Monday, May 26, 2003

What an exciting weekend. :Yawns:

Marcelle’s just kidding. Actually, it’s really been an eventful Saturday, far more than can be said about Sunday. After more than a month, we finally had a tournament for RAW Deal, and unlike the last time’s upset, this one resulted in Ralph Tan’s Trish Stratus deck coming out on top once again. There were some neat tricks left and right, but there’s no question that The People’s Champion and The Game are two decks to watch out for. Both of them are rather interesting decks to deal with, as one prevents reversals from the Backlash deck, while the other is simply loaded with great cards, and has a Sylvan Library ability.

There really isn’t much to detail about the matches, as since Marcelle was running the tournament, there’s no question that he had his hands full observing every match. It was an interesting tournament, as that was the first time a RAW Deal has achieved a turnout of 20 people or more. Last Saturday yielded 26 entrants. Simply amazing. Of course, at a hundred and fifty per five entrants, that netted Marcelle a cool 750. This beats joining tournaments, as far as Marcelle is concerned.

Here’s a standout, though: Kurt Angle seems to have been totally beefed up this time. Franz Alibuyog fought Ryan Ramos in a certain round. Franz was using Angle, while Ryan was using The People’s Champion. Problem with that is Angle’s feud mentions The People’s Champion, and the feud not only gives him two more mid-match slots, he even gets to take a card from his discard pile during each of his turns! How do you stop a steamroller like that?

The RAW Deal community is growing rather nicely at this point. Would you want to give it a try and perhaps be the next World Champion?

Marcelle wasn’t able to finish the tournament because he had to watch Bruce Almighty with Grace. Needless to say, that involved him rushing and asking to be texted the results after the tournament. He made it there with lots of time to spare, and comedy of comedies, was mistaken for a celebrity, and was thus asked to sign in the Red Carpet guestbook. Grace, on the other hand, barely made it there on time. The movie was extremely funny, and it actually toppled Matrix: Reloaded in the box office. It’s number one this week, and it holds the record for the best opening of a non-sequel comedy with over $70 million. Was it any good? Well, just read the next three reviews to find out. Let’s do three comedies this time… do notice an attempt at a subtitle with each movie. Hopefully, this can be done consistently…



Shanghai Knights:

Not even a super cute Chinese girl can keep this movie from being lackluster…

Apparently, Shanghai Knights is an attempt at making a good buddy flick. So there’s a good deal of chemistry between Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Sadly, that won’t be enough to make this movie good. Tired old jokes, a long stretch at both a conspiracy and historical facts… just about everything you can complain about with a movie is in here. And like the subtitle says, not even Fann Wong can make this movie something great. The story is a take on the dynamic duo of Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson going to England to follow the people who killed Jackie’s dad in the film. Apparently, this is part of a huge conspiracy between two heirs apparent in both the Chinese empire and the English kingdom, so that they will rule simultaneously over their respective kingdoms.

It just doesn’t work. Jackie Chan works well with Owen Wilson, but their rapport can’t hold together the flimsy plot they were given to work with. Besides, how many times can we see Jackie Chan still up to his same old tricks and remain entertained? Shanghai Noon wasn’t so bad, but to make a sequel actually inferior to it could only mean trouble. There was nothing in the film that would really impress you, as it’s pretty much the same sickness the RAW roster has been suffering from lately. You’ve seen a Jackie Chan movie, you’ve seen them all. It’s not very flattering, but that seems to be the case now, as I did not find anything noteworthy about the film.

If you’re not a diehard Jackie Chan fan, trust me. You’re not missing much. If you’re a Fann Wong fan, look for some of her better movies. That should satiate your uber-cute Chinese girl fix…

Marcelle’s Rating: C+ (This is already being rather generous…)


How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days:

Not another bet movie… rrriiighhhttt… But at least, it’s a smart comedy.

Annie (Or is it Andy? Whatever…) Anderson, played by Kate Hudson, is a writer. She writes for one of the most pretentious fashion magazines around, and she’s the resident How-To girl of Composure magazine. “How to get away from a parking ticket”, “How to get a makeover”, you name it, she’s probably done a “How-To” on it, so long as she doesn’t talk about politics or religion or something of (Heaven forbid!) actual importance to mankind.

Benjamin Barry, played by Matthew McConaughey is making a play for an advertising account, and ends up getting himself into a bet for the account. The bet: to have a girl fall for him in ten days. His rivals know what they’re doing, though, and pick Annie. Why? Because she’s doing a groundbreaking How-To: How to lose a guy in ten days. You can tell that Ben will be in quite a spot of trouble now.

What follows is a series of mishaps involving naming a certain male body part “Princess Sophia”, a Knicks finals game being given up in favor of a Celine Dion concert, and other things meant to drive Benjamin out of his mind and out of Annie’s life.

But Princess Sophia refuses to budge.

This, of course, is a date movie. What do you expect? It’s extremely funny, and is one of those smart comedies out there. Kate Hudson was scorching hot, and Matthew McConaughey, err… no comment. Anyways, since both of them have entered this relationship with a hint of deceit, you can just tell how big the trouble will be when they find out what’s really happening. But yeah, true love conquers all, and Annie quits writing for Composure magazine. It’s a very entertaining movie.

Of course, the film has a few gaffs. Here’s the most glaring one: BET MOVIES HAVE BEEN DONE, AND DONE BEFORE. What else is new? Didn’t a movie involving Freddie Prinxe, Jr. try this codswallop already? You’d think that for all the smart writing employed in the script, they’d come up with a more original plot. Beyond that, there wasn’t much else to complain about with this film. It was far from disappointing, but we know it could’ve been better.

Well, this movie is worth watching, but then, it’d really be a waste to see this alone…

Marcelle’s Rating: B/B+


Bruce Almighty

Jim IS Almighty, and that is just B-E-A-Utiful!

Well, Jim Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, an intrepid Marc Logan-esque reporter who had the worst day of his life and blames God for everything. Thinking that maybe he’d like to see for himself if he can do better, God, played by Morgan Freeman (Shades of George Burns’ “Oh God!” series…), gives Bruce his powers. Bruce lets the power get to his head, and ends up using his powers to right some wrongs in his life. This includes putting a stash of marijuana in a rival station’s van, getting a dog housebroken at will, and being there whenever something big happens, earning him the monicker “Mr. Exclusive”.

Being endowed with such powers, there are only two limitations that Jim Carrey can’t overstep. One, he must not reveal to anyone else that he has such powers (As if anyone will actually believe him...). Two, he cannot meddle with free will. All this happens while we realize that Bruce is actually rather egocentric, and this proves hazardous to his relationship with Grace (No, not my Grace. The one played by Jennifer Aniston.). When he manages to resolve his gaff at answering all of Buffalo city’s prayers with a “yes” (Which means 200,000 people won the lottery.), Grace prays to learn to let go of Bruce. If you were Bruce, how in Hades do you expect to answer that prayer, eh?

That’s when God finally takes back His powers and rights all of this. It’s a really good feeling, as Bruce enjoins all of us to “Be the miracle”. Really touching stuff, and it had Grace (My girlfriend. Not the movie character this time.) in tears. It was almost as though the movie was pointed in her direction… but that’s beside the point.

Let’s face it: Jim Carrey has a goldmine in this film. Just when people were about to write this man off as a has-been, he comes up with a film like this and silences all his naysayers. A take of $70 million on your opening weekend is nothing to scoff at. I mean, how was your weekend?

And there’s good reason why this film made money. The script was excellent, for one. I don’t know who wrote this, but if they ended up in the WWE, I think that everyone would stop wrestling and just crack jokes all day long… oh, I’m sorry. That’s not supposed to be a good thing. Anyways, aside from the excellent writing that manages to barely stop short of being blasphemous, the special effects were also well-placed. Sure, you won’t expect any Burly Brawls or Bullet Time shots, but what they had to show, such as Jim’s seven fingers in one hand, or the parting of the soup, were all fun to see. At the end of everything, there’s even a challenge that’s really noteworthy… Be the miracle. Be the miracle.

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