Film Imitates Life
"The Transporter 2" opens Friday, and it is the action-packed thrill ride of a movie that we've been waiting for this summer.
British actor Jason Statham (search) ("Snatch," "The Italian Job") stars as Frank Martin, the transporter of goods — human or otherwise — and he cuts a handsome action figure whose acting is reminiscent of Bruce Willis' best work. And the action scenes rival anything coming out of Hong Kong cinema today.
But Statham doesn't have the market share on being the Transporter, and therein lies the Grrr!
Today's modern career man is as much the transporter as the movie character is, except our days aren't nearly as dangerous or action-packed.
We transport so many things to and from work these days that we might as well have a Batman and Robin-type utility belt. Here's what my daily accessorizing looks like, and I'm sure thousands of you can relate.
Cell phone ... check.
Pager ... check.
Press ID ... check.
Work ID ... check.
Key card to get into the office ... check.
Keys ... check.
Pen ... check.
Wallet ... check.
Subway card ... check.
Train pass ... check.
Laptop ... check.
Cruzer Mini Flash Drive ... check.
BlackBerry ... check.
Leatherman Wave ... check.
I don't know how it is at your office, but around here security is so tight, if one forgets one's work ID, one might as well go home. Even after you're inside, you need special keys to open doors.
Companies are so reliant on cell phones and pagers these days (mainly because key employees are running all over the building), that if an emergency arises, cells are the first numbers dialed, pagers second. Oh yeah, the office phone, that's last on the list.
So that means if you forget the cell or pager, go back home and get it. Bosses these days would rather see you come in late than come in without your cellular leashes.
The BlackBerry is a curse and a blessing at once.
It's great to be connected to important e-mail correspondence at all times, but the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder that come with it -- to say nothing of the impending divorce proceedings -- are almost too much to bear.
I always get jealous when I see movie characters throwing their pagers into the street, like Jim Carrey in "Bruce Almighty" or Catherine Zeta-Jones (search) and Tom Hanks in "The Terminal."
Oh, what a liberating feeling it must be. But then again I berate anybody who leaves me a voice mail with "an emergency" instead of simply paging me. Our company has our pager e-mails listed in the company Outlook, so if it's really an emergency, it can't be any easier to page me or anyone else.
The USB memory stick is a Godsend (for example, the Cruzer Mini).
How many times have you done work on a laptop and needed to transfer it to your desktop PC?
For those of you may not know, the Cruzer Mini plugs into any Universal Serial Bus slot in your PC or laptop (that's the slot your iPod, new printer or wireless mouse plugs into), and you can buy different amounts of memory (128MB or 256MB, 512MB, 1G, etc.).
These days, most laptops (at least ones light enough to be bearable) don't have floppy drives or CD-ROM drives, so before the external memory stick became so ubiquitous, one would have to sign on to the company network or e-mail the document to one's self in order to get it onto your work PC.
No big deal, you say?
Right, until you get to the office only to discover the document was too big for your company's e-mail server or it contained a JPEG or GIF that was blocked by the firewall, or Internet gremlins intercepted your work and it was forever lost in cyberspace ... and you left the laptop at home.
Now it's as simple as plugging in a stick. Beautiful! (These things make great gifts, too).
The Leatherman is problematic. It's a necessary tool if one works around computers or other types of hardware, but if you forget to take it off your belt when going to a baseball game or traveling via airplane, you're gonna lose it. It is considered a weapon nowadays.
For those of you not familiar with the Leatherman Wave (search), it is like the Swiss Army Knife for professionals. Engineers, contractors and computer hardware experts don't leave home without them. They contain screwdrivers, several different types of blades and pliers.
I've left at least two Leatherman Waves at Yankee Stadium, and I'm not even much of a Yankee fan. Grrr!
By the way, "Transporter 2" is distributed by 20th Century Fox, which is owned by News Corp., the parent company of FOX News.
If you like cop films, you won't want to miss AMC's documentary "Precinct Hollywood," created by former NYPD investigator Randy Jurgensen (search), the detective on which the films "The French Connection" and "Cruising" were based.
"Precinct Hollywood" investigates the evolution of the film cop from "Dirty Harry" through Denzel Washington's Oscar-winning portrayal of troubled cop Alonzo Harris in "Training Day." It's a retrospective cop film buffs won't want to miss.
"Precinct Hollywood" airs Sept. 5 on AMC.
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the biweekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on FOXNews.com.