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C’est moi (in 10 movie facts)

Everyone’s friendly neighborhood Kaiderman and the ever-contemplative and sage Darren seem to have tagged me in the latest meme scuttling across the floor of our movie blogging underworld. And while I am duly honored, I do feel somewhat undeserving.

Mostly because I confess that I had no idea what the word “meme” meant.

And to think you call yourself an "English major"!

Then Merriam-Webster online came to the rescue and I tossed away that unsightly dumb-dumb cap and prepared to share 10 movie-related factoids about me:

  1. “Gremlins” the movie scared me so badly I slept with my bedroom light on for a year. I’ve never seen the movie again, and throughout the Furbies craze I couldn’t pass one of those critters without shuddering.
  2. The first movie I ever reviewed — for my high school newspaper, The Voice — was “Romeo + Juliet.” I gave it an “A.” Oh, to be that young and swoony and stupid again.
  3. When we were 13, my cousin Katie and I decided to turn “Seaquest DSV” into a movie, wrote the script and sent it to NBC. Our talent so stunned them they were rendered totally incapable of writing back.
  4. My friends call me The Walking Imdb because I can name a movie or an actor or a director with almost nothing to go on (my personal best: “that singer chick in that chick movie with the house” = “Foxfire”).
  5. I go through random periods of mania where I get obsessed with a film and watch it until I have it memorized. Right now I’m stuck on “Casablanca.” Gin joints and hills of beans and all that.
  6. I used to review movies for a small-town newspaper. The editors ran a mugshot with my column, and before long people started coming up to me in the grocery store/Walmart/the liquor store and say, “Hey, you’re that Movie Girl, aren’t you?”
  7. My affinity for Mel Brooks comes from my parents, with whom I watch “Blazing Saddles” approximately 42 times per year.  It’s a bonding thing.
  8. I haven’t found an eligible man yet who wasn’t disturbed by my preference for action films over chick flicks. (If you know any in the Carolinas, send them my URL.)
  9. When I visited Boston a year ago, I jogged through the Common pretending I was Billy Costigan in “The Departed.” The homeless people looked at me funny.
  10. The idea and the name for M. Carter @ the Movies came from my friend Jason, who needs to start his own blog. If the world can handle Two Girls One Cup, man, they can handle A Dick on Flicks.

And now, because this is a meme (see, Darren, I used the word properly!) that is akin to the Dread Cheese Touch, I must appoint five more fellow bloggers to tell their stories in 10 movie facts. They are:

“Kick-Ass” does — and boldly

Imagine what will happen when Hit Girl's (Chloe Moretz) pesky teen hormones kick in.

“With no power comes no responsibility.” You jonesing for a pretty little gift-wrapped theme? Well, that’s as close as “Kick-Ass,” adapted from Mark Millar’s comic book series, comes to providing one. Because Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass” is not a film with a stately message about heroism. It is anarchy — ironic, lurid, violent, profane anarchy. One of the toughest characters, for example, is a preteen (Chloe Grace Moretz) who gets soundly thrashed by grown men triple her age. But don’t go crying for Hit Girl or she’ll punch you in the jugular and then call you the “P-word,” or, if she’s really irked, the “C-word.”

That’s just a taste of what “Kick-Ass” serves up, and more accurate one than the promos illustrate. So intently does the trailer play down the level of violence that when it happens on screen, it’s twice as stupefying, since “Kick-Ass” is billed as a hipper, younger, more-action-less-quips “Mystery Men.” (Probably the production company realized few people would flood Fandango with debit card numbers for tickets to see kids — including a pig-tailed 11-year-old girl — get beaten senseless by adults.) This movie earns every inch of that “R” rating with shootouts and brutal beatings and knife fights and enough swearing to make dockworkers blush. The fact that it’s mostly the “impressionable ones” doing the cursing will have some whipping out their soap boxes and dusting off those megaphones. But, as the morality police often do, they’ll miss the point. The point is there is no point. “Kick-Ass” is all about flash, and you can’t have flash with heroes running around, capes billowing in the wind, running into a wall and saying “oh, fudge.”

However, “Kick-Ass” contains a fair amount of such blunders, most of them made by Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson, perfectly cast), who’s nobody special and is self-aware enough to know that. He pals around with fellow comic book fans Marty (Clark Duke) and Todd (Evan Peters), pines for the hot It girl (Lyndsy Fonseca) he knows he’ll never have because he’s invisible to her, and then because she thinks he’s gay. Almost on a whim Dave decides to change his fate by inventing a heroic alter ego named Kick-Ass, a guy with a sporty aquamarine costume and absolutely zero superpowers. The first time out is rough (he gets stabbed and hit by a car) and the second attempt isn’t much better, but camera phones capture the fight and soon Kick-Ass is viral vid sensation. His perseverance is dumb but a little noble, even admirable, and he coaxes other burgeoning heroes out of hiding, including Hit Girl (I love Chloe Moretz more in every film) and her father Damon (Nicholas Cage), who calls himself “Big Daddy” and dons his best Batman-knockoff, and Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the son of a local mafioso-type (Mark Strong) who proves to be Kick-Ass and his crew’s most formidable enemy. Together, they’re quite the amusing yet halfway capable gaggle of misfits.

Speaking of “amusing”: The trailer also promotes “Kick-Ass” as a barrel of laughs. It isn’t, though that doesn’t mean the film doesn’t have its moments. The jokes, when they crop up (usually in the form of offhand comments), are quite funny, with Cage and Moretz playing against expectations of how a father/daughter hero team might act. (His response to her sarcastic request for a puppy instead of a knife: “Oh, child … You always knock me for a loop!”) The “we don’t need no stinkin’ superpowers” angle also tickles the funny bone because it’s used just often enough. Two of the best throwaway moments involve Red Mist leaping off a dumpster (“oh shit, that kind of hurt”) and Kick-Ass’s question of how to find Hit Girl. Her sarcasm is blistering: “You just contact the mayor’s office. He has a special signal he shines in the sky; it’s in the shape of a giant cock!” Kids today, they way they talk.

Just released, this adaptation has courted controversy already for the reasons above. With its unrepentant brutality and language and fearless approach, “Kick-Ass” isn’t for the righteously indignant crowd. For everyone else? It’s damn fun chaos. Somebody pass me the weird-sounding Bazooka.

Grade: B+