• Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 42 other followers

  • Top Posts

The ultimate WTF?: A “Departed” tour of Boston exists!

About two months ago, all juiced up on the adrenaline of my impending trip to Beantown (May 5-13), I mentioned to my friend The Comedian that I’d be more than happy to e-mail him photos of the very place “The Departed” was filmed. (OK, yes, I was rubbing it in. Sue me. I’m a wannabe Roger Ebert, not Mother Teresa.) And yes, I’m fully aware that all sorts of world-changing historical events like the Tea Party and the Massachusetts Bay Colony and many, many Dropkick Murphys concerts I never got to see took place in Boston — I’ll be taking the historical tour, so stop thumbing your noses.

It’s just that, you know, I really, really want to see that elevator where Billy Costigan got capped.

But my friend, who’s nothing if not a prognosticator, remarked, “Well, I’m sure there’s some sort of ‘Departed’ tour you could take.”

Damned if he wasn’t right.

Apparently, the very fine folks at Boston Movie Tours added a “Departed” set to their tours after the movie was released. Though this significantly revises my travel plans, don’t think I won’t be there with bells on and camera battery charged and ready. Be prepared for pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

And don’t put it above me to find an apartment with a balcony and a stray wharf rat.

Sacha Baron Cohen sells out (sort of)

He did it. I can’t believe he did it. If you’d asked me a month ago if I thought it was possible, I’d have listed things more likely to happen: a) Pat Robertson agrees to a Barbara Walters interview in which he announces he now supports gay marriage and has legally changed his name to “Banana Hammock” to prove it; b) In 2009, Meryl Streep acts in a movie and does not get nominated for an Oscar; or c) South Carolina gets voted the smartest state in America.

I’m talking, of course, about Sacha Baron Cohen’s decision to retool and revise “Brüno,” a much-hyped, highly controversial film based on a character he created for “Da Ali G Show,” in order to squeeze an “R” rating out of the MPAA.

Mr. Cohen, if I may, a question: Is you on crack or somethin’?

Sigh. I suppose in Hollywood, selling out is the norm. But Cohen always operated a little left of center, which is why I — and everyone else who loved “Da Ali G Show” — am more than a little surprised and disappointed. I mean, this is the guy who didn’t flinch during an interview (insert air quotes to undermine the seriousness of that word) with Andy Rooney in which Rooney, angry at being duped, unloaded a sack of insults on Cohen. Cohen never broke character. In the outtakes of “Talladega Nights,” he never smiled, or even looked like he thought about smiling. The man doesn’t flinch. He’s that good.

Though I’m a tad miffed at his self-censorship, I can’t help but pine for July 10, when Cohen unleashes his outrageous Austrian fashionista upon the world at large. Judging by the crazy-sexy-weird promo shots, it’s bound to be the movie release heard ’round the world.

I just pray that it will show everyone the healing powers of house music. I mean, it did wonders for the end of apartheid.

You get what you pay for: “He’s Just Not That Into You”

It’s a time-tested idea, really, and one that never, ever sticks in my feeble little mind: The idea that there is no such thing as a free movie.

But there IS — and always will be — such a thing as a semi-crappy movie playing in a theater where the tickets are cheap you can’t quite resist. No, resistance, in this situation is futile.

And this is the story of how I saw — wait a minute and let me gird my loins for what I’m about to type — “He’s Just Not That Into You.” (Believe me, I’ve been in a shame spiral. Me, the girl who serves up bitter diatribes about how crappy, unimaginative, unrealistic romantic comedies are, went to see a movie based on a book by an author who stole the title from an episode of “Sex and the City.”)

I would take the time to review said movie, but it falls squarely into the “why bother?” category. You’ve seen this generic, charmless airsickness bag of “recycled” cliches many times before at any theater in any city in any state in any part of the U.S. It’s “Love, Actually” without the charm, “When Harry Met Sally” without the wit.

However, a trip to the movie’s Web site, http://www.hesjustnotthatintoyoumovie.com/, provided unexpected spoils: namely, a video detailing the Top 10 Chick Flick Cliches not found in “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I watched it and got the uneasy feeling that director Ken Kwapis missed a golden opportunity: If he’d created something half as entertaining or insightful as this 3-minute video, I wouldn’t be bemoaning the 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. (Or trying to forget that discount popcorn, which, oddly enough, tastes a WHOLE LOT like cardboard, or Kashi cereal.)

So visit the Web site and check out the video. It’s clever, self-deprecating, occasionally insightful — you know, everything the movie is not.