Shaka Bra (That's a Tit in the Slit)

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Now I understand why most movie critics spend a solid two-thirds of their review space simply recapping the plot. Sometimes it's hard to be poignant, or even entertaining. Sometimes a movie doesn't give you so much to say.

"Blue Crush" is entertaining, Snoop Dogg, but there just ain't too much going on there. I know, I know, big surprise. The summer surfer-chick movie is not a brilliant masterstroke, does not redefine cinema, offers very few unexpected thrills. Eh.

Anyway, let's have at it. Worst elements to best. Go!

Story: You plot monkeys, those of you who see a movie to check out how it handles or dismantles narrative conventions, might not want to go to this one. In fact, don't. Before 10 minutes of film elapse, you will have figured out exactly what's going to happen, how it's going to happen and how it will all niftily resolve. This is standard cinema, no surprises. Ceci n'est pas "Full Frontal," "Sex et Lucia" or even "Tadpole." C'est "Blue Crush," oui, le film de trois filles "surfer."

Acting: Some of y'all latch on to actors or actresses. You like, say, the work of Julia Roberts, or Steve Buscemi, or ChloŽ Sevigny, or Tom Cruise. You see the movies they are in, fairly confident that they will be good movies because these are good actors or actresses. Myself, I latched on to Chevy Chase as a child; he could do no wrong in my sapphire eyes. Today, I feel the same way about Steve Martin, no matter how clearly his projects happen to suck.

Oh, yes, well. "Blue Crush" stars 5-foot-6-and-one-half-inch Kate Bosworth, who has one hazel eye and one blue eye and an impressively square jaw. She does fine. Michelle Rodriguez's motif is something along the lines of "deadly serious." If humorlessness could be camped up, then Rodriguez would be the queen of camp. Oh, then there's deadly cute Sanoe Lake, a real-life surfer, who performs with impressive naturalism. She laughs and goofs around and is vaguely Asian and reminds me of two separate girls I have known named Patricia. Cheers to Ms. Lake, who deserves happiness in her life, I am sure.

People, do you know how fun these reviews are to write? They are massively fun, fucker, and please do not take them too seriously. I am but a young boy with a hateful style. Sometimes I lie.

Worst Acting Ever in the History of Everything Award goes to Chris Taloa, who plays Ms. Bosworth's mysteriously macho ex.

"Scenes:" Moving on, some of you live for "scenes," like, oh that scene where Character X does Action Y and a classic moment of cinema is born. A monkey throwing a bone into the sky, Judge Reinhold jerking off in a bathroom, Ben Stiller jerking off in a bathroom, the Ramones burning down the school.

"Blue Crush" has some great shit for you people, not necessarily classic shit, but totally memorable shit. You see, the girls are all maids at a resort hotel where a bunch of nasty guests trash the place night after night. Summoning the verve of "A Hard Day's Night," the girls scoot their carts from room to room, gagging at puddles of vomit, gasping at giant turds in the toilet, getting used condoms stuck to their feet. The actresses are at ease in these scenes, and the movie strides with nasty unforced fun.

Surfing: Now, getting to the surfing. The sport of surfing, per se, is not exceptionally well-spotlighted in this movie. Much too much time is given over to the weak and unconvincing relationship between Bosworth and some football stud. The surfers that packed into the press screening of this movie laughed mean little laughs at the love between the leads, audibly questioning its veracity, loudly pshawing and guffawing.

The distraction of the plot is a shame, because the surf sequences are nothing less than amazing. Not so much for the surfing, which feels distant and mechanical, but for the relationship between the waves and the cameras. Out in the ocean the film attains a stunning level of confidence and embarks on entirely unbeaten photographic paths. The even timing of the movie is allowed to slip for a long, breathtaking shot of a crest building, curling, sweeping surfers up in its wake. Cameras pop in and out of the foam, twist inside pipelines, tumble inside crashes. There are people in all these shots, sure, doing very impressive things on surfboards, yes, but they're mostly good for scale. When they get thrashed, you feel the wave's power more than you feel their pain.

So yes, you; you looking for an ode, a mash note, to water itself. This film will leave you gasping, slack-jawed, dizzy.

Did you see "Dogtown and Z-Boys?" Phenomenally, fundamentally interesting movie that was ruined by Stacy Peralta's dipshit direction and his ill-deployed editing tricks. Regardless, that movie had people in it, and it sang sweetly of their talents, most of which became tragically obscured in post-production. "Blue Crush" is entirely reverse of that, a movie whose subject and characters are massively unriveting, but which treats its physical stock to careful, loving footage and brilliant editing.

Hot Chicks: Oh, I nearly forgot. For all y'all looking for hot chicks, well, it's a bit of ginger tease. This is a family film, so there's no outright nudity, but the movie does manage some tricky, gentle eroticism. Lots of ass-grabbing clothes, lots of nicely-displayed tits. This is all cheeky and self-conscious and naughty with a grin rather than a leer.


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