Well the award season has finally came and went and it turns out there is no surprises. American Beauty won everything, Fight Club won nothing, and that Billy Crystal motherfucker hasn’t come up with a new joke since Running Scared. I mean jesus how do they find these comedy stars. Motherfucker keeps making jokes about the show is too long – hello jackass, if we cut out all the jokes about how long it is it wouldn’t be long at all. Not to mention all the forced pop culture references – who wants to be a millionaire, etc. I’ve been out of the picture for almost a decade I still could’ve predicted this bitch’s jokes with a calculator and a couple issues of Entertainment Weekly.
I also watched the Independent Spirit Awards on the old Bravo channel, and those were more where I’m coming from in my opinion. But the difference comedy wise is this. On the Oscars, they cut to people in the audience laughing their asses off at the stalest jokes imaginable. I mean these people are being too nice, you could be up there reading Marmaduke and they’d be laughing like you were Richard Pryor.
But on the Independent Spirit Awards, nobody laughs at anything. Jennifer Tilly’s up there trying to be funny and whenever they cut to the audience they’re frowning or talking to somebody or not paying attention. And you’re thinking poor Jennifer Tilly, she’s not that bad, give this gal a break. Like I said last week, I love Chloe Sevigny, but they cut to her during Jennifer’s monologue making her fingers into a gun and sliding it in her mouth.
And this is Jennifer Tilly we’re talking about. She was in Bride of Chucky for crying out loud. Show some god damn respect.
Chloe did win the supporting actor deal, though, which is more than I can say for the oscars. Hilary Swank won both the independent spirit award and the Oscar for best actress. I liked her independent spirit speech better. She said that Brandon Teena “had the most independent spirit.” For a second I thought she was gonna say balls. That’s what I would’ve said.
Election and Being John Malkovich dominated the ISAs, and I know some of my readers like those so congratulations. I was disappointed that The Limey didn’t win anything it was nominated for, even though it had best feature, best original screenplay, best director and best actor. But it was more interesting than the Oscars because it wasn’t as predictable. It doesn’t get as much coverage because the clothes aren’t as expensive and I guess that’s a big part of the movie businesses these days, is dresses. I didn’t know about that but apparently that’s the big thing, they have designers and what not, they ask who designed the dress when you come up.
I guess there is one similarity between the Oscars and the Outlaws, The Matrix and Sleepy Hollow got some of the minor awards for both. In the case of the Oscars though it was visual effects, sound effects, etc. that The Matrix got instead of some of the smaller Badass categories. It was cool that The Matrix did so well, kinda silly though. As far as I know Star Trek: The Phantom Menace was eligible and I mean, gimme a fuckin break. The Matrix dudes must’ve been kind of embarrassed to win, it’s like purposely throwing the match to a retarded kid. He knows he lost anyway, but you pretend it will make him feel better.
Well in honor of the award season I thought I should check out a picture I had missed before, one that was shut out of most of the awards but I had pretty high expectations for, Simon Sez. This is sort of a karate type picture where Dennis Rodman plays an Interpol agent who tries to stop a kidnapping or some shit like that. Because Rodman was such an important part of the great Tsui Hark surrealist film Double Team I have high hopes for him as an artist. Unfortunately this work does not live up to his potential in my opinion.
For starters it’s not as arty as Double Team and it’s not as funny. There are three different comic relief characters cracking jokes from start to finish, which makes it alot less funny than if there were no jokes. There’s one guy playing Dennis’s sidekick, and you can tell he’s one of those bad standup comics who will porbaly star in a show from UPN that you never heard of. The way you can tell is whenever he has a line that mentions a dog or a dinosaur or whatever, then he goes into a long imitation of the animal he mentioned. Like, “Don’t talk to me like I’m a dog. Woof woof! Grrrrr! Woof woof! Woof! Woof! Woof woof!” That’s what comedians do when they’re told they’re playing the funny sidekick character, they take the lines from the script and improvise, riff of em, try to turn everything into a joke, even though it’s not a joke.
What an ass. Fuck comedians in my opinion.
One thing that’s weird, there are two monks who are computer experts who help Dennis. I have no idea why. But isn’t this just a little bit similar to the “cybermonks” in Double Team. I don’t get it.
The good thing though is the action is pretty good. There is kind of this sexy karate chick who Dennis fights alot. The first time they fight, they do a little a dance, she kicks him and then he dips her. Then later he shows up at her house with flowers, they fight, they tear off each others clothes in the fight, and then the fucking.
After that, she is a good guy. Which I guess is probaly giving Dennis’s dick too much credit, but oh well what are you gonna do.
The action is pretty crazy though, lots of choreography type business where they are using different props in the fight. And when a bunch of clowns riding motorcycles attack a guy’s car, one of the motorcycles jumps and does a flip for no reason. Which in my opinion is very cinematic.
Still I don’t really recommend it too highly. In Double Team Dennis used a more subtle, experimental type of acting where he showed no emotion and it was hard to tell what he was saying. Here his style is a little more traditional, kind of like a Wesley Snipes action movie, so it’s not as good.
Still I would watch a part 2 if they made it. Hopefully if it is better it will get a little more credit with the academy.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.