"I got news for 'em. There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't daddy's little boy no more."

Archive for the ‘Comedy/Laffs’ Category

Bait (2000)

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

tn_baitWhen BAIT came out in 2000 I had no interest. That continued for 12 years. Then one night, in a dream, I was thinking that because of my love for Jamie Foxx’s performance in DJANGO UNCHAINED I was gonna rent his closest thing to an action vehicle. When I woke up I thought, “Yeah, actually I do want to rent BAIT.” So I did. You see, I don’t have a hundred updates a day for you guys, but I’m always working, even when I’m not conscious.

Foxx plays Alvin, a petty thief who gets busted trying to steal a bunch of prawns, and winds up in a cell with a guy (Robert Pastorelli) who recently betrayed his partner (Doug Hutchison) in a gold heist, and also is dying of a heart condition and gives Alvin a message for his wife which is a hint about the location of the hidden gold. The betrayed partner is a psychotic computer genius, and the Treasury Department wants him real bad ’cause he 1) killed two security guards and 2) broke a type of encryption that’s used to protect weapons, therefore posing a threat to national security. Or at least that’s their pitch when they ask for the money for a super-high-tech tracking device/bug that they implant in Alvin’s jaw without his knowledge before they get him released so they can surveil him until the psycho comes after him to get his gold back. (And no, the psycho is not a leprechaun. Maybe a metaphorical leprechaun, I haven’t really considered that yet. I’ll have to think on that a bit.)
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Seven Psychopaths

Friday, February 8th, 2013

tn_sevenpsychopathsNow that I’ve seen SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS I understand why the ads made it look so dumb: it’s too hard to explain. They made it look like some corny post-Tarantino “isn’t it funny, they’re hardened criminals but they’re arguing over a Shih Tzu!” type bullshit. And that’s in there – writer/director Martin McDonagh (IN BRUGES) is about the only guy whose style can remind me of Tarantino in a good way – but overall it’s weirder and more distinct than that.

In IN BRUGES the protagonists were hit men, and there was a subplot about a movie being filmed near where they’re staying. In this one the movie business is more central. Colin Farrell plays a clearly idiotic screenwriter trying to write something called SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, but he doesn’t have much more than a title. He doesn’t even have seven psychopaths, so he just spends his time trying to think of concepts for different psychopaths, sometimes based on stories he’s heard or seen in the news. So we see these stories in his head, or going on around him, and fictional reality begins to blend with fiction-within-fiction. (read the rest of this shit…)

Camouflage

Monday, January 21st, 2013
I wonder if they considered Leslie Nielsen for THE BOONDOCK SAINTS?

FROM THE OUTLAW VAULTS: I never get to take Martin Luther King Day off at my job, but I’m gonna simulate taking a day off here on outlawvern.com by posting an old review of a Leslie Nielsen movie you never heard of. This is a review I came across on my hard drive that I wrote two years ago shortly after Nielsen’s death, but never quite finished or posted. It’s not a movie I’m gonna go back and rewatch in order to complete the review, but I didn’t want to waste all that typing, either. So here it is.

* * *
Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t find myself renting some 2001 Leslie Nielsen movie I never heard of. But the poor guy died recently and I happened to notice this one was written by Billy Bob Thornton (with his partner Tom Epperson and some guy who was in SPIDERBABY), so I wanted to see what the deal was.

 

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Beverly Hills Cop II

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

In Seattle we have this big music and arts festival every Labor Day weekend called Bumbershoot. This year I was waiting in line for one of the bands that was gonna play when a guy near me was looking at his phone, he says, “Eddie Murphy died!” I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like he was talking to somebody that was with him, then I realized he was by himself, just sharing this shocking news with the crowd. It used to be you go to an all day event like this and you’re off in a separate world, you don’t know until you get home that something blew up or somebody got killed or something. Now everybody knows, word spreads.
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Combat Academy

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

During my intense POLICE ACADEMY research I learned that 2 years after part 1, story writer Neal Israel directed a movie called COMBAT ACADEMY. I don’t know if you can tell by just glancing at that title, but according to my calculations POLICE ACADEMY and COMBAT ACADEMY share one word and have the same syllable count. The cover uses the same font from the POLICE ACADEMY posters (and internal documents within the movies – look for that) and also the same sort of Mad Magazine style realistic painting of characters cartoonishly crowded together doing wacky things. I’m not sure if it’s an actual Drew Struzan, but if not it’s obviously based on that style. And Robert Folk did the music.
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Police Academy 5-7: the Post-Mahoney Trilogy

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

After Steve Guttenberg floated away from the series in a hot air balloon they still made three more POLICE ACADEMYs without him. I think it would’ve been cool if every once in a while they cut to him still in the balloon looking down and smiling, like “Oh, you rascals, you sure know how to prank Captain Harris!” But I guess he was above that. Or maybe just Sharon Stone wouldn’t do it. (read the rest of this shit…)

God Bless America

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

“Frank – this is more fun than killing yourself, right?”
“Uh… yeah, I guess.”

Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest directorial work is sort of a primal scream or a cathartic punching of a wall. Like SLEEPING DOGS LIE and WORLD’S GREATEST DAD it has an outrageous high concept premise, but it goes more where you expect than those ones do. It’s fun, though.
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Sleeping Dogs Lie

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

As we learned last week in this Comedy & Laffs Marathon, Bobcat Goldthwait directed SHAKES THE CLOWN in 1991, then sort of disappeared from the movie world. He was still doing shit, like touring as the opening act for Nirvana and getting in trouble for lighting Jay Leno’s set on fire (as most comedians were doing in the ’90s, if I remember right). But he stayed away from directing until he started doing TV shows in the 2000s.

SLEEPING DOGS LIE (2006) started out as a script he wrote but knew nobody else would ever make. So his wife convinced him to take the plunge into no budget independent filmmaking. He literally hired the crew on Craigslist. (That’s why he wasn’t making movies in the ’90s – he would’ve had to use AOL or Prodigy or something.) Luckily the movie got into Sundance, got him some respect and now this is what he does is write scripts nobody else would ever make and then make them.

Here’s why he knew nobody else would make it: it’s a deeply-felt relationship dramedy entirely revolving around the lead character (Melinda Page Hamilton) having once given her dog a blowjob. I know, but hear me out. It happens in the opening scene. She’s home alone, reading a book, probly had a couple glasses of wine, the dog is laying there, she gets a mischievous look on her face…

ah, shit. I can’t explain it. There is no rational justification. But she does it. (Off screen, thank the Lord.)
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Windy City Heat

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

WINDY CITY HEAT is the story of Stone Fury, the Chicago sports private eye who all the legendary athletes come to when they’re the victim of a crime. For example one of the cases he investigates in this one is when William “The Refrigerator” Perry comes to him and says his refrigerator has been stolen. “How am I gonna chill my food?” he asks Fury. “How?

Well, that’s not the WINDY CITY HEAT you’ll sit down to watch, though. That’s the movie-within-the-movie. The movie that we can get on DVD is an elaborate practical joke played on “Scary” Perry Caravello, the weirdo Sam Kinison wannabe and accomplished film extra who plays Fury. Comedians Don Barris and Mole (who always pretends to be stoned and wears an obviously fake wig) have known him for years and like to fuck with him. With the help of producers Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla they convince him he’s auditioning for, then filming, the role of Stone Fury. He’s convinced he’s a great actor (you will disagree) and of course agrees to interviews and cameras following him around for the behind-the-scenes documentary.
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Shakes the Clown

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

After his unorthodox standup comedy led to his screechy POLICE ACADEMY 2-4 character leading to other movies that aren’t remembered too well other than SCROOGED, Bobcat Goldthwait took the Clint Eastwood or Bruce Lee path: he went rogue to write and direct a vehicle that was more in tune with his voice and talents than what he was being offered. At the time it didn’t get him much more respect than the talking horse one, but this movie holds up and earns him a pass for those other ones in my opinion.
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