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Bradmouthin at the Movies: 30 Days of Night, Running Diary

Running Diary: 30 Days of Night

What does a 27 year-old male with good prospects do on a sunny Saturday afternoon? He goes on a picnic with his significant other, balances his checkbook with his latest paycheck, or maybe even goes house hunting.

Which is why I went to see a movie by myself. Don’t cringe, its not the first time. Or the second. And with the state of most members of the opposite sex (that’s right, I blame you) it won’t be the last.

My choices were unusually good for the first of November. There’s American Gangster, but I’m afraid Denzel will make murderous drug pushing look so cool that I’ll want to become a sales rep for Phillip Morris.

Saw IV…sigh. I quit watching the first one after some tiny, crack addict-looking white dude whooped up on 8’9’’ 400lb. Danny Glover. I could buy Keanu Reeves as an FBI AGENT (!) before I could that. So that’s out.

Something else with the name Tyler Perry on it. That might be good. Who doesn’t love stereotypical comedy that isn’t criticized because the creator is part of the minority being stereotyped?

Me, that’s who.

Across the Universe…okay so I love musicals, the Beatles, Julie Taymor, and Evan Rachel Wood. Ummmm…Evan Rachel Wood (insert Homer Simpson doughnut drool). But I think I should wait and see if I can’t get a date for this movie. (I heard that snicker. Now I’m crying. I hope you’re happy. )

Evan…my love.

Hey. 30 Days of Night has a 1:40 showing. For those of you unfamiliar with the premise, let Yahoo movies help you out:

In Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town in the U.S, the winter sun sets and does not rise for 30 days and nights. From the darkness comes an evil force that strikes terror on the town.

Excellent. I love vampires. And snow. I think movies based on graphic novels rock I mean, what is a graphic novel but a storyboard with words. And 300 was friggin sweet. Multiple decapitations and stabbings. (Though the one sex scene was awkward, certainly shot by someone with a nipple fetish.) Plus, I think the leading lady, Melissa George is hot bordering on superhot (those categories will be defined in a later blog). And I have a secret mancrush on Josh Hartnett. Hells yeah, this is my show.

Hey Stella!

I arrive in the theater just in time because a mom, her three rabid kids, and her malfunctioning VISA take forever to get their tickets for Bee Movie (yay, another CGI insect movie, now if I just had some CGI Raid I’d be in business). Welfare lines in Moscow don’t move this slow.

1:44 – Down go the lights. It’s just me and one other guy, who’s ominously sitting in the very back row. I feel like Nick Nolte in the Cape Fear remake. If this guy lights up a cigar and starts shouting “Counselor!” I’m heading for the exit sign faster than a cat in a Mexican restaurant.

(An hour later this guy magically floats down the isle without making a sound, and I don’t notice until he glides past me. He heads off to the restroom. I’ve already gone in my pants.)

Down in front! I can’t see!

1:45 – Horrorfest 2007 trailer. “Where Evil lives,” says a gravelly-throated narrator. “Fear is the only emotion you’ll fear,” he continues. Is this really necessary? I would think that if you vacationed where fear lived, it would be understood that fear would be your only emotion. Kind of like visiting sucky-movie land, where all you feel is raging annoyance. One logically leads to the other. It doesn’t really need to be stated.

On the positive side, I did see some cool wraiths that are knock offs of the wraiths J.K. Rowling knocked off of Tolkien. There’s also a dude hit by a train, which is almost as good as a dude hit by a bus. (You don’t get to see the guts trail with a train.) And there’s a bunch of boobs in one shot, and I don’t mean Bush’s cabinet.

1:48 – God that was a long trailer. Some lame movies about evil cell phones. On the bright side there’s the perfect girl from the 40 Days and 40 Nights, Shannyn Sossamon. Unfortunately, Ed Burns is in it. He’s the new kiss of death for box office sales, taking over for Steve Guttenberg and training killer-in-waiting Lindsey Lohan.

1:50 – Oh snaps. Methinks I hast been served. Another movie about people dancing at each other. What happened to good old fashioned musicals and big showy dance numers? Since when did choreography replace drive-by-shootings as urban teens’ mode of conflict resolution? It’s called Step Up 2. The lead actress is going to be a star. If she can live through several “servings” that is.

1:52 – Be Kind Rewind starring Jack Black, so I’ll either laugh the whole movie or be annoyed. As long as he doesn’t talk about “rocking,” “rocking out,” or anything to do with “rock” in general, the movie should be straight. And Mos Def is in it too. He has great comedic instincts for a rapper who’s proved himself to be an idiot on the Bill Maher show. (9/11 conspiracy subscriber.)

1:54 – The Mist. When was the last time a Stephen King horror tale was made into a good film (remember, the Stand was on TV)? Carrie, Salem’s Lot, the Shining? Any not in the 70’s or early 80’s? And God help you if you say Misery. Go look at this list and tell me I’m wrong. Go on, I’ll wait. (http://bestsellers.about.com/od/stephenking/a/king_films.htm) Oh, and I’ve heard the 1408 short story is quite different from the movie. So take that.

1:55 – Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Exploding heads? Check. Acidic aliens? Check. Hamas, suicide-bombing predator? Check. Thank you studios, for coming up with such original and fresh films. (The sad part is I LOVE these movies. And the worse the dialogue, the more I love them. Based on the lines I’ve heard in the trailers, I might ask this film to marry me.) Also, they play Silent Night at the end and have a tagline of No Peace on Earth. I think this is weird and don’t care for it.

1:59 – Untraceable. A serial killer uses a website to allow web surfers to kill his victims. Blah. It’s got Diane Lane, though, and she’s still one of the most underrated hot chicks around. Could we get an Unfaithful sequel instead? Maybe this time she has an affair with a woman. I’m down.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I’ve been sitting in the theater for 15 minutes now watching mostly lame trailers (and waiting for Max Cady to descend the rows behind me and plunge a knife into my throat.)

2:01 – More Silent Night. Weird and unnerving. Except this time the song is playing in the trailer for P2, one of the most absurd stalker movies to come along since Sleepless in Seattle. The actress, who resembles Jodie Foster, gets held hostage by an obsessed security guard in a parking garage. Here’s a big shock, she turns the tables on him, and before caving his head in with some large, blunt object, she takes the time to say “Merry Christmas.” First, no one but Arnold Schwarzenegger and Winston Churchill could ever pull off those lines. Second, I’m tired of seeing “turn the tables” movies. For once I want some reality. I want the damn tables to stay right where they are. The security guard should have a nice Christmas dinner with his bound hostage, then cut her head off with a chainsaw and decorate it with blinking white lights. The End.

In a small twist of irony, I just loaded up my Yahoo page and found this news article. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071108/ennew_afp/entertainmentbritainfilm)

2:02 – Trailer for Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. “It doesn’t say Cox unless I say it tastes like Cox.” This movie has the potential to have more classic lines than Al Gore’s lockbox social security speech.

2:04 – 25 minutes after I sit down, the f****** movie finally starts. I’m not in a good mood.

2:07 – A young, bearded Dick Cheney walks across the snow. I know it’s a young Dick Cheney because he’s obviously angry at the polar ice cap he’s standing on and has that bloodthirsty “I must find a hunting buddy to shoot” look on his face. Behind him there’s an old tanker stuck in the ice. I’m assuming this is where the vampires live. Which immediately brings several questions to mind. Why would a cabal of vampires live in the North Pole? Lots of warm blood to be found out on the ice pack? Ah well, it’s early, I’ll let it slide. But this doesn’t bode well.

2:11 – Josh Hartnett (whose name is Eben, which is as distracting in the film as it is to read here) has asthma. I guess that means he’s sensitive? (Cause I know I am).

2:18 – We meet Stella, Eben’s estranged love interest. Stella is played by Melissa George, the hottest looking/ugliest named woman on the planet. Locals are scrambling to hop single prop planes and get out of Barrow. I don’t understand why 30 days of darkness makes transportation to and from Barrow impossible. You can’t fly planes or be on the roads at night? What is this, Detroit? I don’t care if there’s a good explanation for this. It wasn’t presented in the movie. Again, I’ve got the bad bodes. These writers are assuming I’ve never heard of the question “why,” and it’s pissing me off.

2:22 – Great, after sitting down 45 minutes ago to watch a vampire movie I finally get a brief glimpse of a vampire. Hooray.

2:30 – The vampires have cut the phones and power and young Dick starts prophesying to Eben. Okay, so he’s the 21st century Renfield. Wait, that’s the crazy 3:10 to Yuma Guy (Ben Foster). Only with greasy black hair and Jewel’s mangled teeth.

So braces really aren’t an option? Well, uhm, good for you, Jewel. Good for you.

2:37 – Dick Jr. tells Eben—(that rolls off the tongue with the fluidity of a pine cone. Is it just me? Am I making too much of this Evan mutation? I’m like Robert De Niro at the end of Heat. He couldn’t let go of Waingro, not even for his new love. I can’t let go of Eben, not even for my blog.)—that he doesn’t speak to dead men. The line falls flatter than Nancy Kerrigan at a tire iron convention. And not just because of the irony of a man who converses regularly with vampires saying he doesn’t speak to “dead men.”

2:40 – Really well shot car scene with a vampire latched on top of Eben and Stella’s SUV. (Later on when the credits roll I realize this was the only cool vampire scene in the movie. Sigh.)

2:48 – A surly character that’s a cross between Grizzly Adams and Santa Claus saves them with his giant rig. Simpsons fans will recognize the vehicle as Barney’s snow plow.

2:50 – The vampires, who are all dressed like Euro trash that bought discount suits from Croatian terrorists, find Dick Jr. in the jail. Their faces are contorted and oddly funny. If the vampire world has Jerry’s kids, they’re all grown up and living in Alaska. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d come to Barrow in a short yellow school bus. They find Dick Jr. in the town jail. The leader, who is the most powerful but has a lame haircut and a noticeable bubble gut beneath his fake silk shirt, mutters something about humans being stupid. He speaks in some carnal language that sounds like a hippo passing a kidney stone. Finally, Nosferatu Jimmy Hoffa says something about humans believing anything, then breaks Dick’s neck.

Am I supposed to care?

God’s special little vampires.

2:54 – The few surviving villagers are holed up in a secret attic. Think Diary of Anne Frank meets Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Now if we just had Keanu Reeves butchering a British accent we’d be in business.

2:57 – Some woman’s walking down the street, crying for help. She’s whiny, annoying, and about as sympathetic as a 600 pound heart attack victim. She’s being used as bait. I know this because the writers think I’m retarded and have Eben say, “They’re using her as bait.” The vampires are easily spotted creeping around corners and rooftops. I can’t imagine any of them have ever successfully played hide and go seek.

3:03 – Eben chops off a vampire’s head with an axe. But it isn’t a clean cut. The grisly crunch of the blade cracking though the spine is realistic and makes me laugh. I realize two things. One, I need help from a medical professional. Two, that’s the first time this movie has perked my ears. Eben gets a little worn out from all the lumberjackin’ and has an asthma attack. He sleeps it off.
I have asthma. Here’s a fun stat.—
Number of years living with severe asthma: 27
Number of times I’ve “slept one off:” 0

3:07 – These vamps rubbery, water on the brain smiles are really annoying. And the people in this town are dumber than a box of warm turds. I’m so much more annoyed than scared right now, I’d swear I was watching a country music video.

3:11 – Eben decapitates a ten year old girl. It’s more entertaining than it sounds.

3:14 – The screen reads “Day 18.” Day 18? That was fast. In under three weeks Eben has gone from clean shaven to thick bearded mountain man. In a movie filled with vampires that look like they just left Dieter’s dance club, Sprockets (Old SNL refernce. Get smart about it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprockets_(television), that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen.

My name is Dieter. Zee vampires come to my club often. Zey pet my monkey.

3:19 – Eben tells his estranged wife to make a run for some secure building. I think it’s a power plant or something. This is a good time to mention how the writer’s addressed Eben and Stella’s relationship troubles.

Stella: I shouldn’t have left.

And that’s it. It’s no big deal though. It’s not like their separation affects the plot or the realization of their characters. Oh, wait…

Do you know why I want a divorce?

3:23 – Eben burns up a vampire with a UV lamp stashed at grandma’s house. Apparently, Eben’s grandmother grows her own marijuana. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

3:24 – The meathead leader of the vampire finishes off the burned vampire, who I think was his second in command, Bonnie to his middle aged, glassy eyed Clyde. And he tosses out yet another trite one liner, “What can be broken, must be broken.” (Looks even stupider in subtitles. I mentioned this line to my brother. It was the first thing in the last week that’s torn his attention from the new video game he bought) Earlier, before stepping on Mr. Plow’s neck, he said, “When a man meets a force he cannot destroy, he destroys himself instead.” This stuff sounds like Art of War for Dummies. Have I stated how annoying these vamps are? Sheesh.

3:27 – Chop. Thud. Roll. Eben dispenses with another vamp.
Note to self: when the great vampire invasion occurs, sell all holy water, wooden stakes, and garlic and use money to purchase one sturdy axe.

Geeze, Eben. Go easy with the axe. This is a new coat.

Screen reads “Day 27.” I get that the night lasts for 30 days, and obviously you can’t do the film in real time. But this wanton day skipping feels like sex with Kobe Bryant. Forced.

3:33 – The few survivors have made it to their industrial stronghold. A bite victim just grabbed a vamp (the one who looked like Kojak after gastric bypass surgery, with the big dumb grin) and plunged them both into what I can only describe as a meat grinder for wooly mammoths.

3:35 – Vampy McMeathead orders his vamp crew to “Destroy them all!” Oddly enough, none of the vampires reply, “well, duh.”

3:37 – More axe action. It gets funnier every time. (Especially this one. Eben really made a mess of it. He was shakier than an Antarctic nudist going through detox and he sliced the dude’s melon to pieces.)

3:41 – Vamps are burning the town with oil. They don’t want to leave any evidence of their brutal killfest behind. O.J. should have consulted with these guys. Eben looks out the window of the compound and sees Stella hiding under a car with a kid she saved. I smell a showdown coming.

WARNING: ENDING SPOILERS AHEAD ——->

3:44 – Eben needs super duper vampy powers, post haste. He injects himself with vampire blood that he draws from the headless corpse he just carved up. He’s now a supervamp, without the masochist getting a prostrate exam smile that the others have. My movie nose is always right.

3:47 – Eben and Meathead have a showdown in the street, high noon style. The heavy, rock soaked, 300 music has me stoked for what should be an awesome fight.

3:50 – Well, that was the most disappointing climatic scene since Matrix: Revolutions, or every episode of Scooby Doo. Eben gets his arse whipped up and down the street until Meathead leaps at him and Eben improbably sticks out his fist, which manages to make it into Meathead’s open mouth and punch a hole out the back of his head. The other vampires meander off into the night. I guess it never occurs to them to elect a new leader lickity-split, kill Eben, finish off the town, and proceed with their original plan. Even the Iraqi parliament thinks these guys are incompetent.

Wait. You’re going to kill me how?

I’ll leave out the very last scene, because it’s predictable (see Blade 2) and they had an opportunity to do something much cooler. I’m only going to get pissed writing about it.

Maybe my expectations were too high, or I was in a bad mood, but rarely have I been so under whelmed by a movie I was looking forward to. The pace was plodding, the scares were few, and except for Eben and his estranged wife, I literally disliked every character in this film. I felt like I was watching a republican presidential debate.

Some of the shots were cool, such as the rolling overhead view of the town as the vamps marauded and pillaged, and the axe killings were mildly entertaining.

But overall, this was 30 Days of Boredom.

Eben, that’s exactly what I felt like at the end, too.

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