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June 2001

Download the word version, perfect for printing and handing out on street corners!
In this issue:   Teen-speak Knightmares!   Evil Lives!   TV Trials and Tribulations!   PLUS:  Eeyore Laments the Death of Punk,   X Has a Flesh Tantrum,   Ash Gives a Music Lesson,  and an honest to goodness Female Goregasm!
 
 
NEW IN THEATRES: A Knight's Tale *
Ash

 
When describing the experience of watching A Knight's Tale, I often liken this movie to smoking your first cigarette. Sure, at the time it may seem unpleasant, nauseating, and somewhat idiotic, but in retrospect, you cannot help but realize that the experience has taken a sizable chunk of time off the end of your life. A Knight's Tale will do that to you. Not only will it waste what seems like 6 hours of your valuable time with its ridiculously plodding tales of boring daring-do, it'll push you that much closer to slitting your wrists with a box-cutter just to avoid watching yet another improbably climactic slow-motion shot of a sports victory. The sport in question in this movie is jousting, a medieval event that at first seems as if it could be exciting, as it involves men on horses hitting each other with sticks, but soon reveals itself to be about as fun as obsessive-compulsive disorder, as it involves men on horses hitting each other with sticks over and over and over again. The 'hook' of the film is that although it is set in medieval times, it has many modern pop-culture references thrown into the mix, like using contemporary music instead of authentic songs of the period. All this really means is that the filmmakers were too lazy to actually research the story, and either they figured no one wanted to hear tinny Renaissance-fair music, which is entirely understandable, or they figured no one would notice if they substituted a fruity-looking guy playing a lute with Queen and David Bowie, which is also entirely understandable. A Knight's Tale follows the adventures of William Thatcher, a small-town squire with big-city dreams, played by hunky Heath Ledger, who is looking more and more like a grown up version of Newt from Aliens with every passing day. Through circumstances far beyond the reach of both reason and logic, he starts passing himself off as a knight to enter jousting tournaments, and better yet, he starts winning. Along the way, however, he makes an enemy of evil knight Rufus Sewell, who is quite the imposing presence despite his slightly crossed eyes and full head of rich, black pubic hair. But that's not all. No siree, that would only fill up and hour or two of screen time. There's also a love interest, played by a low-rent version of Angelina Jolie who inexplicably follows the jousting tournament circuit around like a Grateful Dead groupie, comic relief in the form of tubby-yet-big-hearted Mark Addy and incomprehensibly British Mark Alan Tudyk, and of course Canterbury Tales' Geoffrey Chaucer, who heralds Thatcher's tournament arrivals with all the grace and flair of a WWF announcer with a speech impediment. All this and more, packed into just 8 exciting hours of medieval teenspeak, featuring the Alicia Silverstonian 'he-llo', the ever-popular urban phrase 'shout-out', and the baffling 'contestation', which is decidedly not a word. You know, I'm really starting to get sick of teen movies. They're beginning to fill up with sly, self-referential winks to the audience, like we're supposed to forgive them for being abysmally stupid just because they seem to be aware of it. I'm of the opinion that being aware of your own simplicity makes it doubly bad to inflict it on others. The only reason I haven't lobbied for the summary execution of people like Carrot Top, Yahoo Serious, and Heather Graham is that they seem blissfully unaware that they have the collective intelligence of a single Eminem fan. They merely bumble around from film to film (well, Graham is at least, I think the other two are dead), utilizing the same level of professionality and understatement in their acting that one would normally reserve for renting Pay It Forward from Blockbuster, and as such should probably only be forcibly sterilized rather than outright killed. But people who know they're stupid, the Pauly Shores and Jennifer Love Hewitts of the world, the people who willing inflict hours upon hours of cheap, low-brow, Can't Hardly Wait-esque levels of cinematic Down's Syndrome upon the movie-going public time and time again, these are the people who need to be introduced to the business end of a crematorium. The fact that A Knight's Tale revels in its stupidity and childishness doesn't excuse it from being dumber than a sack of Keanu Reeveses. In fact, it's made worse because releasing the film is clearly a deliberate attempt to lower the collective IQ of teenagers to sub-rap-music levels. I'm not going to say that this is an act of domestic terrorism on par with the Oklahoma City bombing, because it's quite obviously far worse. But at least Heath Ledger is hunkier than Timothy McVeigh.





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