise, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for this kid to get knocked sideways. And all I wanted was one snithering “Potter” from his sweet boyishly man lips. I guess “filthy primates” will have to do!

So in the end, the bad people get what’s coming for them–the pseudo-bank-robbing, blackmailer bombadeers blow up in an hour and 30 minutes or less (trust me, I saved you from a worthless ending) and the apes take down their arch nemesis, a.k.a. a money-hungry black businessman, on their way to the redwood forest. To ask the controversial question, I don’t understand why the filmmakers decided to cast an African American as the villain, seeings that I’m sure he had ancestors who were once enslaved against their will just like the apes are here. No I’m not racial profiling or suggesting the filmmakers included token minorities in supporting roles. I think there’s some metaphorical foreshadowing there–apes make it big in the big city and then enslave the whole human race? Gee, I can’t imagine that’s what happens. I guess I’ll have to wait for the sequel, I mean remake, hopefully NOT starring Markie Mark again.


One Response to “In 30 Minutes or Less you’ll wish you’d seen Planet of the Apes”

  1. the chinese goteey said


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