Tuesday, 06 June 2023

Arts & Life

RUSH HOUR 3 (Rated PG-13)

The trilogy of “Rush Hour” films is so obviously interchangeable that you could watch them out of order and not miss a beat. The only telltale sign of the advancing age of the franchise is that Jackie Chan, master of the martial arts, is looking like he just signed on with the AARP and will soon be doing commercials for enlarged prostate remedies. On the other hand, his unshakable buddy, Chris Tucker, still runs his mouth with little sign of a slowdown any time soon.

Thus, with Chan gamely throwing his fists and feet in a diminished state of fury, “Rush Hour 3” moves predictably, if not gracefully, with its typical formula of fast-paced action laced with the comic potential of the mismatched crime fighters constantly bickering.

Sticking close to the cinematic blueprint that keeps the strange cop duo fun to watch, director Brett Ratner rolls out in “Rush Hour 3” what seems like an almost improvised comedy and action hybrid. It’s as if Hong Kong Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and Los Angeles Police Department police officer Carter (Chris Tucker), polar opposites in law enforcement methodology and matters of culture and taste, were asked to do an impromptu riff on their essential differences. In itself, that could be the appeal of this oddly matched pair coming to grips with their undeniable gravitation to incessant bantering and quarreling over the smallest matters.

In the first film, the action took place in Carter’s Los Angeles, and for the sequel, it moved to Lee’s turf in Hong Kong. For the third film, it’s back to Los Angeles, albeit briefly for the set-up that has Chinese Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) once again threatened, this time by an assassin who wants to prevent his testimony on the nefarious plans of the Triads before the World Criminal Court.

Having being demoted to a traffic cop, Carter shows his greatest interest in arresting young women for minor infractions, but then he gets unwittingly caught up in Lee’s foot chase of the gunman who tried to kill the ambassador.

To add an emotional wallop to the proceedings, the assassin turns out to be Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada), and he escapes unscathed because Lee could not shoot him at the critical moment. The reason for this is that Lee considers Kenji a “brother” because they grew up together in the same orphanage.

The potential of sibling rivalry is never fully developed, but that is no matter when Lee and Carter discover, after a ridiculous encounter with an oversized kung fu warrior, that they will have to seek a mysterious envelope that is somehow connected to a triad conspiracy sheltered somewhere in Paris.

Their first exposure to Paris is through a deranged cabbie named George (Yvan Attal), who promptly denounces America and its fascination with violence before his cab even leaves the curb at the airport.

Ten minutes later, after some gunplay and wild chase scenes through the Parisian streets, George is singing a different tune, going so far as to don a baseball cap and to spout macho talk that would make John Wayne blush. While George acts as their tour guide, the dynamic duo encounters unwanted attention from a deadly Dragon Lady and Triad henchmen who chase them into the putrid sewers.

The key figure they stumble on is the mysterious, exotic showgirl Genevieve (Noemie Lenoir), the lead dancer at a snazzy nightclub, where it is apparently not uncommon to see Chinese patrons toting machine guns.

In any case, there are other shenanigans going on that involve a sadistic French police official (Roman Polanski), who has a fixation on the rubber glove treatment for his law enforcement counterparts from America. World Criminal Court official Reynard (Max von Sydow) should arouse suspicion, if only because he wraps himself in phony sophistication.

For his part, Carter has no qualms about being the fool, particularly when he pretends to be the whimsical Bubbles, a fashioner designer who insists on personally redesigning the costumes of naked showgirls backstage at the cabaret.

Actually, to make “Rush Hour 3” work, it appears that both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have no reservations about playing the fools, going so far as to do an Abbott and Costello imitation. The ardent fans of the franchise will be pleased with the outcome, because this third installment delivers the laughs and the action that are expected. The film reaches a climax with some nifty thrills high up in the Eiffel Tower, which proves to be a nice way to top off the action stunts.

Tim Riley writes film reviews for Lake County News.




Bill Noteman and the Rockets will be the headliner at Friday's concert in Library Park. The group, pictured above, is shown at Kelseyville's Kickin' in the Country street dance in July. Photo by Harold LaBonte.


LAKEPORT – This year's successful series of concerts in Lakeport's Library Park continues tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Week nine features local legends Bill Noteman and the Rockets.

As usual, there will be great goofy giveaways at halftime and plenty of groovy music that will get folks out of their chairs and onto the dance lawn.

Forcasters are calling for showtime temperatures around 82 degrees with a nice 12 mile-per-hour breeze from the west.


LAKEPORT – “Cafe Victoria Presents” will have a two-hour music interlude Saturday August 18 and 25 from 4 to 6 p.m.


Phil Mathewson and Friends will be on stage on Saturday, Aug. 18 and Little Deer will perform Saturday, Aug. 25.


Admission is free and food and beverages are available for sale.


Cafe Victoria is on the corner of Main St. and Third, Lakeport. Call 263-1212 for information or to sign up to perform.


Scheduling may change so please check with Cafe Victoria when making your plans.



LAKEPORT – Victoria, proprietress at the new and wonderful Cafe Victoria in Lakeport, smiled as she wrote Poetry Interlude on her calendar for Sunday, August 26, at 1 p.m.

The Interlude will feature its usual poetry and music open mike format where all forms of expressive art are encouraged. Yes, there is a piano on site. There is a tiny stage with microphones and jacks available.

All acts will be expected to set up and break down quickly. Please limit performances to six minutes. We can always do a second round if there is time.

Other events this month at Cafe Victoria will include an open mike on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 18, emceed by Phil Mathewson and an appearance by Little Deer on Saturday, Aug. 25. Both of events run from 4 to 6 p.m.

At Cafe Victoria, friendly staff custom make sandwiches, wraps, coffee drinks, shakes and fruity drinks. (My personal favorite is the Vegetarian sandwich and a mango Juice Squeeze.) They also serve fountain drinks, pizza, baked goods, ice cream, yogurts, etc. While you are there, be sure to check out the cafe's quirky decor.

Cafe Victoria is located on Main Street at the courthouse corner next door to Watershed Books.


CLEARLAKE – Second Sunday Cinema will screen “The Ground Truth” for its free film on Aug. 12.

This documentary, short-listed for the 2007 Academy Awards, focuses on young soldiers sent to Iraq to serve their country, only to return home to indifference.

One young soldier who lost his hand was asked by a young man at home how it happened. "Iraq," he replied. "Whoa," was the response. “Is that still going on?"

The 12 service people seen in the film, male and female, black and white, are thoughtful and articulate as they tell us what they experienced both in Iraq and after their return home. For some, the war is still going on as they try to keep their families together and deal with ongoing physical and psychological problems.

Of course the issue of "Support Our Troops" comes up. Magnetic stickers on the back of SUVs aren’t bad, these soldiers say – but what good do they really do? They say, "If you really want to support us, come and see this film and hear what we have to say."

If you are considering enlisting, or if you love someone who wants to enlist, please get more information by coming to see this free film. It’s 60 minutes long, and will be preceded by a 15-minute film called, "Before You Enlist."

"The Ground Truth" is neither cynical, depressing nor partisan. We need to hear what these young people experienced, and what they’re feeling.

Second Sunday Cinema screens free films on the second Sunday of every month for the people of Lake County.

The films are shown at the Clearlake United Methodist Church at 14521 Pearl St. near Mullen in Clearlake.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for snacks, socializing and seating: the film starts at 6 p.m. There is an optional discussion following the movie.

Come on in – the vibes are friendly, the seats comfortable, the air is cool and, as always, the film is free.

For more information, call Shannon Tolson at 279-2957, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The talented young classical guitarist Travis Austin was the featured performer at Friday's concert at Tuscan Village. Photo by Joanne Bateni.


LOWER LAKE – Listeners enjoyed another perfect Friday evening at the Tuscan Village in Lower Lake as Travis Austin played classical guitar.

Austin is only 22 years old and has been playing since high school. He also teaches guitar and has at least one CD at his credit which he was selling at the concert.

Austin produces his own CDs in his recording studio and has a Web site, www.travisaustin.net, which lists his upcoming performances.

He has played many venues around Lake County including some charity events. His next big gig is the California State Fair.

A visitor from San Francisco, who happened to see the concert sign on the highway, stopped in, not knowing what to expect and was very impressed with the venue and the entertainment. She said she will definitely be coming back.

Phil Mathewson and Friends will be playing on Aug. 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Call Rick at 2 Goombas for more information, 994-DELI (3354).


Upcoming Calendar

06.07.2023 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Clearlake City Council special meeting
06.07.2023 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
East Region Town Hall
06.08.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
06.09.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Crafters group
06.10.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Crafters group
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Lakeport Senior Center
Flag Day

Mini Calendar



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