by Scoobie Davis
Last night, I went to an advance screening of The Real Cancun, which is from the producers of MTV’s The Real World. Where do I start? When I used to flip through the channels and see MTV’s The Real World, it would get me to think that if that was the real world, the people on the show were living on the planet Dumbass. I hated that show not only because it was stupid but also because it inspired all of the equally stupid “reality TV” (read: unreality TV) series clogging the network primetime lineup.
The Real Cancun is a faux cinema verite look at a dozen college-aged partiers who go to Cancun for spring break. Watching this film leads me to the following conclusions: 1) Partying is fun; 2) Watching other people party is not fun; and 3) Shelling out nine bucks to watch other people party is pathetic. Fortunately, I didn’t have to pay to see it because it was an advance screening. The main problem is that if you watched the film to see the party scene in Cancun, you would only get an inkling because the film focused on the goings-on of the dozen subjects—none of whom I found interesting (example: a young woman tells a guy that once she caught her boyfriend with her best friend; he responded that he never experienced anything that intense in his life; if that’s true, it’s time for him to go out and experience life). Small talk permeates the film. I can hear small talk on the street.
Even for the type of person into the cheesy Girls Gone Wild tapes, this movie is a disappointment. There is a steamy wet t-shirt contest early in the film but that's about it. The subjects start to pair off. A guy and a gal get busy under a blanket in a room with the night vision camera rolling—at breakfast next morning, the guy treats her as if she had SARS—that was cold. One final thought about The Real Cancun: there are a dozen college students and not one of them was smoking weed. What gives there? This is probably the first film that has Snoop Dogg in it in which there is no weed-smoking.
A film I saw recently that I liked was Frazetta: Painting with Fire. It is a straightforward documentary biography of artist Frank Frazetta. As the film points out, Frazetta has not been given the credit he deserves as an artist from much of the fine arts community because he has primarily been a commercial artist (comic book artists know him as the top artist of the 1950’s and 1960’s; others know him as the artist for the paperback Conan the Barbarian book covers; when I think of Frazetta, I think about the cover art for a Molly Hatchet album). The film shows Frazetta not only as a great artist but also as a remarkable person who endured many trials.