Monday, December 2, 2002

Treasure Cineplex

Treasure Planet turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm struggling to remember which version of Treasure Island I saw as a kid where I formed my notions of Long John Silver. It could be the 1934 version with Wallace Beery. By 1950 they were all in color, and I distinctly remember the play of light found only in classic black and white movies.

Long John Silver is a priceless role, complex and hammy at the same time. You'd think in the dozen versions made that there would be an array of stars playing Silver, all vying for this classic role. In fact Orson Welles played Silver in one version, Charleton Heston another, and as I recall, Wallace Beery was excellent. Even Jack Palance I can see. But browsing over some of the choices ... Vic Tayback? Um, no.

So anyways, I'm watching the animated performance of Silver in Treasure Planet, and I get this eerie feeling that the animators have seen the same movie I vaguely remember from my childhood. He's got that same unctuous devilishness, the underlying emotional complexity I remember from the past. Brian Murray seems to have a rather spotty media presence, so maybe he is more of a stage actor. In any case, his performance was just spot on.

There were the usual comic relief characters, including the non-gender-specific 'animal' mascot, a shape-shifting creature called Morph. Kelly got the biggest kick out of that, so I guess the Disney formula is not to be sniffed at.

One side-effect of this outing is that I may be going to a movie I'd hoped to avoid. There was a huge three-dimensional display in the lobby promoting Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. It included a button labelled "Don't push the button". Kelly pushed it, and was treated to Adam Sandler in a mugging cartoon voice screeching "Why did you push the button?!? It said don't push the button..." and so on. So she started in on me. Gotta see this Daddy.

"Gee, Kelly, it says PG-13. I guess that means we can't go."

"What's PG-13, Daddy?"

"It means Parental Guidance is required. I think it means you have to be at least 13..."

"Let's ask her!" said Kelly, pointing to the young woman in the box office.

The young woman explained that PG-13 is advisory only, so that even children could see the movie, but parents might want to know, if their kids are under 13.

"So do I have to be below 13 to see Eight Crazy Nights?", she asked, making a barrier gesture with her hand, as if to say: 'you must be this tall to ride on the Adam Sandler Express'.

We all had a good chuckle over that, but in the end Kelly came away with the impression that she had a god given right to see this movie. I tried telling her it was gross. "What's that mean Daddy?"

"Well, Kelly, there's lots of 'rude noise' jokes."

"I like those. They're funny."

"Okay, but it may be boring. It's the usual bad boy discovers how to be the neighborhood saint through working with a sports league. Dull, huh?"

"I like the part where the grandmother says, 'Norman, I'm scared', but she really isn't."

I can tell I'm not gaining any ground here. My plan for now is to simply not mention the thing. Maybe she'll forget. I hope I hope.

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