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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #531 (Vol. 11, No. 22). This edition is for the week of May 24--30, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Sex and the City 2"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

Summer Movie Preview
"Sex and the City 2"  by Mike Smith
Loose in Las Vegas: 2010  by ED Tucker
Album of the Month: The Hold Steady-Heaven Is Whenever  by Terence Nuzum
Zombie Hunter Rika (2008)  by Jason Fetters
Everything New Sucks -- The Remix  by John Miller
Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

New Line Cinema     
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon
Directed by: Michael Patrick King
Rated: R
Running Time: 2 hours 25 mins

Before I share my thoughts and get those eventual emails that say “you’re not a woman, that’s why you didn’t like it,” let me say that I was a big fan of “Sex and the City” when it ran on HBO. In small doses, the show was often well written, well acted and made sure that New York City was a featured player. And for a while, “Sex and the City 2” continues in that vein. Then, suddenly, the gals find themselves in Abu Dhabi. And I found myself looking at my watch.

The film starts with the female Fab Four attending the wedding of their friends Anthony (Mario Cantone) and Stanford (Willie Garson). Yes, as Big (Chris Noth) keeps pointing out, it’s a gay wedding. The kind of over the top extravaganza where you’d expect Liza Minnelli to be the entertainment. Quicker than you can say “Cabaret” the curtains part and Liza Minnelli IS the entertainment. “Liza with a Z” and her backup singers do a great job with Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It). Everyone has a great time and then it’s back to the real world. Samantha (Cattrall) is approached to promote a lavish hotel resort in Abu Dhabi. Soon she, Carrie (Parker), Charlotte (Davis) and Miranda (Nixon) are halfway across the world, ironically finding themselves in a place where strong women like themselves are not accepted or tolerated. Will Samantha stop baring her arms? Will Charlotte’s husband cheat with the hot Irish nanny? Will Miranda ever lose that Buster Brown haircut? Will Carrie run into Aidan (John Corbett)? Of course she will, it’s in all of the trailers.

What I’m assuming was supposed to be a film about being who you are (gay marriage, wearing shorts in the marketplace) slowly becomes a traveling fashion show. My understanding from information provided by the film company is that Parker has 41 costume changes in the film, and the other three stars no less than 24 each. For a week on vacation. They had to have packed more clothes than Ginger Grant did when she took that three-hour tour on “Gilligan’s Island.” Even though our tough economic times are referenced, the film is full of excess. Here is your own car and driver. Here is your private butler. Here is another hat for SJP to wear. Every time the film tries to make a statement it’s nullified by another silly scene. Oh look, it’s the girls on camels (though actually the scene does include one of the film's funniest lines regarding those humped creatures and a part of the foot).

Actor-wise the film is strong. Every one of the recurring characters from the series is obviously comfortable with their roles and it shows on screen. The four lead actresses have an easy rapport with each other. On the men side, Noth does his usual great work. Why this man is not a George Clooney-sized movie star is a mystery to me. Cantone and Garson are also strong. Cameos run the gamut from Penelope Cruz to Miley Cyrus to Ron “Tater Salad” White. That’s right…they’ve got the Tater. And of course, there’s Liza!

If you’re into a two and a half hour fashion show with a lot of fabulous backgrounds then this is the film for you. If you’re looking for an enjoyable film you may have to go elsewhere. It reminds me of another sequel, “Arthur 2: On the Rocks”…a terrible waste of Liza Minnelli.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Sex and the City 2”  

This week's movie review of "Sex and the City 2" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.