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Bullet Sunday 81

Posted on Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Dave!w00t! Today it's Bullet Sunday from one of my favorite cities: CHICAGO!!

• Johhny. After struggling to catch up with work all morning, I decided to take the train into the city... even though the CTA has both the Blue-Line and the Red-Line under construction. A Johnny Rockets veggie burger was calling me. And since Chicago has one of my favorite restaurants in the chain, it would be worth the effort. Imagine my surprise when I get there to find that my beloved Johnny Rockets on Rush Street had CLOSED!! I was equally sad and enraged, and I don't think I'm ever going to recover. Goodbye Johnny, you will be missed...

Johnny Rockets restaurant on Rush Street in Chicago at night.

• Beautiful. I looked out the window and was happy to see that the weather had cleared up from the overcast skies and rain we had last night. It was beautiful out! Unfortunately, looks can be a bit deceiving, because it was actually chilly and windy. Fortunately, I had a jacket with me out of habit, because how would you expect to be cold on a day like this?

Looking up at Hancock Tower and the Chicago city skyline.

• Bean. After getting a surprise call from a former co-worker and meeting for coffee (her) and hot cocoa (me)... I met up with friends who were in the city from suburbia to do some shopping and go see Speed Racer (my review of the film along with reviews for two other movies I saw on the plane follows below). From there I decided to meet up with a current co-worker for dinner at the ever-excellent Pizano's Pizza and a walk through Millennium Park. I can't get enough of The Cloud Gate "Coffee Bean" sculpture, which was looking especially cool today...

Cloud Gate sculpture... a giant 'coffee bean' shape with a mirrored surface reflecting the Chicago city skyline.

Cloud Gate sculpture... a giant 'coffee bean' shape with a mirrored surface reflecting the Chicago city skyline.

• Movie #1: Jumper. One sentence review: A great concept diminished to a bucket of shit that not even Samuel L. Jackson can save. Didn't we suffer enough when Hayden Christensen played Anakin Skywalker in the shitty Star Wars sequels? NOTE TO FILMMAKERS: THIS GUY CANNOT ACT! STOP CASTING HIM IN MOVIES! But even putting the horribleness of Mannequin Skywalker aside, this is a mess of a film. Our story begins when young David Rice discovers he has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world he can visualize. This is handy, because his mother abandoned him to live with his abusive father, and "jumping" provides him with the escape he's been longing for. Using his new-found power to rob banks and live a life of excess that spans the globe, things go terribly wrong when jumper-hating "paladins" (led by Samuel L. Jackson) start hunting David... AND THE AUDIENCE DOESN'T FUCKING CARE! The story then turns into sheer idiocy, and I was salivating over the thought that Samuel L. Jackson will actually kill the stupid bastard. By the time the lame-ass "twist ending" was revealed, I was cursing the moment I decided to watch this joke of a film. FAIL!

• Movie #2: The Bucket List. Once sentence review: Brilliant performances rises above a pandering and fluff-laden script. Two of my all-time favorite actors? Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I will watch anything they appear in. To have them both in the same film is absolute magic. The story is about a curmudgeon millionaire (Nicholson) and a genius garage mechanic (Freeman) who discover they have fatal illnesses which compel them to live their final days doing all those things they never got around to doing in life. The resulting ride is a fun one, mostly because the banter between the two leads is so fantastic and the acting note-perfect. If only the script could have been tightened to eliminate some of the more overtly manipulative sentimentality, it could have been elevated to greatness. As it is, it's a good film that tries too hard to find the "fun" side of death. WIN!

• Movie #3: Speed Racer. One sentence review: Complete and total failure of filmmaking on an epic scale that utterly devastates a beloved classic cartoon. What the hell happened? I have been looking forward to this film ever since I first glimpsed the previews that hit the internets. I was expecting a full-throttle, hyperactive film that pushes visual effects to new levels while redefining a childhood cartoon I loved. What I got was crap. A boring snore-fest of a movie that has shit-loads of stupid exposition and unnecessary drama that undermines any excitement you might get from the actual racing scenes (which are, admittedly, cool in a repetitive video-game kind of way). Just as the Wachowski Brothers managed to fuck-up an unfuck-upable franchise with the awful Matrix sequels, they have turned Speed Racer into a meandering, directionless film that sucks so badly that all the acting talent in the world (including Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, and Christina Ricci) can't keep it on track. Between the never-ending cut-wipe transitions that make you want to scream... and way, WAY too much time devoted to a mindless plot about evil businessmen secretly controlling all the world's racing events... it was all I could do to keep myself from walking out of the theater. EPIC FAIL!

DAVETOON! Lil' Dave dressed up as Speed Racer with Bad Monkey dressed up as Chim Chim while flipping the bird.

And that brings to an end another Bullet Sunday.

I totally should have watched Iron Man again.

• P.S. Every time I stay at a Sheraton hotel, the internet connection screen always has a photo of a guy smelling a melon. Can anybody tell me what the hell this has to do with anything?

Guy smelling a cantaloupe melon at a market stall.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008, Movies 2008Click To It: Permalink


  1. Mooselet says:

    That is the world’s smallest cantaloupe. That’s all I can think when I see it. I know it has nothing to do with the internet, but crap that’s tiny!!!

  2. Winter says:

    The coffee bean sculpture looks really cool. The guy with the melon… no clue. But he’s almost cute.

  3. Belinda says:

    I can’t be sure, but I think the Sheraton is calling you a melon-smeller.

  4. Jake titus says:

    Dave2: Dude the speed racer art is crackin’ me up!

  5. Whit says:

    I was hoping Speed Racer would be good, but even the trailers just reeked of Summer Lackluster (see what I did there, like Blockbuster, but not). Your review is actually one of the nicer that I’ve seen.

    I think I’ll go see Narnia this week.

  6. Kristin says:

    I dunno, but he is darn cute!

  7. I’m not the slightest bit surprised that Speed Racer turned out to be a catastrafuck. I haven’t read a single good review of it yet and have now decided to avoid it like the plague. Haven’t seen Bucket List yet either. I *should* have as they showed it on the plane the other week. But I fell asleep because I suck, so I missed it. Grrr.

  8. Neil T. says:

    I know that you’re supposed to smell melons to test if they’re ripe – if they smell strongly of melon, then they are; if not, then they’re not ripe – but quite what that has to do with Wifi beats me…

    That bean does look really cool, especially with the reflections.

  9. Göran says:

    Next time you go to Chicago I suggest you bring me. I´ll be the perfect assistant carrying your laptop and gadgets and cheering loudly at all your ideas. I´ll even pay for your hookers with my credit card so no one finds out about it when you´re president.

  10. I didn’t see any of the movies you reviewed, but I know Jumper was based on teen books and a teenager I know who saw it said it was ok based on her reading the books. I think your review is more accurate.

  11. Turnbaby says:

    Chicago is awesome–wait didn’t I say that before;-)

    The bean sculpture is way cool.

  12. adena says:

    I dunno, but she sure looks happy about him smelling the melon.

  13. Avitable says:

    I’ve heard that Speed Racer was a ton of fun and that they actually managed to add depth to otherwise two-dimensional characters.

    Oh, and Hayden Christensen can act. He was very good in Life as a House.

  14. NYCWD says:

    I had been holding my breath in anticipation of your review for Speed Racer after ALL the reviews, including those of reviewers I most often agree with, cam back bad. You have sealed the deal for me.

    It’ll be on my Netflix list.

  15. Miss Britt says:

    Chicago is not only one of my favorite cities in the world, but that first picture is in one of my favorite spots.

  16. diane says:

    Glad you enjoyed your time in our lovely city!
    Glad I didn’t waste my money on Speed Racer. My new mantra is pretty much when in doubt, go see Iron Man again.

  17. Karl says:

    I agree with Avitable. Life as a House was good, but I also agree with you on most of the other movies he’s in. Blecch. Sad to hear that Speed Racer sucks so bad. I’m off to look at Rotten Tomatoes site.

  18. Melanie says:

    Damn, Dave! I was hoping you wouldn’t pan Speed Racer. I went and saw it with my brother, a huge anime/manga fan, and we agreed – for a live-action film it was pretty nicely adapted. It *felt* like an anime to us.

    Yeah, I could have done without all the emo bullshit, but then again, in the cartoon, Speed was ALWAYS going all ’emo monologue of deep tortured motive-questioning.’ The only thing that truly sucked was the plot they picked when there was an awesome one all ready to be used. Why not use the Mach-5 Windshield plot? It would have been way awesome.

    NYCW – If you watch this at all, watch it on the big screen. What magic it does contain would probably sputter and die on the small screen.

  19. nicole says:

    damn i was so hoping that you might enjoy speed racer but i have to agree with the others all i have heard are bad reviews and now it’s done.

    blockbuster it is

  20. ChillyWilly says:

    Love the revised Lil Dave and Bad Monkey Speed Racer cartoon.

    For some twisted and unknown reasons, I still want to see this movie on the big screen, but will wait for it to show up at one of out local dollar theaters.

    As for the connection between smelling a cantaloupe and internet access, I’m just as clueless. It’s very odd.

  21. sizzle says:

    Maybe the melon is a sexual innuendo? “I want to smell your melons!”

    It still makes no sense whatsoever.

  22. Karen says:

    What? you come to Chicago and don’t call? Where’s the love?

  23. Penelope says:

    That sculpture is stunning! I have no clue what the movies you mentioned were, but then, apparently, I don’t get out much ;o)

  24. Lewis says:

    Hey, I like that DaveAir deal at the top….can I be your flight attendant? I think that’s Hillary Clinton smiling while looking on at the mellon-sniffing dude. Oh, wait! Maybe that’s not a melon. And maybe that’s not even a guy!

  25. Motley says:

    That’s a cool sculpture! Makes me wanna go see it.

    No clue on the melon man, though.

  26. mew says:

    Hayden was good in Life as a House with Kevin Kline!

  27. Cap says:

    I liked Hayden in “Awake” but I think I was probably paying more attention to Jessica Alba. I read the book Jumper and it was very good. After some of the reviews I read, I won’t see the movie. It’s one thing to tweak a story so it flows better on screen, but they changed the whole thing so it isn’t even recognizable.

    Sorry … guess that touched a nerve 🙂

  28. jewelz says:

    Maybe it’s saying that this guy’s melon smells better than the melons belonging to the cleaning lady who changed the sheets on your Sheraton bed??? Nothing to do with the internet, but an interesting take on it, don’t you think?

  29. kilax says:

    I heard that Speed Racer sucked, and wondered what you would think about it…

  30. yellojkt says:

    Chicago is perhaps even more photogenic that New York if that is possible.

    And Hayden Christensen was in a movie with Jessica Alba? How did that not win dual acting Oscars?

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