B.L.O.G Presents Entrapment (1999) and The Catherine Zeta-Jones Effect

Ahh, 1999, that was a good year. Well, if you enjoyed the Y2K panic, the premier of Spongebob, or were like, hell yeah, what the world needs is The Euro, then you probably were taking the Purple One’s advice and partying like it was 1999. There’s one specific reason that I remember the last year of the century fondly. It was the last year that Catherine Zeta-Jones was hot.

There are many scientific theories about how life, the universe, and everything happens. I am not a scientist, but in my spare time, as a hobby, I have come up with one universal theorem, and that is the Catherine Zeta-Jones Effect. In 1999, Me and Ms. Zeta-Jones had a thing going on, The Phantom, The Mask of Zorro, count me in. Then came along Entrapment with Zeta Jones’ erotic dance through laser beams (more on that later), plus Sean Connery and Ving Rhames, and director Jon Arniel following up a film I really liked, The Man Who Knew Too Little.

Sean plays an art thief named Mack, and Zeta-Jones as Virginia Baker, an agent dispatched from an insurance company to bring him down. She forms a partnership with him to steal an ancient Chinese mask, and the two embark on a rigorous regimen of training for the job. Mack soon finds out that Virginia might not be what she seems, but when she tempts him with a job worth eight billion dollars, he agrees to pull the job with her. It all ends up in a series of double and triple crosses where allegiances switch at the drop of a hat.

Connery only had two more films in him, and unfortunately, they were Finding Forrester (“You’re the man now, dog!”) and Allan Moore’s favorite film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Sean sleepwalks his way through Entrapment, and Mack never rises above the printed page to be any kind of engaging character. His worst scenes by far are the ones he shares with Ving Rhames, Mack’s underworld contact. At least Zeta-Jones and Connery have some sort of chemistry because when Rhames and Connery take the screen it’s like these two have never met. Rhames is playing the same cool tough guy he played in pretty much every film post- Pulp Fiction while the former Bond looks as if he’s pondering how he would rather still be making Zardoz.

Then there’s Catherine. While her acting is not the best I’ve seen from her, she does seem to be trying which is more than I can say of her esteemed cast mate. I have to admit fully this film is mediocre at best, and my love of this flick comes from how beautiful Zeta-Jones looks in nearly every single frame of this film. As good as she looks while thieving, going to fancy parties or just waiting for Connery to wade through his lines, there is not a better sight than Catherine Zeta-Jones in a skintight sweats weaving her way through a series of practice laser beams. Okay, in fairness, there are probably better things, but when I was twenty-three, yeah, let’s just say the scene spoke to me and leave it at that.

There’s not much else to say about this flick. It should have been much better than it was. It never manages to ramp up any kind of excitement, suspense, or thrills. Jon Amiel doesn’t make great films. Sure, The Man Who Knew Too Little and Entrapment were entertaining, but one film does make up for Copycat (1995), Somersby (1993), or The Core (2003). So by this point in the review you might be wondering why in the hell I would:

A) Bother to review this
B) Admit to watching it more than 10 times or
C) Think anyone might still be reading at this point.

All good questions, but good things come to those who wait. Thankfully, the wait is over. I want to share with you folks what The Catherine Zeta-Jones effect is all about. Here’s a picture of Catherine in 1999 looking totally hot.

Ok, now here’s a picture of her in 2001.

See the difference? No? Then let me explain. The Catherine Zeta-Jones Effect is very simple. A famous woman who a guy has a crush on is only as hot as the guy she is currently dating or married to. In 1999, Catherine was smoking hot, and sure, she had dated some questionable men, producer Jon Peters being chief among them, but then she went and filmed Traffic (2000) and met and fell for Michael Douglas. Now I have nothing against Mike personally. I like many of his films and his dad was quite the asskicker, but after she married him, I noticed a change. There just wasn’t the same sparkle in her eyes anymore. Me and Mrs. Zeta-Jones Douglas, we no longer had a thing going on.

I began to notice that the CZJE (Catherine Zeta-Jones Effect for those not keeping up) was not limited to just that one occurrence though. It happened all the time. I used to love me some Sandra Bullock, but then she got with Jesse James of Monster Garage fame. There are even some that hurt me deeply. Drew Barrymore is a longtime crush, but really, the dude that’s an Apple? The CZJE strikes again.

In the most complex of the theorem’s equations has to involve Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt. I was always a bigger fan of Courtney Cox than Anniston, but when the two of them got together, she was under the effect of the reverse Catherine Zeta-Jones Effect, being with Brad Pitt made her hotter somehow. Then after the breakup both of them suffered the regular CZJE with Pitt shacking up with serial adopter Angelina Jolie and Anniston finding solace with John Mayer. Thankfully the rumor has it that Jen had taken up with Midnight Meat Train’s Bradly Cooper so there’s hope for her yet.

By this time if you’re still with me, then you think this is one of the more amusing things you’ve read in a while or you think I have serious issues. Either way is fine, and both are probably equally true. There are just some movies that become moments in time, and for me Entrapment is one of them. It was the last time in my life I could just look at Ms. Zeta- Jones without a leering Gordon Gekko entering my brain as well. The movie is pretty much crap, but the innocent time before I discovered The Catherine Zeta-Jones effect is what will always bring me back to this film.

Bugg Rating


  1. the sneering (homo-phobic) snobJuly 9, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    isn`t it scary to realise that in 1999 catherine zeta-jones was 30 years old and there-fore, strickly speaking, already 12 years past the peak of her physical attractiveness and desirability, when that bird was 18 in 1987 she was perhaps the most gorgeous chick of all time but beleive me 12 years later the magic was gone.

  2. I'm thinking that just about every straight male on Earth has the booty/laser scene from Entrapment memorized. Yummy!


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