Aeon Flunks and Capote in the Men’s Room

Aeon Flux mounts more than a hillMercurio D. Rivera writes: Last week, I went to see Aeon Flux with a current and a former member of AlteredFluid. Not having seen the original Aeon Flux cartoon on MTV, I can’t say for sure whether the new movie successfully captures its spirit. It’s doubtful, however, given the convoluted Saturday-morning-cartoon plot and overall grade-B quality of the movie, which includes downright silly ideas about clones that retain the memories of their cell-donors and an invincible army of rebel super-heroines named “Monicans” for some unexplained reason (could they be angry interns?) who have inexplicably failed thus far to overthrow an oppressive Government. It’s the future, you see, and a virus has eliminated 99% of the planet’s population.

The survivors reside in a large metropolis, parts of which resemble, well, Boston, except that folks there wear really funny costumes. The most powerful agent of the rebel underground movement, Aeon Flux (played by Oscar-winner Charlize Theron) is a super-heroine with no apparent weaknesses save for her fashion sense and strange infatuation with the Government leader she’s been ordered to assassinate. Charlize Theron does the best that she can with the woeful script, playing it straight all the way. (Hopefully, she was well compensated for this role.)

Be warned: in the future there is very bad dialogue. For example, we learn two characters are brothers when one says to the other: “I’ve been your brother for a long time.” And as the one-note leader of the Monicans poor Frances McDormand (also an Oscar winner) is relegated to standing immobile and coolly issuing orders to her agents from afar. Despite the fairly good special effects and some interesting ideas (one Monican has genetically altered herself so she that her feet are now an extra set of hands, and Aeon’s arsenal includes hundreds of tiny metal spheres that answer to her whistle), you might want to skip this turkey unless you have a free rental.

Brush with the stars: After the movie, I spotted Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the men’s room. I wanted to say hello, but couldn’t remember his name—all I could think of was “Capote.” Plus, what is the etiquette about greeting celebrities in bathrooms anyway? Especially if they’re at the urinal next to you. I need some guidance.

Speaking of AlteredFluid (was I?), the reviews are starting to come in for Lauren McLaughlin’s “Sheila,” which was published in Interzone #201. Check out this and this.

7 Replies to “Aeon Flunks and Capote in the Men’s Room”

  1. Urinal etiquette: I’m not exactly sure what you should say, but I’ve always been told what you should NOT say in a public restroom – “Hey, that’s nice”.

  2. “I can’t say for sure whether the new movie successfully captures its spirit.”

    The answer is unequivocally NO. The original anime was a work of art, blending eastern anime aesthetics with a western ruggedness. The cartoon was surreal, so far in the future that ordinary things became strange, and strange things ordinary. Think Blade Runner under a blue sky. Think 1984 meets 2001.

    The film caught some of the technology (messages in a glass of water, bombs that respond to whistles) but little of the magic. Can’t wait for my netflix to arrive.

  3. An example of the surreal dialogue from the TV show:

    Trevor: The dream to awaken our world.
    Aeon: You’re out of control.
    Trevor: I take control. Whose side are you on?
    Aeon: I take no sides.
    Trevor: You’re skating the edge.
    Aeon: I am the edge.
    Trevor: What you truly want, I can give.
    Aeon: You can’t give it, can’t even buy it, and you just don’t get it….

  4. Dave,

    What and how much you say in a public bathroom is reversely correlated to how close you are to the urinal. If you are at the urinal, you say nothing…just look forward and concentrate on the tile grout. This is especially the case when you are at one of those troughs (we are not animals!). As you move away from the urinal, to the sink for example, you are allowed to speak but only a short greeting or a nod of head that acknowledges the other person. Once you are outside, you are free to speak normally and even shake hands. These rules are taken from Miss Manners Guide to Bathroom Etiquette, which also recommends not taking finger foods with you into a public restroom.
    The rules are a little different when you encounter a celebrity. In that case they go out window and anything goes. Phillip Seymour Hoffman? You should have looked at him while at the urinal and said, “I loved you in Boogie Nights!”

  5. The obvious horrible pun answer (which makes it the right one) is: If you get any closer, we’ll see more Hoffman than anybody in their right mind *ever* wanted to.

    Enough on minor celebrities! Matt, more info on your sister’s star turn in “What Not To Wear.” Like – is she single?!?

  6. Folks, thanks so much for all of the celebrity urinal etiquette. It’s much appreciated. (Lou, I don’t get your pun).

    Matt, you describe the Aeon Flux cartoon as “Blade Runner under a blue sky”? That’s high praise indeed coming from a Bladey like you. (Hey, I coined a new term!) I’ve got to catch those episodes.

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