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This week:
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Filthy says:
"Teenagers are horrible.

Holy shit is The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement violent. Somewhere between the escalating body count and the buckets of blood I realized that we weren't in the same magical, make-believe kingdom of the first film. And God damn if it didn't make me want to break a skull, maybe even my own. I was already pissed off because the Olde Town Cinema put in these stupid digital signboards to tell you what theater your movie's playing in, but mostly all they say is "Theater 6". Like they need a fancy sign for that. For God's sake, you jackasses, put some money into fixing the ratty-ass armrests before buying fancy toys that barely work.

Anyway, I'm smart enough to figure out where my movie's playing. I feel sorry for the retards that wander into Brown Bunny after buying tickets for Yu-Gi-Oh. I was still pissed, though, and then shocked out of my drunken stupor by the blood-curdling screams of A Royal Engagement.

In the first Princess Diaries, Ann Hathaway played a nerdy teen who discovered she's a real-life princess of Genovia. Don't look for Genovia; it's a made-up place. Trust me, even if the travel agent takes the $1000 your wife had hidden away she still can't get you there. Anyway, Hathaway's estranged grandmother is Julie Andrews who insists on lovingly transforming Hathaway from gawky teen into beautiful royalty. It's every teen girl's fantasy, and mine too. But really, what undereducated, overdrunk man doesn't dream of waking up some day in a castle in a foreign country wearing a decadent taffeta dress and tiara as the coronation begins? None that I know.

I was curious how director Garry Marshall would follow up the original story--one that was sweet and tender enough to appeal to the two most important movie-going markets: preteen girls and me--without turning it into a cynical exercise in milking the cash cow. It's not like the first movie was begging for a sequel. Yet, here is one and it has nothing to do with the first, save for the return of Hathaway and Andrews. The title Royal Engagement suggests we'll see romance for the little princess, and maybe she'll blossom right before our eyes.

Instead ThePrincess Diaries 2, she partakes in bloodsport. This is a horrific, unnecessary sequel about a battle for supremacy between aliens in a long-lost pyramid 2000 feet below Antarctica. Young Hathaway plays an alien from another planet seeking out an enemy comatant, while Julie Andrews plays pretty much the same character she did in The Sound of Music: a screeching, slimy monster imprisoned and forced to procreate in the bowels of a pyramid.

Hathaway is hardly recognizable as a hulking dark-green space alien. I know puberty can be tough on kids, but good fucking God. This girl wasn't just hit with an ugly stick, she had it rammed up her ass until it came out her eyesockets. Gone is the innocence and sweetness, and in its place is a cold-blooded killing machine. Ms. Hathaway, please, get rid of those silly dreadlocks, learn how to walk like a lady, and for God's sake, see a dentist. You're a movie star, not a fucking monster.

The movie begins with a benevolent billionaire hiring a crack team of explorers and archeologists to explore a pyramid he's discovered deep below the ice of Antarctica. After arriving, the explorer team discovers that the pyramid is the cradle of civilization, containing symbolism and |Hieroglyphics from Cambodian, Egyptian and Aztec buildings. There's some horseshit mumbo-jumbo about this being the first ever pyramid. What this has to do with a gangly teen falling in love and assuming the throne of Genovia is anybody's guess. But you know the way those grassfucking cornholes in Hollywood think: Ka-ching!

Before long, we meet up with the queen, played with grating annoyance by Julie Andrews. She is an acid-spewing monster chained down and forced to pump out eggs that can only reach maturity after incubating in the chest of humans. Most of the expendable humans are killed this way. The rest are killed by Hathaway shortly after she makes her appearance. I expected to see her maybe kiss a handsome prince, or maybe dance in her underwear with her grandmother while "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" blasts from the palace sound system. I did not expect to see her impaling monsters, snapping the necks of innocents and practicing ritualistic self-mutilation. Neither did the six-year old twins beside me. They bawled their eyes out the entire movie, especially at the end when Andrews and Hathaway beat the shit out of each other.

I can almost buy the premise of the movie where Andrews and Hathaway just went about killing the boring-as-shit, no-name hacks playing explorers. I think everyone wanted that. But when they turned on each other and were gouging, gutting, spitting and squealing, it stripped the magic of their special relationship. Ladies, act like royalty, not a couple of Tavern whores with your heads full of meth and fists full of welfare checks.

But more important, if you want to be hideous, disgusting monsters be interesting. Don't bore the holy snot out of the audience. Don't spend the first two-thirds of the movie with people wandering down dark halls waiting for something to go bump. Don't weight every character down with dialog as lame and thudding as a paraplegic falling from a barstool. Although I feel that ancient history and archeology have no place in a Princess Diaries movie, if you're going to put them in there, at least sound smart enough to fool people. The science in this movie is the sort of simpleton shit made up by a third grader the morning their big paper on South America is due.

Even if Hathaway and Andrews are playing royalty it's no excuse to make everyone a lame cliche. It's pretty fucking hard to care if someone dies when his whose lack of personality can only mean he'll die.

This was an awful movie. A horrible surprise, like when your pee comes out in clumps, or finding your grandfather's wedding ring in your underwear. One Finger for The Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement. Fuck it, I should have seen Alien vs. Predator. I heard that was cool.


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Mark S. Allen of UPN-TV

The Village is "Brilliant! A masterpiece!"

The Princess Diaries is "Funny, fun and fabulous! Royally entertaining!"

Man, what movie did that guy see?

Filthy's Reading
Carl Hiaasen - Strip Tease

Listening to
The Novas - The Sump'n Else Tapes


The Thin Man