Saturday, April 22, 2006

Take the bad with the good, and the bad with the bad

Shortly after finishing my beastly Neurobio lab final (I hadn’t counted on it being so) I went to Joey’s and we took off for The Mayan.  His cousins are in town and so they’re cramming all the typical Utah things to do in the next couple days, which works well for me since I too will never have a chance to do them again.

The Mayan was an experience.  You wait in line to order your food, then wait in line to get your food, then wait in line to be brought to your table.  So far not the best experience.  But once you get to your table it gets interesting.  At the center of the restaurant is a waterfall, which all four floors face.  They have divers jumping from the top of the falls every so often, along with random people running around dressed as gorillas and pygmies/head hunters.  Throw in a wandering mariachi band, guys making balloon animals and animatronic birds at every table and you’ve got an evening to remember.  The food is passable, but is in no way authentic.  But seeing as the restaurant has already lumped every country south of the border (along with several African nations) into one theme, we can assume that they’re not going for authenticity.  But the sweet and sour sauce went great on my flautas, so maybe these groups should be brought together.

Of course no trip to Provo is complete without the dollar theater.  Sadly I said we should see Ultraviolet.  Now before you judge too harshly, the alternatives were When a Stranger Calls, The Pink Panther, and Firewall.  There was no chance of us seeing a good movie this evening.  However Ultraviolet was one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

I have a rather high tolerance for bad movies.  I can watch a movie, knowing from the start that it’s not going to be very good, and enjoy it immensely.  I did not enjoy Ultraviolet immensely.  The facts that the acting was poor and the plot was predictable were forgivable.  I had expected this.  I wanted a movie with swords, motorcycles and cool explosions.  And it couldn’t deliver even that.  Some of the effects were quite cool, but many looked like poor video game backgrounds.  The swords were there, but the choreography was quite laughable.  I have seen this director provide some nifty gun/sword work in Equilibrium (he even made up a form of martial arts called gun kata using handguns) and it didn’t work at all here.  However the worst offender was the script.  The dialogue was horrible throughout.  It was impossible to get invested in the story.  It was an action movie and several of the party fell asleep.  There were several conversations that just didn’t make sense.  Not in a philosophical Matrix way, but “a drunk sixth grader may have written this movie in under an hour” sort of way.

Sadly some movies are bad enough to be funny.  This one just stayed bad enough to be painful.  There were a couple laugh-out-loud lines that made it worth a dollar, but just barely.  View at your own risk.

Song of the moment: “The Good Life” Weezer  

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