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Archive for September, 2005

Brace yourselves! Vern reviews Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE!!!

Friday, September 23rd, 2005


Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our own Vern who tells ya’ straight about David Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, a film I was scheduled to see last night, but I ended up sneaking into a test screening for a much anticipated horror flick instead. I figured I can see HISTORY OF VIOLENCE much sooner than I’d see this other film, so I ditched out of the screening. I’m dying to see it, though!

Now Vern’s review doesn’t go into any deep spoilers, but he talks about a little bit of stuff not in the trailer, so I went ahead and smacked a spoiler warning for the purists out there. As always, Vern did a bang-up job and wrote a piece that had me laughing along. Enjoy!

Harry and friends,

First of all Moriarty, to finish up that debate we were having over in your talkback, porn is not boring. At least not if you’re jerkin off to it. And if you’re not jerkin off to it you’re not giving the picture the respect it deserves. That’s like doing a crossword puzzle during a subtitled movie and then saying the movie didn’t make any sense. I know Alberto Gonzales recently declared a “war on porn” one of the administration’s highest priorities, but don’t write off the merits of hardcore porn without giving it a fair chance. Let’s show some class here, bud. That’s first of all. Second of all, I got a review of David (JASON X) Cronenberg’s excellent new picture A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE starring Viggo Mortensen. (read the rest of this shit…)


Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

I’m not sure why but the other day I decided it was time to start The Great Asian Catch-Up Binge of 2005. You know how it is, some movie like HERO or something comes out in Asia, plays some big film festivals in the west, makes a big stir, comes out on region coded DVD and bootlegs, everybody goes nuts, I don’t get around to watching it, then it gets shelved by Miramax for a couple years, almost comes out cut and dubbed with a new soundtrack by R. Kelly, they change the title to MAXIMUM FORCE or something, then at the last second they change their mind and do an actual theatrical release, and a couple months later if it’s still playing that might be when I finally see it. But usually not.

Well people have been going ape shit for movies from pretty much every Asian country over these last couple years. I’m sure alot of them are good but I just can’t keep up. So what I have decided to do, I am going to try to watch some of the ones people just won’t shut their god damn yaps about. Get it over with so I know what they’re talking about. I’m planning to watch ICHI THE KILLER from Japan and the INFERNAL AFFAIRS trilogy from Hong Kong. But in honor of the six party talks with North Korea going on right now I’m going to start with Korea and that movie OLDBOY that everybody couldn’t stop talking about a year or two ago and then moved on leaving me in the dust. It finally came out on American DVD, so I rented the old region 3 import version.

No, this is not the red guy with the giant hand. THat’s Hellboy that’s a different movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Lord of War

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

Here’s a great idea for a movie: a comedy about gun running. A movie that asks what kind of a soul-less, inhuman bastard gets rich supplying weapons to warlords and “freedom fighters” they damn well know are gonna use them to massacre innocent people. A movie that is not shy about pointing out the US government’s participation in this horrible industry. But remember I said a comedy, not some depressing documentary or self righteous oscar bait picture. A dark satire with serious bite, so it gets to you, but you don’t feel like you’re drinking castor oil. It’s more like Flinstones vitamins.

Great idea, but not a great movie. And maybe I’m losing my touch, but like THE BROTHERS GRIMM, this is one where I couldn’t always put my finger on what exactly wasn’t working. It’s much more involving than BROTHERS GRIMM and doesn’t feel as muddled or sloppy. But it was another one that didn’t quite connect with me. It seemed like it should work, but it didn’t. (read the rest of this shit…)

Me and You and Everyone We Know

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Here on earth there are certain individuals blessed or cursed with a special knack for observing shit, noticing shit and looking at shit in different ways than you or I would. Picking up on things other people don’t or explaining things in ways nobody else would’ve thought of. This skill, this Gift, this power, can come in many forms and be used for many different things. You could become a philosopher or a great leader, like Jesus or Martin Luther King, Jr. Alot of people, if they had it real strong, would become an artist. Andy Warhol is the obvious best example. Unfortunately, most people born with The Gift use their power for evil: standup comedy mostly. Also some of them become characters in Richard Linklater’s non-studio movies.

Miranda July, who wrote and directed and starred in this picture, apparently uses The Gift for performance art. Or video installations. Or something like that, I guess. But also for this movie. It’s one of those movies where you can tell she had a journal full of random ideas and then figured out how to string them all together. Alot of times a movie like that can be really good, because it feels so packed full of inspiration. AMELIE was a movie like that, where a million little Jeunet ideas were glued all over the top of a love story. In this one the ideas are less integrated, it’s more like a list of the ideas in movie form. (read the rest of this shit…)

Tell Them Who You Are

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

This is a documentary about the legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler, only it’s directed by his son Mark, so instead of being about Wexler’s career and genius, it’s more about daddy doesn’t love me enough. The son rebelling against the father and then trying to make up before he kicks it (he’s in his ’80s).

The opening scene won me over right off the bat. Haskell is in a big store room in front of all kinds of camera equipment, talking about what he does. From behind the camera, Mark asks him to tell where he is.

Now, we the audience aren’t retards. We know he’s in some sort of room where he keeps his camera equipment, because he’s standing in front of a bunch of camera equipment. Mark is a grown man and has directed documentaries before, but he clearly doesn’t know about “cinema verite,” also known as “direct cinema” or “good documentaries.” Haskell tries to explain that he shouldn’t have to say where he is, the audience will know where he is by watching what he’s talking about, seeing his surroundings, watching what happens. But Mark isn’t having it. He keeps asking Haskell where he is, and Haskell flips out. Immediately I knew I liked the guy. (read the rest of this shit…)

Memories of the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards haunt me as Hurricane Katrina destroys New Orleans

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

(It’s not as bad as it sounds. I’m pretty proud of this one actually. I should submit it to TV Guide.)

Last Sunday in Miami, having dodged potential catastrophe from a tropical storm quickly growing into a hurricane, MTV staged some kind of ridiculous awards ceremony. This is not a review. This is an attempt to understand. I don’t know why I turned it on or why I kept watching but I do know it has continued to haunt me in the days since. I think I am writing this for closure, really. It is an exorcism.

THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS 2005, or VMAs as they want you to call them, are not really an awards show. As far as I could tell, there weren’t many awards and the ones they had didn’t mean anything. The show is a spectacle, a sort of exaggerated opera putting on display everything that is so wrong with the corporate entertainment culture today. I think I seen parts of this show before and it’s always been pretty ridiculous but this one went the extra ten miles. (read the rest of this shit…)