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Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot Happened In “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”

Dear Frank,

It’s kind of profoundly intense these days, to remember the spring of 1999 and how very, very fucking excited we nerds were for Star Wars: Episode 1. Remember that? Remember talking about the trailers and debating casting spoilers and not even doubting a little bit that it would be awesome? And then we all actually saw the movie, and… yeah.

I saw Phantom Menace three times in the first five days of its release, each time having to work harder to convince myself that it wasn’t really that bad, until finally I searched my feelings. I knew it to be true. And then I pretended the movie didn’t exist for ten years.

However, it’s my brother’s birthday this week, and to celebrate I said I’d take him to the movie of his choice. He picked the shiny new 3-D transfer of The Phantom Menace. Now, honestly, this could be a lot worse — for his birthday in 1999, I took him to see the PAINFULLY bad Wing Commander, because the Phantom Menace trailer was premiering before it exclusively. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Expendables”

Dear Frank,

Today, as I sit down to watch Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables, I am at a crossroads. See, as you know, I consider myself to be a feminist (in terms of the definition: “I don’t think women are inferior to men and I don’t think they should be treated that way”). But I also have a deep, deep affection for stupid action movies and their heroes. I admire the films of Jet Li. I thoroughly enjoyed the latest Rambo. If I weren’t a delicate, chaste lady who’s never even heard of a “touch hutch,” Jason Statham would be in my touch hutch. My point is, I am about to watch a movie that features nearly every major action hero of the last twenty to thirty years, a movie that has no chance whatsoever of passing the Bechdel Test, and I am probably going to enjoy it quite a bit.

The movie starts pretty fast — there are some dudes being held captive by some other dudes on a boat, and then another group of dudes — our HERO DUDES, let’s be clear, appear to try and save the hostages. Dolph Lungren (this movie’s cast really is unbelievable) ignores Sly’s “don’t shoot people to death” warning and basically machine-guns off the main hostage-taker’s torso; more shooting ensues! Oh boy do duders die, Frank. In heat vision and everything!

But then the hostage scenario comes to a stand-off that includes Stallone and Statham (guys I really do love Statham please don’t judge me harshly) negotiating over which guys they each get to kill. Don’t worry — all the bad guys get killed. Except one, who Dolph wants to hang as a warning to “pirates,” but Jet Li says “nope” with his feet and fists! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Hugh Jackman, In Performance”

Dear Frank,

There are people in this world, people of great maturity and inner strength, who have never fallen victim to that most embarrassing of diseases: the celebrity crush. I have never been, and likely never will be, one of those people. Granted, my crushes have evolved from adolescence; while I still heartily admire actors today, I do not fantasize about Joshua Jackson or Idris Elba or Chris Helmsworth’s abs interrupting my 9th grade biology class and whisking me away from “all this.”

But when I went home this weekend for an impromptu Mother’s Day visit, and was told that we had tickets to see Hugh Jackman sing and dance at the Curran Theater, I did, in fact, plotz.

I’ve never told you about a stage show before, Frank, largely because to capture the magic of live performance is a near-impossible task. (Also, I don’t go to see enough plays.) However, the beauty of what Hugh Jackman did on stage Saturday night is that many elements of it were drawn from his previous work; thus, I can at least give you a bare-bones recap of what happened with a little help from YouTube. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”

Dear Frank,

So this week, we have a VERY SPECIAL REQUEST, from a VERY SPECIAL YOUNG LADY. Your girlfriend Lauren (whose many wonderful qualities are not limited to, but do include, being a vocal fan of Liz Tells Frank) asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would tell you about a certain movie which she adores — one you’ve apparently resisted watching with her? For shame, Frank. For shame.

Okay, to be honest, I also haven’t seen this installment of American cinema’s most enduring and popular car-racing franchise. But this is Liz Tells Frank and Liz Tells Frank is all about keeping an open mind. Or is it all about being snarky and dismissive? Hmm. One of the two of those, definitely.

Anyways, let us begin The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (or, for sequel titling purists, 3 Fast 3 Furious), which opens with an introduction to the most American high school that ever was a high school in America. I mean, a bunch of football players slaughter a Indian pinata. The only way it could be more American is if they were simultaneously chugging high-fructose corn syrup and not voting. Read the rest of this entry

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