Saturday, April 14, 2007

Number One in the 'Hood

Question: How do you transform an eleven-minute television cartoon into a full-length feature film?

Answer: You make it about eight times as long, then you make the picture bigger so it fits on a movie screen.

It would be easy to say that Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters was the best movie I've seen all year, if it happened to be the only movie I saw this year. But since it wasn't, I thought it might be instructive to compare it to some other movies I've seen this year.

Let's start with the highly-acclaimed Children of Men. To be honest, I don't know why the acclaim for this movie was so high. But since it was, so were my expectations, and I was disappointed. On the other hand, no one had any acclaim whatsoever for Aqua Teens, and I wasn't sure I could sit through an hour and a half of dadaist anti-art lunacy, so my expectations going in weren't that high. The only reason I wanted to see it in the first place is that I enjoy the TV show.

Now let's take a look at Pan's Labyrinth. I liked this movie, but I don't remember it that much. What I remember the most were the creatures and the scenery. For example, it had that very cool monster with its eyes in its hands. As a matter of fact, seeing that monster in the previews was one of the reasons I wanted to see the movie. On the other hand, Aqua Teens has the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past. You decide.

Next, we come to Little Children. This was a good movie, but there's really no way to make a meaningful comparison with it and Aqua Teens. So the best thing you could do here is see both movies and make up your own mind.

Next on the list is Notes on a Scandal, starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. This was a good movie, but a bit too melodramatic in my opinion, given the nature of the actual scandal. Judi Dench is great in everything she does, and that helped make Notes on a Scandal what it was, but Aqua Teens has the Mooninites. No disrespect to Dame Judi Dench, but the Mooninites kick ass.

Now let's look at Volver. I'm not even going to make any comparisons here. I'm just happy that Almodóvar still knows how to make a good movie. After seeing Bad Education a couple of years earlier, I wasn't so sure.

Okay, let's quickly go through the rest of the list: Breach was pretty good, and it was based on a true story. Aqua Teens is totally fictitious. The Last King of Scotland was excellent, and also based on a true story, but that only made the violence much more difficult to take. The violence in Aqua Teens, on the other hand, is actually sort of fun to watch. Black Snake Moan had Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci in it, and there's no way Aqua Teens can compete with a cast like that, even with the Mooninites, but it seemed like Black Snake Moan had more than its share of clichés. The Number 23 was a good idea for a movie, and not as bad as everyone says it was, but still... Zodiac was too long, The Namesake was pretty good, The Lives of Others was much better than I was expecting, even with all the high acclaim. The Lookout was also very good, much better than you're led to believe in the previews. And finally, there's Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.

Okay, I realize a lot of those comparisons weren't very meaningful, and toward the end, they weren't really even comparisons. So let's do something a little different. Let's try making some other comparisons.

Aqua Teens vs. a Fresh Pineapple. This might be an unfair comparison because I really like fresh pineapple. On the other hand, I don't eat it that often because it's sort of inconvenient. First you have to peel it, and then you have to find some way of disposing of the rind. Also, it's sometimes hard to tell when a pineapple is ripe when you're picking one out at the store.

Aqua Teens vs. a Newly-mowed Lawn. I have a friend who just loves the smell of a newly-mowed lawn. I don't know why -- maybe she associates it with some pleasant childhood memories. I prefer the look of a newly-mowed lawn to the smell, but unfortunately, that's a look I may not see for a while, unless my gardener remembers he's supposed to mow my lawn a couple of times a month.

Aqua Teens vs. Painting a Room. I don't really like painting rooms, but it seems like I do it often enough, for one reason or another. I'm not going to bore you with all the details, but I will say that after the room is painted, I do feel as though I've accomplished something. I didn't really feel like I accomplished anything by watching Aqua Teens, but on the other hand, there was no prep work or clean-up to bother myself with.

Aqua Teens vs. Shopping for Groceries. There's no real comparison here. The only reason I mention it is that the movie theater that Aqua Teens was playing at is in the same shopping center as the store where I do most of my grocery shopping.

Aqua Teens vs. Making Love to a Sorceress in the Early Hours of the Morning. This one seems like it would be obvious, but it really depends a lot on the sorceress. She'd have to be pretty and have a nice figure, and it would help if she were intelligent and had a pleasant voice. What I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to make love to some toothless crone with a wart on her crooked nose, so if it's some old witch stirring up a potion in a huge cauldron over an open fire, then I'm not interested.

And with that, my movie review comes to an end. I liked Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, but you might not. My advice (if it's my advice that you seek) would be to see the movie and decide for yourself. And if you decide to see it, I'll pass along another piece of advice (this time, whether you want it or not): Be sure to sit through the credits so you can see the cute little thing at the end. Most people leave the theater while the credits are rolling, so these people are probably unaware that every now and then a movie will include an additional scene or two after the credits are finished. The scene at the end of Aqua Teens sort of ties the whole movie together. Well, not really, but it's still worth watching.