Movie Column 

Assassins and Pussycats, this week at the movies

What the hell? I rent a Disney DVD (the perfect way to kill a smoky afternoon without thinking too much) and as soon as I slip it in the player I’m expected to sit through four "Coming Soon to whatever you’ll spend your money on" trailers for Disney movies that look even crappier than the one I rented.

Finally, after much skipping ahead, I lay back and treat myself to the DVD of the week, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen . It stars Lindsay Lohan ( Mean Girls) as a 15-year-old New York Drama Queen forced to move to a wearisome (yet wealthy) New Jersey suburb. Now the screenwriter rule for children’s stories is to make your protagonist three years older than your target audience, the idea being children look forward to growing up and kids three years older excite them.

So before I start heaping phrase on a ridiculously predictable movie aimed at 12-year-old girls, let me explain. Occasionally, (okay all the time) I like to watch any movie that ends in the prom, something about the innocence and naivety of these high-school movies really gets to me. As well, I find bitchy conflicts between supermodel-esque high school girls highly entertaining, especially when, every single time, they learn to put aside their grievances, tell the truth and find the positive side in every situation. It’s pure fantasy, like dragons or fair elections in America. Because we all know there is no creature more scheming and malicious than a high school girl. Every time one of these films comes out I think, "Maybe this time they’ll all die in the end, like in Heathers ."

They don’t in Confessions , and even though the movie is just a launch pad for her music career (seven songs on the soundtrack), Lindsay Lohan brings such a youthful energetic presence to the screen that she just might be my new favourite actress (except, of course, Angelina.) Anyhow, running at 89 minutes (including five or more musical montages) Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is a good way to spend an afternoon doing nothing. If you’re a 12-year-old girl or a freak like me.

Speaking of freaks, who the hell made a Catwoman movie without Batman? A guy named Pitof did, that’s who. Who the hell’s Pitof? Who cares because Catwoman aims high, falls far, and doesn’t land on its feet.

Catwoman stars Oscar-winner Halle Berry playing Patience Phyllips, a frumpy drone worker at a big cosmetics company that has discovered a miracle face cream to stop the ageing process. After she discovers the cream will make your face fall off if you stop using it, Patience is killed and then resurrected by an Egyptian Cat God (they do it all the time apparently) and now she’s a real savage, fury of… um… cat energy.

Between comically snorting catnip and gobbling sushi, Patience (and by this point mine is running thin) eventually tracks down a nasty ex-supermodel played by Sharon Stone. Stone’s character, who delivers the only memorable line in the film, is actually far more interesting than Berry’s. Done correctly, the themes of identity crisis and the duality of (wo)man might have saved this picture. Might have. Basically, this movie sucks more than mountain bikers in the skatepark (get out of there losers) and if she’s looking for that second Oscar Catwoman will have Halle Berry scratching around her litterbox for a long, long time.

It hasn’t been that long since Matt Damon starred in 2002’s super-cool The Bourne Identity but the sequel is here already. The Bourne Supremacy stars Damon again as a super-spy/assassin/all around shit-kicker with partial amnesia and a cute girlfriend (Franka Potente.)

Two years have passed since the first film and Bourne is trying to lead a normal life until he’s framed for a couple big international assassinations and people start shooting at him around the same time. Insert paranoia here.

Directed by Irishman Paul Greengrass, this second Bourne is a bit jumbled and not nearly as engaging now that Bourne knows who he is. Still, there’s plenty of action and great European car chases (remember the Parisian car chase in Ronin ? Why are the best car chases always in Europe?)

The main problem with this movie lies in its jittery distracting camerawork and rapid editing style. I realize it’s supposed to add a sense of urgency and tension but it pulls you out of the picture at times. However, Matt Damon is solid, as is Potente, and Julia Stiles is no slouch either, even though my friend Kelly hates her. If you ask me, The Bourne Supremacy is the movie to see this week, unless you haven’t seen Fahrenheit 9/11 yet, in which case you better see ’em both.

At Village 8 July 23-29: Catwoman, The Bourne Supremacy, I Robot, Shrek 2, Anchorman, King Arthur, Fahrenheit 9/11, Spiderman 2, Cinderella Story.

At Rainbow Theatre July 23-29:


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