Harry was jumping, squirming and squealing throughout THE RUINS... and was shocked by that reaction...
Hey folks, Harry here… Boy – I tell you what… if I never have another week like this one, I’ll be a happy camper. My grandmother’s in the hospital. My wife’s grandmother is in a hospital today for surgery. And I got diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Which resulted in me buying workout clothes, vitamins, a gym membership and hiring a personal trainer to whip my ass for not talking all you good folks advice for years.
Tonight was the my first work out. I pedaled for 20 minutes – followed by about an hour and ten minutes on the various weightlifting equipment doing reps. God, I forgot how much I loved a great work out in a gym. I feel the burn and the aches – but I’m also hydrating and enjoying warm showers. I’m following the diets and my wife is joining me on this journey – but just as many would feel this Diabetes thing was bad news, I feel that unfortunately it’s exactly what I needed to make the rest of the changes I needed – to add urgency to it all. In a way, I love this.
Now I know – this is supposed to be a review of a movie called THE RUINS… and it is. I think the trailers make this film look like crap. It looks just like some lame ripoff of that HOSTEL/TURISTAS formula. Party addicted Americans go for vacation to Mexico to be decadent – and become Mayan sacrificial offerings.
Wow. That sounds so incredibly lame. And the trailers gave me that feeling. There were two actors in this thing I liked prior to watching it. I love love love Jena Malone – and I think Shawn Ashmore is pretty damn cool. I didn’t recognize Jonathan Tucker from the trailers as being from films like THE DEEP END & IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH & THE VIRGIN SUICIDES… but his name will stick with me now. I also didn’t know Laura Ramsey – who made her way on film via THE REAL CANCUN (one of Moriarty’s faves) – I just saw her as eye candy.
I had seen Carter Smith’s short film, BUGCRUSH – and I had liked it, but it didn’t blow my mind – so I wasn’t anticipating this film – especially based on the trailers.
I wasn’t even particularly interested in seeing the film this week… I was thinking of waiting for the DVD. Until an AIM conversation with Capone where he insisted that the film was MUCH BETTER than the trailer. And when I realized that the screening of THE RUINS was at 10pm tonight… I’d be able to do a workout with Yoko, then relax with an overpriced bottle of water and see if I needed to fire Capone. Cuz I didn’t need another turd dropped on me this week.
The film, seriously starts off like every funky young somethings in the tropics flick that you’ve ever seen. The first sign of life was some wonderful nudity by Laura Ramsey – and I felt like… Ok, was this what Capone was talking about? She does have an amazing boob shot. Can’t deny that.
Then the story gets going. The strange foreigner that is so conveniently on hand with a destination in the middle of nowhere… well… he’s just a tourist like everyone else – heading to see his brother who was doing work on a newly discovered Pyramid that isn’t on any of the maps.
I instantly became hooked at this point. You see – my 1st Grade Teacher, Jan, who I recently ran into and was happy to see she was a fellow Obama delegate at the Travis County Caucus last Saturday… well… back when I was in short pants and in her class – her husband was an archeologist for the University of Texas – who was somewhere in the Yucatan peninsula working on an amazing site, PALENQUE – at the time, it wasn’t a tourist destination. But Jan gave my parents a map – showing where it was – and telling us that a Train stopped in the jungle – and then we had a long hike, through a rough trail in the Rain Forest Jungles there. I was 7 or 8 at the time and was missing two weeks of school for this trip. And Jan had me keep an illustrated journal of the entire trip. I was a wild monkey on that pyramid site – loving the overgrown pyramids – because I could climb vines as I went up the sides.
I’M SO GLAD THIS MOVIE DIDN’T EXIST and COULDN’T BE SHOWN TO ME PRIOR TO THAT TRIP.
Approximately 2 minutes after they arrive at the pyramid… the shit hits the fan. And I won’t spoil a single thing from that point on. Suffice to say – that shitty trailer – in NO WAY is indicative of the movie that follows. Is this brilliant? No, is it scary as fuck? Yes. Is it disturbing as hell? Yes. Is this a case of constantly shaking your head at these folks for being stupid? Not really.
What happens on that pyramid – and with the Mayans surrounding it is… well… pretty fucking awesome. The gore quotient is pretty extreme – but also the acting and how it gets handled is pretty intense.
If you thought plant life was a bitch in DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS – you have no idea how fucked it could get. And the surprises just keep on coming. Think of this as DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS meets CABIN FEVER, but played straight. The results are pretty spectacular.
The film was exactly what I needed. I liked it so much that even though every muscle aches… I felt the need to write this up.
Capone was right about this one. He keeps his job.
ALSO this week – I’ve seen SHINE A LIGHT and LEATHERHEADS. LEATHERHEADS is a delight. Absolutely another wonderful outing from George Clooney as a director. It has elements of screwball comedies and slapstick comedies of the thirties… but has big gabs of heart. Speaking of Gab – the gift of gab is with this film, wonderful dialogue here.
As for SHINE A LIGHT – Another wonderful music doc from Scorsese. The only warning I have is this… If you can’t stand the Clintons right now… you’ll be seeing them in IMAX if you see this film – and folks… I found it hilarious – because you can read on the Stones’ faces that… while honored, they really don’t seem exactly thrilled by the “audience” – This isn’t as powerful a doc as Scorsese’s THE LAST WALTZ, but then what is?