The Neural Surfer Goes to the Movies

Author: David Christopher Lane
Publisher: The Neural Surfer
Publication date: 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.


----------------------------------------------------------------- Rating System:

5 to 1 nods (5 = full nod mode. Translated in surfspeak it means "I was as stoked from this movie as I would be from a six second tube ride at Point Panic in Oahu--very rare"; 4 = fully nodding, but pulled back slightly. Translated this means "Excellent tube, but there was a a little bump on the water"; 3 = definite nod, but I am not a slut so I don't just give them cheaply. Translated this means "I got barreled, but the wave had too many sections"; 2 = partial nod, but hey this could have been so much better. Translated this means "Where am I? Bad Zuma?"; 1 = I can't believe I even gave this a nod, and I am wrong I am a cheap slut for even staying with this movie. Translated this means "I have surfed Bay street in Santa Monica better and Keanu Reeves is a good actor.... sure"; 0 = I had to literally walk out this movie sucked so bad. Translated this means that "I had a dry run, I pulled a Jon Hall, driving from La Jolla to the Ranch only to discover that Palm Springs Water Park had better waves."


May 1997

Austen Powers (2 and 1/2 nods)

I fully realize that I am going out on a limb saying that I "dug" this movie. Well, baby, it's IS my bag and Meyers plays this Secret Agent with a wonderful 60s geekiness that is just plain funny to watch. Yea, Baby..... A warning, however: this is a particular movie that will only appeal to a certain segment. Others will walk and say Lane is a lousy surfer as well as a lousy recommender of movies.

The 5th Element (1 nod)

One of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. The only movie in recent memory that sucked even more was "Mars Attack" (complete and umitigated bomb.... Makes Doheny look like Pipeline). I won't even review this movie. Bruce Willis? I can say this: Geez, Blade Runner had a much bigger influence than one would have imagined back in the early 1980s. At least that movie had an interesting plot.

February 1997

I CONFESS (video, Alfred Hitchcock) (three nods)

If I had to pick one director as the "greatest" it would be tough to discount Alfred..... This movie is not Hitchcock's best (Rear Window, perhaps?), but it is a brilliantly executed movie with a nice twist that I didn't foresee. Also rips into Catholicism in not so subtle ways.

January 1997

SHINE (four nods)

Unlike the Big Night (two nods) which used food as a metaphor and only partially succeeded, Shine uses music as a metaphor and succeeds in giving us a glimpse into how emotions/devotions and the like are intertwined with music and its power. A truly arresting film and haunting in its Freudian implications. December 1996


Great opening and great expectations and this movie turns out to be one of the hokiest melodramas I have seen in the 90s. Nice atmosphere, but the romance is November 1990

LONE STAR (four nods)

London gets movies late from America, so I am bit behind on the current scene. Yet, I must admit that I found Lone Star to live up to its hype. Complex movie making at its best--even though it may lag for a bit in the middle--with a bewitching ending. Quite impressive.

October 1996

TOUCH OF EVIL (three nods)

I know I am supposed to like this more because Orson Welles made it, but even though I found it intriguing I cannot say I totally liked it. I think Welles did an amazing acting job, and I do think that it is great camp, but there are sections that seem either underdeveloped or over-extended. Don't get me wrong, it is an intriguing, if dark and gruesome, movie. It's a comedy, it's a detective story, but it is really a movie about morals or the lack thereof.

September 1996

CASABLANCA (four nods) Okay, I can hear you saying to yourself: hey i have seen this thing a hundred times on TCM or AMC. Well, I haven't (reisted it for years because I thought it was sappy). I was wrong (not unusual). Went to the National Film Theatre in London.... great venue since nobody talks during the movie and you are not allowed to eat! What a fun movie experience, especially in a restored print.

August 1996

ESCAPE FROM L.A. (one nod). I loved Escape from New York and I must admit that my expectations for the sequel were very high. But what happened here? Snake as wimp? Snake as lousy surfer? Carpenter played the movie too much for laughs, losing that funky low tone in the original. Bad script as well, since the movie doesn't move anywhere. The best image, of course, was that huge wave at the beginning towering over the pier. Too bad, a missed opportunity. Do yet another, but his time play it more serious (let the laughs come naturally).

BRADY BUNCH SEQUEL (one nod). Geez, I won't even comment on this because I can't believe I was that hard up to go see this thing. One point, however: I do think the actors have the characters down pretty well. Next time: get a plot, a point, and some development.

------------------------------- VIDEO REVIEWS, August 1996

SMOKE (three nods). Enjoyable movie with fine acting by Harvey Keitel. I may differ with my friend Aaron Talsky on this, but I thought the last sequence in the movie was unnecessary. The metaphors were a bit thick (Smoking everywhere), but it was an overall fun and thought provoking movie. Recommended.

THE HAIRDRESSER'S HUSBAND (five nods). Okay, I saw this movie a year or two ago, but I liked it so much I have to put on this list right now. One of the best movie experiences I have had in a long time. I am sure that it will not meet everybody's tastes, but I was completely charmed by this tale of a young boy and his lost love/affection for those moments when he got his haircut. I won't reveal any more. Existential, moving, sexy, and off-beat. -------

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.