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Another summer movie season begins this weekend with the release of Pearl Harbor, and I have something to say to you, the fine movie-going public.

For God's sake, don't go! Don't do this to yourself! You're young. You have your health. You don't need to treat yourself to this sort of abuse!

What sort of abuse, you ask? You know what I'm talking about -- big budget movies that go BOOM! Take Independence Day. You expect me to believe that when the entire world comes under attack by aliens, the rest of the Earth's inhabitants will just twiddle their thumbs and wait for the United States to come up with a plan? Give me a break.

How about Armageddon? Once again, the United States comes to the rescue. You'd think we had nothing better to do than sit around and think up ways to save the world from aliens, asteroids, plagues, locusts, David Copperfield TV specials, etc.

You want me to ruin Pearl Harbor for you really easily? Picture this: Pearl Harbor, directed by Steven Spielberg. Face it, the man can't ruin a World War II movie. Now, that would have been a movie I would have handed over my little brother to see. Michael Bay could ruin toast. You want me to hand over seven bucks to see slow-motion shots of Ben Affleck in uniform?

Well, all right -- Ben Affleck in uniform, I'd pay for. But not for three hours. Contrary to popular belief, there's only so long you can stare at that man outside of a Kevin Smith movie before your head explodes.

Pearl Harbor will be bad. I swear on my grandmother's grave.

You want to see something good? See Memento. I'm begging here.

So, what's it about? Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce…and his abs) searches for the man who raped and murdered his wife. How long does he search? Hell if he knows, because Leonard's got a little trouble with short-term memory loss. Ever since the night he and his wife were attacked, Leonard forgets everything he knows every few minutes.

Confused yet? How about if I told you the movie runs in reverse?

Yeah, that's right... backwards. The movie starts with the murder of Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), who might (emphasis on "might") be the man who killed Leonard's wife. Leonard can only keep track of the world around him -- including a pretty bartender named Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss) -- via the notes he leaves himself. He's got tattoos all over his body ("John G. raped and murdered my wife" backward across his chest, for example) and a stack of Polaroids in his pockets (a photo of Teddy reads "Don't believe his lies" on the back).

Yeah, it might twist you around. But just like in a normal good flick, where you don't know what's going to happen next, in Memento, you have no idea what happened first. And that's pretty cool.

Jennifer Matarese

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