April 15 - 21, 2005• Vol. 26 - No. 15

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Sahara—Another Unbelievable,
Over-the-Top Hollywood Film,
Only this Time with Lots of Sand,
Turbans and Camels

by the Blonde and the Maven
Film Columnists

Sahara is an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Clive Cussler. Matthew McConaughey (Contact and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days) stars as explorer-adventurer Dirk Pitt. After he discovers a rare coin in the waters of a West African river, he connects it to the mystery of the missing Civil War battleship. This ship was known to have valuable cargo, and Pitt feels it is hidden somewhere in the Sahara Desert. He sets out to explore some of the most dangerous regions of the country to find the missing ship with his partner/sidekick Al Giordino, played by Steve Zahn (National Security and Daddy Day Care 2). Along their journey, they meet up with Dr. Eva Rojas, a scientist-physician portrayed by Penélope Cruz (Blow and Vanilla Sky), who is searching for the source of a strange and deadly disease she feels is an epidemic sweeping the nation. They soon find out that this disease is coming from a poison that is polluting the waters. They also learn that if they cannot contain it and find out the cause, this disease will quickly spread to the Atlantic Ocean and threaten the entire world's population. Oh, what will they do, what will they do?

The Blonde: HO-HUM! Sahara was like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets James Bond meets Dudley Do Right meets National Treasure meets Flight of the Phoenix meets Indiana Jones. This film felt long, slow, trite, embarrassingly unrealistic and oh-so Hollywood trying to be original. The only thing, and I DO MEAN THE ONLY THING, that saved this film was Penélope Cruz's charm and exotic beauty and Matthew McConaughey's sexy buffed up body, beautiful eyes and smile. (He has the same kind of charisma and looks as Paul Newman had). Boy, Penelope sure can pick good-looking, very rich and famous, successful guys. She goes from the hunky Tom Cruise to Matthew. That is a win-win dating situation any way you slice it. As far as the film is concerned, this is a perfect example of how star power BRINGS the success to a dumb movie.

The Maven: I am sorry I missed this movie because if you disliked it that much, I am sure that I would have found something to LIKE about it. Unfortunately, I was stuck in a hospital bed recovering from food poisoning. Well actually, the hospital was out of beds and rooms, so I had to stay on a gurney in the middle of the emergency ward.
The Blonde: You are so lucky—that was definitely more fun that going to this movie! The two stars did share an on-screen chemistry, even though there was no real sexual story line or tension to let it shine through. What this film did do for me, however, was to remind me of how tired I was today. I couldn't wait for it to end!

The Maven: Don't worry, Blonde! They take that sexual tension and chemistry home with them every night after shooting the movie! Speaking of chemistry, we can cure some cancers, replace most organs, and reconstruct our faces and bodies, so why can't researchers find a way to infuse potassium through an I.V. without pain? That stuff felt like acid running through my arm and into my shoulder.

The Blonde: Poor Maven. I do think men might enjoy this movie at least more than woman will. Instead of your typical gun shooting, car chase scenes, you had the same thing only with boats and camels—yes, folks, real live Hollywood camels! So Maven, are you okay now?

The Maven: I'll LIVE! I read that the stars actually did most of the stunts themselves and trained for two weeks with the camels to make those scenes more realistic.

The Blonde: This movie totally lacked in the realistic department! I realize they tried to add some wit to the story—“tried” being the key word—but it totally failed. This was basically an ALL action film without a great story, or even great action for that matter!

The Maven: What kind of action were you expecting? We're talking mostly desert here! Ya know… Sahara… I always liked that name, minus the first A…

The Blonde: Moviegoers, just to let you in on that comment, Shara is the Maven’s first name! Anyway, the locations where they shot Sahara were so drab, washed out and not very visually pleasing, which reminds me of Camilla Parker Bowels. Did you see how she dressed for her Royal Wedding? Oh dear me, what is this woman thinking? With all the fabulous designers at her fingertips (that reminds me, even her nails could use a makeover), why was she wearing a huge dead weed on her head instead of a diamond and pearl tiara?? AND… her gown looked like a schmata, or a bedspread, not even as nice as a bed-in-a-bag one, at that! You nailed it a few weeks ago, Maven, when you said that if she wore a tiara, you would laugh.

The Maven: ONE MORE TIME, it is Bowles not BOWELS! I hear the Queen was upset at the cost of Charles' wedding reception. Maybe that's why Cam didn't wear a tiara; the Queen would only spring for weeds! Maybe Cam saw Gone With the Wind and figured if Scarlet could wear drapes, then she could get away with a bedspread. Ya know, I have a hot pink silk bedspread that would make for a lovely cocktail dress….

The Blonde: Maven, what kind of drugs DID the hospital send you home with? I realize that Charles and Camilla are truly in love, but I simply cannot accept her!

The Maven: I agree with you there… Since I wasn't able to see this film, it would not be fair to rate it as I never completely agree with the Blonde. However, I do rate West Boca Medical Center (emergency room and third floor) an A if you have to be in a hospital!

The Blonde: Okay Mav, we will all keep that in mind!  I really suffered through the long two or so hours of Sahara. This is definitely not one I will rent or EVER see again. Maven, you were truly lucky you got food poisoning so you had the good fortune to miss this film. I rate it a D. For your snacks, movie-goers, I suggest you chew a whole pack of gum to keep you busy, and have a cigarette… A CAMEL cigarette, THAT IS!

The Maven: The Blonde does not now nor has ever endorsed cigarette smoking! But DO BEWARE OF HER COOKING! YOU TOO MIGHT MISS A MOVIE!

The Blonde: Hey, cut that out…. But I am sorry Maven!

P.S.: Fever Pitch, that I felt lacked any real punch before seeing Sahara, is a much better choice if you have to pick one. Drew Barrymore is so adorable, precious and likeable that she carries this romantic comedy. Jimmy Fallon, first known for his stand-up comedy, needs a bit more experience in the acting department before he takes on another leading role.

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