May 29, 2007


I Want My 2 Hours Back!


So my wife and I had what we thought was a perfect, fool-proof plan for the long Memorial Day weekend: Leave Thursday night, come back Sunday night, avoid all of the traffic and spend a quiet, leisurely day in NYC on Monday. Maybe even take in a movie.

Because we have a weekend house (where we prefer to stay in at night) and work late during the week, we rarely get the opportunity to experience movies in actual movie theaters. So, needless to say, we get pretty excited at the prospect of going to the movies. Not having much interest in the current blockbusters (we didn't care much for the first two Spidermans and nearly fell asleep during the second Pirates of the Caribbean (apparently both Keith Richards and possibly Johnny Depp actually did fall asleep), we were still in the mood for a guilty pleasure. Knowing my wife likes scary movies (and with the knowledge that neither of us have been actually been scared by a movie since the late '70s), I was intrigued with what I had read about Bug. I normally don't read full reviews of movies prior to seeing them because most critics are lazy and simply retread the plot and throw in some words they found in the thesaurus to make them seem informed. So I glanced at 3 different magazine reviews (Entertainment Weekly, Time Out NY and New York) and came away with "easily (William Friedkin's) strongest in years," "enjoyably icky," " an unexpected pleasure," "some serious heebie-jeebies," "a creepy-crawly drama of the highest order." Sounded pretty good to me.

Instead, we saw one of the dumbest movies ever. We're talking Douglas Feith stupid. Sure, the direction was good, the acting was pretty outstanding but were we scared? No. Were we creeped out? Sure but for the wrong reasons (some extremely gratuitous blood and violence). Were we riveted? We honestly wanted to be. It felt like it was going somewhere. But when it finally arrived at some place, the place was called "RidiculousLand."

I have to give Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon (reprising his role from the play in which the film was based) some credit: How they didn't burst into laughter every single take Ashley had to scream "I am the super mother bug!" is a wonder. Save your money and, more importantly, your time: Do NOT go see Bug.

Fortunately, we salvaged the day with lunch al fresco featuring a really tasty bottle of Rosé and some hilarious people watching. Normally New York provides an unusual, eclectic mix of the fantastically freaky, highly fashionable and tourist-schlumpy. I guess the highly fashionable people were all out of town: we saw nothing but weirdness and bad sartorial choices. We actually didn't want to leave until we saw at least one hot man and one hot woman (and by hot, we meant put together and cool, not necessarily hunky or smokin'). Alas, we ended up giving the hotness award to some cute dog, gender and breed unknown, because, seriously, the pickins were that slim. Judgmental, moi? Guilty as charged. But come on people, this is New York. We have an image to protect.

And to top off the weekend, we got our two hours back by watching the season finale of Lost. If you gave up on the show during the misguided second season and the fairly dull first half of this season, do yourself a favor and download at least the last 10 episodes (or wait for the DVD): The show definitely came back, big time.

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