Joe Does the Movies: Accessible movie reviews in Toronto

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Seen: 2002.06.18   ¶   Reviewed: 2002.06.23

Well, you know, I see every MoPixed movie that plays in Toronto (Mississauga is not Toronto, so I was spared Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Hormone-Replacement Therapy Sisterhood), even this kind of thing.

I went on a Tuesday, cheap night. (I specifically remember when Tuesday showings were $2.50.) At best a 1/5-full house. The movie is... a dog? Yes. A dog.

First of all, Velma is so gay, and I was quite pleased to see her played that way, nipping at Sarah Michelle Gellar’s skirts and all. (Something about a “patootie.”) But, as befitting decades of Hollywood heterosexualist whitewashing, by film’s end there she is all lined up with some guy. Who wears a Led Zeppelin shirt and has the IQ of a great Dane.

I don’t think so.

Caption quality

“That sounds pretty good doesn’t it, Scoob?” and “No, no thanks” need a comma each.

(doors close/engines start): Could we please knock this slash business off? The Caption Center has used a comma or, where necessary, a semicolon for twenty years. Let’s not turn MoPix captions into the sort of thing a postproduction house would churn out. (Captioning – it’s “straightforward,” right?) (Scooby-Doo barking, cat screeching) and (Scooby-Doo snoring, growling and barking), seen later on, are of course correct.

“I’ll go research cults on the ’Net”: What kind of newbie writes “the net” that way?

Also, speaker identifications are a mess:

“Flight 3-7-7-4 to Spooky Island, now boarding”: For the zillionth time, we are not engaged in narrow phonetic transcription. Flight 3774 is Flight 3774 no matter how the number is articulated.

I suppose I have no choice but to mention the extended flatulence scene. The phrase “dick and fart jokes,” recurrent in the Kevin Smith œuvre and a phrase no one would actually spontaneously utter (but there it is in Jay and Silent Bob), comes quickly to mind.

Cutesy frill in the intricate plot of this masterpiece: The evil cult leaders, conveniently situated on a desert island of the sort readily found when shooting an American movie on the cheap in Oz, brainwash wholesome, clean-cut, always-heterosexualist Christian kids into speaking the worst kind of jive talk since Airplane. Possibly the only fun part of captioning this thing.

But full props to my peeps: I have never heard so complicated a combination of rap lyrics, endogenous sound effects, samples, and call-and-response as in the closing credits, all captioned verbatim and pretty much impossible to read. ♪ (dog barks) To my left ♪ is one such case.

Description quality

“The computer-animated great Dane”: Yes, he is.

“And a woman in high-heeled boots walks out. It’s Pamela Anderson!” They sure are!

“At the bar, a guy sits next to Velma.” He’s the same guy as seen in the intro of the man with the suspiciously-exoticized name, N’Goo. He’s the one in the LedZep shirt, which should have been noted (there was time), and boy, is he gonna be disappointed.

“Three more monsters drag the coeds away” and “Wild-eyed coeds leap from the foliage”: Coeds? What is this, 1957? (Are there ever any male coeds?)

“Now the band Sugar Ray performs poolside”: Indeed they do. How’s that for proof that product placement had better happen while you’re still actually famous?

“A helicopter flies overhead”: No, a police helicopter.

Now, this part I loved. A disco ball with spikes and a skull shape forms part of the intricate plot of this masterpiece. Buffy the Vampire Slayer later nonchalantly refers to it as the disco skull, a delicious phrase the describers were then free to use. They’ve got to get some pleasure out of working on this thing.

Exit interview

None, because there were no staff! I had to go down to the exit and hand the junk to two (invariably black) security guards. He was willing to take the reflector but had to be coaxed into accepting the headset.

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