Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Take the Jumper Challenge

Every 1990-1999, the American Library Association compiles a list of the "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books." At first I thought the list was "challenging" me to read them using the type of subversive bookist propaganda I've come to expect from libraries, but apparently that's not the case. Instead, parents who won't let their children watch Ren & Stimpy or grow up to be cowboys "challenge" libraries to ban these books before girls figure out what's happening to their bodies (35) or Waldo can be found (87). Philosophically, one could ask if Waldo can be found if there is no one around to read Where's Waldo, but girls are still going to go through puberty whether or not you let them read a book about it.

Coming in at 92 on the list is Steven Gould's Jumper, the poignant story of a kangaroo rat that can talk to humans and fears only the destruction of his natural habitat through the reckless use of dirt bikes. No, wait, that book is I Am Leaper, and it is too dumb to be challenged. Although, to be fair, that didn't stop Goosebumps (ALL OF THEM) from making the list at 15.

Jumper, then, is about this kid who can teleport, and that's about all I can say for sure because I never read it. I did, however, see the film, and it is challenged (that time I meant challenged like a retard). In fact, I would be comfortable placing Jumper on my list of "100 Most Challenged (retarded) Movies, 1995-2008" along such stalwarts as the 1998 version of Godzilla (02) and Semi-Pro (79), which has not come out yet, but really, c'mon.

Some of the specific criticisms leveled at Jumper are centered around the accusation that the film is just an adolescent power fantasy, but that shouldn't be a criticism; that's the best damn part. I wanted 90 minutes of a power fantasy, not 12 minutes of power fantasy and 78 minutes of other people whining about that power. If I had wanted whining, I would have gone to a movie starring Rachel Bilson, which brings me to my next point: it turns out Rachel Bilson is in Jumper and she whines a lot.

Also whining? Samuel L. Jackson, but some might argue that if you whine while beating on people or simply by merit of being Samuel L. Jackson, it's not actually whining (It is though).

Amazingly, in a movie starring Hayden Christensen, Hayden Christensen does the least amount of whining, although he does more than his fair share of glowering. It takes all kinds.

Also, I'm a big whiner, but here are some things about Jumper that make me want to give up whining forever:
  • jump scars
  • electric beat sticks
  • marvel team-up
  • sweet jackets
  • saying "anywhere is possible" at anytime possible
  • maybe they can just do a jumper tv series next and that won't suck
So, what have we learned today? Well, I learned that my personal threshold for using the word 'challenge' before it loses all meaning is three repetitions, but that's by no means universal.

No comments:

Post a Comment