et-vs-predator2 copyWe get alot of good conversations going in the comments about all kinds of random shit. I’ve been thinking maybe I should do some “blog posts” about the nerd news of the day, like today it would be the AVATAR trailer or INGLORIOUZ BASTIRDZ is coming out or whatever and then we could all discuss it. Maybe I’ll start doing that sometimes, maybe I won’t. Nobody knows. But for now here’s a place to comment on whatever you damn well feel like.

I couldn’t find a good picture of the Jeopardy category “POTPOURRI” so instead enjoy this fine ET/GVP poster art.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 2:56 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

969 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Don’t care for Basterds, liked the Avatar trailer without being overwhelmed by it, fucking LOVED the Wolfman trailer, although the idea behind the transformation scene seems to be much better then the execution. I hope they fix that till February. (But the one shot with the fingers still creeps me out. You know which one I mean, when you saw it.)

  2. I would love to hear some thoughts on Basterds, I saw it at an advance screening last week and didn’t really enjoy it that much. I’m going to see it again this week because I’m still in shock that it didn’t really gel with me.

  3. Avatar looks like an old fashioned Métal Hurlant comic. That´s good for me.

  4. I watched the Avatar Trailer a few times yesterday without sound (i don’t get it at work)..aligned to the fact it was in 2D i’m still hopeful this might be a fun movie. However at the time i just thought “Phantom Menace”. Even the human characters look CGI which i found a bit weird.

  5. I agree with CJ that the Wolfman trailer absolutely blew my mind. I’m obviously not the first to say this, but I think Avatar is a lose-lose situation. Everyone who’s seen it keep saying we need to lower our expectations a big, but I for one can’t quite seem to do it. I thought the CGI in the trailer was strikingly well done, but most of it was clearly CGI. I don’t know why I was under the impression that Avatar would provide me with CGI characters who tricked me into thinking they were real, but because of the James Cameron association I just sort of assumed they would “fuck my eyeballs”. I’ve gotta think that after watching them for two hours on screen I’ll be identifying with the characters and their slight imperfections won’t matter quite so much.

  6. I don’t even think that the creatures in Avatar looked unrealistic. It’s just the blue color that makes it look unrealistic in some people’s eyes. It’s the same problem as with Ang Lee’s Hulk. Audiences were so distracted by the bright green, that they totally overlooked how realistic Hulk looked, how natural he moved, how you could see the muscles move under his skin, how the sand in the desert scene was dripping off of him and so on. So when they gave him a more “natural” looking, darker green in the next movie, people thought he looked more realistic, although his animation was inferior to the one in the first movie.
    Maybe when we all see Avatar on a big screen, they will look more realistic and detailed.

  7. I thought I should just mention that ET/GvP _NEEDS_ to be made.


  8. Wolfman trailer was pretty cool, but wha’s with all the fucking CGI? I’m not an anti-CGi zealot, but they had Rick Fucking Baker itching to top himself from American Werewolf and they decided ‘Nah, let’s just do it with computers.’ I mean it’s not like he’s turning into a Van Helsing style cartoon, it’s looks like they just put Del Toro in fur and ragged clothes and let him run around.

  9. One Guy From Andromeda

    August 21st, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Vincent, those were my thoughts exactly. The teaser made me think of french comics from the 70s – so i am sold.

  10. I loved a lot about IB. The trailers (and QT over the past 10 years) really miss sold it as a “men-on-a-mission” WW2 film, when it wasn’t that at all. It was mostly made up of a series of escalating conversations where one set of characters weren’t sure how much the other character knew. Sometimes it meander too much, but sometimes it hit fucking gold with awesome tension.

    A lot of that thanks goes down to Christopher Waltz who plays the shit out of Hans, the jew hunter. You’re never sure how much he knows, how much he’s playing the other person. His polite attitude completely disarms the other person and it’s amazing.

    Oh and props to QT for letting the germans speak german, and the french speak french etc. I’m tired of films that think having an actor speak english with a foreign accent isn’t distracting and silly.

    The Avatar trailer left me cold. Ignoring the CG issues (and there were a few) I just didn’t like the 8ft tall cat people/blue furries designs. And the plot sounds paper thin and cliche. (aliens are planet natives, humans are evil corporation, we invade, good guy human joins the natives via his avatar).

    Also I find it quite funny that some of the people defending the visuals with “well you need to see them in 3D so you’re an idiot for criticising them” etc are the same kind of people that will have criticised T4, Wolverine, TF2 etc as being nothing but visuals and that Hollywood standards are slipping etc.

  11. Oh and I really like the idea of doing some blog posts about recent filmic news so people can shoot the shit over it Vern. As it does sometimes crop up in other review comments, so it’d be cool for it to have its own space.

    Though yeah I’d keep it casual, only if there’s some particularly intersting film news or just once a week or whatever. We’re all here for your reviews afterall, the other conversations are just a happy sidebar to it. And there’s no point in posting about shit you don’t particularly care about just because it’s news that week.

  12. Even if I seriously do not care fo Inglorious Basterds, I’m happy to see that Christoph Waltz gets so much recognition. He’s a well known character actor over here and although it’s now something like 15 years ago, I remember how much he creeped me out in an episode of “Komissar Rex”. (That’s a back then very popular crime show about some austrian cops and their dog) He played a serial killer who dressed up women as dolls before he killed them. And I remember one scene, where he is dragging one of his victims through a lonely street at night, until he notices that a little girl is watching him hrough her window. So he looks up to her and says with a kid-friendly voice something like: “Don’t worry, she’s not real. It’s just a doll. You like to play with dolls, too, don’t you?”
    (And I think later he comes back to kidnap and successfully kill the girl, but this might be a different episode.)

  13. I think the nerds are unduly hard on Avatar because deep down inside they’re all hoping that it’ll somehow heal the pain inflicted by Lucas all those years ago. All the hate directed towards it is some kind of self defence mechanism to guard against disappointment. Kinda like how someone needs to learn to love again after a bad breakup.

    In the interest of full disclosure I should note that I am not, in fact a qualified psychologist.

  14. Guys I’m like 90% sure Vern’s going to review IB so why don’t we save thoughts on that for that post? Is no one else’s mind blown by the idea of Vern advertising stuff on his website? Now, who can we get to direct ET/GVP? Get Edgar Wright on that shit and cinema will never be the same.

  15. And I stand by my stance on the Avatar trailer reaction: That Cameron created a level of expectations and hype that could never be met, so this backlash isn’t shocking. All the people who are saying that it looks like great CGI and nothing else are correct, and people should lower those expectations. But the reasons people are bitching that there aren’t photo-realistic aliens is because CAMERON SAID THERE WOULD BE. When Moriarty wrote that post about how some people would be incapable of enjoying Avatar, and he was just happy to go to Pandora’s Vagina or whatever the fuck they’re calling the planet, it pissed me off. Of course the vast majority of people want to see a great James Cameron movie, he’s part of the legacy of filmmakers that define genre cinema for my generation. If his point is that there are whiny cunts in the talkbacks that could never be pleased, then yeah, obviously that’s true. But the tone of the responses isn’t ironic smarminess to distant to allow for a visceral, emotional reaction to anything, it’s one of tremondous heartbreak and disappointment, the feeling that once again, we have been burned. I don’t think that’s the case but I had read Quint and Devin’s reaction to the footage at Comic-Con, and when they said lower those expectations, I did. Some people had to see with their own eyes before they would let their hopes go.

  16. But on to more important things, how freakin’ cool is it that Bruce Willis is going to be in The Expendables? I can’t believe how cool this cast was already, and now Bruce Willis is in it as well? Forget Inglorious Basterds, I want The Expendables now.
    But while we were talking about Inglorious Basterds, I think the problem I had with it, and it sounds like maybe other people did as well, is that it’s too much Tarantino. I felt like I was just watching Kill Bill, with a different cast in a different country. Which is fine, but it’s not Kill Bill, it should feel like it’s own movie. I think I’m suffering from QT fatigue.
    Apart from that I loved it.

  17. Brendan, you’re right, jumped the gun a bit but I’ve been running the film through my head for a week now with no one who’s seen it to talk to!

    Over at AICN, I noticed one talkbacker moaning about Del Toro’s lack of an English accent, well I like to think it’s a tribute to amount of effort that went in to Lon Chaney’s in the original. None. And to be fair, I noticed that in the original and the trailer for the new one, it is pointed out that he’s been away.

  18. The very fact that Cameron is making a sci-fi movie creates a level of hype that probably can’t be met, I don’t think he can be blamed for that, the movie was gonna be over-hyped no matter what he did. I’m not sure I remember reading an interview in which he imply’s that the CG is gonna be all that revolutionary either. Most of the interviews I’ve seen it’s the 3D stereoscopic (sp?) technology he seems to want to talk about, not the CG.

  19. This is what kills me about the Internet. Cameron doesn’t have to do this shit. He could have made any fucking movie he wanted after Titanic. Literally. No man in Hollywood has ever wielded that much power. But he didn’t want to squander it on any old project, so he sailed the seas, found Jesus (literally–he’s got his corpse in his den), and tried his hand at acting (he’s funny!). Then when he felt that he had something to add to cinema again, he came back and killed himself to push the technology forward in ways that we probably won’t appreciate for several years (a la The Abyss). But are the nerds grateful to have such an uncompromising craftsman and artist working in the oft disparaged and hack-ridden blockbuster genre? Are they willing to cut him any slack for a slightly underwhelming trailer to see if his skills at storytelling and characterization (which are more far important to the longstanding impact of his films than the special effects) shine through in the finished film. No. Instead of “He has never failed me before so I will trust that he knows what he’s doing,” we get “It lokks like Fern Bully its gay I hope it FAILS.”

    In conclusion, fnerds used to be the people whose love for pop culture knew no bounds. Now they’re just joyless, pampered brats whose only pleasure comes from being the first to hate something.

  20. How about Predator vs. John McLane?

    I’d be in.

  21. Bastards:

    I plan on seeing Bastards tomorrow or Sunday as I have work today.


    I don’t think Wolfman is untouchable. While entertaining the movie is far from perfect and in my opinion is pretty far down on the list of the Universal classic monsters. It’s one I think can be bettered.

    The movie has had a pretty rocky behind-the-scenes in pre-production (the original director, the One Hour Photo guy, left/was fired) and post-production (‘apparently’ the studio didn’t want practical effects they wanted CGI, so they had to re-fillm many/all the effects shots).

    The trailer looks good and it has a very good cast, Hugo Weaving is enough to con me into seeing anything. I hope Anthony Hopkins is at least going to try because when he (and Liam Neeson) are not ‘into it’ they do their damndest to make the most boring and uninvolved character imaginable. So it would be nice if he gave a good performance.


    Yeah I saw the trailer… it SUCKED!!11 Just like everything Cameron has ever done EVA!!11 *crosses arms* I knew it was gonna suck!! Looks like Episode 1! Looks like Delgo! There are cartoon people in it!! Sure he did Terminator, T2, Aliens, Abyss, True Lies, Strange Days, Solaris, that Spider-man scriptment that was even better than the three movies we got, but what has be done? Yeah that’s right Piranha 2 & Titanic (which are not all that bad of movies)! The fucker got lucky is all! I hope he gets AIDS, cancer, and his family is killed!!
    -is what I’d say if I were a typical internet nerd

    Mr. Majestyk

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. So very, very true.

    As I believe you said youself in another talkback:
    Cameron. New film. Okay I’m sold.

  22. Vern – this is a great idea. Seems pretty much impossible for us to stay on topic anyway (credit to how interesting your TBers are, I think).

    Mr M,

    That’s pretty much how I feel about this.

    However, I had high expectations and I still thought the trailer was amazing. My girlfriend had no expectations (although Cameron is one of the few directors she’s heard of) – and she just kept saying “wow”, and she doesn’t like “space stuff”. I also think my neices and nephew are going to go ape for it. Photo-realism, or the lack thereof, doesn’t seem such a deal-maker-or-breaker for most people.

    I mean, I get that people might feel let down if they were expecting it to look like real life (which is weird when you think about it – even live action movies rarely look like real life due to lens, lighting, make up and post prod noodling) – but that is an issue of context. The Wolfman movie had loads of negative buzz (delays, switching director, etc) so when it actually looks fun people are happy to overlook the substandard CGI in the trailer – I guess because they didn’t see that as THE sales point of the whole enterprise.

    I think that the nerd audience is also, strangely, less likely to be impressed by all the visuals because of all the extra sci-fi they’re into that isn’t quite mainstrem (video games and comics, cartoons and such) – whereas it’s actually pretty rare for a major sci-fi fantasy film to get produced, so this will seem a lot more original and “new” to audiences. Also, it is more of an action/adventure film than most Sci Fi (structure-wise at least), which Star Trek (and D9 to a degree) perhaps proved is more palatable to mainstream audiences.

  23. Speaking of Avatars (at length, sorry, always looks like so much more when it been submitted…), can someone explain to me how to put one next to my comments? I think it’s time I got one… ta.

  24. to telf and anyone else who missed the instructions before: WordPress takes advantage of a global avatar system called Gravatar which, when linked to the email address you use, will display your selected avatar on any site supporting them. Just go here:


    As long as you use the same email address when posting here (and pretty much every other WordPress site, and many others) your avatar will show up, even past posts!

  25. Can someone confirm for me whether the Expendables is PG-13 or not? Some article from a while back said that that was the rating they were shooting for, and I was wondering if anyone had heard anything else on this.

  26. According to my local newspaper, it’s poster ad in my newspaper and various other websites it’s rated-R

    So we should be good

  27. I guess I should thank clubside for the avatar thing as that would be the right thing to do.


    -meant to put this in the big post
    CJ Holden

    I’m glad someone else appreciates the Hulk character in Lee’s film. I thought he was a marvel (no pun intended) to behold. Coming out of the movie all I heard is how he was an abomination (no pun intended). Now he has become the poster child for what not to do with a CG actor along with Jar Jar (though from a technical pointof view Jar Jar is quite impressive in context, as a character he’s annoying though). But I think Lee’s Hulk deserves a hell of a lot more credit than he gets.

  28. Cheers Clubside!

  29. I still say that the Avatar aliens look great and even photorealistic, but are too blue for many people’s brains. Just look in the scene, when he wakes up in hospital, at the soles of the blue guys’ feet. They are not as dark blue as the rest of his body and really look like more realistiv than the rest of the body.

  30. And you’re welcome, Geoffjreyjar.

  31. My brain can never feel its getting too much blue. My love of the colour blue is rivaled only by that guy that directed I Know Who Killed Me.

  32. CJ Holden when you first started showing up with that avatar I almost popped a blood vessel in my brain trying to figure out what the fuck it was and where I had seen it before. Cheers to Arrested Development!

  33. Call me a pussy but I actually kind of want Expendables to be PG-13. Mainly because I’m afraid that if Stallone makes it R, it’ll be RAMBO R, and I can only stomach one of those movies per lifetime. I saw Rambo again on Showtime HD the other day and how it didn’t get an NC-17 is beyond me.

  34. Probably because it was in the context of a real-world war, like Saving Private Ryan. I don’t know man, I would just rather see an R rated action movie then a PG-13. When it’s PG-13 you can’t really create any sense of tension or give any of the action and peril any sense of weight seeing as how no one seems all that affected when they get shot or injured. They just fall down, end of story.
    And I can’t really feel to bad about people not enjoying the ultraviolence of Rambo because (A) the violence and carnage was the only thing that the Rambo trailers seemed at all interested in showing and (B) within five minutes Stallone makes it completely obvious what the level of violence is that we’re going to be dealing with, so it’s not like audiences were walking in blind.

  35. AVATAR – Until I saw Telf’s posts I thought maybe I was the only one that actually did think the Avatar trailer looked amazing. I don’t give a shit about if it’s an effects landmark or not, I’m just excited to see this director of some of my favorite movies returning after so many years. But as a bonus I do think the effects look beyond anything we’ve seen before. The shot that looks the most impressive to me actually is the kiss at the end. Something about the imperfections in their hair and… I don’t know, maybe they look like dummies or something, but they look like they’re really standing there.

    To me it looks like ALIENS meets DARK CRYSTAL, but hopefully not as boring as DARK CRYSTAL.

    Yeah, Cameron can be blamed for getting hopes up, but when has he not been a blowhard? If he had promised it would fix the economy and I believed him I think I’d still be thinking, “Well, I wish it would’ve fixed the economy, but at least we get a new James Cameron movie!” One of these days I gotta write an essay about my theory that people these days have a need to turn on their heroes.

    WOLF MAN – It looks pretty cool, nice look to it. I even like the CGI. But I don’t have much hopes for this just because of the background. It started with a visionary director who may or may not have pulled it off, but then was taken over by a guy who in a long career has never mustered more than “pretty good.” If it’s his first great movie it would be a miracle.

    HULK – I think the face looks better on the newer Hulk but I like the Ang Lee one better because the animation is so much better, so much more nuance and personality. And I like the shade of green they chose.

    ET/GVP – I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but the pivotal scene is when Gizmo must decide whether or not to eat E.T.’s Reeses Pieces after midnight and try to wield his dark gremlin power against the Predator.

  36. I think PG 13 would work fine, considering how hard some PG 13 movies already are these days. You can even have a high bodycount in PG 13, you are just not allowed to show explicit headshots or blood splattering, when someone gets shot. And in the end it ends up with a “Not under 16” rating here in Germany anyway, so I don’t care that much.

  37. Oh yeah, THE EXPENDABLES: MTV recently referred to it as “ultra-violent” or something like that, but Stallone has always said it would be PG-13. The producer said they would do R and PG-13 cuts and test screen them. The posters I can find online don’t have a rating, other than a fake fan made one which says R. So the fake fan made version at least will be R.

    It will be great to see Willis in there, but based on the character in the script I don’t think he’ll get to be a smartass like McClane. What’s exciting to me is that according to rumors Schwarzenegger is no longer playing himself, but a retired Expendable. That would leave it open for him to kick ass in a part 2. (Unless they replace them all with Sasha Mitchell.)

  38. If we had a ratings system like that, that’d be cool, but everything is either PG-13 or R, so it gets tricky toeing that line. With a movie like Dark Knight, PG-13 is fine, but with a balls-out action extravaganda, R is (to me) the only way to go and have the movie turn out satisfying.
    I actually vastly prefer the Lee Hulk to the new one (the character not the movie). When he’s out in the desert, just walking around, looking at stuff, then dodging helicopters and blowing them up, that’s about as good a usage of CGI in a movie as we’ve gotten.
    I’m pretty happy to see that that movie is developing a cult following since it got spurned on the release. I may not think it totally clicks as a movie, and the Hulk dogs are fucking awful, but it did try lot’s of different stuff, and seeing as how most of the superhero stuff, even one’s I like, even love, have been kind of same-y, it makes that movie age all the better.

  39. ET/GVP: Get Verhoeven to direct it!

  40. Vern – seriously, write a movie. Even though you’re joking, the little Gizmo/gremlin vs predator scene you just described sounded fantastic.

    And thanks for the info Clubside – now to choose…

  41. If it’s raining that predator doesn’t stand a chance. For at least two reasons.

  42. Also ET cannot die.

  43. I think the Predator would find a way to kill E.T.

  44. Damn , I was out of here for a few days , and , BOOM !!! AVATAR Trailer ! Man , that was a surprise ! I’m actually pretty fucking impressed , but I’m also a jackass without the technical know-how to really understand all the little touches and details in that trailer . I’m not kidding , I was expecting a CG movie , but similar to Ice Age , not Jurassic Park ! To tell you guys the truth , I avoided , when possible , all information for this return of Cameron to SF , for the surprise factor.That not only looks like a Métal Hurlant comic , but like a Metal album cover ! Imagine one of the action shots in the jungle with “Manowar” or something written over it , and , that’s it , the cover for the greatest hits ! Niiiiiice!

  45. ET/GVP: Also , Gizmo , in Gremlins 2 , is pretty fucking badass in a John McClane way . Using improvised weapons and guerrilla tactics . He even builds a bow like Arnold in Predator , so he already knows how to kill that bastard.

  46. And since we are talking about Avatars and Gravatars here’s the origin of MY Gravatar ! Prepare for an IQ lowering experience !


  47. Sasha Mitchell needs to be in everything! He is the fucking Codeman!

  48. Kermit, you just referenced Manowar in a positive light. This is the story we’ll tell people of how we became best friends.

  49. Boring? DARK CRYSTAL was fucking excellent. As a long time fan of yours Vern I feel I am owed an apology and I demand that you retract you’re previous statement.

  50. your

    bah you know what I mean…

  51. The Dark Crystal is fucking creepy, which is why it’s awesome. I’ll take it over Labyrinth anyday.

  52. Mr. Majestyk : I know , usually the classic Manowar cover is some kind of Conan warrior holding a sword or breaking chains , like in The Triumph of Steel cover , but that’s the “feel” of the trailer , for me . This movie is going to be fucking METAL !

    I also like the robot suits , but maybe because I’m a fan of books like Starship Troopers and The Forever War . Speaking of The Forever War , is Ridley Scott’s movie adaptation still on ? Or the Alien prequel is going to delay it ?

  53. Some sad news for any Scorsese fans:


    Shutter Island pushed back to 2010, damn. I was really looking forward to it. Reasons for it seem mixed, but the main issue comes down to money. Either they didn’t have enough money left this year to give it the commercial push, or they wanted it in the 2010 slot because they don’t have many big pics to make them cash next year.

  54. Labryinth has David Bowie. Do not offend The Sovereign. You have been warned.

  55. Now I want to see a fantasy film that ditches all the hobbits and wizards and just kicks it full-on tits-and-battleaxes style. Everybody’s got furry underpants and big knockers, even the musclemen, and all they care about is glory, carnage, and ale, in that order. We’ll call it Iron Slaughter or Blood On My Steel or something. It will have more guitar solos per minute than any movie in history, including the Woodstock documentary.

  56. I have long been a fan of the Muppet who played Bowie’s codpiece. I expected it to start singing at any minute.

  57. GoodBadGroovy

    Man that is bad news, I was really looking forward to seeing that. On the upside it gives me time to forget that unbelievably spoilery trailer that I’m fairly sure gives away a major plot twist.

  58. Jacks Lack of Motivation

    August 21st, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    The Skeksis are creepy but like them the Dark Crystal takes a loooooong time to get anywhere. Jesus, now I’m tempting fate to remake it with fast Skeksis, I have become the thing I hate.

  59. What happened to the Dark Crystal sequel by Genndy Tartakovsky? Is it still coming?

  60. Apparently David Gordon Green’s next movie is a fantasy film where the special effects are all designed to evoke Krull and those kinds of flicks. One of the points he made in the press conference was that the creatures and monsters would all have (visible) genitalia. Minotaurs, centaurs, the works. Can’t. Wait.

  61. Jacks Lack of Motivation

    August 21st, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks to clubside here too. Cheers.

  62. I just showed my sister the Avatar trailer and she really liked the anime fairy tale vibe of the quiet scenes and the look of the aliens. Looks like Cameron made a movie for boys and girls.
    (Note that I didn’t turn it into a Cameron-makes-chick-flics-rant, like so many other internet people would do.)

  63. I’d take the slightly cartoonish vibe of Avatar over the creepy dead-eyed more realistic look of Beowulf any day.

  64. The Dark Crystal is amazing, but I fall asleep when I try to watch it. I mean the comparison as a compliment to both Dark Crystal and Avatar. We could use more crazy non-human fantasy shit like that, even if they’re not using puppets.

  65. CJ, isn’t that what Cameron has always done? His secret weapon was that he would make totally badass ‘splosion-heavy movies that always had a little something for the ladies, and not in a pandering way. I, personally, have watched Alien and T2 with several ladies who have enjoyed the hell out of it. Even beyond the obvious use of women as strong heroic characters, he made romance central to both Terminator and True Lies, and The Abyss was all about getting Bud and Lizzy back together. Not saying that all women care about is lovey-dovey crap, but it definitely takes the action out of boys-only territory when the characters actually care about each other.

  66. I get the impression that JC is a pretty big anime fan, and has been for his entire career. I’m really looking forward to Battle Angel Alita which he was supposed to be making before Avatar. To be honest I was pretty disappointed when he decided to make Avatar first, but maybe he wanted to get back into his groove before taking Battle Angel on.

  67. Mr. Majestyk – You’re absolutely right. In that regard, I think of Cameron as holding the emotionalism/sentimentality of Spielberg, mixed with the love for guns of John Milius.

  68. AVATAR – The geek backlash, with many in the friggin CHUD forums calling Cameron a “souless FX director*”. ….I’m reminded of when George Miller was going to direct JUSTICE LEAGUE, and many of the same geeks questioned his action skills. Because what does the director of THE ROAD WARRIOR know about action, right?

    Besides, this is a shocking concept, but the trailer ISN’T the movie. I know, holy shit, what a revolutionary thought. Hell look at the teaser for the original TERMINATOR:


    My god, watch as that cinema velvetta cheese melt!

    Vern – Speaking of BASTERDS, I’m surprised you never got around to reviewing WHERE EAGLES DARE. I mean Clint Eastwood killing Nazis. It can’t get any better than that, and I’m certain DARE was Tarantino’s chief influence for BASTERDS. I’m certain because he called it (and 3,711 others) his favorite movie.

  69. Did anyone see Tarantino’s top 20 movies of the last 20 years list? Surprisingly mainstream, with a few notable exceptions.


    Nice to see Battle Royale and Blade on there.

  70. Personally the Avatar teaser hit me like it should, raising my curiosity about the film and making me mark December 19th on my calendar. That I wasn’t actually surrounded by 7-foot tall blue aliens, or wasn’t transplanted into the body of a 7-foot tall blue alien, didn’t detract from the experience. I think Vern’s right about Cameron: yeah, he’s a blowhard, and yeah, the hyperbole came thick and fast on this one, but this guy created some of my all time favorite films, and this looks like a return to form after True Lies and Titanic. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, as we won’t really have the full experience until we’re in the theater; then we’ll know how true all the talk has been about this being a game changer. Frankly, that isn’t as important to me as being engaged by the material; my eyeballs getting fucked would just be a nice bonus.

    And since we’re talking about it, wouldn’t it be weird if Cameron slipped some Dark Crystal into the background? People would definitely rethink hitting happy hour before seeing another movie after that.

    Wolf Man: I thought it looked good too. Very atmospheric, and Benicio looks to be in fine form.

    Basterds: Anyone interested in hearing a smart review should check out Mark Kermode on the BBC. Personally I love almost everything QT’s done (Death Proof didn’t quite do it for me), but Kermode makes a good point about how, even though individual scenes are strong, that the end result feels bloated when cut together. On the flip side, QT has a good statement (I can’t remember where) about how people come to his movies with certain expectations, only to have those expectations turned on their ear by what’s on the screen. He claims it takes at three viewings for people to appreciate his films for what they are. So there you are, two points of view to consider when seeing Basterds.

  71. I hate Kermode. He’s the kind of hateful, self-obsessed dick that pollutes so much of the critical field. Watch his interview with Defoe about Antichrist, and he basically comandeers the whole thing for the last two minutes to talk about himself and his tastes in movies. Hey asshole, fucking Willem Defoe is talking about his acting process and what he feels his movie meant, who gives two fucks that you got kicked out of Cannes for booing a movie.

  72. I hear where you’re coming from. For me I think he can be very insightful, making salient points about a lot of films. I can see where he can rub you the wrong way (the man rarely takes it under 11), but for me just the sheer speed at which he formulates his arguments always entertains me. Plus, my exposure to him is his broadcasts with Simon Mayo, who often takes the piss out of him. That might make him more bearable then when he’s on his own.

    Personally even if you hate him I’d recommend the interview where Herzog got shot in LA; he catches either a low caliber bullet or high caliber BB above the waist, and then dismisses it as “an inconsequential bullet.”


  73. Hold on, what? Herzog got shot? Really? That’s awesome! I just recently became acquainted with his works, and I’ve sort of become obsessed with him in a very short time. (It’s very unlike me. There’s no murder or titties or car crashes or nothin’.) Everything I hear about him makes him seem more and more like the most badass filmmaker of all time. Of all non-kung-fu directors (many of whom are kung-fu masters in their own right), Herzog is the one I would pick to win in a fight. He survived an about-to-erupt volcano, an African jail, and Klaus Kinski. How can you hurt him?

  74. It’s pretty wild—and on camera. Kermode was interviewing him on these hills overlooking Hollywood, and phew, there you go. Looks like it was an air rifle, but . . . well, I’ll let you see for yourself. Here’s the video, pure badass:


    Hope the link works. If not just type Kermode Herzog and you’ll find it on youtube.

  75. CJ Holden

    The Dark Crystal sequel is dead. Something like funding feel through or something, not sure.

    Tartakovsky is kinda like the David Fincher of animation: constantly attaching himself to projects that loose funding or just never happen for some reason.

    Did you know he was attached to Astro Boy a few years back as well? That would have been interesting.

  76. Well my only real exposure to Kermode is the youtube videos of his reviews that he does for the radio. I will agree that he often has good points but they are oftern absolutely buried under this attitude of smugness and self-satisfaction that he gives off to me. I mean, I get that critics like to dig into movies pretty brutally, it lets off stress. But when he was talking about Pirates 3, he made a point of constantly calling Keira Knightley: Ikea Knightley. What the fuck does that mean? What the fuck does that add to film discussion? Shit like that drives me nuts. It was pretty cool when Herzog got shot. That was badass.

  77. Vern,well done for the work you and your crew have done so far this year,I’m in it and read up every week,damn your making the rest look old [not old school],Strive for excellence 4 reallllllll.Thats all I have to say right now.

  78. Did anyone else think the Inception teaser was incredibly overblown? Like it was the loudest and most trumpeted dose of non-information ever, what with all the “dun!”s every five seconds. They even squeezed an extra “dun!” in at the end. And so far for all we know Nolan made a remake of The Matrix. Which is fine by me, I love the Nolanmeister.

    I thought Basterds was awesome, but I’m a sucker for Tarantino I suppose. I feel a pavlovian response to ennio morricone music cues, especially when used well.

  79. “Did anyone else think the Inception teaser was incredibly overblown?”

    Than that teaser did its job if it caught your attention like that.

  80. hey, anything related to that movie right now will get my attention. I’ve been a Nolan mark since Memento. But the teaser just made me laugh in the way it so incredibly trumpeted such little information.

  81. I dunno Chris – for a teaser it really blew my skirt up. And I loved the wall running, seemed to be done with a rolling set (ala 2001) instead of cgi. I got pretty excited to be honest.

  82. @ “Instead of “He has never failed me before so I will trust that he knows what he’s doing,” we get “It lokks like Fern Bully its gay I hope it FAILS.”

    I can’t agree with you enough Myjestik. I’m kind of disgusted with the online film community’s reaction to this trailer. It seems like we’ve become a spoiled, demanding group less interested in film and more interested in nit picking something to death on twitter.
    It’s a well put together trailer and at the very least it’s premature to dismiss the film based on two minutes of footage.

  83. More like the Geek Internet worried about shit that just fucking doesn’t matter ultimately.

    Ebert saw that 15 minute preview, wasn’t impressed either but unlike that juvenile Geek Internet, he’s at least got perspective to seperate the preview/trailer from the fucking movie. And isn’t that fair at least?


  84. Meh, I was kind of disappointed with how the Avatar aliens looked. Too skinny, too light blue, too human. But, whatever, it still looked pretty sweet. Can`t frikking wait.

    Hey Vern, make sure you check out a little French crime flick called Black. I have a feeling you`ll like it.

  85. Chopper Sullivan

    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:06 am

    It was a boring trailer. I love Cameron. I’ll be there the second his film comes to my theater, but it was boring. It’s just bad advertising.

    Basterds is great. Really great. Almost JACKIE BROWN great.

  86. Completely unrelated, but has anyone seen the trailer to The Tournament? Seems to have all the right ingredients so far. Though it kinda gives me the Long Kiss Goodnight vibe to it, and I don’t know if thats good or bad. All it needs now are a few gremlins, ET and a predator.

    As for the other stuff. Well, I can’t really say much about what has been said so far.

    AVATAR – Excited Yes. Expectations lowered? just a little. Though I have really no idea what those expectations were to begin with other than it being James Cameron’s new movie. With all the stuff I was reading about throughout the years, I was close to thinking that it wasn’t even a movie anymore but something close to idea of it curing cancer and us finally being able to live on the moon. Who knows maybe it will, maybe it won’t but at least they’ll have something good to come out of it. Though one thing bugs me, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and Peter jackson are all in this phase to make these 3D movies for some reason. Which is great to experiment, but I just wish we got back to what they’re really good at. The 3d idea isn’t bad, but its distracting me from considering these movies as a part of their library. I know they’re trying to cover new ground but there are still limits to be broken and excitement to be had within film. Without them making good movies, we’re left to think movies that are substandard to be groundbreaking. The standard has been lowered, and these filmmakers have the power to wake it up again not by technology but by just telling good stories again. But they’re not getting any younger, which is the sad part.

    On what it is to be a fanboy nowadays – I really don’t understand it. But all of a sudden they’ve become stockbrokers as well. They keep track of opening weekends and records like its the freaking Dow losing a point. One movie hits 20 million or less, and we’ve got ourselves a failure. It was good that the dark knight accomplished what it could. But using that as a reference to where all should be met is stupid. To hurry up and say that this movie earned how much does not make the movie any worse or better than it is. Wow, have the times have changed. There should be a montage of this with bob dylan playing in the background for these sad times.

    Wolfman – I was really looking forward to this when Romanek was involved. I kinda lost the hype when Johnston stepped in (I like him, but JP3 still leaves a bad taste with me for some reason). At least the cast and the atmosphere seem to be there. Not sure if its a good thing, but I get a “From hell/Sleepy Hollow” feel to it. Though regardless, it is still refreshing to see a movie like this come out. I hope it turns out well.

    Ninja Assassin – Shit, wasn’t expecting “300” asian style but I’m still hyped up for this movie for some reason. My expectations have lowered in avatar proportions, but I still have hope. Though The Ninja movie with adkins movie looks like the better ninja movie now. oh well.

    Book of Eli – Not feeling it at all sadly. But I just want to see the hughes brothers do something at least.

    (sorry added those two in there, cause I haven’t had time to comment in recent months)

    Inception – Anyone find a link yet? I’m tired of seeing people describe it!

    CallMeKermit – yatterman is great! I’m not sure why I didn’t know of him before. But I’ve been playing tatsunoko vs capcom for awhile now, and hes really good in it. The takashi miike movie also looks interesting in a speed racer kind of way.

    You know I’ve missed out on just about all the movies this summer. But one thing i’ve kept coming back to are these reviews. And they’ve been the best, good times vern.

  87. rewrite : Yatterman ( Yattaman here in Italy ) is a cartoon show , very popular over here , especially during the ’80s . I always liked the crazy designs of the machines and the humor ( in the clip above , the Italian opening , there’s a robot with a bell at 0:46 , but since the animation is so poor , it looks like he’s masturbating !).Also look at 0:41-0:44 : the most uncomfortable robot ever ! I’m VERY interested in the Miike movie, let’s see how that turns out , even if the trailer is not that good. Also , there’s a Yattaman videogame ?

  88. Still can’t figure out this gravater thing. It’s saying there is already a user called”telf” on wordpress – do I really have to change my username?

  89. I like the DARK CRYSTAL, but after seeing the trailer and half-remembering that treatment that went online a million years ago, I’m guessing AVATAR is going to be more like ALIENS meets DANCES WITH WOLVES.

  90. I like the DARK CRYSTAL reference, was what I meant to say, although I really do like that film also.

  91. I saw IG, and I fucking loved it. Don’t hold me to this, because I might change my mind next time I watch Jackie Brown, but my kneejerk reaction is it’s Tarantino’s best since Pulp Fiction. Kill Bill had more awesome stuff, but in terms of storytelling and filmmaking, I think Basterds is superior. And as a guy named Marcel who doesn’t get to see his moniker represented in film very often, seeing a badass black Frenchman who’s boning the hot blond Nazi-killer who owns a movie theater was a real treat. Second coolest Marcel ever.

    Also, the Avatar trailer is much more exiting on the big screen. I was always looking forward to it, but now I can’t wait.

  92. I meant IB, not IG. Inglourious Gasterds is what Scarface from the Batman comics would call it.

  93. Slightly Off Topic: You remember that episode of that crime show with the dog that I mentioned, where Christoph Waltz played a creepy serial killer? (If not, scroll up. It’s in this talkback.) I just looked it up and learned that the episode was even directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, who later directed “Das Experiment”, “Downfall”, was offered the director’s chair of “Blade 3” and then got locked out of the editing room by Joel Silver and the Wachowsky’s during his work on “Invasion”.

  94. this is a test

  95. Telf – I wasn’t sure but as you can see in the above test the avatar just goes by your email. So if you have your user name as “theoriginaltelfisbetterthanthefakeone” or something you can still just write “Telf” for your name here and that’s what will show up on the posts no matter what your user name is.

  96. Hey Telf, are you the same Telf I had a conversation with on AICN in which you said you auditioned for the Ozymandias part in watchmen? What did you think of Matthew Goode’s performance?

  97. I am pretty sure that Ninja Assassin will kick ass!
    And Ninja will kick ass too.
    Good year for Ninja fans.
    So, we need some kind of Dudikoff cameo in one of them. or at least Franco Nero…

  98. Thanks Vern – that was really cool of you to work that out for me. Serious pressure to find a good avatar now…

  99. Mode 7,

    Yeah, that’s me mate. Good to see you over here.

    I think Goode is clearly seriously talented, but I didn’t understand the choices he/Snyder made. I felt it kind of hurt the movie to have Ozy be so snide and imperious – my girlfriend never read the comic (or any comic…) and was in no doubt that he was the murderer/sort-of-villain. She was surprised when I told her it was supposed to be a twist and was quite a shocking revelation in the books. I also didn’t buy him physically in the role. But, for the record, I should say i didn’t think i was right for the role either : )

    But I liked a lot about the film – I thought he and Malin were the only ones who didn’t nail their roles – but only by my own expectations of how I had envisioned them in the book.

  100. Badass juxtaposition personified?

  101. Off topic from Avatar -> I just landed in Australia and they are promoting the Channing Tatum debacle fighting here as an upcoming release. Fighting raped my eyeballs, and not in the good Flesh + Bone way, but in the American History X prison shower way. Why in God’s name would you release this POS in cinemas when it only made like a buck fifty in the US. Why is Universal punishing our strangely accented cousins? Isn’t it enough that they’re Australian?

  102. Did I get my post deleted? Probably for the best since it was really graphic. I’m sure Vern wouldn’t delete it because I talk bad about Harry Knowles. So sorry for being crude.

  103. I didn’t delete it Lawrence, but I got my eye on you now, troublemaker.

    Darth – uh oh, I’m probaly gonna watch FIGHTING tomorrow night. We’ll see what happens I guess.

  104. Love to hear your thoughts on Fighting. It’s got my man Cung Le in it – haven’t seen it yet though. A compare/contrast with Lionheart (AWOL to non-American TBers) would be some nice added value…

  105. Actually I would compare FIGHTING more with the Walter Hill effort HARD TIMES with Chuck Bronson and James Coburn.

    And I liked FIGHTING. Me and 7 others who saw it total in theatres did too. Convinced me of Channing Tatum’s potential, and GI JOE convinced me this shit wasn’t the way to go for him.

  106. Darth Irritable – Because they need to recoup their investment? They aren’t allowed to do that.

    I don’t know about Australian laws, but last I checked, nobody is holding a gun at your head to watch FIGHTING. But imagine if Oz did have such a rule.

    “Ma’am, if you don’t watch MR. MOM in the next 30 days, you’re spending the night at the slammer!”

  107. Who wouldn’t want to watch Mr Mom? “Megan and I are starting to watch the same TV shows… And I’m liking ’em.”

  108. Ok, i saw that Avatar Day thing last friday and yes, the movie looks great. It looks just like a James Cameron movie. I´m not into CGI, but who cares? What i saw was good action and drama. And that Blue Sigourney cat was amazing.

  109. The more I watch that Avatar trailer, the more impressed I find myself. If you go though it frame by frame it really hits you just how good the CGI actually is. Head and shoulders above the star wars prequels and a sizeable improvement over LOTR and the Pirates movies.

  110. Yeah, that bit where the alien girl lunges towards frame holding a torch is incredible. Can’t wait.

  111. IMDB did some snap poll and 40% voted that they wouldn’t go see AVATAR simply because of the trailer.

    Fox might have a tiny tad problem here.

  112. RRA – I just don’t see the profit recoup. It’ll cost them a million or so to market I would think, and I doubt it’ll make that much. Hell, only about 20% of Australians have learned not to get scared when they see the giant people on the screen :).
    But the movie itself has just… nothing to recommend it. I can see that somewhere under the mess, Tatum can act. I just can’t see any really likeable characters or anything vaguely resembling interest…. I watched it on the plane over, and comparing it even to DTV greats like LionHeart (Wrong Bet in NZ), or even the Sasha Mitchell epics (I really kept expecting him to go “whoah! I just totally creamed Tong Po”) it’s got nothing. Seems like such a waste of talent.

  113. Well was what FIGHTING’s budget anyway?

    Just saying, it’ll break even on DVD. If not already.


  114. I’m gonna have to disappoint you Darth. I really liked FIGHTING. I’ll try to make the review extra persuasive so that all the Australians will go see it.

  115. Looking forward to it Vern.

    I guess I just had trouble buying that Tatum, who from fight one, struggled with the preppie Cyclops-looking guy (without even the benefit of red eye blasts, but seemingly relying on the power of the pout) was able to start an immediate beat down on the 300 lb sasquatch, and then destroy Cung Le, the freaking middleweight Strikeforce champ…

    It’s like Rocky, but without much real emotional resonance, and not even a decent training montage.

    Hell, I don’t recall Terrence Howard coming up with anything even halfway close to eating lightning and crapping thunder.

  116. Darth Irritable – Don’t hold Tatum’s stripper past against him.

    And no, I’m not making that up.

  117. Did anyone catch the bat-shit insane LEGION trailer before DISTRICT 9 – I know I’m probably late to the party on this one but that shit looked bananas.

  118. Vern-

    I saw a movie this weekend on a whim that I really think you should check out. Basically, I got my hands on a pre-release copy of “World’s Greatest Dad” starring Robin Williams and written/directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite. I went in completely cold and came out blown away by this original and unusual movie. It is the darkest kind of dark comedy, which Bobcat’s connection makes it seem like no surprise. I don’t wanna spoil any of it, because I think it really works if the story is allowed to play out at its own pace. I tried to find a release date, but haven’t been able to. Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for this one… it’s better than Mrs Doubtfire, I promise.

  119. You’re shitting me? Tatum’s a stripper? Since when is Fetal Alcoholism attractive?

  120. Boondock Saints 2 trailer:


    And yes, I can’t believe its actually here. didn’t like the first one, but many do so….that’s good?

  121. Eastwood is shooting a ghost movie HEREAFTER with Matt Damon next, after that South African sports movie of theirs comes out in December.

    Yes, Dirty Harry fighting ghosts.

  122. RRA – weird, ain’t it? Eastwood’s filmography is all over the place, but I honestly can’t really imagine what his “ghost movie” would look like. As far as I can tell MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL is the closest thing he’s ever done to horror (and the horror elements there are as akward as the rest of the movie) so I’m gonna assume this is actually just a drama which has ghostish plot elements, you know, like BELOVED. But it would be kind of cool to see him take on a new genre so late in his career. His movies are inconsisent for my taste, but occasionally he can really get a nice atmospheric groove going which could be a recipe for a great, slow burn classy ghost story. Gotta say I’m betting against it at the moment, though.

  123. Guess this potpourri catagory need a link on the main page if its gonna get traffic

  124. Anyone see the ‘Taken’ guys’ new movie trailer, From Paris with Love. Looks like a pretty good, goofy action movie with set pieces and explosions and whatnot. At least it seems like he put the camera far enough away from a huge fireball so we can see it. Plus, I love Travolta when he’s in crazy mode. It always makes for an entertaining experience, even if the movie licks dog turds.

  125. Brendan – Weird how TAKEN did good overseas, but became a sleeper blockbuster hit in America. How the fuck did that happen?

    And as much as I did enjoy TAKEN, Mamet’s SPARTAN with the same story is better and just more epic. Yet that one had a limited theatrical engagement, and shit how many people actually saw it in theatres and not on DVD?

  126. “How the fuck did that happen?” People love their Liam Neeson.

  127. Justin Lin has been announced as the director of the Highlander, reboot/remake/thing. Discuss.

  128. VERN! Maybe you are aware of this, but if not : http://blog.canoe.ca/scrapyard/2009/09/30/dmx_to_make_mma_debut !!!!

    Brendan – I think Lin is a better choice than I was really expecting. Now, who should play Connor?

  129. Holy shit! I did not know about that. I hope he’s careful though after what happened to Roc Raida.

  130. This seems like a good place to point something out which may not have been pointed out before. I have almost nothing but disdain for the service called ‘Twitter’, but it has brought an awesome piece of information to my attention. Please check out this twittering by user ‘schwarzenegger’, come back here and tell me that’s not cool:


    Can you imagine the persuasiveness this adds to every argument? “Ja, okay, I see yoa point, but do you know the riddle of steel?”

  131. Thank you Bixby, I would have to say that that is amazing. I still think that California’s quarter design should’ve been the poster for T2.

  132. I almost hate to bring this sorry subject before you fine people, but I suppose I am just too baffled to keep it to myself any longer. So, what the fuck is the deal with some of my favorite writers and directors lining up to defend Roman Polanski? The Washington Post linked to the following URL with a list of folks who signed the “Free Roman” petition.


    What in the Hell are they thinking? I mean, Polanski’s an indisputably great artist, and even made two films with consistently feature on my must-watch every Halloween list (ROSEMARY’S BABY and REPULSION). But the way I see it, his rape case is not even close to a gray area. How you can drug and rape a 13-year-old, admit it, and then decide you don’t want to go to prison and flee the country, and then have a slew of folks (including, painfully, folks like Martin Scorcese and Terry Gilliam) jump to your defense as if you’re the persecuted one? It boggles my mind. I mean, please, I’d love to hear that somehow I’m wrong on this one, but I just can’t imagine what possible defense of this man there could be?

  133. Aw crap, even Fatih Akin? :'(
    What’s wrong with these people? I’m not denying that Polanski is a great artist and I don’t even doubt that he might be a good friend and/or deeply regrets what he did, but we all know WHAT he did! And he didn’t even spent the last decades home- and moneyless or suffering from a painful desease, so that we could say that he has already been punished somehow! He was walking around, in front of everybody’s noses, making award winning movies with some of the greatest stars of our times!

  134. I don’t know but I think even the victim wants to let this rest. Although I can’t bring myself to defend him that much. There are some shady things that went on like plea bargains that were not honored and other things that escape me at the moment. Elia Kazan got applause at the Oscars one year so there will always be suprising supporters no matter what you do.

  135. Andy — yeah, there seems to be some noise that he thought his plea deal wasn’t going to be honored, but hey, you’re never gaurenteed that a plea deal will be honored. And if he really thought he’d been treated unfairly, hey, that’s what appeals court is for. I know the victim (who already recieved a cash settlement from him) would rather just let it go, but jeez, I mean, Vern didn’t flee the country and hide out when it looked like he’d have to do actual time. I don’t see why successfully evading justice long enough should mean that we all ought to let it go (um, except in statute of limitation cases, but this isn’t one).*

    Guy’s had some hard luck in his life but I still think Seagal would break his wrists and kick him in the balls a couple of times. Actually, I might accept that as suitable punishment. Show me that petition and I’ll sign it.

    All I know is that if Jeff Fahey signs the Free Roman petition, I’m never watching another movie again as long as I live.

    * I know you’re not really trying to defend the guy so sorry about the rant. Just trying to wrap my head around this weirdness.

  136. I also think he should have stayed and handled it back then. No worries about the rant Mr. Subtlety. I know where you are coming from. By the way I think you are one of the best commentaters on here.

  137. I dont care much at all about the Polanski thing. Those that engage in that debate just want another jerk-off to the Culture Wars. Because we haven’t had them enough.

    The dude made some classics, and PIRATES, which isn’t one of them. CHINATOWN was cool. He also (probably) cornholed a kid without consent. Not cool.

    It’s like the classical Chris Benoit Paradox: Maybe the greatest Pro Wrestler of his generation, also murdered his wife and kid before hanging himself off his gym equipment. Also changed the ending fate of an important character from THE SHIELD. Thanks alot Chris.

    Then again, I thought Polanski should have gone to jail for his RUSH HOUR 3 appearance. How the fuck did he start up a friendship with Brett Ratner of all folks? Anyway, some of you heard Ratner plans to make a documentary “defending” Roman? Surely it’ll be better than AFTER THE SUNSET. Maybe.

  138. RRA -Actually having the Rat make a film about you might be worse punishment than prison. Really, though, what gets me is not Polanski himself — I’m comfortable with loving the guy’s work secure in the knowledge that I’ll never meet him personally. Feel the same way about Mel Gibson, Quintin Tarantino, etc (although obviously child rape is a somewhat more serious personality flaw than just being a nut or a jerk). But whatever, I can dissociate his life and work. But its weirder to me to see a bunch of folks whose work I love take what I consider to be such an inarguably wrongheaded moral position on this. Their lives are different than their work too, but taking a public position on issues like this seems like kind of an extension of their public works, rather than their private lives. In the same way that, for instance, Oliver Stone’s public positions on things will always be a part of his art.

    Or at least it feels like that to me. So I’m trying to figure out how to contextualize this with my previous understanding of the meaning of their work. I dunno, maybe it amounts to the same thing and it’s just an unusual situation which is reading differently. I certainly don’t want to start or be part of any culture wars (dear god, no. I wouldn’t touch this topic with a 20 foot pole on most boards) but I do think its worth talking about the relationship between an artist’s public works and public art, or if it’s even worth differentiating from private lives. Guess that’s what I’m struggling with now, trying to decide how much, if at all, it changes the way I perceive SHUTTER ISLAND or something. Or if it should.

    Andy — thanks pal. You made my day. And hey, thinking about Seagal kicking Polanski in the nuts made me remember that he’s actually a cop now. How epic would it be if Roman got extradited to Louisiana and Seagal had to take him into custody? And maybe drive him across the US to his trial, while rival gangs tried to kidnap him for their own purposes?

  139. Mr. S – What happened with SHUTTER ISLAND? Did Leo Dicaprio murder a hooker or something? Did Scorsese finally slap him one too many times?

    BTW off-topic but people presist in asking why the fuck Scorsese has been making all these consecutive movies with Leo, and asides from perhaps they like working with each other or whatever…

    It ties into a fact that there aren’t that many Hollywood “stars” who are mega-stars in America alone. Maybe Will Smith, but who else? Maybe Depp, but that’s debatable. Either way, your Pitts and Jolies and DiCaprios and Bale and Matt Mother Fuckin’ Damon….all them are stars in America, but totally superstars overseas.

    So yeah, Leo gives a box-office punch to get Scorsese working. But really, why the fuck can’t he just do SILENCE? Thats the shit I want to see. Not a Frank Sinatra biopic* or another DeNiro teamup or whatever. I want more religious angst man!

    *=Though Clive Owen would be great. He lost out on James Bond, but he gets Blue Eyes instead.

  140. RRA- Nothing against SHUTTER, it looks pretty good, its just that Scorcese was one of those guys who signed that petition which almost makes me wonder if I really understand the things he’s trying to say in his movies. Got no beef with him for making films with Leo, though. Aside from keeping him working, he’s gotten some fantastic performances out of the guy which really anchor his films. And Leo seems to have surprisingly wide range of characters he can play, so it doesn’t seem to be limiting the kind of film he makes (though if he gets cast as Sinatra, I’ll smell a rat).

  141. Mr. S – You ever see that TCM doc SCORSESE ON SCORSESE?

    When RAGING BULL comes up, Scorsese brings up how at that time many “liberal movies” had tried to explain “problem people” with simple explainations like daddy used to beat him or he came from a ghetto or whatever. And Scorsese didn’t want that shit in his BULL.

    He just wanted a fucked-up guy, without necessarily easily explained by armchair psychology.

    Maybe thats why he is defending Polanski? Not that being a Holocaust survivor of Poland (where 1/3rd its population was exterminated) or his wife getting murdered by the Manson crew excuses the underage without-permission cornholing. But life is sorta complicated.

  142. Holy shit, I just saw the trailer for Black Dynamite, and now I’m confused… why is it that I’m not watching it right now?

  143. Did you see the BLACK DYNAMITE trailer on TV or before a movie? I hope so. They’ve been promoting it forever on the internet (which can lead to unmet expectations) but I haven’t seen any ads on TV, in print or before movies (which means most of the world doesn’t know it exists). Plus it’s opening against WHERE THE WILD THINGS are which I can actually confirm is fucking incredible. (I’m taking my time on the review because it deserves it.)

    Anyway, I know I always preach against box office tallying, but I’m hoping BLACK DYNAMITE does well enough for either a sequel or a Michael Jai White career boost. I’m positive it’ll at least catch on on DVD, but it was fun to see with an audience.

  144. Sorry, on the internet. I’d been holding off on looking at the trailer as I sometimes do with movies I already know I’m going to see, but then I happened upon the trailer and figured what the heck. And I’m glad I did. That put a big ol’ smile on my face.

  145. That one on the website with the Dolemite style narration cracks me up. They even imitate Dolemite’s “rated arrah!” at the end. I’ve really been looking forward to seeing it again, but watching that trailer again I thought, “Wait, this movie is more awesome than I remembered!”

  146. I saw a few weeks ago something about Black Dynamite on ARTE, which is a German/French art TV channel. (And maybe the coolest channel in the world, because they now that “art” can mean everything from “experimental short film” to “classic silent movie” and “well made documentary”, right up to films from Russ Meyer. Not to mention that they even aired films like “Street Trash” for the first time on German TV!)
    They didn’t say much about it. It was a short interview with the director, together with some (damn hilarious) clips from the movie and of course the inevitable explaination what “blaxploitation” is.
    As far as I know it has still no release date here in Germany and I’m 99% sure it will go straight to DVD, but I really wanna watch it.

  147. Vern – yeah, that’s the one I saw. The great thing is it’s not like a parody of that style– it just IS that style. “He’s super cool, and he know Kung Fu.” That about sums it up, don’t it? And the business at the end about it being filmed in “cinenaphonic quadrovision” is just too glorious for words. It’s just so damn perfect I hardly know what to do about it.

    CJ — well, if it makes the wait easier, here’s the trailer I’m talking about. It’s so perfect in itself maybe it will provide some solace during the long wait.


  148. Also, that bit where they call Michael Jai White “all star running back Ferrante Jones” – that’s not Black Dynamite’s secret identity, that’s supposed to be the actor playing Black Dynamite. That’s not established in the movie, but I’ve seen him say in interviews that he approached it as a famous football player trying to act.

  149. Yeah, the thing I love about the trailer is just that the details are so spot-on, like the idea that they’d get a football star for this role. Seriously, I’m in love with this trailer. If the movie was never seen by anyone, I’d still say it was worth the time and money of all involved just for the trailer. If it were a fake trailer for GRINDHOUSE, I honestly would have wanted them to make the full thing long before I’d have asked for a full version even of MACHETE. I’m just giddy as a schoolgirl over this thing.

  150. So…Mel Gibson has a new revenge movie coming out. The trailers on line now. It’s directed by the guy who made Casino Royale, aka the best studio action movie of this decade. So yeah…MAD MAX IS BACK MOTHERFUCKERS! Also, I look forward to the movie where he is obsessed with a hand puppet, that should be pretty good.

  151. I’m not sure if anyone has seen this yet, but the trailer to Undisputed 3 is finally out


    probably not as exciting as the ninja trailer, but exciting nonetheless

    Oh and vern please do a review of the tournament when you get the chance. Adkins, Sebastien Foucan (parkour dude from casino royale), and some nice little set pieces make this a pretty solid action movie. And thats only a small bit of the content inside. I’m not sure if this would be considered a true dtv, but if it is then its pretty damn ambitious.

  152. All right, I was the one in this talkback saying that Avatar was overhyoed and Cameron was talking out of his ass about the brilliance of the special effects. I have now seen the second, 3 and 1/2 minute trailer, and y’know what? I was wrong. I think Avatar is going to be the movie he said it was going to be and it will represent the next level of technology. So congratulations James Cameron, you’re still and asshole, but this time it was at least kind of justified.

  153. Of course James Cameron is an asshole. I mean how many guys you know of who could make Ed Harris (allegedly) cry after one too many bad shooting days?

    That’s Hall of Fame worthy there.

  154. Well, I get that, but for me there’s a difference between a filmmaker that takes his shit very, very seriously and someone who is just a toxic human being. I’m not going to say Cameron’s one or the other having never met the man, but did you read the LA Times piece Chud linked to? Jesus Christ, parts of that were physically uncomfortable to read, like something out of the Ricky Gervais Office.

    So yeah, talking about his history and upcoming stuff can be rough.

  155. Brendan – Oh yes, and I remember that ENDER’S GAME author’s description of him. “He was only nice to me because I wasn’t working for him and could leave.”


    Total asshole. But its amazing how when its Michael Bay, we use it as an excuse to bury that hack. But if its Cameron or David Fincher, we excuse them.

    Anyway haven’t been to CHUD in years. I take it they went from kissing his ass as an idol as geeks for Lucas pre-SW prequels…to slaying him because some trailer of some movie didn’t rape their eyeballs. Or something.


  156. Uh, yeah, pretty accurate. To be fair to Devin and the boys, that whole cynical approach they take to everything is at least consistent. That just genuinely seems to be how they approach everything, same way Harry and his lot’s constant since of hope and optimism is how they approach films and life. Its not like a pose they’re striking for the crowd. But sometimes I do need to spend time away from that site just to escape from that attitude.

    But you should check out the link to that article at least. For one thing it gives you an incredible look into the process of making ‘Avatar’ and the insane intention to detail that goes into world-building. For another, it gives you a peak into James Cameron’s mind, and that’s a strange place to be.

  157. *sense of hope

  158. Brendan – Thanks for the link.

    And maybe this is why I love this web sight. We get good discussions without the bullshit community mentality, or moderators’ egos, get in the way.

  159. Yeah it’s a pretty sweet set up. Did you see that new Avatar trailer? That thing is fucking amazing. I’m still not all that hot on the design of Na’Vi (they look like something out of a kid’s movie) and I still think the story looks like some weird cross between Dances with Wolves and Ferngully, but despite all that, it looks fucking amazing.

  160. I have to disagree with you on this one Brendan, and i don’t find myself at odds with your opinions too often.

    I do not get the comparisons this movie has been getting to Fern Gully at all other than they both apparently take place near a jungle for some scenes.

    If I’m missing something what is it? It seems to me people have just been actively wanting to dislike this movie since before it even began filming.

    On any talk back on any sight(other than here) you can’t go 3 comments without someone jumping in with “GO TO 1:47 IN THE TRAILER AND IF U PAUSE AND SQUINT YOU CAN TELL THOSE CLEARLY AREN’T REAL BLUE FAIRY CREATURES, THIS MOVIE FAILS. AND ALSO, FUCK JAMES CAMERON”

    Cant believe you took it the Fern Gully route bro, but your still cool in my book.

  161. I prefer Dances With Thundercats, myself.

  162. For the record, I was mostly kidding, I seriously doubt that James Cameron ever saw a wacky Robin Williams starring cartoon about fairies. I was mostly referring to the plot which in that cartoon was about a contruction worker who with his crew is tearing down a forest, much to the anger of the magical creatures that live there, so he winds up getting shrunk down to their size, and sees the conflict from their side, experiences crazy adventure, falls in love and eventually leads them in stopping his former allies. The only real reason I brought it up was because the trailer showed lots of deforestization machines and lots of tree carnage. The actual inspiration was likely a lifetime of reading stuff like John Carter of Mars and reading Moebius comics and stuff like that, so I’m not accusing Cameron of plagirizing obscure children’s fantast films. Its just weird how certain stories elements overlap.

  163. That reminds me that I never found out how Ferngully ends. We watched it once in school, backin 1993, when our teacher wasn’t there and our substitute had nothing better for us. But we couldn’t finish it before the bell rang.

  164. Well the tar monster thing is feeding off the oil or whatever, and so the main fairy dashes in and does something magical with a seed which causes the tar/oil thing to start sprouting branches and stuff like that and eventually it turns into a giant tree. Everyone is pumped but then they realize that the good fairy is dead, only then they pull her out and she’s OK somehow. She restores the hero guy to his normal height and when his dumb buddies ask him where he’s been he just cryptically hints at the whole shrinking thing. Then he plants a seed and they walk off through the forest. They brought about its destruction, but now life can be restored and nature can once again reign.

    All of that was from memory. There is no way this movie is not on youtube.

  165. Oh God, FERNGULLY. A good example that unless you add a human concern to the environmentalist cause, nobody will give a shit or concern about the environment. See DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL remake.

    Brendan – Actually, AVATAR always came off as being DANCES WITH WOLVES in Outer Space. Now that could be good (DANCES WITH WOLVES) or quit…not. (LAST SAMURAI)

  166. Did no one catch my amazing Dances With Thundercats joke? Pay attention to me, dammit!

  167. If one has nothing good to say…

    and for the record, you should have said Dances with (Random sci-fi Alien race) because Thundercats is too post-modernistic/Nostalgia Critic/AVGN/AICN/CHUD/RetroJunk to make the joke work.

    At least for me.

  168. For the record, I don’t care what any of those acronymed douches say. I’ll be there stickfighting nerds for their 3D glasses opening night. If my eyeballs get fucked, so be it. The way they were dressed, they were asking for it.

  169. Your eyeballs were flirting with the movie. They deserved to get their brains bashed in.

    Also the Bible says so.

  170. Average tale of woe circa 1939:

    “Well, after all the topsoil blew away on the farm, Poppa had to join the army to get some insurance for Floyd’s medicine so his jawbone wouldn’t lock up again. Mama got a job at the factory making bullets, and even though her back hurts real bad she cuts hair on the weekends so Sally could buy a dress to get married in. Timmy and I helped out by hunting squirrel, which was a godsend, what with the discount Mama got on ammunition. They were the best years of my life.”

    Average tale of woe circa 2009:

    “This movie that nobody’s forcing me to see looks different than I expected it to look. No one has ever suffered more.”

  171. You guys might be interested in this recent New Yorker piece on Cameron. Long, but interesting.


  172. That’s the piece I was talking about, except I thought it was LA Times, not New Yorker. Whoops.

  173. WWE Films is producing a direct-to-DVD movie about the Undertaker.

    No Paul Bearer, No Deal.


  174. Steven Tyler quit Aerosmith


    And that is your Dinosaur Rock News for today. Tune in for something about Oasis next week.

  175. Given the director’s past, I don’t see how this can be any good, but the cast has me intrigued.

    Vinnie Jones
    Tom Berringer
    Ernie Huddson
    Michael Parks

    I actually like this cast better than the original Smokin’ Aces.


  176. Holy fuck I loved Bad Lieutenant: Really Long Title. It’s like arthouse Crank, but better. It’s hilarious, badass, weird as fuck, and actually kind of sweet. It’s both low key and completely over the top. It keeps forgetting about the plot so it can follow Nic Cage around playing Klaus Kinski playing Nosferatu playing a completely joyous trainwreck. The only sad part is when his girlfriend stops using drugs. And Brad Dourif! And Faruzia Balk in her underwear! And sharks! And the last line! Oh God, the last line. What a world where such a thing can be. I should really get to work on deserving it.

  177. Vern, do you think you’ll do an end of the decade list, like Beaks is doing over at AICN?


    I dont know what this sight thinks of Wes Anderson. Not his biggest fan, but certainly I always got a lift of spirits from watching his unique pictures. Have a sneaking suspicion they won’t hold up in a repeated viewing, but whatever.

    Point is, I might have actually enjoyed FOX more than any of Wes’ other works. Charming, creative funny little “kids movie” that adults will get more out of. If you hate Wes’ stuff, well FOX won’t change your mind.

    Interesting year really for we got two respected filmmakers in Wes and Spike Jonze making their own very good, semi-great movies adapted from beloved children’s books. And both ignored by a public who would rather take their ADD-kids to the latest Dreamworks mediocre piece of shit.

    Fuck the public.

  179. I like Anderson. Not Zissou so much, and Darjeeling is definitely a ‘minor’ work, but I never understood the huge amount of venom that many people have expressed for them. And even if they *aren’t* that great, Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Royal Tenenbaums are original enough and executed well enough to give the guy enough artistic leeway for years to come. If he chooses to spend it on in-jokes involving nautical explorers or on felt puppets dancing to Rolling Stones (or whatever) more power to him.

  180. Over at Chud Nick Nunziata has a review of Avatar. Short version: masterpiece.

  181. Isn’t CHUD the same website where Devin Farraci for months on the message board claimed AVATAR was doomed and not worth the saliva to talk about?

    Funny. No wonder I like Nick more.

  182. Yeah, Faraci has had it in for Avatar for months now. He can’t seem to mention it, or anything else for that matter, without expressing his doubts in Cameron and Avatar. It will be interesting to see if he

    a) maintains the scorn
    b) does a total 180 and loves it
    c) doesn’t eat as much crow as he should and compromises with a 7 to 8 out of 10 rating, a la The Dark Knight

  183. Gwai Lo – We should chide him for now on as Devin FullofShit. The last “t” is silent.

  184. Man, am I glad I have never visited this site of which you speak. It sounds like Talkbacker: The Website. How dare this pompous cock besmirch the CHUD name. That’s CHUD II: BUD THE CHUD’s job.

  185. btw, regarding that New Yorker article on James Cameron from a bit up this comment section… finally had a chance to read it (the grading period is nearly over, huzzah!) and its absolutely chock full of classic quotes. Most memorably, the greatest zen koan of the decade,

    “It’s all just an excuse to do helicopters versus pterodactyls,”

    I also like the hilariously classy take on talkbackers:

    The message boards on Ain’t It Cool News, a fanboy site that started tracking “Avatar” a decade ago, logged bitter disappointment. The fans there had anticipated “eyeball rape.” One wrote, “My eyeballs were merely fondled without permission.”

    Bet you didn’t think that shit’d end up in the New Yorker.

  186. Nah, CHUD is a good site, Dellamortes Box Office stuff is allways great, their TV section is miles better then AICN’s, Nick is a good writter and Devin comes up with good stuff too, his Devin’s Advocate column is mostly to the point. The CHUD lists are really funny in most cases.
    So overall it’s a good movie site.
    And they have a great videogame section (MCP) too.

  187. I read CHUD every day, I’m not going to lie. It’s a great site. Nick is a goof but in a good way. The site seems to cultivate a revolving door of thoughtful film analysts. The news always has a more polished delivery than “The Ain’t It Cool News”. CHUD just happened to form like Voltron and Devin was the head. He’s a sharp writer. He runs circles around your average internet film critic. But he can be a goddamn contrarian sometimes. He loves to push buttons. I think he likes to stick it to the breed of fanboy that is too self-serious to appreciate fun pulp, but he takes this impulse so far that he’s forced to be a stupid asshole to defend some of his contrarian opinions. He constantly harps on internet-journalistic integrity but then turns around and writes ten Devin’s Advocates on why The Dark Knight and/or Avatar are for philistines, before he even watches them. I like when he champions good films because he’s usually right, but then he’ll turn around and rail on something (Twilight is fine, but…) needlessly to provoke the ire of his readers. CHUD has some of the most hostile talkbacks on the interweb (more hostile per capita than AICN and that’s saying something) and I’m pretty sure it’s because Mr. Faraci loves sticking it to emotional nerds. Devin: your last hurdle as a journalist is to stop making fun of the people who read you. Take a note from Vern’s talkbacks, nothing but civility here, because coming in here and causing a ruckus would feel like walking into your friend’s house with dogshit on your boots.

    I’m going to bed, I’m drunk.

  188. Gwai Lo – You hit the nail right on the head with Mr. Devin FullofShi(t).

    He’s really a geek who hates “the geeks,” then turn around and have that silly Harry Potter column series of his. It’s one thing to be a prick, because sometimes it takes a prick to tweak someone’s nose to make point clear.

    But indeed, to be contrarian for the sake of it, like Armond White* that son of a bitch…well, why bother with you Devin?

    Vern aint one of those “geeks” either, at least not the usual sort which clogs up the Internet. But you don’t see him pissing on them every other review/posting. I mean when is the last time for Vern, outside of that legendary TRANSFORMER review of his from years ago?

    *=He’s President of the New York Film Critics group. How the fuck he land that gig? Was Ben Lyons too busy?

  189. I don’t know if random suggestions are welcome, but just in case you haven’t seen them already, I think you might enjoy the two MESRINE movies by Jean-François Richet, KILLER INSTINCT and PUBLIC ENEMY N1. It’s probably the closest thing to Badass Cinema we have here in France and Vincent Cassel is really good as famous French gangster Jacques Mesrine.

  190. Vern – I just saw The Beast with Jason Patric (It was pretty sweet) and I came here to see if you had written anything up on it. To my surprise I don’t believe you’ve written a review on any Jason Patric movie. Sleepers, Lost Boys, Rush, NARC, not even Solarbabies.

    I’m not complaining. I just found it odd is all. I assumed there would have been something on Sleepers or Lost Boys at least.

  191. OK, so I took in Jennifer Lynch’s SURVEILLANCE. Not at all what I was expecting. I genuinely think its supposed to be a kind of weird dark comedy. Either that or its not very good. But I am kinda inclined to think its more the former than the latter. Bill Pullman might finally get his own mega-acting award for this one, but its pretty memorable and (I guess) all in good fun. What do you think, is it Jennifer Lynch’s version of KAOS or is it a some kind of nihilistic comedy?

  192. I forget which board some of you guys kept bringing up Outland but I came across it at the video store the other day and watched the thing. I figured since everyone was fawning over it, I might give it a try. (I’m not a big Sean Connery fan so there’s no way I would have watched this on my own)

    Good call fellas. That was a pretty sweet movie. A thanks is owed to all who mentioned it.


  193. I don’t know if there are any Stephen King fans (or haters) trolling this site, but I just finished Under the Dome (fucking fantastic except for the very, very ending, but this is Stephen King we’re talking about so that’s to be expected and accepted early on) and would like to know what any one else thought about it. Here’s hoping Spielberg actually makes that TV show (probably never happen but whatever, you never know) because I need some kind of serialized genre show to become obsessed with now that Lost is wrapping up.

  194. I’m not a huge King fan, and I kind of hated CELL, but I got UNDER THE DOME for Christmas and finally opened it this afternoon. I’m no speed reader but I cranked out the first hundred pages in no time. I am expecting a poor ending but so far this one looks like a winner.

    On a different note, I saw THE LOVELY BONES. First Peter Jackson film I didn’t like. I think he needs to pull a Raimi and go back to his roots.

  195. Hey Brendan, big King fan here. I finished the novel about a month ago myself and also loved it. My thoughts are pretty similar to your own. The book was excellent until(spoiler coming up!!!) they find the generator….then it’s all down hill. The ending should have been epic and instead came off like some shitty 3rd season Star Trek episode. I also had a problem with the beyond absurd(again SPOILER!!!) frame job they pull on Barbie. No matter how much I try I cannot convince myself that any group of people would be THAT gullible. What kind serial killer leaves any sort of identification at the scene of the crime like that? Besides the ending at that though I loved it. One of the best villains in any King book and some of his most vivid characters.

    (END SPOILERS) Also, and this actually something to do with this sight, anyone notice the strong similarities between Barbie and the usual characters Seagal portrays in his films?? It was bugging me the enire time I read the novel. If this was the late 80s or early 90s I would start a petition demanding Seagal play Barbie.

    Exhibit A: He’s a cook. A good one. People are constantly complementing him on his skills in the kitchen. Especially his enemies who usually refer to him as “that cook”. Remind anyone else of another cook who happened to be in the Navy?

    Exhibit B: Shadowy ex-military past. Like a Seagal character he used to be in the military in some fashion and also like Seagal it’s not made clear exactly what he does until close to the end of the story.

    Exhibit C: Like Seagal in either of the Under Siege movies when the shit goes down he’s the man on the inside that the government can trust and gets in contact with to resolve the situation.

    Exhibit D: Pacifism. Like most Seagal characters Dale “Barbie” Barbara goes out of his way to avoid a fight…..at first. He only fights when pushed into one and there is no other alternative.

    There might be more but it’s been a while since I’ve read it.

  196. Yeah, I’m not to sure about that either odo. I let that slide simply because I think it fit into the really, really bleak portrait King was painting, and I would guess that you’re sort of supposed to think the story Big Jim comes up with is stupid. Everyone who takes two seconds to think about it realizes immediately that it is a frame up, and I think I remember someone ever saying exactly what you said, about how Barbie could possibly not have noticed that he’d lost his dog tags.

    I think the idea behind the central truth of the Dome is good, but there’s almost no way to execute it in a manner that isn’t a massive cheat (and if there is, King didn’t find it) and I think King is sort of aware of it, because he seems to go out of his way to not have characters spend to much time actually dealing with the Dome.

    I would disagree with you about how everything goes downhill once they find the cube. I think the destruction King brings down on the denizens of Chester’s Mill is downright Old Testament with King himself as the pissed off Yahweh handing those who refused to stand against evil a healthy dose of ragin inferno. I think it’s some of the most emotionally satisfying stuff he’s written in a long time.
    Having said that, a few things about the last stretch annoyed me:
    1) The Dome revelations, as discussed, and
    2) The completely off-handed way he offs several major characters in the closing stretch. SUPER FUCKING SPOILER It’s one thing to have people go out with little to no fanfare, but the characters got over the death of their comrades faster then the Firefly crew got over Wash. And that’s fucking saying something. At one point someone mentions that not one, but TWO young children are dead and people just shrug it off.
    3) Is sort of the same problem. He has this huge cast that I was interested in, but as the book wa winding down and really got into the home stretch he put the focus on a couple of the surviving group and was so tied to them that I kept forgetting that certain characters had joined up and were in the final group. It wasn’t that I lost track of characters, it was that he didn’t fucking mention them for fifty pages and then they said one line. Oh shit, the New Age-y lady survived and hung around? Good for her.
    4) I’ll be really vague about this, but it concerns a major resolution. I think Big Jim Rennie is King’s best villian ever. He’s as diabolical as a Randall Flagg and as stark raving bonkers as Carmody. And he feels so fucking REAL. I mean, Rennie’s a cartoon, (he’s not just a Republican he’s also a used car salesman AND a kooky Christian AND a heedless father AND a drug kingpin AND he’s really, really stupid) but while he falls into several King-isms (why does EVERY crazy person have to be a Christian? I mean, really?) his motivation is what grounds him in the real world. He’s not after World Domination, or a secret treasure or a super weapon, he’s motivated by his own bloated self-worth and his belief that he really is the town’s only chance. I think that’s how the real Rennie’s operate (seeing has how King blatantly modelled him after Cheney, I feel like I’m on the money). These guys aren’t Bond villians, they’re David Brent if he got into politics and thye fuck everything up.
    Anyway, all I meant to say is that I hated Big Jim and was looking forward to something really really bad happening to him and his, and while King certainly punishes them, it lacks any real sense of closure and triumph. I guess the ignoble end is the fitting end, Hitler and all that, but come on. I waited 1,000 pages for this fucker to get it and then he goes out with a mighty whimper. Talk about blue balls.

    All that said, I still have no trepidations saying that I loved UNder the Dome and I’m glad I could talk to you guys about it.

  197. Hey folks, took a look at DAYBREAKERS. Most of you probably already decided you were going to go see it, but if you haven’t I feel pretty comfortable saying that if you do you won’t regret it. It’s not that it’s a home run, exactly (its middling narrative deflates a bit in the final act) but it’s exactly the kind of movie I think most of us wish were made more often. A stylish, committed B-movie that takes itself seriously but isn’t afraid to have a little fun either. Add to that a few mildly original ideas, some very light subtext, and a fun cast and you’ve got something which I’d support on general principle. I can’t imagine it’s going to enjoy a terribly long theater run so get out there while you can. The Spierig Brothers have come along way since their first film, UNDEAD, where a guy punches a zombie fish.

    Interesting side note, on the way out of the theater I was behind a teenage girl and her mom who were just going on about how terrible it was and what a waste of time and money etc etc. I was so baffled I walked behind them awhile to figure out what in the world there was to not like about it, exactly up to the point they said, “Well, the new TWILIGHT movie will be out pretty soon, right?” “Thank God! This wasn’t like the other two at all!” No, I’m guessing this one’s a little heavier on the beheadings than the first two TWILIGHTs, and no glitter either. What a wasted opportunity.

  198. Saw a press screening of THE BOOK OF ELI tonight. Didn’t like it. It’s not bad for the majority of the running time but by the end I realized that it was pretentious and disingenuous and not nearly as deep or as badass as it thinks it is. But it’s bound to get a good discussion going so I hope Vern reviews it.

  199. Majestyk- Do they actually play around with the Bible or is it more a fantasyland take on religion and faith and etc?

  200. I agree we need more genre movies Mr. Subtley, but Daybreakers didn’t do it for me. Even getting past the ludicrous premise, there’s just too little action and gore. It’s hard to think about what they could have done to make it more interesting for me given the setup, but overall it was just too meandering, I kept waiting for it to kick into gear and it didn’t. Great laugh with the first “test subject” of the synthetic blood, but overall too boring. It was nice to see the cast doing such a film, but in the end that’s just not enough. Given the success of Snyder’s Dawn remake you would hope there would be place to genre cross-overs, but it appears Hollywood is either lacking in the ideas or doesn’t recognize the potential. I guess Land of the Dead could have cancelled out any feeling about Dawn’s general success, but there is a spot for these relatively low-budget flicks.

  201. I love Land of the Dead. The ending is sort of choppy and weirdly paced but otherwise it is a great Road Warrior style examination of civilization after the Apocalypse. You gotta love the weird deformed guy who talks like Lenny from Of Mice and Men but shoots like Sergeant York. Or at least I do.

  202. I am finally getting around to watching the BOURNE series on Netflix (my girlfriend insists, I think she’s a keeper) and I can’t believe Vern never reviewed these. Unless he’s hidden them in another review somewhere or just wants his “shaky cam” comments elsewhere to count as one.

    BOURNE IDENTITY was pretty good, nice suspenseful story with a good satisfying ending but it also leaves so many open questions. The fight scene in his house where he (SPOILER) stabs the guy with a pen was awesome, in that he completely manhandled the guy who was obviously also a total badass. At the end of this 3-4 minute long fight Bourne is standing there breathing a little hard and the other guy is laying on the floor covered in blood and knows he is totally screwed. If you’ve seen 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN this scene is in the background at one point at the electronics store.

    BOURNE SUPREMACY was also good and the complete story is coming together, and it has a standout action scene in the car chase at the end with pretty believable car wrecks in the tunnel (although that is one tough taxi cab). A lesser movie would have had the incidental cars blowing up, or launching 10 feet in the air, or flipping over 5 times, but here the wrecks look realistic and scary and it’s spectacular.

    ULTIMATUM is coming up and I hear it’s just as good. Nice job Matt Damon.

  203. I find Ultimatum the weakest, mainly due to the conclusion of the storyline not really concluding anything imo. Will wait to see what you think.

  204. Brendan: No, it is totally the Bible. They call it “the book” most of the time but it’s just the Bible. That should have allowed for some interesting extrapolation about the value and/or danger of religion in a burgeoning society, but the movie isn’t interested in that. It’s interested in how awesome everybody looks in their 30-years-old-but-scratch-free shades.

  205. Is it wrong that I’m kind of glad? I think religion COULD and SHOULD be explored using genre metaphors, but most of the time the end result is simplistic and one note and cause for much speechifying and overacting. Ifying. Take the Mist: Great movie, but I think I stand for the majority when I say that Marcia Gay Harden’s screaming psycho was a weak link. So my stance I guess is that unless you really really have something to say (like Stephen King with the Stand) and are able to wrap your ideas naturally into the narrative and character arcs (like Stephen King with the Stand) you should just leave it alone. That’s just my opinion. Were the fight scenes good?

  206. Mr M – thats a shame. I keep wanting the Hughes to hit a home run (other than AMERICAN PIMP) because I always feel like their films have some great things about them. I do get a bad vibe from ELI though, and not just because I’d argue that the bible is the LAST thing a post-apocalyptic society might need.

    Clubside — see, I found the basic premise inherently interesting and the movie actually lost a little interest for me when it got to the action (which is definitely fairly slight, though well executed). The look of the film and the clever little details of the vampire society really got me going more than the car chases and bow fights. I agree it’s not a classic, but I bet I’ll remember it fondly a few years from now, which puts it on par with a lot of the great forgotten B-movies that me and most of the folks here cleave to. Sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea, though. Maybe ELI will deliver the action goods for you? I’m still pulling for it.

  207. I get what you’re saying. I’d have been cool with it if it were just a kickass action flick with some religious trappings mixed in. But that;s not what this is. It’s a standard-issue Man With No Name story with delusions of grandeur. The whole movie is ABOUT religion, but it has nothing to say about it. The fight scenes are good but brief. Some show-offy camera moves and well-integrated CGI beheadings, but nothing special. Which is weird, because the action seems to be the only thing the directors were interested in, besides the costume design and oh-so-gritty desaturated photography. I never thought I’d say this, but the ideas the movie brought up were interesting enough that I would have sacrificed an action scene or two if it meant they had time to explore them with a little more depth and ambiguity.

    I have more to say about it, but I’ll save it for the actual review. Which should be forthcoming, right, Vern, hint hint?

  208. What a weird month. First Daybreakers, then Eli, and Legion next week. Seriously, when did January become weird genre movie month? I mean besides Cloverfield. Oh and Tooth Fairy comes out soon! That’s on everybody’s radar right fellas? Guys? Guys…?

  209. rainman- I think Ultimatum is the best in the series. To me, it is the perfect combination of character, story and bone-shattering action. I think it is the culmination of everything that Liman set up in Identity and Greengrass improved on with Supremacy. There’s at least two all time classic chase sequences, an epic performance by Albert Finney, and Joan Allen being as badass as popular without threatning to make someone shit on a sidewalk (read the Death Race review). The only thing that I don’t totally like about it is that Greengrass keeps up the kinetic camera work even when people are standing in a room having a conversation. That was a bit much, but I thought during the action scenes he had a great system worked out.

  210. I have to say I’ve been excited about LEGION from the first trailer because even more than DAYBREAKERS and ELI it just looks like the craziest fucking thing ever. Its pretty ballsy to make an acton/horror pic where the main villain whose plan must be foiled at all costs is…. God. That’s the kind of what-the-fuckery that I can easily support with my hard earned cash.

  211. The LEGION trailer just gives off a too-good-to-be-true vibe to me. I want it to be as crazy as it should by all rights be, but I know it probably won’t. I call it “The ZOMBIE STRIPPERS Syndrome.”

  212. While “realism” isn’t the right word, it best expresses something I prefer in genre movies. As I am in the middle of a zombie novel reading spree this issue was really at the forefront when I watched Daybreakers. When it comes to vampires I can enjoy the cheese of The Lost Boys, the mythology and demonic undertones of Buffy/Angel, and the underground society of Blade.

    The rest of this may be SPOILERY but I’ll try to keep it light. The premise of Daybreakers is that vampires have overrun the entire planet to the point of human extinction. Two big problems with that: unlikely given human technology and vampire vulnerabilities, and the vampires themselves wouldn’t be so dim-witted as to get themselves into such a situation as to be pressed for a blood substitute so long after it would be necessary rather than convenient. Even the ridiculousness of The Matrix’s premise showed some logic in the machine’s preparedness for a renewable energy source, yet billions of vampires rose up and just thought, hey, we’re immortal, no problem? I can live with the vampires needing human blood to ward off mutation, but if that was a known reality would they not have policed themselves to prevent the crisi they face in Daybreakers? Sure, this is just me overthinking it, but if they weren’t going for an action and gore-filled genre movie, why not have the rest make sense, even the simple twisted sense of something like They Live?

  213. Clubside – well, I think the situation is meant to be analagous to our current dependence on oil. Maybe the vamps are cutting it little closer than is realistic, but I think the film isn’t set in 2019 by accident. If we don’t have a magic substitute for oil by then we’ll start to feel a lot like Sam Neill – – and I’m betting we’ll be just as delusional about the gravity of our situation until the shit really hits the fan. At least, I think that’s what the film is trying to say.

  214. I saw BOURNE ULTIMATUM last night and to tell you the truth I’m having a hard time remembering much about it. That’s not good. Actually the biggest impression of it right now is that Scott Glenn looks like he’s 200 years old. I guess it’s been 20-25 years since he was in HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (and BACKDRAFT?) but jeez. Guess I haven’t seen him in anything since.

    So I guess I am kind of disappointed that I wasn’t blown away, not that I was blown away by the first two, they were just well done in a non-show-offy low-key story-driven kind of way. I was hoping for some more novel twists in this last one. He did that “I’m on the phone with you but also behind you on a rooftop spying on you through your window” thing again, which was not nearly as cool the 3rd time.

    Wait there was one scene that was particularly well done. SPOILERS beware…. Bourne has a flashback to when he was dunked in water during his training, intercut with a flashback of trying to give mouth-to-mouth to his dead girlfriend underwater, intercut with a passionate kiss with said girlfriend. Tying together the torture / death / kissing / sex thing, MUNICH style.

    But yeah, I did get a little sick of the MAN ON FIRE camera movement.

  215. “The only thing that I don’t totally like about it is that Greengrass keeps up the kinetic camera work even when people are standing in a room having a conversation.”

    One scene in “Ultimatum” (I recently watched the trilogy again myself the past week, btw — and I keep wanting to call the 3rd film “The Bourne Ultimacy”, just to make it synch with the other titles {g}) takes this to a truly ridiculous extreme.

    It happens right after a car crash, the action is over, the camera is looking at the result from a few dozen yards away, the point of view is in the middle of the road on solid pavement… AND THE FRICKING CAMERA IS STILL SHAKING! And not in a cinema-verite sort of way either; it’s still shaking in a ‘faking the Enterprise being shot at’ way, like the cars are supposed to still be shaking the riders around.


    I love the trilogy, but I agree that the 2nd movie is the high point; the 3rd movie, while still fine (and better than many other movies), has too many places where they feel like they’re dittoing high points from the 2nd movie but in a lesser fashion. Plus the plot tends to anticlimax, which is realistic in a way, but not very satisfying. Also, the first time I watched it I couldn’t help but feel cheated that the story didn’t seem to be connecting in any way with the final scene of the 2nd movie (but that’s because three-quarters of the 3rd movie happens between the last and the next-to-last scene of “Supremacy”.) Making Albert Finney’s character look like Uncle Argyle (I can’t remember the actor’s name at the moment, so I’ll go with his unspeakably awesome semi-cameo role in “Braveheart” {g}) from the first two films, was a thin choice, too. Although I’ll grant that Finney’s freakish alien vocal tones and speaking cadences work well.

    In short, the 3rd film (unlike, for example, Matrix Revolutions) doesn’t feel like the climax to a trilogy per se. It only feels like what it probably originally was (in print): another chapter added because the first two were popular. (While also feeling, due to its organic structure with “Supremacy”, like it’s the second part of a sequel duology to an original standalone first work; like the two other Pirates of the Caribbean films.)

  216. Do you mean Brian Cox?

    I still think Ultimatum is the best. I think Greengras and his team took everyhting that was interesting and entertaining about the first two, stripped off every inch of fat and ‘Hollywood’ and crafted a lean, mean machine of set-ups and pay offs playing out over the course of two hours across the globe. To me, the Bourne series is exactly how a major franchise should be handled and I hope they manage to convince Greengrass to come back for a fourth one (it’ll never happen but a guy can dream).

  217. Mr. Majestyk- Just saw Eli. Well I really, really liked it. Not a great movie by any means and I was bothered by how familiar some of the beats were, specifically to Children of Men. One of the things I was actually really happy with was how simple they kept it. I think if they had started ladling on the religious talk really thick it would have ruined the movie. I think the Hughes chose the better option, they give the audience all the pieces so we understand Eli’s quest and what drives him and gives him faith, but it never actually stops cold and spoonfeeds you exactly what is going on. I’ll say more if Vern reviews it.


    One last thing: How did you not love that last reveal about Eli’s ‘situation?’ When Oldman is left staring at the Braille, utterly defeated and the Hughes do that slow-zoom into Denzel’s fogging up eyes, my jaw was on the floor. Me and my buddy were trying to figure it out afterwards and we realized just how carefully they had laid out the truth, teasing it out.

  218. I’ll admit that it’s not a bad movie if you manage to not take it seriously (which is difficult, because it wants to be taken really, really seriously). It’s one of those movies I didn’t notice I didn’t like until the very end. I kept hoping that I was wrong, that this wasn’t an uncritical celebration of the awesomeness of vague religiosity, that there was something the least bit subversive going on, but that twist ruined it for me because SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER it asked me to believe that reading the Bible gives you superpowers. A guy in the theater behind me was complaining about the obvious symbolism, but I don’t think there was any symbolism at all. The Bible LITERALLY lets blind men shoot with deadly accuracy and makes them bulletproof (until they no longer have it on their person, of course). It also apparently keeps your iPod functional for 30 years in the post-apocalyptic desert even though I’ve never had one that lasted longer than two. Nope, sorry. I can buy Zatoichi or Blind Fury because that’s the point of those movies. “Invincible blind swordsman” is the concept I have to swallow right at the outset. Book of Eli waited until the very end to drop the bomb that Jesus makes you Daredevil, and it was just horseshit to me. If this was some kind of fantasyland, sure. It’s magic, why not? But this was supposed to be the real world. In the real world blind people are lousy shots and bullets hit religious zealots whether they have their favorite book with them or not.

    But forget the twist. Mostly the movie just disappointed me because I found its premise of a the value and/or danger of religion in a spirituality-free world intriguing, and it did fuck all with it. I wrote a much more detailed critique of the movie here: http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-book-of-eli,37086/#2085049 Just scroll down and look for my comment (same name). You can’t miss it, it’s the really long one. P.S. I apologize for reusing some of the lines. It’s too early to come up with fresh material.

  219. Totally respect your points man and can’t really argue with you on the central premise, either you buy into it or you don’t. But let me say this for it: I think the ending works because it makes Eli’s story into what I refer to as “small miracle” Bible tale, a story where God’s prescence is expressed briefly in one or two acts of making the impossible possible. If you think of Eli’s blindness as similar to Daniel surviving the lion’s den or David being able to stand against Goliath, I think it makes more sense and holds more water.

  220. It’s true, you either believe in miracles or you don’t. I guess I don’t. Or I do, but it’s got to be the kind of story where a miracle can happen. For instance, I really like The Passion of the Christ, because the ground rules are pretty clear from the outset: It sucks to be the son of God sometimes. I didn’t think Book of Eli was that kind of story, and when it became one, it kind of pissed me off. I view religion as philosophy, not magic. It’s all about the usefulness of the advice it gives, but all Book of Eli had to say was “The Bible is awesome because God is totally real and he can make you a total badass.” If you don’t actually believe in God, it doesn’t give you much to work with.

    I’ve said before on these boards that I’m an atheist, but I’m open-minded enough to appreciate good arguments about the practical value of religion. They’re pretty rare, though, because you just get hit with that faith macguffin again and again. “But why?” I ask. “Just have faith,” they say. “Faith in what?” I ask. “Faith in faith,” they reply, then throw down a smoke bomb and run away. Faith is like the Force: It can paper over any plothole without ever having to be explained. Then again, look what happened when they tried to explain the Force, so maybe I’m off-base on this one.

  221. I thought DAYBREAKERS was actually pretty good. Works kinda like a John Carpenter movie from the 80s would. Minus a kickass soundtrack.

  222. Majestyk- I don’t think it’s a question of believing in miracles. One of your points is that the movie takes place in the “real world” so having a SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER blind man be given increased senses is cheating. But I think of the movie as taken place in a post-Revelations chapter of the Bible. If you read the interviews with the Hugheses over at Ain’t It Cool, at least one of them declares themselves as a non-believer. I’m not an atheist but I really don’t have much use for organized religion or movies that try to cram their morality down my throat (I’m looking at YOU fucking Narnia). I have to live with enough Catholic guilt as is without other people trying to tell me how badly I may or may not be living my life. I just think that if you place Eli’s story and the “miracle” that is his abilities in the context of other Bible stories it actually works beautifully. That’s just me though.

    Also it was cool to see the Punisher cutting a deal to buy Mila Kunis. Can’t really blame the guy. Also, Dumbledore as a machine gun wielding cannibal? Stunt casting at its best.

  223. I don’t mean you actually have to believe in miracles for the movie to work. I just meant that the possibility of miracles has to exist in the interior logic of the movie. I mean, you don’t have to believe in Greek mythology to like Clash of the Titans, but if the whole movie had been a historical drama like Gladiator and then the Kraken showed up at the end, well, you might have some issues with it. Then again having the Kraken show up at the end of Gladiator would have been a huge improvement in my opinion.

    But you’re right, viewed as a Biblical parable, sure, Book of Eli works, I guess. I just didn’t want that kind of movie, especially since they try to have it both ways by showing the Torah and the Qu’ran at the end. So there’s all these other religions too, but do they give you superpowers? It doesn’t surprise me that one of the directors is a non-believer. The movie just feels disingenuous when dealing with its subject matter. It tries to have this big emotional push at the end but I just didn’t buy that anyone involved in the making of the movie actually believed in it. That’s kind of the Hughes Brothers’ style, actually. They make these movies that are ostensibly about serious issues, but it’s just window-dressing. All they really care about is making everything look awesome. Look at Menace II Society. It pretends to be all about how terrible gang violence is, but really it’s all about how cool the Hughes Brothers can make gang violence look. Look at what they did to From Hell. They use a stark, serious, meticulously researched black-and-white serial killer procedural and use it as an excuse to make Ian Holmes’ eyes glow. I think they’d be great exploitation filmmakers if they just owned up to it. Instead, they gotta pretend that their movies actually mean something. I haven’t seen Dead Presidents, though, so maybe that’s the one where they show some depth.

  224. I can’t speak at all for their other movies. To me the very very end of the film works SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER as a reverse Raiders of the Lost Ark. With that movie it was a really cruel punchline to all the horror that had come before, all the lives ended and destroyed and then the Ark was just stuck with a bunch of other junk. With this movie, the Bible and the ideas contained within are preserved and placed alongside other volumes and ideas with no precedence given to any of them. The ideas live on and are shared, not bastardized into an agenda.

    But like I said, either you buy into the movie or you don’t. I bought into the reality they created, you were left cold. Doesn’t make you a bad viewer, doesn’t make Eli a bad movie. This is a pure agree-to-disagree type scenario. If nothing else, as vaguely explored as the films themes are, it gave us an interesting dialogue about the film. If every movie merited a thoughtful discussion of its themes and ideas, the film industry would be in a much better place, quality wise anyways.

  225. Totally. I still want Vern to review it just to participate in the conversation. I actually liked a lot about the movie, even if I kind of hated it as a whole. I could happily watch an entire movie of Denzel and Tom Waits hanging out, and Gary Oldman was awesome (obviously). I wish Ray Stevenson had had a better exit, though. I thought he was gonna draw down on Oldman because he knew that Oldman was gonna kill Mila Kunis for pulling that stunt with the grenade. That would have given him a little depth, like he didn’t just want her because she was the hottest chick around, but because he actually cared about her, even though she tried to kill him.

    But anyway. It’s funny that I’ll be much harder on a movie that has potential and fails than I will on a movie with no potential that succeeds. I don’t mind a stupid action movie that doesn’t insult my intelligence by pretending it has any, but I can’t stand a movie that pretends it has something to say and then leaves me hanging. There are noble failures that bite off more than they can chew, and then are failures that take a big mouthful and then don’t even try to chew it. Eli’s the second kind, for me.

  226. 100% agree pal. Movies that exist as teflon, as product to be consumed and then forgotten are the worst kind of culture-lowering garbage. If a movie tries and fails, even if it pisses me off and makes me rant and rave and foam at the mouth so much they have to bring in a rabies shot, then I’ll at least give the film credit as being able to get under my skin and bring out a response, even if that response is very very negative.

  227. Shit, DAYBREAKERS got killed this weekend. I swear, guys, you should go see it. If there’s any segment of the population which could appreciate something like this, its the people here.

  228. HOLY SHIT I NEED HELP! I may get to interview Wesley Fucking Snipes! What the fuck am I gonna ask him? Jesus Christ, he’s gonna eat me alive! Vern, everyone, give me awesome questions to ask!

  229. UPDATE: It might now come down to a choice between the Wesley interview and a Don Cheadle interview. They’re both in BROOKLYN’S FINEST, the marketers of which are reaching out to the magazine I work for. I’m a little torn, honestly. I’m mean, both are awesome in totally different ways, but Wesley Snipes is a fucking icon. He’s pretty goddamn intimidating. I’d have to ask him about the tax thing and then he’d have to break my face off. That’s the way it works.

  230. Ask Wesley about how much input he had in creating Blade’s fighting style, persona and all that iconic stuff. I have to manage he had a large hand in forming the character.

  231. Shit, that’s tough. One possible topic is playing James Brown for Spike Lee, and how he would approach that physical transformation. Also, which other comic book character would Blade most enjoy beheading?

  232. Mr. Majestyk – I envy you. I got stuck having to interview Jonathan Mostow (BREAKDOWN, U-571, SURROGATES, that Terminator movie about talking to the hand).

  233. Ask him who would win, Simon Phoenix or Blade. Then duck.

  234. You should ask if him and Mario Van Peebles are going to complete the trilogy they started with New Jack City and (The not as great but I still liked it) Hard Luck. Maybe they could call it Two Jack City?

  235. How about Jack Off City?

  236. This is off topic (if you can get off topic in a thread called potpourri) but I just finished watching the first season of Sons of Anarchy. Given the cast, subject matter, and the fact that it’s just an awesome show I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned on this sight at all. I do realize that movies are primary topic of discussion but if you’re late to the game like me with Sons of Anarchy, I say give it a shot.

    To bring it back to the topic at hand… Mario Van Peebles I think will be directing another episode or two and I think Wesley Snipes would make a sweet addition to the show, if only for an episode or two. Majestyk – You should plant that seed and see if it grows. Just sayin’.

  237. Thanks, fellas. I’ll definitely ask about the James Brown project, and I’ll bring it back to New Jack City because he’s also playing a crime boss in BROOKLYN’S FINEST, which I saw last night and is pretty solid. You WIRE fans ought to like it (it’s even got Omar in it), it’s all about how the cop business and the crime business are both dead-end gigs. It’s nothing special, but the characters are believable and their problems are relatable, even when they’re blowing each other away. And it’s about time Brooklyn got some love again.

  238. Any chance you can put up a link when it’s finished? I’d like to read this.

  239. I’ll see what I can do, but until then, it is going to be published in an actual magazine on real paper and stuff. SMOOTH Magazine, Issue #45. Ray J and a couple of big-booty chicks on the cover. On newsstands end of March.

    Maybe I’ll post a link to my interview with Scott Sanders on the Black Dynamite thread, though.

  240. That’s cool. I guess I’ll pick up Smooth Magazine, Issue #45 at the end of March then. Now if only I could find a damned newsstand…

  241. Boys, I would like to unequivocally recommend EDGE OF DARKNESS as the kind of no-frills badass picture all of us would agree the world needs more of. I caught a press screening tonight and the audience applauded seven or eight times, often just from the look on Mel’s face or the tone of his voice. That’s what being a movie star is all about in my opinion. The movie offers no surprises and there’s no major action, but the filmatism is on just the right side of workmanlike (anonymous direction, smooth cinematography, unobtrusive score) and it hits its marks perfectly, whipping the crowd up in a positive, cathartic way. It makes even the ladies in the audience cheer when the evil motherfucker gets his. This is righteous fury at its finest, and as much as I like AVATAR, I hope this is the one to knock it off its throne.

  242. UPDATE: Sadly, my interview with Wesley Snipes fell through. We couldn’t schedule it in time for my deadline. Now I’ll never know who he thinks would win in a fight between Passenger 57 and Simon Phoenix.

    Also, I want my mini-review of EDGE OF DARKNESS to get its due on on the front page. It deserves your support.

  243. The Losers trailer:
    Between this and Expendables (and maybe A-Team), is 2010 the year of the ensemble team action movie’s comeback?

  244. Saw MONEY TRAIN as part of a 99 cent iTunes rental, and yeah its a totally disposable Wesley Snipes vehicle. The only good thing, asides from Jennifer Lopez showing off her tits, is the Snipes/Woody Harleson chemistry.

    In short, this is WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP but without a real script, real people, real director, real humor, nothing really good.

    Which is odd since MONEY TRAIN was shot by Joseph Ruben, who also made DREAMSCAPE and (original) THE STEPFATHER. Both were good.

  245. Just say Edge of Darkness. Really, really liked it.
    Grain of salt #1: I also loved the Departed which doesn’t extend to everyone here, and this movie and that one share a narrative voice (they share a writer) and style that may be offputting to some people.
    Grain of salt #2: I love films that properly use Massachusetts as opposed to ones that use it as some bland backdrop (see Kingdom, Forbidden and Gates, Surro) or as some excuse for cheap accent jokes (Rock, 30). Darkness uses the state perfectly and even spotlights places that are personally relevant to me. (No shit, if you go see the movie, watch for the scene like 10 minutes in where Gibson spreads his daughter’s ashes at the beach. If director Martin Campbell had shot Gibson from the front, you would have had a clear shot of the two bedroom beach house me and family spend a weekend or two every summer. In that scene you will also see (two) outcroppings of rocks, me and my brothers go crabhunting there every summer and once when I was six I fell off and almost drowned).

    Having said that, I feel confident in recommending it. It’s just solid all the way through. Good story that veers off into intersting directions, good characters you care about and who act in rational manners, solid fight scenes with no shakycam bullshit (IT IS NOT AN ACTION MOVIE, BUT STILL), great tough guy dialogue and back and forths. Danny Huston is great as a Danny Huston-esque scumbag and Ray Winstone owns the movie as a great Ray Winstone-y shady guy. And Gibson is great. Regardless of what you think of his personal life, the guy can bring it when he gives a shit. And bring it he does. Gibson plays Det. Craven as a human being, not an unstoppable human being, and he shows you all the cracks that his daughter’s death has opened up and he’s genuinely affecting in places. And when he is called on to bring the badass he delivers in spades. His final, snarled out line is a stand up and cheer moment. Like I said, solid all the way through.

    And I’m going to give the lion’s share of the credit to William Monahan. I can’t say I’m a fan of his other stuff (by which I mean I don’t like Body of Lies) but when he’s working with Massachusetts based crime stories, the guy has the goods in a major way. Darkness doesn’t have the holy-shit confident-as-all-fuck filmatism of Departed, but Campbell’s more workmanlike style is perfectly suited and deployed (and there’s nothing as fucking stupid as that godawful state house view that never fails to piss me off when I watch the Departed, which is often). The script is funny, tough and does a beautiful job of maintaining tension and energy inbetween explosions of extreme violence.

    Also Gibson’s accent is stronger then anyone in the Departed not named Mark Wahlberg, and he had the homefield advantage. He never approaches Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone, but he does a really good job.

  246. Also there were a bunch of good trailers for movies coming out soon. The Losers looks like a good, goofy spy movie, and Brooklyn’s Finest looks like a solid crime drama (and it gave Omar some work, how could we not support it?). Could 2010 be shaping up to be a really strong, memorable movie year? Better be.

  247. Brendan, BROOKLYN’S FINEST is pretty solid, too. It’s like three or four generic cop movies in one, but the juxtaposition of the various plot threads makes sure you never get bored. The acting is solid, the filmatism is clean and unshowy, and the characters are morally compromised without ever being unrelatable. Like EDGE OF DARKNESS, everything pretty much plays out how you expect, but the ride is satisfying.

  248. Finally finished ‘The Wire’ yesterday, holy shit if it isn’t some of the best 60 hours of anything I’ve ever watched. I know other people have said the same but I seriously think you should check it out Vern, I’m sure you’d love it and with each season being like one long film I think it wouldn’t be too complex to review each season seperatly. Though I understand 60 hours is a lot of time to sink into anything.

    Still unsure whether the overall ending is cynical or not, it’s definitely got a “the more things change the more they stay the same” message, with the cyclicial nature of the ending, and that even though there are people who want to do good and help, there’s always bad people out there trying to stop it from happening, and most often it’s the system itself that’s causing the problems. But at the same time we have moments of happiness for the characters, some make it out, some move onto better things, and maybe that’s all we can hope for, for now.

    Overall I’d rank the seasons:

    I think everyone can agree that 4 is just fucking fantastic.

    Season 1 I loved just for the introduction to the world Baltimore, the cop/drug dealers storyline, especially D-Angelo and the troubles of middle managments drug dealing, and the almost genre film atmoshpere of them bringing together a team of misfits who have secret talents to help take down the bad guys.

    2 is underrated, I think it got a lot of stick for moving away from the streets, but i think it’s one of the most important storylines in the series and Frank’s is the saddest.

    I’m one of the few people who wasn’t that keen on season 3, I liked the last 4 or 5 episodes, but other than that I was starting to feel wiretap fatigue, the first half of the season felt like a retread of the first season, and I was kinda bored by it. Though i did love the story arc of Dennis ‘Cutty’.

    5 is mixed, I think it’s a fantastic end to the series, it brings together so many of the points so well, and I loved the newspaper stuff. But I’m still unsure how I feel about the central plot point, and I understand why others find it too far fetched compared to the rest of the show.

    The whole show is filled with so many fantastic characters it’s hard to pick out who I love the most. Omar has to get some love obviously. Bunk is great as well. McNulty for his completely fucked up self destructive ‘loose canonn cop’ personality. Prezbylewski for being the unluckiest guy on the force. Stringer Bell for just wanting to be a buisness man. Bubbles for having the most uplifiting story in the series.

  249. Goodbadgroovy- I see what you’re saying about season 3, but to me the whole “Red Ribbon Killer” was so ridiculous and such a departure from what made the show so different and important, that I can’t help but feel let down by it. The Wire at its weakest is still better then 99% of everything else that gets produced, so I can’t complain that much but still.

    If I have one complaint about The Wire is that we never got the season six where that rat fuck Templeton got found out and lost everything. Seriously, fuck that guy.

  250. Brendan – I believe that was the point.

    I mean its like OZ and all those years, the narrator never got out of jail. Hell (unless my memory is fading worse than ever) he got murdered.

  251. Oh I get that RRA, I’m aware that him not getting caught is the whole point of what Simon and his team were saying about newspapers and journalism and whatnot, I just hate that guy so fucking much and you KNOW he’s going to end up going the way of Stephen Glass and all the other lying pukes that have tarnished print journalism. I just really wanted to see that snivelling little fucker get brought down, but obviously that would’ve been counter-intuitive.

    I have never seen OZ, my only exposure to it was that time on Arrested Development when they showed that George Michael had watched it once as a siz year old, thinking it was the Wizard of Oz. Childhood trauma, classic.

  252. Any recommendations of what TV series to get onto next? I’ve completed The Shield, Arrested Development and The Wire. And I’m up to date with Mad Men, Dexter, Breaking Bad.

    I’m thinking Rome or Deadwood next. Maybe The Sopranos.


    In case you didn’t get my ohso subtle hint I think you should watch Lost.

  254. Ha, way ahead of you man, been watching that since it started and excited as hell for the final season this coming week.

  255. Fuck yeah. I am so excited and terrified for how it’s going to end.

  256. GoodBadGroovy – I would suggest VENTURE BROS.

    LOST can kiss my ass.

  257. SUPERNATURAL. It’s a action-horror show on the CW about two brothers who’ve been raised to be demon/ghost/monster hunters by their father after their mother is killed. It’s got a good mix of action and horror (it can be pretty gory at times), and some humour, with a big overarching storyline, but made up mostly with standalone episodes often based on real folklore. The current season had been dealing with the coming of Lucifer (played by the same actor Jacob from Lost) and how the brothers are part of the apocalypse and the plans of both heaven and hell. It also, surprisingly for a CW show starring two young good looking guys and casting so many young good looking women in it, doesn’t really come across like it’s aimed at a younger audience, with the show (mostly in the earlier seasons when they had the money) using a lot of classic rock in it’s soundtrack and much of the stories being set in small towns out in more rural america (in actuality vancouver).

  258. Goodbadgroovy — have you seen all the FUTURAMAs? That’s a worthy investment of time. If you haven’t seen the X-Files, that’s worth doing too — even the later seasons sans David Duchovny have lots of great moments, though it ultimately ends with a letdown.

  259. OK, so I just watched THE IPCRESS FILE and HOLLOW POINT. They were in my movie queue so even though I couldn’t remember exactly why I wanted to see ’em, I assumed that I must have had a good reason. Having watched them, I got a faint flash of memory that someone here told me to watch em as part of a discussion of the fantastically-named Sidney J. Furie.

    But that’s all I can remember. Would the person who told me to watch those kindly remind me why and what, if anything, I was supposed to be looking for (other than Donald Sutherland winningly turning it up to 11, and then 12, in HOLLOW POINT, totally justifying the existence of the film). Thanks!

  260. RRA,

    I had VENTURE BROS. recommended to me and I watched the first two seasons. I don’t want to put you on the spot, but what makes it so good? Do you have to have a background in comic strips to get all the humor?

    I thought it was okay. It held my interest. But to some people (it made avclub’s top 25 of the decade) it’s the best thing ever. Why?

  261. M. Casey: While I belong to the people who think that The Venture Bros is one of the greatest show of the last decade, I also think that most people praise it a little bit too much, just because the fact that there is an Adult Swim show, that doesn’t rely on potty humor and cheap popculture gags only*. They expected nothing and got a lot.
    But to be fair, what makes The Venture Bros so great is that it started as just another pop culture cartoon “for adults”, but then established this universe or relatable characters with well elaborated backstories and story arcs. Seriously, I remember when Season 1 was finally over and I caught myself not just wanting to see how the big cliffhanger would be continued, but even more what would happen now to the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend! Not too mention that the opening of episode 2.01 has the best use of a crappy dance-coverversion of a cheesy popsong every and gets me teary eyed every single time I used it.

    *not saying they don’t use it ;)

  262. The last part was supposed to be: “…has the best use of a crappy dance-coverversion of a cheesy popsong EVER and gets me teary eyed every single time I SEE it.”
    (Still recovering from a crazy weekend.)

  263. I love the Venture Bros. That is all.

  264. CJ, I have long wondered what the big deal was with The Venture Bros. Since I am a sucker for stories that start out seemingly inconsequential and episodic and then starts drawing the disparate parts together, thus forcing you to take the whole affair more seriously, you have convinced me to give it a shot. Ride on, bananaman.

  265. M. Casey – VENTURE BROS. is a true cult program in that those in the joke love it, and the rest…well, they don’t get the fans.

    I guess why VB is quite great is because those guys with their outlook, pop cultural knowledge made a TV show for them and their 70s/80s youth generation. Like SIMPSONS was made by (and for) people who grew up in the 50s/60s.

    Another guess is the humor at how these characters are for the most part, had fucked-up childhoods and basically reliving their kiddie bullshit as adults. Nevermind the show takes a piss on superheroes and villains with their endless henchmen and fortresses, how they all make no sense logically. And those characters know that, yet they still persist in playing that daffy game.

    Also, its always fun when Brock Samson kills people in the most creative ways. I mean Season 3 had him decapitate someone with a runaway shark. YES ITS AS AWESOME AS IT SOUNDS.

  266. CJ Holden gave another big reason why VB is fucking great. Through 3 and half seasons, its established its own fascinating universe with a rich backstory and colorful unique characters. The Monarch, Dr. Girlfriend, Brock, Dr. Venture, the boys, Henchmen #21 and #24, Jonas Venture, Captain Sunshine, the Ghost Captain, the (dysfunctional) Impossible Family, Orpheus, the Alchemist, Jefferson Twilight, Shore Leave, Hunter Gathers, Molotov Cocktease, Johnny Action, Baron Underbeicht, Girl Hitler, and so forth.

    I mean shit you have nerds still bitching at the VB guys to bring back “Kim.” Those characters really have been developed as running clever jokes and its been to see how Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick have taken risks and fucking kicked ass beyond expectations.

    I suppose you dont need to see the whole run to enjoy the jokes even more, but dammit it helps.

    I mean seriously, how can you not dig a show where that show’s Legion of Doom-stand in is run by the “Sovereign” David Bowie? And I must admit, my favorite might be Sgt. Hatred, the well-meaning but complete fuck up bodyguard / reformed pedophile.

    I guess in short, its THE SIMPSONS of the Adult Swim catalogue.

  267. The thing about Venture Bros for me is the story-telling. They always manage to include some well-earned emotional heft along with all the in-jokery and referential acrobatics. Like the one where Dr. Killinger comes to the Venture compound and slowly reorganizes the place into a shining example of super-villainy – more in keeping with Rusty’s true self. I found that unexpectedly moving.

    And the jokes are tremendous: Like the Captain Sunshine/Ghost Robot exchange – that killed me.

  268. Telf – Yeah that Killinger episode kinda got me as well, when Doc stops and thinks for a second, “Wait, I’m not a bad guy… am I?” The show could have done a 180 right then with Doc going on as a villain and it would have been 100% earned. And the fact that he realizes that he’s a shitty hero, but would probably be a great villain and still turns the offer down is about as close to noble as Doc ever gets.

    And to anyone who isn’t sold on the Venture Bros, my pitch is that it’s the only cartoon I’ve ever seen that gets better the more you invest in it and think about it. It really is one of the best written things on TV. Also Brock Samson is a one-man master’s thesis in badassery.

  269. One thing I really love about VB is all the red tape and formality the Heroes and Villains have to go through which allows them to interact in hilarious ways you don’t see these characters usually do, like when Rusty basically calls a “timeout” when The Monarch has him captured, obligating Monarch to babysit one of the boys and Brock, or the Yard Sale episode where all the villains show up to peruse Rusty’s junk.

  270. Okay, maybe I’ll keep going with the show. Ya’ll seem committed and it’s rare that I disagree with the consensus over here (yeah but JCVD was still kinda lame).

    There was one opening that I thought could’ve been completely genius.

    In the first episode of the second season, when the kids are dead, the opening is of the Venture Brothers–but this time it’s Rusty and Jonas Venture Junior.

    Could’ve been absolutely brilliant had they stuck with it. If they actually shifted the show to the old guys the show would’ve won me over for life. But they didn’t have the balls to stick with it.


    Could you please make another catch-all thread? This one is getting a little long in the tooth and I can never remember how to spell potpouri to search it out

  272. Not to be a huge asshole or anything, but this is the single worst plot summary I’ve ever read, and I’ve read the back of DTV screeners. It’s like it was written by a drunk middle schooler. WTF, Atom?


  273. Vern, bothered with FROM PARIS WITH LOVE yet?

  274. Don’t blame Atom; the movie itself looks good. Also, Amanda Seyfried gets naked in it so, um, you know, ticket sold.

  275. Saw SOLOMON KANE today
    Not read any of the source material, so I don’t know how faithfull it is, but I thought it was good, though a little odd. For 100 minutes long, it feels very packed, and with it a bit rushed in some areas, but in others, slow.
    Vague, non-descriptive spoilers follow:
    After an opening sequence about Solomon’s past that’s about 10 or 15 minutes long, we then spend quite a while on how Solomon’s trying to live a life of peace, and the action only kicks up again 45 minutes into the film. Given the overall runtime, this would seem a bit too much of a wait, but it builds the character and Purefoy does a good job of showing the conflict and struggle Solomon goes through to try to change. We then get a bit of Solomon in action, before something akin to a second act plot twist that feels a wee bit redundant before we get back to Solomon kicking arse. The action scenes are well done, not too erratically edited or anything. There’s some decent special effects when called for, but the overally grimy, grim atmosphere of winter-ravaged/rain-drenched england is the most effective part of the film visually. If there’s one thing the film falls down at worst, it’s in providing a villain. Jason Flemyng is presented as the ultimate badguy here (save the devil), but he only shows up at the end for about 10 minutes, while up till then, a bunch of interchangable raiders, some “infected” and one mute masked brute are all Solomon is played off against. The CGI giant monster you see him fight in the trailers could really have been removed altogether without it having much effect on the movie. The most effective villain in the film turns out to be Solomon himself in the opening scenes, much to Purefoy’s credit. And maybe that was the intent, to the make the film about Solomon coming to terms with the evil in himself rather than around him, and while they do a good job with that, they could have given him more of a challenging opposite.
    I do think there’s a lot of good in it, and it’s perhaps tarnished by the Studio mentality of putting in things like the “end boss” monster as the SFX review puts it, while otherwise it’s a pretty gritty, low budget, well-done adventure.

  276. SFX=a UK sci-fi/fantasy mag. I was copying it over from my post on their forums and forgot to take the reference out.

  277. On an unrelated note, it looks like everything I was afraid of about Burton’s astonishingly ill-concieved ALICE IN WONDERLAND is coming true… I know Devin Faraci’s known for sometimes indulging in a haterade binge, but this looks too close to exactly what I was afraid of to be bunk…


  278. Mr. S – Yeah ALICE seems to critics to either be Tim Burton’s worst since PLANET OF THE APES (*shivers*) or an OK if indulgent pointless exercise.

  279. As a once and (hopefully) future Tim Burton fan, I really want him to develop an original project and get out of this cover-band phase of his career. He’s like the Tom Jones of film at this point, taking tired old shit and layering his own little schtick on top of it. Tim Burton plays all the hits—Burtonized!

  280. I wouldn’t mind Burton’s covers if he seemed like he had the slightest interest in telling a story anymore. In fact, I was surprised to find that SWEENY seemed to actually wake him up from his frou frou art direction to remind him that you’ve got to care about the things that happen in a story. But other than that and to small extent BIG FISH, his movies have all felt completely lifeless going back, wow, to like ED WOOD (which is fucking fantastic). I’d love to have Buton get back in gear and was really hoping SWEENY signled a return to form, but ALICE just looks like the worst excesses of charmless modern Burton melded with the worst cliches of the post-LOTR filmmaking period.

    And that’s before I lament the fact that the whole thing is on the face of it a complete negation of everything that made the source material unique and interesting. If you want a fantasy film, can’t you just make up your own characters and not rip them off at the most superficial level from a classi source (also, looking at you Guy Ritchie)? The moment I heard the Mad Hatter has a backstory and a swordfight, I pretty much gave up on this turkey. I may not even go see it.

  281. I will say that I still love SLEEPY HOLLOW, although that was the film that started him on his current path.

  282. FYI – Most of you may know about this already but if not, John Carpenter’s ELVIS is finally on DVD.

    It took some searching to find a copy (I finally found a Best Buy that had ONE copy left) so if you want to buy it you may have to search a bit or do the order it on the internet thing but I assure you it’s available.

    On a spoiler note…


    They used American Trilogy as the final song in the movie. That, to me, is perfection!


  283. hamslime – ELVIS is a basic biopic with TV movie budget limitations…but yeah I would definately consider it worth watching if because Carpenter and Russell make something out of it.

  284. I’m well aware of the history behind it. I saw some of it on Youtube but stopped because the video quality was shit.

    Kurt Russell is pretty damned good in this not that I should be surprised. Definitely the best Elvis movie I remember seeing.

    One problem I have with it (Not a deal breaker by any means) is that they should have either had Russell doing the singing or used actual Elvis recordings. The guy they had sing the Elvis songs did a pretty decent job, but it just seemed unnecessary to have him re-record the songs.

    But again…


    American Fuckin’ Trilogy! Awesome. Kentucky Rain was missed but I can’t tell you how pleased I was to hear American Trilogy.


  285. Anyone else planning to watch Justified tonight? The ads make it look like BADASS: The Series, so I’m pretty excited

  286. Yup, it’s BADASS: The Series. Hope it lasts.

  287. Damn, you ruined my illusions. I always thought it was really Kurt doing the singing, but sure enough IMDb has somebody else credited.

    I haven’t watched the DVD yet but I’m excited that it’s the full version, about 50 minutes longer than the movie length VHS one I reviewed a while back.

  288. Vern – you reviewing GREEN ZONE or wait for DVD on that?

  289. Vern – Sorry, man. I didn’t think that was spoiler material.

    I’m assuming it’s the full version. The dang thing is 170 minutes long! It kinda feels long too, but more in the “epic life story” way, not the “Fuck! Is this thing ever gonna end?” way.


    It would have been neat if they had a scene where Elvis was shooting the scene in It Happened At The World’s Fair where 8 year-old Kurt Russell kicks him in the shin and then later cock-blocks him.


  290. Hey, anyone read Ebert’s review for BOUNTY HUNTER? He’s almost getting into Vern’s territory with his hilarious breakdown of the cliches.


  291. Whoops. I thought it was a review for Bounty Hunters with Michael Dudikoff. I guess it wouldn’t make much sense for Roger Ebert to start reviewing Dudikoff movies now, but you did mention getting into Vern’s territory. (Not that Vern reviews many Dudikoff movies either)

    Bounty Hunter does seem like a neat premise though. Add to that, my brother and I have been watching and enjoying a LOT of bad romantic comedies lately (Couples Retreat was pretty funny, in my opinion. The Last Kiss was really good too and Casey Affleck was even better in it.) so I’ll probably end up watching this when it comes out on DVD.

  292. Mr. Subtlety – Ebert is witty and quite awesome when he’s PISSED OFF by a bad one. His TRANSFORMERS 2 is almost on par with Vern’s TRANSFORMERS review. Maestro please…

    “”Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.”

    God. Damn.

  293. Watched ‘I Love you Philip Morris’ and ‘From Paris With Love’ over the weekend. The first was a lot better than I expected, very funny and an excellent con man film, very similar in tone to ‘Catch Me if You Can’. The final big con, that I don’t want to spoil, is awesome in its audacity and fucked up-ness.

    The latter was just ok, it’s a bit tonally sparodic – it can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be a lighthearted buddy film, or a more action packed ‘Training Day’. John Travolta is mostly terrible and his character annoying rather than funny. My friend pointed out that it seems like Travolta has forgotten how to act, it genuinly seems like that’s the case, what’s happened to the effortless cool from Pulp Fiction? Now he’s making shoddy Royale with Cheese jokes? “Hi audience! Remember that scene from that film, the one that’s better than this?” Not a great thing to do. Jonathan Rhys Meyers american accent is really distracting because he sounds just like Matthew Broderick, unintentionally funny because it’s as if Ferris Bueller has grown up to be a spy. However the action scenes are fairly well put together, and it’s the kind of action film that we don’t see as much of anymore, there are a couple of interesting scenes involving spy paranoia/scenes changing in an instant.

    I’ll be checking this out as soon as I can, I’m loving the recent explosion of martial arts films from the ‘other’ (anywhere that’s not China/Japan) asian countries:


  294. i agree that it seems like travolta has forgotten how to act (though i haven’t seen FROM PARIS… ). i watched CARRIE on halloween, which i think was his first movie, and it was really surprising to see how natural and good he was in it. and though i haven’t seen them in a while, he was obviously great in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and BLOW UP. i’m not sure if we can count PULP FICTION though because most actors seem really good delivering tarantino dialogue. not that christoph waltz wasn’t excellent, but i think a lot of people underestimate how much our love of the hans landa character comes from how he was written and directed. though, again, waltz brought a lot to that role. but travolta had already forgotten how to act long before PF, and i’m not sure if he’s given a truly good performance since then.

  295. p.s. personally i watch FACE/OFF for nic cage, and travolta’s over-the-top mugging and nic cage “impersonation” are somewhat irritating to me (though it is arguably his most entertaining performance since PF, excepting BATTLEFIELD EARTH for the wrong reasons).

    btw, a friend and i today came up with the idea of John Travoltron, a robot formed when five smaller scientologist celebrities (tom cruise, beck, etc.) join together.

  296. Man, I love Kevin Smith, I think he’s a really funny, interesting guy and I’ve enjoyed all his movies, shit I was even mildly amused by Cop Out, but then he had to go write stupid shit like this:
    And come across like the whiniest, most immature punk ever. The hilarious part to me is that by the time the dude does his panel at Comic-Con this year, he’ll be ripping that flick ten times as hard as any critic, and he’ll probably go back and say he was just kidding about all his anti-critic screed.
    Seriously Kevin, you made a movie a bunch of people didn’t like. It happens. Take as much of it as constructively as possible, put your head, and try to prove them all wrong next time at bat. But these temper tantrums you throw after one of you movies doesn’t go over that well has been tired since MALLRATS, and that was 15 FUCKING YEARS AGO. Grow up.

  297. I agree with Kevin Smith. I don’t see a problem with charging people to watch his movie. Everyone else has to pay, why not them?

    The only drawback is that critics will choose not to review his movie and good or bad, reviews are like free advertising. If they choose not to acknowledge it, the movie may go unnoticed be some people who may have went to see it otherwise.

    Or not.

    Bottom line is they’re his movies and if he doesn’t want to preview them to spiteful cynics, that’s his prerogative.

  298. “Spiteful cynics?” I’m not sure I follow you there Hammy. I mean, isn’t Smith the guy always going on and on about how unambitious and poorly made his movies are? Isn’t he the one who compared his big studio cop movie to RETARDED CHILD?

    It’s like if we went to an art gallery and I pointed to a painting and said that it was ugly, and then you said, “Yeah it’s lousy” and then I bitched you out in front of an entire room full of people.

  299. I think Kevin may be confusing critics with talkbackers. That scene really is so grindingly negative that it’s hard to really want to be part of it. But most pro critics didn’t really savage COP OUT, just said it wasn’t really all that good. Sorry Kev, I think that’s their job. I know it sucks to have negative things said about something you worked hard on, but it seems like the pro critics are pretty civilized and fair. Or at least, in comparison to the dark heart of the faceless internet.

  300. Kevin Smith is a self-deprecating guy. He bashes on his own movies but it’s more in a light-hearted fashion.

    I don’t know what review or reviews he read that set him off, but the main focus of what he was talking about seemed to be people who hate movies (Your typical AICN talkbacker, IMDBer, or the guy who coined the phrase “torture porn” for instance) He doesn’t seem to have a problem with people giving him a bad review, but I think he may take issue with a reviewer who is unfairly out for blood.

    Your painting simile seems a bit off the mark since I don’t think Kevin Smith thought that Copout was a shit movie. If the general consensus turns out that Copout is shit, he’ll play along I’m sure, just as he did for Jersey Girl (Which is his most underrated movie in my opinion) but you also have to understand that as with any artist, their projects are personal to them one way or another. If someone were to give fair criticism on a project, it can be helpful in future projects. If someone says, “That’s a piece of shit” and leaves it at that it hurts. If that person that said “That’s a piece of shit” gets to watch your movie for free only to shit on it because they have a prejudice against you, your genre, or just because they can, and that’s their profession…fuck ’em. Let them buy a ticket just like everyone else.

    In the case of those people it becomes clear that they don’t do it because of their love for movies. They do it for the purpose of trashing people for whatever reason. I think Kevin Smith is tired of catering to those people and he has every right not to cater to them.

    You also have to consider that this might be one of those deals where he was just pissed off, twittered some shit and got over it. Unfortunately people don’t take rants like that for what they are – A human being venting. You do it. I do it. Kevin Smith does it. Fortunately for us, since we’re not famous, we can vent our frustrations without people holding it over our heads indefinitely. (Sadly, it’s one of the reasons Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t do commentaries on his movies anymore)

    Venting or not, though, I found some truth in what he was saying.

  301. I think how CRITICS* blew everything what Smith said way out of proportion proves what he said. He was technically just bragging about how different the tastes of critics and “normal” audiences usually are and always have been. I heard from many people how much they enjoyed Cop Out (and I’m not just talking about the guys who contact Smith on Twitter and probably just want to say something nice to a celebrity) while most “professional” reviews I read, tore the movie a new one or called it mediocre at best. The German western slapstick comedy “The Shoe of Manitu” (Der Schuh des Manitu) was seriously HATED by critics, but became the most succesful German movie ever! I know that there are even at least two regular visitors of this websight who enjoyed Transformers 2!
    And here we have the conflict: It’s the job of critics to know how good movies work. They are there to warn us normal moviegoers whenever we are about to spend money on a bad movie. But often the normal moviegoers like these bad movies! I’m not saying that every movie, that is succesful at the box office is automatically good, but movies usually don’t make the big money because everybody watches it on the first weekend and then hates it. They do because the first audiences like it, recommend it, watch it again and so on.
    So what does it say about these people? Are they fucking morons, like the angry talkbacker, who thinks that Geroge Lucas raped his childhood usually says? Are critics pretentious pricks who have their heads so much up their own asses, that they forgot how to enjoy a good movie? Whose opinion is worth more?
    This question exists since the day, when someone had for the first time a different opinion on someone elses work and I doubt we will get a good answer so quickly.
    So what, when a director like Kevin Smith says “I don’t make movies for critics”? What’s so bad about it? Because every year even many critics complain about movies that are made for critics! Why can’t we just get along? Everything has fans. Rob Zombie once said: “I saw the trailer for this new RomCom with Sandra Bullock and I would rather rip my eyes out than watch this shit, but I’m sure many other people will, some of them will like it it and it will even become the favourite movie of somebody, but I’m okay with that.”

    *Seriously! The normal internet users seem to be mostly okay with what he said, but the critics are furious like he talked about locking them up in concentration camps!

  302. That kind of “oh it’s just a movie! I’m not making schindler’s list so why criticise it!” is the kind of argument I really hate, it’s the kind of argument that lets shit like Transformer’s make billions, as if blockbuster/comedy/genre films aren’t real “films” and should be enjoyed no matter how crap they are. Kinda suprised to read Smith shit on genre films like that. Though I’m genuinly curious what reviews he read that gave him this reaction, I know there’s a cliched opinion that internet bloggers hate everything and film reviewers on blogs hate films and shit on them any chance they get, but it’s rarely true, as others have said you’re more likely to find it from the “general audience” on IMDB or AICN.

    Devin still needs to change his writing style, calling it the “cancer killing cinema” is ridiculous.

  303. Oh and as a film student graduate, I’m a little offended at his insult directed at us, as if film analysis only makes us hate film more and only want to watch Kurosawa and Godard films. I love genre films just as much as ‘arty’ films, and if anything think studying film analysis has made me love genre films more, because I see so much more in them now than just the fun action.

  304. I hate the “It’s not Citizen Kane/Schindler’s List/whatever, so stop hating it” argument too, but on the other hand why do critics think that comedies/action/horror/movies with Special Effects in general are lesser movies than bad Oscarbait like “Crash”?
    Kevin Smith was really proud of “Cop Out”, then the critics hated it, which broke his heart*, then he heard from many people that they liked the movie, which cheered him up, but made him even more angry at critics. That’s a normal reaction.
    Even I, as the normal viewer that I am, stopped listening to critics, because they have often completely different opinions than me. (Just look at what “they” generally think about Tarantino and what I think of him!) There are just a few whose opinon I seriously respect (with Vern being #1) but in the end even if he hates a movie, it won’t stop me from watching it if I wanted to anyway or probably even enjoying it. (I am one of the aforementioned people who enjoyed “Transformers 2”!)
    Like I said, the whole “are critics always right” debate is going on like forever and definitely will go on for the same amount of time, but that the critics feel so unbelievable offended by what Smith jokingly said on Twitter, makes them feel even less sympathetic for me. They live from critizising other people’s work, but if one of their “victims” is critizising them back, it’s not okay? Yeah, fucking right.

    *Especially because several critics seemed to hate it because they thought it felt too much like a 80’s cop movie, which was ironically exactly what Smith tried to achieve.

  305. I guess I’m confused as to what you guys are arguing. No, critical opinion doesn’t really impact how or what I watch these days, but I still think film criticism is important and useful. There are critics who I want to punch in the face, coughcoughMarkKermodecoughcough, but there are an even greater number who I think are still in love with movies and try to be fair.

    Smith is clearly talking about professional, paid critics, not dipshit talkbackers. The reason I think Smith’s rant is incredibly self-destructive is because has there ever been a director who so completely relied on critical opinion as him? The only reason Clerks made any money, the only reason he has a career, is because critics saw it at festivals, loved it, and spread the word about the movie and the hot young voice behind it. So to see him turn around and shit in his own cereal, it’s disappointing.

    Especially because his next movie is a politically themed horror movie that is going to be made incredibly cheaply. There’s a movie that will desperately need strong word-of-mouth to make any money back. So way to go pissing off the people who are ground zero for getting that kind of word out, real smart move champ.

  306. Go Daddy promo code bulletin. Many of the existing Go Daddy promo codes just changed. These are official coupons that are working. These coupons will be working thru 2011. $7.49 Domain names and renewals – Use Go Daddy promo codes GOO3, OK9, or ZINE10. 25% discount on orders of $100+ – Use Go Daddy coupon OK25. 30% Discount when you buy any com domain – Use Godaddy coupon code OK30. $12.99 SSL Certificates – Use Godaddy coupons GOOSSL, OKSSL, or ZINESSL. Host Plan Promo Code – 20% Off Hosting – Use Godaddy.com coupons OK20H, ZINE20H1 or GOO20H. 10% off any size order – Use Go Daddy coupons OK7, GOO1 or ZINE8. $5 Off $30 or More – Use Go Daddy coupon codes GOO2 or ZINE9. 20% Off Any order of $50 or more – Use Go Daddy promo code OK8.

  307. Have any of you guys ever seen the movie JOINT SECURITY AREA? I bought it from my video store during its going out of business sale, based solely on the act that it was made by the guy who did OLDBOY and Tarantino named it as one of the twenty best movies made since he’s been active. I thought it was awesome, an absolutely beautiful, haunting meditation on frienship, honor and pride. The final image, a slow camera move around a picture, made my jaw drop and has been rolling around my brain since I saw it.

    Just brilliant.

  308. I just caught up with this Kevin Smith conversation. I don’t know, I understand some of the stuff he says at the beginning, but then he just gets stupider and stupider. I’m not like other critics, I actually do usually pay to see movies unless I go to a preview screening, in which case I get there early and wait in line with everybody else. So the part that bugs me is I actually was planning to pay money to see COP OUT, as a Bruce Willis fan. Now I have the director of the movie saying that it’s not fair to expect it to be good because it’s called COP OUT. Oh well, BROOKLYN’S FINEST looks better anyway.

    I also got a problem with his attack on critics in general. Again, you guys know that I have a huge problem with many different styles of hack criticism, both on paper and on the internet. So I’m not defending all of them. But when there’s a guy who supposedly loves movies and he doesn’t even understand what the point of criticism is, what the fuck is that? How are you a guy in your forties who lives your life to make movies and you never had a point in your life where there was some critic you liked to read or a review that pointed you to a movie you never heard of but turned out to love or that made an interesting point about a favorite movie that made you think about it in a different way? For him to say that “random twitterers” are equal to people who are passionate and experienced at writing about movies is like saying that anybody off the street can direct a movie as well as anybody in the business. And I won’t make the easy joke about that being true in his case. It’s not true.

    I don’t really get that guy anyway. I actually thought the last one “Zac and Miri Making Porno” was alot better than most of his previous ones I’d seen and even seemed to have been shot by professional camera operators. But I see him talking shit about the movie all the time. And then he gets thin skin when other people criticize him. I remember he also had a big vendetta against Joel Siegel or somebody for walking out of his movie. Well, that was kind of funny. But he seemed to take it way too seriously.

    This time he was probly just caught up in the heat of several hours of passionate twittering or whatever, but it would be funny if he actually went through with this. It seems to me like most critics have been giving him a free ride for years because he seems like a cool guy and does good interviews so why bother savaging his movies? But critics who have to go to those things to pay their bills tend to get pissed at the studios when they don’t do critic’s screenings, this one they might even take more personal. Should be funny.

  309. Exactly Vern. As a Smith fan that paid money to see Cop Out and was vaguely amused by it, how am I supposed to feel when he compares it to a retarded child? Kind of like when he apologized for Mallrats, or trash talks Jersey Girl, or dismisses Zack and Miri. I don’t understand why this guy seems so dismissive of movies he spends years of his life working on.

  310. Brendan – I think Smith is like Spielberg was at times wanting to be liked by the mainstream/fans by bashing his own “failures.” Except the Beard in the last decade or so has grown more comfortable with himself (i.e. grown more balls), and really gets into heated talks whenever his MUNICH or A.I. or EMPIRE OF THE SUN come up for discussion. You can tell he’s still hurt that people threw bricks* at those movies.

    People call Oliver Stone a whiney bitch for being rather vocally defensive about his flop ALEXANDER. But I would rather have that sort of person give a shit (still) about something they obviously cared about then someone playing the currents.

    Hey Kevin, your MALLRATS was pretty funny. Stupid and maybe a tad too Hughes/Landis derivative, but so what? Better than some of the last few movies those two made. Never saw JERSEY GIRL, and well I enjoyed ZAC & MIRI. His COP OUT was ok, too disposable for my taste

    I suppose Smith’s subconcious problem is that he wants to be taken more seriously, get more respect, get invited to more dinners, make more money, whatever. Notice his last two movies (especially COP OUT), he refused to sell his name in the marketing. Like he’s afraid that folks may confuse COP OUT as CLERKS 3 or something.

    Reminds me of that whole BENJAMIN BUTTON nonsense. That shit was below David Fincher, and yes it was a technically well-made movie, got him another hit and scored some Oscar nominations. Its like also how THE DEPARTED is among Scorsese’s his weakest efforts, yet it won him his Oscar. You know, toning down your gifts so to appeal to the mainstream to get your precious votes.

    Then someone like Kathryn Bigelow does it her way, and wins.

    *=Like some retarded posters at NeoCon blogs calling MUNICH “Anti-Semite propaganda.” Even though the Beard is The Jew in Hollywood, but whatever.

  311. Well, see there’s sort of a distinction in my mind. I don’t mind filmmakers being self-deprecating, or owning up to mistakes. I can respect a director who looks back at their works and cops to some of their choices being wrong. But where Smith pisses me off is he gets pissy when OTHER people criticize his movies. He spends all the promotional time for his movies talking about how bad he is at his job, how little skill he has, how not to get your hopes up. Then when people don’t flip for the movies, he freaks out and makes a big stink.

  312. I would like to announce that I just saw Jesse Ventura on late night TV talking with Carson Daley about his love for The Autobiography of Malcolm X, why he thinks 9-11 was an inside job and that he has changed his mind and no longer believes he could waterboard Dick Cheney into confessing to the Sharon Tate murder because he thinks Cheney’s heart problems would kill him first. Turns out that’s what comes on after Jimmy Fallon.

  313. Did you see the new A-Team trailer? It completely sold me on the movie, after I was worried that they would go the “dark & serious” route. After the efibrillator scene I just think it’s impossible that it’s all dark and serious.


  314. Man I had the opposite reaction CJ. I’m up for a fun action film, but the humour looked/sounded dreaful to the point of distracting.

    Although talking about “80s style soldier’s of fortune films” the new trailer for The Expendables worked for me.

    You wait for one 80s inspired soldier’s of fortune film then three come at once, curious to see whether A-Team, Expendables or The Losers works the best.

  315. I’m sure that the rumor WILL rub some people the wrong way, but for me, an almost life-long fan of the silly series, who grew up in a country that shows it since something like 20 years in an endless loop on weekends, it totally works. Because it just feels like a big budget version of The A-Team, instead of the action movie, that has nothing to do with it except that the characters wear the same name, that we all expected it to be.
    The trailer even indicates that they got seriously rid of the horrible script, in which Face betrays everybody in the beginning and becomes the main villain of the movie! Seriously, so far I’m 100% sold on the movie. (Okay, I hate the poster, but only because they took the worst possible photo of B.A.)

  316. BTW I liked the Expandables trailer too.

  317. And of course I meant HUMOR, not Rumor. grmble.

  318. Consider & Hold your iPad for F-r-e-e! -> http://bit.ly/cFBuis

  319. Vern – You found that Charles Bronson appearance on Johnny Carson where Bronson coldly and seriously said he would kill anyone and everyone who attacked his family? How fittingly, that happened around time of DEATH WISH.

    I’ve had luck finding that clip so far.

  320. OK guys, I started watching the Wire. I’m on episode 8 now. And you know, I don’t know what the heck you guys were talking about, this show’s aight but nothing too great.



    nah, just fucking with ya, it’s amazing. I watched all eight episodes in two days. Thanks for pushing me into it, fellahs, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

  321. So pleased to digest such a interesting article that does not depend on cheap rhetoric to get the topic fulfilled. Thank you for a great read.

  322. I can’t believe I posted about the W-re and the only person who responded was does sports betting champ really work.

  323. Yeah, but does sports betting champ really work makes some good points. It really is refreshing that Vern was able to write a paragraph inviting us discuss random topics on this post without resorting to childish name-calling or puerile strawman arguments the way others writers would. I mean, I know it’s hard to be completely objective when dealing with the loaded ET and Gremlins vs. Predator debate but somehow Vern managed to walk that line.

    P.S. I am totally on ET and Gremlins’ side and anyone who disagrees is a socialist.

  324. Subtlety- It’s hard to talk about the Wire without getting into spoilers for people who haven’t seen it. I’m terrified to say anything for fear that I’ll ruin the ride. I’m really glad you’re enjoying it man, keep us posted on how stuff is progressing so we can all break it down. It’s going to be a bumpy fucking road man, so strap in.

  325. Are you boys aware that there’s a STRAW DOGS remake coming out next year set in the Deep South and starring everyone’s favorite nonentity James Marsden? You know, to capitalize on all those teens out there who love Sam Peckinpah movies and gender politics.

  326. Well, duh, its a movie that exists, of course they’re going to remake it. Although I hate to encourage this sort of thing, setting it in the deep south might add an interesting racial dimension to the conflict, especially if its a bunch of black guys with Marsdan’s cracker wife (played by Cameron Diaz, who’s been practicing her hilariously broad Southern accent since THE BOX).

  327. It looks like the only black guy with a major role plays a cop, so I doubt race will be a factor, sadly. It’s probably just going to be a slightly-more-rapey-than-usual killer hillbilly flick. But then again James Woods is in it so there’s bound to be some large-caliber mega-acting at least.

  328. Ebert claims video games can never be art. Usually I think Ebert is one of the sharpest, most thoughtful guys out there, but this just seems like a kind of cheap semantical arguement and an utter failure of imagination about the potential different media forms have to play with storytelling and art in interesting ways. You’d think the guy might be more excited about the possibilities a new form might afford artists, but he pooh-poohs a few examples of things which are at least genuinely interesting, and then claims that no game has as much artistry and imagination as a Melies film. I figured I’d let you fellahs take a look at it and see if you think Roger makes any valid or useful points in there. To me, its a pretty poor and almost… petty arguement.


  329. Nah, he’s just being a prick. Video games can have everything that movies have, but with the added benefit of user participation. What Roger fails to realize is that while chess and other games are merely competitive, video games have actual stories that were created by an author. The themes of these stories can be discussed and analyzed just like the plot of a movie, while the manner in which they are told is as varied as any other narrative form, leaving room for individual expression, which I would argue is the only factor in determining whether or not something is art. It can be good or bad art, just like in any other medium, but it’s still art. It’s just not art that Roger Ebert likes.

  330. Ebert’s major beef with video games is that their interactivity prohibits meaningful storytelling on the level of movies/books etc. It really does seem like a failure of imagination on his part. Interactive art installations have been around for decades. Of course, they do require interaction and his essays make it clear that he hasn’t played any of the games he’s discussing and has no desire to. So, you know. Whatever.

    Speaking of video games/cinema/art, anyone played that game HEAVY RAIN on PS3? I finished it over the weekend. I liked what it was trying to do, but man, the plot was terrible and the acting was excruciating in some parts. You’d think if you were touting your game as “interactive cinema” then you’d hire some native English speakers and tell a story that’s a little more ambitious than a dodgy SE7EN knock-off.

  331. Yeah he’s come across as a bit dickish in this debate, along with posts he’s made on twitter. For me, the issue of whether he’s right or not that games are/can be an artform is irrelevent, he admits to not playing games and having no interest in them therefore he’s basically admitting to giving a completely uninformed opinion. And like you say it seems to come down to a semantics argument over how you classify art (even though he claims it’s not). His discussion of the games offered up as art is incredibly dismissive and condescending, he seems to have made his (self admitted uninformed) opinion and is going to stick to it.

    His most recent tweet on it kinda depressed me as I hate to think that Ebert could make such a snarky comment:

    “I’m not too old to “get” video games, but I may be too well-read.”

  332. The thing about Ebert is, in the past, he’s really gotten behind big world-building type pictures like DARK CITY, for example. He’s a fan of films that portray fully realized fictional worlds that require sound and visual designers and special effects artists etc. This is the type of thing modern video games are excelling at over any other medium. If he would just play a couple of these excellent games he might see the merit in them. The MYST games, while kinda’ dated by modern gamer standards, would be an excellent place for him to start.

  333. Guys Ebert has a point. Name one good movie based off a video game.

    I mean a really really really good one. Books have been basis for damn good movies (Fight Club, The Godfather), plays too (Hamlet, Streetcar Named Desire), even a rock album or two (The Wall, Tommy), Television, etc.

    But video games? Name a really good one. Some of you will inevitably toss out DOOM or MORTAL KOMBAT or one of those RESIDENT EVIL pictures….all sucked or we like them on some stupid visceral subconcious level.

    So sorry guys I know Ebert said something that you disagreed with*, but I do get his point of why he doesn’t respect video games on that level.

    As for the storytelling in games….you know what matters most to me for games? The controls, the playability, etc. Plowing baddies, solving puzzles, etc. The story is an unconsequential element that people really seem to care about more than they should. A movie needs some sort of plot to connect the scenes together.

    A game….well did we ever find out why we had to stack those fucking TETRIS bricks and they fell faster & faster after we stack them? Why does Princess Peach always get kidnapped that stupid bitch? Why didn’t Link ever get any poontang from Zelda? Why is Pac Man always hungry?

    I understand your point Darryl, but look at Ebert. He’s what, in his 70s? Also he’s not exactly I suppose in the best of health or shape to nerd out with such games. He came from a generation that actually read. Cracked.com was right in that the past decade was the first since…well, maybe ever…when a book didn’t culturally so much make an imprint beyond your inevitable future movie properties.

    *=Besides if you want to really get pissed at the guy, read up his thumbs down review on DIE HARD. Weird too since he gave thumbs up on #2 and #3.

  334. RRA your “bad video game films therefore video games not art” argument seems a bit …odd. I doubt you could turn the Mona Lisa into an entertaining film but that doesn’t stop it being art. Just because there haven’t been successes at tranfering one into the other (which if you think about it is quite odd) doesn’t stop video games being art.

    As for storytelling in games it all depends on the game really and how it’s presented. Half Life has probably one of the greatest video game storytelling techniques because it doesn’t try and crib from films by inserting lots of badly acted cutscenes, but isntead tells it all from your POV. You can argue about whether most people were that bothered about it, but for me it certainly left me feeling more involved in what was going on and propelled my actions more than just “shoot the bad guys to get to the next level”. And many RPG games like Fallout3 rely heavily on story as being more than just something to link the action together, and whilst morality systems are still in their infancy, many RPGs are pushing towards this idea of your actions affecting you and the world around you.

    I won’t deny that a large majority of games are the equivilant of action films, the plot is just there to link the action together. But A) that’s nto true of all games and more and more will try and do more than that, B) “storytelling” is not the only aspect of art and C) just because it’s not necessary to be a deep or complex plot doesn’t mean that a good one doesn’t improve games a lot.

  335. GoodBadGroovy – I didn’t say that was my argument, I was just saying try to understand it from his point.

    And really, for such a culture of ours who hold video games beyond mere button smashing….why can’t we produce a good movie from them then?

    I mean really, why?


  336. The big fail on Ebert’s part is to see that not only can a video game be another way of telling a story, but it can be a profoundly different way of approaching storytelling. Its not just that there’s an interaction involved, but the fact that that interaction take take place in so many different ways. Things like world-building games, RPGs, music games, and hard-to-classify stuff like “Braid” aren’t the equivalent of different genres, they’re ways of communicating artistically which are fundamentally unique. They may or may not hold some of the same characteristics of film (acting, writing, design, pacing) but as a means of communication they’re almost revolutionary — and the format’s wide open for more ideas no one has yet considered. It’s not just about storytelling, it’s about creating opportunities for new perspectives and ways of experiencing media. I personally truly believe we’re going to experience — in our lifetimes, easily– a renaissance of video games which will produce truly great works of art.

    Now, I also don’t think we’re quite there yet? Why hasn’t it quite happened yet? Well, for one thing, the possible applications of film may have been more obvious and less revolutionary when the medium first appeared. We all know that it took almost two decades for film to move from a gimmicky novelty to a fully realized medium for communication, and in the Melies days, the way that transition was accomplished was by applying the principles of the stage to film. Video games, with their vast array of modes, resist such an easy transition of the principles of one art form to another. As CrustaceanHate points out, video games may have more in common with interactive art than they do with the kind of storytelling that film and books tend to center on. But really, they’re an entirely new artistic paradigm, especially when one considers the scale they’ve taken on in our society even now. So, yes, I believe the art form is still in its infancy, and as such has yet to really find its true geniuses. There are a few; Shigeru Miyamoto will almost certainly be remembered as a genius of the form, someone who had an innate ability to elegantly master the specific language of the art form effortlessly — a kind of VG D.W. Griffith. There are a few others, but mostly we’re still working with form. Content is kind of lacking from a lot of stuff these days, as the storytelling side of things has been slow to catch up with the paradigmatic shifts. Most games remain clumsy and derivative narratively and, often, in design. But there’s not particular reason why this must be; games like “Bioshock” and “Silent Hill 2” are loaded with symbolism and meaning, and are told deftly while still making the most of VG’s unique characteristics.

    It’s possible Ebert simply doesn’t realize that video games have been about more than high scores and level bosses for a long time. And it is true, I don’t know that there has yet been a truly great artistic achievement within the medium yet (although something like “Mass Effect” –while not exactly “Crime and Punishment”– seems to me to have ten times the artistry of, oh, say, Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES) but I believe we’re on the verge of it now. We’ve finally hit a critical mass of gamers in all walks of life, and people are ready to really get into something great. Ebert does point out that as of now, it’s an even more profit-driven industry than film, with less independent distribution and creation (though that’s changing rapidly) so that may not help. But I truly believe the great visionaries of our time are likely to work in Video Games or other type of new media.

    And you’re right Darryll, someone needs to send Roger a copy of MYST. It’s as engrossing, atmospheric, artful, and insightful as any film — and much more so than most. It’s dated, sure, but if the guy can get into the Lumiere Brothers he should have no problem seeing the confident artistry on display in something like that.

    RRA– I’ll admit that the video game adaptations have been almost uniformly unbearable (SILENT HILL being the only one with any claims to legitimacy), but then again, the film industry along with mainstream culture has been slow to come around to the idea of video games having any artistic merit. They get treated now like comic book adaptations got treated over the previous couple decades: hack genre fare. I think that perception is changing now, and we’re likely to get some much more dignified adaptations in the near future (well, fuck, not that near in the future, judging from the upcoming adaptations wikipedia lists). Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s BIOSHOCK movie is going to kick all our asses, though.

  337. I loves me some BIOSHOCK, but I’m extremely leery of a film adaptation. So much of that game is about loneliness and isolation; exploring Rapture and piecing together the mystery with only a disembodied voice over the radio for company. The protagonist is just a cipher, he doesn’t even have a voice, and the big reveal at the end is as much a meta-commentary on video games as it is a plot twist. I think it will end up like the SILENT HILL movie: dripping in atmosphere, but narratively a complete mess.

  338. Could be. Writer John Logan has done some decent work in the past, though (GLADIATOR, THE AVIATOR, SWEENY TODD). I figure all he has to do is come up with something simple that makes sense and stay out of my boy Fresnadillo’s way (you know, the opposite of what Roger Avary did with SILENT HILL).

  339. I found this very interesting interview with Danny Trejo about his career and thought I should share it.

  340. Remember yesterday when we were talking about the all-time great “NOOOOOOOOO!”s? Well, how about this one?



  341. I am normally not the kind of person to submit my opinion on people’s sites, but for your article I just had to do it. I have been cruising around your website a lot nowadays and I am really impressed, I think you might really emerge as the main voices for your market. Not sure what your load is like in life, but if you began devoting more time to writing here, I would bet you would begin getting a bunch of traffic soon. With ads, it could become a sweet second income source. Just a concept to ponder. Good luck!

  342. Just thought I’d steer people towards Roger Ebert’s review of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE:


    It’s the most interesting thing he’s written in a while. He gives it no stars. Not “zero stars,” he simply can’t classify it with a rating. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it seems like a fair, earnestly conflicted assessment.

  343. I feel that I have little choice but to go see THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE very soon. It’s not that I have a burning desire to see three people sewed ass-to-mouth, but how can I live with myself knowing that such a movie exists and I haven’t seen it?

  344. The premise has tunneled its way into my brain and laid eggs there. I can’t stop thinking about it. The eggs have hatched and the little baby human centipedes are crawling around my mind giving me all sorts of sick thoughts about what MIGHT happen in the movie. I think the only way they’ll go away is if I see the movie and find out for sure.

    Of course, then the exact same thing will happen again with HUMAN CENTIPEDE: FULL SEQUENCE.

  345. Yeah, I feel you, Dan. While I’m no longer always on the hunt for the MOST FUCKED UP THING EVER the way I used to be, I am always on the lookout for something that can creep me out in a new way. Most EXXXTREME!!!! horror movies just want to go further than the ones that came before by doing the same old shit but in greater detail or for longer periods of time (“I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE had three rapes but we have FOUR! By evil clowns! We have opened the fucking Doorway!”), but very few try to veer off in a new direction and find different shit to freak people out with. The last one that did it was MARTYRS. It’s not like I think that what horror really needs is to be so disgusting that you can’t even bear to watch it, but I’m glad there’s somebody out there pushing the boundaries.

  346. I found MARTYRS, especially the last half hour or so, about as exciting as watching bread bake. I hate it when the story comes to a complete stop in order to show you something gross or painful. It’s a bore; more so if you don’t know or care for the characters being subjected to said punishment.

    I believe Ebert is trying, with this HC review, to get back in with the cool kids after his KICK ASS review and the video game debacle.

  347. I don’t know, Darryl, I think you might have missed the point. The movie’s concept is “What if someone was tortured so much that they saw the face of God?” How can showing that torture to you in a prolonged but artful (at least to me) fashion be considered stopping the story just to show you something gross or painful? That IS the story. It’s what the movie’s about. If you can’t witness the pain and empathize with it, how are you supposed to buy the transcendental state of grace the character enters at the end? If you say you felt no empathy for the character, that’s one thing. That’s in the execution, which apparently didn’t work for you. But how else could that story have played out? That was the least gratuitous and most essential-to-the-plot torture scene of all time, in my opinion. With the possible exception of the entirety of The Passion of the Christ.

  348. Majestyk,

    I don’t agree with Daryll’s assessment either, but to be fair, he can reject the concept as well as the execution.

    Further, from a viewer’s perspective, MARTYRS didn’t have to go the way it did… considering its a film with a weird plot or structural twist every 15 minutes, and that the whole suffering to see the face of god angle doesn’t really come up until the final act, there were an infinite number of ways the movie could have gone. The final act didn’t HAVE to be about a woman being endlessly tortured.

    You say that that’s what the movie is about, but it’s not exactly a concept that’s introduced early on. More a twist during the last chapter that the movie only slowly built towards.

    I thought the last act was stomach churning (in the good sense), clearly Daryll did not. But I think it’s a fair complaint on his end that he didn’t like, for what had been a much more intense and kinetic thriller up until that point, that the movie turned into one long, slow torture sequence.

  349. I understand that. It’s cool if he doesn’t like it, really. (I hope I didn’t come off like I was saying you HAD to like it, Darryl, or that there’s something wrong with you if you didn’t.) What i was objecting to was the idea that the final act of the movie, which is where it reveals itself to be more than just a standard “victim gets revenge” picture, was the story stopping for some gratuitous disgustingness. It might not have been the story you wanted, but it was the story the filmmakers wanted to tell. Based on their intent, was there a better way to get at it?

  350. I hear what you guys are saying and, believe me, I’m not coming at this from a moral stance but from a narrative point of view. Torture on film is kinda’ like a sex on film. I’m certainly not bothered by it, but get on with it, you know. I was somewhat engaged with the film up till then, though I found both girls way to spastic and frenzied to really empathize with them in any way but then it stopped. And I had to wait for, what, twenty minutes, for the story to start up again. And no, I didn’t buy the transcendental state of grace. I thought it was an awfully long way to go for a weak pay-off. I think a few scenes of torture and then a card, saying something to the effect of, 30 days later… would have been much more expedient. I know we, the audience, need to feel her pain but after a while I’m gonna start looking at my watch.

  351. One thing about HUMAN CENTIPEDE I do find intriguing is that I can’t remember the last time we got an honest to goodness mad scientist movie. Seriously, I’m thinking maybe THE FLY (1986) or RE-ANIMATOR (1985). Have there been any since?

  352. Breaking Bad fans out there…..I really hate this term but anyone else think the shark was officially jumped tonight?? Spoilers for anyone who didn’t see it btw. I was actually embarassed/depressed watching Jesse and Walt chasing after a fucking fly in their lab like the fucking Three Stooges. I mean holy shit, this is one show I thought would never sink into slap stick. I’ve been telling anyone I can get a hold of about BB for months and I can’t stop thinking about what they would think of me if they tuned in tonight. Fuck.

  353. ChopperSullivan

    May 23rd, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I thought it was pretty great. Breaking Bad isn’t subtle with its symbolism, but I thought Walt trying to kill the fly (his overwhelming guilt) was good, and I liked that they devoted an episode to just Walt and Jesse’s relationship.

  354. Chopper, yeah I get the symbolism and I liked that they tried an episode without shoot-outs devoted to further developing their relationship towards the end but the execution was really lacking with the first half imo. It was definitely played for laughs and for my part I didn’t laugh once. I just angrily sighed a lot.

  355. ChopperSullivan

    May 24th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I get you. I wasn’t sure where the hell the episode was going at the start. But I like that they took a step back to show a little of Walt and Jesse dealing with all the shit they’ve been through, and I thought Walt’s “perfect moment” speech to be heartbreaking. I guess it’s a way to ditch all of the subplots for a second and bring it back to what the core of the show is about.

    But even if you didn’t like it, I can’t help but think this is the calm before a storm. Maybe not an actual firestorm like the end of the second season, but I have no doubt something’s going to happen to fuck with what I expect from the show. That’s what I love about it, it’s constantly changing what the point is.

  356. Just watched Undisputed 3: Redemption. Great fun, love the old school tournament vibe with each of the fighters having a unique fighting style, Marko Zaror gloriously hams it up and there’s really brutal, excellently shot and choreographed fight scenes. Hell even the acting is good, Adkins is much better at the angry russian than he is the noble ninja.

    I wish Florentine would get work as a second unit director on action films, his talent was sorely needed in Prince of Persia.

    Looking forward to a Vern review.

  357. I don’t feel like doing a full-on review, but that movie MACGRUBER that is busy being crushed by the farting green ogre cartoon is actually pretty damn funny. It’s not BLACK DYNAMITE good but I think many people here would enjoy its accurate but non-specific homages to ’80s action tropes. It even has an opening along the lines of RAMBO III. I don’t think it has much to do with the Saturday Night Live sketch it comes from and it’s really more Chuck Norris than McGuyver.

  358. Vern, I was on the fence (SNL movie based on a skit I’ve never seen on one side, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe, and torn-out necks on the other) but you convinced me. I’m seeing it.

  359. Jareth Cutestory

    May 25th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Vern: Did you like MACGRUBER more than HOT FUZZ?

  360. I heard now from many people that the MacGruber movie is actually very funny. But of course you can’t expect to get audiences excited over a movie that is based on a lame parody of a series, that was relevant 20 years ago. I’m sure that if they had removed all MacGruber references from the script, it had been more successful.

  361. Jareth – maybe?

    I don’t know, man. It’s been a while since I saw Hot Fuzz. Neither are movies I’ll watch over and over again. But I think I do prefer a dumbass in a fake action movie world (MacGruber) to a fake action movie guy in a regular world (Hot Fuzz).

    I don’t think my tastes in comedy are the same as most people around here. The comedy I’ve gotten the most mileage out of in recent years is probly Talladega Nights. It seems to be on cable every weekend and I accidentally turn it on around the time his Crystal Gale shirt is ruined by the cougar.

  362. ChopperSullivan

    May 26th, 2010 at 2:49 am

    So you gotta at least be a STEP BROTHERS fan right? Because I don’t dig a lot of Will Ferrell’s stuff but by far the funniest part of TALLADEGA NIGHTS was the dinner scene where Ferrell and Reilly riff, and STEP BROTHERS is a brilliant feature of that one scene.

  363. hey vern and friends, sorry if you already discussed it and i missed it, but have you seen the clip from UNDISPUTED III that is available online?

    i saw it at CHUD: http://chud.com/articles/articles/23827/1/A-PEEK-AT-THE-ASS-KICKING-IN-UNDISPUTED-III/Page1.html

    (vern’s probably working on a post about it as we speak… type/read?)

  364. Because Terry Crews is awesome: Here are his Old Spice commercials.

  365. and because danny trejo is also cool, here are his czech hardware commercials

  366. Nice to see Trejo finally earning some extra money. :D

  367. Children are so precious and only should be taken care of in that way! Your post has given me some great ideas, so thank you and please keep it coming!

  368. On the one hand, it sucks that Guillermo del Toro isn’t directing the Hobbitt. On the other hand, it is awesome that he isn’t. I would’ve loved that movie(s) no doubt, but I’m actually much happier looking forward to him finally pushing forward the 10,000 movies he’s had in development since Hellboy 2. Maybe we’ll finally get Neil Gaiman’s Death or At the Mountain’s of Madness. Finally all those tantalizing, kind-of-more-interesting-then-the-hobbit-let’s-be-honest can be taken off the backburner.

  369. Yeah, I feel about the same. I was a little bummed that he signed on to do that because it meant 3 years without some new Pan’s Labyrinth type shit. But now he spent 2 years working on the fucking thing and we don’t even get to see his version. I bet he would’ve had a kickass dragon.

    I hope he does Frankenstein. And Blade 4. And yes, the one with the mutant penguins in the mountains.

  370. Unfortunately, the HOBBIT was going to be the film that launched Del Toro into a higher bracket of directors in the industry. It’s success was going to allow him larger budgets and more power to get his own films greenlit. Without it, I’m afraid he won’t get to make MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. Of all the films on his plate, currently, that’s the one I want desperately to see.

    Alternately, some talkbackers on AICN have suggested Alfonso Cuarón for the Hobbit. I think that’s a damn good idea.

  371. Happy Birthday Clint Eastwood

  372. I hadn’t heard the Hobbit news. Really kind of sucks because he had allready sunk so much time into his concept and vision for the film. It would have been epic. As much as I love Peter Jackson(I still watch Dead Alive and Frighteners yearly) he really doesn’t have the visual flare that I associate with Del Toro films.

    I know I’m in the minority on this one but I still think Hellboy 2 is one the best comic book adaptations we’ve had yet. Maybe it doesn’t strictly adhere to the universe and characters of the comics but that doesn’t mean it’s not a visual treat full of amazing fight sequences and lots of laughs. Hellboy 3 would be the shit.

  373. Jareth Cutestory

    May 31st, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Not sure if this has been mentioned on another thread, but apparently Tony Jaa has quit acting to become a monk.


  374. Hellboy 2 is one of my favorite Del Toro movies. I actually like it a lot better than Pan’s Labyrinth (which is a perfectly good movie in it’s own right, but that smacks a little too much of Oscar-bait for my taste). And I was really looking forward to his version of The Hobbit; I think it would have been so much better than Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies.

    Tony Jaa is leaving acting and, even worse, Ong Bak 3 sucks? SHIT! I guess I’ll just stick with Ong Bak 2 and it’s odd No Country For Old Men style ending.

  375. I don’t even think of the Hellboy movies as being superhero movies. To me, they’re fantasy movies that happen to have a comic-book basis.

  376. Hellboy 2 was my favorite movie of 2008 Dieselboy. So no, you aren’t alone. Probably the most fun at the movies I’ve had in years. Ordinarily the movies goofiness would have been a dealbreaker but it’s a testament to GDT’s talent that the movie worked so well for me.

  377. It’s like I always say: In a perfect world, the inspiring, colourful and imaginative Hellboy 2 would have been the highest grossing film of 08 and not the cold and distanced mess that was TDK.
    About GdT leaving The Hobbit: Well, everything has been said. It’s a shame that he leaves but at least he has now time to do his other projects. And who knows? Maybe all of a sudden MGM gets saved and del Toro can return!

  378. To be clear I loved both Hellboy 2 and TDK in ’08. TDK was probably 2nd or 3rd on my top ten list that year. Also TDK a mess but not HB 2? I loved the movie but come the fuck on. It was all over the place…which is one of the main reasons that I love it but it’s still an inescapable fact. So in a perfect world they would have both cleared 2 billion world wide and Avatar would have bombed and come in third behind Sex and the City 5.

  379. I never implied that you hate TDK or that anybody else has to. Even I don’t HATE TDK, I just have a very strong dislike for it (For reasons that I talked about here way too many times). And I think the difference between the HB2 mess and the TDK mess is for me the former mess was a result of a million creative ideas that were just fun to watch, while TDK’s mess resulted in substituting real drama with starting a new subplot every five minutes and solve it with an explosion, but telling the audience that they are watching a serious drama about guilt and 9/11. Hellboy 2 just left me in awe and screaming for more, while TDK wanted me to finally make it stop or at least finally give me anything to care about. A good story or maybe even one single character. I can’t even remember one action scene, while the way how del Toro replaced the tired Wire Fu with something that could be described as Trampoline Fu impressed me a lot.
    Like I said, I don’t hate TDK and I think the world is big enough for these two completely different takes on comic book movies, but I just prefer the colourful fairy tale-ish, that isn’t afraid of getting silly for a second or two over the grim, “realistic”, cold and distanced one.

  380. Thought I’d put this on here for the regulars. It’s an Indian dude who does impressions of some of the biggest action stars like Clint, Arnold, Connery etc.. They are incredibly accurate.

  381. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGSI-KWLCnA&feature=related

    should prolly have included a link as well

  382. Foreign translations for the first two DIE HARD posters. Pay special attention to the taglines! http://i.imgur.com/BGE5b.jpg

  383. Holy shit, are they real?

  384. Real enough to be on the internet. I choose to believe. Teach the controversy!

  385. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_MqZn7E-mk

    Mysterious Mortal Kombat movie with Michael Jai White and Seven Of Nine, that keeps everybody guessing what the fuck it is.
    The internet community is loving it, but I hate the cheesy Platinum Dunes/Zack Snyder look, combined with the attempt of setting MK in the “real world”.

  386. JUSTIFIED ended in maybe the most kick-ass way possible tonight. Bring on season 2, pronto.

  387. Having just seen the documentary “I Have Never Forgotten You,” I have confirmed that the #1 real life badass of the last 70 years is none other than Simon Wiesenthal.

    He might not be a cinematic superstar badass, but he’s a legitimately amazing person who’s done more than probably anyone to bring justice to the worst human beings of the previous generation.

  388. I just saw Memories of Murder the other day. I’m sure many of you guys on here have seen it already but if you haven’t you should check it out. It’s up there with Se7en and Zodiac in my opinion.

  389. Jareth Cutestory

    June 22nd, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Cinematical is reporting that Bruce has signed on to a new Shyamalan project:


  390. So, what do y’all think of the Green Hornet trailer?

    It’s no surprise to me that they sell it as a normal superhero movie (I heard the real movie should be crazier, with lots of the typical Gondryness, that is only hinted at in one scene of the trailer) and that Seth Rogen seems to suck all the fun out of it. I mean, come on, this guy is just bad!

  391. I’ve liked Seth Rogen in a bunch of stuff (FREAKS AND GEEKS, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP, OBSERVE AND REPORT) but he seems out of his element here. And when he’s bad he is definitely bad (ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO). Regardless of his involvement though I have no interest in THE GREEN HORNET and that trailer just cemented my disinterest. Money is staying firmly in my wallet, thanks.

  392. Just stopping by to say that Predators is surprisingly awesome!

  393. Alright, I appreciate and respect (if not understand or agree with) some of you guys not going for Dark Knight, but JESUS CHRIST Inception is an astounding work of art, and a full blown masterpiece, and it’s existence alone endears me to the modern age of Hollywood enough to forgive an entire year’s worth of shitty remakes and reboots and requels and whatever the fuck they’re calling all the knockoff unoriginal pap that gets fed to the masses these days, and if you don’t go for it, I’m officially throwing a hissy fit and locking myself in my room to pout. Internet style.

  394. Jareth Cutestory

    July 16th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Brendan: Were you as enthusiastic about THE PRESTIGE as you are about INCEPTION? Because frankly I didn’t think THE PRESTIGE was anything special.

  395. As a noted DARK KNIGHT disliker, I must say INCEPTION is another overrated mess from Nolan, a bloated, joyless affair that mistakes grimness for insight and chaos for visual invention.

    Nah, I’m fucking with you. Easily the best and most thrilling movie of the year. It makes THE DARK KNIGHT look like a very special episode of FAMILY TIES.

  396. Wait, which one? Wasn’t there one where his friend died or something and it was filmed in front of minimalistic black backgrounds?

  397. Jareth: I got a kick out of THE PRESTIGE and I think that it improves and deepens with multiple viewings, but no, I wouldn’t put it anywhere near what INCEPTION does. Although, even if you hate PRESTIGE, after seeing INCEPTION you should embrace it’s place in Nolan’s evolution as a filmmaker. Some of the narrative layers to this one were clearly formed there, except he’s honed his technique to a fucking razor point, and deploys them for maximum emotional devastation.

    Majestyk: Whoa, nice fake out. I was getting ready to stamp my feet and hold my breath and slam the door to my bedroom.

  398. PRESTIGE wins despite its obvious flaws simply for David Bowie as Tesla. Every bit with him is fucking gold.

  399. Vern: No, that one’s better than THE DARK KNIGHT. I’m thinking the one where Tom Hanks played the alcoholic uncle who drank the maraschino cherry juice to get fucked up.

  400. Yeah, count me in with the INCEPTION parade crowd.

    Vern review it so we can unshell all our shit we got holding up buddy. So we can like bitch and debate about the ending, and like make up nonsensical theories that hold no logical water.

  401. My theories hold all the water. My theories are the Hoover Dam of theories.

  402. Majestyk – And like hoover cleaners, your theories suck.

    well they might suck. I haven’t heard them yet.

  403. Jareth Cutestory

    July 17th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Brendan: Nolan’s “evolution” is a curious idea for me because I liked his first film, FOLLOWING, the best. Actually, now that I look at a list of his films, I like each new film less than the one before it.

    I didn’t hate THE PRESTIGE. But I think the script was flimsy and the cast was just all wrong, at least in practice; in theory it make sense. But I don’t really think Wolverine and Bale are all that great even in their best work (ie. THE FOUNTAIN and BERATING THE LIGHTING CREW), and neither seemed to thrive under his dispassionate approach the way Pearce and Moss did in MEMENTO.

    But I liked PRESTIGE more than the other magic movie that year, the one with Jack’s Post-FIGHT CLUB Career Slump and the Oscar Winner That Was Painted Blue By Malcolm In The Middle.

  404. Jareth- Well seeing your track record with Nolan movies, I can’t vouch for your reaction towards INCEPTION, although it seems like even the people who weren’t into his Batman movies are frothing at the mouth with love for it. My own personal ordering of Nolan’s films (I haven’t seen FOLLOWING) goes: INCEPTION, MEMENTO/DARK KNIGHT (interchangeable in levels of greatness, I probably watch DK more though because of explosions, Ledger, flipping 18-wheelers, etc.) BATMAN BEGINS/PRESTGE (great filmmaking, acting; iffy screenplays) and then INSOMNIA (solid movie, just doesn’t have that spark to it). So take that as you will.

  405. INSOMNIA is probably his worst movie, but shit its still a quite decent thriller and hey, remember when Al Pacino gave a shit?

  406. Jareth Cutestory

    July 17th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Brendan: It’s cool. I know Nolan is good people. I’m just a nit picky bastard.

    Glad to see you like MEMENTO so much. For some reason there was a real backlash against that movie over on AICN. It’s a shame that Bale became Nolan’s muse, because Pearce seems to understand him better. Not to mention Pearce is by far the better actor in every respect except choice of roles (like, geez dude, the TIME MACHINE? Shit).

  407. RRA: Nolan is sort of a live-action PIXAR, no? Just excellence, excellence, excellence; to the point that INSOMNIA, by simply being solid, comes across as a weak link, despite being better then half of what gets released every year, if not more so.

    JARETH: What I love so much about MEMENTO and Pearce’s performance, and what allows that movie to be more then a one-and-done gimmick (I promised myself I wouldn’t mention you-know-who, dead-people-seer-guy) is because of how strong the emotional core of that movie is, how much of the narrative and arc of the movie is driven by character, and how much soul Pearce manages to bring across. INCEPTION hits the same target with Leo’s character. Another filmmaker would have made his emotional journey subtext, but Nolan makes the need for catharsis the engine for everything that happens in the movie, and Leo brings it to wrenching life (only Shutter Island potentially challenges this as career-best work). I hope you dig INCEPTION as much as I did, and I hope Following will prove to be another work of excellence for me to lose myself in one day.

  408. I really liked INCEPTION, and after seeing FOLLOWING last week I’m somewhat surprised to say that I have enjoyed all of Chris Nolan’s films. Adored PRESTIGE and MEMENTO, reckon INSOMNIA and B BEGINS the weakest, but that’s just the inveterate cynic in me, especially in view of remake snobbery (the original INSOMNIA is creepy as hell). Well done, Mr Nolan, you’ve raised the bar for literate mainstream cinema.

  409. I can’t wait for the porn parodies. CONCEPTION, ANALCEPTION, PENISEPTION, etc. Get on it Hustler!

  410. Jareth Cutestory

    July 17th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Brendan: Carrie-Anne Moss’ performance in MEMENTO is brilliant in my opinion, and, much like Bonham-Carter’s performance in FIGHT CLUB, the situation the protagonist finds himself in only really gets articulated on an emotional level after we see the response to that situation play out on the faces of the female leads. So good job, female leads.

    Also, the only reason I’m not discussing INCEPTION with you is because I’m going to see it at a matinee without a bunch of weekend yahoos shrieking like idiots. Yahoos are fine for KICK ASS, but that shit don’t fly for serious movies. So I guess that’s a show of respect for Nolan’s work.

    But I still like Adam West’s Batman better.

  411. Jareth, I had the same plan – went to the 9:45am show to avoid the crowd that thinks ticket cost equals license to yap. Plan worked, and I’m real glad it did.

    The movie really does inspire discussion, and after reading dozens of online interpretations, I’m even more eager to see it again and see how things fit. Not one to press Vern for reviews, but it will be a blast to hear what he and folks here say. So instead of pressure: Vern, there’s a serious badass in the movie, who doesn’t even figure into the most badass scene.

  412. Li – wouldn’t be shocked if Vern bitches about how the dreams don’t have the dream logic in them, hell I can even imagine him bringing up the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movies.

    And I suppose he would have a point there. But its not like I ever missed it here.

  413. JARETH- Yeah I think Carrie gives an amazing performance in that movie, and it’s especially strong when you realize that she’s pretty much playing a completely different character in every scene but still maintaining a throughline that ties everything together. Pantliono does similar strong stuff.

  414. What happened to her anyway? Its like after the musky smell of that MATRIX shit evaporated, her career went with it.

    Of course it didn’t help that most of the stuff she did to capitalize were like THE CREW and RED PLANET and SUSPECT ZERO. You know, shit.

    But hey, she has MEMENTO. We’ll be talking about that shit decades from now. And me and Mr. Majestyk by then will still be bitching about whether Renny harlin or Peter Hyams is the better filmmaker.

    Which is Peter, btw. No doubt.

  415. Jareth Cutestory

    July 17th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    RRA: She was really good in FIDO. It’s my understanding that she never aspired to be a celebrity.

    Now Joe Pantliono. After THE SOPRANOS he went on to stuff like LARRY THE CABLE GUY and CATS VS DOGS. Poor bastard.

  416. Jareth – Poor? Fucker makes more than we do. BTW, ever notice how many movies play off the joke (or unintentionally) about him having a rather unmatchingly hairy wig?

  417. ChopperSullivan

    July 18th, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Man, this has nothing to do with anything, but I’m going to start bouncing at my favorite local strip club next week, and I wanted some advice from the Vernverse. What are the proper badass protocols when dealing with drunk guys who are after naked women who pretend to like them?

  418. ChopperSullivan

    July 18th, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I know, BE NICE. I’ve seriously been watching ROADHOUSE in anticipation, like it’s an employee’s manual.

  419. Better ROADHOUSE than STRIPTEASE in looking for advice, so you’re on the right track.

    Or else you would be trying to make frozen insect deserts, an ill-advised business investment.

  420. RRA – (Throwing in a filler sentence here so an Inception SEMI-SPOILER doesn’t appear on the front index) – Doesn’t one of the (many) exposition nuggets say that the dreams are designed to feel real while dreamt? Like, the deeper levels of the subconscious need to not discount the constructed scenario while it is being experienced?

    Agreed that the dreams in the film are more straightforward than in real life.

  421. Jareth Cutestory

    July 27th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Cinematical is reporting that Nick Cave is writing a reboot of THE CROW. Now I know what it’s like to have my brain pulled in two directions.



  423. that’s pretty sweet. Hopefully his Haunted Mansion thing will work out too. He’s not going the Eddie Murphy direction of making a horrible kids comedy he says,so that’s something.

    The only H.P. Lovecraft inspired films I’ve seen are the Re-Animator series and From Beyond and I’m guessing those took some liberties with the source material. Unless H.P. Lovecraft wrote the brilliant line, “It ate him… bit off his head… like a gingerbread man! “

  424. huh, nobody here mentions who is producing ATMOM. Well I’ve liked his other producing efforts so far.

  425. Jim producing means Guillermo Tang Clan ain’t nothin to fuck with. By which I mean he’ll get 100 million dollars and the best 3D technology and the studio will not have a very easy time trying to derail his vision. I’m excited because as much as I love Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND are classics, but also check out DAGON, one of my favorite cheapo monster movies) he’s really the only one who has turned in honest Lovecraft adaptations and H.P. deserves more than one official take on his work. I actually don’t think he’s a very good writer, at least from a storytelling perspective, but he certainly has an amazing depth of vision, and his influence is undeniable. Hell, basically anything with tentacles is Lovecraftian, he’s probably had more of an impact on horror than Stephen M.F. King.

  426. So guys, I just saw Kurosawa’s STRAY DOG. That shit is fucking fantastic. In fact, it may be my favorite of all Kurowsawa’s films and one of the best noirs I’m personally aware of. Poetic, complex, atmospheric and gorgeous — why the fucking hell is this film not better known? Is it because it’s more Western in construction, or doesn’t deal with his more well-known tropes? Explain yourself, world!

  427. Subtlety,

    STRAY DOG is not one of my favorite Kurosawas, but it is an excellent film regardless. I think the best part is that, in this seemingly dark crime picture it has this unexpectedly touching, humanist message in the middle of it. That scene where the two leads watch the sleeping children and marvel at how peaceful they are is beautiful, not the least because you’re not expecting a delicate, sensitive scene in the middle of a thriller.

  428. So, the John Milius script for “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” is floating around out there on the internet; it’s one of my favorite Milius scripts – and the way it’s written makes it maybe my favorite Western “novel”.

    It’s too bad John Huston took a big shit all over the movie.

    Also, I recently watched the almost forgotten Milius movie Farewell to the King and expected it to be awful (Milius himself said it was butchered in editing) but I found it hung together surprisingly well. It plays like a moviebrat version of Lawrence of Arabia with a little First Blood thrown in for good measure; and Nick Nolte gets to do some awesome mega-acting (he plays a warlord).

  429. Dan — I’m embarassed to say that I think my enjoyment has something to do with simply “getting” the material a little more than I do with some of Kurosawa’s other films (we talked a little about that a while back) because its certainly one of his more Western style films. But I almost think that because it’s not so iconically Kurosawa people undersell it. It’s just lovely, touching, effortlessly suspenseful but also grindingly deliberate. It’s a brilliant genre film in its own right but as you point out, it has some deeply unexpected touches and a surprising humanity (in fact, I’d almost say it’s Kurosawa’s warmest film until near the end of his career when he started doing stuff like DODESUKADEN). Even the film’s antagonist gets a surprising amount of sympathy from the camera and script, and his final moments are among Kurosawa’s most poetic, IMHO.

    But really, its the atmosphere that sticks with me. The baking heat in the slummy post-world War streets is just captured so richly it’s almost tactile. Amazing work. I wouldnt call it his best or his most important, but I think it may well be my favorite.

  430. Have you seen HIGH AND LOW? It’s not quite as warm as STRAY DOG, but its similar in that it’s an immaculately crafted crime thriller with an unexpectedly resonant humanist message. It has as seemingly assholish protagonist who eventually redeems himself, and even the villain of the movie (a kidnapper and murderer) is fleshed out and nuanced, if not exactly sympathetic. It’s also pretty effective exploration of class divisions in Japan.

    Anyways, definitely a high recommendation if you haven’t seen it.

    I haven’t seen DODESUKADEN (still lots of gaps in my Kurosawa), is it worth seeking out? DERSU UZALA has been perpetually “next” on my list of Kurosawa films to see but I can’t seem to find the time.

    I did catch RAN when they showed it at E Street Cinema in DC a month or two ago, which was sweet even if its not one of my favorites.

  431. Dan — ha, I saw RAN there as well. It’s a good thing, too, because that’s a film if ever there was one that is meant to be seen large. Not one of my favorites, but goddam if you don’t just have to be impressed by the thing.

    I will be watching HIGH AND LOW this week, so I’ll let you know what I think. As for DEDESUKADEN, short answer is yeah, see it. Its completely unique in his filmography as far as I know — just a meandering, plotless, episodic character study in stunningly vivid color. It’s a little long at 140 minutes but if you’re in the right mood to watch you’ll agree that not a minute could have been cut. Sometimes its dark as hell, most of the time its depressing, but it also has that warm humanism which so surprised me in STRAY DOG. Pretty amazing effort, all things concerned.

  432. I haven’t seen STRAY DOG but I have seen HIGH AND LOW and it’s excellent. And Dan — DERSU UZALA is in my top 3 Kurosawa. The other two being SEVEN SAMURAI and IKIRU. I find it too hard to rank these three, so consider them all towering achievements of cinema that shit upon virtually all other films in existence. My local Cinematheque is having a Kurosawa retrospective so I’m going to try and catch DERSU UZALA on the big screen, it would be well worth it. I did go see DREAMS and THE LOWER DEPTHS, thus filling two long-standing gaps. Both were second-tier Kurosawa, but I’m glad I saw them.

  433. Great, it’s going on the queue.

  434. I’ve really been slacking in catching up on my Kurosawa lately. I need to get off my ass. I’m making seeing DODESUKADEN and DERSU USALA in the near future an imperative.

    If we’re talking favorites, I think I will name YOJIMBO (most entertaining, arguably his best filmed, insanely influential on countless movies I love), IKIRU , HIGH AND LOW and THE HIDDEN FORTRESS. But frankly, of the 10 or 15 of his films I’ve seen, they’ve all been good and most of them outstanding.

  435. Yeah, that’s the thing. I have yet to see “bad” Kurosawa. In fact the two I saw the other night are probably near the bottom of the heap, and I gave them both 8/10. Let’s see, I’m going to try and rank the ones I’ve seen, best to worst:


    I’d rank everything up to THE HIDDEN FORTRESS 10/10. That’s fucking impressive.

  436. cosmosmariner1979

    August 3rd, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Alright, I just watched the trailer that CJ posted for THE GREEN HORNET and …. man, who did Seth Rogan have to blow to get that gig? He is NOT Britt Reid. I have fond memories of that tv show and always thought that Van Williams (the guy who played Britt Reid/Green Hornet in the show) was pretty cool. Seth Rogan is not… dude, Seth Rogan couldn’t lick Van Williams’ shitkicker boots. If I wasn’t already pissed off about other recent chlidhood favorites being revamped into not-so-satisfying movies, I’d be really really steamed about this one.

  437. Dan Prestwich nailed it re that fantastic STRAY DOG moment.

    HIGH AND LOW … I love the first half an unreasonable amount, which might be why the gear shift at the midpoint or so always leaves me a little deflated. It feels like two different short movies, and the second is pretty great without appealing the same way.

  438. Jareth Cutestory

    August 3rd, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Not willing to cut Gondry some slack, Cosmo? Is Rogan Gondry-proof?

  439. Something to add to your “Films of Cinema” list Vern. No need to thank me.


  440. cosmosmariner1979

    August 4th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    @ Jareth – no matter how strong a tree might look, if it has a diseased root it will crash to the ground. Seth Rogan is that diseased root, and nothing will convince me otherwise.

  441. What’s the matter with Seth Rogen? The fact that his voice sounds so authoritative and mature coming out of that overgrown Cabbage Patch Kid face makes me laugh.

  442. cosmosmariner1979

    August 4th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I dunno…I have an illogical hate for him (and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston, but those are different stories). He just irritates me.

  443. What’s wrong with Ben Affleck? He was the shit in Phantoms. Plus that new one he’s in, The Town, looks pimp as hell.

  444. Jareth Cutestory

    August 4th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Cosmo: Fair enough. I know that if we were talking about Tom Cruise I’d likely be arguing the same thing. But do you think that there are suitable vehicles for Rogen, like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, or do you pretty much dislike him in anything.

  445. cosmosmariner1979

    August 4th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    @ hamslime – the beauty of irrational hate is that it’s irrational. :) I just plain don’t like him. Although he doesn’t ruin every movie for me, and I have tried and tried to see why people like him so much (and particularly why girls think he’s so cute, not seeing that either). I will say that I thought he was pretty good in GOOD WILL HUNTING, but I think that was more to do with my admiration for Matt Damon and not anything particular about Affleck himself.

    @ Jareth – I have not seen PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, but I did see KNOCKED UP and thoroughly disliked it. I didn’t like him in OBSERVE AND REPORT or THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN (although I did like the latter, thought it was kinda funny).

    The best thing I’ve seen him in, really, was FREAKS AND GEEKS, but I think it was the character he played and nothing to do with him.

    I used to like Tom Cruise a lot more than I do now, but I will state for the record that I thought he was pretty good in MINORITY REPORT.

  446. Our friend Messr. Joseph Kahn has a new video out, this one of that Eminem song “Love the Way You Lie” starring Megan Fox and Dominic Monagahan. Actually pretty great video, seek it out. Or just follow this clip: http://www.cinematical.com/2010/08/06/megan-fox-dominic-monaghan-eminem-video/

  447. http://moviemavericks.com/?p=2506

    A video of Seagal training an MMA champion Anderson Silva. It’s really cool seeing Seagal still able to move with speed and impressing the guy nearly half his age with taking him down just with twisting his hand and his arm locks.

    Dunno if it’s the kind of thing Seagal would ever want to do but I’ve always liked the idea that now he’s getting older of him doing a film with a younger actor that Seagal’s character could be training in Aikido, maybe this MMA guy could be it.

  448. Interesting though NSFW article about the Gathering of the Juggalos…


  449. HUMAN CENTIPEDE director Tom Six —

    I was in the audience at the American premiere. I got all kinds of reactions. I saw people vomiting, people left the theatre because they couldn’t handle it. I had a girl who was too afraid to talk to me afterwards, she thought I was totally nuts.

    In Japan they laughed during the whole film – they couldn’t stop laughing.


  450. Everyone was laughing at my showing in New York. It’s a funny movie. Honestly.

  451. Armond White on MACHETE – “If this kind of selfconscious cinema junk is to be enjoyed, it can only be enjoyed by morons. ”

    Armond, you’re one of a kind.

  452. Mr. S,

    I think the real classic line in his review is:

    “…Trejo, whose unexpectedly funny appearance DELTA FARCE…”

    It honestly read as one of his more reasonable reviews (note: I mean that relatively speaking) up until that point. He just HAD to throw something like that in there, didn’t he?

  453. I just saw CopOut. Why was this movie shit on so hard? I thought it was pretty funny. Not Kevin Smith’s best but I’d say it was Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back good.

    Also that guy from Half Baked as the main badguy is one of those things that worked for me, but if you would have told me before I saw it that he would be a good villan I wouldn’t believe you.

    The only problem I have with this movie is that “parquor” thing. I don’t have a problem with the act itself, I just think they should call it what it is – freestyle walking.

    Oh yeah! And the action was coherent for the most part! Fancy that.

  454. This isn’t movie related but I just heard The Budos Band III album and it is fantastic. Every song makes me feel like I’m with Brock Landers chasing down some drug runner.

  455. By the way don’t know if anybody’s noticed the facebook deal at the bottom of the sidebar. The great Clubside Chris is setting that up for me because he says it will bring me more readers. So if you do the facebook thing then sign me up as your facebook pal or whatever and it will tell you when I got a new review up and also trick your other facebook pals into knowing when I got a new review up even if they don’t want to know that.

  456. Oh, I guess you don’t friend pal it, you “become a fan of” or something.

  457. Just watched Kurosawa’s HIGH AND LOW for the first time — absolutely fantastic, thanks to you folks who recommended it. Its a uniquely structured film in that while fairly mainstream in its overall narrative, has an extremely unusual structure, changing perspectives and tones several times. Its almost three films — one a minimalist play at Gondo’s house, one a tense police procedural, and one a silent descent into the world of a sociopath. Each section has a distinct style and set of characters who drift in and out of the film’s focus. I would say Fincher’s ZODIAC owes a lot of its vibe to HIGH AND LOW, in that its about a discreet story but doesn’t exactly have a central character or arc. Also, the section in the flophouse has to be one of the most chilling sequences in Kurosawa’s whole filmography — the set, the junkie actors, those mirrored sunglasses which look like illuminated eyes… wow. It made me realize it’s too bad he never made a straight up horror film (unless you count KOMONOSO [THRONE OF BLOOD] which I’m not quite sure I do). Where should I go next with my Kurosawa survey? DESRU UZALA? IKIRU? Others?

  458. Hey guys,kind of a slow day on the boards so I thought I’d ask what you all thought about the True Grit trailer going around the web.

    Personally the trailer gave me goosebumps. Good westerns are few and far between these days. 3:10 to Yuma and Appaloosa are the only two that come to mind in the last few years for me. So when I saw this trailer this movie quickly became my most anticipated upcoming release.I know Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin can definitely carry these roles but I’m most excited to see Matt Damon in this kind of a movie. He’s done a lot of different shit but never anything like this that I can remember.

    Heres a link if you’ve somehow missed it.


  459. I like it. It’s good to see The Dude working with the Coens again.

  460. I was sold when “Coens” and “Bridges” and “western” were muttered in the same sentence. Damon and Brolin are bonuses if you ask me, very nice and delicious bonuses.

  461. Perhaps Vern could do a month of westerns when he’s done with all the horror movies in October. (BTW Vern – My birthday is October 22nd and you haven’t reviewed my two favorite movies, Gremlins or Gremlins 2 yet. *hint*)

    I’ve noticed that The Wild Bunch, Once Upon a Time in The West, The Searchers, Outlaw Josey Wales, and Magnificent Seven were missing, to name a few. Not to mention Tombstone, Young Guns I and II, and Back to The Future III.

  462. hamslime – If Vern doesn’t cooperate, you can always threaten to send up Hulk Hogan.

  463. Hey Region 1 GRINDHOUSE fans, you know how we’ve been waiting for the Weinsteins to put it out as it was released in theaters, the full double feature with the trailers and everything? And how it’s finally coming out today? And how they announced the extras and there were way more on the Blu-Ray than on the DVD but we figured oh well at least we get to see the movie as originally intended?

    Well, they decided that wasn’t dickish enough, so they ditched the DVDs and are only releasing it on Blu-Ray.

    Viva la Weinstein Company!

  464. Well, here in Germany films, director’s cuts and even uncut versions get all the time announced for Blu Ray only, but then, a few weeks later, the distributors notice how much anger they cause with it and announce the DVD too. So don’t give up hope yet. (Although the Weinsteins are the kings of Dickheads and maybe too dumb to realize that DVD is far a way from being dead yet.)

  465. John McTiernan going to jail for perjury apparently.

  466. Maybe not perjury actually, but being economical with the truth anyway.

  467. Julie Taymor, a.k.a. our favourite female director who never made a movie with Patrick Swayze or vampires, raped my childhood. Or do you see any hints of Robby The Robot in there? It doesn’t even seem to be set in space! Worst remake of FORBIDDEN PLANET ever!


  468. Programming note: I’m afraid I failed to tape the season premiere of STEVEN SEAGAL: LAWMAN, so I won’t be able to review it until after they replay it on the weekend. Sorry, I didn’t mean to let everybody down.

    Grindhouse update: over at an Ain’t It Cool talkback our own Stuntcock Mike tipped me off that it (apparently) came out on DVD in Canada. So I ordered one and we’ll see how that goes.

  469. Vern – Grindhouse is coming here in the states to Blu-Ray.

  470. Vern, where did you order it from? Did you actually see any cover art? Because the one I found on Canadian Amazon seemed suspiciously like one of those double features of like THE BABYSITTER MURDERS and VAN NUYS BLVD that tried to cash in on the Grindhouse hype. I hope it works out for you, because I don’t have a Blu-ray player either.

  471. Here’s an article listing some highlights from Bruce Campbell’s speaking engagement at a comic convention in New York. It’s an entertaining read and makes a fairly strange reference to Steven Seagal.

  472. Sadly, he uses the stupid ‘torture porn’ phrase. Other than that it’s a fun read.

  473. I agree with you about that. That was a mighty crotchety moment for a guy who got his start in a movie where the main character’s kid sister gets raped by a tree.

    Thanks for the link, Dieselboy, that was immensely hilarious. Bruce is a pretty good sport I must say.

  474. Hey fellas,

    I just watched 62 movies at VIFF and AICN just published my reviews. Have a gander:


    Love your friendly neighborhood Gwai Lo, who apologizes profusely to Vern for this shameless self promotion.

  475. Anne else see RED? Nothing great, but it is an absurdly entertaining, breezy action movie

  476. Anyone else see RED? Nothing great, but it is an absurdly entertaining, breezy action-comedy that does a great job of juggling all the out-there personalities and zany characters and huge action beats. The action is hit-or-miss, it seems like the bigger and crazier the set piece, the more comfortable the director is. Dozens of peoples firing thousands of rounds with gigantic fireballs and John Malkovich screaming? No sweat. Two guys punching each other in an office? You got problems. Still though, the good outways the bad, and RED is a great, if slight, time at the movies.

  477. Gwai Lo – I have to say I’m more impressed at the amount of positive responses you’ve gotten on an AICN talkback then the 62 movie review which is an impressive feat on it’s own.

    BTW, you mentioned you’re a screenwriter in your review preamble. Any good ones you have laying around that I could read? hamslime at gee mail dot com.

  478. Nice job, Gwai Lo! I thought I recognized the name when I saw the headline at the ol’ Ain’t It Cool. You just helped me kill a LOT of time at work.

  479. hamslime – I know, it’s kinda eerie actually. I keep waiting for the shit disturbers to show up. The only completed screenplay I have that’s suitable for human eyes to read is kinda in development with some filmmakers/financiers.. so I can’t really share it! But thanks for offering to read it, I wish I had more specs lying around collecting dust. Gotta stop watching so many movies I guess.

  480. If you’re interested I have one that could benefit from a rewrite. If you can polish it into a masterpiece you can claim it as your own and do whatever you want with it. I moved on with a couple other stories and I don’t see myself going back to that one so if you want to take a crack at it…It beats a blank page.

  481. hamslime – I’ll be honest, my dance card is a little full right now. I have the aforementioned screenplay off with story editors right now so I might have to do a rewrite soon. I have another web-series thing that kinda died with a studio but recently they told my producer there’s a chance of a resurrection, so that might come back. And I am working on two other scripts at once right now, one an adaptation of a novel. Even if I got all that done I almost always have dozens of ideas on the backburner that I want to develop! And on top of that I have a normal job. But if you want some feedback I’d be happy to read your script and send you some notes. Email is mescaloner at hotmail dot com.

  482. Gwai Lo – You have mail.

  483. 24 hours live Coco (O’Brien) cam broadcast has just started…with some live aerobics

  484. So ex-CHUD writer Devin has launched his new site:


    Thought it might interest some here with his intent on covering ‘badass’ topics.

  485. Here’s a pretty good interview with Sam Firstenberg.





  489. So, who is gonna watch the premiere of THE WALKING DEAD tonight? I won’t for obvious reasons, but it’s gonna hit German pay TV on Friday. Can you believe that? Only 5 days delay! Normally we have to wait 6 months minimum! Even the final season of LOST hat a 3 months delay! Five days! I can’t believe it!

    BTW, Happy Halloween!

  490. Hey Lynch heads! So, I watched Eraserhead for the first time last night. What was up with that? Singing radiator ladies(?), mutated calf babies(?) a dancing mini cooked chicken? It’s actually the first film of his I’ve ever seen, and I had been planning to watch either Blue Velvet or Mulholland Drive tonight, but after Eraserhead I’m not so sure. Are they as dis-jointed and surreal or do they have a more consistent narrative/ coherent plot?

  491. dieselboy — Blue Velvet is more coherent basically a “normal” movie with a few stylistic twists, but if you didn’t like ERASERHEAD you’ll probably find MULHOLLAND DRIVE equally frustrating. Still, I urge you to let his surreal stuff (MULHOLLAND, INLAND EMPIRE, TWIN PEAKS, the fantastic LOST HIGHWAY) work on you a bit… nobody creates haunting, intriguing nightmares like Lynch does. Don’t go into it expecting to be told what the answer is, just soak in the nightmare vibe and enjoy pieceing it together for yourself (or better yet, with friends and a nice bottle of red wine) afterwords — with the proviso that there’s always going to be some level of ambiguity.

    If you want Lynch’s “normal” stuff, try ELEPHANT MAN, DUNE, WILD AT HEART and, uh, THE STRAIGHT STORY. Which even all these years later I still can’t believe I have to type alongside the other Lynch films. But really, Lynch is at his best when he’s letting his subconsious run wild on screen. If you can’t dig it, I don’t know that watching his admittedly good normal narrative films will really explain to you why we all worship the guy around these parts. However, I do reccomend yo utake a look at the “David Lynch: Problem Solver” videos on youtube, for instance this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvZzwZU5CFg

  492. Thanks Mr. S . I think I’ll try out Blue Velvet based on what you said and because I’m in the mood for something with Dennis Hopper.

  493. The original Paul

    November 5th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Dieselboy – I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but I would recommend “Blue Velvet” to pretty much anybody with a half-decent taste in movies. Or a pulse.

  494. So who watched the premiere of CONAN? Apart from Seth Rogen and the clip with Ricky Gervais (These guys annoy the shit out of me and especially Gervais proved AGAIN that he always goes for lamest and most predictable jokes.) I really enjoyed it. Nice to see him back.

  495. They are, but they’re his buddies so they’ll pop up again. Its why Tom Hanks is on tonight.

    I’m reminded of when Slash was on Leno earlier this year to promote his debut album and he purposely wore a big-ass “I’m With Coco” pin on his coat and the NBC cameras did their damn best to avoid showing it but its like trying to purposely not show an elephant at the church.

  496. I watched it. The opening segment was the highlight for me. I think Seth Rogen was just as surprised as everyone to be the first guest of the show.

  497. It was good, but I’m kind of disappointed that he just started another talk show that follows all the same formatting as his last two shows and the hundreds of other late night talk shows from over the years. The weirdest thing about Conan is that he’s a great host, but all of his strengths run contrary to a standard TV show. He’s at his best in the pre-filmed stuff, in the out of studio segments and in the big surreal set pieces and gags and set ups. Monologues and interviews? Not bad but not all that hot. He can’t fake interest in stuff like CW cast members or shitty family comedies the way other people can, it seems like he has a natural drive to mock and deconstruct everything from his SNL and SIMPSONS days left over and he has to constantly resist the urge to either punch his guests in the face or insult the shit out of them. I like that, it makes him a more interesting, honest personality, but it can also lead to some spectacularly awkward moments, like when he had to interview Eddie Murphy for IMAGINE THAT, and was clearly spitting out the words as he talked about how much loved the movie.

  498. Brendan – Were you expecting LAUGH-IN 2010?

  499. I was expecting him to do what he did, just do a regular show with a couple snipes at NBC, but I was hoping that he would feel at ease to be goofy and surreal and loose and break away from the time tested standards. I mean, c’mon interviewing Seth Rogen about his engagement or talking to the chick from Glee about a magazine shoot? This is not the guy who inspired so much fervor and devotion when it seemed like he got screwed. The guy getting humiliated trying to work at Burger King? The guy putting on a mask of himself? The guy rocking out with Jack White? THAT’s the guy I think everyone wanted to stand behind, and I hope as he moves forward he gets situated enough that he can be that guy much more often.

  500. You boys seen WINTER’S BONE? Hell of a movie. Solid, solid filmatism, a clear, urgent storyline, great acting (especially from John Hawkes, who has a badass standoff with Garrett Dillahunt that ends with the soft-spoken line, “Is this our time?”), and an intricate world that the filmmakers lets you figure out on your own without explaining every little damn thing. It never particularly acts like a crime movie, but deep at its core is the heart of a hard-boiled detective story, complete with a world-weary hero who can take a beating like a champ. That this hero is a 17-year-old girl doesn’t matter at all. It’s a damn good pulp noir tale, well told and with real emotional resonance. It doggedly resists trying to say anything significant about poverty or despair, but by just telling its story well and fully, it gets its point across. I think this is just the kind of low-key crime picture that bores the pants off most people but will be greatly appreciated around these parts.

  501. I loved it. Best movie I’ve seen in awhile. I’m glad you brought it up because I think Vern would really like it and I’m interested in his take on it.

  502. Couldn’t agree more with Majestyk’s assessment of WINTER’S BONE. Although I haven’t seen any of these bored pantsless people he speaks of yet, it’s one of the few movies this year that seems to have garnered universal praise. But that may be because it’s still relatively low profile. When Jennifer Lawrence gets her Oscar nod in a few months I’m sure the pantsless philistines will come out of the woodwork.

  503. Does the name Winter’s Bone make sense in context of the movie? I haven’t seen it or know anything about it plot-wise but it sounds like a porno.

    I will say that I’ve heard nothing but good things about it but that name is driving me bonkers. It reminds me of a really good band with a shitty name.

  504. If “winter’s bone” refers to something specific in the movie I missed it. It’s kinda evocative I guess, reminds me of being “chilled to the bone” and what have you. Yeah you’re right it’s kind of a lousy title. Well in the space between that last sentence and the current one I did some digging to see if I could figure out what the deal is and IMDB says:

    What does the title mean?

    According to the Q&A of the original novel, “bone” means a small gift or blessing, as in the phrase “to throw someone a bone.” Ree’s “blessing” occurs in winter, both literally and metaphorically.

    So yeah that’s pretty lousy. But it’s a good movie I swear.

  505. I liked WINTER’S BONE a lot too. Also in the category of Awesome Films That The Mainstream Will Never Know About: Johnny To’s VENGEANCE and Xiaogang Feng’s AFTERSHOCK.

    VENGEANCE in particular builds tremendously on the sombre, contemplative badass figure that Johnny Hallyday did so well in THE MAN ON THE TRAIN. And Anthony Wong just fucking rules.

  506. VENGEANCE is pretty great, as is Anthony Wong. Haven’t seen a Johnnie To film that disappointed yet.

  507. I want to take this opportunity to pay my respects to one of the great badass facilitators, Mr. Dino De Laurentis, without whom the careers of Charles Bronson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and several other pneumatic killing machines such as Orca and King Kong would likely not have been possible. And since it’s Veterans Day, I’ll salute his service in the Italian army during WWII as well. True, he might not have technically been on the right side, but at least the Italians had the good grace to butcher their leader in the street after he led them astray.

  508. It’s a mind-boggling list of films that De Laurentiis contributed to, Majestyk. Just a sample:



  510. I think Dino DeLaurentiis was the first movie producer I was aware of, because I read his name everywhere! (His and Golan/Globus) RIP, man.

  511. Is there anyone here who like me enjoy the old Golan/Globus Indy-ripoff King Solomon´s Mines? Or is it just me who is stupid? It´s funny as hell with John Rhys Davis as a great villain and Herbert Lom as a pompous nazi (is there any other kind?) It seems to have a pretty bad rep. It´s my favourite Indy-ripoff. Even though Richard Chamberlain looks like a gay version of Chuck Norris……

    I don´t know why I wrote about this one.but since noone does. i guess i´ll have to.

  512. That’s the one with the hilarious looking giant spider, isn’t it?

  513. Yeah, I think so.

  514. The only spider that I’m NOT scared off :D (Although to be fair, getting eaten by a giant spider, doesn’t matter how ridiculous it looks, is my worst nightmare.)

  515. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8Kj8gPNWd8 here is the clip with the spider.

    Getting eaten alive by a spider…not my favourite death.But more exciting than dying of old age.

  516. And there is a crappy sequel to: ALLAN QUATERMAIN AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD. Man that movie sucks…

  517. Jareth – you liked AFTERSHOCK? I thought it was teeeeeeeeeeerrible

  518. Gwai Lo: I’d totally understand if someone told me they thought that AFTERSHOCKS was conventional, boring, or predictable, but I was impressed with how it steered clear of outright maudlin. And it benefits from comparison to that recent Korean tsunami movie, which I really, really didn’t like.

  519. CJ Holden: I think I’d rather be eaten quickly by a really big spider than eater slowly by millions of tiny spiders. Especially if the tiny spiders get in through my ear and start eating from the inside out. Now there’s a film idea Dino could have thrown some cash at!

  520. I thought it drove through outright maudlin with a truck full of explosives. Come on, that scene where the kid gets off the bus and runs with arms outstretched to Mommy? The whole premise is so ridiculously melodramatic in the first place (for anyone who isn’t me or Jareth, it’s about a mother who must choose between her son and daughter when they’re both trapped under a rock during the earthquake of Tangshan, and the ‘aftershock’ of her decision). She doesn’t even bother to check if SPOILER her daughter is actually alive. And for all the constant screaming and crying and emotional catharsis, they SPOILER skipped the scene where the brother and the sister reunite entirely. They show the sister eavesdropping on his story and then smash cut to the next scene. WTF? I think this is the exact type of movie we’d be ripping to shreds if Hollywood made it. Also the robot they got to play the Vancouver husband needs to upgrade his fuckin firmware.

  521. Gwai Lo: I suspect the film might be employing melodrama more deliberately than you are giving it credit for, and with more knowledge of the tropes of the Chinese tradition of that kind of film. Granted, it’s not a high-minded deployment like what Guy Maddin does or what Lynch did with TWIN PEAKS, but I think the decidedly operatic tenor of the whole thing sat better with me than, say, TITANIC.

    But hey, I’m the guy who liked the melodrama in CHOCOLATE as well, so I can’t claim to have the best taste.

  522. Jareth:Well, every spider related death is a nightmare imo, but I still think that getting eaten by a giant spider is worse, just because the little ones are squishable and you don’t see every single detail of them. Gah, I don’t wanna even talk about this issue any further. Now excuse me while I take a shower and cry.

  523. The horror classic THE BEYOND has the most disgusting spiderscene I´ve ever seen!(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUqqVo0JxM4

  524. ….and it´s fuckin´ridiculous as well!

  525. I refuse to watch it, but isn’t this the one where they used short clips from it during Peter Parker’s nightmare in the first SPIDER-MAN movie?

  526. By the way, am I the only one who gets a giggle every time I see the phrase “Tony Scott’s UNSTOPPABLE”?

  527. Jareth – you may be right, I’m certainly not familiar with the traditions of that brand of Chinese melodrama. I saw it in a full theater, and over half the audience was Chinese (my gwailo eyes might have been mistaking some Koreans, Japanese, etc. as Chinese, but we’re talking about a 750 person auditorium here, so there were a lot of Chinese people in attendance is what I’m saying) and many of them were visibly emotional. The group of old ladies in front of me were actively sobbing for most of the movie and dabbing at their eyes with tissues, etc. Whereas all of the film festival regulars (a group of us conferred outside the cinema afterwards to trash it) I talked to haaaaaated it and found it cheaply manipulative. I even used the word “maudlin” in my short review, which is in an AICN link I posted in October in this very Potpourri thread. I understand the constraints of making such a mainstream film in contemporary China (the army parents who adopt the daughter are practically saints, for example) but I still think the movie was ham-fisted enough to make TITANIC look subtle. And true, I’m not that familiar with the precedents for this type of movie in Chinese cinema, but in my attempts to just evaluate the story objectively on its own terms I found it as saccharine as the most nakedly formulaic Hollywood weepy I can think of.

  528. UNSTOPPABLE is actually a pretty awesome movie, albeit with your standard Tony Scott deficiencies. He has seriously toned down his style, it comes across more like Paul Greengrass on a off day and less like Michael Bay on crack. His big thing with this movie is actually swooping, high speed crane shots. Seriously, even when people are sitting around in offices or when trains are completely stationairy, he’s whipping around. In fact, in a total reversal of his last couple, the most annoying thing about this movie is that some shots never fucking end and keep spinning and zooming and dutch angling.

    Still though, UNSTOPPABLE is the proverbial pretty good studio movie. The characters aren’t exactly layered, but they’re all interesting and layered and every single actor is perfectly cast and elevates their roles. Great escalating tension and nail biting set pieces and when Scott puts the screws to Washington and Pine, there’s real shock and awe and the use of the actors and real stunt men is so well down that there’s real concern for whether someone is getting mashed into goo by a giant red train.

    So, as a guy who thought MAN ON FIRE was a good movie buried under incomprehensible visuals, and as someone who wanted to kick DOMINO in the balls, I give UNSTOPPABLE props for being well done end to end.

    But seriously Tony, we get it. You are not an older gentleman. You’re young and awesome and fuck the man and tune you’re emotion to rage and wield it against the machine with your pinky rings or whatever. Clearly you haven’t completely lost your motherfucking mind, you can still get great performances and maximize tension and terror. So in the spirit of movie loving and the ever lasting pursuit of Ellis-denying and excellence-pursuing I am saying this politely.

    Calm. The. Fuck. Down. Pick two or three good angles. Plan out the scene to an intricate detail, shoot it a couple times and then cut it to ensure the extreme amount of audience reaction. There are several straight up fantastic action beats that got a big reaction from the fairly large audience tonight, and not surpisingly the moments where the camera backs up and he lets certain images and sequences breathe and savors the awesomeness of Chris Pine coming within millimeters of getting mashed into gravel.

  529. Gwai Lo: Think of it this way: AFTERSHOCKS functions not all that differently for certain audiences the way a genre flick like HEROIC TRIO might function for you and I; we know it’s junk, but it’s cathartic and familiar, and, when seen in a certain frame of mind, kind of awesome. Melodrama isn’t a cool niche, but it works on its fans in a similar way.

    I actually saw the film with my girlfriend’s 80 year old grandmother (long story), and she told me that sometimes you just need a good cry, like how western audiences might approach something like TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, which is just as manipulative and corny.

    Brendan: I’ll say one thing about UNSTOPPABLE: the trailer was well put together.

    But the complaint I’ve heard from people who saw the film was that too much of it is shown via fake news footage, yet has nothing to say about the media. One buddy told me he just paid $13 to watch two hours of Fox news.

  530. Uh, I think that’s an overstatement. There is a constant news prescence for sure, but then, all of the characters not on the train (aka 98%) watch the TV to keep on track with what’s going on. I think Scott uses the media as sort of a built pressure cooker, where we see the stunts and danger in the same context as the people on the outside of the train. Scott will intercut Pine and Washington dashing on top of train cars and falling off of things, then cut to their loved ones watching in horror on TV. I guess if you’re not really into the movie, that’s one of the first, easiest things to nitpick, but I was really into it so I didn’t really care.

  531. 1) I’m not sure I care for the careless use or application of the term “Rambo” here:

    but the trailer’s subtitles are kind of humorous.

    2 (Totally separate topic)) Herschel Walker is a badass. from ESPN <>:
    **Overweight and having a speech impediment as a child, the 48-year-old Walker overcame that to win a Heisman Trophy at the University of Georgia, get inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, play 14 years of pro football, become a fifth-degree black belt in tae kwon do, compete in the 1992 Winter Olympics in two-man bobsled and even win his first mixed martial arts fight in January.

    What’s next?

    “I might run for public office. We need to take back this country,” said Walker, who stopped by ESPN’s offices in Bristol, Conn., Wednesday to promote his MMA fight Dec. 4 in St. Louis. “I’m not talking about running for mayor of my hometown of Wrightsville, Ga., but a bigger public office.”

    Senate? President? No doubt, with his popularity in his home state of Georgia, he could make a run.

    “Our problem in the United States is we always blame the president for our problems. We never blame ourselves,” said Walker, who splits time in Georgia and Dallas, to be near his 11-year-old son. “We have to take responsibility for our actions and stop making excuses. People think you can just pray to make things happen. But you have to get up and do something.”

    That’s all Walker has been doing since he was a kid. He sets goals and accomplishes them. Next up is training for his fight in December. Walker won his debut in January, beating Greg Nagy via TKO at Strikeforce: Miami.

    “When I was a kid, people would always tell me that I couldn’t do something. And I continue to prove them wrong,” said Walker, who founded Renaissance Man Food Services, a 100-person meat processing company. “Who’s to say that I couldn’t come back at age 50 and play football? I could be the George Foreman of the NFL. I know I can come back and play this game.”**

  532. Hey Vern and Friends- Your boy Reggie Watts will be on Conans new show this Tuesday night. Just a friendly reminder from your friendly neighborhood pop culture junkie.

  533. You guys seen this?


    It’s another good article about the death of action editing and how it leads to the devaluing of stuntwork. Maybe if somebody publishes one of these every single day somebody in power will start listening.

  534. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/47497

    Long and interesting interview with Menahem Golan.

  535. Holy shit guys, have you been looking at the reviews for NUTCRACKER 3D? Apparently its a post-apocalyptic musical about an evil rat army complete with a singing Albert Einstein (Nathan Lane?!?) and a fucking HOLOCAUST PARABLE. And Jon Tuturro is the Rat King. That sounds like exactly the kind of crazy I could get excited about, even if its currently sitting at 0% on rottentomatoes.

  536. Mr. Subtlety: Despite all that mayhem, my local paper made the whole thing sound pedestrian and poorly put together. Of course, the same paper called ROBOGIESHA “torture,” so screw those guys.

  537. Had I known that’s what this Nutcracker was about I might have tried to catch a screening to see how that turned out for myself.

  538. Attn: Screenwriters.

    The following is copy and pasted from Joblo.com.

    “Deadline is reporting showrunner Frank Darabont has decided to forgo the writing staff that worked on the 6-episode first season of “The Walking Dead.” This includes the departure of Darabont’s longtime wingman Charles Eglee, who also served as exec-producer on the first season. For season number two, Darabont will hire freelance writers on a script by script basis, a model that has seemingly worked in the U.K., namely with the series “Tourchwood.”

    While writing staffs for TV can often be fluid, ridding a series of an entire writing staff altogether is definitely unusual. With a leap from 6 to the 13 episodes next season (expected next Fall), here’s to hoping Darabont again proves he knows what he’s doing. Then again, being so adroit at writing himself (he wrote the first two episodes of the series, and has co-written/re-written every since), I’m sure he does!

    “The Walking Dead” finale airs this Sunday at 10:00 PM on AMC.”

    It would be cool to see someone from this sight write a badass episode of The Walking Dead. (I’m looking at you Gwai Lo)

  539. Haha, I haven’t even seen an episode yet. Waiting for the season to end so I can watch them all back to back. Although if there are only six seasons I suppose the season must be close to over?

    It sounds like Darabont will be mapping out the season in an outline, hiring established writers to execute each episode, and then rewriting the individual scripts that are turned in.

    It would be really odd if a show like this were soliciting random scripts without involving the writers of these scripts in development somehow. It’s common for episodic shows like HOUSE, THE SIMPSONS or even THE OFFICE to accept spec scripts from freelance writers, because the show can sustain episodes that are self-contained stories without many direct connections to the rest of the season/series. From what I understand of screenwriters who write for TV, you can break in by writing scripts for shows like this and sending them to the showrunners (after first sending a query letter asking if they would like to read it.) However, even in this case, you’re more likely to get hired to the writing staff than you are to get your episode actually produced. The spec episode is your “sample”.

    THE WALKING DEAD has a seasonal arc to it, and it’s adapted from existing source material. So without being privy to the development process and the story meetings, a potential scribe would have no bearings in the greater seasonal arc, and would basically have no choice but to write a sample script instead of a real episode. Or write the first episode of the season and hope you’re on track with where the showrunners want to take it. Which some aspiring TV screenwriters still do, I’ve heard of people writing spec scripts for MAD MEN or BREAKING BAD or whatever because they really like the show. But they’re basically aware that the end game is getting a job, not getting their spec script produced in a real episode.

    Sadly, as I have no relationship with Mr. Darabont, business or otherwise, he will probably not hire me to write an episode of his zombie program. But I can still hope… thanks for the shout out hamslime, haha

  540. Did Italian PM Berlusconi take Russian kickbacks?


    Vern – Speaking of which, I’m surprised you didn’t post up an open forum or a Vern Tells it Like it Us column on the Wikileaks shit.

  541. Petty, cathartic whining ahead, please disregard:

    Am I the only one who keeps encountering “Open Captions”? This Regal multiplex downtown does certain showings where they project subtitles (and musical notes if nobody’s talking) onto the bottom of the screen, for the hearing-impaired. Nice service, unless you are not hearing impaired and accidentally go to that showing, which has now happened to me six god damn times. The first time I ran into it was DEATH SENTENCE, which I ended up watching while holding my hand up to block the bottom half of the screen so it wouldn’t distract me. That sucked so now I just have to turn around and go home whenever it happens.

    I tried asking people there how to find out which showings had that, they said “probly on the websight,” I tried submitting a question to the websight, they of course didn’t respond. (also they only let you use 255 characters.) This time I figured out that you CAN find out by checking the listings on the Regal sight, but not Moviefone, newspapers or anything else you would do to check listings. So I guess you just have to look up what theater it’s showing at and if it has the misfortune to be showing at this place you have to remember to then cross-reference to their corporate websight to avoid surprises.

    But if you don’t do that and you plan all week to see the first show of FASTER when you finally have a chance on your day off then forget it, you will not be seeing or reviewing FASTER. Sorry, The Rock. It’s both halves of the screen or nothing for me.

  542. I don’t even think we have this service in Germany.

  543. Honestly, Vern, you’re kind of better off. FASTER is about a third of a good badass revenge movie with some pretty odd quirks like Billy Bob having a fat kid who sucks at baseball for no good reason other than to make you think of BAD SANTA and BAD NEWS BEARS and then it starts taking itself REAL fuckin’ seriously all of a sudden. It completely forgets that it’s an action movie so it can be all, “Hey, have you guys heard about this new thing we made up where revenge is bad and forgiveness is awesome? You should try it, you’ll like it.”

    Also, they have two separate shootouts where someone sneaks up behind The Rock in a hallway and manages not to hit him. Writing the same scene twice is not how you Strive For Excellence, in my opinion.

  544. Also, if you pay close attention to the plot he doesn’t even kill the person who started the whole mess in the first place. And contrary to the title, it takes him like five days to kill four people, which is not particularly fast if you ask me. Statham would have done it in about an hour and change, tops.

    On that note, the MECHANIC remake looks pretty fucking cool.

  545. Vern – weirdly enough this happened to me for the first time last month with The Social Network. Which is probably one of the worst films to have half the screen filled with subtitles because there’s so much goddamn talking in the film it was never devoid of subtitles. There was a collective bristle amongst the audience when the subtitles first came up at the start of the film, that silent unspoken feeling that the majority of the audience with me didn’t realise this was a subtitled screening either but it’s too late to do anything about it now.

  546. Majestyk: You gotta figure even Carrot Top could have got it done in three days, max. Probably a different method of execution, though.

    Vern: The subtitles on DVD releases of Canadian films are often rendered in the Closed Caption format, with the music notes and helpful stage directions, like . Obviously on a DVD you can turn that stuff off, but, given how dull most Canadian films are, I usually leave them on.

  547. Uwe Boll has a new movie: BLUBBERELLA, about a fat chick killing Nazis. I won’t watch it, but I must admit I like the (horrible) tagline: “She will kick major ass — with her major ass …”


    Vern – I think Boll is a fan of your web sight because that trailer has that scene with Mad Doctor Clint Howard saying how awesome BLADE was. Is this VernBait?

  548. I don’t know about Vern, but you had he at “Mad Doctor Clint Howard.” Which reminds me, when is Hollywood going to get off their asses and give us the Clint-Howard-starring remakes of the Dr. Mabuse films we’ve all been demanding?

  549. Boll is also doing a sequel to In The Name of The King with Dolph Lundgren starring in it.

    I’ve given Uwe a break these last few years. Ever since I watched Alone In The Dark and House of The Dead with commentary he kind of won me over. His movies are still kind of crap but I get the impression that he’s truly inspired and loves what he does.

    Also I thought Seed and Postal were okay AND let’s not forget that Uwe Boll is the only person besides Japanese comercial directors hiring Michael Pare these days.

  550. So I finally found out what Vern gets up to when he ain’t reviewing movies. http://bit.ly/bA14fB

  551. So, I saw Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN yesterday and I’m still kind of trying to get a grip on what I think about it. On one hand, it’s as technically masterful as you would expect from Aronofsky, and features a staggeringly intense performance from Natalie Portman. On the other hand, its just such a silly, hysterical film that you almost can’t possibly take it seriously. The audience I saw it with (the third sold-out showing of the night, wtf?!) thought i was hoot, laughing and applauding uproariously throughout like it was FREDDY VS JASON. At first I was kinda surprised and even a little annoyed that they were treating it so lightly, but gradually I came to believe that they were interpreting it correctly; the film is exactly half blistering drama and half pulp parody.

    Aronofsky has never been known for his subtlety, but here everything is SO outlandishly hystronic and operatic that I simply refuse to believe it’s meant to be taken 100% seriously. Every emotional point is driven home with a sledgehammer of editing and on-the-nose dramatic music. Every one, from the genuinely heartbreaking to the hilariously mundane. I suspect Aronofsky is trying to emulate the shameless operatic romanticism of the ballet itself, but knowingly or unknowingly he’s created a film which gleefully pokes fun at it’s principle character’s warped worldview.

    Portman gives a fantastic performance as the mercilessly repressed, frightened child desperately trying to pretend she’s an adult and desperately hoping no one will see through her. She lives in a scary apartment with her emotionally manipulative mother in a room filled with stuffed animals and toys. Sex scares her, success scares her, failure scares her, her peers scare her, her body scares her — Portman plays every encounter in the film like she’s about a second away from hysterical tears. She’s terrifically convincing and somehow manages to stay sympathetic (even if the emphasis is on pathetic) even with such a victim of a character. The genius of the film is that it’s quite empathetic with her, but at the same time keeps suggesting that most of this is her doing, and if she would just relax a little she’d find that nothing is nearly as scary as it seems. She imagines her life as somewhere between a fairy tale and an operatic ballet, making the most mundane things into a spectacular crisis. The film strikes just the right balance of believably presenting her scary, tragic worldview and at the same time reminding the audience of the absurdity of it all.

    That may sound like Aronofsky is undermining the drama with parody, but Portman’s performance is so strong that it ties the two perspectives together and creates something with some real power. Her life is filled with forced tragedy, but Aronofsky lets us see that the real tragedy is her inability to let herself find any happiness with life. It’s not as operatic as most of the film’s drama, but there’s a genuine and heatfelt sadness at this poor girl’s self-imposed disconnect from reality. The horror in the film is about living in a world of imaginary monsters, the most frightening of which is the one looking back from the mirror. You can escape from a masked killer, but you can’t escape from your own mind. And –the movie hints– perhaps she doesn’t even want to. Perhaps it is only the crushing horror of her imagined drama which gives her tiny life any meaning at all.

    It all sounds pretty grim, but somehow in the end it manages to be really… fun. It sounds strange, but what I was left with at the credits roll is the sense that I had just had a really fun time with the movie. It’s unabashedly corny –right down to the twist ending that seems like it was written by Donald Kaufman– but completely commits to it. It has some postmodern commentary, but still earnestly sells the drama. It exhuberently embraces its pulpy side, but at the same time genuinely cares about staying emotionally honest. Mostly, though, It’s just relentlessly entertaining and thoroughly involving. It’s cheesy, sure. But it’s genuinely cheesy. It’s honestly cheesy. And as cheeses go, it’s a finely crafted, cave-aged cheese, complex enough for connoisseurs but cheeky enough to be heartily enjoyed with some good friends and a few bottles of red wine.

  552. Okay, least night it became clear that I spend too much time here, because I started to dream of you guys here! I dreamed Vern ran a kiosk in my neighbourhood and we all hang out there.

  553. CJ – Did you imagine us as our avatars or did your brain supply real faces? I like to imagine a giant banana, segway parked discreetly to the side, enjoying a falafel with HAL’s eye, a mysterious foggy guy, Charles Bronson, a giant crab, etc.

  554. Mr Subtlety,

    I love films (and, really, art in general) that aim for overwrought, bold styles and grand gestures, so you have me even more excited for BLACK SWAN. I have a high tolerance for this sort of thing, so I even suspect that one some will find “cheesy” about the film, I will simply find awesome.

    My question is, do you call it cheesy because it goes unselfconsciously broad/out there/crazy, or because you think there are problems in execution that lend an air of camp to the whole thing? Or are you arguing that the “cheese” might be intentional?

  555. Sublety: You all had faces, but as usual with dreams, I don’t remember any spedific details (except that I tried to not look at Vern’s face, as respect for his wish to stay anonymous and mysterious. [P.S.: Don’t you hate how made up dreams sound when you try to explain them to others?])

  556. Dan — Put it this way: they use a broken mirror as a symbol for her shattered self. And in case you didn’t get it the first time, they do it again about five more times.

    The problem isn’t that it’s overwrought, it’s that its overwrought about EVERYTHING, from the genuinely dramatic to the hilariously mundane. The story is so simple and cliche that you can’t help but kinda chuckle as Aronofsky dials everything to 11. But it’s definitely enjoyably so. I think I pretty much loved it and I suspect you will too. Some critics may come away frustrated that the film takes itself so seriously when in fact its almost comically shallow and derivative in terms of narrative, but to me that’s part of its charm and (possibly) part of the point.

    I’m alway interested in films which present a subjective reality and never break to the “real world” for comparison, and I sort of think (maybe) the film’s hystronic nature is meant to be a reflection of its protagonists’ warped inner monologue. Portman’s perspective is the only one we ever get throughout the film, and the whole thing gets filtered through her crazy. If the film seems like a lot of hystronics about nothing, I submit it’s because it’s trying to represent how terrifying and tense the world seems to her, not trying to tell us it really IS that bad. If that’s the case, the sledgehammer approach Aronofsky takes is a commentary on the character, not an attempt to make a laughably shallow story seem more intense.

    But either way, it works — the whole thing is fun and compuslively watchable. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

    CJ — I admire your restaint. Though I respect Vern’s veil of mystery, I think the temptation to find out if he is actually Sir Mix-A-Lot would be too great.

  557. Mr. S: If Mouth actually looked like his avatar in CJ’s dream, I’m not sure it would have been the kind of dream he’d tell us about.

    Mouth, if that’s your girlfriend or your sister or something, I mean no disrespect. PLEASE DON’T KILL ME WITH YOUR THUMB.

  558. My apologies to Vern for using his forum to promote my own blog, but…

    There’s a lot of you folks who post here whose opinions I respect, and you are all pretty knowledgeable about horror movies. And the end of my most recent post, I ask a few questions and try to start some discussion about a few things horror related, and since the only people who read my blog are my girlfriend and my brother, I thought I’d reach out to you guys and see if anyone wanted to chime in:


    The first part talks about some non-horror movies, but it’s a very quick read to get to the horror stuff. Basically, I’m trying to draw some parallels between THE SHINING and a few other movies, and I’m curious to hear from other people.

  559. Okay, usually I wouldn’t post a video of a gazillion celebrities from the last 3 decades singing a Beatles song here, but among the random appereances are also Dolph Lundgren and Bud Spencer.

    Apparently they were told it was for charity, but it turned out to be just a commercial for a Norwegian talkshow.

  560. CJ Holden: That video looks like some sort of afterlife for b-level celebrities. At least they all look happy, especially Tubbs, who is really throwing himself into that air guitar solo.

    Also, I like how Lou Ferrigno’s credit is given as “Hulken.”

  561. Mr. Subtlety: If you ever show up at the kisok without your Disco Fassbinder gear I’ll be so disappointed.

  562. I love that they put everyone’s name and what they are famous for on the screen. If the audience needs to be told who they are, then it’s not a very good celebrity cameo, is it?

  563. I’m glad Dan brought up the horror. I was hoping to get some suggestions for 80’s horror books/retrospectives.

    Nightmare USA is the one i’m intrigued about, but it’s so pricey i’m not sure if I can afford it just now.

    Any recommendations?

  564. I saw a real mindblower recently called POSSESSION, which is absolutely nuts and totally awesome. I think there are a few other fans of it on these boards. Unfortunately, it’s also a little obscure and pricey.

  565. I recently watched one of the best off-brand eighties slasher movies I’ve ever seen: THE MUTILATOR. It had it all: some surprisingly disgusting gore, semi-likable hard-partying teenage characters, an unlikely motivation for the murders based on a violent incident from years past, a distinctive killer with a battleaxe and a hangover, a bravura ending, and a light touch that keeps it from feeling too sleazy. I think it’s better than THE PROWLER or THE BURNING, quite frankly. Also, it has a hilariously out-of-place upbeat piano-and-sax theme song called “Fall Break,” which used to be the name of the movie before some ad wizard was like “You know, I couldn’t help but notice that you fellas have an awful lot of mutilations in this picture…”

    If anybody’s interested, I got it here: http://www.ioffer.com/i/the-mutilator-uncut-horror-dvd-unreleased-gore-slasher-118009701

    I will definitely be recommending this one the next time the annual Slasher Search rolls around. It’s a class act all the way.

  566. Also, here’s the Amazon link for Nightmare USA. And to reiterate, if anyone’s read this book or know any other similar books that kick\ ass, give me your thoughts.

    NUSA runs for around fifty bucks, so I was curious if it’s packed to the brim with content.


  567. Ha, don’t know why I missed that you were looking for books. Sorry about that.

  568. Hey, I thought we were just recommending horror movies. Which I will do whenever the fuck with little provocation.

  569. Haha no, that was my bad for not being clear what i was asking for!

    On the bright side, I’m up for movie recomendations anytime!
    I’ve been on the vhs hunt/kick, so any of that is awesome too.

    I watched Jack’s Back last night. It didn’t blow me away like some folks had told me, but I liked it.

  570. JACK’S BACK is one of the best De Palma movies De Palma never made. It’s got a plot that hinges on some pretty preposterous conceits but it puts them over with so much style and seriousness that you kind of buy it. Also, it’s from the director of ROAD HOUSE, which is just weird. Hard to imagine a guy named Rowdy directing anything other than bouncer movies.

  571. “JACK’S BACK is one of the best De Palma movies De Palma never made.”

    Before I even got to the end of that sentence, I searched for it on Netflix. Looks like it hasn’t been released in the US on DVD, which sucks. The ROADHOUSE connection just makes me more desperate to see it.

  572. Damn, it was very DePalma-ish, what with all the fake outs at the begining. I think i’ll prob enjoy it more the second time around.

  573. Thanks for the link, Jericho!


  575. I has a suggestion: how’s bout Potpourri becomes a monthly thing? like every month a new one starts, for example, Potpourri December 2010?

    That way when archived it’ll be easier to go through for all the helpful lists and shit that gets posted. Unless it’s a pain to start one of these things, i don’t know.

  576. No problem, Dan. As much as I love the work of Rowdy Herrington, “Jack’s Back” is hardly worth losing your sanity over trying to track down a physical copy.

    anthony4545 is right. As hilarious as ET/GVP was over a year ago, it’s kind of lost its luster.

    Here’s the only pic of the Jeopardy “potpourri” category I could find:


  577. Ooo yeah, cuz then we can have new pictures too. Good idea!

  578. Dan: If you do end up wanting a physical copy, though, let me know and I can burn you one for five bucks. I put it on DVD from a VHS I bought for a couple bucks the last time I visited my childhood video store before it closed forever. End of an era, boys. End of an era.

    P.S. I think the next Potpourri image should be that picture of Robocop riding a unicorn. That shit never gets old.

  579. I have now learned that there is apparently an entire genre of images featuring Robocop and a unicorn in a variety of media, from watercolors to tattoos.

    The internet is weird.

  580. RE: Robocop riding a unicorn.

    Ho-lee sh-ee-et.

  581. Majestyk,

    You are a sweetheart. I may actually take you up on your offer, as my apartment has some weird internet problems and hates Hulu (despite having no trouble with Netflix streaming or Mubi.com). Unless this is some sort of setup. Are you a cop? You have to tell me if you’re a cop, it’s like a law or something.

    I’m currently working on a blog post that sorta works off that discussion some of us were having about movies that look “realistic.” Anyways, I’m mentioning you by (screen)name and using your “Just make the fucking movie look like my eyes see” quote, unless you have have any objections to that. More info forthcoming.

  582. IF OCP fucked with Robocop’s unicorn, shit would get messy pretty quick.

  583. The quote is yours to do with as you see fit, Dan. I’ll have my lawyers draw up a contract.

    And since JACK’S BACK is not in print in any form, its copyright is not currently active, thus making its sale perfectly legal. If and when you want to order, I’ll give you my email.

  584. Sorry Majestyk, I didn’t know about your side business. Melon farming probably doesn’t pay the bills all by itself. Just be careful with selling bootlegs; I’m sure “Jack’s Back” isn’t public domain. Since it sometimes shows up on late-night cable, SOMEONE must own the copyright.

    That said, I’d love to see what other obscurities you’re offering. :)

  585. Jericho: The way it works is that you can sell a movie in a format in which the copyright is not active. So if there’s no legitimate DVD on the market, it’s okay to sell an illegitimate one.

    So far, I’ve just dipped my toe in the DVD gray market, selling a few movies to friends and at stoop sales, but I’m planning to set up an online store with all of my full selection. And believe me, when I do, I will pimp that shit on here until Vern shuts me down. You fellas are gonna put my kids through college (once they track me down via a private investigator, of course).

    Until then, if you’re looking for something specific, let me know. I have over a hundred titles in my collection that are not out on DVD, particularly in the 80s action and horror genres, so I might just have what you need.

  586. You should make your list available, at least discreetly.

  587. I’ll find a way and let you guys know.

  588. Let’s do our dealings as privately as possible. I don’t want you to get in trouble over this. Once you compile a list, shoot it over to pscriswell (at) yahoo (dot) com and we’ll talk shop.

  589. Okay, boys, you asked for it. Just click on my name for the full list. If you buy stuff maybe I can afford to get my little sisters even more disgusting movies for Christmas this year, which is the way Jesus would have wanted it, in my opinion.

  590. Jericho, I’m not too worried. Most of these movies I bought online from legitimate websites, so their bootleg status is no secret. These are movies I sought out specifically because I knew I couldn’t get them any other way but through online DVD-R sellers. If there’s some doubt, or if the movie then becomes available (like DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, which used to be on the list until a few weeks ago) I remove it.

  591. Starcrash and The Green Slime are available now just so you know.

  592. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll remove them.

  593. I’m almost positive MS. 45 and SHIVERS have legitimate DVD releases as well.

    Is NEXT OF KIN that weird Patrick Swayze Irish Mafia thing, the Australian one with John Jarratt, or the Atom Egoyan joint? It seems to be a pretty common title.

    Last question: is THE KEEP in full-on Michael Mann 2.35 ‘scope?

  594. I might just grab Bud the C.H.U.D. sometime.

  595. Jericho: MS. 45 and SHIVERS are both loooong out of print, making them some of the biggest sellers on the gray market.

    NEXT OF KIN is the Australian one. I really should have specified.

    And I believe THE KEEP is a very nice widescreen print. I’ll double-check when I get home.

  596. THE KEEP has definitely been on Netflix streaming, if that effects anything.


  598. NEXT OF KIN is, unless I am hugely in error, that Australian horror film that Tarantino is talking up in NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, even going as fat as comparing it to THE SHINING. I’d been really curious about it for a long time — is it really that good, or is Tarantino just overselling because he knows we can’t find out for ourselves (underestimating the crafty Mr. M)?

  599. Dan Prestwich: Majestyk isn’t a cop. But if you ask him to show you Colonel Beefheart, be prepared for the worst.

  600. If it’s that NEXT OF KIN, then I may need to purchase that one.

  601. Well that settles it. I’m buying the ever-loving shit out of THE KEEP and I’m going to give all my loved ones DVD-Rs of AVENGING FORCE for Christmas.

    You accept wampum beads as payment, I hope.

  602. Let’s just say putting the trout mask replica on it actually makes it prettier.

  603. It is indeed THAT Next of Kin, and it pretty much is that good. I saw it years and years ago VHS rental and had it kind of stuck in my head until I finally decided to do something about it.

  604. “Steven Seagal, Sheriff Raid Valley Home In Tank”

    The video wouldn’t play for me, but that might just be some weirdness due to my work internet connection.

    The slogan for this local CBS affiliate (upper left-hand of the screen) seems particularly apt.

  605. Check it out…. 90s years of movie posters in chronological order. Never seen it laid out this way to emphasize the stylistic shifts, pretty neat. If that apallingly amateurish photoshop hack job for ADJUSTMENT BUREAU is the future though, we’re all in trouble.


  606. This thread works alright. It has that retro-chic charm, now, I think.

    Fuck Potpourri 2: Port of Call Data Failure Does Not Load. Everything old is new again.

  607. So I’m not the only one it’s not working for? Yeah, let’s get retro up in this bitch.

  608. Me too. I think there’s just too many posts.

    Vern, any chance of a Potpourri 3 thread?

  609. Potpourri 3D/homie G/”give us us free”/for you and me/a place to discuss irony/misogyny/cinematography/ and various oddities/it oughta be/made to be/because you hosting service is spot-tit-ty/ironically/cause you’re always spot on with your commentary.

  610. I’m extremely distressed that someone was talking about the Clash in the old Potpourri thread but I couldn’t get down far enough in the fuckin 1,050 comments to see it and comment on it. THIS WILL NOT STAND

  611. i need a place to spill my mental dysentery/so drop a new spot so we can pop the cherry/hilar-ity will ensue/like a misplaced order at the apothecary/we’ll be merry/till we OD and foam at the mouth it’ll get quite scary/cause we’re unaware we/ popped a pill designed to turn badasses into faeries.

  612. Jareth Cutestory

    May 7th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Mr. Subtlety: I thought that the “appallingly amateurish hack job” movie poster for the ADJUSTMENT BUREAU was a decidedly accurate representation of the film itself.

  613. I really liked Adjustment Bureau. Though it is certainly a better romance than it is a scifi thriller. Would have been a favorite of mine if they would have stuck the landing and taken the concept to its logical conclusion with the lovers jumping off the top of the building to prove their free will, (ie Camus’ “Suicide is the most important philosophical dilemma.”)

  614. Potpourri WITH A VENGEANCE!

  615. I wish ET and Gremlins vs Predator was a real fucking movie

  616. Hey what make you folks of the new trailer for Coppola’s TWIXT? It looks truly bizarre. Tom Waits narrating? What the fuck is Val Kilmer doing with that performance? Is it sort of a weird surreal comedy? Or is the part at the end with the fire and everything meant to tell us that its mostly a scary serious horror film which begins like a awkward comedy?

  617. Holy shit, RISE OF THE APES is sitting at 80% on rottentomatoes. Didn’t see that one coming.

  618. About that TWIXT question: Don’t know about the movie, but that Coppola is planning to go on tour and do a “live remix” of it on every evening, sounds more innovative than the movie itself looks.
    (Of course it would be more awesome if Coldcut were doing the live editing.)

  619. I also think it’s interesting that Spike Lee is apparently twittering about how awesome ATTACK THE BLOCK is for days!

  620. CJ — yeah I read that too, which makes me wonder exactly what that will mean. Is he tweaking the rythem of scenes to make it play better, or is he going to be presenting a radically different film each night? Is this like one of those Seagal DTVs, where they shot the movie and then decided the premise in the editing room? The trailer’s weird enough that I don’t discount that possibility.

  621. (Since this is the least used Potpourri thread, I’m gonna use this until we get POTPOURRI IV: THE SEARCH FOR POURRI’S POT. I don’t want to break part 3 like we did with part 2.)

    So I just got JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS over my movie rental mail service. I just thought I should let you know that I’m going to watch it today or tomorrow. (For those of you who just tuned in: A few of my fellow Outlawverndotcomrades really love that movie in a non-ironical way, so I decided to give it a shot.)

  622. CJ – I’m afraid it’s too late for Potpourri 3.

    And J&TP is just pure fun in DVD-format.

  623. I don’t know, man. I can still access Potpourri 3, but it takes an awful lot to load, so there is still hope.

    And I gotta agree with all the JOSIE fans here: It is a lot of fun and maybe the most clever use of excessive product placement that I have seen in a while. I wonder how they got all those big companies to participate in an anti-corporate-brainwashing movie. Plus: The Heath Ledger joke is in a dark and twisted Meta way for obvious reasons more hilarious now, than it was in 2001.

  624. I think we broke Potpourri 5

  625. it’s too bad those Potpourris break so frequently

  626. I mean it was like what, two or three months ago we started Potpourri 5?

  627. Yeah, we are filling them faster and faster. We get too comfortable here.

  628. it’s ironic that the first one still works

  629. Don’t worry. We will break this one too.

  630. We didn’t break them. The news of PARKER sucking did. And to think it’s the first movie that got to use the actual name from the books. I can only assume that wasn’t a decision Westlake was involved in before he passed away.

  631. I must break you…

  632. See we wouldn’t have this problem if we had FORUMS.

    (What? Somebody had to say it.)

  633. Sorry for delivering the news that broke the thread, guys.

  634. This is great – a guy analyzed Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” to figure out the specific date when all of this could’ve taken place:


    (found via Badass Digest)

  635. Ah yes, I saw that. Excellent detective work there.

  636. Funny thing is I was just watching that video followed by CHECK YA HEAD just last night. Interesting to see a whole damn timeline breakdown of it and shit so little after that fact.

  637. I’m not convinced until he factors in the flightpath of the Goodyear Blimp.

  638. ‎2 possible arguments against this finding:

    a) Did the Lakers beating the SuperSonics technically happen the night before the actual Good Day?

    b) Isn’t his Good Day a non-temporal construct, existing in a realm that doesn’t count itself 24 hours at a time? Ice Cube’s Good Day is like Spartacus, or the Spirit of Jebediah Springfield, or Clarence the Angel, or that invisible barefoot guy who gives you a piggyback ride on the sandy beach when you’re depressed — always there to inspire us, always with us, even if it’s not totally real.

    Also, I’m disappointed we didn’t get a hold of this in time for the 20th anniversary. Coulda used the hype to re-expose the world to a great song.

  639. Yeah it seems kinda like a lost opportunity doing this a week after the anniversary and all. Would’ve given everybody a valid excuse to eat a fat burger. I still think the fact that Cube’s rapper persona had a good day followed by being arrested and then participating in a jail break keeps it within the realm of the inspirationally fantastical Mouth. Much like those others things you mentioned. Even if there is no Babe the Blue Ox around or anything like that it’s still the stuff of legend.

  640. Also forget the goodyear blimp’s flight path. Cause again it’s better to assume that the pilot noticed Cube’s impala on the road and made it read “ICE CUBE’S A PIMP” out of pure tribute to a hydraulic hopping legend. Not because Ice Cube met with him before takeoff and paid him to put that phrase on the screen.

  641. In other words any exposition on the blimp including it’s point of origin would take away from it’s effect in the video.

  642. Oh and it’s amazing how what you’re listening to at a moment creeps into anything else you’re doing in a subliminal way. For example this morning when I got online I was bumping a Beasties album and I ended up name dropping that in here when I mean to name check CHECK YO SELF instead.

  643. ^okay, maybe not, as I actually read the detective work involved. RC’s vids are pretty good though. He did a funny analysis of Shaq’s first album.

  644. LOL SHAQ DIESEL is still one of the most hilarious waste of beats I’ve ever heard. I won’t lie though Shaq did have a few bangers as a rapper back in the day. CAN’T STOP THE REIGN with Biggie is still the jam. Or maybe it’s just me.

  645. Sticky Fingers Rivers. Creepy. It’s like that chart knew that I masturbate a lot.

  646. I’ve done this one before. Jailhouse Eyes Parker FTW.

  647. Dad says hi, Majestyk.

  648. Boney Gumbo Jones. I need to put that shit on my birth certificate.

  649. wood floor…

    […]Potpourri | The Life and Art of Vern[…]…

  650. With JURASSIC PARK coming back to theatres next summer, what movies would you folks like to see widely re-released to the big screen?

  651. holy shit man, what? Jurassic Park is getting re-released?

    what are the details, will it be a wide release, will it be in 3D, will they change the CGI?

    I hope it’s none of those things and they’re just re-releasing the movie, that would be fucking awesome!

  652. Griff – It’s being re-released next summer (Google says 6/19) and it’ll be 3-D.


    But actually I’m sorta intrigued. Spielberg did give an interesting quote that JURASSIC PARK was the only movie of his that he’s considered doing that dreaded post-conversion 3-D process.

    Bullshit. If it does well enough, except RAIDERS or/and JAWS too. Which honestly I don’t mind. Melting Nazis, Explodey Sharks. In (rubbish) 3-D!

    (Funny enough, the PARK reissue is out two weeks before Spielberg’s ROBOAPOCALYPSE movie is out. Did he learn anything from Christmas?!?)

  653. EDIT – I forgot two small important details:

    (1) it’ll be a wide re-issue.

    (2) Since many theatres are still not equipped for 3-D, you have a shot of catching it in 2-D (as the deal with some of the recent 3-D re-releases.)

    If anything, I’m surprised the Internet has responded as well as they have to this news. I know the movie once upon a time was the all-time box office champ, but I didn’t think people drew that much….connection (is that the right word?) to it as they have when I posted this news on several boards.

    Anyway, back to my question: What movies would I want to see widely re-issued to theatres, but not in 3-D?

    Die Hard
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    The Godfather (this is the 40th anniversary)
    Blade Runner
    The Incredibles
    Star Wars (fuck “Episode IV” nonsense)
    Empire Strikes Back

  654. well the 3D thing is a bit disappointing, but it’s not a big deal, it’ll just be cool to see Jurassic Park with an audience again

  655. Terminator 2
    Batman ’89
    I’d also like to see Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair in cinemas when it’s finally finished

  656. Since we’re back to random shit here, I just watched Beverly Hills Cop III. Holy shit is this movie bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen it a million times but when you think of the the first Beverly Hills Cop and see this, its pretty sad. I can’t fucking believe John Landis directed this. You would think a reunion of Eddie Murphy and Landis would be gold but wow, this is bad. Anything not doing with Bronson Pinchot or the annihilator 3000 is pathetic. At least it was rated R I guess. I think this and Metro we’re Eddie Murphy’s last rated R movies.

  657. And a confusing George Lucas cameo to boot!

  658. I actually did watch Beverly Hills Cop III once

    and yeah, it’s awful, the cameos were funny though

  659. I just woke up, started drinking my coffee, reading this and wasn´t very surprised at all.
    But whoever´s idea it was to infuriate me and many others for a marketing ploy, he/them should be ashamed of themselves. Me, personallly don´t like to anger people without a good reason. But marketing people are assholes.

    However, I´m still not convinced of this movie at all yet.

  660. It probably was meant to be PG-13. But Sly after hearing about the backlash, probably decided to change it to a R later

  661. It’s funny, the quote from Stallone Zone just has Sly saying “After taking in all the odd rumors and hearsay, EXPENDABLES II is an R.”

    Like that odd rumor and hearsay on Ain’t It Cool News, from spy named “Sylvester Stallone”:

    “The PG13 rumor is true, but before your readers pass judgment, trust me when I say this film is LARGE in every way and delivers on every level. This movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible, BUT, fear not, this Barbeque of Grand scale Ass Bashing will not leave anyone hungry.””

    Oh well. Hopefully they figured this out while they were still filming.

  662. So, it was shot as an r rated flick? Or has sly invented time travel?

    There goes his plan of pg-13 in theaters and “extreme cut” for home release.

  663. Too late, Sly. You don’t play with my emotions like that. No more money for you until you learn to appreciate me.

  664. Fans mocking you for your flagrant lack of integrity? Just CGI in some unconvincing digital squibs and intercut a few ill-placed curse words. I’m sure the hack you hired should be fine with letting you backseat direct the movie into a fully unified piece of work that in no way shows its seams that won’t make the film even more choppy and misshapen than it no doubt already is, what with your apparent habit of letting crazy aged Republican internet memes dictate the content of your supposed labor of love. Don’t worry, you’re not coming off like a desperate old whore at all.

  665. Yeah Sly I think I’ll just keep waiting on PROMETHEUS thank you very much.

  666. yeah, I’m probably gonna skip EX2 as well, I mean I was lukewarm on the first so I would I’m not exactly raring to see the sequel

    ya know, here we are almost at the end of March and I have yet to see a movie in theaters this year, I guess the early months of the year are always kind of weak but by this time last year I had already seen Sucker Punch…

  667. Well to be honest there isn’t much worth seeing on the big screen at all right now so you’re not missing much. However THE RAID is coming soon and that one looks like something you can’t NOT see on the big screen.

  668. I don’t know, I haven’t gone to see much, but with the exception of MI4, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen in the theater this year, like HAYWIRE, GHOST RIDER VS. THE SPIRIT: VENGEANCE, and ACT OF VALOR. No masterpieces, perhaps, no blow-your-nuts-through-the-back-of-the-theater-into-the-adjoining-theater-playing-THE-LORAX-so-you-have-to-register-as-a-sex-offender-for-showing-your-nuts-to-a-bunch-of-kids thrill rides, but some good, low-key badass cinematicals that I will be happy to watch again. Then we got DRAGON EYES (not theatrical but I don’t care) and THE RAID coming up real soon. It’s shaping up to be a good first quarter, far as I’m concerned.

  669. If you live in a culturally backwater country like I do, I´d bee happy if any of those movies Majestyk mentioned even gets theatrically released over here. Sweden is fuckin piss to live in in some ways. Nobody cares really about entertainment or even movies only painful rubbish like Eurovision Song Contest where people get pissed about the “wrong winner”. Idiots.

  670. Hmm…reflecting on my last post,I´m pretty sure I posted a similar rant elsewhere on this damn fine forum. So I´ll just stop pitying myself. at least I don´t live in Mogadishu…where the action is in your face and you don´t need to wear those stupid 3D-glasses to believe the shit is real.

  671. Shoot, I’m listening to the Swedish band Perssons Pack right now, one of my all time favorites, and yesterday I attended a concert with your fellow Swede, Thåström. It was so good I haven’t really recovered yet. Later this evening I’m going to see the last episode of the Swedish TV series Äkta Människor. It’s really good. So don’t be too hard on Swedish culture. There are a lot of nuggets to be found.

  672. As I see it, Stallone doesn’t owe us anything. He makes movies, not cancer treatment. If Expendables II’s good, that’s cool. If it’s bad, we’ll get over it. I happened to like the first one, and I bet I’ll like the next one. Lucky me.

  673. Well we give him money, so he owes us at least a good movie.

  674. pegsman – Ok, musicwise, Sweden is actually kind of good. Graveyard for instance is a great band heavily influenced by Zeppelin and there are bunch of other, so yeah as far as music goes it´s good. Festivals like Sweden Rock etc. I guess I was being kind of harsh, but it´s just when it comes to a varied reportoire of cinematic experiences its really shitty.

    So thanks for giving me a proper perspective on shit,pegsman. Sometimes I just get riled up,thats all.

  675. I don’t owe Stallone anything so I’m not obligated to see any of his new movies. If I do he’ll get my money if I don’t I’m sure he’ll get over it.

  676. Come to think of it, Sly has not t made many movies I really enjoyed since ASSASSINS and that was 1995.

  677. Oh, what would happen if Sly travelled back in time, with a time machine built by Al Pacino, to talk himself out of making ROCKY V?


  678. We’ve already gone 12 rounds on The Expendables, so I guess there’s nothing more to say about that one. And since it looks like I’m the only one who’s going to see the sequel I’ll get back to you all when I know how it holds up to the first one.

  679. Hey, todays Bruce Willis birthday. The man turns 57! Happy birthday,motherfucker!

  680. Just found out about THE DEEP BLUE SEA. Not a remake nor a reboot of Harlins shark-epic.
    It has the balls calling itself THE, like it´s the definite DEEP BLUE SEA. IT doesn´t even seem to
    have any sharks! And you dare call it THE Deep Blue Sea.Not a definitive blue sea in my opinion. I´ll pass on that one, even though the trailer made me kind of laugh. It´s all serious and shit with all the kind of awards it has won and the praise it has gotten. Reminded me of one of the trailers that opened TROPIC THUNDER.The “Kirk Lazarus” one.It has the same pretentious tone. But that was supposed to be a spoof. This wasn´t.


  681. I call bullshit. None of those peoples’ hats resembled shark’s fins in the slightest.

  682. Is anybody else feeling a little confused over PROMETHEUS? Not the is-it-an-ALIEN-prequel-or-not thing, but just whether or not I’m excited about it. Sure, Ridley Scott doing sci-fi sounds like a no-brainer, if we’re talking about the creepily visceral visionary of 30 years ago. But we’re not. We’re talking about the technically gifted but dramatically inert journeyman he’s become. I want to get excited but then I remember that he’s made maybe two movies in the past two and a half decades that haven’t bored the shit out of me and I wonder if this’ll be any different. Dare I dream?

  683. (Those two movies are BLACK RAIN and BLACK HAWK DOWN, if you’re curious. Maybe if it was called BLACK PROMETHEUS I’d feel like I was on sturdier ground.)

  684. I’m excited about PROMETHEUS because it speaks volumes that the man was inspired enough to revisit his roots in the first place 30 years later. I wish he had done FOREVER WAR but I’m not mad about another Ridley Scott film set in the ALIEN-verse either.

    I haven’t liked a movie he’s done since BLACK HAWK DOWN and to be honest his sci-fi movies are the only movies by him that I really like most. Seeing him reinvigorated enough to embrace 3D filmmaking like some of his other contemporaries (Scorsese, Zemeckis and The King) though shows that there is still a spark left somewhere within him. One that hasn’t been triggered by movies like A GOOD YEAR or AMERICAN GANGSTER were he phones it in to the maximum.

    I mean the IMAX 3D cameras are one thing. To a master filmatist it’s a new toy to play with and that’s why they go to town with the shit (IE: HUGO and AVATAR). In the hands of the man who made my 2 favorite sci-fi movies well I can’t even imagine what kinda mindfuck that IMAX 3D experience will be. As a bonus the movie is tied to ALIEN and that says another thing. I was born in ’83 so I wasn’t old enough to witness a truly kick ass horror flick like ALIEN or JAWS in the cinema. Something tells me this will be my chance in my lifetime.

    I don’t know dude. I can’t lie I’m pretty damn hyped. Haven’t been this hype for a mainstream movie since THE DARK KNIGHT. I’m a Batman fan yet I don’t even care about TDKR though tradition dictates that I will at least see it. Nor do I really give a shit about THE AVENGERS. It’s not like I’m going to see DARK SHADOWS, TWILIGHT and TWILIGHT + SNOW WHITE or some shit like that either so honestly to me this summer is definitely all about PROMETHEUS.

  685. Oh and I’m definitely gonna see GI JOE: RETALIATION so that’s another.

  686. That all makes sense, but it’s a bummer that it’s 3D. In the trailer, all the special effects already have that fuzzy look they’ve been acquiring lately, and with Scott’s usual dark-and-gloomy lighting, I don’t see how the dampening effects of 3D could leave it looking anything but muddy and indistinct.

    But I suppose I could just see it 2D. I don’t need to see it in IMAX. The only movie I’ve even seen improved by IMAX was AVATAR, and that had enough eye-popping color to compensate for the 3D.

  687. The IMAX sequences in THE DARK KNIGHT were phenomenal. Especially Batman gliding across the hong kong skies. It was as vibrant and hypnotizing as the ones in AVATAR and for the most part those TDK sequences had muted colors.

    I think it really just depends on the type of filmmaker that uses it. I will never in my life ever think of seeing something by Paul W.S. Anderson in IMAX or in 3D. As my examples in my previous post and in this one highlighted though; I think any master filmatist could definitely find a way to always adequately pimp technology correctly. Ridley Scott not excluded. It’s not like it’s his brother we’re talking about here; so I have faith.

  688. I just find with IMAX that, most of the time, I’m looking at the screen, not the movie. I keep waiting to see something that justifies the extra square footage instead of just watching the fucking movie. Like 3D, it’s a distraction that you have to pay for.

  689. The immersion of the image does depend on where you’re sitting though. Like I know you mentioned also being in NYC. You know the LOEWS by Lincoln Center? I usually go there for example and the best seat is at the center of the very last middle row before the last column of rows at the top. You sit there you could grasp it ALL without anything seeming overwhelming.

    I learned that lesson when I went to see BATMAN BEGINS with my friends years back and we walked in late and even though it wasn’t shot for IMAX the fact that it was projected on that screen and blown up wasn’t kind to my neck since we were sitting in one of the first rows. We left the theater and got a rain check. I knew that never again could I show up late for anything in that room. I mean if that was a non-IMAX movie imagine one with IMAX scenes? and even more recently I just watch any IMAX feature during matinee hours on sunday mornings which isn’t bad cause you pay like $10 as opposed to $17 or whatever they normally charge.

  690. If it’s shot on IMAX that is. So mostly documentaries not shit like WRATH OF THE TITANS THE IMAX EXPERIENCE or whatever. Otherwise I just watch regular 2D matinee shit for 6 bucks.

  691. Yeah, I always go to that theater if I’m seeing IMAX. Kind of a bitch to get to but it’s the only real IMAX screen in the city. The rest are just bigger-than-average screens that somebody slapped an IMAX logo on. Total wastes of money.

  692. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 19th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Wow – when did we start posting here again?

    OK, so “Expendables 2” is back to being an R-rated movie. I still think this is one of those “Whoever wins, we lose” situations, but whatever. After the first movie the only thing that surprises me is that anybody cared enough to actually get angry about the fact that it was PG-13 in the first place. Guess Hollywood still uses the hype machine because it works.

    On the subject of a film that actually does interest me somewhat, anybody know anything about the “Silent House” remake? The original was one of my favorite films of its year, and as I said in the “Thing” thread, I want to know that the US remake won’t 1) remove the shot of the shoe, and 2) start fucking about with the ending, which I would describe as about as unconventional as they get, but still brilliant. That said… and I will probably regret saying this later on… I kinda think this is a good film to remake for the US market. They could do it justice if they stick to the source material closely enough.

  693. Mr. Majestyk – I dunno, “journeyman” is appropriate for Ridley, yet he’s done more decent movies than that term would suggest. Since 2000 looking at his filmography:

    GLADIATOR – Terrific popcorn entertainment. Maybe some little nonsense here and there I can fill up a full posting on, but overall Scott did good. Give Ridley credit: He got an action movie the Oscar.

    HANNIBAL – Big budget glossy misfire, though I actually liked the derided brain scene, and the Florence murder was gruesome. But the movie has one core problem: Asides from the $$$, why was this made? Not to mention that as much as the book I thought was shit, the infamous ending at least gave some thematic closure I suppose. Also Oldman gave a good performance wasted in such a picture.

    BLACK HAWK DOWN – Not seen it since the theatres, all I remember was liking it. Though in retrospect, I have trouble wanting to watch it again because in my memory, it’s like some sort of kharmatic warning of Iraq that was ignored or dismissed because it’s Africa, who cares right?

    MATCHSTICK MEN – pretty decent movie, I rather enjoyed it. (Yes even the generic ending that’s despised.)

    KINGDOM OF HEAVEN – Loved the director’s cut, now that’s the movie that should’ve gone out to theatres. I doubt it would’ve altered the movie’s anemic box-office, but at least go out sword swinging and with some honor. So many have wanted to make their own David Lean epics, and end up having ridiculous running times, bigass budgets, foreign shoots, but Scott did pretty good at his stab at that sort of thing.

    A GOOD YEAR – Bleh. Mid-life crisis bullshit, but I’ll give Ridley and Russell Crowe this: They both conned Fox to give them a working vacation in France. Give them credit.

    AMERICAN GANGSTER – Liked it, though the “like” has dwindled somewhat over time, still thought it was quite decent. I do remember enjoying Denzel playing the movie gangster, in a career that outside of TRAINING DAY lacked baddie roles.

    BODY OF LIES – Like every other Middle-Eastern related thriller that doesn’t involve Iron Man, this tanked but I thought it was a solid, decent action thriller of the Bourne veign that of course the locals despise. The sort you’ll see once, and be satisfied never to see it again, and not say that as a diss at said movie. The scene when Leo kicks that underling down the mountain of garbage was awesome.

    ROBIN HOOD – Ridley, what the hell? Talk about rewriting a decent, compelling original script idea (Robin Hood is the villain) into a not as cool, but still kinda interesting plot tweak (Robin Hood and Sheriff of Nottingham one and the same) to a mesh mash hell of a mess where several interesting tangents are wasted by being thrown in together and praying that it works. It doesn’t. (This movie made me want to track down all the copies of the Magna Carta and burn them.)

    So yeah Ridley is…all over the place. I still respect him because he can still crank out decent pictures here and there. (So can Spielberg* though not as good as the Beard can be.)

    I don’t get the viral marketing bullshit as I do with everything else. I hope PROMETHEUS is good. I want a good Ridley Scott movie, if at least to make up for ROBIN HOOD. I hope it’s good. But I’m afraid people are hyping this movie based on that viral nonsense, and they’ll be let down or something. Nerds can be an unforgiving savage lot.

    Of course, as somebody else already said, I rather wished Ridley had made FOREVER WAR instead.

  694. I would rather Spike Jonze made FOREVER WAR.

  695. it’s kind of mindblowing to think this is his first science fiction movie since Blade Runner

  696. Paul: THE EXPENDABLES has the same problem as THE WALKING DEAD (please don’t spoil the season finale for me until Friday night). It’s not very good, in parts even absolutely awful, but it’s something that everybody WANTS to succeed, so they give it another chance and another and another…

  697. I really enjoyed the book HANNIBAL, I don´t know why people have such a big problem with it.
    One of the greatest and most enjoyable reads I´ve had.
    Did anyone expect SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 2?! I liked it that Thomas Harris took a more unusual approach to the subject matter. It has some great characters like Pazzi and especially Mason Verger.
    And I just loved the Florence as a setting both in the book and how beautiful it looks in the movie.
    I want to go there someday…

    The books ending is questionable, but enjoyably different from the movies terrible one.
    I was surprised by Ridley Scotts balls to actually want to approach this really gruesome,bizarre
    kind of love story by turning it into something very operatic in its execution and thanks to a very haunting score by Hans Zimmer. Easily one of the composer´s finest works.
    Some of the stuff that was in the book I never thought was gonna transfer well to the big screen and be cut out but was pleasantly surprised at how the “Brain dinner” was shot and executed.
    Verger had a great death scene in the book that was replaced by a much lamer one,but I was
    surprised at little else was changed from the book.
    I highly recommend the book, for those has never seen the movie.It´s sad that it doesn´t get more love than it deserves.

    Regarding BLACK HAWK DOWN- I´m sorry, not that interested in this movie.Extremely well executed movie, but I just can´t help that I don´t really give a shit about the story or the characters.

  698. CJ – why are you watching the show if you think it´s not very good? And what are those parts you mention that are awful? I just want to know.

  699. shoot – have you ever read the book of Silence of The Lambs? just curious if that’s worth reading

  700. I just can`t get excited about Prometheus. Sir Scotts 2 sci-fi´s are 2 of my favorite movies, but he hasn`t made any great movies since Thelma and Louise. That`s like 20 years ago. And his output in the last decade has been terrible. That`s not the dealbreaker for me, though. His Alien Directors cut is. He messed up his masterpiece because he felt it was “too slow.” That`s like Tarantino cutting out 20 minutes of Pulp Fiction because he has feels that it is to talky. William Friedkin, Coppola, Spielberg and Lucas all made changes to their masterpieces, but they didn`t ruin their movies. Ridley Scott did, and he hasn`t done anything since that proves that he hasn`t completely lost his touch.

  701. CJ, are you talking about the first or second season? If it’s the first I don’t get what you’re talking about at all. Those 7 episodes didn’t have a single bad moment. The problem with the second season is that they’re trying to stretch a 7 episode story to last for 13. And their weapon of choice is the same as every soap opera franchise since the 60’s have used; endless talk about what happened an episode or two ago. The show’s called The Walking Dead, people, not The Days of Our Lives.

  702. I was thinking the other day how different videogames would be in a world without Ridley Scott. The Zelda games were heavily influenced by Legend, Doom was originally supposed to be an Aliens game and the current crop or military FPS games (COD ect) based their entire athetic

  703. *dammit*

    …aesthetic around Black Hawk Down. It’s hard to quantify the influence of those three games alone, never mind that pretty much every sci-fi game ever made looks like either Alien or Blade Runner. The only other person I can think of that may be as influential would be Walt Disney.

  704. anime would also be very different without Ridley Scott

    when I watch Blade Runner these days, it almost feels like I’m watching a live action anime, almost everything about the movie, not just the look, but the very feel and pacing of the story feels straight out of anime, especially the finale

  705. it’s kind of weird how Ridley Scott has been on our culture

  706. I want to be excited for Prometheus but man, Scott has had more bad movies than good. I’m not a Bladerunner fan and his output over the last ten years has been pretty awful. American Gangster and Robin Hood are especially bad for their boring mediocrity.

    Still, there’s so few films I’m looking forward to that I guess I should give Prometheus a chance because the rest of the summer looks pretty bad.

    Also, who cares about the rating for Expendables? Had it been PG-13 it would have given everyone an easy excuse for why it sucked and would have given us a crappy part 3 that would have been R.

    I’m still pretty shocked at how Stallone has blown all of the good will he made after Rocky Balboa and Rambo.

  707. Casey, I beg to differ. Scott has never made a bad movie. Some of them might not be as good as the rest, but bad? No way.

  708. I wish he made bad movies. They’d be more entertaining than the handsome but dull movies he did make.

  709. Griff – No I have not read Silence of the Lambs. ´I was like 12-13 when the movie came out and it scared the shit out of me. It never crossed my my mind reading the book since the movie had such an impact on me and still does.

    The reason I love HANNIBAL-The book-The Movie was because it felt to me a big fuck you to everyone expecting more of the same. Not exactly your typical sequel.
    I loved the story and the direction he took with it. For some reason the angry mob hated him utterly for it. Would they have hated the book if it was yet another manhunt on a serial killer?
    Both Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs seem kind of similar on the surface, but now Harris really took it to a level of crazy largerthanlife, maybe it was too much for some people.

    It doesn´t resemble the previous books on its premise or the level of black comedy that makes Hannibal such an entertaining read.
    I don´t know what Thomas Harris was smoking dreaming up all that nasty shit, but I´m grateful
    for it.

  710. I love HANNIBAL: THE BOOK but hate the movie. I think the book is really audacious in the way it turns a serial killer procedural into a Grand Guignol fairy tale. It happens so gradually that you hardly notice it’s happening until you’re left with the startling and blackly romantc image of the happy couple, elegantly slaughtering their way across the globe like a cannibalistic Nick and Nora. The movie totally lost me when it threw out that ending and had Hannibal force a kiss on Clarice. The character as I understand him would rather die than be so crass.

  711. I agree about the ending of the movie but also about the death of the Verger character in the movie. It´s so lame compared to the enjoyably sadistic demise of his in the novel.

  712. *sigh* I really need to proofread my shit before I post.Here is a more correct sentence:

    I agree about the ending of the movie but the death of the Verger character in the movie is just as lame compared to his enjoyably sadistic demise from the novel.

  713. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 20th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    CJ – yeah, I stopped watching “The Walking Dead” as well.

    And I get what you mean about “The Expendables”. I just cannot think offhand of another case where everybody’s got so excited for a movie just because of the actors appearing in it. That’s it, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not because of the leaked story details or because the guy who did “Con Air” is directing, surely?

    I mean… I guess “Murder on the Orient Express” got a similar reaction way back when, but since then… ah, fuck it. I dunno why I’m even still talking about this. I’m analyzing reactions I don’t particularly care about, to news that I don’t care about, regarding a movie that nobody’s even seen yet, that’s the sequel to another movie that I thought was – barring two or three good moments – pretty much iredeemable. I’m sure I have a life somewhere, I don’t need to be here!


    I liked, but didn’t love season 1. It was good enough to keep me interested and because it was only 7 episodes long, I cut them some slack. Only very few shows manage to blow the roof off in so little time. Then season 2 started, which’s first half was nearly unwatchable, because more than the half of the episodes can be summed up with “Boy is dying, girl is missing, parents are doubting themself and blonde girl wants her gun back. And don’t forget the special appereance of the zombie of the week!”

    I agree with Pegsman on that. They took the story for two, maybe three episode and stretched them out to almost a half season! Under normal circumstances I would have stopped watching at this point, but there was the well publicized behind-the-scenes trouble, so I cut them some slack. I guess working on the show was at this point even more painful than watching it. I expected season 2.2 to be better, now that they had time to adjust to their Darabont-less situation.

    And I was right. Kinda. Season 2.2 was definitely better than 2.1. At least it felt like they were moving forward (although very slow) instead of just repeating what happened last week. And like how the Rick/Shane conflict was solved. The problem is now, that all characters are just so unbelievable stupid! They know that they are technically surrounded by zombies and STILL take a stroll through the woods at night. And is it so difficult to watch that stupid kid? There are 14 people on that farm. You should think that one of them would be willing and able to babysit. Especially since Lori was so happy that women finally have a reason to stay in the kitchen again!

    Oh well, at the moment it’s the right balance between unbelievable stupidity and well made twist-driven television. But I promise you that if the show doesn’t get its shit together when season 3.1 is over, I will give up.

    P.S. I recently realized that one of the current writers and producers once created this show. http://youtu.be/Z2ReAiW2kmo

  715. I really liked the first thrilling episode of season two and then when they got to the farm,the show started to grind to a halt. A lot of the episodes kind of melt into a blur for me since the entire season took place in the same location. It´s had some great suspenseful and thrilling moments at times and. I guess I enjoy the show that much that I don´t really understand what some peoples problems with the show is. It pits the characters against some real moral dilemmas and makes them question themselves. It´s a great character drama, even if some of the characters are left kind of underveloped.
    Like that black guy I can´t remember the name of?

  716. I read somewhere that part of the problem with this season of Walking Dead is that they’ve got episodes, but the budget got cut for the sake of MAD MEN. Dunno if it’s true, but it would explain a lot of the padding. But the first 20 minutes of the finale I felt were worth the wait.

  717. Is MAD MEN any good? It better be…

  718. I happen to love Hannibal. David Mamet wrote the shit outta that one.

  719. Shoot- I caught up with the first four seasons last year. I enjoyed it, though perhaps it helped to watch each season in such a compressed timeframe. I could imagine someone watching it on a week by week basis and thinking not a whole lot happens, which is kinda true, but I do like the characters for the most part(though I really think January Jones should have been written out once the big change happened with her character), and it can be quite funny at times, usually thanks to the Roger Sterling character.

  720. Knox Harrington

    March 20th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I think that Mad Men is the most brilliantly written show in TV today. It could very well turn out to be one of the greatest character studies in moving picture history.

  721. Mr. M – You might be right. Maybe I confused my disgust with some scenes/themes with the quality of thebook? I might give it another chance.

    (Did we really need that whole detail about the baddie raping his lesbian sister? I did like the hyperbolic detail of her cattle prodding his ass to get his semen.)

    That said, I still always thought the book’s ending was perfect.

    Interestingly, I read somewhere a long time ago that Harris only wrote HANNIBAL RISING because he thought someone in Hollywood would make a prequel, he might as well do his own and get a cut of that money.

  722. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 21st, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Ok… “Martha Marcy May Marlene”. The film with the most confusing title in movie history. Just seen it. Mouth said it was the best film of last year.

    Did I agree with him? Not to that extent.

    Is it good? Yes, it’s pretty damn good.

    My issues first: some of the pacing is very slow, off-puttingly so. There were definitely a few moments in this film where I was tapping my feet and wondering if it was going anywhere with what it was doing. I don’t mind slow-paced films (“Kairo” being a perfect example of one that uses that kind of pace constantly but makes it work) but a film like “Martha Marcy May Marlene” uses pacing to punctuate certain scenes. The impact is lessened if scenes that don’t need that kind of punctuation have the same pacing.

    The film takes place in two different timestreams, and this device only works as long as it’s clear which timestream you’re watching at any given moment. In two distinct places I found myself unclear as to exactly when the scene I was watching took place, and I don’t think this was deliberate ambiguity. Again, it lessened the impact of the film somewhat.

    …And that’s pretty much it for the negatives. The rest is all good.

    First off, the score to this movie is FANTASTIC. It’s like the spirit of Bernard Herrmann was guiding the composer’s hand the entire way through. It’s very minimalist and incredibly effective. A lot of scenes are completely without music but seem to have their own rhythm – the first scene in particular is a great example of this. All it shows is a group of people working on a farm. The only sounds audible are the wind and the sounds of people at work. The men are hammering and the loudest audible sound is the noise of the hammers, a sound that is used to jarring effect. It has its own distinct, somehow off-kilter rhythm. I can’t recall another device as simple as this used to accentuate the “unnatural”-ness of a scene. The movie is full of moments like this.

    The performances are all excellent, especially Elizabeth Banks (the lead actress). A lot about her character, and others, is kept ambiguous, and unlike certain other films I’ve seen this year I think this helps the film. How much was she damaged BEFORE she went to the farm? How much of what happens afterwards is paranoia, and how much is real? What’s the history of “the farm” and the people on it? We never find out. But I like that details like this were kept from the audience. It encourages us to think, to fill in the gaps. It’s assuming your audience is intelligent and willing to think (and as you all know if you’ve read any of my reviews here, one of the things I really hate about films is when they assume the audience is dumb).

    I love that this film never once mentions the words “God”, “colony”, or “cult”. I love that there’s a kind of self-perpetuating cycle that occurs between the “teachers and leaders” and their students, and that it’s hinted that even after a person leaves, the cycle isn’t necessarily broken. I love that the film shows, not only the life of the cultists, but also the impact it has on somebody who has to leave. In short, there’s a lot I love about this film, and I put it down to the good decisions it makes about what to show and what not to show – and also to the superb performances and scoring.

    So yeah… I absolutely recommend “Martha Marcy May Marlene”, in much the same way that I recommended “Shame”. It’s not a feel-good movie, by any stretch of the imagination – both movies deal with characters who are mentally or emotionally crippled in some way, perhaps irrevocably – but it’s a great movie and a fascinating one.

    On a side note, this means I’ve now agreed with Mouth about three out of the last four films that he’s recommended and I’ve seen. Something is wrong with the universe!

  723. Fuck all this WALKING DEAD whining when there is an allnew episode of NINJA THE MISSION FORCE:


  724. Knox Harrington

    March 22nd, 2012 at 7:47 am

    “The film takes place in two different timestreams, and this device only works as long as it’s clear which timestream you’re watching at any given moment.”

    I think you’re kinda missing the point there, Paul. The goal of the film’s structure and editing isn’t so much to focus on the shift between past and present as it is to focus on the fine line between memory, dream and reality. It’s designed to put us in Martha’s confused mind.

    I happen to think it’s one of the best structured and well paced films I’ve seen in years. Olsen is fucking phenomenal, and so is John Hawkes.

    I was watching From Dusk Till Dawn last night and was really surprised to see him in the opening scene. Damn, everyone’s so young in that movie. Feels like it came out just the other day.

  725. Okay, pretty sure Vern has to see this THE RAID: REDEMPTION movie immediately, so he can rebut Roger Ebert’s crybaby review of it:


    Apparently he’s offended because it kicked too much ass? Or something?

  726. There’s some pretty moronic stuff in there (mainly the location / Muslim / alleged videogame influence complaints), would have expected better from him.

  727. Nah, Ebert gets butt-hurt a lot. I like his writing most of the time and he’s usually got his head less up his ass than most of the big newspaper critics, but every time he gets up on his high horse about a movie, I know it’s gonna be a classic.

  728. P.S. Less than 11 hours until I see it.

  729. I love Ebert to death, I read him growing up and the dude did a lot to shape the way my young self approached movies. But his tendency towards moralizing is insufferable, especially in this case where he makes condescending comments about what he views as the audience for a movie like this.

    I haven’t seen it yet, so for all I know it could be completely terrible. But comments like:

    “There’s obviously an audience for the film, probably a large one. They are content, even eager, to sit in a theater and watch one action figure after another pound and blast one another to death. They require no dialogue, no plot, no characters, no humanity. Have you noticed how cats and dogs will look at a TV screen on which there are things jumping around? It is to that level of the brain’s reptilian complex that the film appeals.”

    …are extremely obnoxious. It’s your job to analyze the film, buddy, not insult some hypothetical audience you made up in your head.

  730. “What country are we in? The movie never tells us. (It was filmed in Indonesia.) ”
    Well Rog, between that and an Indonesian cast and the film subtitling Indonesian dialogue, I would assume Indonesia.

  731. Yeah, I don’t get that complaint, either. Like, do most American films stop to show a bunch of close ups of American flags, or the White House, or the World’s Largest Ball of Yarn or some shit to make sure people in other countries know the movie is set in America?

    I mean, some movies probably do. I just don’t think it’s a requirement.

  732. “Dad, isn’t it swell that we’re Americans here in America?”

    “Darn right, son. Let’s go have some more apple pie before we take part in the electoral process.”

  733. Pirate Paul,

    M-M-M-M is a totally awesome movie. Yeah, the pacing the glacially slow at points, but I think that only serves to heighten tension, we’re talking a SLLOOOOOOOOOW burn, but a good one.

    Speaking of uncomfortable tension, there are some strange scenes in that flick. Like walking into your sisters bedroom as she’s having sex with her husband and sitting down on the bed. Like institutionalized, ritualistic rape. Some super fucked up shit, but never done for a cheap shock.

    And the ending, holy shit. I spoke to a bunch of people who absolutely hated the ending, but I thought it was 100% perfect. I don’t want to get into any detail about it for those of you who haven’t checked it out yet, but it’s got a really nice, subtle “What the FUCK!?” ending that will stick with you for a while and is guaranteed to spark some vigorous conversation once the credits roll.

    On to a whole different note, who’s still watching JUSTIFIED? This season has been a little scattershot, but this week’s episode was fucking great. Raylan is as badass as ever, Boyd has become some kind of criminal, bluegrass messiah and Robert Quarles is the scariest villain on TV right now.

  734. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 22nd, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Knox – nah I’m not missing the point. There are lots of points where the film shifts from timestream to timestream seamlessly, and I have no problem with this whatsoever – it’s done with purpose and technique. When the transitions work, they work brilliantly. The point I think is that the girl can’t “let go” of what happened to her before, it just continues to haunt her and affect how she behaves back in “normal” society, as her sister’s husband refers to it.

    My problem is when it’s NOT clear that this is happening, when there doesn’t seem to be a point to the ambiguity, and where it just muddles things. It only happened a couple of times that I noticed but it took me out of the film.

    Still a brilliant movie though.

  735. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 22nd, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Dan – I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here. I think Ebert’s way of putting things can be obnoxious, but I kinda agree with what he’s saying.

    I think that a lot of modern action movies reflect badly on both the fans and the filmmakers. I mean, why should the writer or director of an action movie make the assumption that I, as a fan of action movies, don’t care about characters, plot, or humanity? And I kinda think a lot of them DO do this, or at least don’t put as much effort into creating a new interesting story or likeable characters as others do… does anybody think “Enter the Dragon” doesn’t have recognisable, relatable characters? Or “Die Hard”? Or “The Terminator”? Or even “Predator” or “Demolition Man”, which are films I really enjoy but don’t rate as highly as “Die Hard”, “Enter the Dragon”, or “The Terminator”? Great action movies have interesting stories and relatable characters, just like any other great film.

    So while I think Ebert’s way of saying it was a little obnoxious, it still might need to be said.

  736. I am reminded though of watching some of The Bourne Supremacy on tv the other night and them using the subtitle “Berlin, Germany”. Oh, THAT Berlin? I was totally thinking of that other one, the one you think of automatically when you hear the name. Similarly, I opted out of seeing MIDNIGHT IN PARIS once I learned it wasn’t taking place in Texas.

  737. Is that the same Berlin that Leonard Cohen was planning on taking after Manhattan? That subtitle might have helped him plan more sensibly.

  738. And for some reason all American city names are followed by the name of the state, but with cities in other countries it’s followed by the name of the country. Just once I wanna see a movie that takes place in “New York, America”.

  739. I prefer the TEAM AMERICA method, in which they say how many miles away from America a place is so you know how much to pity the poor bastards who have to live there.

  740. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 22nd, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Stu – that’s because America stole all of its place names from other countries, so they gotta make clear which one you’re talking about.

    FTR New York is nothing at all like “old” York. “Old” York has conservatives and cows. New York has neither of those things.

  741. Knox — I think Leonard was just assuming France would surrender as he flew over.

  742. Shit, I meant that for Caoimhin.

  743. Paul- I’d love to see a Mafia show where a capo says he’s bringing in “Jersey muscle”, only for a bunch of goons from the Channel Islands show up.

  744. Walking dead didn’t have it’s budget cut. What happened was this; the first season went straight to series so the larger budget for the pilot was spread out amongst the 6 episodes. When the series moved on to season 2 they lost that extra budget padding.

    Meanwhile, mad men was moving into season 5 and as part of the original contract the burden of production costs moved from the producing studio to the broadcasting network. As such, the budget basically doubled overnight. Same deal with breaking bad.

    Now, breaking bad is a lionsgate show and I think breaking bad is too…anyway, ANC has to split costs and profits on both of these shows but has more leverage on walking dead because it is their only in-house franchise. They get to keep everything, so they micromanage. Also, this is why were getting a 20 episode season 3. Also also, the are showing breaking bad in two sets of 8 episodes to maximize their marketing dollar, sell 2 DVD box sets instead of one and turn one season into 2 without having to renegotiate contracts and spend millions more per episode.

  745. I hate it when Ebert gets all Moral Orel about a movie, I thought atheists were not supposed to give a fuck about such things?

    I mean really, huh? Penn Jillette talks about how much he likes to watch porn (or used to before he had kids), so why does Ebert get offended so easily? if he thinks the movie sucks that’s fine, but don’t get on a moral high horse over it (it reminds me of his thoughts about slasher movies in the 80’s)

    I can only assume his Catholic upbringing had more of an effect on him than he thinks, even if he stopped believing in God

  746. I recall seeing that outtake of him and Siskel making fun of protestants, come to mention it.

  747. I resent the idea that being an atheist means you don’t have morals. It just means that you don’t look to a higher power to tell you right and wrong. Ebert is not saying the movie is immoral, he just thinks it’s not very interesting because he doesn’t appreciate the poetry of violence the way we do. That’s an aesthetic objection, not a moral one.

  748. Furthermore, he’s not saying we’re bad people for liking it. Just insinuating that we’re stupid.

  749. “I resent the idea that being an atheist means you don’t have morals. It just means that you don’t look to a higher power to tell you right and wrong. ”
    While I resent the idea that people who believe in a God or whatever higher power only get their morality or their beliefs about other things from that higher power/religion. I think you’ll find there are plenty of people who consider themselves Christian for instance who don’t have any problem with gay people, or pre-marital sex. Not that I’m saying you made that generalisation Majestyk, but it’s something I’ve seen real atheists say and it’s an annoying thing that gets done in film and tv sometimes, where a straight laced believer suddenly sees “the truth” and it’s suddenly a cause for them to lose all restraint and do all sorts of wild and crazy things. Bugged the shit out of me in PAUL how “existence of aliens=no God”, which is really weird coming from a movie making fun of people for not having an open mind.
    I have no beef with atheists. Fred Phelps is a prick but I just think Richard Dawkins is one too. Fair?

  750. “Bugged the shit out of me in PAUL how “existence of aliens=no God””

    that really bothered me too, there’s actually a lot of Christians out there who also believe in aliens and even point to quotes from the Bible as evidence

  751. Gotta say, I completely understand Majestyk’s frustration.

    I’ve had so many people refer to me as someone who “believes in nothing”. Nope, actually I do believe in something. I happen to worship common sense. I also have a very strong sense of right and wrong. Hard to believe that atheist = nihilist = satanist is a misconception that still exists in these times. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. There are still people out there who believe that the world is only 6000 years old.

  752. I didn’t get that in PAUL either. The movie seemed to think we would all agree that if there was an alien that means there’s no God. I don’t see the logic of that myself and I really don’t believe that a cartoonishly over-the-top fundamentalist Christian like Kristen Wiig’s character would agree with that.

  753. Oh shit, I found out about that Hannibal TV series today. Count me cynical.

    Red Dragon was a great stand-alone story. Why the need to turn everything into a soap opera these days? What happened to the art of telling a good, single story with a beginning, middle and end?

    This franchise fever is really getting on my tits now. If it keeps up then I can only predict disaster. Years from now we’ll have a Fargo TV series with Felicity Huffman playing Marge or maybe a There Will Be Blood series with Tom Selleck playing Daniel Plainview. Sure, it sounds like a hoot now, but it won’t be once you see the final product kill all the fond memories you had of a beloved film. I really think that some stories should just be left the fuck alone.

    Just look at what happened to The Terminator. Two great films followed by waves and waves of utter trash. When I read the name Terminator on movie sites or magazines these days I just groan and prepare myself for the worst. Sad days.

  754. Yeah, I do think that Paul was being a bit obnoxious (what else is new? Ba-dum-dum).

    I usually love it when guys like Ricky Gervais get all atheist up in everyone’s ass, but in Paul their attempt at a pro-atheist outlook was a little misguided. I think that movie offended quite a lot of people, and not just your typical Bible-bashing nutjobs.

  755. Knox, you do know that they made a TV pilot for Fargo with Huffman?

    There is of course a lot of different type of christians out there. But the fundamentalists believe very strongly that human life exists only on earth. And that’s what Pegg and Frost made fun of.

    We real atheists (strange choice of words, Stu) know that there’s no god, and no aliens have ever visited earth. The burden of proof lies on those who believe this. And the key word here is “believe”.

  756. Knox Harrington

    March 23rd, 2012 at 1:55 am

    You’re kidding about that TV pilot, right? Surely.

    Or have I finally unlocked the ability to make my thoughts become reality?

    Mrs. Keira Knightley-Harrington…

    Mrs. Keira Knightley-Harrington…

    Mrs. Keira Knightley-Harrington…

  757. No, I’m not kidding. But I don’t even think it was aired.

  758. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 23rd, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Pegsman – I’m an atheist don’t KNOW there’s no creator; although the idea of a Biblical or other religious moral figure seems to me to be insultingly patronising, or would be if so many people didn’t claim belief in said figure.

    I don’t have a problem with personal faith – everybody views the world differently, and I suspect that if you truly had a window into the souls of men, a belief in God or lack thereof would rank very, very low in terms of “important differences”. My issue comes when people start claiming moral authority due to some kind of kindship with a divine being. Especially when their idea of what’s moral and what isn’t tends to be very, very different from my own.

  759. Paul, you’re an agnostic not an atheist if you don’t know.

  760. Knox Harrington

    March 23rd, 2012 at 4:41 am

    In all fairness, pegsman, nobody knows. You may believe or think you know, but nobody actually KNOWS. An agnostic is just someone who has made peace with not knowing. The rest of us pretty much believe we got it figured out.

  761. I’m willing to give the HANNIBAL show a chance at this point, simply because Bryan Fuller is behind it. So if it fails, we can be sure that it will be at least an interesting failure.

  762. Knox, of course we know. Like we know that father christmas and the easter bunny aren’t real.

  763. Enough about religion, fellas. Let’s talk about science. After doing some research at a screening last night followed by a Q&A with the director, I have empirically proven that if you have the means to see THE RAID this weekend and you do not, you are officially a wiener. It’s not really your fault, though. Wienerhood of this magnitude could not possibly be a learned behavior, so it was obviously passed down to you through the generations. We’re still trying to isolate the wiener gene, but it will take time. You can help end wienerhood in our lifetime by seeing THE RAID this weekend.

  764. Knox Harrington

    March 23rd, 2012 at 6:22 am

    I just figured out why I’ve been in such a shitty mood lately. It’s because I know I won’t be able to see The Raid for months still. Also, because when Vern’s The Raid review appears, I won’t be able to read it and participate in the talkbacks, for fear spoiling it for myself.

    Great, just great. I hope you fuckers enjoy it. Assholes.

  765. How is the Mike Shinoda score? Is it as awful as expected?

  766. THE RAID: INSTANT COLON GRAVITAS hits the UK 18th of May, I’ve just read.

    That’s waaaaay to long to wait and have to read how much all you guys are digging it over t’pond.

    It’s gonna be sweet, sweet torture.

    I’m not in the least bit surprised Ebert doesn’t dig it.

    Reminds me a little bit of the UK critic Barry Norman who lambasted THE KILLER and HARD BOILED back in the day as being nothing but exercises in non-stop violence.

  767. The score is pretty solid, actually. It feels like more of a Dust Brothers type thing, all beats and synths and drones with just a few guitar riffs thrown in for flavor. It’s a proper score, not a bunch of Linkin Park songs. Not something I’d feel comfortable playing in front of mixed company, but it works well in the movie.

  768. karlos: Funny thing is, there is absolutely no redemption at all in THE RAID COLON REDEMPTION. Quite the opposite, in fact. Some characters go out of their way to not be redeemed, and other characters have done nothing to make them need to be redeemed. It should be THE RAID COLON IRREDEMPTION.

  769. Mr M – Do you think they just wrote down a bunch of portentous words and put them in a hat?

  770. I don’t know why they didn’t go with PORT OF CALL MANILLA. Would have made a lot more sense.

  771. Jareth Cutestory

    March 23rd, 2012 at 9:05 am

    My old man told me, before he left this shitty world, that morals existed long before religious folk came along and put their kink on them.

    Also, he said that no wiener kid of his was going to miss THE RAID on its opening weekend.

  772. I thought I was the only one who quoted HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN like that. I suddenly feel like I am part of something larger than myself.

  773. I hope you get the Farewell, Friend dvd to work, Vern. It’s a really cool movie. And just the kind of entertainment a guy like captain Oveur from Airplane! would watch on a Friday night.

  774. I have not seen HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN since it came out on vhs when it was new and hot and shit. Since I remember jackshit, how would you describe the movie,Majestyk?

  775. Knox- I take it you won’t be catching the GOODFELLAS tv series being developped with the movie’s screenwriter?

    Majestyk-“if you have the means to see THE RAID this weekend and you do not, you are officially a wiener. ” Are you endorsing illegal downloads?

  776. Sorry to intrude, Shoot, but since I thought me and my brother were the only two people in the world who love Harley & Marlboro, I just have to say that it’s probably the best drinking movie ever. Between the 6th and the 12th beer it is the Citizen Kane of so-bad-it’s-good action movies. Of course Mickey Rourke now says that it was a low point in his career. But, man, its Harley Davidson AND the Marlboro Man. And it has motherf*****g ROBERT GINTY as a helicopter pilot.

  777. pegsman – That´s enough for me to order it right away, and of course Robert “Exterminator” Ginty only sweetens the deal.

  778. Everytime someone says something bad about HARLEY DAVIDSON & THE MARLBORO MAN, something inside me dies.

    No idea what Don Johnson thinks of it – I’m going to go ahead and presume he hates it, just like Rourke does, but it’s a great fucking film.

    It taught me how to be a man, Goddamnit.

  779. I remember watching HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN and shit like STONE COLD in the early 90´s. STONE COLD I remember watching alongside my sister and her (presenttime)boyfriend and I believe HARLEY.. was one of those as well.

  780. I do not know what point I was getting across with my previous post.

  781. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 23rd, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Pegsman – I see no evidence for the existence of any kind of divine being, and live my life on the basis that I can safely assume that said being doesn’t exist. I think it’s difficult to say you “know” that no higher being exists (for want of a better term, since if there is one out there, he she or it is probably not the kind of thing you’d worship) since there are many, many things we haven’t discovered about the Universe yet, and I’m not ruling out intelligent life being part of it. It’s quite possible that our whole planet is just a tiny speck on a tiny atom on the back of a giant blue-skinned monster or something. While this is technically possible, I don’t expect to see it proven, at least not in my lifetime!

    I am, however, absolutely certain that the Gods portrayed by various religious texts don’t exist. That, to me, is as close to pure atheism as you’re ever likely to find among anybody of rational mind. Atheism literally means “no God” and people take that to mean that all atheists absolutely deny the possibility of the existence of some kind of “higher power”. We don’t. We do, however, choose to live our lives in a way that presupposes that prayer or religious ceremony or the like is completely ineffective.

    Or to put it another way, I see no evidence for an alien race of little purple guys who go around force-feeding people cheesecake when they’re not looking. I don’t technically KNOW that these guys don’t exist. But I choose not to live my life in fear that I’m gonna be munching cheesecake every time I turn my back.

  782. Stu: When I say “see” I mean “go to a fucking movie theater like a real man.” If I said “watch” then it would mean “have on in the background while you glue the handle back on that mug you broke last Wednesday.”

    Shoot: HD&TMM is an odd duck. It takes place in the near future (1998) when a drug that looks like windshield wiper fluid has hit the streets. It is apparently 100% addictive although we never see anyone use it. Lots of people seem to be named after brands, including our two title characters and their friends and lovers Jack Daniels, Virginia Slim, and Old Granddad. (Sadly, the villain, an evil banker played by John Sizemore, is not named Chase Manhattan) In what I suspect was a sharp bit of satire before the script got rewritten 14 or 15 times, these characters who are literally defined by corporate allegiances are the last vestiges of individuality and the old American pioneer spirit. So they rob an armored car to save their favorite bar, and then a Baldwin in a neck-to-ankle leather priest frock comes after them, and Robert Ginty blows apart the penthouse of a skyscraper with his attack helicopter, two things the Wachowskis stole for THE MATRIX. And the whole time, Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke, two 80s refugees taking their first tentative steps into the 90s, trade little pearls of wisdom like “I’d rather be dead and cool than alive and uncool” and “Never chase women or buses. You’ll always get left behind.” And it starts with a driving montage set to Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” And Big John Stud is in it. It’s awesome.

  783. I obviously meant Tom Sizemore.

  784. Majestyk – I´ve already ordered it. It will be like 20 odd years since I last saw it. Expect some odd and good shit out of it. I like the actors and all. we´ll see. Right now I am rewatching the allmighty awesomeness of TRANCERS. I would like to be named Jack Deth.

  785. Hey guys, Here’s what I learned in Israel:


    Have you ever heard of Michael Collins?

    He went to the moon, but you probably don’t remember him. He was the other guy. The one who had to stay on the capsule while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong got to go make history. He didn’t even get to take one small step, much less that proverbial giant leap.

    I think about him a lot these days: what it must have been like to have a dream, to work your whole life, to be chosen for the mission, to sit on the launch pad, unsure if the rocket would explode, to go all the way to the moon and then to not get to go all the way.

    I wonder if he still would have dreamt, knowing.

    It reminds me of the story of Moses: Moses fought his whole life, freed his people, forsook his brother, cast his staff into the Red Sea, unsure if it would split, wandered through the desert for forty years and then could never enter Canaan.

    Not one of the Israelites who crossed the Red Sea ever saw the Promised Land. Though they were His chosen people, Eloheim waited until every last man, woman and child died before He revealed the way.

    The commentaries say that He did this because, even with the shackles removed, the Israelites were still slaves in their minds. And slaves cannot a nation build. That was something only their unborn children could do. And only after their parents were dead.

    The Israelites didn’t know this when they left. I wonder if they still would have gone, knowing.

    But Moses was special; Moses was loved by G-d, so he was allowed to gaze down upon Zion. I imagine him standing on Mount Neebo, staring out over the horizon just before first light. I imagine him smelling the salty air of the Dead Sea as dawn broke over the hills and the morning winds picked up. I imagine that his greatest gift was seeing that valley. Seeing that Hashem’s word was true.

    But Moses had known slavery too, and tasted its bitter fruit. So he could never enter.

    Looking up at the moon, never able to enter. Staring down at the earth, never able to exit. Stuck, in between.

    That’s how I feel with you.

    I know you, the scary parts too. I can get so close to you, I could even sleep next to you. But I go, knowing that I will always be just this far away. Staying in the capsule. Standing on the hills outside the valley. Going all the way, but never getting to go all the way.

    Forty years of wandering. Michael Collins was almost forty-years old in April of 1969. I’m only twenty-three, and I’ve never been chosen for anything.

    And Collins was a great man. I’m not even a very good one on my best day. I try, I really do, but I am still apiece to shackles that bound me as a child. Perhaps I need to wander in my own desert a little longer.

    And I don’t mean to compare myself to Moses, it’s just that you’re the closest thing I’ve ever known to a land of milk and honey.

  786. Sorry to make another piece of Karlos die, but while I think that HARLEY & MARLBORO would be a fucking great movie, it left me pretty indifferent. Mostly because the most interesting characters die way too early and the villain is Stephen Baldwin with a group of guys in ridiculous looking bulletproof trenchcoats.

  787. Think of the amount of cocaine that was snorted on the set of Harley Davidson & the Marlboro Man. Between Rourke, Baldwin, and Sizemore, the entire country of Columbia must have been sucked dry for about a year.

  788. It was actually Daniel Baldwin. You can tell because if you squint, you can kind of confuse him for Alec. You can’t do that with Stephen.

  789. Before anybody gets on my case about it, The Raid doesn’t open in Seattle until the 30th, in honor of the UK release date for the updated Seagalogy. So expect a review sometime after that weekend.

  790. Since you guys are talking atheism / HDatMM, I’d like to remind you that if you’re in the Washington DC area tomorrow, you should attend the Reason Rally, a free international atheist gathering held on the National mall (like the million man march, only snarkier, and with less millions, and probably no Marion Berry). It’s gonna be a very fun event, including guests like Dawkins (of course), Tim Minichin, Awesome Dude Eddie Izzard, Taslima Nasrin, Adam Savage, Comedian Jamie Kilstien, and Bad Relgion. Lots of folks are kind of apathetic about their atheism, and feel bad making a big deal about it either because they think they’ll offend believers or because they feel hypocritical prosthelytizing. Fair points, but considering that atheists consistently ranked as the least trusted group in America and constantly have to face the attitude that they are amoral/selfish/satanic, I feel like we oughtta try and show some numbers/see a free show by Bad Religion just to remind people that we walk among them, are nice people, enjoy the simple pleasures of watching Mickey Rourke get shot at in the near future, etc.

    A message of hope and inspiration brought to you by your pal. Mr. Subtlety. The official website is here:


  791. so I just got back from The Hunger Games

    and eh, it was ok I guess, I have to admit though I was pretty bored most of the time, I guess I was hoping it’d be more like a real action movie as opposed to an action movie lite for teenage girls

    the main problem I think is it’s one of those book adaptions that’s paradoxically too faithful to the book and not faithful enough, I got the feeling that a good amount of stuff was left out (and my mom confirms this as being true), but at the same time the movie takes a long time to get to the actual Hunger Games, like almost an hour or so, plus the ending feels very anticlimactic

    plus, there’s a lot of shaky cam, making the few action sequences more irritating than exciting, this might be to compensate for the fact that they can’t show people getting stabbed in a PG-13 movie

    overall I think the movie lacks what a lot of movies these days lack, that is to say the pacing is all off, I’ve been thinking about it and I think that’s the fundamental problem with a lot of movies these days, the pacing is all out of whack, there’s little or in some cases no sense of build up or rhythm, things just kind of happen and keep happening until the credits are over

    and I think that’s what I really like in a movie, a sense of build up, a sense of rhythm, Inception had that in spades, so did Jurassic Park, in my opinion that movie is a gold standard not only of how you should adapt a book, but pacing and rhythm as well, that movie is a lean, mean, 2 hour long thrill machine, there’s no sense of bloat or padding

    and how it tackles the book of Jurassic Park is interesting, they leave a lot of stuff out from the book, some very cool stuff too, but the filmmakers focused on taking the premise of Jurassic Park (a theme park island with cloned dinosaur) and putting their own take on it and just focused on making it a great movie instead of trying to be super faithful to the book, that way both the movie and the book are pretty much equal in quality and equally worth experiencing

    on the plus side though, I’m actually pretty interested in reading The Hunger Games books now

  792. Griff – I would add another gold standard in action filmmaking pacing: DIE HARD.

    I mean the bad guys don’t even show up to what, 15 minutes into the movie? And the first “action” sequence is maybe 20-30 minutes into the picture. (Can’t remember the exact #.)

    Yet arguably the greatest action movie ever?

    Kids don’t have the goddamn patience anymore.

    I bet if STAR WARS came out now, people would bitch and moan about it taking its sweet time to get to “the plot.”

  793. I’m being dragged to the Reason Rally tomorrow. I’m a pretty militant agnostic of Jewish background and atheists are really starting to bug me. I think it happened when I went to a bookstore and its entire “Philosophy” section was just crammed full of books on atheism. Fuck that noise.

    Also, Reason Rally? Really? Why to be condescending and utterly stupid.

    I don’t know, I used to consider myself an atheist back when it mostly meant you were a secular humanist. These days I see people being an atheist for reasons unto itself and it kind of bugs me. I know way too many well-meaning atheist liberals who only care about atheism and gay marriage, and sometimes abortion rights and legalizing pot.

    But, yeah, I’ll be there tomorrow.

  794. Casey – So when will you turn to the “light” side and become a friend of Jesus? And cheer for Tim Tebow?

  795. by the way, the theater for The Hunger Games was absolutely PACKED, biggest crowd I’ve seen in a few years, it was kind of sad to see so many people turn up for the Hunger Games and yet not many people showed for Spielberg’s Tintin, something is ass backwards about moviegoers today

    I guess it wasn’t a terrible movie, but at the end of the day it basically is an unofficial, watered down remake of Battle Royale

  796. Not meaning to sidestep the The Hunger: Games or The Raidemption discussions (I’m seeing both tomorrow) but I need to reiterate the sentiments about M4. Fucking great goddamn film and the ending is actually one-hundred-and-*ten* percent perfect because of the kick ass Jackson C Frank song that plays under the credits. But seriously, a pretty much faultless film if you’re looking for a dreamily threatening mood piece. No great insights here, sorry. Just waned to say how much I liked it and how jealous I am of all y’all who have seen The: Raid Redemption already. In Australia it has retained its original title – Raid, The.

  797. Griff – As I’ve said before, TINTIN came out in a fucking crowded Christmas. And it got fucked really because all the brats wanted to see CHIPMUNKS (Chip wrecked! Nyuk! Nyuk! Kill Me!) and well, M:I 4 cornered the action matinee escapism market for most folks.

    Not that I’m dismissing HUNGER GAMES’ bigass opening weekend, but it’s MARCH. It’s a fucking jobber pin if you get the good luck of successful marketing, hype, and audience looking to do something get hooked into your product.

    (Which unfortunately is what Disney probably thought was going to happen with JOHN CARTER. Maybe it would’ve worked. In 1925.)

  798. Griff, that is such an astute assessment of THE HUNGER GAMES. I’m saving my big thoughts for the thread when Vern reviews it, but there are basic storytelling problems getting excused and pace is hurting these days.

    Part of the problem is copying structure without understanding it. Spending an hour loading up exposition is not the same as building suspense. See the TRANSFORMERS screenplays for that misconception in action.

    We’ll talk about the shaky cam later.

  799. Casey, you haven’t considered that atheism is becoming more and more interesting to people because of the religious tyranny we’ve lived under for thousands of years? People are fed up. And if this bugs you maybe you’re not an atheist?

  800. You couldn’t pay me money to go see THE HUNGER GAMES. Especially on the same weekend when I could finally see THE RAID.

  801. Jareth Cutestory

    March 24th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    My girlfriend is a big fan of BATTLE ROYALE and even likes BATTLE ROYALE 2: WITH CHEESE so I just assumed she’d want to see HUNGER GAMES. When I asked he if she wanted to see HUNGER GAMES opening weekend she said, “Fuck that shit, I’m going to THE RAID. And I have some tampons in my purse if you need them.”

  802. Loved THE HUNGER GAMES.

    There’s quite a bit of shaky cam. But the film doesn’t shy away that kids are getting killed and every death counts. Some great performance from Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson as well.

  803. Fred – thank you very much, I’ve come to that realization after years of watching disappointing movies in theaters and only over the last two years really going back and watching older, more classic movies on blu ray

    I think it was when I watched Jurassic Park and The Lost World again on blu ray that it finally dawned on me what’s wrong with so many movies today

    basically, I think screenwriters these days have gotten lazy, since they know a movie’s success these days has little to nothing to do with it’s actual quality and everything to do with it’s brand name and marketing, so they half ass it

    felix – I’m sorry to say, but the more I reflect back on The Hunger Games, the more I realize it really wasn’t very good at all, I’m disappointed, I expected more from the director of Pleasantville (which is a great, underrated late 90’s movie), but I think he kinda phoned this one in

    jeez guys, it’s so depressing to realize that the bar really has been lowered for movies these days, it’s not our imaginations or cynicism, while it’s true that there’s always been bad movies for as long as there have been movies and there’s still some occasional good ones released these days, it’s kind of undeniable that Hollywood has frequently started breaking many rules they used to follow

    and The Hunger Games is a perfect example of this, not only with all the shaky cam, even during non-action sequences (since when is making your movie look like it was shot by unprofessionals supposed to be a good thing?) but with the screenplay also

    *sigh* oh well, here’s looking forward to the Dark Knight Rises

  804. Griff I think that’s a realization that everybody makes when they grow older. No matter what you may think there have always been way more bad films from hollywood than good ones in any given year since the rise of blockbuster filmmaking with JAWS. Since we don’t have quality movies playing in movie houses for over a year anymore though it’s just more noticeable.

    I remember the year where I went from being a teenager to entering my 20’s for example. There were gems like S.W.A.T., DAREDEVIL, DREAMCATCHER and JOHN WOO’S PAYCHECK, BAD BOYS II that hit theaters that year and just fucking failed in the worst ways from a quality standpoint. Then you had the “it’s obvious that this movie sucks” clunkers like BIKER BOYZ and TOMB RAIDER: THE RE-RAIDING. As well as a movie as hyped as THE HUNGER GAMES in THE MATRIX RELOADED which still stands as one of the most disappointing movie going experiences of my life.

    Being someone who experienced blockbuster movie milestones like T2, JURASSIC PARK and THE MATRIX that was when I myself started going “man the quality of mainstream cinema has greatly declined”. But looking back at it that was also the year that I got my precious KILL BILL VOL. 1 as well as FINDING NEMO the only good movies in the PIRATES and X-MEN movie franchises and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO not to mention non-hollywood crack like ONG BAK and OLDBOY so it all evened out for me by the end.

    Most of the time the overhyped movies are not the ones that were worth watching anyway. But there will always be some stuff completely made for the masses that has at least a fraction of artistic merit and hasn’t been as dumbed down as it possibly could’ve been on any given year. My point is don’t just count on the Nolan movie I’m sure there will be a few others worth watching this year. Just hold on and be patient.

  805. At THE RAID Q&A I was at, Gareth Evans brought up something that always pisses me off. He said how much he hates action movies that blow all their money on the first action scene and then have nothing left in their tank for the finale. He did the opposite for THE RAID so that every action scene got bigger and more awesome all the way to the end. That makes way more sense to me. I know the accepted wisdom is that they want to grab the audience right from the get-go, but what’s the point of that if you’ve squandered all the goodwill by the time the movie’s over? Better, I think, to disappoint them a little at the beginning because you’re saving up to be able to blow their minds at the end. Then they leave jazzed about the movie, they tell their friends, their friends see it, the stockholders send you a fruit basket for making them more money, etc. Everybody wins.

    THE RAID doesn’t have to make a hard choice like that, though, since it starts off awesome and only gets awesomer.

  806. Hey, S.W.A.T. was good. My introduction to Jeremy Renner. Your mention of Dreamcatcher reminded me of how much I used to like Jason Lee. My Name Is Earl was ok but I had high hopes for him.

  807. It’s a shame that HAYWIRE was mildly guilty of that, since the action peaks with the Fassbender fight and nothing afterwards is as good(I don’t consider the chase part to be the same category as the fight scenes).

  808. Broddie – I used to think the same thing, but honestly I think times HAVE changed and Hollywood has started cutting corners they didn’t used to (or rarely used to) before

    and it’s not a brand new thing either, I actually not long ago scrolled through the entirety of the release dates on Box Office Mojo from the 1980’s to today and although I saw plenty of bad movies, I also noticed a pretty sharp decline in quality pretty much as soon as we entered the 2000’s, seriously, I suggest you guys do this yourselves sometime and you’ll see what I mean

    the movies you mentioned for example (S.W.A.T., DAREDEVIL, DREAMCATCHER and JOHN WOO’S PAYCHECK, BAD BOYS II) are all from 2002 and 2003 which I’m convinced were some of the most dreadful years in movie history

    and yet, like you said, among all that shit you had Kill Bill vol 1, which is easily one of the best movies of the whole decade, plus theother two Lord of The Rings

    so I’m not saying “the end is nigh” for movies or writing movies off all together, times always change, trends always come and go, nothing lasts forever, eventually the gravy train that Hollywood is currently riding with 80’s adaptions and reboots is going to dry up, all I;m saying though is that things HAVE changed and Hollywood is in a worse place now than they were in the 80’s or 90’s

  809. I think what we really desperately need is just some new blood, just a new generation of filmmakers, then I think things will get better

  810. by the way, you know one movie I saw in theaters that I really hated? Terminator Salvation

    I remember thinking “man, we finally get the FUTURE WAR Terminator movie we’ve been promised for all these years and Hollywood fucks it up, way to go guys”


  811. SALVATION was one of the worst movie-going experiences of my life. And I saw it for free!

  812. To date, Terminator Salvation is probably the most furious I’ve ever been walking out of a movie theater.

  813. But Felix, every death didn’t count when they disperse about a dozen no names in a shaky montage. That’s a problem I have with all battle royale movies though, they always cheat and get rid of half of them quickly. I wonder if the book did that too.

    There is definitely a modern trend, as there are trends in every era so it’s not just a matter of “growing up” and learning more about film. That’s not nothing, but it also comes down to why even the bad ’80s movies are more enjoyable than the bad ’00s movies.

    There’s a legend that Joel Silver mandated something big has to happen every 10 minutes. That’s a nifty philosophy and works for many of his movies, but in the wrong hands it can be sloppy.

    I think rushing movies to release dates and the immediacy of fan feedback has a lot to do with it. The biggest problem is fans demanding “more story” and filmmakers just not getting it. The TRANSFORMERS screenwriters write exposition after exposition after exposition for 90 minutes. That’s not the same as crafting a story. That’s also a series that could get away with just fun robot nonsense so they’re misguided.

    One of the great things about THE RAID and also HAYWIRE is they just stick to their premise and execute it. No convoluted exposition to make you “care” for the characters. Just pure art, that is martial art, which is what’s meant to be highlighted. Really I think this concept of “relating” or “caring” about the characters has made screenwriters just throw things at the wall, but they don’t understand the concepts behind it.

    It’s like when they set up a kickboxer in SNAKES ON A PLANE or that fighter champion in THE MECHANIC REMAKE but never pay it off. They just thought they were supposed to give someone some cool backstory. They never understood that it actually means something later in the story.

  814. Yeah that was a bad one. I think THE TERMINATOR is James Cameron’s masterpiece and it’s one of my top 5 sci-fi joints of all time. I could even somehow find things to defend about T3 but SALVATION has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

    It was the first time I ever saw something by McG and it’s certainly the last. My conclusion is that the guy is as inept and soulless as the internet always said he was. There’s no other explanation for fucking up something that practically writes itself so royally.

  815. Fred – Damn I had forgotten all about that since I haven’t seen SOAP in so long. But yeah that was quite the disappointment. I wanted to see that asshole punching kicking snakes all over that goddamn plane by act 3. In the end I think he was one of the victims instead.

    Griff – The next trend is already all up in our face. God save us all cause the coming wave of fairy tales turned hollywood schlock is going to make the exploitation of superheros in hollywood seem tame by comparison. Since so many are in the public domain and all.

    Remember in the late 90’s when there were all these shitty DTV horror flicks based on fairy tales? well mainstream hollywood’s attempts will probably be 30 times worse since they’re 20 times more expensive.

    ALICE IN WONDERLAND was the test and it passed with flying colors from the eyes of execs and stockholders. Now it’s time to greenlight an adaptation of fables at every studio. I’m only grateful that it will get us out of superhero territory for a while if this new movement succeeds cause even as a comic book fan I’m beyond tired of that shit already.

    Sure RED RIDING HOOD failed but if these SNOW WHITE movies make bank it’s only going to get worse. I mean who seriously wants to see a LEN WISEMAN’S UNDERWORLD like HANSEL & GRETEL? I mean really who asked for this shit? I like Gemma Arterton and I won’t even see that shit on basic cable. Yet it’s on it’s way and I’m sure somewhere somehow right now some coked up exec’s assistant is convincing him that BEANSTALK where Shia LeBeouf IS Jack is the best idea in the history of great ideas.

  816. I’m really trying to pinpoint exactly when the de-escalation of the set pieces in theatrical action features began. SWORDFISH was the first time I could remember going “wow” at the badass lead in and then going “that intro was all they had?” about 20 min into the thing.

    We know that in the 80’s of course with the likes of FIRST BLOOD PT II and COMMANDO shit just got more and more outrageous and explosive as the movies went on.

    In the 90’s you had TRUE LIES, SPEED, LETHAL 3, MARKED FOR DEATH, DOUBLE TEAM, CLIFFHANGER, FACE/OFF and the DIE HARD sequels were again the setpieces just had an ongoing crescendo throughout. Well ok now that I think of it DH3 kinda scaled back a bit in the 3rd act, so maybe I just answered my own question and that’s the point of origin I’m looking for?

  817. I’m glad that THE RAID took it all back to where it needs to be though (going from awesome to mega awesome without skipping a beat). Can’t wait to finally see it tomorrow.

  818. I personally liked DAREDEVIL as an adaptation of the material, but I do admit there’s some major missteps(bland Elektra, stupid playground fight, Bullseye being a bit hard to take seriously). Not seen the Director’s Cut though.

    As for the influx of Fairytale movies, I think the cause is them being well known recognisable stories which are public domain so the studios don’t need to pay for any rights.

  819. The DD director’s cut is an improvement, if only because it contains 100% more Coolio.

  820. Fred, it was James Bond producer Broccoli who had the idea of something big happening every 8 minutes first.

    There are of course bad and good movies from every decade since 1900. But if you ask me, a true movie fan could consentrate on the period 1965 to 1975 and never see a bad movie as long as he lives.

    Why bitch about the fourth Terminator movie when you can feast your eyes on Lee Marvin beat the hell out of two guys in Point Blank or Charles Bronson crushing Paul Koslos nuts with the butt of his shotgun in Mr Majestyk or Clint Eastwood killing Hutch…I mean David Soul in Magnum Force?

    I don’t really get all the exitement about The Raid either. Asia has been the action capital of the world for a long time, and this move is just another day at the office for those guys. Time and Tide, anyone?

  821. TIME & TIDE is great. THE RAID is way better.

  822. Pegsman, fascinating I always heard it attrributed to Silver. And good point about Asia. I’m glad an Asian movie is getting recognized and THE RAID does everything right. But like the praise for CROUCHING TIGER I’m so familiar with it it doesnt rock my world. I’m used to awesome. I expect awesome from everything.

    But if it teaches Hollywood to let real artists do fights, I’ve been waiting for that since Jackie Chan.

    I do think mistaking exposition for character development happened in the 90s, maybe withi ARMAGEDDON. William Goldman talks about it in is screenwriting books too. Actors want big dialogue to play when it’s much more effective to not explain where they’re coming from.

  823. Fred Topel – there is definitely a reason why 80’s movies endure so much these days, even when they’re still kind of crappy

    and I think that reason why, to be honest, is because the wide majority of filmmakers still gave a shit back then, even if they were just making a humble teen comedy, kid’s movie or a horror flick they still at least put some effort in it and tried to make it a good movie, even if they didn’t fully succeed, you know what I mean?

    I mean compare Back To The Future to a modern vehicle for a teen heartthrob like Zac Efron, do you honestly think any modern filmmaker would put the effort into a Zac Efron flick that Zemeckis and co put into BTTF? and I know Zac Efron is just a talentless ladyboy, but Michael J Fox was a teen heartthrob as well and he had some talent

    to me, Terminator Salvation shows how bad Hollywood has gotten, in that they can’t even do something as simple as robots vs people without making it mind boggingly retarded (all that bullshit with Sam Worthington, etc etc)

    and I don’t plan on seeing a single one of all the dozens of fairy tale adaptions coming our way, none of them look interesting at all (ok well to be fair the Sam Raimi Wizard of Oz movie might be cool), it’s funny how Hollywood tried to make a movie based on American McGee’s Alice for years and years before finally giving up and yet all these other fairy tale flicks got greenlighted

  824. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 24th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I can still remember my first major disappointment with a movie as a sign of my viewpoint changing from the “I’ll watch crap like Batman Forever without reservations” to “I need a movie to be at least trying to do something original before I can enjoy it”. That point for me was “American Pie 2”. I think it was one of the first movies I watched at the cinema after leaving college. It sucks for the same reasons many sequels / remakes suck: it had the same actors playing different, less likeable characters. On in AP2’s case that’s putting it mildly. Literally every single funny bit was in the trailer, there was no character progression ever, and the “one-joke” characters from the first movie were front-and-centre in the second movie with nothing to do. It was a disaster.

    Anyway, that film marked the beginning of the progression from me being the naive young moviegoer I was, to the bitter cynical creature you see before you today. I used to be able to enjoy movies “for the spectacle”. Now they’ve got to offer me something more. And unfortunately most of ’em don’t.

    And Broddie, I know exactly what you mean about “Swordfish”. It’s always struck me as hilariously ironic that John Travolta spends the first five minutes talking about how modern Hollywood movies are crap, and then the rest of that same movie proving himself right.

  825. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 24th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    And I don’t trust Sam Raimi’s adaptations. I’ve seen a lot of his movies, and as far as I can recall – and if I’m not wrong about what constitutes an “adapatation” – I’ve enjoyed all of his original work, but found all of his adapted work to be at best pretty badly flawed and at worst unwatchable. I sure as hell prefer “Drag me to Hell” and “The Evil Dead”(s) to the likes of “The Gift” and “Spider Man”(s).

  826. Paul, funny that Pie 2 is the breaking point for you. That’s actually my favorite of the series. I found it the most relatable (coming home from college and your home isn’t home anymore) and the comedy bits really taking pie fucking to the next level (lesbian stalking, gluing his dick to his hand, and playing Petey the special needs band prodigy.)

    I was in denial for a long time on LETHAL WEAPON 4 trying to convince myself it fulfilled my expectations, but man, that and ARMAGEDDON that summer were probably my Joseph Campbell darkness moment. Maybe even earlier, maybe INDEPENDENCE DAY with that awesome teaser and then incredibly stupid movie. But no, there were always let downs. The nonsense of LETHAL 4 and the realization that the director of THE ROCK wasn’t the next James Cameron hit pretty hard.

  827. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 24th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Griff – Zac Efron is a talentless ladyboy? Really? I know that “High School Musical” is not exactly an auspicious start to your career, but the guy’s seemed pretty good to me in the few films I’ve seen of his. Allowing that I’ve also been impressed by at least one performance by each of Anna Faris, Chris Pine, Tara Reid and Jennifer Garner – and I don’t think it’s possible to have less of a ratio of talent against exposure as Garner has – I don’t see what the complaint is against Efron.

    I don’t get why he gets occasionally referenced as somebody who’s obviously talentless – generally without mentioning a specific performance of his that fits the bill – while someone like Justin Timberlake gets a pass. Not that I’m saying Timberlake is bad (on the contrary, he gave a pretty memorable performance in “The Social Network”.) I’m just not sure why Efron’s supposed to be either.

  828. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 24th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Fred – really?


    Just curious.

  829. Jareth Cutestory

    March 24th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Paul: Remember Tara Reid in THE BIG LEWBOWSKI? Nobody does, not even Tara Reid.

    Also, I’m not a huge Raimi fan, but THE GIFT is a useful film to keep around, if only to demonstrate that Keanu Reeves can actually act.

  830. well at least flicks like American Pie 2 and Swordfish had some decent nudity to justify their existence, bad modern movies don’t even have that

  831. Broddie, I actually really like SNAKES ON A PLANE but it’s astounding to me that it never occurred to the people making that movie that we’d want to see a kickboxer kick a snake.

    Yes, Paul, really. I’m curious, what is your favorite Garner role, Alias? I loved her but I have to seriously rethink it after those awful rom coms, and BUTTER, oh my God.

  832. A Simple Plan is an adaptation.

  833. so guys, I finally folded and decided to get ones of books of faces


    thought I might as well share it, in case anyone wants to know what I look like

  834. Nikki Finke from Deadline is reporting that The Hunger Games will make almost $150 million this weekend.

    They’ll be some seriously happy folk at Lionsgate next week.

  835. As a sort of PS to my last post; yesterday I watched Professionals for a Massacre (1967) and A Pistol for Ringo (1965). Downloaded from youtube for free. No money down the drain. Not a single thought about how awful Hollywood’s become. Big smile on my face. It really is that easy.

  836. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 25th, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Jareth – I do remember her in Lebowski, but the role I think she absolutely stole the movie in was Melody from “Josie and the Pussycats”. Absolute comic gold right there.

    Fred – in Alias, Garner was supposed to be playing a genius (but somehow woefully incompetent – seriously, everything she ever did in that series seemed to go horribly wrong) spy. Given that she and her blank-eyed incomprehension failed to convince me that she could tie her own shoelaces together in that show, I thought “genius spy” was so far out of her miniscule acting range… but then she did “Juno”. And all was (almost) forgiven.

  837. I’ve always liked Garner. Never knew she was supposed to be a genius in Alias, just a badass spy chick. And there were moments in that show where she truly impressed me. I remember a scene where she was getting furious at her co-spy/ex-boyfriend and heading towards a complete breakdown. The more emotional she got, the softer she would speak, until eventually she was whisper-screaming at this guy, just barely able to contain all this frustration. Walked that perfect line between being a professional and being an angry badass.

    I liked her small part in Catch Me If You Can. Then there was 13 Going on Thirty, which kinda convinced me that she would be the next Julia Roberts type American sweetheart. Thankfully that never happened and she ended up giving that brilliant performance in Juno.

    Also thought she was pretty damn in good in Catch and Release, had good chemistry with Timothy Oliphant. And again liked her in The Kingdom.

    Nah, she’s okay in my book.

  838. Yeah, I think you got something wrong. She was never supposed to be a genius. The hook was that she was that normal girl next door who suddenly got turned into a superspy. And count me in on the “like her” train. I don’t think that she will ever win an Oscar for anything, but in terms of untalented blandness, she is still miles above Megan Fox, Jennifer Lopez, Scarlett Johansson or Amanda “I express every emotion by just staring at something with my mouth open” Seyfried.

  839. Funny I found randomly this topic at a message board that is worth asking:

    “MST3K: Joel or Mike?”

  840. I concur re: Alias. She wasn’t supposed to be genius. In fact on the contrary, she was usually overwhelmed by the situations. It was a counterpoint to Buffy at the time and actually took me several episodes to accept a heroine who didn’t have all the answers.

    They dropped the college angle pretty early too, so instead of a double life she was just a spy. And it got way convoluted but those first two seasons were awesome.

  841. They kinda fucked up the “girl next door” thing by making her the daughter of two spies and a central figure in a centuries old prophecy. I still liked Alias, but it got really convulted at the end.

    Also, didn’t Tara Reid have less than a dozen lines and only 3 scenes(one of which was a fake porno someone is watching) in THE BIG LEBOWSKI? Let’s not go mourning wasting talent based on that alone.

  842. Knox Harrington

    March 25th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Remember when Tara Reid announced that she was gonna be in The Big Lebowski 2?

    So when someone asked the Coens about it, they said “Nope, we have no idea what she’s talking about, but we wish her all the best. Can’t wait to see it”. Fucking hilarious.

  843. Stu: Yeah, but she didn’t know anything about what her parents did, so all in all she still was a girl next door. And holy shit, ALIAS got weirder and weirder with every season, but you know what? I enjoyed it! It was part of the fun. Even though I fucking hated the Rambaldi storyline. They introduced it in episode two and it was a kick in the nuts. First we got that cool spy action thriller and next week it’s suddenly full blown fantasy, with prophecies and shit.
    Random observation: I think this and 24 where the first two series where I noticed, how much more gruesome and violent TV shows can be outside of American Pay TV these days. Alias had in particular one scene, where one guy got killed with some weird radiation, that practically made him melt on camera, which was something I didn’t expect to see outside of an episode of MASTERS OF HORROR at that time! (Pretty cool make up effect, btw.)

  844. ALIAS was also the first show that I remember, where Danny Trejo received a “Special Guest Star” credit.

  845. The Rambaldi storyline ultimately didn’t even accomplish anything because basically everything that happened would have been the guy’s plan right, since he forsaw it, so he was maybe trying to stop Sloane from getting immortality, right? So why not just NOT BOTHER writing down your prophecies and destroy all your inventions so he doesn’t even get the idea to look into it?
    And they never did explain how Quentin Tarantino got out of jail.
    And the time skip resulted in the missed opportunity to give someone an eyepatch.

  846. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    March 25th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    The Rimbaldi storyline pretty much ruined the show, although Garner’s performance (or lack thereof) did a good job at that anyway. It didn’t help that every single character in the film seemed to talk and act exactly the same, regardless of their role in it (also see: “Con Air”).

    It was established in one of the later seasons that Sydney was genetically enhanced to be the perfect spy, or something. Which made it all the more baffling that when she was sent to find a big-shot assassin or something, she usually ended up dating them. Although that actually makes her a BETTER spy than most of her menfolk, who ended up marrying them. How the heck isn’t the world a pile of ash with these nitwits defending it anyway?

    Also did anybody else notice that whenever a black character got it on with a white character, the black character was dead by the end of the episode? That struck me pretty disagreeably.

    What amazes me is that looking back on the show, it’s pretty crap – nothing about the main plots seemed to make sense – but I kept on watching it anyway. I remember Victor Garber being good in it, I liked that guy. You were never quite sure where he stood.

  847. “Also did anybody else notice that whenever a black character got it on with a white character, the black character was dead by the end of the episode? That struck me pretty disagreeably.”
    I remember her best friend(who played Stevie’s mother on MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE I believe) dying when she hooked up with Bradley Coope’s character. Dixon’s the only other black character I remember(though he did lose his wife).

  848. “MST3K: Joel or Mike?”

    definitively Mike, I mean I got nothing against Joel, there’s plenty of great Joel episodes (like Pod People, Mitchell and Manos: The Hands of Fate)

    however in my opinion MST3K really peaked during the Mike era, for one thing not do I find Mike just plain funnier, but during that period was when they started reviewing more 80’s era B movies instead of mostly 50’s and 60’s ones

    and what was so great about that was many of the 80’s B movies were hilarious just by themselves (like Overdrawn At The Memory Bank or Space Mutiny) and with the added riffing become doubly hilarious, resulting in pure comedy gold

    whereas many f the 50’s and 60’s B movies are just flat out boring and only funny because of the riffing, Red Zone Cuba is good example of that, it was a hilarious episode, but only because of the riffing, that movie would be unwatchable otherwise

    it’s really a shame the show ended when it did because I think it had really hit it’s peak by the time it ended, it’s too bad it didn’t go on for at least a couple of more years

    btw, I can’t be the only hardcore MST3K fan here can I?

  849. If MST3K was ever aired in the UK, I was unaware of it.

  850. I don’t think it was, but these days tons of episodes of it are easily available on youtube

  851. Toll Road himself, Randy Couture, has said that EXP3 starts shooting later this year.

    There’s an intereview with him over on bleedingcool.com.

  852. Jareth Cutestory

    March 26th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Kind of difficult to get excited about anything EXPENDIBLES-related after seeing THE RAID. I don’t want to over-sell THE RAID, but, man, I left the theater thinking that the bar has now been set pretty high for Tony Jaa and Jeeja Yanin, two exceptional martial artists currently at the top of their game. An old pro like Stallone can’t help but seem a bit irrelevant to the conversation.

  853. These EXPENDABLES movies are coming too fast for me. We barely have time to start being disappointed in one before the next one is in the pipeline.

  854. Jareth Cutestory

    March 26th, 2012 at 8:55 am

    It’s like that movie that Jee-woon Kim is making with Schwarzenegger: they could delay that film for 20 years and I still wouldn’t have resolved the contradiction in my head. I just can’t reconcile those two names into one movie.

  855. I agree. Part 3 shooting almost back to back to with part 2 does not bode well. Maybe Sly and his cohorts turned in a big ass script and they thought, let’s split it up into 2 films?

    Even that don’t sound good.

    Maybe part 3 will begin with Munroe being reborn into the real world and Barney Ross being trapped in a tube station.

    On a happier note, I firmly predict that THE RAIDENING will be THE film that finally unites this forum as the brotherhood it should be.

  856. Actually, there’s probably plenty of films we all dig on here – I was thinking in terms of new movies.

  857. I don’t think Stallone needs to keep up with THE RAID. He was never that acrobatic to begin with. He just needs to focus on what he’s good at: infusing simple stories with basic, primal emotions so that the ass-kicking, while not as technically adept as that of his sprier peers in Asia, will carry some dramatic weight.

    Or, barring that, buy a fucking tripod.

  858. Jareth Cutestory

    March 26th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I guess I have more enthusiasm for EXPENDABLES than I do for that GUY PIERCE IN SPACE trailer that I saw. I can’t believe that film unironically used the phrase “he’s the best there is – but he’s a loose canon!” in the trailer. A lot of groans in the audience when that line was spoken.

  859. Make Expendables 3 a musical and I’m there on opening day.

  860. Jareth – Yes because movies are trailers, and trailers are movies!

    I’ll give it a chance because it looks like the sort of dreck I enjoy. (Hell I was the only local asshole around here who liked DOOMSDAY*) And I’m more excited by it than I am with EXPENDABLES 2. Yeah I said it.

    Griff – I liked both Mike and Joel, rewatching those reruns on Netflix Instant and YouTube. I think what helped me back in the day (I became a fan during the Joel era) was that I knew (God forbid I can’t remember now how I knew) that Nelson was the head MST3K writer before Joel quit.

    It’s interesting though how after MST3K, both have pivoted to their own seperate riffing companies, and more or less Joel is trashing the same crappy 50s/60s movies that he did back on MST3K, while Mike is pissing on the newer releases or even classics like CASABLANCA. (Funnier than you might think.)

    That said, I did catch a recent Joel interview that he doesn’t like the “bad” movies produced in recent years where they’re self-aware of how terrible they are, and how he prefered to mock bad movies made by people who didn’t intentionally set out to produce a turkey. He might have a point. Maybe? Maybe not?

    *=Remember when I used to bust any of Mr. M’s opinions by bringing up that Michael Bay sequel? Well you can bust my balls for the near future by bringing up “Escape From Scotland.”

  861. RRA: I also love DOOMSDAY. I know it’s derivative beyond belief and the action scenes were shot by howler monkeys with Parkinson’s, but it’s somehow the perfect movie junk food for me. I actually saw it twice in the theater in a 24-hour period.

    I go back and forth on Joel and Mike. Mike is undoubtedly funnier and I tend to like the cheesy 80s sci-fi movies more than the 50s/60s schlock that dominated the Joel years, but Joel was more sweet-natured and seemed to actually enjoy bad movies, while Mike can sometimes attack them more viciously than I feel comfortable with, particularly now in the Rifftrax era. So they both have their ups and downs. I can’t really decide which one I prefer.

  862. I’m down with GUY PEARCE IN SPACE. The only serious problem I have is that the premise is so much like ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK that I can’t help but compare Pearce to Snake Plissken. Normally Pearce would seem like a pretty cool anti-hero, but not at all when compared to Snake.

  863. Jareth Cutestory