I saw two movies yesterday.

1. “Toy Love”

Ok, the main character is Ben, a guy who lies, cheats and steals, all very badly. Fo’ example, his lying is done the way that characters on soaps and sitcoms lie, he furrows his brow and constructs sentences with lots of ums. Normal people don’t lie like that. What makes it even worse is that Ben is suppose to be an actor. He cheats on his girlfriend, then they break up, but when his new love interest reveals that she only likes sleeping with unavailable guys, he gets back with his old girlfriend to cheat on her again. He shoplifts many times in the film and each time invariably ends with some irate shopkeeper running after him yelling. What a loser.

His girlfriend Emily is supposed to be a bit of a dorky nerd girl, but she’s got this obviously professionally blonded hair and a husky cigarette voice. The dorky glasses don’t quite disguise the fact that there’s a foxy bitch lurking under the surface.

The other woman is a crazy chick called Chlo who has a secret room off her bedroom which is full of boxes and boxes of Coco Pops. Y’know, if you’ve just had sex with a skinny chick and then you find her sitting in a secret room scoffing down Coco Pops while surrounded by boxes more, this is surely nature’s way of telling you that she is insane in the membrane and you should run away. But no, Ben decides he wuvz her. Or something.

There are two really funny parts in the movie. One is the “I’m Joanne’s dad” bit, which makes me laugh even now, but I can’t remember the other funny part, so maybe it wasn’t all that funny.

What the “Toy Love” viewing experience came down to for me was that I didn’t really care about Ben and Chlo. They were too crazy people doing crazy illegal shit that didn’t seem grounded in the very real streets of Auckland they lived in. Emily and her true love Francois are slightly more real, but they both still seem to be stereotypes with good dialogue.

Dammit, it could have been a great screwball romantic comedy set in the manic streets of central Auckland, but it was less screw and more balls.

2: “The Matrix: Reloaded”

I’m also not going to be seeing “The Matrix 2” at 12.01 am on whatever day it opens.

So I was over at st00’s place last night laying into some budget-arse Black Russians, and at about 11.30 his flatmate came home and was like “let’s see the Matrix!” so we drove out to Westgate, bought tickets and saw the film.

It was pretty good because the cinema was only about two thirds full. Unlike the city ones which were full of enthusiastic Matrix fans who’d bought their $14 tickets weeks in advance, Westgate was where the last minute people went, the ones who thought “hey, let’s go and see the Matrix now!”. Because Westgate is also out west, there were a few excited bogans who yelled stuff out during the movie, but that added to the excitement.

The film was good. It was full of mind blowing special effects. Some of the big fight scenes went on for a bit too long. And I found that while there was some amazing visual stuff, the bits that really got me excited were all the plot developments. Gasp – is Zion actually part of the Matrix?

A ripple of excitement spread through the audience when Rene Naufahu, a.k.a. Sam the Ambulance Man from old skool “Shortland Street” showed up in a small part. He had one line, but oh what a magnificent delivery he gave (lies).

Whenever someone makes a movie about computers and hacking, geeks usually get highly offended and pick holes in the technical flaws. What “The Matrix” does is take computer hacking and takes the metaphors beautifully literally. The backdoor is make of wood and needs a key to open it.

The ending is similar to that of “Back to the Future 2” in that it doesn’t conclude, it’s really left open to be sequelled. But I’m looking forward to that sequel.

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