Pirated DVD Film Reviews – No Strings AttachedPosted: August 29, 2011
No Strings Attached
Once upon a time, my son brought home a pirated copy of Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. They were simpler times back in 2005; we were only six precious years away from the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Kevin James entertained us before he got all mixed up with that Adam Sandler fellow, and the use of torrent sites to illegally download movies was but a pipe dream of a few hackers and cause of the night terrors for young Jack Valenti.
OK, I’m sure torrent sites were around but before they became ubiquitous enough that my mother could use them (if she were inclined, had a computer and was alive), anyone who wanted to see a current film without paying full ticket price and couldn’t wait the interminable three months until release on DVD, the only answer were dupes in flimsy envelopes and wrapped in questionable colour copies of the poster.
I take pity on the poor peddler of ill-gotten film. They get little respect for their craft and, considering what must be a crushing work load (“Ireland needs ten thousand copies of Marmaduke, stat!”) put out a half-way decent product.
Well. They put much effort into the appearance of a worthy purchase. As if to throw hardened INTERPOL detectives off the scent, these burned movies are packaged with exaggerated claims of “Special Edition” and “Directors Commentary” or “synchronous picture and sound”. What is bound to suffer, however, is the movie’s synopsis.
Which brings me back to War of the Worlds. The long run-on sentence/paragraph that served to entice the wary purchaser read like a fourth-tier translation, from Russian to Lithuanian to French before landing into a reasonable facsimile of English. Little of what was written made sense and what did was pure spoiler manna from heaven. I don’t mean to nitpick, but I suppose when the heat’s knocking down your door and a kindly Odessa-born Mafioso has a gun to your head, you can be forgiven for ending said synopsis with “…and the aliens are killed through no actions of the hero whatsoever”.
At first, the writer in me balked at the prose, littered as it was with ham-fisted adverbs and poorly spelled everything. But after my initial judgments, I thought that this was perhaps an interesting take on film criticism. I had enjoyed Spielberg’s version of the Wells classic at the time, but the further I walked from the theatre the less enamoured I was of the finished product. Perhaps it was a flaw of the book and, in the end, meant as a damning statement on humanity’s flawed belief in control over its own destiny but, goddammit, I didn’t like watching a film where the ostensible hero takes zero action in vanquishing the villain.
So, I present to you the Pirated DVD Film Review system, wherein I will write a paragraph about the film in question with the same brevity, insight and syntactical buffoonery one might find on the back of a bootleg film. First up: No Strings Attached.
Natalie Portman (who won the Oscar but maybe signed up to do this before that happened) plays a doctor or nurse or something who is good friends with the guy from “A 1970’s Program”. Despite they are being friends, sex comes up and they have some, a whole lot, and they like it, but it’s the guy this time who wants more and the girl doctor is all like “I’m not a commitment person” and the guy is like “But I’m cute and I like you” and they fight a bit and then fall in love and become a couple. This isn’t the one with Justin Timberlake and the girl from “A 1970’s Program”, although it seems like it’s the same movie and probably better because Justin Timberlake doesn’t look like your friend’s older brother who has Down’s Syndrome.”
Two burned DVDs out of five.