The Pacifier; Alex Winter

Today’s post is going to be pretty mundane, feel free to read it in its entirety!

Today we took in a movie, The Pacifier, which I had seen the trailer for at a different movie and thought would be enough fun to pay for matinee tickets for. It was actually far better than my wife or I had expected, though you wouldn’t know that from the 18% rating at rotten tomatoes.

I have never seen a film with Vin Diesel in it before, mostly since I really don’t like the huge-action-film genre (I just can’t seem to suspend my disbelief in those type of films and it leads me to annoying everyone within earshot when I start picking apart the movie for the obviously fake things happening. Once, while watching Mortal Kombat with one of my closest friends, on tape, he actually just turned it off and said he couldn’t watch it with me. At least I know that I will be disappointed by those movies though, and don’t go watch every one thinking that maybe this will be the one that doesn’t piss me off). This may well have worked to my advantage while watching Pacifier. I knew who Vin Diesel was, but only enough to recognize his face, that character could have been played by any of countless thousands of buff men. I really think Diesel pulled it off pretty well though.

The movie does start off with a huge action sequence, and I could start picking apart all of the impossibilities, but, quite thankfully, that scene was very short and only there to show the limitless capabilities of a trained NAVY S.E.A.L. (which I am sure would piss off an actual Navy Seal if they watched the film, but that is a whole different story).

As a quick aside, while I am thinking about it, Mr. Cap Reports gave this film only his third R-PG rating ever! I can never thank Flux from enough for getting me that guy’s website, the “cap reviews” are frequently more entertaining than the movies. In this particular case, however, I can only find one point to really question in his review of it. Mr. Cap Reports said, “positioning and movement of a teen and preteen girl to cause exposure of their underwear while wearing dresses “. I watched the film, and I look for that kind of thing, and I never saw teen or preteen underwear, at least if I did it was in such a nonprovocative manner that it completely went under my radar.

The movie actually works pretty well in its situational comedy. Of course a hard-nosed military man is going to be out of his element when dealing with common household problems, of course the situations are going to cause friction between the military man and the kids, of course all of the comedy is going to lead to an eventual happy ending. It is a Disney movie FFS. You knew long before you went to the theatre that this was meant to be disposable entertainment, while the PG rating suggested that it was more geared for children. I think that is where the major movie critics get it all wrong on this type of film, it seems that they know that it is a kid’s film, yet they expect it to have a lot of humor that kids just won’t understand. This film didn’t have any of that so the critics are pissed, of course as I look at my track record I notice that I disagree with the critics in damn near every instance so maybe I am just stupid?

I found myself pretty sympathetic to the Vin Diesel character, even though there was never a doubt as to how the movie was going to end. I laughed out loud several times, and had to fight it back a few others. As far as the film being too formulaic, of course it was, but if you didn’t know that from the trailers then you really have no business bitching about it. It is made as a kid’s film, and while it does show it mostly from the adult angle, it is still a kid’s film. The theatre where we saw it was almost evenly split between adults and children and everyone laughed, though the kids laughed at the fart jokes, while the adults laughed at some of the jokes that would really go over the head of a child. The 90 minute film went by pretty quickly, and I am glad that I watched it.

The critics that didn’t like it all seemed to think that it should have been a more ‘adult’ film that would have been okay for the kids to watch. I really wish that the critics had to review the film that they actually saw, as opposed to the movie they wanted to see. Just because Vin Diesel is in the movie doesn’t mean that it has to be the next action hero movie. There is a very simple plot, but were it much more complex the kids wouldn’t understand it. I think they did a pretty good job of balancing the humor for adults and children. Critics suck.

• Today I decided that I had to answer a question that his been burning in my brain for the last couple of months. That question: What ever happened to Alex Winter. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were the lead roles in the Bill and Ted movies, but it seems that you never hear about Alex Winter anymore. Why? It isn’t like he got completely out acted in the Bill and Ted movies, I bought both of them as complete skater dufuses. Yet, for some reason Reeves went on to bigger and better things, while Winter seemed to simply vanish. I know that some of the ladies think that Reeves is ‘hot’, but is that alone enough to explain it?

Researching the two actors was actually a bit of fun. It turns out that Alex Winter had actually directed a film before the runaway success of the Bill and Ted movies. Not only that but he went on to write, direct, and star in the movie Freaked, which Keanu Reeves also starred in. Wow, who knew.

Between the release of the first and second Bill and Ted movie, Alex Winter also had a starring role in the film Rosalie Goes Shopping. While it seems that no one really watched the movie, Ebert did, and he gave it three stars.

Alex Winter is now writing the script for a bipoic about Sean Fanning, the founder of Napster, and his life and times. All of this was happening while I thought that Winter had dropped off of the face of the earth…

Keanu Reeves, on the other hand, he has made a lot of horrible films. I guess his looks just carry him from job to job. One of the films that he was in, Chain Reaction, is the only film that I have ever seen with a 0% on rotten tomatoes. That was based on only 19 reviews, but come on. That movie had Reeves and Morgan Freeman in it. How can 19 critics all give it bad reviews?

Searching a bit more into the film career of Keanu, I noticed that he also has a lot of less than 50% positive reviews, and I mean a lot. A couple of 13’s, a 14, a 16, and so many under 50 that I am not gonna waste the time counting them. In fact, Alex Winter has a better ‘fresh rating’ the Keanu Reeves does. Of course the IMDB rates all of Reeves films a lot higher, thus proving that critics are not in tune with the general public.

I am sure I will sleep better tonight have finally answered this question.

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