I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

tn_laracroft
chapter 6

2001posterreleased June 15th, 2001

Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie)’s trade is a “tomb raider,” which is like an asskicking archaelogical adventurist. It’s just like whatsisdick, the guy with the hat from that other movie that also used the word “raider” in the title – but don’t worry, that’s a coincidence. Lara’s introduced in what looks like some sort of an ancient crypt. She’s wearing short shorts, a The Phantom belt, spinning two pistols. Her crotch and her large, pointy boobs are somewhat emphasized, in my opinion. Might just be me.

Wouldn’t you fuckin know it, her search for treasure is interrupted by a large robot. Cue the electronical music and the wire-assisted acrobatics (remember we’re just two years after THE MATRIX). The fight is too forced to be very exciting in my opinion, but it ends on a nice touch: after killing the robot Lara takes a breath, then laughs to herself.

Unfortunately that little human moment becomes lame punchline when you realize this isn’t a real tomb being raided, it’s a training facility she has in her mansion. I guess in this business you gotta be ready for robots to interrupt your archaeological discoveries, and Lara Croft can afford to prepare. Turns out she’s not just Indiana Jones, she’s also Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark. She inherited the mansion and tomb raiding profession from her pops (Jolie’s real life estranged father Jon Voight). She has an Alfred and a Q (the nerd who built the robot). She’s a real brat, though. I guess it’s supposed to mean she has Attitude, but she seems a little on the obnoxious side, always putting her feet up to show off her boots whether she’s in her office or at an auction. It’s so rude. I guess at least she doesn’t have mummy shit on ’em.

mp_laracroftLara drives a motorcycle, which always makes a movie character look cool. Have you noticed that? Maybe it’s because sunglasses and leather are appropriate motorcycle wear, and those are also signifiers of cool independent of the form of transportation itself. Anyway she zips through traffic and everybody’s honking at her. Again, it means she has Attitude, but also that she’s a terrible driver.

But she’s talented in other areas. At one point we learn she’s ex-special ops, with favors to call in. So I guess she’s earned some of these fighting skills through experience and elite training. It’s not all daddy buying her robots to practice on. She has a vast knowledge of ancient relics, she’s good at solving puzzles and climbing things, and she speaks Russian.

At some point it should be said that she lives in England. So yes, Jolie’s doing an accent, and the supporting characters always gotta say things like “Oh, bugger!” so we Americans will know it’s legit. I didn’t think it was real bad, but I thought I should mention it. You have the right to know.

If this next part is sexist then I apologize and condemn my actions, but I feel I also gotta talk about Lara’s boobs. This is based on a video game and the character was most famous for her… let’s say idealized proportions. I remember seeing articles at the time, it seemed like breast-size was a major issue with the filmatistic adaptation. Fortunately whatever they did to augment Jolie’s equipment does the job. I’d like to think it’s mainly the movie’s presentation that brings my eye right to the chest, and not just my own weakness. They got one of those badass shots where she’s with a group of guys walking slow motion toward the camera, she’s wearing a long coat with a hood on it, there’s two helicopters behind them, still my eyes go immediately to the boobs poking out of the coat. Now that’s a good composition.

Okay so I mentioned the accent, the breasts, now let’s discuss the plot. The Illuminati (old guys with ties sitting at one of those Evil Tables) are trying to pull some shit that involves some ancient relics and a planetary alignment that only happens once every 5,000 years. It just so happens that Lara has one of the relics needed to find the other relics, so she gets mixed up in this. Also one of her colleagues in the tomb raiding industry, played by Daniel Craig, is trying to get the same pieces. They have a flirtatious rivalry, they seem to be ex-partners and lovers or something like that. They kind of hate each other and kind of love each other, I think. She hates that he’s into tomb raiding only for the money, but that’s easy for her to say, she doesn’t need money. To her “doing it for the money” might as well be “doing it in trade for Kleenex” or “will work for hugs.” Making more money is meaningless to her.

This was before Craig was known in the U.S., but it’s a major part. They were smart enough to showcase him. Director Simon West even tries give Jolie and Craig equal ogling. They each have their own sensual shower scenes, and Craig is shown naked from just above the equipment.

She does some climbing around on shit. At the climax there’s a big metal solar system puzzle thing that spins around in different directions and they crawl up it, jumping from level to level, ducking to not get hit and stuff, and you remember oh yeah, this is based on a video game.

It makes you wonder, why do these ancient contraptions always work? You know, you put the medallion in place, you reflect sunlight onto the thing, you stand on the right tile, whatever, it makes some big stone gear turn and a thing rises up and reflects a beam onto a wall and it opens up and whatever the ancient people planned. It seems like at least every once in a while, and more likely almost every god damn time, something would go wrong. There’s too much sand and cobwebs and rat skeletons and shit inside there, something gets stuck and none of it works. Prophecy not fulfilled. Or maybe they just planned it wrong in the first place, put something at the wrong angle or measured it wrong, or didn’t account for wind. Just one of these times I’d like to see everybody fighting over the relic and then they try to do the ritual and nothing happens, or it rumbles a little and then peters out. Oh well.

My favorite scene is when Lara is in her pajamas and turns on some classical music while she does her evening indoor bungee ballet. It’s good to have high ceilings for this type of activity. This would not work in any house or apartment I ever lived in, that’s why I never had enough training to tomb raid. It would probly be my favorite scene even if it was just a depiction of what she does to relax, but then she gets attacked and I like that it’s an excuse to do a big wire-fu scene without having to hide the wires. Next thing you know she’s doing a motorcycle jump in PJs and slippers, firing a machine gun in mid-air. I think if I was Daniel Craig I’d try to get back together with her.

It could use a better bad guy I think, but there’s one part I gotta give them credit for. The guy is camped out in Africa somewhere, he sets up a fancy couch outside to lay on. That’s a guy you’re gonna root against.

Watching the 2001 summer movies all in a row like this I couldn’t help but compare TOMB RAIDER to THE MUMMY RETURNS, since both are clearly inspired by RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. They got their archaeologist heroes sneaking around in ancient tombs, dealing with fancy puzzles and curses and shit. If IMDb is to be believed, LARA CROFT cost about $80 million to make, and MUMMY RETURNS $98 million, so it’s a stretch to call this the b-movie version, but that’s what it feels like. It seems cheaper than MUMMY RETURNS, not as slick and without the period detail, but I liked it alot better. The story at least has a structure to it and the character is kind of cool at times. And has big pointy boobs, not sure if I made that clear or not.

It’s not as much of a show-offy effects movie as MUMMY RETURNS, but that’s a good thing because the effects they do they’re able to pull off. The robot and the living monkey god statues in this look much more real than the mummies or scorpion kings in the other one.

I remember at the time they made a really big deal about The Rock being in MUMMY RETURNS and how he was gonna be a big movie star. They were right about that, but he was in less than 5 minutes at the beginning, with one line and not in English. Meanwhile nobody knew that Lara Croft’s rival/love interest – an actual major role in the movie – was gonna be the next James Bond. And he’s playing American to balance out Jolie playing British.

The script is credited to a bunch of people including Mike Werb & Michael Colleary of FACE/OFF fame. The director is Simon CON AIR West, who I’ve always thought was the worst of the worst, but my opinion on him has softened, especially after this. He’s gone on to last year’s fairly decent post-action remake of THE MECHANIC and has recently been hired for EXPENDABLES 2: HOPEFULLY THE TALKING SCENES WILL BE OKAY.

I cannot claim that this is a good example of a summer movie, but it’s not as bad as its reputation. Actually it’s the one I’ve enjoyed most of this 2001 summer movie marathon so far. It would be embarrassing if this was the best movie of the summer, but I like a couple of these too. I mean, TERMINATOR 2 came out summer of ’91, that doesn’t mean I can’t also enjoy KICKBOXER 2, that came out the same summer. And also POINT BREAK and STONE COLD. And DOUBLE IMPACT. Oh shit, why didn’t I do 1991?

In conclusion, I just learned that today is the 20th anniversary of the release of SUBURBAN COMMANDO. But LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER is still semi-watchable.

* * *

Legacy: 1 sequel. Jolie continued to play larger-than-life action heroines in SKY CAPTAIN, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, WANTED and SALT. Not sure if the video game series is still relevant, I have not noticed any commercials in recent years.

Datedness: the dance music, the wirework, the fact that it’s based on a video game

Would they make a movie like this now? No, not at all. Maybe a TV pilot.

Summer ’01-’11 connections: Daniel Craig will be starring in COWBOYS & ALIENS with the guy who played the real Indiana Jones.

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.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 at 12:59 am and is filed under Action, Reviews, Videogame. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

184 Responses to “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”

  1. Vern, if you remember at that time in Angelina’s career, as evidenced by the HBO movie Gia, she had a really impressive figure. I think her natural proportions suited the booby outfits already.

    Also, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was actually a much better movie with better action (surprising considering it was Jan de Bont), but by then no one cared. It also starred a pre-famous Gerard Butler!

    You know, a “before they were action heroes” series might be worthwhile. Craig, Butler, Statham, all the roles they played before they became famous for 007, 300, Transporter, etc. Also, definitely go back to ’91 at some point.

  2. Knox Harrington

    June 21st, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I’d like to see an all-female version of The Expendables. I guess Angelina could be in there, but my vote for team leader would be Linda Hamilton.

    Don’t know what we’d call it, though. The Hormonals? Oooh…

  3. I watched that movie with two buddies in theatre. They loved it, I didn’t. And despite my love for boobs, I never bothered to watch it again. I still listen to the soundtrack album though, which has no thematic relationship to the movie (despite the U2 song being credited as “Tomb Raider Mix” and another, one of the more boring tracks on the CD billed as “Lara’s Mix”), but still holds up very well if you ask me.
    It also featured songs from Nine Inch Nails (a.k.a. the band of recent Oscar winner for his SOCIAL NETWORK score Trent Reznor), The Chemical Brothers (made the score for HANNAH) and Basement Jaxx (who did the score for ATTACK THE BLOCK). And a weird remix of Missy Elliott’s GET UR FREAK ON, where all lyrics are replaced with a new rap(!) by Nelly Furtado(!).
    I kinda hated the Fatboy Slim track, though. It was cool, but on his first album it was called MICHAEL JACKSON, here it’s now called ILLUMINATI and Bootsy Collins constantly says: “Illuminati! A secret society do exist”! That’s just lazy.

    See how much the movie bored me? I got lots of stuff to say about the soundtrack sampler, but pretty much nothing about the movie itself. 2001 WAS a weird year for movies. I mean, I disagreed with Vern now for the 2nd time in a row!

  4. Daniel Craig had done some good stuff by 2001, so we knew (at least here in Europe) that he was a rising star. But when you look at Raider now it seems like one big audition for Bond. Did West know something we didn’t?

  5. it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this, but I remember the plot being way too far fetched and the movie overall being just kind of boring despite being an action movie

    now Gia on the other hand, whoa oh, what a movie

  6. also in case anyone cares, the Tomb Raider video game series struggled throughout the 00’s, with the much hyped Angel of Darkness flopped

    they kinda sorta rebooted the series after that and made two more games, but while neither bad, neither lit the world on fire

    so they decided to completely reboot the series and start over with a more “realistic” Lara (meaning she wears more clothes and has smaller boobs), somehow I don’t think toning down what made the series a success in the first place is a good idea

  7. If they could get Jolie, they would totally still make this today.

  8. @Griff: The planned overhaul of the video game series might actually work, despite toning down the boobs. The trailer shown at E3 2011 is promising at least:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFBrgeSjj-0

    For me, those three minutes outdo both Tomb Raider movies in terms of drama and excitement.

  9. The Tomb Raider games were a great simulation of action movies where you could actually run around, climb on things, make contraptions work, etc. It was really the first effective third person 3D “platformer.” Actually, it was a 3D version of Prince of Persia, and then PoP went 3D and it was derivative of Tomb Raider. The series should still be cool as long as each game comes up with cool levels for Lara to run around in. What was so hated about the ’00s Tomb Raider games?

    Quite a tradition of turning games inspired by movies into actual movies that are derivative of the original inspiration. Also Max Payne was like John Woo: The Game. So what’s the point of a Max Payne movie? (Now there’s an actual John Woo game, Stranglehold.)

  10. I don’t like to bring you down Vern but Jolie was actually quite a bit smaller chestwise than the character of Lara Croft, so she’s mostly wearing a fake chest piece throughout the film. Notice how she never wears anything where you can see the cleavage? Strap-on attachments: I know people who did some digital clean up on them so you couldn’t see how fake they were in some shots. Good job if you can get it.

  11. video game movies are a strange beast

    I wrote a post about them not long ago, but I wonder if video game movies should be attempted at all, it seems like too much is lost in translation

    ironically there’s been a number of good BOOKS based on video games, but that’s because

    1. video game books are often side stories that place in the same “world” as the games (like the Mass Effect novels)
    2. books, like video games, can take their time telling their stories, but with a movie everything has to be condensed

  12. My girlfriend in college loved Gia and she thought Angelina Jolie was sexy as hell. Lets just say that I miss that girl a whole hell of a lot. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this but, I haven’t. Never been compelled even with the pointy boobs and a retroactive Daniel Craig interest.

  13. I thought the relationship between Craig and Jolie was pretty unique. When he (spoiler) dies and Jolie really mourns for him, the audience realizes that there’s a lot more to their relationship than we’ve been privy to. I thought that was a nice touch. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of clunky moments throughout the film and it has the feeling that the movie is a copy of a copy, which happens to be a hallmark of most of these video game movies.

  14. Seen it two or three times, all I remember is the side boob.

  15. You should do a review of DOA with Devon Aki, Vern. I had a lot of fun with it.

  16. one guy from andromeda

    June 21st, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I am not sure if 2001 was especially bad for “Blockbusters” or if those movies only really seem more and more terrible in retrospect. Looking up most of the hit movies of that year (Harry Potter 1, Lord of the Rings, Shrek, Rush Hour 2, Mummy Returns, Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park 3, Planet of the Apes, Beautiful Mind, Hannibal, Dr Doolittle 2) literally makes my skin crawl. There were some nice movies that year like Royal Tenenbaums, Ocean’s Eleven (not as good as Twelve though) and Zoolander, but all in all a terrible time for American movies. Maybe 9/11 was already foreshadowed…

  17. I’m glad Vern reviewed this, because even though I think it’s kind of mediocre there’s two things about it I really liked and figured he would – 1) I LOVE that she kills the main villain with her bare hands, Steven Seagal-style. Back in 2001 you figure a girl vs. guy fight could only end with the dude falling off a cliff or some bullshit. It was nice to see it end with a deathpunch to the throat. 2) I like that she’s downtrodden at the end and the butler guys cheer her up by unleashing the killer robot on her and literally handing her guns on a silver platter. If the rest of the movie had that tone it’d be awesome.

  18. Knox Harrington

    June 21st, 2011 at 5:21 am

    It’s funny. For some insane reason a lot of people seem to think that games and movies go hand in hand, and that adapting the one into the other should be a natural process. I’m guessing they think this because, on the surface, both those mediums are very heavy on spectacle. But the simple truth is that film is a storytelling medium (just like books, which is why so many great books get turned into great movies) and gaming is an interactive medium.

    They actually have very little in common. And as much as the hardcore gamers like to believe that story is essential to a good game, they’re wrong (just look at Trials HD and Pacman). A good story can certainly help, but the gameplay is obviously the make-or-break aspect here. And gameplay has fuck all to do with filmmaking.

    It’s not like that’s gonna stop studios from trying, though. Maybe one day they’ll even succeed (I wanna see a Ridley Scott directed Gears of War movie as much as the next guy), but they sure as hell haven’t had any success so far. I can’t think of a single movie based on a game that was actually, you know, good.

  19. Mr. Majestyk that’s the scene I remember the most as well, the side boob tastic shower scene

    I remember thinking “man, I wish I was that butler”

  20. Watched this recently and the thing that stood out for me most was how strange Daniel Craig’s voice sounds. I know he’s playing American, but his voice actually sounds like it’s not him, like it was dubbed or something. Craig’s voice is normally deep and manly, but his character here sounds whiny and pathetic most of the time.

  21. Knox Harrington

    June 21st, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Daniel Craig pulled off a pretty decent South African accent in Munich. Better than Damon and DiCaprio, anyway. Don’t think I’ve ever heard him do an American one. Can’t remember much of him from Tomb Raider.

  22. You’re hoping for an Expendables 2 where the talking scenes are okay? I’m hoping for an Expendables 2 where the action scenes don’t suck. What if we got Randy Coture and Steve Austin to fight in the dark while they were both dressed in black? We could set the camera like a foot from them and then edit the hell out of it so nobody can tell what is happening. Damn, that movie was disappointing.

    But, as to the actual topic of this thread I saw Tomb Raider in a movie theater and hated it. Like 2 years ago I was spending some time with my father and we ended up watching it, and instead of hating it I just thought it was mediocre. Maybe in another 6 years I’ll watch it and like it. Who knows?

  23. By far the best & most meta part of TOMB RAIDER the movie is when the bad guy yells, “Enough of this twaddle,” and fires a machine gun.

    I bet our friend Mike Werb wrote that part.

  24. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Yeah, the second movie WAS actually a lot better. Plot made more sense, better action and they let Jolie do her own boob stunts instead of bringing in the stunt boobs.

    However, I still enjoyed this movie on release and the couple times that I have watched it since. It is completely retarded, but 3 action set pieces are pretty great (the opening training with the robot, the bungee ballet and the tomb/stone monkeys swingy thingy scene- though if memory serves there was a bit of misplaced slo-mo in that scene) and Jolie is always even sexier when she’s affecting a foreign accent… even when she is doing it poorly.

    This review actually made me want to watch this movie again. Boobs (stunt, or otherwise). Boobs.

  25. See, I remember the second one as being better made but entirely boring. It had no energy, no crazy setpieces, and no side boob, meaning there is not one single thing I remember about it.

  26. You guys know that there are a lot of boobs to be found on this thing called the internet? Many of them real even. And quite a few of them naked!

  27. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Maybe my memories are muddled. But I do know that the second one is the one with the killer “flying suit” stunt and it is the one with Til Schweiger. Always points for Til Schweiger. Didn’t she fight a shark in the second one as well?
    Fuck me, now I want to watch them both. Blast it, Vern!

  28. In the second one she punches a shark in the face.

  29. The only thing I remember about part 2 is Til Schweiger’s crazy death scene. And I only remember it because of the horrible CGI.

  30. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:01 am

    See, now there ya go. Only Lara Croft or zombies can get away with punching sharks in the face. Maybe LL. Did he punch a shark in DEEP BLUE SEA? I haven’t seen that one in forever. I bet he did. I hope he did.

    Ooooooooooooff topic…
    Vern, what are your thoughts on DAS EFX? I have them at my club on July 3rd- I am only familiar with their “hits” and their rapping on “Check Yo Self”. Should I be super excited or no?

  31. naked boobs? tell me more!

  32. Das EFX were kind of a fad, but they had some classics despite dropping references that were pretty fucking nerdy for dudes who claimed to literally come from the gutter. The first album holds up as a time capsule of a very specific time in hip-hop history. They did manage to make one surprisingly decent album after they dropped the dated diggity style around ’97 or so, but that was mostly because they got Premier to produce a few tracks.

  33. Now Fu-Shnickens, THAT is some timeless early 90s novelty rap right there.

  34. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Thanks Majestyk. I’m sure it’ll still be fun regardless. And with a cheap ticket price, I am hoping a lot of folks come out. I’ve had great experiences and one AWFUL experience booking hip hop here. It generally goes over well, though it is a genre I am admittedly largely ignorant of.

    I’m sure they like Jolie’s stunt boobs in Tomb Raider, either way.

  35. They always had a lot of energy, and their dancehall-inspired style requires a lot of breath control, so if they’ve kept their chops up, it should be a more technically impressive performance than most hip-hop, which generally boils down to the artists and three anonymous hypemen doing sloppy karaoke to recordings of their own music.

    I wonder what the crowd is going to be like. Middle-aged ex-wiggers?

  36. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 8:52 am

    That is EXACTLY what happened with fucking Ying Yang Twins. Just terrible. The most unproffesional bullshit I have ever dealt with. They were two hours late for their set time and then all they did was “yeeah” and “uh-huh!” over their own tracks. Not backing tracks. Fucking ALBUM tracks with the vocals on them. Pathetic. Then 30 minutes into their “performance” one of them (not sure if it was Ying or Yang) had to be carried off stage and down our back alley because he was too drunk to stand or walk and had collapsed.

    I like the Q guy in Tomb Raider that was also the band manager in Almost Famous. He’s weird looking and makes me laugh.

  37. What’s the best hip-hop show you guys have seen?

    And don’t say The Roots. Be original.

    I’m going with the Pharcyde in ’95. They were well-rehearsed, engaging, funny, focused, and the only songs they could perform at the time were from the never-better first album so the energy level was high.

  38. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I’ve seen very little actually- more since working here than in the previous 20 years combined.
    I’d really only ever seen any hip-hop on festivals, Lollapalooza etc… Arrested Development actually put on a really good show back in their heyday. Ice Cube (don’t recall if it was on a Voodoo Fest or a Lollapalooza in New Orleans, but he was great too), I saw Digable Planets at Tipatina’s in New Orleans like 15 years ago and they put on a killer show too- Anyone seen them recently? I can’t imagine they are much of a draw anymore, but I loved their style.
    The recently pared down Bone Thugs N Harmony were fucking great when they played here though. Total pros, really tight and they performed with a DJ and with a full live band and it just sounded incredible. Great interaction with the crowd too.

  39. one guy from andromeda

    June 21st, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Jeru da Damaja, sometime in the early 2000s in vienna. For lack of a better word very “real”.

  40. I was in China in 110 degree heat, and they let me into a place that was air conditioned for about two dollars US. So I went in and sat down on one of about thirty stadium seating-type chairs, and then a handheld cam version of Tomb Raider 2 came on. So I’d even forgotten that Daniel Craig was in this movie, I just remember the temperature relief. And that visually and aurally it was stressful. It’s therefore interesting to me to hear that the digital effects still hold up better than THE MUMMY RETURNS. I just remember thinking it was amazing how America could make ANOTHER movie with these themes and set pieces and still people went to see it (including me). Maybe that has something to do with where we are today; Vern as you’ve said in other places, we should demand more from our summer blockbusters, or something like that.

  41. I would have loved to have seen Jeru back in the day. He’s got lyrics that have been stuck in my head for damn near 20 years now.

  42. Rap concerts have generally been terrible in my experience, but I enjoyed bits & pieces of the Up In Smoke tour. And there was this random Sunday afternoon freestyle thing I somehow had corner front row seats for in Honolulu like 7 years ago, but I don’t know who the fuck those guys & gals were. It was just a stage with 2 turntables & a microphone, and some angry creative young folks spitting hot fire, all local music magic, incorporating Hawai’i talk like “de kin” & “haoli” and some Polynesian flavor, had to be there. And that was the first time I ever heard someone use the Biz Markie riff “You, you got a disease / You say it’s just a rash, but it’s crawlin’ up your ass” to intro into a long set of bars that just demolished the other battler and her entire family, which made me laugh uncontrollably, but you had to be there.

    I stumbled into a Bone Thugs concert a few years ago at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC. My crew & I were a little blitzed, and we happened to be bar-hopping in the neighborhood when I offhandedly mentioned how funny it was that the entire crowd at a Bone Thugs concert would probably be all white. My buddies were confused, and I explained to them that BTnH were playing that night, right around the corner, and one of the guys mentioned that his good friend had just been hired as a doorman at Music Farm, and we all had simultaneous light bulb moments. Free late entry, packed house, musta walked in during the end of their 1st or 2nd song, and every single attendee knew every single word & every beat flourish. We maximized the efficacy of our kindbud that night.

    Never seen The Roots, and I’m not really a fan, but I’ve been listening to the shit out of their cover/interpretation of Bill Withers’s “I Can’t Write Left Handed” a lot lately. There are multiple live versions available, and the track I got in my Rhapsody playlist always brings my world to a standstill.

    I mean, it’s not hip-hop, but:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnlgRQdfONs
    Holy Christ, that’s some fine music.

  43. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Yeah, when Bone Thugs were here it was predominantly white (maybe 70/30?) and just like when you saw them, everyone in the totally packed house seemed to know every song inside and out. It was nice to see people out for a mid level hip-hop act that were not there for the novelty but were true fucking fans.

  44. Most rap concerts are terrible. Unless there’s some kind of freestyle or the performer is loaded with charisma (Busta Rhymes and Snoop were fun for this reason) it’s just not a genre that gains much from seeing it live. Most rappers have to shout to be heard over the bass so their flow is always all fucked up, and most of them don’t even bother to have a DJ anymore. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to pay for that kind of lackluster showmanship.

    It just occurred to me that this is a very strange place to be having this conversation.

  45. Not strange at all. Everything’s in its right place, Mr. Majestyk.

    I am disappointed no one took advantage of the opportunity to use the phrase “sidal nudity” here where it belongs, though.

  46. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Funny how many of us, including Vern, can get so worked up about Jolie’s assets on display here, where they are so much MORE predominantly displayed in other films (and all over the internet). I think it is the context that makes it even sexier than random boobies or sex scenes.

    And yeah, YYT was a perfect example of what you are talking about Majestyk. Bone Thugs was on the total other end of the spectrum. Maybe hip-hop in general just goes over better live with a real band, it sounds better, it’s tighter etc etc…
    I know they are low level, but the one hip hop group that has been in here that actually pulls off a strong performance with just a DJ (a real DJ, not someone hitting “play” on a laptop) was Nappy Roots. Very nice guys too.

  47. Das EFX are mostly notable for defacing most of 90s hiphop with their stupid vocal style — for evidence check out any of Ice Cube’s work from when they were around. He does the same vocal tics they do. Still, you’re better off listening to Cube than to them.

  48. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I think that may be subjective. Granted, as stated earlier, I am pretty ignorant about a lot of hip-hop, but their “stupid vocal style” obviously wasn’t seen as stupid by many of their peers since it seems to have been co-opted by many (a lot of which wound up far more successful).

  49. KRS-One back in 2002 when he was in full “This is why Nelly fucking sucks and allow me to tell you why with these handy graphs” mode. Now that is some showmanship right there.

    Or maybe the time Snoop walked out on stage, stopped in genuine shock, and said “I ain’t never seen this many white people at one of my shows before!”

    Biggest letdown MF DOOM. No contest. Just an awful, awful, show. I think he was having a depressive episode or something.

    Otherwise the best hip-hop you’ll see is some local guy you’ve never heard of flowing his little heart out in front of two-dozen people.

  50. Cube had no business doing that tongue-twisting shit, but you can’t blame Das EFX for that. Cube should have known better. His style was always based on clear communication, not vocal dexterity.

  51. Mr. M-I never had an opportunity to see The Pharcyde or I would have jumped at the chance and am pretty sure they’d take my number one spot. Bizarre Ride 2 is a fucking perfect hip-hop album.

    That being said the two times I saw KRS-ONE were absolutlely mind blowing. He performed every song you would have hoped for and had so much energy, you could really feel the excitement in the room.

  52. I saw Pharcyde twice. I would gladly trade one of those shows for one of your KRS shows.

  53. I just recently picked up a cheap copy of Tre Hardson’s (formerly Slimkid3 of the Pharcyde) solo album LIBERATION. He raps and sings with a sorta groovy jam band backing him up, and it’s kinda cool but also kinda really repetitive and overlong.

    Since there are some Pharcyde fans here, I’m wondering if anyone else is familiar with this album and can let me know if it’s worth the commitment. It seems like the kind of album that you really need to listen carefully to a bunch of times to appreciate, but I also have a million other albums vying for my attention at the moment . So I’d like to know if it’s worth the effort, or if it’s cool to drop it and leave it is one of those things I come across randomly on my itunes every few years and think “oh yeah, THAT album” and maybe listen to one song.

  54. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 21st, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Griff> So its not ironic that books about video games work?

  55. The only Pharcyde solo material I’ve ever heard are two Fat Lip songs, which are excellent. Anybody heard from him lately? After that Spike Jonze documentary, I worry about the dude.

  56. Well, Fatlip’s solo album THE LONELIEST PUNK is pretty solid overall, really funny but self deprecating about how he fucked up his life, to a degree that lends a layer of sadness to the whole thing. In a good way.

  57. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    And with Fatlip, the talk returns to Angelina Jolie and Tomb Raider… Heh.

  58. Fatlip also did a track with The Chemical Brothers in 2008 or so. THE SALMON DANCE. Pretty silly, but on purpose.

  59. Grim Grinning Chris, the Q guy in tomb Raider is Noah Taylor, one of Australia’s most well known character actors and famous in our circuits as one of the soldiers in The Proposal.

  60. Be seeing Tech Nine on Thursday, that guy knows how to put on a fun and rowdy show. Would’ve punched my mother to be at one of those Jay-Z/Eminem shows they did in NY and Detroit last year.

    Also, it was good to be a fourteen year old boy when Tomb Raider came out.

  61. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Yeah, I have Tech Nine (er… N9ne) here next month. I’m a little leery of Juggalos though. I know he isn’t a Psychopathic Records “artist” but their crowds seem roughly intertwined. I’ll never book another Psychopathic act again after Twiztid last November. Uuuuugh!

  62. Well, this was supposed to be it. The shit-stopper. The movie that blew away all other movies for sheer awfulness… and what do you know, it just about sits somewhere between “mediocre” and “forgettable”. Compare it to the likes of “The Mummy Returns” or “Jurassic Park 2” (two movies that I found it literally painful to sit through) and it actually comes off pretty well. Not that I would ever recommend it, to anybody. But I do agree with Vern that its level of suck has been severely overhyped.

    Chris Barrie and John Hannah… damn, this was a good year for excellent British actors not earning their Hollywood paycheques.

  63. TOMB RAIDER 2 has Simon Yam, TOMB RAIDER 1 doesn´t. Nuff said.
    No wait, I have more. TR1 could possibly be the most boring movie of it´s kind I have ever seen. You can talk trash about THE MUMMY-movies, but at least they don´t take themselves seriously. TR actually believes it has a story anyone actually cares about. Talk about delusional..But part 2 I liked better, but that doesn´t say alot….

    And yes I am a fan of THE MUMMY movies….

  64. …. and VAN HELSING(!)

  65. “Watching the 2001 summer movies all in a row like this I couldn’t help but compare TOMB RAIDER to THE MUMMY RETURNS, since both are clearly inspired by RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. They got their archaeologist heroes sneaking around in ancient tombs, dealing with fancy puzzles and curses and shit. ”
    Is there any way at all any action adventure movie about treasure hunters could be made today WITHOUT someone bringing up Indiana Jones and calling it a ripoff of such? I don’t get why out of all the genres filled with derivative entries, this one is the only one this consistently happens with, and it always seems like people ignore how much RAIDERS copied from the old adventure serials.

  66. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 21st, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I personally thought Jurassic 2 was better than 3. I thought the third one was little bit far fetched.

  67. ACE- I thought the first one was far fetched…. Dinosaurs? In a park?

  68. I never saw what the problem with JP2 was. Yeah, it lost the magic of the first one by being a blatant retread, but in exchange it gained far superior set-pieces and a much bigger body count. The raptors in the tall grass, the trailer hanging over the cliff (the sound effect of the glass splintering is one of my all-time favorite sound design moments), the T-rex eating the dog in front of a little kid…this is all good stuff if you’re the type of dude who likes to see killer beasties fuck shit up without a lot of hand-wringing about Man dabbling in God’s domain, which is the type of dude I assume we all are. I think if anyone else besides Spielberg had directed it (like, say, Joe Johnston) it would have a reputation as a slightly dim-witted but well-crafted and unpretentious popcorn thriller, like the waaaaaay overrated third one.

  69. Griff, put Gia at the top of your Netflix queue. I believe there’s one called Foxfire too.

  70. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    JP 2 had a couple of fantastic set pieces, I just feel like it lost the sense of fun and adventure of the first one. Granted, not fun and adventure in the sense that there is no danger and no carnage… but even with all their deaths and suspense and PG gore, both JAWS and Raiders still maintained a sense of adventure. I think JP 2 was just too damn dark. For all its flaws, part 3 brought back more of the tone of the original. The kid in JP 3 was useless, but not nearly as irritating and absurd as the gymnast daughter from 2 as well.

  71. Majestyk, we seem to talk about the Jurassic sequels in every other thread. I LOVE Lost World: JP2 precisely because it loses the magic and goes hardcore action. I thought the wonder and Mr. DNA and ooh ahh were stupid in JP1. I even though I could see the composite lines aorund the brontosauri. So Spielberg must have heard me and made the sequel for my tastes.

  72. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Re: Foxfire…

    The new divining rod between optimist/pessimist… glass half full/glass half empty…
    Are you glad that almost every single girl in Foxfire takes her top off? Or are you pissed because Jenny Lewis is the only one that doesn’t?

  73. I always wanted to read Vern’s thought on the original Jurassic Park

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the difference between JP2 and 3 is that the sequel, for all it’s faults at least had an actual story, whereas 3 just had a lame excuse to get characters on the island

    the definitive moment in JP3 is when they find the secret lab and discover that InGen was doing genetic experiments seemingly unrelated to the theme park and then they never explain why or even bring it up again, careful guys, you almost had something interesting there….

    also Fred giving The Lost World a break while giving the original a hard time makes baby Moses cry

  74. Stu – but do you believe that THE MUMMY (Brendan Fraser version) or TOMB RAIDER (game or movie) would exist if there wasn’t RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? And do you think any of the people involved at any time watched or considered anything about the serials that inspired RAIDERS? Also, can you name a pre-Indiana Jones adventure-archaeologist character?

    For me I gotta say no to all of the above, so that’s why I thought it was fair to write that.

  75. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I like ALL the JP movies… I do. Every single one, in the end, lives and dies by its dinosaurs and by its set pieces. All three have clunky storytelling and even clunkier dialogue, but all three have totally mind-blowing setpieces and effects and at least a few likable characters (along with several unlikable- both on accident and on purpose). I just prefer 3 to 2 in the end as I think it’s more fun. 1 is head and shoulders above both even though of the three it is probably the WORST when it comes to its dialogue and exposition.

  76. Best hip-hop shows I’ve seen were, in no order.

    Ice Cube (playing a lecture hall at USC)
    Mike Patton aka Peeping Tom (stellar both times)
    Blackalicious (mostly because of the fun crowd)
    Brother Ali
    Saul Williams (if you count spoken word shows, he’s tits on the list)
    and
    Girl Talk (if you’re gonna be expansive in your definition)

  77. Oh, and I saw Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony play a house party during college. That was sick, but mostly because of the novelty of seeing them play a house party and then partying with them afterward.

    Tangentially related:

    One time Drake played this big festival at my college. After the show I went to a party at the same house that Bone Thugs played their show at. I was sitting in the back room with a lady friend and there’s this young, hip, but slightly pushy black dude talking to her. I join in the conversation because I didn’t know most of the people in the room. I was expecting to write a review of the Drake show so I had a detailed litany of things to say about the rap/tor, none of them positive. After laying out my thoughts, this dude, who is making a move on my friend (just friends mind you), starts looking at me weird. After a minute she gets up, takes my hand, and announces, “Yeah, I came with [Tawdry] and I’m leaving with him.” and we walk out. Dude’s jaw practically hit the floor.

    Turns out I had been sitting there talking shit about Drake to his manager and then left the party with the girl said manager had his eye on. It was pretty funny.

    Also, Mickey Avalon does a really good show most of the time. I saw him play a couple of small venues (one time with Ke$ha opening to about 40 people about a month before she got super famous) and once at a mansion party on NYE. He does a great set, just wish he would release some new material already.

  78. Post script: Donno why I felt the need to explain that Drake’s manager was black…that sticks out weirdly in the post. Apologies.

  79. Well,Vern, I believe that the original KING SOLOMON´S MINES made in the 50´s (the non-Cannon one) had the lead character named Allan Quartermain if I remember correctly. So that is pretty much thev arliest pre-Indiana Jones adventure acrchaeologist character I can think of.

    For the record I believe that Cannon´s “Indy ripoff” KING SOLOMON´S MINES is probably the best “Indy rip-off” I´ve ever seen.

  80. Knox Harrington

    June 21st, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Ha ha! You’re a racist.

  81. Shoot: Really? How long’s it been since you’ve seen it? Because I watched it last year and it was awful. We’re talking Benny Hill-style “speed up the film to make it funny” chase scenes, a Roger Moore-esque decrepit action hero you could barely imagine being able to rip open a stubborn bag of chips let alone knock a dude out with one punch, and the winky-winkiest “It’s all crap anyway so why not just admit it?” tone this side of a Jim Wynorski movie. It was good for a few laughs but there’s gotta be a better INDY ripoff out there.

    Do ROMANCING THE STONE or BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA count?

  82. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    You know I have probably seen Romancing The Stone at least 100 times… I also find it insanely quotable. But I have never once seen Jewel Of The Nile nor had any desire to. And it’s on all the fucking time. Should I watch it?

  83. It’s okay. Worth seeing, but kind of hollow compared to the first one. The main problem is it split Douglas and Turner up for most of the movie. It’s just not as much fun as watching them desperately want to fuck each other in the first one, but taken on its own merits, it’s a decent little Sunday afternoon time-waster.

  84. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Awwwwwwwwwww man, the Doobie Brothers broke up!

  85. What?! Now? What the fuck for?

    Aw, man. My mom saw the Doobie Brothers while she was pregnant with me. This is why I rock so hard and so consistently.

    I’ll just have to rock harder now. I was planning on doing it anyway, but now I have a reason.

  86. Jewel Of The Nile can’t hold a candle to Romancing the Stone but it is still oddly enjoyable, mostly because you get to hang out with these characters again for another couple of hours. I like the fact that it deals with the two lovebirds after they ride off into the sunset. Didn’t you ever wonder what happens to movie couples after they ride off into the sunset? Plus it has a classic Billy Ocean song at the end.

  87. Yeah that Billy Ocean song is great. I miss the days when actors from movies would show up in the video for the theme song. OH, and I also love how Jewel of the Nile has a face turn by a villain (Danny Devito) from part 1. I love that shit (see: Rocky III, Best of the Best II, I guess Pirates 2/3….)

  88. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 21st, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Does it have El Guapo in it?

  89. I do not think Ocean’s Twelve is better than Ocean’s Eleven. I don’t remember who said that. I could barely sit through Oceans Twelve it was so boring to me. Eleven I could watch whenever it’s on.

  90. As one of six credited writers on LCTR – I agree with several of the posts about the film’s general tediousness. Incredibly, there was an extra hour (more illuminati babbling etc) and editorial did their damndest to streamline what they could. -the robot – appropriately named “simon” – still annoys the shit out of me!) I still regret that the script Colleary and I wrote got tossed (for the most part). We dealt with the “boob” issue up front hahaha in a humorous way involving LC strapped onto a centipede mound – and I still weep over that scene’s omission. sequel works better (it’s simpler and more fun) … But too many people felt burned and didn’t show up.

  91. Only thing I remember of the second Tomb Raider movie was the flying squirrel suits, the bad guy entering an elevator for a chase and the kid has just pressed all the buttons, and Jolie’s reunion with her father in the scene that they shared, which supposedly helped get them back together after being estranged, which must have lasted about the length of time it took to shoot it because they were at odds again after that.

  92. God, I hate it when the first scene in a movie is set up to be some kind of real action set piece and it turns out to be some (wildly expensive??) training setup. See: this movie, X-MEN 3, about 20 episodes of Star Trek: TNG. When your brilliant idea for a movie set piece amounts to the god damn holodeck you need a rewrite.

  93. Griff, I’m not giving Lost World a break. I’m saying it’s awesome. And I’m not giving JP1 a hard time. I’m saying it’s totally Spielberg by the numbers, and I think that’s why most people love it. I just prefer the one where he stretches and goes dark.

    Jewel of the Nile is the kind of sequel I don’t mind. Let’s try something, maybe it’s not as good, but it’s another way to go. I just wish they had done one or two more. Not War of the Roses, a real adventure movie. It is weird that so many romantic adventure sequels feel they need to split the lovebirds up again (Legend of Zorro, ugh.) Although I guess when they’re happily married, you get The Mummy Returns.

    Guys, we’ve got to come up with some examples of awesome sequels where the romantic relationship is furthered, not redundant.

  94. Mike, please tell us more about your centipede scene!

  95. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 22nd, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Fire Walker was a better Indiana Jones rip off than King Solomons Mines. But once again, I bow to Mr Majestyk, Big Trouble In Little China is the best call.

  96. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 22nd, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Fred Topel> Empire Strikes Back puts the Princess and Han Solo romance on nicely.

  97. Mr Majestyk, has your mother ever told you which one of the Doobie Brothers who’s your father?

    High Road to China is the best Raiders rip off. It’s directed by the brilliant Brian G. Hutton and shows us that Tom Selleck would have been a great Indy.

  98. rainman – check out Mike Werb’s post. Sounds like the rewrites were the problem.

  99. Hey Mike Werb is here. This place sure does attract some interesting commentators, or at least some creative name makers with their eye on the ball.

    Hey Tomb Raider is no masterpiece and I haven’t seen it in probably ten years, but I’m gonna go ahead and throw it on the queue anyways and give it a revisit. It’s worth that for the Daniel Craig shower scene right? Oh wait wrong crowd. I mean the Angeli…ah fuck it.

    Also, I’d like to weigh in on enjoying Lost World the novel more then Jurassic Park the novel, but enjoying Lost World immensely upon it’s release. I haven’t watched them back to back in years, but I thought LW was pretty damn good. I mean Postlethwaite as a crazy rogue creature hunter. Come on people! That’s fucking cinematic GOLD right there!

  100. you dealt with the “boob” issue and it somehow involved a centipede mound? please Mr Werb, you must enlighten us

    on a side note, I could be wrong, but aren’t the two Tomb Raider movies the biggest budgeted video game movies ever made?

  101. pegsman: The handsome one, obviously.

    HIGH ROAD TO CHINA is decent but it’s marred by Selleck and his leading lady having zero chemistry. They’re just the wrong fit. He’s this big, hairy, romance-novel-cover dreamboat and she’s this whiny little girl. She’s not enough woman for him. When they yell at each other, it doesn’t feel like they’re falling in love, it feels he’s babysitting a tween who thinks she’s too old to need a babysitter. I would have liked to have seen a more confident, elegant actress in the role, like Linda Hamilton.

    Mmmm. 1983 Linda Hamilton…

  102. Sorry that I derail this topic and start talking about Hip Hop concerts again, but I just remembered my favourite again. It took me a while to think of it, because DEICHKIND aren’t really hip hop anymore. Which is a good thing, because they kinda sucked when they were a pure hip hop act. But in 2006 they re-invented themself with a mix of electro beats, crazy live shows and completely absurd humor. (Kinda like the Black Eyed Peas these days, except that Deichkind is silly on purpose and also puts more effort into their music.)
    Anyway the thing is that even people who downright HATE Deichkind’s music, love their live shows, because of the “anything can happen” factor. When I saw them in 2008, they had a pillow fight on stage, while a guy in a rabbit suit jumped around on stage on a pogo stick.

    This is one of their more harmless shows:
    http://youtu.be/uVuO4FY1Tro

    Sorry for going off topic again. But like I said before, not even Jolie’s boobs can make me care for that movie.

  103. I remember Jolie getting naked in TAKING LIVES, an okay mystery-thriller with a pretty gangsta ending/double-ending. Normally, I refrain from such crass statements, and like Vern said if this next part is sexist then I apologize and condemn my actions, but I feel a woman of her celebritude can take it if I note here that I was not impressed by the boobage. They’re good, and Allah bless her for being so sharing with my eyes and the world, but she sorta looks better with clothes on.

    If Brad Pitt wants to fight me now, that’s okay, that’s been an open invitation since ’99.

    TOMB RAIDER is a PG-13 movie whose target audience was boys & gamers. A lot of America & the world didn’t yet have great home internet access in 2001, so it may have been important for those boys, ostensibly nerds or shut-ins or guys who don’t exactly occupy the head seat at the cool kids’ table and don’t exactly slay that hard-to-get junior high girl cherry, to get their Lara Croft ya-yas on the big screen at the multiplex. We should applaud Jolie for doing her part to alleviate some of their sexual frustration and trying to show them what a real woman looks like compared to her polygonal 3rd person adventure platformer version. Maybe her side boob provided the spank bank fodder that the world needed to prevent another school shooting. Remember that Chappelle skit that copied IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE?

    Angelina Jolie does not arouse me, with or without clothes. Maybe this is what it means when people say someone’s not their type. I dunno, I like hot women who are blonde, brunette, ginger, Asian, Latina, Fijian, black, white, petite, voluptuous, whatever; I don’t have a type as long as they’re hot. I do prefer long or shapely & proportioned legs, so maybe that’s my thing, and Jolie has that for sure, but her face and her body on close scrutiny does not register high on my attractometer. She’s between a 5.5 and a 7.5 on a good day.

  104. Mouth – I don’t know if you’ve seen Gia, which was about 6 years or so before Taking Lives, but she was incredible in that movie

    watching that movie on HBO was the kind of definitive moment pretty much every teenage guy has I suppose

    and for a hilarious bit of background information, I first learned about Gia in none other than a video game magazine, in an article on the Tomb Raider sequel (they knew their readers)

  105. Ugh, don’t remember me of TAKING LIVES. I tend to buy DVDs without knowing the movie before, if they only cost a few bucks, and TAKING LIVES is the only one in my huge collection, that I really regret buying. It starts so cool, but then gets dumber and dumber until it just says “fuck it, I just openly insult the audience’s intelligence.”

  106. Someday I’ll get to GIA, I guess. The synopsis did not interest me, and I usually hate biopics.

    I had an extended moment of lust & imagined love when I was like 12 when I saw this hot, like, 13-14 year old chick with blue hair walking the opposite direction on the sidewalk and wanted more than anything (except to avoid rejection) to know everything about her and elope with her and could have written 10,000 pages about what I wanted us to be and built our own private estate with my lawnmowing income, but I assume Griff means “definitive moment” in terms of movies or seeing on TV a blazing hot woman that changes everything about your notion of desirability & libido & beauty or something.

    What was my “definitive moment” as a teenage guy in front of the TV? Shit, man, I don’t know. I remember not feeling guilty for enjoying that V.I.P. show a couple times, taking turns figuring out which lead was the hottest and wondering why BAYWATCH had used to be more popular than V.I.P., but I wasn’t that young at that time. There were a few times when the cable company accidentally gave us free Cinemax, so I enjoyed some quality Skinemax (a brilliant bit of double wordplay that substantiates my belief that English is the best language ever) as a young un, but even as a pre-teen I knew something wasn’t right about watching a woman straddle a guy’s belly button or watching a guy french kiss a woman’s gunt/gooch. Does that count?

    I feel lucky I came of age in a warm southern region in the USA at exactly the moment when it became acceptable and even expected for teen girls to wear the most revealing, sexy clothing possible. Real life in high school & college was dream-like.

  107. Sorry, CJ. I didn’t remember TAKING LIVES being all *that* bad, but I could be wrong b/c I don’t really remember much about it at all. It was still better than TOMB RAIDER, though.

    I want Mike Werb to regale us with more Hollywood insider stories.

  108. Jareth Cutestory

    June 22nd, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Mike Werb: Is your script for THE MASK an example of your work that wasn’t molested by the studios, or was there a lot of interference with that one as well?

    Also, I can’t be the only guy who watched TAKING LIVES for Jean-Hugues Anglade, not Jolie. Jean-Hugues Anglade is awesome.

  109. This summer, Mouth IS…Scott Pilgrim.

    June 22 in theaters everywhere. You’ll totally lesbians it.

  110. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I never saw TAKING LIVES. I don’t really have a type either… I have predelictions, but I can find anyone from Christina Hendricks to Anna Farris incredibly sexy.
    I think MOST of the time Jolie is (as Vern put it way back in his WANTED review) “scary hot”. Now, sometimes she is just scary… but by and large I find her incredibly sexy- pretty much any time that she has a little meat and is not rocking Madonna’s current body tone (somehow painfully thin, while at the same time kinda ickily muscular).
    She is especially attractive in GIA, Cyborg 2, Hackers, the Tomb Raider movies, Wanted, that Antonio Banderas crap and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. See Gone In 60 Seconds for an example of when she is NOT hot and rocking the Madonna bod.

    She is also batshit crazy and something of a homewrecker, but also a solid actress with the right material and even if misguided, she is a humanitarian as well.

  111. I would even go so far and say that Jolie has never been hotter than in HACKERS! I liked that pixie haircut.

  112. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Oh and duh, Foxfire.

    I think a lot of her allure in those earlier movies (including Hackers, CJ) was that at that point, she still had a bit of babyfat in her cheeks and still had a “cuteness” about her too… There is nothing “cute” about her anymore. At her worst she is a OVERLY sinewy alien looking thing, and at her best she is an unattainable sex goddess.

  113. Mouth, your comment “If Brad Pitt wants to fight me now, that’s okay, that’s been an open invitation since ‘99.” made me laugh and I sent it to my wife who thought it was funny as well. She said it was a Fight Club reference, which I didn’t get. I’m the wrong one of us to post on this websight.

    I remember being a kid, like 9 or 10, and spending the night at a friend’s house and watching Revenge of the Nerds. I was too young to fully appreciate the nudity but old enough to be interested. I also felt very, very, guilty and for weeks was torn up about it because I felt I did something wrong by watching it. I eventually told my parents and they didn’t care because they were alcoholics. I don’t know how or why I developed such a strong sense of guilt since it obviously did not come from my folks.

    A few years later I was 12 or 13 and I remember my father and I renting a few of the Highlander movies to watch. The later ones turn into softcore porn and it was super awkward to watch those with my father.

    So, yeah, I guess I’m weird and just get really uncomfortable with nudity in film.

    I never understood Angelina Jolie’s appeal. I really, really hate to sound like the fat internet nerd bragging about how Hollywood Star X isn’t hot enough for me to fantasize about but I guess that’s what I’m going to do. Angelina Jolie always looks vaguely alien to me. I always get the impression that she’s what some alien race would conceive as being beautiful in a human. Her head is kind of big and her lips are monstrous and scary. Her hairline on her head is kind of offputting. Her eyes go from looking exotic to looking like she is suffering from a concussion. Then she got really thin and looked sickly.

    Then again, my tastes are weird. I think Thora Birch in Ghost World is just about the prettiest woman ever. I like quirky girls with curves and glasses. I do think Scarlett Johanson has grown into a beautiful woman and there are a few others but a lot of Hollywood just looks weird to me. Don’t even get me started with that Megan Fox woman and that woman from those Twilight movies. I mean, I guess it’s cool they are casting women that look like they have Downs Syndrome but I do not find it especially attractive. Mostly, these women look like they have literally no thoughts behind their vacant eyes.

  114. Brad Pitt’s reading this. I know he is. If I have to fight Edward Norton simultaneously in some kind of a package deal, that’s cool, but c’mon, Brad, quit acting like you’re busy with your 97 kids and let’s do this thing.

  115. Too many Daphnes, not enough Velmas.

  116. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Oh Jesus. I am only gonna bring this up because Vern reviewed the Avatar porn parody a while back… But the Scooby Doo parody… Hachi Machi! The Velma especially. Sweet fancy Moses!

  117. I would like to fight Seth Green.

    Not because I have anything against him. I just think it would be a good fight. Two little dudes whaling on each other, tossing off deadpan remarks.

    SETH: “I’m gonna fuck you up like Michael Bay fucked up TRANSFORMERS 2.”

    MAJESTYK: “I can’t. Hardly. Wait.”

  118. Bobbi Starr was Velma in it. Nuff said.

  119. I would take on my doppleganger, Seth Rogen, in a fight. I met him 8 or 9 years ago when he was doing that Undeclared show and it was weird. Whenever I bump into someone that looks like me I get really angry and uncomfortable.

  120. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:18 am

    CJ… I just looked her up. attractive… but it is the sweater (and then lack of), glasses and hair that sells it. Yowza.

    I want to fight Elliot Gould. And Bud Cort. I just read a great book written by the guy that was Groucho Marx archivist and lived and worked in his house in the 3 years years of Groucho’s life and all those 70s hipster Hollywood goons sure had a funky little sense of entitlement.
    Maybe that’s why they went from being marquee stars to doing DTV Hulk Hogan movies and non-speaking roles in Kevin Smith movies.

  121. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:19 am

    LAST 3 years of Groucho’s life, that is.

  122. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:21 am

    And since we are WILDLY off topic here and the chances of bumping Vern’s E.T. review in any real measure are slim… let’s talk about how awesome it smells in the indoor queue of the E.T. ride at Universal Studios. Ha.

  123. What’s wrong with Bud Cort? I love Harold and Maude, which causes me to dislike Wes Anderson, and all I know about him otherwise is that he was in a pretty bad accident. What’s there to hate?

  124. I encountered my doppleganger in the Pentagon. The only differences were he’s a Marine, about 2 inches taller, and had a shaved head, and I had a nice tan at the time. It was freaky. I would’ve loved to have gotten a picture of us, but circumstances forbade that.

    Why do you get angry, Casey?

    I used to try to convince people to undergo a strange psychological exercise — look at a picture of yourself and then imagine kissing yourself on the cheek or holding your own hand, like if you could walk into that pictured scene and interact in some bizarre way as though it’s another person altogether. Do you feel it as you think about it? Isn’t that uncomfortable? It makes everyone uncomfortable, but it’s a more efficient version of role-playing therapy and it opens a lot of doors to ideas about how we interact with others.

  125. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Casey-
    I love Harold & Maude too… I also love M*A*S*H… I just find (and especially now) much of the 70s glitterati to have been pretty loathesome as human beings. Erin Fleming and all of her hipster cronies (which included Cort and Gould) made Groucho’s last years extremely unpleasant at times and used his home and his money as their own personal party pad- which he was not happy with at all, but had little ability to stop after 2 strokes and becoming increasingly dependent on Fleming despite her being completely nuts.

  126. I don’t like HAROLD & MAUDE. It is forced and phony and full of shit, and it encourages pompous, self-impressed dickbags to be likewise.

    Discuss.

  127. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Overly sensitive perhaps, but I have an incredible amount of affection for Groucho and his work and feel like his condition and his kindness were really taken advantage of in his waning years.

  128. Harold did some pretty funny pranks & fake suicides, though. I guess that was the 70s young man equivalent of uploading YouTube videos and internet commenting, or something. Then in the 80s, it became going to the mall.

    Funny movie with cool music, and I think its forcedness & phoniness is forgivable, Mr. M, b/c it doesn’t strike me as pretentious if you decouple the film itself from its reputation in our cultural history & its unintended Wes Andersonian spawn, but yeah it shouldn’t be so influential or encouraging to the highly encouragable dickbag population of today.

  129. I suppose it’s important to be able to separate a work of art from the dickbags who support it.

  130. Mr Majestyk, High Road to China takes place in the 20’s. Bess Armstrong’s supposed to be this rich, spoilt, daddy’s girl typical of the adventure novels from that time. And I think it speaks volumes of director Hutton that he had the balls to let her be a pain in the ass all the way to the end, and not have this huge transformation that a Spielberg or a Zemeckis would have gone for. Selleck’s pilot sees a meal ticket that enables him to move up from cheap wine to fine cognac, and she gets a new father figure she can also sleep with. It’s very romantic, when you think about it.

  131. But she’s also supposed to be an Amelia Earheart-type independent modern woman. I know the entitlement is part of the character, but it just comes off as bratty and unattractive. I can’t see what Selleck’s character would see in her.

  132. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I’ve never seen HIGH ROAD TO CHINA. Possibly embarrisingly, the only thing I have ever been able to stomach Tom Selleck in was FRIENDS. Seems like a nice enough guy though. Great mustache.

  133. Jareth Cutestory

    June 22nd, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I’d like to see a version of HAROLD & MAUDE where John Cho and Bea Arthur go to White Castle.

  134. Or Ashton Kutcher and Betty White in DUDE, WHERE’S MY 1982 BUICK LESABRE?

  135. My Doppelgänger plays in the finnish cello metal band APOCALYPTICA, btw. At least he looked a lot like me around 2001 (oh, see what I did there?). Don’t know if he still looks like me or if he even still is in the band.

  136. Cello metal?

    Never heard of it, old man CJ, but I think I have a new favorite music genre.

  137. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Still not sure why Apololyptica and Rasputina have never toured together before.

  138. Prince of Persia is the most expensive video game adaptation with a budget at either 150 million or 200 million, depending on who you believe. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within also cost 150 million, though a lot of that was studio upstart costs…for a studio that never made another theatrical film. I think some of the cost was amortized by the use of the technology in the Matrix Sequels, however.

  139. Knox Harrington

    June 22nd, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I guess the closest I have to a celebrity double is Chris Eccleston. Or at least I’ll start looking like him when I get a little older. It scares me thinking about it sometimes.

  140. Looks like he is not in the band anymore. (Although it might be the guy on the left, but if it is him, he stopped looking like me.)

  141. I get Jason Schwartzman and a bit of Robert DeNiro when I shave my head into a mohawk.

  142. In the nineties, I used to get Christian Slater, but just for the voice.

  143. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 10:56 am

    In the early 90s I always got Matthew Sweet.

  144. During my time at Fort Sill, I was known as Darth Vader because of my voice and because I wasn’t there long enough for anyone to care enough to remember my name.

    In college, that crucifixion pose picture of Jim Morrison was almost as popular in poster form as Bob Marley smoking a j, so a bunch of people would see me in random dorm rooms and apartments with that poster nearby and tell me I looked just like Morrison, except my hair was never that long or dark. I’d humor them, especially the ladies since it gave me an excuse to start getting naked, and do a Blue Steel pose, occasionally a Magnum, and let them take comparison pictures, so I’ll say I was flattered. I got some scars and a bigger neck now, so my rocker-poet days might be over.

  145. Jareth Cutestory

    June 22nd, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Or your Val Kilmer days might be just beginning.

  146. TAKE THAT BACK, Jareth, you bastard!

  147. I have no idea why I get angry whenever I see someone that looks like me. A kid on campus looked like me but bigger and it just really freaked me out. I’m sure it says all sorts of ugly things about me. Maybe it’s the same thing that makes dolphins hunt down and murder porpoises.

    I saw Harold and Maude with a really cute indy girl in 2001 or 2002. She took me to the Naro in Norfolk to see it and I had never heard of it or anything before sitting down to watch it. It felt really unique, modern, and I just really grew to love it. I found out afterwards that it was an older film because it didn’t feel like it. I remember then seeing The Royal Tenenabaums and other Wes Anderson movies and disliking them.

    It’s similar to my feelings about Quentin Tarantino. While I think Tarantino “draws influence” from more people than Anderson I always feel as though their work never matches up to the influences they draw from.

  148. I had a Hooter’s waitress tell me that I looked like Zach Braff. She said it was a good thing because, “Zach Braff is hot.” Personally I think she was full out of shit and was trying to make me feel better about looking like Zach Braff.

    This is the only place on earth where The Dark Knight is overrated, The Lost World is better than Jurassic Park, Hudson Hawk is a misunderstood masterpiece, and Angelina Jolie is not attractive. I love this place. I can always count on an honest opinion from everyone here. For the record, the hottest Jolie has ever been was in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. I always think of the part when she seduces the arm’s dealer. She’s wearing that leather outfit and then lets her hair down and shakes it. Unbelievably hot. I do agree ever since she’s sported the anorexic look she’s looked horribly disproportioned. Sadly, alot of the weight she lost seemed to come directly from the boob area. If you watch Gia, you will seem some wonderfully round and succulent boobs. What the hell happened to them? Humanity demands them back!

  149. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 22nd, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    There’s this waitress at the pizza place next door and I always tell her that she looks just like this girl on BurningAngel.com She might take it differently if not for the fact that she actually IS the girl on BurningAngel.com

  150. Y’know, apparently many women do seriously think that Zach Braff is hot. Sometimes females are attracted to goofy looking guys as much as they are to the good looking ones. (Which is cool for me, who is a hybrid of both.) Kinda like we can enjoy the looks of Angelina Jolie AND Velma from Scooby Doo!

  151. CJ I also think of myself as a hybrid. If you took a classically handsome guy and nerdy/goofy looking guy (along with some chinese/mexican/irish ancestry), put them in a blender and pressed puree, you would end up with me for better or worse. I guess a Zach Braff comparision isn’t as bad as I assumed. Better than looking like Joe Pesci i guess. I need to find that Hooter’s waitress again.

  152. “Stu – but do you believe that THE MUMMY (Brendan Fraser version) or TOMB RAIDER (game or movie) would exist if there wasn’t RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? And do you think any of the people involved at any time watched or considered anything about the serials that inspired RAIDERS? Also, can you name a pre-Indiana Jones adventure-archaeologist character?

    For me I gotta say no to all of the above, so that’s why I thought it was fair to write that.”
    I didn’t mean to come off like I was challenging your comparison there, but I do feel it’s one that without fail always gets made with THIS genre. I just find it a really odd phenomenon it always happens with Indy. I mean, could you imagine how annoying it would be if every post DIRTY HARRY cop movie with a main character who doesn’t always follow the rules exactly without fail was called a DIRTY HARRY ripoff? I mean, do you think movies like BEVERLY HILLS COP and LETHAL WEAPON would exist without DIRTY HARRY, despite all the differences? Just a personal pet peeve of mine. Again, not a slam on you, you just reminded me of how I feel about it.
    Plus I was genuinely wondering if there was any way someone could make a movie in the genre that didn’t draw comparisons. What would it have to be like to be considered relatively original? Because it seems regardless of setting(time period AND location), main character, the type of villain, tone, amount of actual tomb-exploration, approach to action scenes, supporting cast etc. as long as it’s an action movie about the subject of ancient tombs and artifacts, it’s an Indy Ripoff.

  153. People often tell me I look like “Brad Pitt, but way sexier.”

  154. Mouth – there are “certain websites” where one may download “certain scenes” from movies like Gia, it does not require watching the whole movie

    and you guys kept talking about Jolie’s face, I was talking more about the body

    also I’ve never seen HAROLD & MAUDE

  155. I have had 4-5 random strangers in bars come up to me and tell me I look like a young Chris Walken. So yeah, I’m kinda creepy looking. But Chris Walken was a good looking guy back in his Deerhunter days so it ain’t all bad.

  156. I think my first “holy crap that girl is sexy” moment watching a movie was (I am embarassed to say this) LICENSE TO DRIVE, which had a teenage Heather Graham in it in this skin tight slinky dress. I think it was pink.

  157. I’m with ya on Heather Graham in License to Drive. Whats funny is she’s supposed to be like a junior in high school and her boyrfriend in the movie drove a ferrari and looked like he was in his late 20’s. And, like Jewel of the Nile, this one had a classic Billy Ocean song at the end.

  158. Angelina Jolie belonged, at least for a while, to the Isabelle Adjani clan (Sophie Marceau, Molly Ringwald, Laetitia Casta, Monica Bellucci and some other French actresses I won’t bother to name here), but after Mr and Mrs Smith she became too unproportional and lost her membership.

  159. Grim Grinning Chris – I love that pine smell in the line at the E.T. ride

    as a matter of fact all theme park lines smell great, I don’t know if something they pump into the air or what (in E.T. I know it is at least), but I love it

  160. I used to get so upset trying to explain why I think so and so is hot and why this other person is hot, and it would still always come across as backhanded. So I’ve stopped trying to explain why I think women are gorgeous. I just love ’em.

    My celebrity doppleganger was the late Andy Kaufman.

  161. Hey, where can we find HIGH ROAD TO CHINA? It’s not on Netflix.

  162. Grim Grinning Chris

    Joanna Angel? She’s dreamy.

    My first “oh…ladies” moment was Batman Returns…which might explain why I know Joanna Angel’s name off the top of my head, in spite of the fact that I don’t actually watch much porn.

  163. Fred: I’ve got it on sale for a mere five dollars American. Click on my name for details and a partial but still extensive list of other exciting titles!

    I apologize for this shameless display of capitalism. Majestyk gotta eat.

  164. In terms of goofy looking hot girls with nerdy glasses: I caught that new Katy Perry video on TV this morning and totally fell in live with her. I blame the braces.

  165. yeah, I’m not really a Katy Perry fan, but that video was pretty awesome

  166. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 23rd, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Griff- Yeah, it is definitely a pine smell, but it doesn’t seem like a FAKE pine smell… it seems very real and very earthy. Granted, I know it IS fake and piped into the queue, but they did a fucking great job of making it subtle enough to not be overwhelming and artificial smelling.
    My three favorite aspects of the ride:
    1) the queue smell
    2) the flight over the government agent and cops and the Peter Pan (ride)-esque flight over the city and past the moon
    3) giving my name as Rowsdower or Johnny Utah to the attendant at the front of the line, so when ET thanks me at the end of the ride… yeah…
    I really love MOST of that ride and hope it stays forever, dated as it is (much like JAWS), but once it gets to ET’s home planet, it gets overly silly and for some reason I expect the SMURFS theme to start blaring “la la la-la la-la…”

    Tawdry- No Not Joanna Angel- I’m pretty sure most of the main site girls are all based in Portland (I’m on the Gulf Coast of Florida). This girl’s name is Amanda though on the site she goes Audrey or Aubrey (can’t recall which and if I go to the site to check then my whole day is gonna be ruined).
    Dick move, yes… but I busted her on it with style after I found out.
    She has a line in one of her scenes where she says “Eat my pussy like nobody’s watching!” (whatever THAT means)
    So one day I sat in her section, ordered a pie and when she put it down I said loudly to my companion “I’m gonna eat this pizza like nobody’s watching”
    She never came back to our table.
    I’ve since talked to her about it and told her I was just being silly and did not judge yada yada yada… She’s a super sweet girl. And talented. Heh.

  167. I could never figure out why people think Angelina Jolie is so hot. There is something exotic looking about her, but there is also something equally weird and synthetic looking about her. Maybe it is because her proportions seem all wrong, and I am not just talking about her boobs. Her head seems to big for her rail thin under fed body. Also, the only movie she has ever made I enjoyed was the Nic Cage GONE IN 60 SECONDS.

    My celebrity doppelganger is Ray Stevenson. We are around the same size, have very similar builds, and often sport a buzz cut. The only difference is I usually rock a goatee (my wife likes it). I was also Macho Man Randy Savage one year for Halloween, and I was a dead ringer for Mach (RIP).

  168. The 20th anniversary of the release of SUBURBAN COMMANDO, now that is something worth celebrating! Vern, does that mean an extensive 20th anniversary review is in the works?

  169. Katy Perry looks like Zoey Deschanel only with huge wonderful knockers which is pretty awesome in my book.

  170. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 23rd, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Zoey Deschanel has a better voice.

  171. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 23rd, 2011 at 9:34 am

    And I will take Zoey singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” over huge boobs any day.

  172. I like M. Ward a lot but the combination of his instrumentation and Zooey’s little girl voice pushes the twee meter into the red for me. That’s why I prefer Katy Perry’s knockers to She & Him’s music.

  173. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 23rd, 2011 at 9:52 am

    If we are going on knockers and sweet sweet voices in combo, I will take Jenny Lewis over Katy Perry any day as well. And Jenny Lewis was in Foxfire with……… ANGELINA JOLIE… and gentlemen, we are back on topic! Haha.

  174. Katy Perry is smokin hot! Russel Brand is a very lucky man.

  175. I got no opinion about Katy Perry and her songs. I already forgot her new one, before that the only one I deliberately listened to was CALIFORNIA GIRLS (and to be honest: Only the Armand van Helden remix of it) and while I wouldn’t call her ugly, she didn’t gain my attention until she wore thick glasses and braces for her video.

  176. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 23rd, 2011 at 10:52 am

    You know who’s adorable right now? The singer for that band THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR. They’re the band playing on the Titanic-ish staircase in those Heineken commercials. Sort of a new wavy version of The Cardigans. She’s gorgeous and her voice and the accent that creeps into the singing really get me.

  177. Jareth Cutestory

    June 23rd, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Majestyk: Zoey’s gonna find a little boy who’s twice as cute ‘cos she didn’t like you anyhow. Uh huh. Who-oah.

  178. Grim Grinning Chris – yeah the parts in the woods are definitely better than the parts on E.T.’s home planet

    also when I rode that ride for the first time as a kid the jeeps bursting out of the woods and almost hitting you scared the shit out of me

    also I found your porn star story hilarious

  179. Talking ’bout boobs, has anyone seen Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw? Saw it last night, and I’ve been thinking about Lynda Carter ever since…

  180. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 24th, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Lynda Carter’s best boob moment was bra-less and sweaty in a thin tanktop on Battle Of The Network Stars.

  181. Grim Grinning Chris

    June 24th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Oops, guess it was a bathing suit, not a tank top. Regardless…

  182. Fred Topel – I’m pretty late with this, but Tomb Raider The Angel of Darkness was criticized for having bad controls, bad camera and lots of glitches

    the other two (legend and underworld) did in fact get good reviews, but by that time Tomb Raider had become such a “vanilla” franchise that it didn’t ignite much interest anymore

  183. Not sure if this was mentioned in one of the comments above, but there is a book called Tales from Development Hell that has a chapter on how this series came to be. Pretty interesting stuff, not to mention the chapter on Paul Verhoeven’s Crusades movie with Arnold, some horrible Sly on an evil train movie, lots of funny stuff that never happened, and lots of hilarious shit about the ones that did. Worth checking out.

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