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Dark City: A dark skyline drawing from Blade Runner, a film that's considered by 2050s cineastes to be a badly dated laugh riot.

At the Movies--2053!

Metro film critic Richard von Busack has to travel 50 years into the future to review the kind of cinema we were supposed to be watching by now. Here's a sneak preview.

By Richard von Busack III

12-Course Banquet *** 1/2

Goody oh boy! An old-fashioned feast, including nonsynthetic turkey, mashed potatoes and green-colored salad. When you think you can't hold another bite, here comes Grandma (a spry-for-her-80-years Drew Barrymore) with a heaping helping of "pumpkin" pie. The management at the New Milpitas Mammothdome ought to fix the tongue electrodes, though, since everything "tasted" like burnt cardboard. A word to the wise! P.S. My own grandma, who saw 12-Course Banquet elsewhere, says that she thinks she remembers that this is what food used to taste like. (New Milpitas Mammothdome, Pacified Zone Quintplex. Gun check and DNA scan required; lap dancing available at most theaters.)

Our Master: His First 10 Years of Life ***************(stars continued on pages 48-60)

Beautiful 16-hour-long epic journey through the boyhood of Our Master, as played by the child fortunate enough to be His Son and Heir: His Royal Magnificence Scotty, Archduke of Texas. This, the greatest of all possible films, tells of Our Master's youthful promise and signs of His Leadership to come. Neither tragedy (the death of His pet turtle) nor triumph (His burning down of the pet store that dared to sell Him a defective turtle) stands in the way of His eventual destiny to lead and love us all. Includes many delightful views of Waspwood, Our Master's boyhood estate in Connecticut, a national shrine today. Though this risks impertinence to say, after seeing such a completely satisfying work, we cannot wait for the next installment. Our Master: His First 10 Years of Life is a film completely above criticism. Those who find fault with it ought to be shot, which indeed has happened at some theaters. (Plays 24 hours a day at the UA/Regal/AMC/Century Gargantuaplex. Frequent attendance is mandatory.)

The Reamer ** 1/2

Based on the Aaaaarghco Internet-5 game. Gustavo 44-B (Gouge Crenshaw) is traumatized by witnessing the torturing, killing, puréeing and devouring of his entire family during Civil War III. Covering his Ashcroft-code with a hood, Gustavo becomes the dreaded Reamer: that feared vigilante known for his grisly signature of pulling his enemies' entrails out through their living anuses. Cute, but strictly for the kids. (Plays at the Regency at Maximum Security Estates. Crips welcome on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays; Bloods welcome on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays; Sunday is Nonallied Posse Day; with complete respect, we ask you, please, no colors or gang signs.)

The Tall Drink of Water **

A master thief (Waldemar Odious Jr.) who owes the Neo-Mob three ounces of H20, comes out of retirement for one last score: the theft of a gallon of water from a heavily guarded hydro-reclamation plant. Tough ultranoir with an ironic finish of the gallon getting spilled and the hero getting run over by a water truck. Oops, blew the ending. (Plays in La Honda at the Royal Princess Muffy of California 80-plex.)

!!!!! ***

Eight hundred and fifty songs, 30,000 edits, 450 acts of violence--and that's just the first 15 seconds! DJ Skullbuster (himself) and his sex-bot Passionata discover a warehouse full of ammo and decide to kill off the entire state of Michigan, one by one. The Traverse City scene is a classic of mayhem, but the Lansing sequence seems like a rehash of director Buddy Swine's earlier Die, or I'll Kill You! (Nightly at the Dead Zone Heights Refugee Shelter; lead lap blankets provided for those wishing to parent children in the future.)

I'll Buy That For a Dollar! ** ?

Successful protein-fabrication specialist Doggo (Keanu Reaves Jr.) starts obsessing over a good-looking lady technician at the enzyme plant, Daffy (Brittany Yelp). The romance puts a strain on his group marriage. Doggo's wives (Omohundro Amin, Audrey Tawdre, Destiny 67-A) are opposed to the new relationship, while his husbands (Freddd tha Baddd, Shlomo Berkowitz and Pedro Alejandro) are all for it. Ultimately, transgendered Chris (Ali Hermes) turns out to be the swing vote to decide whether or not the new girl joins the group. So-so romantic comedy livened by a soundtrack by Badly Drawn Very Old Guy. (Camera 45, Town 30-plex.)

The Future, Conan?

More glimpses into the future from Metro writers

Bring on the Robots: Some experts predict that we're entering the Robotic Age. Does that mean we don't have to pick out our own socks anymore? Not quite. (Traci Vogel)

Full Circle: When you graduate in 1984, the future is yesterday's news. (Todd Inoue)

Kill Your Computer: High-tech detectives can now find evidence you thought you deleted. (Najeeb Hasan)

Man or Asteroidman?: Scientist, Foothill prof and asteroid namesake Andrew Fraknoi speaks the truth about what's out there. (Loren Stein)

Implanted for Life: Help! There's a chip in my body and I can't get it out. (Corinne Asturias)

The Original Frontier: Humankind's confusing relationship with the time machine. (Michael S. Gant)

When Cars Fly: No, really. Your Skycar is just around the corner, if one visionary Davis company has its say. (Allie Gottlieb)

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From the January 9-15, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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