Selling the premise of a boy trapped in a bubble with no immune system presents a variety of issues. 2001 was a strange year for filmmakers. They were coping with the receding fear of Y2K, and in that time had seemingly crafted features that were meant to be seen by no living, breathing person. These were the last-ditch hopes of sparking some insanity as the world crashed around them. But it was not to be. A Windows update here and a realisation that Y2K wasn’t going to crash the world there, and the likes of Bubble Boy are born. Unique, strange energy radiates from this Blair Hayes feature, one that taps into the terrors and imagination of the early 2000s.
Poolboy – Drowning Out the Fury drowns out more than rage. It drowns out quality and attempts to waterboard its audiences with the “found footage” rendition of an old 1990s action flick. It is a riff on the genre it is part of, and most of those films fall folly to the unavoidable premise that their action is worse than the films they mock. A film that St. James St. James (Ross Paterson) says is “too racially insensitive” to show is released on the audience. With its flimsy premise and prejudices, the mockery of Vietnam-era action flicks and synth note mayhem is something that has shied away from pop culture in recent days. Rightly so.
Coming from a glorious era of time where Nicolas Cage re-invented himself as an action hero, Con Air slips seamlessly into his filmography. That manic energy he possesses, something that has dragged its way to the forefront of his last few years, was once a valuable asset, rather than a meme-oriented landslide. Con Air brings some high-flying energy, a plane packed with convicts taken over by a criminally insane opportunist and his hopeful gang, attempting to gain their escape. Biding their time is not on the agenda, director Simon West wastes no time at all in rifling through the thrills, spilling them over the cockpit and controls, in its wake a disaster of engaging, action-packed nonsense that should win over those looking for light-hearted relief.
Should we point a finger of blame to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy for the state of news reporting currently? Perhaps. Ron Burgundy is not a man you or I could call “professional”, or “competent”, but he sure loves his job. Why that is? No idea. Some deep-rooted kink for facilitating power through the airwaves of the gullible, a fascistic need and desire to clutch to power, his jagged fingernails digging in ever deeper to the rotund beauty of fame and fortune. To suggest any of these themes would be realistic would be, well, Mort Crim would have stern words with nonbelievers.