Foot reflexology and misleading movie trailers
As I caught up on my daily fare of important news of the day, I spotted this headline from Malaysian news: "Malaysian parlour offering naked orgies in guise of foot massages"
According to the news report, police raided foot massage centers in Malaysia and found many foot masseuses from China and Indonesia without a stitch on, and with naked male clients.
What a shocker. Massage centres that were actually prostitution dens. Who would've guessed?
The article went on to say that not only were these foreign masseuses massaging the feet of their male customers, they were also offering massage on the "most sensitive part of the body."
Presumably they are not referring to their clients' hearts.
The women and a manager were arrested but the male clients were released after their statements.
I wonder what the men said to be released.
"Sorry! I didn't know this place was like that! I thought being nude was part of the whole foot reflexology thing!"
"The lady said massaging the places where there were many nerve endings will improve my health."
"They bluffed me. I asked for 60 minutes foot massage and 20 minutes back massage and they spent two hours on a totally different part of my body!"
I am sure the men felt very upset at the misrepresentation of the massage centres. I can totally imagine these innocent guys thinking they were going to get professional spa treatments at places with names like "Rubby Rubby Massage Centre", "Happy Ending Spa" and "Extra Service Foot Reflexology Centre Sdn Bhd".
I felt the same way recently but my beef was with movies that didn't live up to their trailers, another far less pleasant misrepresentation.
I went to watch "Everybody's Fine," a movie starring Robert De Niro as a widower who goes on an unplanned road trip to see his grown kids, acted by stars like Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell.
The trailer gave me the impression that it was going to be a light comedy. But the movie turned out to be a tearjerker drama. Sure it had its mild comic moments but it was mostly a downer.
The movie was not half bad, though riddled with every tear-wringing cliché they could find. The actors did a fine job. It was refreshing to see Robert De Niro in a laid back fatherly role and Kate Beckinsale not in tights and killing stuff.
Still, I would have preferred to know beforehand that it was not a happy-happy light comedy but a cry-fest movie.
I happened to have a second movie preview screening that evening and watched "Legion" which is about a fallen angel coming to help save mankind from the wrath of God.
God, you see, has given up on Man and is sending his angels, led by Archangel Gabriel, to exterminate us all. And Michael, the disobedient angel, brings enough guns and ammo to arm a small army, to fight off the Heavenly Host.
When I watched the trailer, it looked like a pretty interesting action/horror movie with a twist on the traditional biblical apocalypse story. They had a spider granny and a scary ice-cream man in the trailer. I was really looking forward to seeing what other monsters would appear.
You guessed it, the movie turned out to be a holy stinker. Not enough action, not enough horror, not even a coherent story or credible explanation for the plot.
It was as if all the best bits of the movie were already in the trailer. I felt cheated. Even more so since it starred actors I liked, like Dennis Quaid and Paul Bettany (he was the doctor in "Master and Commander", and Silas in "The Da Vinci Code").
Maybe Malaysian police can start a new unit raiding movies that don't deliver what they promise in their trailers.
But then, I am not sure there is enough space in Malaysian prisons to house all the illegal foot masseuses and the directors and producers of movies that lie to us in their trailers.
And to punish these filmmakers and their marketing departments, I recommend a three-hour massage with a hammer on the most sensitive parts of their bodies.
I mean their wallets, of course. You must hit them where it'll really hurt them.