Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

August 25, 2013

Four flicks with ooh and nah

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It’s only August and I’ve already seen four movies this year. That’s an average of one every two months. There was a time when I wanted to be the first kid in the neighborhood to see a new movie, but that was 1959 when “Ben Hur” opened. I had a date and it cost $7 for two tickets. That was a half-week’s pay at F.W. Woolworth.

Now, I wait for the price to come down to $5 and catch a movie when it’s abut five months old and on its way to Family Video.

This year, the White House was taken over by terrorists twice. In “Olympus Has Fallen,” a former presidential guard rescues the president. There’s plenty to explosions and fights, but no humor. In “White House Down,” there’s plenty of boom, and as many dead people, but some fun and a precocious little girl.

Reading the credits, I thought that Channing Tatum played the precocious little girl in “White House Down.” I didn’t know that Channing was the macho hero. Never the less, I could follow the story lines and enjoyed both movies.

”Man of Steel” started with the promise of a story, kryptonited the plot. Superman is fiction and kryptonite is fiction. The screenplay didn’t qualify as fiction.

”The Lone Ranger” was the best of the four. They could have shown more respect for the masked man and tradition, but when the “William Tell Overture” began, I could sense myself smiling ear-to-ear.

The picture and sound at the Historic Palace Theatre more than brought back memories of Monday, Wednesday and Fridays when we gathered around the radio, anxious to hear the classic theme. Every kid in America must have been bounced around on dad’s knee by Rossini’s “bump, dada bump, dada bump bump bump...”

The Johnny Depp version of Tonto was totally out of the character we remember. He had a white face, mocked his “Ke-mo-sah-be” and never said “Get um up, Scout.”  But, the movie made up for the sacrilege with lots of unpredictable humor.

“The Lone Ranger” was a scrupulous straight shooter you sometimes wanted to shoot. The bad guy, Butch Cavandish, made Hannibal Lector look like a dietician. The villain cuts out the heart of the Lone Ranger’s brother and eats it while the blood was still dripping. It was over-the-top gory and must have tasted like liver.

That’s not why The Lone Ranger was a bust at the box office, however, and lost Disney over $150 million. The movie was criticized for not being politically correct. Who decides what’s “PC?”

There’s plenty of things I find perturbing in flicks. The F-bomb is delivered with less force than a firecracker, and they pop in thin strings. Car chases and special effects take time away from the story. Actors are expected to have sex. 

A woman kicks the bad guy between the legs and no one is offended, except there is a ooh of appreciation. 

To me, that’s not “PC.”

Bill Wolcott is a Union-Sun reporter.