Seed of Fast Potpourri: The Face of Death: A New Beginning: The Dream Child

tn_deathwishvThis space reserved for writing comments about various stuff, things, crap, rigmarole, whatever, what have you, what not, etc., and the like, et al, vice versa, potato patoto.

One important note though. Out of respect for those who have fought and died for our right to, like, whatever, let’s keep it strictly off topic here, fellas.

At this time I ask you to please remove your hats. Thank you. No texting.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 2:03 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.

957 Responses to “Seed of Fast Potpourri: The Face of Death: A New Beginning: The Dream Child”

  1. And no more Nerdening of America shit, guys.

  2. What? Another new Potpourri again?

  3. – mouth

    Did you give up on Buffy, young `un?

    Anyway, thanks for whoever recomended The Wire. It`s brilliant and I`m gonna watch the very last episode in a couple of minutes. And then I guess I`m finished with television, can`t imagine watching anything and not feeling dissapointed after the brilliance of Buffyverse and The Wire.

    Is The Wire the best tv-show ever? Hmm, I`m not sure. I love how it dissects modern society, it`s funny, well acted and highly addictive, but it does have it flaws. It`s really bad at setting up deaths of characters, if there is a scene where one of the cast is shown in a redeeming light, you can be pretty sure they are dead in the next 3 minutes. Also, maybe because I`m so inteligent, it`s not that difficult to follow. I keep reading that you have to watch it several times to recognize the characters and make sense of the plot, but I got it all on first viewing. I do love how the show engages the audiences imagination by constantly skipping “important” dramatic beats, that`s some clever filmatism right there. I`m not very invested in the characters though, cause you know everything turns to shit in Baltimore. No hope, no suspense. Except for Season 4, that was just heartbreaking, and maybe one of the best seasons of tv I`ve ever seen. Almost as good as Buffy season 3, Cracker Season 2 and Twin Peaks season 1.
    Also, did Lester go insane between season 4 and 5? How did he change from being the clever Morgan Freeman character to an instant idiot over a year? The clock code was obvious and the fake serial killer stunt is just too goddamn stupid for anybody to pull off. Anyway, now I`m gonna watch the last episode.

  4. wow, a new Potpourri? talk about convenient, I just got through watching Harry and the Hendersons, another Spielberg produced movie from the 80’s

    and wow, I actually really liked it a lot, I mean it turned out to be better than even I was expecting, I saw it once as a kid, but I had forgotten a lot about it and it really surprised me, it’s a legitimately funny, cute and touching little movie

    John Lithgow really sells it, I mean he really seems to care for that bigfoot and the Rick Baker designed suit is amazing, it’s funny how special effects guys work so hard to show emotions in a CGI character’s face these days, but here’s a little movie from 1987 that manages to do it perfectly and without the use of CGI! it’s almost enough to make you think that maybe practical effects should still be frequently used instead of everything being automatically done with CGI these days, nahhhh that’s crazy talk…

    anyway what it reminded me of was that Spielberg produced 80’s tv show Amazing Stories (which not coincidentally the director also directed an episode of)

    p.s. the guy in the Harry suit also played Predator

  5. oh, I almost forgot to mention, it’s set in Seattle too

  6. Re Expendables DC

    Zombie Paul – Yeah, the whole Statham/Stallone dynamic is hugely different here.

    In the theatrical cut they’re bosom buddies but in the DC they’re at each other’s throats. The most glaring change in the whole movie. Its like they went from Abbott & Costello to Riggs & Murtaugh in LETHAL WEAPON (well, up to the bit where Riggs has that hilarious dinner at The Murtaugh’s).

    The editing in the action scenes does seem less shaky overall but the hand-to-hand stuff is still shot too fast and too close-up.

    Stu – Alas, no. BUT it does answer the timeless question, how did Dolph get to Vilena at the same time as Stallone and The Stath!

    Fred Topel – I think you’ll dig it, Sir.

    It’s amazing how much the film has changed now, it really is. It’s gone from being a big, dumb, fun flick to a big, fun flick. The “dumb” has pretty much gone.

    It’ll be interesting to see if critics re-evaluate it now.

  7. my question is this, what in the flying fuck is it about the “director’s cut” Expendables that was not suitable for being released in theaters? because it’s ten whole minutes longer? is it more violent?

    Hollywood man, I don’t understand you these days, it’s almost as if studios INTENTIONALLY release weaker versions of movies in theaters as a bid to get you to buy the blu ray

  8. Correction Griff – to make you DOUBLE DIP on the damn blu ray!

  9. Griff – that’s a VERY interesting point.

    I wonder what exactly was going on here, because the theatrical cut now looks a mess in many respects.

    Coversations were cut to shit, jokes led to nowhere and plot points were removed, and there’s no reason as far as I can see as to why that would be, other than the possibilty of the double-dip.

    This DC is clearly the version that should’ve been at cinemas.

  10. Have you guys seen this trailer? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAuqsDiKbNo

    It looks pretty metal.

  11. nabroleon dynamite

    December 8th, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Peace Vern!!

    Please Review…

    “The Last Circus”


    “Atlas Shrugged”

    Challenge yourself by dropping a Kool Moe Dee vs L.L. Cool Jay reference in each review.

    Come’on fam, it’s the Winter Solstice!!

  12. I got a potpourri question bout a book mebbe some asshole here can help with. See, I’m reading this fucking book on the shitter literally 4 minutes ago as I often do cos its in perfect crap sized chunks. You got sections for if you ate mexican pizza last night with a slab and just had porridge with eggs for brekky, and you got sections for when you already hear your bitch honking the horn and you already fucking said i’ll be fucking out there in 2 fucking minutes but she fucking just keeps fucking honking it and fucking riding you like a fucking cunt.

    Anyways, I’m reading this fucking book and I’m on like page 216 and this fucking cunt, I forget his name, is rambling on some fag-goty shit disclaimer about not being a fucking nerd and he puts in one of those nerdy fucking footnotes so I look down to see what nerd shit this bitch secretly loves, but what do you fucking know – there’s nothing there, just a majestyk gay arse marching band cocktease.

    So i flick through thinkin mebbe it’s later – there’s one page 218, but that one’s like fucking paul spouting irrelevent shit about finishing some other fucking crapper book that has nothing to do with what makes this cunt a nerd.

    So fine, i go back earlier, page 213, inside man sounds way more fag-goty than nerdy to me though at least there is disclaimer this is not about the fucking aids, but it seems prolly not the right place i am looking for.

    So my question is, what the fuck nerdy fan film was this cunt on about?

  13. I could have sworn you reviewed ROGUE, but I can’t find it anywhere. Is this one of these reviews that were left behind at AICN?

  14. Aw c’mon, how the fuck can that need moderation. I put dashes between the bad bits an everything…

  15. that’s cos he spelt his rogue review “Starship Troopers 3: Marauder”


  16. This explains a lot. And a version of this exists even on this websight. Thanky a lot AU.

  17. nabroleon dynamite: I’d actually be curious to see Vern’s review of THE LAST CIRCUS as well, if only because I think it is the worst film I’ve seen this year: so much visual gusto in the service of a terrible, terrible script.

    It’s the second biggest setback to the whole Crazy Clown movement after the Jugaloos.

  18. Yo Griff –

    I think Breaking Bad took the top spot with its near perfect last 2 seasons. I could go either way though.

  19. Anybody know if there are any plans for a regular DVD version of the EXPENDABLES director’s cut? I kind of hate the way Blu-ray looks (am I the only one who thinks it makes everything look like a British TV show?) so I have no plans to upgrade anytime soon.

  20. Wow, that shit was tight. The Wire is really fucking good. I`m gonna get me some amnesia and watch it all again. Nuff said.

  21. Karlos- Thanks for the answer. I assume they kept the completely pointless subplot about Statham and his girlfriend?

    Griff- The part I always remember about HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS is the scene where Lithgow goes off on the reporters about how Harry’s more than just an animal, and when they ask him who he is, he catches himself, only getting out “George Hen-“, and I dunno how many people notice this, but as he runs off, the reporters apparently didn’t pick up on the fact he stopped short and are shouting “Mr. Hen! Mr. Hen!”. I take it this came out BEFORE the sitcom version?

    I’d also like to make the usual request to Vern for an IN BRUGES review. It’s actually more justified now, because the film is actually set during Christmas time. In fact, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY also keeps flashing back to a scene set during a christmas party. Is that why they’re now just releasing the movie over there in December?!

  22. Mr Majestyk – as far as I can tell, not at the moment but that could change, of course.

    If I *do* get a DVD of it, I’ll give you a shout, as we say Up North.

  23. Stu – Yes, Sir, that’s still in. It seemed less painful on the DC, somehow.

    Maybe it’s been trimmed – or perhaps I’m just numb to those scenes now!

  24. Do you still get the impression that Statham actually BROKE THE NECK of one of the new boyfriend’s buddies? That was a bit harsh…

  25. Oh yeah, HARRY & THE HENDERSONS. One of the first movies that I saw in theatre, back in the days. Harry was played by Kevin Peter Hall, who also was the fucking Predator in the first two movies.

  26. Stu – it was indeed a bit much but, as we all know, even just “having the back” of someone who has slighted The Stath MUST be punished.

    I keep thinking I recognise the douchey new boyf of Cordelia but I can’t place him.

  27. Vern, I know you get recommendations all the time and your time is limited, but I watched DARK OF THE SUN the other day and I was blown away. It is a forgotten men on a mission film staring Rod Taylor & Jim Brown that was recently released on DVD as part of the MGM archive series. Taylor & Brown play mercenaries hired by the president of the republic of Congo to man a train headed into rebel territory to rescue civilians and recover 50 million in diamonds. It is an action packed and brutal film. The violence is even more shocking considering the film was made in 1968. I think you would love it because it is a great action film, and because it also features themes about race, class, and brotherhood that all right up your alley as well.

  28. Ooo, a new Potpourri. Has anyone played the latest Uncharted video game? It plays like a movie. I can’t believe how much effort has gone into it.

  29. Sorry AU, I tried to find the old manuscript to see what got deleted there, but I don’t know where it is. In my opinion it was probly an amazing footnote though.

  30. Wow, SEED OF FAST FACE OF DEATH NEW BEGINNING DREAM XHILD. That’s why Vern is in charge here.

    Yes, extended DVDs are always about selling more units, whether artistically sound or just dropping more footage back in. I wonder if creative Hollywood accounting counts those sales against the original film or makes it a new entity so there’s still no net profit.

  31. For whatever it’s worth, Stallone was working hard on the director’s cut after Expendables was already playing in theaters. Back before he called Obama the Manchurian candidate and quit Twitter he kept mentioning it. In particular I remember him talking about improving the CGI effects and re-editing the action scenes (although I’m sure the problem is more the footage than the editing).

  32. If anyone cares, here is a detailed comparison between both versions of THE EXPENDABLES.


  33. Here is the obligitory part of the thread where I beg Vern to review Karate Kid 3.

  34. Majestyk – Blu-ray looking like a British TV show just has to do with the settings on the TV, most people never adjust the out of the box defaults, thus it looks kind of wrong, unnatural. I know a lot of stores use that effect on the in store displays, but I think that is mostly to show off the refresh rate or whatever. However, a little tweaking and it looks perfect.

  35. Good to know. I thought that was what it was supposed to look like and my eyes were just too old to see why that’s a good thing.

  36. Terry Silver Lives!

  37. Stallone quit twitter?! My opinion of him has hit the ceiling! In Bruges definitely deserves a Vern review, and I really endorse The Guard. Directed by the brother of In Bruge’s director (nice brotherly love double bill for an evening), it’s the most enjoyable film I saw all year. Don Cheadle produced and co-starred, and doesn’t put on an English accent, so it’s onto a winner from the start.

    Expendables was enjoyable as the antithesis to Sex in the city 2, but just wasn’t memorable enough outside of Dolph’s cavalier attitude to pirates, Micky Rourke bringing ‘the acting’ in his monologue and Stallone’s dodgy Dracula wig. Not sure how the directors cut would improve substantially on the cinema version though, unless Stallone re-edited the action scenes completely. It’s prob a footage thing as Vern says, but that’s on Stallone, as (if I remember from the directors commentary correctly) he had the second unit director shoot most of those sequences. The Jet Li/Lundgren fight was horrible,

  38. I don’t think it was a “Twitter is stupid and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore” thing. It was more of a “My handlers don’t trust me not to cause a bunch of PR problems if I have instant access to the public” thing. Which is not as cool, in my opinion.

  39. I have a PS3, but no HDTV so I only really get blu rays for extras I really want, such as the ones for INCEPTION.

    Oh and the first scene from SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE has been released:

  40. Vern, I didn’t mean to criticize Stallone’s artistic merit, or any filmmaker for that matter. If a studio wants to give them a chance for their director’s cut, that’s awesome. I’m thankful the DVD market has made that viable. Now we’re seeing reconstructions of MIMIC and ALIEN, which would never exist if there weren’t money in it.

    I use the “vibrant” setting on my Panasonic Vieira TV. It brightens all the colors are sharpens the picture. The standard setting looks muddy and green. Although “Vibrant” also highlights digital noise when a transfer’s bad, but I kind of need to see that for review purposes anyway.

    I do sometimes feel like Blu-rays I think look great get bad reviews, and vice versa. Different sets and settings must be a factor.

  41. Hear hear for an In Bruge review.

    ‘Most midgets tend to off themselves you know. I suppose they get sad about bein’ little and all that.’

  42. Glad to hear that someone else has to jack up their TV’s to “vibrant” setting to make it look watchable. I swear every HDTV I’ve seen looks like ass on default settings, both of my TV’s currently have brightness on 10.

    Also – re: the “British TV show/Mentos commercial” look of Blurays – I think that’s totally dependent on the refresh rate of the TV. I have 120HZ or whatever on mine and always turn it off, b/c it makes everything look terrible. Not just in the weird, motion-sicknessy look of it, but it definitely makes the movies themselves look cheap. Avatar especially looked more like a weird camcordery, behind the scenes making-of of Avatar, rather than the real movie, I couldn’t believe it. I switched it back to regular 60Hz and it looked like an actual movie again.

  43. I’ve never seen a Blue Ray that didn’t have the effect that Majestyk describes, including in the home of my gearhead buddy who spends half the day fiddling with the settings on his damn TV. AVATAR in particular has looked terrible every time I’ve seen it playing, but then I thought it looked tacky and unconvincing in the theaters too, so maybe my eyes are just fucked up.

    Also, I save my respect for people who never sign up for twitter/facebook in the first place.

  44. Also, not to be a crank or anything, but is there really anything that needs to be said about IN BRUGES? I mean, it was enjoyable, but I’m at a loss to think of a single thing to say about it. It compares favorably to a Guy Ritchie flick? Collin Farrell really excelled at performing at a level somewhere between Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt? Ralph Fiennes was really brave for doing what every actor his age does, taking a role that plays against type?

  45. I bet the more we recommend something, the more it seems like homework to Vern.

  46. IN BRUGES is utterly original. That’s what I like about it. I feel like we’re really inside the mind of the writer-director, seeing precisely what he’s projecting from his mind’s eye, and not in a self-indulgent or expressionistic or Kaufmanesque way, but in a good storytelling way.

    Colin Farrell’s character acts & says things around the cute girl the exact same way I would act in that situation. “Fookin kewl” is a perfect line, perfectly delivered & timed when they meet. I’m conflicted about his disdain for the town of Bruges, which seems like a nice place to me, but that’s kinda the point of the movie.

    There were times I was thinking, “Why couldn’t this just be another McDonagh play? He’s not using cinema for any special purpose. They could tweak this and put it on stage easily.” And then the Hieronymus Bosch scene happened, and I understood why it needed to be a movie.

    IN BRUGES is a rarity — a good movie with no visible influence from other movies. There’s a purity to it, as though the script was written by a naive, uncultured boy but is somehow actually really good.

  47. Mr. Majestyk, that’s why I limited my Vern recommendation to a 41 minute long movie. I’ve given that up for now, with the assumption that he’ll watch & review it in a special “countdown to AVENGERS” series.

  48. Mouth- I thought you said “no more Nerdening of America shit”?

  49. Like many nerdophobics, Mouth makes a point of vocally attacking that which he is secretly attracted to. But his inner nerd refuses to be fully suppressed, so it expresses itself in unexpected ways. His Avengers reference is basically the “getting my picture taken shirtless with my bros, no homo” of closet nerds.

  50. Actually I think he was referring to DR. HORRIBLE’S SINGALONG BLOG too, which is a superhero comedy musical starring many friends of the internet, which is more the “I was walking my dog in Clapham Common at 4am in the morning when I was brutally mugged by that young skinhead man, who I wasn’t interacting with in any other way” of closet nerds.

  51. So I just learned that that cute cat themed kids movie, that Carice van Houten made something like 10 years ago is now coming out in the United States. Now THAT’S what I call late!


  52. It’s all true. You guys know me better than I know myself. I’ve been in the closet so long about this. Sigh.

    I renounce sports. I’m giving up healthy snacks and switching to Cheetohs & Mountain Dew. I’m moving into my mom’s basement. I’m buying Skyrim. I will now only wear t-shirts with clever pop proverbs and pictures of cartoon characters on them. I’m hacking into George Lucas’s personal e-mail so I can tell him he’s ruining my life and his legacy.

  53. Three of those things on Mouth’s list are so nerdy I’ve never even heard of them. And for Majestyk the whole paragraph must be like reading Esperanto.

  54. blu-rays looking like Dr. Who or some shit: I noticed that one time in a Fred Meyer or something, they were playing PERCY JACKSON AND THE FONT FROM HARRY POTTER and it looked like it was shot on old doesn’t-look-like-film video, which confused me because I remembered it being released in theaters. But I haven’t seen that since, including when I finally upgraded to HDTV and blu-ray.

    remaking AMERICAN PSYCHO: I was gonna bring this up myself. I know at this point it’s ridiculous to be surprised or disgusted by how low they can go with remakes, because it’s pretty clear that nothing is too low for these people. But this particular case is so be-fucking-fuddling. There is no way in hell that they’re planning to make it more faithful to the book, so it’s not one of those cases. And there’s even less of a chance of them casting someone who can top or even come close to 75% as good as Christian Bale’s performance. There’s just no reason to make this, unless…

    Oh, I get it. I just looked it up and yes, it will be a modernized version. So, no Phil Collins monologue I guess. Well, I guess the ball’s in their court and they better, you know, make a bunch of baskets with the satirical angle of the story. I guess it would be possible to do it well if this newcomer writer/director is some kind of genius, but I’m not holding my breath.

    The good news is this is not greenlit yet, so hopefully if it’s gonna suck they’ll nailgun it.

  55. I just remember that once in a store, they had DVD running, that compared the picture of brand new Blu-Rays to the picture of DVDs via split screen. So they showed clips from some good looking movies, and on one side was the Blu picture and on the other the DVD picture. The side with the Blu Ray looked nice, but what made me laugh was that the DVD picture was obviously blurred, to make it look worse than the Blu Ray! Seriously! They showed a scene from KINGDOM OF HEAVENS and the “DVD” side looked like an old VHS tape! And I don’t mean something like “DVD looks like shit in comparison to Blu Ray”. They tinkered very obviously with the picture!

  56. No Huey Lewis monologue either. Whats he/she going to have a monologue about? Radiohead or something?

    If anyone has their tv set to Vivid or Vibrant or something of that ilk, they absolutely have their tv on the wrong setting. It should be on Standard, Cinema, or something like that. The picture will be more natural and you’ll be seeing the movie the way it’s supposed to be seen. Vivid has a tendency to exacerbate digital noise and the colors are all wrong. At the end of the day its your eyes and whatever you think looks best, go for it, but as far as accuracy is concerned, Standard or Cinema is the most accurate setting. Also, try to keep the sharpness down since all it does is add digital noise to create “perceived sharpness” when it doesn’t need any. Back in the vhs/early dvd days this would help but blu rays and newer dvds don’t need extra sharpness applied.

  57. That terrible video look is caused by the 120 Hz motion interpolation feature that neal2zod mentioned.

    This effect is why I’m slightly worried about them shooting THE HOBBIT at 48 frames a second. I trust Jackson and they obviously must have done a ton of tests to make sure it looks good, but then again some people must have thought the 120 Hz thing looks good.

  58. I’ve never seen more than 1 minute of a blu-ray.

  59. The second minute is the sweetest.

  60. I’m a little shocked and disturbed by all the blu ray hate on here

    my tv is only 60Hz and to me blu rays look great on it (of course it also depends on the transfer)

    I would point to the Blade Runner, Star Wars, Jurassic Park trilogy and It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World blu rays as proof that they can look good

    yeah there’s film grain and some transfers are too grainy, but there’s supposed to be some film grain, they’ve tried blu ray transfers where they try to remove all the grain (The Predator re-release being the most well known example) and it just makes everything look like it’s covered in Vaseline

    plus, all you SDtv watching guys, have you heard of a dirty little secret known as overscan? it’s something standard def televisions do and what it is is it cuts off the left and right sides of the picture, you may scoff, but I first discovered this a couple of years ago when I tried watching an anime dvd on my old tv that I had once watched on my old laptop and discovered almost one third of the damn picture was cut off, it was ridiculous

    needless to say, HDtvs don’t have that problem (provided you have the TV set on the right aspect ratio of course)

  61. I thought I was the only person who thought Blu Ray movies looked like an episode of Dark Shadows. Sure, it was crisp and very clean but the motion just looked unreal.

  62. Sorry Vern, I have to learn to confine my threadjacks to these sort of potpourri threads.

    Repeating my previous Tourette’s outburst: everyone, see “Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner.”


    Ancient Inuits murdering each other. Woman trouble. Traditional head punching duels. Jealousy. Revenge. Delicious walrus blubber. Bad Ass Cinema. Solid Recommendation.

    I must remain on topic… I must remain on topic… I must remain on topic…

  63. BR: Up here in Canada, ATANARJUAT is compulsory viewing in high school. We also learn how to scan people real good.

  64. One of the cool things about Blu-ray is that so many different types of movies can look different. There’s the surreal supernatural so clear you can see the air look. There’s the faithful to film but higher quality than any 35mm print look. There’s the grainless but still looks like film look. And sometimes there’s the this is really shitty so keep your DVD look. It depends largely on how the film was originally shot. I personally like seeing supernatural detail when it’s there. And the DVD still exists if that’s what you prefer.

    As to vibrant? I like super bright and colorful. It’s like when you take the glasses off in a 3D movie and see how bright the picture could be, but the filmmakers say “No, it’s not supposed to be that bright, that’s only to compensate for the glasses.” Well, it SHOULD be that bright if you’ve got it. Standard or cinema looks dark. If that’s natural, I prefer unnatural. But remember, I also like THE LOST WORLD better than JURASSIC PARK.

    The digital noise is definitely enhanced in vibrant, but it’s still totally visible in standard so it’s not like you’re adding any more errors than were already visible.

  65. Forgot to add my most favorite part about Blu-ray. It’s like watching my favorite movies for the first time all over again. Whichever look they go for, it’s a new discovery. That makes each one exciting.

    Although, at this point I would also be just as excited to find an old VHS copy and revisit that too, but that’s nostalgia.

  66. This is sort of on-topic, but I recently watched childhood fave Gunmen again on Netflix Instant. I was surprised to see how well it held up, even though Netflix only played it in Fullscreen, even though it’s listed as being in HD. (It’s unfortunately not available in Widescreen, even on DVD!)

    So even though it’s a movie that really does beg for widescreen (there’s so many two-shots of people talking, say while driving a car, and you can only see one person and the other guy’s arm), I actually thought the mangled composition weirdly made it more involving to watch – like intensely watching something happen through a peephole. Your eye is always scanning the sides of the frame- was that a machete he’s holding? who’s he talking to? Who just got shot? I’m not saying I would recommend watching a movie like this, but I guess it made it more fun the same way lo-fi music or Grindhouse-style frame skips, etc… make the experience fun.

    And also I’m really glad the movie still holds up. I love the chemistry w/ Lambert and Van Peebles, I love the character beats and little nuances. There’s a minimalism in the dialogue that reminds me of Tommy Lee Jones or The Rock in The Rundown – one line of dialogue tells us that Van Peebles’ DEA Agent and Denis Leary’s mercenary know each other from the past; we don’t need some back story about Leary killing his father or some shit. One look from Sally Kirkland lets us know that she slept with Lambert’s brother, but it’s not dwelled on or even important, it just seems like something that would happen in the movie’s world.

    It’s easily Stephen Sommers’ best script, and Christopher Lambert’s best performance. And yes, I know the script is a remake of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but I think it’s a perfect remake- it modernizes the original story in a believable way, and with familiar but very different characters. Plus it’s half as long; it’s like a fun, punky cover version of an opera or something.

  67. Well, we all know how much fun El Sid was.

  68. Ahh Gunmen. I saw that with my parents, in theaters no less. I remember having some weird Christopher Lambert kick back then where I had to see everything he was in. All the Highlanders, Gunmen, Fortress, etc. The only thing that I remember about Gunmen is when he’s having sex with a prostitute and she says, “give me more” and he says, “More? I don’t have any more!” I thought that was funny.

  69. I still need to see El Cid! And yes, the “More? I don’t HYAAAVE ANY MORE!” exchange is hilarious. So is the “Canarou! These fish like to swim up your PENIS! … I know a guy once who lost his entire PENIS!” line. This was actually the first Lambert movie my girlfriend watched, and she actually thought he was just a Thomas Jane-looking comedian. She couldn’t believe such a joker could be so badass in other movies (or could get Diane Lane once in real life). I think that shows what a great performance he gave!

    And by the way, I’m late to the party – why is everyone’s avatar a hot girl these days?

  70. Olga Kurylenko appears to be a helicopter pilot in mine. I find this insanely hot and inspirational. Mmmmm, Olga.

  71. Hayden’s always been my avatar. I switch up the image every now and then but its always the same Hayden. I’m monogamous like that.

  72. Mr Bananagrabber is obviously male.

  73. Inspired by ThomasCrown442, I will remain faithful to Eihi Shiina. I will switch her “Audition” avatar to a “Tokyo Gore Police” avatar, just as soon as I can find a nice soothing image:



  74. BR Baraka: Eihi Shiina seems to be having a lot of fun in the recent film HELLDRIVER (from the folks who brought us MACHINE GIRL). Obviously it’s not as phenomenal a role as AUDITION, but it’s always nice seeing her, especially when she gets to let loose like she does in HELLDRIVER. She doesn’t work nearly enough. I can’t be the only one who wishes she’s turn up in a Wong Kar Wai or Beat Takeshi film.

  75. LOL

    I met the director once, Yoshihiro Nishimura, at the New York Asian Film Festival a few years ago. The man walks around with a permanent grin on his face. He’s basically a seven year old let loose in a props department, bless him. Sushi Typhoon is the Troma Entertainment of Japan.

    A toast: to the marriage of horror and farce.

  76. my Gravatar is Ruri Gokou from the anime Oreimo, which I’ve only seen a few episodes of, but I really like the character design

    here’s the full image http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/9572/ruril.jpg

    BR Baraka – I actually saw Tokyo Gore Police once, it was….interestig

    I also saw Audition once too and jeez, I don’t even know what to say about that one (other than it scared the shit out of me)

  77. Yoshihiro Nishimura’s work is pretty inspired. It’s nice to be able to say positive things about a special effects supervisor when so many movies are made these days where the f/x are more of a burden than a joy to behold. Those chicks who have a sword fight with swords that shoot out of their asses in ROBOGEISHA is highlight reel stuff.

  78. Christmas movie catchup was a little painful last year as I trudged through some catchup with the christmas comedies – Home Alone 1-4, Christmas with the Cranks, Elf, Friday After Next, etc. – a few bright points, Fred Claus made me laugh, A Christmas Story pretty good, rewatch of Bad Santa for the win etc.

    Anyways, goin with horror this year and took me a while to beg, steal and borrow most of these and got a couple left to get but almost ready. List took some time to put together too as I’ve only caught 3 or 4 christmas horrors so far in my life (mainstream like silent night, P2, etc, gotta rewatch) so if you are lookin for some christmas movies you not seen yet, this christmas list prolly got a few to inspire the season for you, merry christmas:

    1 – Satan Claus(1996)
    2 – Psycho Santa (2003)
    3 – Santa Claws(1996)
    4 – Santa’s Slay (2005)
    5 – The Gingerdead Man(2005)
    6 – Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust(2008)
    7 – Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver(2011)
    8 – Jack Frost(1997)
    9 – Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman(2000)
    10 – Elves(1989)
    11 – Silent Night, Zombie Night(2009)
    12 – Silent Night, Bloody Night(1974)
    13 – Silent Night, Deadly Night(1984)
    14 – Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2(1987)
    15 – Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!(1989)
    16 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990)
    17 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker(1991)
    18 – Christmas Evil(1980)
    19 – Black Christmas(1974)
    20 – Christmas Nightmare(2001)
    21 – The Christmas Season Massacre(2001)
    22 – Don’t Open Till Christmas(1984)
    23 – Deadly Little Christmas(2009)
    24 – One Hell of a Christmas(2002)
    25 – Bikini Bloodbath Christmas(2009)
    26 – The Thirteenth Day of Christmas(1985)
    27 – Feeders 2: Slay Bells(1998)
    28 – Two Front Teeth(2006)
    29 – The Blackout(2009)
    30 – Home for the Holidays(1972)
    31 – L’ultimo treno della notte(1975)
    32 – Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?(1972)
    33 – The Children(2008)
    34 – Sheitan(2006)
    35 – The Day of the Beast(1995)
    36 – Saint(2010)
    37 – The Minion(1998)
    38 – To All A Good Night (1980)
    39 – Dead End(2003)
    40 – Lurking Fear(1994)
    41 – Cronos(1993)
    42 – To all a Goodnight(1980)
    43 – Inside(2007)
    44 – P2(2007)

  79. nabroleon dynamite

    December 10th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Props to AU for the ill list!!

    @Jareth. I fell for “The Last Circus” hook, line & sinker, but I can easily see someone hating it though, however…

    The worst movie of the year?? WHAT!!!! *lil’ jon voice*

    That movie was way too inventive and funky fresh at every angle to be the worst joint of 2011 B!!

    Come’on Son!!!

    I’d say “Kidnapped” was one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year, but that ending was… GODDAMN!!!

  80. KIDNAPPED the Spanish home invasion film? Jeez, I liked that one, though it didn’t do anything that ILS (THEM) didn’t do way better. Seems strange to me that such a modest film would make the top of anyone’s list, good or bad.

    I’ll give LAST CIRCUS full points for energy and commitment to seeing its aesthetic through to the bloody end. I also liked the dedication the performers showed. But I just can’t condone that script. I was along for the ride when I realized it was going to be a high strung, goofball version of PAN’S LABYRINTH simply because the visuals were so confidently rendered, but at some point it veered off into every imaginable cliche – including some from de la Iglesia’s own earlier film DYING OF LAUGHTER – without any compelling reason to do so.

    If I’m too hard on LAST CIRCUS it’s because it was uncompromising enough to promise a real freak show but ended up being something of a hackneyed mess. But I sincerely think a Vern review would be pure gold.

    Obviously GREEN LANTERN was way worse.

  81. So apparently GHOST RIDER 2 screened at Butt Numb-A-Thon and people loved it. Of course that means nothing, since BNAT attendees tend to love everything more than they should (as long as it isn’t a 6 hours long Che Guevara biopic), thanks to the apparently seriously great atmosphere there, but I think it was interesting enough to mention it.

  82. CJ – people tend to “over-enjoy” free (surprise*) screenings. Unless its truely bad. Then again, whoever thought CHE was a good idea for that zoo, who’s reaction is what you would’ve expected if it had been screened for a Tea Party crowd. They both share the same intellectual standards.

    (Personally I thought CHE was pretty good, but I saw each part on seperate nights. I doubt even I could survive all of it at once.)

    *=Was it or was it announced ahead of time? I’m just guessing it was a surprise. If it wasn’t, then maybe its not that bad? Or at least not as lame as the first movie. Who knows.

  83. The movies at BNAT are always surprise screenings. And inbetween, there are several classics shown (Like last year Charles Laughton’s HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME) and most of the audience is enjoying them, so I wouldn’t call BNAT attendees stupid.
    I do agree about the excitement though. After all we are talking about the event, where 300 and KICK-ASS were hyped into must-see movies afterwards.

  84. I’ve always wondered what going to BNAT must be like, I’d probably fall asleep because I don’t think I could stay up 24 hours

    plus, who wants to have to get up in the middle of a movie and take a crap?

  85. and ya know I’ve always wondered, how the fuck can Harry afford to hold those every year? why does he get to see some movies before anyone else? who organizes it? who started it?

  86. I was at the Numb Butt A Thon and saw GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE. Actually, everyone I talked to or saw tweeting about it hated it. But those are the usual Nicolas Cage haters I know, and people who pick on little things like plot structure and production value.

    Since I’m press I’m not allowed to give a full review but I’m not barred from speaking about it a little. I think this group will definitely dig it and appreciate when I say it’s totally a DTV movie that they’re for some reason releasing in theaters. I mean, everything looks like Eastern Europe in cheap factories and rock quarries. It is by far the lowest quality movie Neveldine and Taylor have made. But it Cranks out every now and then and Cage is mega mega in it. I mean, Ghost Rider hardly even appears. It’s just Cage being strung out and hyper. In other words, totally awesome.

    I saw it at 6AM. I wish everyone else got the experience of seeing a Nic Cage movie at 6AM after an all nighter.

    Neal2Zod, Gunmen rules. I wish they’d release a widescreen version somewhere. Every DVD or TV airing is full screen too.

  87. “I was at the Numb Butt A Thon”

    all of my jealous, I am green with envy

    how did you pull that off Fred?

  88. I just watched RARE EXPORTS and I really liked it! You still have a few days till christmas, so do yourself a favour and rent this movie. It’s creepy as fuck, but absolutely hilarious at the same time.

  89. BTW, Fred, is the story about Tom Cruise, driving a bus at BNAT true?

  90. Just thinking about the stench of BNAT makes me want to retch. A thousand nerds packed into a room, unable to bathe for 24 hours? No thank you. I’d go all Agent Smith and want to destroy them all.

  91. Oh come on, it’s not like they all have to gym and work out for first 5 hours of BNAT and aren’t allowed to shower afterwards. I’ve been through some theatrical movie nights before and even if I have no 24 hrs experiences, they were all LESS smelly than your average public transit ride.

  92. I’m VERY jealous of anyone who saw GHOST RIDER SOV at BNAT, and even more jealous of those who saw the GI JOE RETALIATION trailer there, too (although I understand it’s online as of tomorrow.)

    So I finally saw the Brothers Prior’s meisterwork DEADLY PREY at long last and it had me thinking, this is a film that’s now famous on Youtube as a piece of shit that we all should point and laugh at, but it has a sincerity to it that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.

    Well made? Nope. Well acted? Please. But you could see that everyone involved was loving it and meant it. Yes, it’s a RAMBO/COMMANDO clone but it didn’t feel like it just wanted to rip those films off in a slavish, cynical way. It wanted to entertain, to blow minds – and it kinda did.

    I’d take one DEADLY PREY over a million TRANSFORMERS, any day.

  93. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy BNAT. The probability of someone talking in nothing but Yodaisms or quoting Tenacious D is too high. I had to sit behind two members of that community at the third LORD OF THE RINGS movie. They kept going on about how they’d film Batman fighting Superman and how the nerds are the “taste-makers of tomorrow.” Definitley not my kind of crowd.

    But kudos on getting JONAH HEX made, nerds. Civilization thanks you for your contribution.

  94. CJ: If it smells even half as bad as the average comic book store on a Wednesday night, it smells two times as bad as I can take.

    Karlos: That sincerity is the key to all of Prior’s work. From a purely technical standpoint, his movies are pure shit, but somehow you can tell that he’s really putting his all into them. In exchange for watching 87 minutes of histrionic acting and bland camera setups, you’re getting a little piece of a man’s soul. I think that’s a fair trade. If you like DEADLY PREY, I recommend checking out KILL ZONE. On a less personal note, DEATH CHASE is an enjoyably amateurish meat-and-potatoes urban action flick, kind of like a Max Fischer Players version of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME but starring actual adults, including the great Paul L. Smith as the improbably suave villain.

  95. Mr Majestyk – thanks for that. I’ve just put those flicks straight into my “to see” list.

    Prior’s films really do hit the spot and remind me of the films by my man, Leo fong, who also throws all he’s got at the screen, critics be damned.

  96. Have you checked out any of Prior’s horror movies, like SLEDGEHAMMER or AEROBICIDE? They’re not as interesting because they don’t deal with Prior’s Vietnam trauma, but damn are they shoddy. SLEDGEHAMMER in particular looks like a school project. It doesn’t conclude so much as it just stops because they ran out of tape. Though I seem to recall Ted managing to go the whole movie without wearing sleeves, as per usual, so it’s got that going for it.

  97. Sheesh, Majestyk, do you live in an episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY?

  98. I’m pretty sure that Majestyk’s moustache would obliterate any form of media that tried to capture it in one of its puny shows.

  99. I’ve never seen that show, but I have smelled nerds in large numbers. It is a smell redolent of Sunday morning balls and backpacks that have dried inadequately after a rainstorm. I know that only a small percentage of of the audience will have this smell, but those who do will have enough for everyone.

    Of course, the fact that I live a few thousand miles away from BNAT might have more to do with my failure to attend than any fear over damage to my delicate nasal passages.

  100. I thought the Big Bang Theory only made the most obvious pop culture references, like Lord of the Rings and Star Trek and shit? I’m pretty sure nobody who works on that show has heard of or will ever hear of the shot-on-video horror movement of the ’80s. I just looked it up and alot of the writers worked on stuff like My Two Dads, Charles in Charge, Who’s the Boss, The Love Boat. Any “geek” references they know is because they actually were writers on Muppet Babies or whatever “geeks” grew up on.

    I generally can’t stand that type of “guy says something supposedly funny, fake audience laughs, characters on show proceed as if they didn’t hear what was said” style of sitcom, but that one in particular makes me want to murder somebody. I guess I don’t know any science geniuses, but their portrayal of “geeks” doesn’t ring true with the people I know and is so insulting, but then is embraced by the people it’s making fun of.

    I know people who consider themselves “geeks” or whatever that like Big Bang Theory and I try to convince them it’s like black people loving Amos ‘n Andy, but they don’t buy it. I don’t remember Urkel or the guy from Fresh Prince being embraced by young African-American scholars.

  101. I know I’m being facetious here, but haven’t you noticed that nerd-friendly places like comic book shops and video game stores have a pong that other establishments don’t? I’m not trying to be racist against nerds, especially since I show quite a few nerdcentric tendencies myself, but sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason.

  102. I dislike nerdom because they have turned a series of hobbies and interests into a culture or way of life. I’m just very uncomfortable with defining someone based purely on their interests or tastes and nerds / geeks / whatever tend to do that.

    Maybe it’s because I have a few nerdy interests and think of myself as an otherwise normal dude. I think the rise of multiculturalism, which is a great thing, is forcing generic white dudes to find some niche or genre to subscribe to so they have some sort of identity. Or something.

    I really like the idea of BNAT and the list of movies this year sounds rad. I don’t read AICN anymore, but am still thankful for it introducing me to Vern. I think one of these years I’ll try to make it to BNAT as it does sound like a good time, but I’m really wary that what I used to perceive as childlike passion by Harry is really something worse.

    Even still, I won’t look down at anyone that goes to something like BNAT or whatever. It sounds like a good time and something that is worth doing once. Maybe it’s because I ride the Metro on a regular basis but I don’t mind large crowds of sweaty people anymore. I’m not trying to excuse nerd smell, Warhammer tournaments get pretty swampy afterall, but try riding the Metro on the Fourth of July and you’ll see that it can be a lot worse. Or, hell, I remember after Hurricane Georges in Puerto Rico it smelling like death and rot for months. After that I’ve become pretty accepting of smelly people.

    I care more about nerds being entitled bourgeois white dudes who think because they were naturally smart and could coast through school that they are allowed to have a total lack of empathy and respect. I’ve met way too many nerds who have the worst and most selfish political leanings or who are otherwise just totally selfish even when nonpolitical. Or, I really hate when nerdy types who only read books that have dragons on the cover think what they read is very great literature and bemoan the lack of George RR Martin in lists of Great Novels or whatever.

    So, yeah, there are lots of reasons to hate nerds. Their smell is the last reason.

  103. The Numb Butt Marathon was fun. I never feel like I can watch enough movies so 24 straight hours is one way to make a dent in that neverending list. The only unfortunate issue unique to me is I’d seen many of the “premieres” already through my job as a member of the fourth estate. However it was worth sitting through 5 new releases to see GHOST RIDER at 6AM after the all nighter.

    I was most excited to see some old movies I’d never heard of, and I did. The best was JUST IMAGINE, a 1930 sci-fi about the distant future of 1980. It was so fucking weird. There’s a guy from 1930 who’s revived in 1980 and he acts like nobody in the history of any era of the planet. Mega acting back then? They also go to Mars and come back with a Martian, and it’s a musical. DVD sells for $999 on Amazon.com.

    Smell was not noticeable. It wasn’t like Comic-Con, which starts stinking on the first night. Lovely group of people.

    I was not on the bus that Mr. Cruise drove, but I’m told that was a twitter joke. However, I don’t know anyone who was on that bus to definitively deny it.

    I never got into Big Bang Theory either. I find that Sheldon is just a horrible person. Like not “oh, it’s so funny he’s antisocial” or even “isn’t it sweet he has Aspergers and doens’t know any better.” No, he is a mean motherfucker. His friends must be codependent because it would be better to be alone than subject yourself to that abuse.

  104. I apologize, both for insulting the hygiene of the apparently non-smelly BNAT attendees and for starting this discussion of nerd stench in the first place.

  105. “I dislike nerdom because they have turned a series of hobbies and interests into a culture or way of life.”
    I think there’s other people who do that in far more intrusive ways on society though. Like Sports Fans. People who seem to assume everyone likes sports and has a team, who wear the shirt of their favourite player with their name and number on it(in effect, a COSTUME) all the time, and who think of themselves and the team as one e.g. “We’ve made the semis!”, and who’ll go watch games in ridiculous get ups, or shirtless with the team’s name painted across their chest, with their own songs, and just as much merchandise to buy around is nerds do. But because it’s a bit more common to like sports than it is comics, that sort of appreciation is considered perfectly normal, even when it’s as extreme or even more so than with nerds. You aren’t going to have your busride home ruined by nerds having an obnoxious celebration of the new Star Trek movie, nor are you going to have rival fandoms having brawls with each other over their respective franchises. Nerd shit doesn’t get a whole fucking slot on the News AKA That Programme About Supposedly IMPORTANT THINGS, which I guess a report on which team kicked a piece of leather around best comes under. Nerd shit isn’t going to elicit the sort of media saturation the World Cup/Olympics/Superbowl is, is it?
    I mean, really, are nerds just not allowed to feel good about themselves? They didn’t come up with the term for themselves. When their shit wasn’t popular in the mainstream all that much, they were outsiders and looked down on just for liking a certain thing. Now when their shirt is a bit more pop culturally “relevant”, it’s all apparently a bit too much. Nerds are criticised for being supposedly negative, yet when they really like something, it’s often dismissed as dumb. Is there any way to win?

    “I generally can’t stand that type of “guy says something supposedly funny, fake audience laughs, characters on show proceed as if they didn’t hear what was said” style of sitcom, but that one in particular makes me want to murder somebody. I guess I don’t know any science geniuses, but their portrayal of “geeks” doesn’t ring true with the people I know and is so insulting, but then is embraced by the people it’s making fun of.

    I know people who consider themselves “geeks” or whatever that like Big Bang Theory and I try to convince them it’s like black people loving Amos ‘n Andy, but they don’t buy it. I don’t remember Urkel or the guy from Fresh Prince being embraced by young African-American scholars.”
    This thing is though Vern, that style of studio audience sitcom is NEVER subtle. The characters in them all tend to fit into a broad stereotypical mold, and are always overexaggerated and made up of cliches. It stands out more with The Big Bang Theory because for once those characters are the actual main ones, and not side-characters/wacky “comic-relief” ones, and there’s three of them. There’s a lot of concentrated nerdery. The girl who lives across the hallway is meant to the be the Dumb Blonde/Naive Struggling Actress character, or at least she originally was from what I remember. They toned that stuff way down later though while not doing the same with the nerds’ characteristics, so I’ll admit they’re a charicature, but I can give it a slide when I remember the sort of show I’m watching. Just like I don’t boo the writers of shows which depict Cheerleaders as bitchy and popularity obsessed, or anything where a corporate executive is greedy and unscrupulous, or where “british” people are either toffee noise bowler hat wearers or chimney sweeping cockney scoundrels(try having a scouser or a yorkshireman some time, guys).

  106. what you guys don’t get about Big Bang Theory’s popularity with nerds is this one crucial facts that marks the biggest difference from AMOS N ANDY: Nerds love that “nerd” archetype of the underdog intelligent guys having to deal with moronic society around them, and prevailing ultimately in scoring pussy/popularity because of their brains and not from muscle or embracing the “status quo.” Its like those Christian porn movies that clog up that one screen at your localplex, like COURAGEOUS or whatever the fuck.

    Same reason why you don’t see many of those same nerds hating REVENGE OF THE NERDS, even if its arguably a worse exaggeration of a stereotype than BBT. They love that bullshit fantasy, they eat it up like Cheerios. Also adding that with the further religiousness of science, its a public way to fight back against that cultural intrusion.

    Not to mention that since we’re now living in the Nerd Chic world, how many other type programs on the main broadcast networks cater to that mainstream post-modernistic nerd culture of references references references to movies/TV/games? Well there’s PSYCH, but that’s fucking cable.

    “No, he is a mean motherfucker. His friends must be codependent because it would be better to be alone than subject yourself to that abuse.”

    I think people like Sheldon exactly because he’s such an asshole, impulsively condescending and belittling without serious consequences, i.e. foot up your ass.

  107. I like Sheldon because the things he says and does are funny. Period. I really don’t try to emulate the guy or think anyone should, and I don’t think the show portrays him like that. He’s pretty clueless about a lot of things and does things so ridiculous it’s not so much a nerd stereotype as a fantastical tv thing. Like I said, BBT is just a sitcom, it’s not really something that I think really lends itself to a very deep analysis, yet some people like to use it to criticise nerds.

  108. I apologize if I was not clear, Stu, but I don’t disagree with what you said.

    Of course, on the face of it being a fan of a sports team is going to be more socially acceptable than having a favorite Squaresoft SNES game. There is a huge similarity, though: I know lots of people who are sports fans who manage to enjoy the team and community (I’ve been on the verge of watching football just to have something to talk about with people at work) without becoming THAT GUY. THAT GUY is frowned upon. People don’t like THAT GUY.

    Nerds seem to embrace being THAT GUY but choose to do so over things that are less socially acceptable.

    My main critique is that it should be possible, and encouraged, to enjoy nerdy things without becoming a total nerd. I don’t understand why it’s a cultural thing. I don’t understand why it has to be a way of life. Why can’t it just be a series of hobbies or interests?

    So, yeah, I know lots of sports fans and all of them know the really obnoxious sports fan and that person is shunned and made fun of. Nerds seem to be that same person while further alienating themselves because they choose to do so over things people don’t know about or understand.

    RRA, I think Community does a great job of being very referential and innovative. It’s a show that should be embraced by nerd-kind.

  109. Okay, y’know that I tend to enjoy geeky/nerdy stuff, like superheroes, Star Trek/Wars, cartoons, electronic music, video games from before the PS2 came out and shit like that, but I wouldn’t call myself a geek, nerd or gerk. Yet it seriously pisses me off when that group gets denounced as smelly, socially awkward or plain and simple annoying, just because I know way too many so-called nerds, but I remember only one, who was like right out of TBBT. (As in skinny with thick glasses, socially awkward, always talking about nerd shit.) The rest are seriously “normal” people, who you would never suspect to have such a “dark secret” until you meet them at a SciFi convention or have a conversation about comic books with them. Shit, a few of my nerd friends are even seriously hot, hot, hot, h-o-fucking-t women!
    More and more people let their nerd flag fly, so the public should have noticed by now, that the cliche of the socially awkward Star Trek fan, who lives in his mom’s basement and prefers to spend his time with collecting superhero action figures instead of going out with women, is totally wrong! But instead it seems to be totally okay to still discriminate them that way. And yes, I said “discriminate”. For any reason, mostly when TBBT is brought up, people start to say “No, it’s not discriminaton! Calling black people by the n-word is!” But come on, just because nerds aren’t a race or religion and being one doesn’t count as disability, you just can denounce them in public? That just pisses me off.

  110. “Nerds seem to embrace being THAT GUY but choose to do so over things that are less socially acceptable.

    My main critique is that it should be possible, and encouraged, to enjoy nerdy things without becoming a total nerd. I don’t understand why it’s a cultural thing. I don’t understand why it has to be a way of life. Why can’t it just be a series of hobbies or interests? ”
    Yes, but MY critique is that being THAT GUY is just as much a case of others simply saying you’re “THAT GUY” as it is choosing to be. You don’t have to be a spitting image one of the BIG BANG THEORY guys to have that happen. Consider how things are naturally just labelled as being “nerdy”, and happening to like them makes you a nerd by association*, even though I thought being a nerd was in the manner which you like it, not in the stuff you like. So those sports guys should be called “sports nerds”, surely? But they’re not. Being a “nerd” is simply a matter of connection to a specific set of interests, and its far easier to be tarred with the brush than it is for sports. Like you said, you can go to that sports games and enjoy the “community” around all that without really being considered odd, yet up above, Majestyk is instantly labelling everyone at BNAT as a nerd. Everyone who goes to Comic-Con is probably considered one, despite the breadth of the stuff that gets shown there and how much of a great time it supposedly is.

    *of course there’s always convenient exceptions/selectiveness. EVERYONE’s allowed to like comic book movies and STAR WARS and even the odd tv show like LOST or HEROES, despite how clearly Sci Fi/Fantasy they might be. ACTIONFEST is a film festival for one specific type of movie, but I don’t get the vibe that it would be considered nerdy to go to it, because ACTION MOVIES! MASCULINITY! EXPLOSIONS! HEADBUTTS! TITS! that’s just too damn manly to be nerdy, isn’ it?

  111. It’s cool, CJ, nobody’s calling you a nerd. If everybody who liked nerdy shit was a nerd then we’d all have to get Mouth to give us wedgies after he was done wedgieing himself. But that doesn’t mean that nerds don’t exist. We know nerds when we see them. It’s like N.W.A. always said, if you don’t consider yourself a bitch then we ain’t talking to you.

  112. Stu, I believe you missed these important facets of my argument:

    1. “I know that only a small percentage of of the audience will have this smell [i.e., will be nerds], but those who do will have enough for everyone.”

    2. “I apologize, both for insulting the hygiene of the apparently non-smelly BNAT attendees and for starting this discussion of nerd stench in the first place.”

    3. “I’m being facetious here[.]”

  113. Majestyk- I was really only referring to the original post you made, which I did take as just a dumb joke, but then as the discussion went on you kept it up for a few more posts so it seemed less and less a friendly joke and just a bit dickish, but still I ignored it, cos I didn’t want to start up the nerdiness. I take you at your word on the retractions(despite the seemingly sarcastic nature of it), but the original statement is a good example of the general mindset I’m talking about and I’d say there are people who’d say the things you have with absolutely NO factiousness. Sorry if it seems like I’m blowing up. I really have been trying not to bring up nerd shit here, Mouth-ribbing aside.

  114. It’s not about being called a nerd, it’s about nerds being called all those ugly things, despite being mostly totally cool and down to earth people in reality.

  115. Like Seagalogists.

  116. Everything I say has some level of snarkasm to it, Stu, even when I’m being serious. It gets me in trouble sometimes. For instance, I am about to say in deadly earnest that professional sports are the worst thing ever and that the world would be a far better place on a macro and micro level if they were all abolished except for underground fighting/breakdancing tournaments. Then someone will take me seriously and I will have to defend my ludicrous point, which I still kind of really mean but not in a totally literal “This is what I think should happen in the real world, possibly using lasers” kind of way. And so further down the rabbit hole I go, until I’m not really sure what my original point was or why I brought it up in the first place. It’s like ?uestlove trying to defend the “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” incident. Sure, it was funny and he meant it but was it worth all the trouble?

    In conclusion: Nerds, please shower. You’re tearing us all apart.

  117. People act like nerds about different interests can’t coexist. I’m both a huge movie nerd as well as a huge sports nerd (don’t make me rattle off baseball statistics cause I will). Everyone is a nerd about something. If you’ve put serious hours into any of your interests you are a nerd about it. Its just that some interests are more socially acceptable than others which is out of our hands. Rich people are nerds about money. Generals are nerds about warfare. Pick up artists are nerds about picking up women. Apparently, having lots of movie/music knowledge doesn’t add any “value” to society so it isn’t given any value in return. Wealth adds value. Winning wars adds value. I’m not sure picking up lots of chicks has any societal value but people tend to be impressed by it. Sports and politics have programs where so called “experts” (nerds about that particular subject) sit at a roundtable and argue about politics and sports. Last time I checked there aren’t any tv shows on major networks where movie nerds sit at a roundtable and argue which Hellraiser is the best or who was the coolest batman. I guess society as a whole doesn’t give a shit. Oh well.

    What I don’t like is this pre packaged nerd look/lifestyle thats going around now. Its like some people deliberately make themselves nerdy. Every article of clothing is carefully chosen and every strand of hair is perfectly placed for the maximum nerd effect. A true nerd wouldn’t care about any of that and just wear what they were gonna wear that day. I swear some of these self proclaimed nerds spend an hour getting ready in the morning for that perfected nerd look. They’re not “real” nerds they’ve just chosen it as a lifestyle.

  118. I had a friend visiting from home and took him to a Dodgers game. He wore his home team regalia just to be in the spirit. He likes his home team but wanted to see the Dodgers.

    Some Dodgers fans, admittedly drunk kids, started harassing him saying his team sucks and how could he like them! Then they called him Big Nose. He handled himself well because he’s quick witted but what struck me was this:

    These kids really believed the team that was from where they were from was the best. They couldn’t have imagined that everyone from everywhere else thinks exactly the same thing. I know that’s not all sports fans but it looked like some soccer firm shit to me.

    I’m not into sports but personally I can’t see liking a team just because it’s home town. Wouldn’t you prefer the team with the players and strategy you find most interesting? And then you’d understand that the person who likes another team has different but equally valid taste. That’s why I don’t get sports fans.

  119. “They’re not “real” nerds they’ve just chosen it as a lifestyle.”
    Fred- With football over here in britain, there seems to be a feeling of obligation to a hometown team, but with an allowance for a different team in addition for whatever reason. Unfortunately with Glasgow there’s two major teams, and in addition to that general divide, there’s the sectarianism running through it with a protestant/catholic divide, which has a history of real violence which is one of the reasons I really don’t care for football too much or having much of a visible support for anyone. I used to just say Glasgow Rangers because my family did, but it was just lipservice, really. Never been caught up in anything nasty involving it, but it does make me really uncomfortable in general and the idiots who decide to tie the teams into their religion too by wearing the strips at protestant/catholic parades just piss me off a lot.

  120. so much of nerd culture has become mainstream that I sometimes feel like a nerd among nerds because a big part of my nerd interests, the anime/manga culture, is still an effectively underground thing despite a brief flirtation with the mainstream in the mid 2000’s

    I mean even a lot of comic book/video game/what have you nerds have a strong kneejerk reaction against anything anime related

    and as far as movies go, while the Marvel movies for example have been very successful, Dragonball, Speed Racer and Scott Pilgrim flopped (of course to be fair, Dragonball sucked) and now Hollywood’s next attempt at it (Akira) will wind up barely resembling the source material at all

    or take Sucker Punch for example which mixed in some anime style things among the other “nerd” things like dragons and orcs and it flopped as well

  121. nabroleon dynamite

    December 12th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    @jareth. I didn’t like “Kidnapped” much at all, but I’m glad I saw that ending!! I still can’t get that ending out of my mind!!

    I bought Pan’s Labyrinth the day it came out on DVD and have still never been able to finish it. The Last Circus was so much better at keeping my attention. I loved it, faults and all!!

    @CJ. Rare Exports was cool, but I watched the shorts on the DVD extras before I peeped the movie and those shorts were so much better than the movie was!!

  122. Stu, I’d love for someone to tell those soccer firms that beating someone up doesn’t actually make them play better. But then if they understood that they wouldn’t be in a soccer firm.

  123. Unfortunately there aren’t any shorts on the German RARE EXPORTS DVD. At least not on the rental version. But hey, the German SUPER DVD will have all episodes of PG PORN.

  124. The RARE EXPORTS shorts are only on the US blu ray, sadly.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Prior’s horror stuff, Mr Majestyk. Had no idea he’d made horror flicks. I’ll check those out, too.

    Whenever I visit my buddy’s comic book store, I end up coughing up little bits of black phlegm, which I have disturbingly realised is probably tiny bits of unsellable comics.

    TBBT was a show I could dig back in the earlier seasons – there were some good gags in there – but now the writers have finally decided that, in fact, they hate the characters and their audience, so I’ve checked out.

    I should’ve guess when season 2 started and Leonard and Sheldon’s speaking voices were suddenly an octave higher, as if to help lazy viewers to instantly denote “pathetic, whiney nerds”.

    In addition, I saw LETHAL WEAPON 3 last night for the first time since it was released and jeez, I hated it. Seriously, just horrible on every level. It’s like LW filtered thru a sit-com. So cozy.

    The Martin Riggs of LW1 would hate the Riggs of LW3.

  125. OK, so Jackie Chan has started to make his long-gestating film Chinese Zodiac, which, it turns out is, in actuality…

    Armor of God 3.

    Holy shit.


  126. Looks promising. I wonder if it’ll be in the same canon as the previous films, or more a NEW POLICE STORY type of thing.

    Don’t normally talk about music round here, but this song just perks me right up and gives me energy every time it’s on, and I think the video’s a lot of fun too:
    More hip hop artists should use their mums in videos.

  127. Wow, he’s directing again too! He could follow this up with New Drunken Master and retire.

  128. I will line up around the block ten times over to see Armor of God 3. The first two were some of my earliest introductions to Jackie and left me a lifelong fan.

    GI Joe Retaliation trailer looks pretty fucking cool. Yes, I enjoyed the first one as a mindless popcorn flick, it entertained me. So I was gonna see the second one anyways. But now I might get to see the Rock go toe to toe with Ray MFing Stevenson? Fuck yeah. And after TGTBTW and ISTD I’ll see absolutely anything with Lee Byung-hun. That guy is the tits. Smooth, cool, badass, stoic. Yep yep.

    Too bad they lost Gordon-Levitt. He looked like he was having fun hamming it up in the first one.

  129. Nerds, sports fans, whatever. It’s all the “herding” instinct. An instinct, along with religion, that I don’t seem to have, therefore it baffles me all the more.

    My interests, as catalogued pretty well on this forum, include, but are not limited to:

    – Detective fiction from the early 1900s
    – Arthouse films, martial arts films, genre cinema, modern horror, early film noir, and many, many more
    – American, European and Scandinavian culture in general
    – Fighting sports in general, MMA in particular (although I’ll watch boxing, wrestling, just about anything really)
    – Sandbox RPGs
    – Just about anything to do with film soundtracks, scoring, or journalism or criticism thereof

    … And many, many more.

    Do I lose the right to be a nerd because I like MMA?

  130. I will tell you what annoys me about “nerd culture” though, and that’s the whole trope where a supposedly geeky guy (very often not actually a “geek” at all) is handed mystical powers by sheer good luck. “Chuck”, “Jake 2.0”, “Spiderman”, etc. If anything feeds into the “nerd elitist” idea, or the sense that nerds are somehow entitled to better things without putting as much effort into getting them, these shows do.

    (Mind you, I very much liked “Chuck”. I just didn’t like that one aspect of it. Well, that and the horrible Best Buy characters. But mostly the entitlement thing.)

  131. Well, you can view it also that way, that nerds can never achieve anything on their own, unless a fantasy doodet gives them the power to become something special. Did you ever see a movie where a nerd was a “normal” hero, like a police officer or something like that? No, they are complete losers, until they get bitten by a radioactive spider or brainfucked by a supercomputer. Even Superman has to disguise himself as some kind of geek, because he knows that nobody would ever suspect someone like Clark Kent to achieve shit.

  132. This is one reason why most modern blockbuster type movies will never truly be badass cinema. A badass doesn’t become a badass by accident. He works at it. He learns to shoot and fight, develops instincts, works on his squinting, and incubates a cynical disdain for authority over decades of sticking it to the Man. He does not sit around his whole life bitching about what a jizzwad he is until he suddenly gets bitten by a radioactive honey badger or some slumming character actor shows up and tells him in a breathless ejaculation of exposition that, no, you’re not actually a loser, buddy, you’re actually The Most Important Person Ever. Forget all that common sense you heard about how you don’t have to decide at an early age what you have a natural aptitude for and then doggedly practice until you have mastered it and can use it to achieve your goals. No, you were just born special, despite all indications to the contrary. Now go out there and save the world, but remember: It’s all about you.

  133. I think I accidentally dropped an extra “don’t” in there.

  134. “This is one reason why most modern blockbuster type movies will never truly be badass cinema. A badass doesn’t become a badass by accident. He works at it. He learns to shoot and fight, develops instincts, works on his squinting, and incubates a cynical disdain for authority over decades of sticking it to the Man. He does not sit around his whole life bitching about what a jizzwad he is until he suddenly gets bitten by a radioactive honey badger or some slumming character actor shows up and tells him in a breathless ejaculation of exposition that, no, you’re not actually a loser, buddy, you’re actually The Most Important Person Ever. Forget all that common sense you heard about how you don’t have to decide at an early age what you have a natural aptitude for and then doggedly practice until you have mastered it and can use it to achieve your goals. No, you were just born special, despite all indications to the contrary. Now go out there and save the world, but remember: It’s all about you.”
    On the flipside though, aren’t most traditional/famous badasses pretty much the other end of the spectrum of that, where despite admitted extensive training, guts and physicality, they achieve goals that are a pretty near impossible for one man to do alone, based on the odds alone? John Matrix may be an expert Commando, but I call bullshit on his ability to take on a whole island of soldiers singlehandedly and not get shot once. Also, all these skills and things they’ve supposedly worked at tend to have been things that were done off-screen, and before the story’s begun. At least in the Spider-Man movies, we got a montage of Peter Parker having to learn how to climb walls, websling and jump across rooftops. At least nerd characters go on some form of Hero’s Journey, rather than just start the movie with all they need.
    I find CHUCK a bit of a weird example to use too, as when he got the Intersect in his head, it DIDN’T actually give him powers those first few seasons. It just turned him into a human database who would basically provide the REAL spies with leads on missions they’d have to do, while he bumbled around because(and this is a plot hole I always found dumb despite liking the show) despite knowing he’d get into these situations, nobody bothered to give him even minimal training on how to handle himself better! He was just told to stay in the car a lot, and got through things by luck alone, until that upgrade that gave him all the physical abilities, which they again didn’t bother to back up with real training for all the times it malfunctioned or was deactivated. At least now in the final season he’s completely “powerless”, but actually does seem to have spent time learning how to fight and shoot, while applying his more natural intelligence into being the leader.

  135. ^forgot to summarise that what I’m saying is that as much as Chuck and Spider-Man etc. may be a nerd wish fulfillment thing, but a lot of badass cinema is itself a MACHO wish fulfillment thing. They’re both extremes.

  136. Karlos – you mentioning Armor of God instantly made me think of that scene in Armor of God 2 when Jackie Chan is sneaking through some house when that blonde German woman storms in and take a piss, then wanders around the bathroom in her underwear while Jackie Chan has to sneak out

  137. so guys, owen gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly didn’t like Tintin

    that’s pretty shocking, but I don’t really care because

    1. this is the same guy that gave actual GOOD reviews to the some of the Twilight movies

    2. critics didn’t like The lost World either and re-watching it I thought it was great

  138. Griff – whatever happened to both the ladies from AoG2?

    Regarding Chinese Zodiac aka AoG3, the synopsis online is this:

    “The film revolves around Asian Hawk in his final mission, in which he must collect the 12 statue heads of the Chinese Zodiac to save the world…currently announced in terms of casting is Korean actor Kwon Sang-Woo (VOLCANO HIGH) and, in a cameo appearance, American jazz musician Kenny G, who will play an airline pilot.”

    Yes, that last bit really is in there.

    I do truly love the AoG films – the first one was shown on UK TV back in 1990-ish and is pretty much responsible for my love of Asian flicks.

    Also, if there’s any boxing fans on here, please check out the recent UK doc The Fight of Their Lives, about the 1995 Benn/McClellan fight that ended in tragic circumstances.

    Incredible stuff, at times it’s almost like a drama, with revelation upon revelation. Its shocking, saddening stuff that shows that neither fighter got out of it unscathed.

  139. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf16ItxEZ1o

    Apparently, this is the Dark Knight Rises 8 minute prologue.

    I say “apparently” as I’m at work and unable to check this.

  140. CJ, Majestyk, Stu – good points one and all.

    Stu, this is one reason why some of my favorite action films are either “ordinary guys / girls in peril”, or the kind of martial-arts film where it’s made explicitly clear that the hero has studied all his life to gain the abilities that he has. (Classic example: “Enter the Dragon”. A lot of both Jackie Chan’s films fit this type also.)

    Heck, “The Terminator” – probably one of my all-time favorite action movies – works precisely because it’s a combination of both – you have the extremely-motivated amateur (Sarah Connor, protecting her unborn child and the future of the human race) and the professional who’s been fighting the Terminators his entire life (Kyle Reece).

  141. Karlos – thanks, but personally I’m avoiding any and all spoilers of TDKR until it comes out. It worked for “Inception”. Honestly, as much as I loved “The Dark Knight”, I think I would’ve preferred not to even have known that Two-Face was in it. (So much for that with the new one… everyone knows who’s in it!)

  142. JSix (and boy, I’m posting a lot today…) – I’m looking forward to “GI Joe 2” as well. I pretty much enjoyed everything about the first one, although they did miss the opportunity to have Christopher Eccleston snarl: “We’re going to eat the Eiffel Tower!” which would undoubtedly have been the best deliberately cheesy action-movie line in history. Two exceptions: Marlon Wayans (I know we don’t like the Razzies here, but they got that one absolutely spot on) and the fuckawful “music”, if it can be called that, that assaults your ears when the end credits come up.**

    **Out of interest, I’ve just looked this up, and apparently it’s “Boom boom boom” by the Black Eyed Peas. A song I’ve heard mentioned once or twice but never actually listened to, to my knowledge, at least until now. Having just suffered through the whole thing, I think this song comes closer to my idea of “music from hell” than just about anything else I can recall, at least recently. Did they seriously try to auto-tune the rapper? I didn’t know that was possible!

  143. Vern, are you planning on reviewing the director’s cut of THE EXPENDABLES that was just released? I watched it last night and I think it is a significantly better film than the theatrical cut. There is additional footage in the director’s cut of the film and it is about 14 minutes or so longer, but there are also a number of scenes that are cut together completely different in the director’s cut compared to the theatrical version. These are not minor changes. Many of the scenes are either more fleshed out or expand on the scene for the theatrical cut, but then there are scenes like the much maligned (and rightfully so) Li vs Ludgren fight scene, that seemed to be complety reworked for the director’s cut and are much more clear and effective then the theatrical version of the scene. It almost feels like Sly went back after the fact and fixed as many of the flaws as he could from the theatrical release. I would ramble on about it more, but I will save my thoughts in case you plan on reviewing the film.

  144. I know it doesn’t sound good, but I just saw and must admit I loved Red Riding Hood. I really expected to hate it (mainly b/c I JUST finished watching another youth-oriented whodunit, Scream 4 (I put my thoughts in the board for that POS). And the whole “it looks like Twilight” thing. There’s definitely some unintended(?) hilarity, terrible lines delivered terribly, and the main love interest may be the most unappealing, smarmy prick I’ve ever seen. Also ,the village looks so much like a cheap set, it feels like something they were filming in the TV studio in Scrooged.

    But whatever – the mythology they set up with the wolf is actually pretty well-thought out, there’s some great mega-acting by Gary Oldman (who actually plays a pretty interesting character), and fuck it, the twist of who the wolf turned out to be was great. It’s the rare whodunit these days where we suspect everyone because we’re moviegoers and we’re smart, not because each character has a dumb scene where they act all creepy to show they’re a red herring. The wolf could have been about 5 different characters and I’d be satisfied because it would have been logical and organic, that’s pretty rare these days.

    Also, the score is pretty awesome – it’s a weird, moody mix of M83 and Explosions in the Sky – it sounds like an unholy mix between the Cat People soundtrack and the Friday Night Lights soundtrack, if that’s possible. And there’s a Wicker Man-esque musical and dance number with lesbian undertones, it’s awesome.

  145. neal2zod – that’s really shocking because I heard Red Riding Hood was terrible

    I mean just the premise alone sounds like a joke, a Twilight style take on LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD of all things!?

  146. and speaking of little red riding hood

  147. so I just watched the GI Joe 2 trailer and what the fuck, Bruce Willis is in it?

    I never saw the first, to me it looked like it was too stupid stupid instead of fun stupid, this one looks like fun stupid, I mean red ninjas fighting a yellow and black ninja? that shit is so 90’s (or 80’s), I fucking love it

    but wait a minute, where the hell are all the characters from the first movie? or any of the well known GI Joe characters other than the Ninja guy? are they really supposed to be dead or something? and where’s the Baroness? I am not like a fan of the franchise or anything, but how can you have GI Joe without the Baroness?

    and PLEASE GOD let this one have a fensler films reference, just throw in one “porkchop sandwiches” and I’ll be hapy

  148. Griff – oh wow, that’s one unhappy kitty. But yeah, nobody was more surprised than me that I liked this movie. I can’t really go into too much without some heavy SPOILERS, and I get the feeling I’m the only person who frequents this website that has seen it, so all I’d be doing is ruining it for you guys. Full disclosure – I was high as a kite while watching it, so it might be possible this movie is really terrible in real life.

    Fun fact: there’s a “Produced by Leonardo Di Caprio” credit at the beginning. Not even the old “Executive Produced by….” claptrap, an honest to goodness “Produced by” credit! WTF?

  149. G.I. Joe 2 looks fun, but the plot is the SAME FRIGGIN STORY as pretty much every ensemble action film made in the last 5 years. However, it is kinda interesting that they’re doing that mid-franchise. I can’t remember ever seeing a series begin with the heroes as a governmental fighting force and then put them on the run during one of the sequels. Generally that would be part of the setup in the original, if it was going to happen at all. So, I guess that’s pretty cool.

  150. Is it a surprise that Bruce is in GI JOE 2? I’ve known for months. I thought it was announced. Didn’t we discuss it here in a Badass Rundown or something?

  151. Oh and THE EXPENDABLES recut is longer but it’s also missing some footage. As mentioned before, less silly banter. So there’s more than 14 new minutes. Haven’t had a chance to watch the whole thing but I’m excited to. Seems to have more gravitas.

  152. Sat down and watched New Jack City last night, I was so excited to see Wesley Snipes and Christopher Walken in the same movie.

    When there were only 18 minutes remaining and Walken hadn’t turned up I just assumed his roll was more of a cameo. When the credits started rolling I realised I had just watched the wrong movie. Never done that before! Good times.

  153. Similarly, when I saw THE USUAL SUSPECTS I was under the impression John Malkovich was in it, so when all the lads were talking about this Keyser Soze character and John Malkovich hadn’t shown up yet I put two and two together and assumed it was him.

  154. Regarding that EXPENDABLES link: I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ALSO credit before. Also, according to the synopsis, Lee Christmas appears to be played by Lee Statham, who I can only assume is Jason’s identical twin.

  155. No, it’s a Brundlefly of Jason LEE and Jason STATHAM. Also known as “The incredible Two-Headed Jason With One Head Who Looks And Sounds Like Statham”.

  156. Caoimhín:

    You’ve now put the idea in my head that The Stath has a twin brother called Lee who is busy making knock-off versions of his more famous bro’s films.

    For sone reason I have given him a geordie accent.

    It kinda reminds me of the time I was in a video store and saw a tape sleeve that said “STALLONE” “SWAYZE”, “McQUEEN” on the top and when I picked it up it was Frank, Don and Chad, respectively.

  157. That would be DEATH RING. It doesn’t actually say “STALLONE” but it does say “NORRIS” and “DRAGO” across the top. True to form, it’s only Mike Norris, not Chuck, but it actually is Billy Drago, not his half-brother from his father’s second marriage Lyle Drago or anything.

  158. Mr Majestyk – ah, I stand corrected. I do remember seeing it and, in a state of naive frenzy, picking it up and then putting it straight back after feeling had.

    I now find myself wishing there *was* a film with Don S, Frank S and Chad McQ.

    It could be called DEATH RING 2: DEATH ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.

  159. DEATH RING is worth watching once while you’re wrapping Christmas presents or sewing a button back on a coat or something. Don’t make it your big Friday night plans or anything and you could do worse. While the lesser Norris and McQueen don’t really have any of their namesakes’ charisma, I will say that Don Swayze gives you at least 60% of the full Swayze experience. Somebody needs to start putting him in more movies because that’s all the Swayze we have left. We can’t just squander precious resources like that.

  160. Mr Majestyk – I really would like to see it, especially as it has just traded (in my mind only) Frank Stallone for the might of Billy Drago.

    I don’t mind Chad McQueen – he’s kinda OK. MARTIAL LAW 2 and FIREPOWER were entertaining enough, I thought. does he even act nowadays?

    And yeah, you’d think with Patrick gone, we’d take care of Don a little more. There should be an appeal to the filmmakers of America.

  161. Mook, it sounds like you were wanting to watch KING OF NEW YORK. KING OF NY is a good flick, but NEW JACK city is way more fun.

    Fred, I think you will really enjoy THE EXPENDABLES DC. I was blown away by how different it was from the theatrical cut, and how much it improved upon the theatrical cut. Sly does an introduction to the film on the Blu Ray and says that the DC is the version of the film he loves and that it better reflects what was in the script, and that the DC was the film he had envisioned making. He goes on to say that due to changes he made based on test audience feedback and how he felt at the time he was never happy with how the theatrical cut of THE EXPENDABLES turned out. I believe Sly is being honest when he says that, but the DC is not just slight changes to the film and I think Sly used it as an opportunity to fix things that did work in the theatrical release. For example if you compare the way the fight between Li and Lundgren is presented in the theatrical cut against the way it is done in the DC there is no way you can tell me that Sly had cut the scene they way it is presented in the DC then changed it based on feedback from a test screening that said they would enjoy the action more if it was presented primarily in wide shots viewing the action from a distance where it is harder to see the action on screen or the expressions on the combatants faces.

  162. At least there’s still one Swayze about for rappers to use as a rhyme for crazy.

  163. HERE’s a working TDKR prologue leak:
    What I could make out? Awesome. I have to say I don’t get the complaints about Hardy being unintelligible. I could make out almost everything he said fine.

  164. Psh. Swayze rhymes with hella words. Not just crazy. Lemme drop some science on ya,

    Got no depth perception cause his left eye’s lazy
    Still shot more fake gangsta than Martin Scorsese
    Slick like a ghost , yeah he’s Pat Swayze
    He’s the great Gatsby but his girlfriend ain’t Daisy

    Smashin’ in yo’ face cause the motherfucker’s crazy
    Set his laser beam to, “You don’t even faze me”
    Laying the favorite, ya he keeps shit racy
    Leave ya at the bottom like you’re Peterson Lacey.


  166. I just saw Sleeping Beauty. Obviously it was a very good film, because the chick from Sucker Punch gets naked a lot. But then at the end she wakes up and she screams, I don’t quite understand why, maybe because the old dude was lying there dead next to her. I’m pretty sure it was meaningful and not a complete waste of my time to have watched this for 90 minutes. Arthouse films, man. Aren’t they, like, super great?

  167. Lads, I’ve thought it for a while now and does anyone agree: Liam Cunningham is long overdue a badass revenge movie vehicle for himself. The man is a stellar character actor in genre films and would knock a juicy leading role Charlie Bronson style out of the park.

  168. I think I’m going to skip Sleeping Beauty and just google image search the screen caps of Ms. Sucker Punch . . . uh . . again.

    Just watched No Escape on netflix streaming. I haven’t seen it in about 10 years so I was interested to see if this one held up. The quality was utter crap, like all they had was the vhs version on hand, but it did the job. I forgot this was a Martin Campbell flick so right away i was optimistic. Wow, this movie is still awesome. I love how within 10 minutes of him being on the island, we know so much about the island and its inhabitants without a lot of dialogue. Its all told visually. Campbell and the writers do a great job of juggling drama, comedy, action, and philosophy. Everyone on the island is guilty of some horrible crime but some choose to live as savages while others try to to make amends and redeem themselves. Obvious kudos to Stuart Wilson as Marek. He was absolutely hilarious but was also a little scary at the same time. He must have had a blast with this role. I was really surprised how believable Ray Liotta was as a badass action hero. I’m surprised no one gave him at least one more shot at the Bourne/Seagal “ex spec ops guy who’s pissed and now wants to kill a bunch of people” role. I guess the movie kinda bombed and he was never given another shot at it (or he didn’t want another shot).

    All in all, while its not a perfect movie and has some plot holes, its entertaining as fuck. I surprised that Vern hasn’t reviewed this one.

  169. I agree Continental… Liam Cunningham deserves an iconic role. Therefore I am extremely happy that he’s going to play Davos on Game Of Thrones, that should give him some more well deserved attention.

  170. ThomasCrown – it’s funny, it took me a while to realize you’re talking about Escape From Absolom, which is how it was released in The Netherlands (direct to video, by the way). I used to love that film, although I never understood why Liotta didn’t just take the position as second-in-command to Marek in the beginning. Seems like he would have had more fun there than with Lance Henriksen and his army of white-clad Christians.

    I agree that Liotta made a good action hero, he should have done more of that stuff.

  171. I donno why Campbell would make you feel optimistic. With the notable exception of Casino Royale, his films are always unappealing antiseptic. I mean, Edge of Darkness was the least gritty revenge film ever made. Beyond Boarders was a super clean looking film about African Genocide. Even his two westerns (Zorro and Zorro Too) were totally clean and gritless. His work always feels so stagy. I can never suspend my disbelief.

  172. Well Mike (Spoilers) apparently the world never got his side of the story about how his commanding officer, the one who he shot in the head, forced him to napalm an entire village full of civilians under the guise that it was a military establishment. This is one the plots holes i was referring to. I’m not sure how you go to trial and end up in prison without telling your side of the story. This wasn’t soviet russia. Also, if nobody listened to him before, why would they listen to him now? I also think that he was damaged goods by then and had no interest leading a bunch of people. Ernie Hudson was the better choice since he had a personal stake in the village and was more of a level headed leader.

    Tawdry, did you not like Goldeneye? It spawned the best 1st person shooter video game of all time, and was a damn good movie to boot.

  173. I haven’t seen Goldeneye since I was like 10, so I shall reserve judgment. However, the video game was, indeed awesome.

  174. “Tawdry, did you not like Goldeneye? It spawned the best 1st person shooter video game of all time”

    that’s a funny way to spell Half Life and/or Half Life 2

    seriously though, Goldeneye is quite shitty these days, it has not aged well at all, whereas both of the Half Lifes (especially the second for obvious reasons) are still a blast today

    and I would even go so far to say that Goldeneye was overrated when it was new too because Half Life came out only a year later

    ya wanna debate some video games? I can debate some video games, come at me bro, this ain’t my first time at the rodeo

  175. If i remember Griff, you’re a bit younger than I so that may have something to do with it. I’ve played Half Life 2 and really dug it. Lost many a sleepless night to that one. But Goldeneye holds the all time record for sleepless nights for me. Me and my buddies would stay up for like 2 days playing 4 way Golden Gun split screen death matches and I loved every minute of it. This is back when death matches were relatively new. Maybe its nostalgia getting the best of me but nothing will top that ever. I do remember wasting an entire summer with Final Fantasy VII though. This was back when you had to turn the PS1 upside down otherwise the laser wouldn’t read the cd because the laser pick up was a piece of shit.

  176. GOLDENEYE the movie still holds up for me as a solid action/thriller, even if the 90s politick hasn’t aged well (then again all “contemporary” spy thrillers never age well in that regard.) I give it points in that even if its not a “007 movie,” its still quite watchable. How many 007 pictures get a pass simply because of the connection?

    OR NOT?!?!?!?

  177. Neal – I also actually sorta liked “Red Riding Hood”, but I couldn’t fully get into it. It was just too angsty and twee for me. Also too “clean” – it looked like a movie-set, not a village. I certainly thought the criticism of it as a “whodunnit with no clues” was pretty harsh, if you buy into the idea that the wolf isn’t a feral beast but an intelligent being with heightened emotions. And – I cannot be the only one thinking this – what the FUCK was Gary Oldman doing in this movie? Not only “which of his loved ones did they have to threaten to get him in it” but also “how on earth did anybody come up with the idea of using him like that?”

    I just watched Harry Potter 7, Part 1. Which contained probably the single most affecting scene I’ve seen in a movie this year outside of “Kill List” (and that was affecting for entirely different reasons). Thinking about it… I’d probably put it in my top three films of the year. What the hell is going on?

    Griff – I never played Goldeneye. I freaking love Half Life 2 though. Although Half Life 2, Episode 2 ended on such a sour note. Seriously, that’s where they’re going to leave it? Dumbledore dies and the screen fades to black? Doesn’t look like Valve will ever release episode three, more’s the pity…

  178. ThomasCrown442 – all I’m saying is Goldeneye is very dated these days and I think you’d be hard pressed to say it’s better than Half Life 1, which came out around the same time, so calling it the number 1 FPS of all time is a dubious claim

    Zombie Paul – tell me about it, I hated the ending of Half Life 2, Episode 2 as well, I’m a huge fan of Valve, but that was just beyond cheap to kill off THAT character (one of my favorites) and have that be the very end and now over 4 years later were still waiting

    I have a feeling though that they’ve given up on the “episodes” and have been working on a full blown Half Life 3, how they’re going to pick up from the end of episode 2 is anybody’s guess though, they’ve kinda backed themselves into a corner

  179. Clint Eastwood family reality TV show.

    Most awkwardly awesomely stupid thing ever?

    (I could see that now: The misses and kids brownbeating the self-respect out of poor Clint and making him partake in that carnival of bullshit.)


  180. When my sister played GOLDENEYE, she enjoyed shooting the bystanders in their asses way too much.

  181. Thought Vern and fellow Seagalogists will find this interesting:


    “In 1988 the C-word meant: ‘Oh my God, you’re going to die. There is no hope.’ You learn who your friends are when you have cancer.” The friends who did come forward, [Pam Grier] says, weren’t the ones she was expecting. “Those that came to my bedside were Steven Seagal, Carl Gottlieb, my mentor, and the president of the Writers Guild and film director Tamar Hoff. They were truly amazing. But a lot of people couldn’t cope and just fell away.”

    It’s good to hear something good about Seagal by a badass peer.

  182. RRA – didn’t you get the memo, every fucking “famous family” has to have a reality show these days

    I actually regrettably tried watching the one about Gene Simmons’ and family once because I heard his son was into anime and manga (which as far as I saw was never mentioned on there) and good lord was it boring, I mean it was so obviously staged and just….dull, this is the genre that dominates our culture these days?

  183. Keeping it off topic: Wow, holy shit did I hate MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4. I’m still too drunk to really get into it but boy howdy are you guys gonna get an earful when this discussion becomes pertinent. I took notes.

  184. Really? I honestly thought that it was the best action film in recent memory. Fast Five was great too, but I liked this one better. Definitely one of the top 5 action films of the last 5 years.

  185. Damn i was looking forward to MI:4. Im hoping you were so drunk that it skewed you’re opinion. I hated Mi:3 but i loved Mi:2 and :1. Plus :4 has Sawyer from Lost in it. Say it aint so Joe!

  186. I recently wondered why Hollywood is still bothering with shooting and releasing movies in Imax. Is it really that profitable? Outside of the US most countries don’t even have that many Imax theatres (Germany has 5, one of them is in an amusement park) and not all of them even show the Hollywood stuff! (I think M:I 4 is only running in Berlin.) I always thought movies make these days most of their profit on the foreign market, but we aren’t even equipped for that. So I wonder why producers are still bothering with renting those huge and expensive cameras, that are seriously complicated to use.

  187. CJ: Unlike some of the movies being released in 3D, the ones in Imax are done as an artistic choice. Nolan started it shooting those scenes in Dark Knight, and if you watch it on the blu-ray you can see the original format and maybe imagine why it worked well projected from 70mm onto a gigantic screen. The same goes for Mission Impossible. If I remember right Bay shot some of one of the Transformerses in Imax – I didn’t see it that way so I can’t say if it worked or if he was just trying to prove that he was a big shot by doing what Nolan did. But I think it’s genuinely a director getting to use the tools he wants to and not the studio thinking it will make more money that way.

    Alot of movies have also been blown up to Imax, so they don’t fill the screen but it’s still a way bigger screen and better sound system than in any multiplex. (I’m talking about the film projector ones and not the new digital ones, which from what I understand are actually lower resolution than the state of the art digital projectors and not as big as real Imax screens). Alot of them do well in Imax so they keep doing it.

  188. I’ve always wanted to see a movie in Imax, there’s one in Jacksonville, about two hours away, but still, driving two hours just to see a movie? and Jacksonville traffic is insane, I’m talking nigh road warrior level

    I may finally splurge on it for the next Batman though

  189. There’s a theater here in Toronto that used to show IMAX-converted screenings of recent hits as a way to drum up a bit of extra business for films that were almost at the end of their theatrical run. I saw BRAVEHEART and the second LORD OF THE RINGS that way. There was probably a bigger crowd attending these screening than you’d find at a repertory theater screening of the same films; most of the audience seemed to be either gearheads of one sort or another or stoner dudes who you’d typically find at LAZER FLOYD at the Planetarium.

    Also, I saw the MATRIX REVOLUTIONS in IMAX and a buddy insists that is why I’m so easy on that film, even though, frankly, I have no memory of the picture or sound being any different that the standard screen I saw the MATRIX RELOADED on.

  190. Okay, I’m sober now. And with the clarity sobriety brings, I’m starting to think that a lot of my vehemence about the movie was alcohol-related. But I still don’t think it’s very good and I’m just going to run with my perhaps unwarranted hatred to get it out of my system.

    This was a totally anonymous movie that I found massively uninteresting. Its characters were nobodies who always had a fresh supply of shiny designer suits and vintage T-shirts even when they were living out of a van. Each was given lame busywork to justify their inclusion in the movie (what was the point of Paula Patton’s unbearably generic seduction scene? To get more codes? Because we hadn’t already seen five or six scenes where they have to get codes, right?) and the villain was basically a YouTube video. Was there even a performance there? Did he have any lines? I’ve never seen a villain with less presence (by which I don’t mean screen presence, I mean actually being present on screen) or motivation. I can put up with characterless characters (I managed it just fine in the other movies in the series) if the action is good, but unfortunately, with the exception of seven or eight visually arresting shots on the tower in Dubai, I thought the action was crap, just a bunch of shots of phones and shoulders, all smudgy movement with no impact, none of the smoothness and mise en scene I’d expect from an animator. The photography looked great until the second anything happened and then the whole movie seemed directed by second unit and edited by the same team of monkeys who’ve been doing every big movie lately. Having not seen IRON GIANT or COOKING RAT, Brad Bird’s supposed genius remains entirely anecdotal to me. Lacking the dependable story-breaking skills of the Pixar writers room, this movie reveals him to be a glorified storyboard artist clearly overwhelmed by a live production. If I were being unkind (which I certainly felt last night on the subway when I thought of this sentence) I’d say that the reception of this movie was just critical nepotism, mass psychosis from people who need to believe that anyone involved in Pixar can do no wrong. Having no soft spot for its maker, I see MI4 as one long yet rushed second act, with no setup to make you care and no payoff to make it worth it. It barely seemed to be happening at all, a wash of grayed-out light that never connected on any level, lacking even the genre’s exuberant excesses, that then had the nerve to end with an ejaculation of unearned sentimentality rented from the previous film in the series.

    Okay, rant over. I’m ready to hear why I’m wrong now, especially about the editing. It’s possible the booze dulled my senses enough that my eyes couldn’t properly follow it. Since I’m basically a single-issue voter when it comes to action movies and editing is my abortion, once I realized the action wasn’t going to satisfy I checked out pretty early and became actively hostile for the rest of the movie. So maybe I missed something.

  191. Mr M: I don’t know, man. It’s nothing personal, but I learned to never trust anybody’s opinion on a movie that he either saw drunk or in a midnight screening on a hard workday.

  192. That’s fair. This is one where I’d be happy to hear I was wrong.

  193. His motivation was *literally* just… “Hey guys, I read some Nietzsche last night, and that motherfucker is smart!” It’s like he was me at 15. I will admit that the villain is super weak, but everything else worked for me.

  194. Hey guys, I know it doesn’t really fit our modus operendi of badass studies, but ya’ll should really see Young Adult. It’s a beautiful, hysterical, haunting, funny, sad aching movie. I cannot stop thinking about it. It hurts so good. If Tree of Life weren’t a once in a generation kinda movie, YA would most certainly be my favorite of the year.

  195. So I just watched NO ESCAPE/ESCAPE FROM ABSOLOM, with I wanted to watch since I saw TV ads of it on TV when I was 12. It’s actually pretty entertaining and I can’t the fuck figure out how they did this shot of the guy, who got shot in the mouth with a burning arrow. He is not a puppet, it doesn’t seem like they shot it backwards (and if they did, he still had this burning arrow right in his face for several seconds) and it looks too real to be kinda low budget 1994 CGI.

  196. Yeesh… well, you all know how I feel about the “Mission: Impossible” series. I think the AICN guys and their ilk doomed it, quite frankly. It’s the one thing I blame them for. They looked at the first film and were all: “THIS IS INPENETRABLE! ALSO IT RIPS THE TV SERIES TO SHREDS!” which is exactly why I LOVE that film and why it’s probably one of my favorite blockbusters of all time. And also why I took the sequels (well, MI:3 in particular) so hard.

    Don’t get me wrong, MI:2 is a disaster. But it’s like the smiling slightly retarded second cousin you had when you were a kid. You know the little guy’s gonna spill his drink on the carpet, but he’s so endearingly happy about it when he does that it’s almost impossible to blame him for it. MI:3, on the other hand, is the vapid brainless superficial asshole who crashed your car while your girlfriend was giving him a blowjob. (Happily I am not talking from personal experience there.) On an objective level it’s not as bad as it could’ve been. I mean, the script and story is crap but the acting is largely good, P. S. Hoffman is fantastic in that opening scene, and Tom Cruise does his best to give a completely empty cypher of a character some actual personality. On a subjective level though… I fucking DESPISE that film. Really, really hate it. It does nothing original, it goes nowhere new, it adds nothing to the mythology of the world it inhabits, it’s a pure cash-in that has absolutely no fucking reason to exist, yet it still manages to piss all over what should’ve been one of the greatest film franchises ever made, at least on the strength of its opening installment.

    So, MI:4… should I put myself through this? Is it as completely hollow and worthless as MI:3 was? Majestyk says yes, Tawdry says no. I’m torn. People somehow liked “MI:3” as well, so it’s not as though the sequels don’t have their followers.

    Y’know, I’ve been working on a summary of the year in film, and I haven’t thought of a good “worst film of the year” yet. I really haven’t seen any absolute stinkers this year… even the obvious cash-in brigade (“Fast five”, “Scream 4”, “The Thing”) weren’t anything like as bad as they might have been. Heck, “Fast Five” was a genuine surprise – even with your recommendations I thought I’d probably hate it, so to watch it and end up thinking it’s the best of the series by far that I’ve seen… suffice to say I did NOT see that one coming. Last year, of course, “Buried” made the decision easy. So maybe I should go see “MI:4” just for that reason alone.

    Also Tawdry, I still have not seen “Tree of Life”. FUCK small cinema sizes. How the hell am I supposed to do a “best of” list when what seems like everyone else’s “best” is something they didn’t have enough space in the cinema for me to see?

  197. Tawdry – YA is limited release, so that basically means DTV to me, but I’ll certainly check it out when it does come out on blu ray

    thinking about that movie reminds me of Juno though, remember how fucking insane people went over that movie? even 4chan was obsessed with it for a while (before they inevitably turned on it and started to hate it, as they do every single movie ever made in the last 6 years), when I finally saw it, I certainly fell in the “overrated” camp, but thinking about it now makes me a but nostalgic for 2007

    Mr. Majestyk – I wish Brad Bird had got to make his 1906 San Francisco earthquake movie instead, maybe after MI:4 he will, so there’s that at least

    also about the Iron Giant, you should definitively see it, but keep in mind it’s one of those movies that’s best when it sneaks up on you, don’t let your expectations get too high

    just remember the context when it came out, it came from Fox animation studios who put out pretty much nothing but crap (with the exception of Iron Giant) before going kaput and it was some weird movie about a giant robot, I rented it as a kid more out of curiosity and much to my surprise it turned out to be way better than I expected and I had low expectations



    Ok, pretty thorough list of films RELEASED in the UK in 2011 that I have seen:

    Adjustment Bureau – great characters and romance, doesn’t stick the sci-fi but worth watching for the two leads and their chemistry.

    Attack the Block – Didn’t love it but really liked it. Great portrayal of South London “yoof”. For Urban horror it doesn’t beat the original “Candyman” but it’s still good.

    Bridesmaids – Couldn’t get through it, not because it’s bad, just because I’m not a fan of this style of comedy.

    Captain America – mediocre film, further ruined by obnoxious score.

    Contagion – typical Soderburgh; very well-made, left me cold.

    Drive – very good eighties-style thriller, excellently paced and acted.

    Fast Five – Watched it, enjoyed it, forgot it. Still the best “Fast / Furious” movie I’ve seen.

    Greatest Movie Ever Sold – not even close to being as good or interesting as “Supersize me”. A one-joke documentary where the joke got tired pretty quickly.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1 – I was freakin’ amazed at how good this was. If only they hadn’t tried to make a poignant drama out of the death of a completely forgettable character at the end…

    I am Number Four – pure cash-in but still very watchable. Olyphant is as good as ever with not much to do.

    The Ides of March – simply brilliant political thriller.

    Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – yeah, I threw this one in to see if you’d notice.

    Kill List – the ending bothered me after the film. Pretty much nothing bothered me during it. One of the most original and ambitious movies I’ve ever seen.

    Lincoln Lawyer – would’ve liked to have seen Philippe lose it. I didn’t like the scoring but otherwise I really enjoyed this one.

    Panic Button – a disappointment. This little horror movie was pretty over-hyped but didn’t work for me.

    Red Riding Hood – I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s certainly not as bad as it’s made out to be. An effective whodunnit, but the characters and setting are so obviously styalised, it’s difficult to care about what happens.

    Scream 4 – better than #3. I would’ve liked more clues to the killer/s and the structure is clearly flawed, but I give it points for trying to do something a little different.

    Source Code – didn’t work for me. I started off liking it and then it got worse and worse as the movie went on.

    Sucker Punch – has easily the best soundtrack of the year. The movie itself made me feel like I needed to take a shower, and not in a good way.

    The Thing – misses what made the original great, but it still holds up for me as tense and watchable. Major flaws and a definite cash-in, but not by any means a terrible film.

    Third Star – I loved this one, more than the critics did. In turns poignant and funny, I thought it was fantastic. Maybe the critics are more used to seeing these kinds of characters and films than I am, and are therefore more immune to its charms.

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – slow, frustratingly so at parts, with a whodunnit that you’ll either guess right at the start or never get until the mole is revealed. Brilliantly acted and with some great moments, but it didn’t quite work as a whole for me.

    Wrong Turn 4 – on a par with WT3, not as good as WT2. Erm… if this is the kind of thing you like, you’ll like this kind of thing.

    X-Men First Class – great up until the finale, missed sticking the landing. Almost identical to the original “X-Men” film in that sense. Still really enjoyed it though.


    Ok then, some more thoughts.

    WORST FILM OF 2011 (SO FAR): and straight away I run into a problem. I mean, what the fuck am I supposed to do here? NONE of those films that I just named came anywhere near the level of sheer misery that the truly awful “Buried” put me through last year. Do I declare “Captain America”, “Red Riding Hood”, “Source Code” or “Panic Button” worst film by default? I didn’t really enjoy any of them, but I didn’t think they were terrible either…

    So I’m gonna skip that one and go with:


    BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2011 (SO FAR): The entire whodunnit and claustro-horror sub-genres.

    Ok, so there are three whodunnits on my list there. Two of them (Scream, Tinker Tailer…) have zero clues to the identity of the people wot dunnit. You’ll either guess it straight off or you’ll spend the film frustrated because there aren’t any clues to pick up on. The third (Red Riding Hood) kinda works as a whodunnit, but the characters involved are so paper-thin that there’s no motivation to try and work it out. I really, really like whodunnits in film. Didn’t get a decent one this year.

    As for the claustrophobic horror thing, I don’t think I’ve seen a “straight” enclosed-space horror movie since “Buried” last year. (Yeah, it’s put me off.) It’s noticeable though, that of the movies on this list with claustrophobic horror elements in them – “Source Code”, “The Thing”, “Panic Button” – the horror aspects are either the weakest parts of the movies, or they’re dwarfed by other movies where the focus is less on claustrophobia and more on other aspects of horror (“Attack the Block”, “Kill List”, even “Adjustment Bureau”).


    MOVIE BAD-GUY OF THE YEAR: My local arts cinema. For putting A Terence Malick film, starring Brad Pitt, on the smaller screen, thereby ensuring that I wouldn’t have a chance to see it for the rest of the year. What the FUCK?


    UNEXPECTEDLY GREAT FILM OF 2011 (or at least the very end of 2010): “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One.” Yeah, I have no idea how a fucking “Harry Potter” film ended up on this list here either, but there you go. There’s a scene near the middle of the film that made my jaw drop at how beautiful it was. Now feel free to never take me seriously again…

    HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO: “Drive”. I can’t in good conscience say that it’s one of the best films of the year, because it isn’t – quite. But fuck it, Ryan Gosling has proved himself to be The Man, with both this and “Ides of March” ranking very high on my list of films of the year. Wonder if he has the same agent as Ellen Page?

    THIRD-BEST FILM OF 2011: “Third Star”. Just a great bit of filmmaking with a poignant ending. Didn’t have a clue how good this would be when I went into it, much like my “film of the year”.

    SECOND-BEST FILM OF 2011: “The Ides of March”. I cannot say enough good things about this film, I was still discussing it days after I’d seen it. Best political thriller I’ve seen in years.

    BEST FILM OF 2011 / BADASS FILM OF 2011: “Kill List”. Obviously. I can’t in good conscience say it’s objectively a “better” film than my runner-up, because the last fifth or so of it is a mess. But it’s the film I enjoyed more than any other this year, and it’s my fucking list. I have never seen an audience react to a film as they did to this one.

  199. TL:DR version:

    – Best films, for me, were “Kill List”, “Ides of March”, and “Third Star”. I’d give honorable mentions to “Drive” and “Harry Potter 7-1”.

    – None of the films I saw from 2011 were bad enough to warrant a “worst of” award.

    – I didn’t get to see “Tree of Life” unfortunately. I was disappointed by the quality of claustrophobic horror and whodunnit cinema in general this year.

    And that’s about it.

  200. I saw The Iron Giant at a test screening as a child. It was, literally, a life changing moment. It was the first time I ever cried during a movie. The Giant’s last line still gets to me, even thinking about it now. I didn’t realize that movies could be *sad* like that. And while Frankenstein was the first film to ever really move me, The Iron Giant really sealed the deal. I knew literally NOTHING about it going in and it wrecked me. It was a WB film, not a Fox film, by the by.

    Also, the earthquake of 1909, not 1906…for whatever that’s worth.

    Juno is a superb film. I don’t get the backlash, though I feel like it has something to do with the strong female protagonist who doesn’t learn, “All I need is a man” at the end.

    Young Adult is a much better film than Juno. The stylized dialogue is toned down. It’s basically a Woody Allen film with a vagina. I donno if you realize this, but Allen almost always casts himself as a bastard. Theron plays a character in the vein of Deconstructing Harry. I think the movie is doomed commercially because it’s that type of story from a female perspective. People are okay with men acting that way, but not women. Also, Theron plays a very unpleasant person who doesn’t really learn her lesson. That’s gonna confuse folks.

    I think Young Adult might be playing in your area though. It’s on over 900 screens this weekend. I hardly count that as limited release. The studio should have rolled it out more slowly, however. It’s a very niche movie. It’s doing poorly on 900 screens, so unless it gets some serious Oscar love (which it deserves) it won’t get wider than it is right now.

    I can’t say whether anyone else will like M:I:GP… I love all 4 M:I films. Part one is smart and complex. II is fun action porn. III is clever and colorful with a great villain. IV is the best of the bunch, even if it is the worst titled movie in recent memory. (Is it Mission…Impossible Ghost Protocol? Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol? Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol? Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol? It’s Rambo III without a Rambo I or II all over again.)

    Honestly, M:I might be my favorite action franchise. I consider each film to basically be a reboot. It’s like a franchise of variations on a theme with each film playing out within a different subgenre. I saw M:I III twice in theaters, take from that what you will.

  201. Tawdry – well, we can agree on P S Hoffman. As for the rest, I’ve said my piece; besides I’ve already “gone off” on one person for defending MI:3, so I’ll avoid that today!

    Mission: Impossible (the first one) is right up there with my all-time favorite films, so I somehow doubt I’ll prefer MI:4. Haven’t decided whether to see it or not, it depends whether I want to torture myself yet again…

  202. Top films of 2011 (from what I’ve seen)

    Okay, so the first few are ordered here…and then it just kinda turns into a list of all the movies I saw this year that were worth a damn, in my opinion. Same with the worst list. Mostly just a list of movies that I *hated* in no particular order, after the first few.

    1. Tree of Life – simply a masterpiece.
    2. Young Adult – haunting and aching and truthful and funny.
    3. Drive – great action and cinematography and the best on screen kiss in recent memory.
    4: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Perfect popcorn entertainment.
    5: Fast Five – perfect popcorn entertainment.
    6: Source Code – surprisingly complex sci-fi with lots of twists and something to talk.
    7: Bridesmaids – great characters. Great laughs. Actually depth of thought and emotion.
    8: Rango – mind-boggling animation in service of a great, existential plot line.
    9: Final Destination 5 – best time I had in a movie theater since Crank: High Voltage.
    10: Meloncholia – not enjoyable at all. But brilliant.
    11. Ides of March – Complex, interesting, great acting. Stageplay like ambiguity.
    12. Planet of the Apes: Rise of the Apes – Characters and drama as good as the action.
    13. The Devil’s Double – Interesting mainly for symptomatic meaning.
    14. Friends with Benefits – Funny and cute. I saw it for free, but it was worth 10 bucks.
    15. Winnie the Pooh – a very sweet children’s film with nice animation and visual tricks.
    16. Attack the Block – great entertainment with star making acting turns a cool aliens.
    17. The Adjustment Bureau – a great romance film with a decent scifi hook.
    18. Sanctum – I’m the only one who liked this one. But I really appreciated the slow burn.
    19: Thor – funny and cool and well shot. Could have used a better villain.

    Worst movies

    1. Sucker Punch – fuck you, Zack Snyder.
    2. Green Lantern – Worst point of entry possible.
    3. ScreFOURm – Simply insulting. Of course, it’s the 3rd terrible sequel in a row so…
    4. Transformers 3 – better than part two. But that’s like breast cancer is better than pancreatic.
    5. Conan – dumb. dumb. dumb. terrible action. worse acting. Non-exisant plot.
    6. Green Lantern – it was that bad.
    7. Immortals – literally incoherent.
    8. Abduction – incoherent, with a truly awful central performance.
    9. Hangover 2 – only one good scene. It’s like the lackluster remake I’d expect in 10 years.
    10. Pirates 4 – boring and perfunctory.
    11. Hobo with a Shotgun – depressingly nihilistic.
    12. Insidious – boring. But a decent act 3. Looked cheap.
    13. Super – obnoxious, with moments of brilliance that make the bad parts worse. Made me hate Ellen Page…which is hard for me.
    14. Paul – major misfire from filmmakers I love.
    15. Drive Angry 3D – Not an action movie. Just a movie where people shoot each other.
    16. Burning Palms – some good bits, outweighed by the need to be ‘edgy.’ Rapetastic.

  203. Tawdry: What makes MI4 your favorite one? I’d like to hear from the other side so I can find out if I’m just crazy. I’m sure it doesn’t deserve my hatred, which seems to stem from the fact that I haven’t seen a decent action movie in ages and everything I’d heard about this one praised its action sequences, but then I get there, jonesing for a fix, and I get the same old quick-cut, too-close, never-see-a-blow-thrown-and-landed-in-the-same-shot bullshit that’s been ruining every movie for the last 10 years. While the action is probably better than in MI3, that one had a great villain and a compelling emotional hook. This one was just a bunch of boring strategy meetings and lame setpieces (magnet suit? Really? Wouldn’t it have made sense that since they’ve been disavowed they had to make do with less gadgetry, not even more than they’ve ever had before?) starring nobody I gave a shit about (except for Simon Pegg, largely wasted), so there was nothing to compensate for the unsatisfying action. In retrospect, the movie is probably perfectly serviceable and I just overreacted. But that doesn’t give me my $20 (that’s how much a single Imax ticket costs in New York) and my Friday night back. I could have stayed at the bar and gotten four more drinks for the price of that ticket. The bartender’s dress was providing far more spectacle for my dollar.

  204. Tawdry – damn, I got my facts wrong, I could have swore Iron Giant was Fox, not WB and that earthquake was 1909? guess I need to wikipedia before I post

    and my dislike of Juno had nothing to do with the “strong female main character”, I just thought it was strange how the movie starts almost like a parody of indie flicks and then halfway through even the filmmakers themselves apparently got sick of that and it switches to a more average drama

    overall I just found it kind of dull, maybe I am sexist though because it could have something to do with the fact that I couldn’t really relate to the story of a pregnant teenage girl seeing as how I am not female

    JK Simmons was cool though

  205. anyway have you guys heard about the National Defense Authorization Act and the SOPA?

    sometimes I can’t help but wonder if the conspiracy theorists are right, or at least right to a degree, I don’t know about Lady Gaga being an MK Ultra mind controlled slave, but it does seem like we’re steadily heading towards a police state, even under Obama and ten years after 9/11

    I mean, what’s the deal? sometimes I really do wish I could move to another country

  206. Actually, the entire sequence at the Indian guy’s party was probably the film’s low point and should have been cut. The whole series of interconnected set pieces seemed to exist solely for the purpose of setting Cruise up for a mano-e-mano showdown with the villain. Renner/Pegg’s gag was dumb, though the final payoff with the fan and the explosion was well handled. Patton’s seduction undercut other forward thinking elements in the story and I’m not even sure why Cruise had to be there. Plus, the scene felt very reminiscent of a better scene in M:I III.

    And come to think of it, why couldn’t they have just gone directly to the final location? Patton, Pegg and Renner all had things to do there too…I think the stakes would have been better raised if Pegg, Renner and Patton all got arrested and Cruise was left to fend for himself with no tech and no backup. You could even reuse the tracking device gimmick from the sandstorm chase. On the other hand, I really liked the, “Oh shit” moment that occurs halfway through that scene when it looks like they’ve actually failed at their mission. (Don’t wanna spoil it).

    The final thing that bugged me was, why couldn’t Cruise, the superspy, beat up the 60-year old villain who was not previously established as a fighting expert? The fight itself is excellent, multifaceted and effective, but the premise that Cruise is evenly matched with the villain is absurd.

    Yeah, the team should have been captured and Cruise should have narrowly escaped with massive injuries. Then, you could intercut Cruise hunting down the villain with the tracking device and the rest of the team trying to break out of custody so that they can intercept the Russian officer (why did he have any authority in a foreign nation?) since, as it stands, he’s set up as an antagonist, but then never has as single action beat. He’s *always* just too late.

    Now you got me thinking and realizing some major plot issues. But none of these things (save the seduction thing) bothered me for a full 24 hours after seeing the film, which is a very good sign. Normally I get really annoyed by logic jumps and pointless plot convolutions. It’s really a testament to how much about M:I:GP works that none of these things *really* bothered me.

  207. Griff:

    I didn’t mean that *you* didn’t like Juno because of the non-traditional gender roles. I meant that a great many of the detractors seem to focus their bile on Diablo Cody, employing grotesquely sexist personal attacks in a way that I rarely see in movies written by men or about men. 4Chan especially. That place is deeply problematic to me.

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Juno. It’s a very twee and self-satisfied film that features a pretty awful first 10 minutes and a type of stylization that I could fairly be criticized as self-indulgent. It’s just that most of the loud criticism I saw was clearly gender-based.

    Think of it this way: There are tons of great arguments to be made against a great many George Clooney movies. However, an inordinant number of them seem to be about the man’s personal politics and not the films themselves. I donno how anyone could watch Ides of March and think it was a pro-DNC puff piece. EVERY character is a Liberal and *all* of them are scumbags.

    As for SOPA. I promised that if Obama signed that I would not vote for him in 2012. And I’m not going to. Killing Osama, getting out of Iraq, pushing through health care reform, none of that matters anymore. Fuck Obama. I have half a mind to not only not vote for him, I want to vote *against* him. And everyone who voted yes on SOPA. I will vote for any viable candidate I can *against* anyone who voted yes on SOPA…maybe the Tea Party wasn’t totally wrong…

  208. For the record though, Griff was right about 1906.


    Tawdry, you incorrected him.

  209. Serves me right for assuming I remembered something from history class…

    You know what they say about assuming…makes me look like a dumbass.

  210. You know it hasn’t been voted on yet, right? I mean I agree with your anger, it’s fucking ridiculous what these idiots are on the verge of doing, but you make it sound like it passed and Obama signed it into law. As far as I can see he hasn’t commented on it, and he supposedly supports net neutrality, so there is reason to hope he could veto it if it came to that. Or that it won’t come to that, since they got scared enough to delay the vote. I think some of them are starting to see that they can’t just slide this in without anybody noticing it, and that it could affect their election chances.

    If it does pass though, I don’t know what the fuck we would do. Why would you break the internet?

  211. It’s gonna pass and Obama said he would approve it because they changed the wording without changing the meaning.

    Oh wait…I’m sorry. I thought we were talking about the indefinite detention thing. Second time in a row I should have used google before commenting.


    I’m going to stop posting while writing screenplays now…

  212. “4Chan especially. That place is deeply problematic to me.”

    ha, tell me about it….

    anyway those two bills are really freaking me out, the first (to the best of my knowledge) basically allows the police to do whatever they want under the guise of stopping terrorism and the second wants to basically ruin the internet under the guise of protecting copyright

    Jesus Christ, I really fucking hate the modern day sometimes, like I just completely fucking loathe it, it’s like shit stacked on top of shit, it’s not enough that our culture is so bad (Jersey Shore, Twilight etc), but now politics is getting worse and worse

    I try not to be cynical, but reality is not helping, it seems like you’d have to be almost lobotomized to not be, which a lot of population seems to be

    I really sometimes wish I lived in the past, maybe the 80’s or the 90’s or the 40’s, I don’t know, just not the 10s anymore

  213. Jesus, Paul, you take these Listmas Season celebrations seriously.

    BIUTIFUL, THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA and INCENDIES are the only 2011 films I saw this year that I’d consider worth distinguishing from the rest. Even these films I have very little to say about. And I had to drag BIUTIFUL in from 2010 just to dignify this lousy year.

    Also, Griff, I grew up in the ’80s and I can tell you that it wasn’t a picnic; the crap that decade outweighed the good stuff. Paul’s the guy you want to enlist if you need an exhaustive list.

  214. Good morning. It’s Sunday and I’m awake since 6:30. I already hate this day.

    Anyway, I tried to compile a Best Movies Of 2011 list by myself a while ago, but thanks to my habit of watching more “old” than new movies (Face it: The new releases will be available for a while, so what keeps me away from catching up with all the shit that came before?), it would be a very incomplete list.
    I would say that the two 2011 releases, that I liked the most were:

    1.) SUPER, which surprised the hell out of me. First by how bleak the movie was, then by how great it was. The last five minutes alone will keep this one in my alltime top 10 list.

    2.) TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL, which had all signs pointed to suck (a smartass horror parody with geek friendly casting and a trailer, that seemed to give away all jokes), but turned out to be way more clever, funny and entertaining, than 99% of all overhyped horror movies of the last decade.

    That’s it. I watched 167 movies so far this year, I try to reach at least 175 till 2012, maybe I catch up with some 2011 releases till then, but I wouldn’t hold my breath that it will be enough to compile a real list.

  215. Tawdry – oh, I should’ve figured out that was what you were talking about. Yeah, considerably worse than the terrible one I thought you were talking about. I feel like the people that vote yes on that don’t believe in what America was founded on. Which would be fine if they weren’t American senators and congress people. It’s like a vegan becoming a butcher and then refusing to work with meat, or a butcher working at a vegan cafe and putting bacon in everything. If you believe in indefinite detention of American citizens without charges then obviously you’re the wrong person for your job and need to quit immediately and apologize for wasting our fucking time.

  216. I can’t help but wonder, if that bill passes, then what’s next?

    I guess the next logical step would be to ban guns and try to take everyone’s guns away, that’d really stir some shit up

  217. Did anyone catch THE KILLER ELITE

  218. ….this year? ( stupid internet..posting my post before I´m finished typing…)

  219. You guys whose blurays look like Dr. Who need to stop being cheapasses and get a tv with 24fps capable playback. And using the “vivid” video settings? Christ I know economic times are tough and all but I thought we all enjoyed the films of cinema here, yet here you guys are BUTCHERING the cinematic language.

  220. Griff – moving to another country won’t help. At least if it’s mine. Trust me, I feel what you’re going through here.

    Ah hell, I never really used my freedom of speech anyway. Who’s gonna object to a few movie and game reviews? It’s not like I’m gonna be thrown in jail for them… **puts on earmuffs and waits for the thought police to bust down his door…**

  221. Also Tawdry, we obviously disagree about a lot of things on our respective lists (you put “Source Code” above “Ides of March”? To me that was easily the best mainstream film of everything I saw in the cinema this year!) but it’s nice to see some “Crank: High Voltage” love out there. It took everything that worked from the original “Crank” and cranked it up to eleven. Electrifying!

  222. Undead Paul:

    That list stops being “ordered” after like the first 4. It just becomes a list and it would have been weird to stop putting numbers. Most of it is in reverse chronological order.

  223. CJ – wait, you counted?!

    I’ve watched loads of movies this year, but only seen the ones I’ve listed above in the cinema (actually not all of those… I got a few of the early ones via DVD or download once they were released over here.)

  224. Jareth – I also grew up in the eighties. Three things most wrong with it: the fashions, the pop music, and Maggie Thatcher. But don’t we have equivalents of those in every decade anyhow?

  225. Yeah, I started to do a movie journal last year. ( Nobody cares, but here it is: http://in-my-head.org/my-movie-journal-3/ )

  226. I think we discussed the logical fallacy of the idealized bucolic past in the good ol’ days of Potpourri 4. If only we could go back there…Man, things were better then.

  227. To go back to a conversation I never read from earlier in this Potpourri edition (btw, thanks Vern for forcing me to learn how to spell Potpourri off the top of my head. When aliens abduct me and force me into an intergalactic spelling bee to determine the fate of our species, I’m sure it will come in handy) what is the difference between geek and nerd?

    I’d wager that a “Nerd” is someone who is an overachiever in an established academic field like math, science ect You know, the guy who got beaten up in high school who’s going to go on to rule the world.

    Whereas, a “Geek” is the same kind of overachiever in something that society doesn’t value, like playing Donkey Kong really well.

    I donno where I stand, because I’m totally gay for film theory and obscure philosophy texts, neither of which are socially respected, but both of which are academic. I guess I’m a Gerd on a Neek. Or maybe I’m a Gerk or just Needy.

  228. Personally for me, “geek” is less derogatory than “nerd”, and you’re definition would be technically accurate, though the words are fairly interchangeable.

  229. I also heard that “geek” and “nerd” are the same thing, only “geek” is the nice word and “nerd” is the insulting version.

    On an entirely unrelated note, the US release of THE RAID appears to have a date – March.

    So now we must ask…who has the better sheepskin coat? Van Damme or Hardy?

  231. No, no, no. I’m not taking the bait this time. I hated BEGINS but then TDK looked awesome so I saw it. And I hated it. And I swear that I’m done. But then I see this trailer and that plane heist looks AMAZING, like a huge Renny Harlin stunt from the CLIFFHANGER era. It’s exactly what I went to MI4 looking for and didn’t get. It would probably be the badassest scene ever… but then right in the middle of it there’s a retard in a stupid matte black costume talking in the dumbest voice ever, and I remember that no matter what, Nolan’s not gonna let me like this one. It’s like he’s doing it on purpose just to fuck with me.

    Well, the cycle ends here. I am going to do the mature thing and not partake of a thing that I know will cause me displeasure. I’m not gonna let Nolan goad me into a fight. That’s the old me.

  232. And for the record, Van Damme looks better in the coat.

  233. It looks exactly like you expect a Nolan Batman movie to look like, which means that since I was seriously lukewarm on BEGINS and didn’t like TDK at all, I will pass.
    What SERIOUSLY made me groan though, was the use of “A storm is coming”, one of the most overused cliche lines in movie history and the football scene, but only for the part where the guy doesn’t notice what’s going on behind him until he turns around. That was too much of a Michael Bay joke for me.

  234. I just got back from seeing SHAME. Awesome movie. With this one and HUNGER Steve McQueen has definitely proven himself worthy of his name. As you probably already know Michael’s fassbender is the star of the film but Carey’s mulligan is also great in a brief, but memorable appearance. Everyone brought their ‘A’ game for this one. Though I’m starting to think that these guys don’t have ‘B’ and ‘C’ games. Maybe they grew up poor and could only ever afford an ‘A’ game so they just learned to do without any other games.

  235. I think that any film that using the word “rising” in the title is contractually obliged to use at least one of the following phrases:

    – This ends tonight
    – You have already done enough
    – A storm is coming
    – I didn’t start this, but I will finish it
    – Who’s in charge here?
    – Looks like we’ve got company
    – You complete me

  236. Count me among those underwhelmed by the TDKR trailer (yes, this is a sad state of affairs where we’re whining about TRAILERS). I agree that the trailer’s moneyshot of the collapsing football field looks exactly like a Michael Bay scene (this seems like something that would have happened during Armageddon, specifically), and semi-comical destruction like that seems ridiculously out of place in Nolan’s Batverse. Actually, wait, TDK had those kids pretending to shoot the cars with their fingers and then Batman blows the car up for real, so nevermind. I do think it’s kind of cool that most of the action seems to be taking place in broad daylight as opposed to night (like every other Batman film ever) and it’s certainly intriguing that Catwoman appears to be part of OWS. (There’s no way that line and it’s prominence in the trailer is unintended).

    By the way, saw the trailer before MI4 – it’s slightly overrated (what universally praised movie isn’t?) and I actually liked the MI3 story better, but this has easily bigger and better action sequences and yes, the skyscraper scene needs to be seen in IMAX.

  237. Man, I don’t remember there being a football stadium at all. I just remember the plane heist scene and then a very short montage of clips of blue-tinted people in terrible costumes. Did I see a different trailer than everybody else or was I even drunker than I thought?

  238. I guess you saw that prologue, while we are talking about the new trailer.

  239. Thank God. Nobody wants to find out they have a drinking problem this close to the holidays.

  240. Isn’t that what christmas is all about?

  241. I just saw THE THIRD MAN for the first time. A good movie, but I downright hated the music, It was one of the most disctracting, completely misplaced scores that I have ever heard. Seriously, you have this actually seriously good film noir, but even the suspense scenes are scored with an annoying comedy score (which was obviously made to make it sound “typically Austrian”). It almost ruined the whole movie for me.

  242. You’re a loose cannon, Majestyk. You’re off the case. Turn in your badge and gun.

  243. You hated that score?? Man, I thought it was great, considering at that time scores tended to be big and bombastic this really played up the dark humour of it. Did you not find a large part of the film (very blackly) funny? The main character is such a seedy chancer, and the smartest, most charismatic person in the whole thing was the villain.

  244. I get results! Not that a desk jockey like you would know what those are, Chief Cutestory!

  245. I agree with the Op. I think the score takes its cues from Orson Welles’ character, who sees the whole thing as a lark. The great zither theme is what makes you notice the dark humor of a bunch of dudes using the worst war in the history of the world as an excuse to make money.

  246. You’re outta line, Majestyk!

    Also, you’re right on about THE THIRD MAN. The zither in particular is strangely compelling. And no one says “cuckoo clocks” with the same grim wit as Welles did.

    But you’re still outta line!

  247. Sure, the film had some dark humor (The parrot bite, the kid who led a lynch mob…), but nothing that justifies such a misuse of music.
    I get that it was pretty mindblowing back in 1949, but if you ask me, the two only moments when the music was really fitting, was in the beginning (to establish its Austria setting) and the scene with the cat. It was like someone took a random recording of zither music and played it over the movie.

  248. I’m gonna solve this case MY way, chief! And no pencil pusher is gonna stop me!

    Also, did you guys notice that they play a few bars of the THIRD MAN theme at the beginning of XXX? And thus did Rob Cohen’s reputation as a cinephile begin and end.

  249. CJ: It might be a question of time. Reed was actually determined to NOT have a heavily-orchastrated score, which he considered too schmalzy. The score you hear represents 1949’s version of stripped down, like how THE DARK KNIGHT sounds to us.

    If I remember correctly, Reed overheard the zither player in a bar and was taken by the music, which he considered rather melancholy. Melancholy meant something different back then too. That was before Leonard Cohen, after all.

    The score I think you want to hear accompany THE THIRD MAN, based on the objections you list, is the score to Soderbergh’s KAFKA, which is similar but less rooted to a specific time.

  250. A modern score that surprised me in a very similar way is “Sherlock Holmes”. Considering Hans Zimmer is the most aped modern composer since Williams this was really fresh and exciting and the first time in a long, long time in my cinema going experience that a score for a tentpole movie really stood out. I think he said Ritchie wanted a cross between “The Pogues” and gypsy music. And any big budget action movie that finds room for The Dubliners is alright by me.

  251. Also, I got the mayor chewing my ass, and a squad full of hotshots like Majestyk here who think they are above the system. I don’t need this so close to my retirement!

  252. If you can’t stand the heat, chief, get out of MY FACE.

  253. Jam – Are you Jamie Hannigan??

  254. Technically I don’t have a problem with scoring a full movie with only a zither, but the problem was HOW it was played. You can actually play some seriously suspenseful and atmospheric tunes on that instrument, but doesn’t matter what happened on screen, it was always played like the music for a comedy (or an IT’S A SMALL WORLD-esque stereotype-depiction of Austria).

  255. I liked the DKR trailer myself. I’ll admit there’s cliched stuff but one thing I think the trailer(though really all of the build up in general so far) did well for me is create a feeling of dread and uncertainty about what’s going to happen, just based on the constant stressing of this being a definite end of the story, who the villain is and what Nolan’s done before in the Batman (and other) movies. Compared to the first full trailer for the DARK KNIGHT, which got me pumped, but I wasn’t particularly worried, despite knowing it would be a darker movie.

    Back briefly to the “Nerd” topic- Cracked (we’re at least in an armistice with them now since Vern got paid, right?) has this new article about the meaning (or lack thereof) of the word that expresses a lot of what I’ve tried to, but in a less emotional way and also looks at the whole thing of people self-describing themselves as such that some of you took issue with:

  256. so guys speaking of trailers, here’s the one for Red Letter Media’s new Plinkett review http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZJ50qsDTkaY

    turns out it’s going to be Kingdom of The Crystal Skulls and here’s I was hoping the nerds would re-evaluate that one one day, oh well, I’m sure it’ll be hilarious

  257. Kingdom of the Crystal skull was a pretty good movie in some parts, I can even get behind the fridge sequence (it’s a great saturday afternoon series moment) but too much of the action felt stilted. I didn’t believe a MOMENT of the jungle chase.

  258. I’ve just always thought it got an unfair treatment, I knew the fanboys would hate it, because of the George Lucas connection, it was never gonna get a fair shake no matter what

  259. Griff- There’s always a chance the review won’t be shitting on the movie. Regardless of the presentation, Plinkett reviews aren’t just petty fanboy bitchfests. He usually addresses lots of different aspects from script(it never occured to me until the Phantom Menace review that the movie doesn’t really have any clear main character) to the actual cinematography(most notably in the REVENGE OF THE SITH review where he compares how repetitive and basic the camera set ups were to how different CITIZEN CAIN was). He reviewed the Abrams Star Trek fairly favourably, albeit as a “guilty pleasure”, and I think the biggest problem with STAR TREK FIRST CONTACT he had was basically Picard’s character making no sense from his established version. So maybe he’ll address the fact that some of the complaints against CRYSTAL SKULL are just petty shit like the fridge escape and the 5 second CGI Prairie Dog(which the How It Should Have Ended guys depict like it’s the fucking Jar Jar Binks of the movie). James Rolfe of Cinemassacre/Angry Video Game Nerd fame included the movie on a list of “sequel’s not as bad as people say they are” along with Ghostbusters II, which is another one I’ve never gotten the supreme disdain for. I’ve also watched some of Redlettermedia’s other show “Half In The Bag” which is often a double bill review with two of the studio’s guys basically as themselves talking about it, and they did an extended review looking at JACK AND JILL, and predictably they thought it was bad, but they went more into breaking down how they see it as the most crass cynical scam by Sandler to just make a cheapass movie, and make more just off of the budget they saved and from the product placement in it.

  260. Stu – weirdly, I quite like “Ghostbusters 2”. Although it isn’t a patch on the original in terms of either scares or character humour.

    As for “Crystal Skull”, I thought it worked when it wasn’t a chase movie. Unfortunately, 90% of it was a chase movie. The most effective scene by far featured two aging university professors in a quiet discussion about history and the world around them. That, for want of a better word, worked.

    “Sequels that aren’t as bad as people say?” I could go with that, except that a lot of the criticisms of “Crystal Skull” seem to be pretty valid. It’s still not half the abomination some people say though.

  261. FUCK ME, there’s a banner ad for “Kill List” on AICN. Is this some kind of bizarre targeted marketing (and if so, what kind of web spiders are working on this damn site, considering I’ve not mentioned it anywhere else, at least on the Internet, nor have I searched for articles about it, etc?) I feel seriously paranoid right now.

    Incidentally, buy “Kill List”. Do it. DOOO ITTTTTT.

  262. Whenever someone is bitching about CRYSTAL SKULL, I usually just link to Vern’s review.

  263. I’m not invested in STAR WARS at all, and I deeply dislike the first two INDIANA JONES sequels (I didn’t bother with the third sequel, just like I didn’t bother with the new STAR WARes); they’re objectionable for any number of reasons independant of the misplaced hopes of the fanbase.

    I think sometimes all the Lucas-hate serves to distract from the fact that Spielberg is an incredibly flawed director.

  264. Caught SHERLOCK HOLMES: GAME OF SHADOWS last night.

    It was fine, OK, easy to watch, etc. There were some well enough done fight scenes, at least when Ritchie keeps the camera still.

    He veers from ultra slo-mo to beyond hyperactive, but there are some legitimately “badass” moments in there.

    But what I really wanted to mention was the two trailers that accompanied it.

    The first was something called JOURNEY 2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. This appears to star Michael Caine as Irrascible Grandpa ™, The Rock (he just can’t stay away from these family friendly films, can he?) and some kid who appeared to be Elijah Wood, only looked at thru about six layers of soft focus.

    This trailer annoyed me. They’ve actually written “Two” as “2”. It looked like a poor mash up of Honey I Shrunk The Kids and the old Land That Time Forgot films. The Rock looked bored. Everyone looked bored. It seemed like a parody, in a strange way. Oh, and Luis Guzman is in there as Fatty Fall Over.

    Then we got BATTLESHIP. But before that we got an introduction from its director, Peter Berg (looking really haggard) who has clearly never heard of the Odeon cinema chain.

    It went like this:

    “Hey, look out for Battleship, coming soon to (squints as he reads) Ohhhhh…Deon cinemas?”, like it’s a question written on a card held up for him by his captors.

    This is actually heralded as “From Hasbro, the toy company that brought you TRANSFORMERS”, or something like that. That pissed me off right there.

    Then the trailer kicks in and it turns into what is clearly TRANSFORMERS 4 –it even makes that duh-duuunnnn sound constantly.

    I dunno, I’m normally very patient with these kinds of films. I get it, they’re popular. They’ll make tons of cash. Good on them. But back to back these trailers really wound me up and showed me just how fucking lame Hollywood can be.

    Sorry, guys. I’m not normally this grouchy.

  265. “Caught SHERLOCK HOLMES: GAME OF SHADOWS last night.

    It was fine, OK, easy to watch, etc. There were some well enough done fight scenes, at least when Ritchie keeps the camera still.

    He veers from ultra slo-mo to beyond hyperactive, but there are some legitimately “badass” moments in there.”
    Yeah, I found it entertaining enough as a fan of the first one, though they do overuse Holmes “planning the fight out in his head before he does it” thing, although it’s employed really well at the end and the second time he does it, it sets up a funny moment. Loved having Stephen Fry as Mycroft, and Jared Harris was a great Moriarty. I think the action sequences suffer by being set at night a lot, making some of it hard to make out(the one in the forest the most), and I expected Watson to get a fight of his own at the end, but oddly he doesn’t. Maybe next time.

  266. I also watched SHERLOCK HOLMES last night with a few friendsand I have to say,without giving TOO much away, the final confrontation with Holmes and Moriarty is worth the ticket price alone. It´s probably the goofiest showdown I´ve ever seen. But it´s fuckin´ awesome.Two brilliant minds collide!

  267. I grew up on Sherlock Holmes. I’m not putting myself through this shit. I’ve seen way too many bad adaptations of Holmes to have my childhood crushed a little further by ruinous adaptations of it.

    Was there ever a chance that “Battleship” could be any good? I’m thinking “not much”. It’s all very well to try and separate the quality of a film from the artistic reasons, or lack thereof, that caused it to be made; but in this case… nah.

  268. Jareth – I will agree that almost all of his films have major flaws. I find it very hard to call him a bad director though. Even Munich – a film that I viscerally hated upon first viewing, and have MASSIVE problems with – I would admit that Eric Bana was brilliantly directed to an Oscar-nominated performance that I largely credit Spielberg himself for.

  269. I’m sure that Eric Bana was never nominated for an Oscar.

  270. “Spielberg is an incredibly flawed director.”

    awwwwww HELL nawwww

  271. CJ – as usual, I am wrong. I thought he got nominated for an Oscar for “Munich”. And deserved it. Actually it was the Australian Film Institute who gave him “Best Actor”. Still think he deserved it though.

    And now I will stop paying grudging compliments to “Munich” – a film that I despise for SO many reasons, yet have to respect in terms of its direction and acting – and remark that “Jurassic Park” is a film I’ve watched about fifteen times and could probably watch another fifteen, annoying kids and all; “Schindler’s List” deserves every bit of praise heaped on it; and “The Goonies” was and still is one of my all-time favorite kids’ films. (At least of the ones I actually saw as a kid. I love “Wall-E” and “Toy Story 3”, but didn’t see them until I was in my twenties. Which actually really sucks, I would’ve liked to have had a chance to experience those films as the cynical, precocious child I was, rather than the bitter, cynical adult I am today.)

    So I’m definitely a Spielberg fan, for all the problems I have with some of his films. Look, I wouldn’t be so harsh on “Minority Report” if I didn’t think it could’ve been great.

  272. so I just got back from Tintin and I loved it

    it was exactly what I hoped it would be, that is a good old school fun adventure movie

    and man is it a beautiful movie, I’m not easily impressed with CGI, but holy shit did the CGI in it look amazing, at times it looked flat out real, it blows away the Zemeckis CGI joints both in terms of quality and impressiveness of CGI

    I would even go as far to say it’s the best CGI I’ve seen since Avatar

  273. Anyone else notice that Dragon Tattoo and Tin Tin are practically the same movie? It’s like Wanted vs. Kung Fu Panda all over again!

  274. Well, Daniel Craig is in both.

  275. Kurt Vonnegut books on tape are like the most lovely, sullen lullabies.

  276. So it goes.

  277. He’d hate me saying this, but Vonnegut is about the closest thing I have to a religion. There’s everything you need to know about how to be a decent person without being insufferable about it.

  278. Also: whale penises.

  279. Oh look, it’s the full CHRISTMAS CAROL made for TV special from 1949, hosted by Vincent Price, viewable for free over at TRAILERS FROM HELL


  280. I got in an argument with my 11th grade English teacher over Vonnegut. There were a lot of megachurch members in my school and my teacher was talking to one of them — a nice guy actually, very talented at graphic design and kind. But also a guy who once asked me with complete sincerity, “Why *couldn’t* dinosaurs and humans exist at the same time” — and just brushed Vonnegut off as, “Overrated and adolescent.”

    I contended that her opinion of Vonnegut was utterly irrelevant and held no water. This woman went to seminary, his entire life’s work was aimed at tearing down everything that she held, for lack of a better word, holy.

    Another time she dismissed “A Clockwork Orange” out of hand because it really wasn’t that impressive if you took out the use of language. Seriously, that was her argument. If you discount the novel’s use of words, it’s not a very good novel.

    In general, the woman was a good teacher, but she definitely had a specific slant. For example, she was smart enough to know that “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” would resonant with us emotionally and intellectually. However…her interpretation of the poem left out the parts about opium and the whorehouse and how it was an argument for how the modern age had proved existence meaningless.

    I started wearing a spray paint T-shirt emblazoned with, “Dare I eat a peach?” after that day.

  281. To her credit, the woman still gave me A’s on all my work, even though I made things difficult for her.

  282. I just saw the season 4 finale of BREAKING BAD. Originally I wanted to go to bed now, but I’m still so pumped with adrenaline, that I might stay awake for a few more hours.

  283. Let me wish y’all a merry Xmas with this traditional, German christmas song:

  284. And that is why to this day you can find Tawdry Hepburn wearing the bottoms of his white flannel trousers rolled, walking along the beach.

    Until human voices wake him and he drowns. It’s a prequel to WHAT LIES BENEATH.

  285. CJ – hilarious video but I can’t understand more than two words of it. :( Was that the REAL Santa Claus on the ground halfway through?

  286. well guys, I saw War Horse tonight, excellent movie

    how come nobody here has posted their thoughts on Tintin yet? are you all waiting for the hopefully forthcoming Vern review? or am I the only one here who’s seen it? (were you all to busy with Mission Impossible or something?)

  287. I think it’s probably because a lot of people just don’t give a fuck about Spielberg anymore. At least I know I don’t. I could go the rest of my life without ever seeing anything new by the beard and not lose any sleep. I will see LINCOLN though. It would be my first Spielbergo joint since MUNICH and only because it has DDL in it. I’d watch anything that man acts in even wacky porn.

  288. I’m really more of an Asterix guy

  289. Griff-“how come nobody here has posted their thoughts on Tintin yet? are you all waiting for the hopefully forthcoming Vern review? or am I the only one here who’s seen it? (were you all to busy with Mission Impossible or something?)”
    I reviewed it in a previous Potpourri when it first came out over here…let me get my thoughts:
    “Saw one of the advance screenings of this today (in 2D) and I really enjoyed the heck out of it. Just a really well made, fun mystery adventure movie, with great animation, well made elaborate action pieces and enjoyable performances from everyone present, Serkis in particular as the hilarious(but actually poignant in some places)Haddock playing well off Jamie Bell as the likeable and tenacious Tintin, and Daniel Craig in a very credible and menacing villain role. If I find fault with anything, then possibly the fact that Tintin’s more photorealistic design clashes a bit with the more exaggerated depictions of the other characters, and the action set pieces kind of get exhausting towards the end a veer towards being a bit of a crutch, which is a shame as the mystery aspect is handled well when it’s the focus. Also, the opening titles are really nice and are a more literal take on the comic style, and sort of make me wish the whole movie was done in that style, but overall, a great family adventure. “

  290. Stu – I basically concur with your verdict, except that zero-cut/cutaway nonstop madcap chase sequence I think is a strong contender for action sequence of the year (yes even over the tower scene in M:I 4).

    Broddie – Pity you feel that way (did you get stuck seeing THE TERMINAL?) but honestly, TINTIN felt like the old man got inspired again and actually intrigued with the cinemas. IF anyone was pissed over INDY IV not delivering the goods or nuking the fridge, well TINTIN makes up for it. Terrific entertainment. Not great, just very good.

    I suppose the Spielberg fatigue comes from being hyped as the greatest filmmaker ever, and quite a few times not living up to it. That and really for the new generation out there, he’s not the “It” popcorn guy for them like Nolan or Abrams or Fincher or whoever. What was Spielberg’s last genuine “classic”? Not in their lifetimes.

    (Except maybe A.I., but that’s debtable I suppose.)

    Griff – I’m intrigued by the polarized reviews on WAR HORSE. People either love it or hate the “emotional manipulation” or whatever. I heard someone compare it to EMPIRE OF THE SUN, which is a good thing in my book. (Though already I’m tired of people dismissing it as horse porn. That joke was funny the first 60 times.)

  291. RRA- I just mean that at times it feels more like an UNCHARTED movie than it does a TINTIN one with how much emphasis is put on the set pieces.

    It’s worth noting though this movie isn’t just Spielberg’s baby too, but has contributions from Peter Jackson, Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. That’s a pretty formidably creative team.

  292. My idea for CRANK 3 would be to shoot it as “one shot” Mocap movie, but I think it’s gonna be difficult to keep it exciting over the runtime of a whole movie. (Although part 2 got boring after a few minutes too and it has a lot of fans, so whatever. Somebody get me Statham on the phone.)

  293. Wouldn’t a one shot mocap movie have to be performed by the actor’s all in one take?

  294. ^Actors. Damn punctuation.

  295. No, that’s why it had to be Mocap. Sure, you could edit your whole movie together to make it look like one shot (like those ultra long CHILDREN OF MEN scenes), but if you are re-painting everything with cartoon graphics, it’s much easier to do.

  296. Also it would be easier to defy the laws of physics and logic that way, which is for a CRANK movie highly appropriate.

  297. I just got a missive from MIA Mouth sharing his thoughts on WAR HORSE, which I managed to copy-and-paste before the email self-destructed:

    “The play was a decent B, B+ for the weirdness of the forthright puppeteering, but War Horse the movie is a wretched affair, a D- on my grading scale. Just about the worst 145 minutes of film I’ve seen all year. The only cinematistical thing I hate more than the combo of [close-up + “uplifting” John Williams music] is [close-up + people chewing food].”

    I’ll still give Spielberg a shot when the project looks up my alley, but Mouth’s pan (plus my innate distrust of anything wholesome and the fact that I saw the play with him and the only thing I liked about it were the puppets) mean that I’m going to sit this one out for the rest of my life.

  298. RRA – Empire of The Sun is a good comparison, it also reminded me a bit of The Color Purple

    Spielberg does historical dramas really well (shut up Mouth), I can’t wait for Lincoln (although I hope it’s not another 3 years before he comes out with another movie afterwards)

    also RRA – you have a point, I think the last Spielberg movie that was a blockbuster hit on the same level as your modern Avatars and Transformers was Jurassic Park

  299. I am seriously stunned by Mouth’s opinion though

    I mean can you really tell me with a straight face the trenches sequence for example was not amazing? pshaw

  300. in that case, you deserve as many Fast and the Furious sequels as they can make

    ooh BURN!

  301. You tell him, Griff! Maybe just to be safe you should curse him to a lifetime of back massages and ice cream, too.

  302. Mr M – I was trying to be funny

    sarcasm can be hard to detect over the internet

  303. I got it. I was just playing along.

    By the way, I’m glad you’re enjoying all these movies that a bitter old soul like me gets nauseous at the very thought of. Don’t ever be like me and you’ll be a much happier man.

  304. I haven’t even seen a trailer for War Horse. The poster alone makes me nauseous. And a PG-rated family film about trench warfare in WWI?

    Fuck you Steven Spielberg.

  305. I think the PG rating is merited, considering the historical fact that WWI was fought entirely with walkie talkies.

  306. And the bad guys *always* shot first.

  307. “I just mean that at times it feels more like an UNCHARTED movie than it does a TINTIN one with how much emphasis is put on the set pieces.”

    Stu – To be perfectly fair, TINTIN was still a pretty good UNCHARTED movie.

  308. Tawdry – Can we also tell Kubrick to fuck himself for making a G-rated release out of WWI trench warfare too in PATHS OF GLORY? (A great movie that WAR HORSE, sight unseen, I’m certain doesn’t even come close to. Not by miles. Or thousands of those Hands used to measure horses.)

  309. Yeah, but that was in 1957. The most violent movie of 1957, whatever it was, would probably get a G by today’s standards.

  310. War Horse is PG-13 and a very hard one at that, it manages to show the brutality of WW1 without having to resort to gore

    I don’t think a lot of violence would have fit this movie, it just would have felt out of place

  311. I’m starting to feel like I’m on the old AICN talkbacks again, I think you’d fit in well there Mr M

  312. RRA- Yes. I also must applaud how it was made without Spielberg feeling the need to
    a) make it an origin story, since it’s established that Tintin’s already been on a number of adventures and is somewhat known, and the focus is very much on what he goes through here. It’s only really an origin story in a sense for Captain Haddock and him becoming friends
    b) “update” it. While you can technically say the design and technology shown puts it in an unspecified part of the first half of the 20th century, it’s done subtly enough that it’s got a more timeless feel where it could easily be set in the present day too, and the retro trappings are ultimately just a stylistic choice, which can often be explained by how he’s in farflung parts of the world where technology isn’t the most up to date, or he just lives in a quiet Belgian town(fuckin’ Bruges?) where life hasn’t been taken over by that sort of stuff, and Tintin has to actually go to a fucking library to do research rather than just look up what he needs on the internet.
    c) skimp on the rougher stuff. While obviously kept to a certain limit due to being a family movie, it’s not afraid to have people getting gunned down, pirate battles, and a teenage(?) protagonist who knows how to use a gun and is regular getting into fist fights with ruthless thugs. I’d compare it to how in THE INCREDIBLES they actually had Syndrome’s soldiers TRYING TO MURDER KIDS, and in the process sometimes getting killed themselves in the process.

  313. Aw come on, Griff. That was mean. I never made fun of you for having an innocent spirit, did I? Don’t lump me in with those reactionary rageaholics just because I’m cynical about horse movies.

  314. Has nobody seen the Fincher GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO yet? I’m seeing it tomorrow.

  315. Mr M – I knew that comparison would hurt

    maybe you should do some soul searching, ask yourself why you remind me of the AICN talkbacks

    maybe look at yourself in the mirror and ask “am I too cynical?”

    I can only show you the door Mr M, You’re the one that has to walk through it

    Stu – that’s part of what I loved about Tintin too was despite being brought to life with cutting edge effects, it felt very very old school at the same time

  316. Stop bullying Mr. M Griff. I’m starting to see why you have the same name as Biff Tannen’s grandson!

  317. *grabs Mr M’s fist, starts knocking his own head with it*

    Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh?

  318. Griff, I’ll be honest and say that I just don’t care for the common tropes and styles of this particular era of movie-making we’re living through, but every new movie I see I go in wanting to love. I’m not a pessimist when I pony up that ticket money, because that’s like betting on yourself to lose. That’s why I take it so hard when I don’t like a movie. It makes it that much harder to work up my excitement for the next one.

    I mean, it’s a chicken/egg scenario here. Am I cynical about so many of the movies that come out these days because they suck or do I think they suck because I’m so cynical? I can’t answer that, but all I know is that I have to be honest about my reactions to things. If I don’t like it I’m not gonna pretend otherwise, and if I don’t think I’m gonna like it all I can do is not see it. I can’t go see everything that comes out and hope for the best because movies are too fuckin’ expensive, so I only manage to see a few movies I love a year, and in between them I start to get a little crabby. I don’t like it but that’s how I am. I can’t just flip a switch and suddenly believe in Santa Claus again. I try not to be a dick about it, and if I’ve failed I am truly sorry.

    But to be fair, there was never a time in my life when I would want to see WAR HORSE, even if I hadn’t already experienced the story in puppet form. I’m just not the kind of dude who gives a damn about the trials and tribulations of horses. When I saw the play, I was on the side of the German dickhead who said, “How can you care so much about a horse when men are dying all around you?” He’s supposed to be a villain but I thought he made a pretty good point.

    Thanks for calling me on my shit, though, Griff. It keeps me honest.

  319. Stu – I thought it was pretty good. Selfishly, I hope it doesn’t do too well though. Fincher got his remake out of the way, now I hope he goes back to doing something else instead of doing the other two Girl Who Does Things movies. (Rama, perhaps?)

    BTW, The opening credits were pretty rad.

  320. Stu – I saw HOW TO TATTOO YOUR DRAGON and thought it was really good. I enjoyed it a bit more than the Swedish one. Unsurprising considering the director. It must have sucked for Oplev when he found out who was gonna direct the American version. “Yeah, Niels, remember how you were hoping for a BREATHLESS type of situation where everyone would forget the remake exists and yours would be the definitive film version? Well, they just announced the director. What’s that? No, it’s not Jay Roach.”

    I liked how Salander seemed more fragile and awkward around people in this one. Rapace was awesome, of course, but I liked this take on the character as well. Plus I think I prefer the ending to this one. I haven’t read the book but I hear the character of Lisbeth and the ending are closer to the book than the Swedish movie.

    Also it has my favorite opening credit sequence since ENTER THE VOID. That was refreshing since more and more movies nowadays seem to be dispensing with the opening credits entirely.

  321. Wow, haven’t checked this one in a while. Let’s see what we got:

    RRA: “I suppose the Spielberg fatigue comes from being hyped as the greatest filmmaker ever, and quite a few times not living up to it. That and really for the new generation out there, he’s not the “It” popcorn guy for them like Nolan or Abrams or Fincher or whoever. What was Spielberg’s last genuine “classic”? Not in their lifetimes.”

    Well I’m a big fan of a lot of his early work, but yeah, he’s losing his lustre. If you tell me a new Nolan or Fincher movie is coming out, I will go to see it regardless of subject matter. Spielberg? Not so keen… he’s a fantastic director in many respects but his “family values” stuff has ruined SO MANY of his recent films.

    Mr M – don’t worry, I went through a similar phase not so long ago myself. It’s been a fantastic year for movies in general though, which has helped put my cynicism to rest for a bit. Like I said before, I haven’t seen a real stinker all year, and some really great ones.

    And I will most definitely be watching “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, despite the massively annoying adverts for it all over the Internets which seem to be intent on putting me off.

  322. Mr. Majestyk – I didn’t mean any offense or anything, I think you’re a cool guy, it’s just I got so burnt out by years of all the endless negativity on sites like AICN that I get sometimes a little sensitive about negative opinions about movies I really like

    and I’m not a big fan of the common tropes and styles of this particular era of movie-making either, that’s why when a movie does come along that I really enjoy I get pretty passionate about it

  323. I get you, Griff. I’m pretty sick of being cynical myself. A couple years ago I’d have been complaining about me, too. So in the spirit of positivity and rainbows and fluffy puppies I’ll say that there were a probably four movies that came out this year that I loved: SUPER, SUCKER PUNCH, FAST FIVE, and DRIVE. They were all badass and weird and satisfying and occasionally challenging, and I felt like I got a full visceral and cathartic experience from watching them. There were maybe five more that I liked enough to want to see again and probably six or seven more that I thought were okay, plus a good ten or 15 others I’m interested in getting around to seeing someday. This is a far higher number than the movies I saw and hated, because generally I don’t see movies I think I’m gonna hate. But my problem is I’m too damn good at hating so those are the comments that probably stick out. Believe me, most people who know me think I’m too easy on movies. It’s only here where I’m the cynic.

  324. Fuck it, I’ll weigh in on the recent Speilberg movies as well.

    Neither War Horse nor TinTin look like a movie I want to see. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that when I do finally see them (It’ll happen. Maybe years and years from now, but it’ll happen) I’ll most likely enjoy them and be wondering why I didn’t check them out earlier. Pretty much the same feeling I got after watching The Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Crank, and Changeling.

  325. I enjoyed Tintin. DISCUSS!

  326. Mr. M – good and unfortunately bad movies are always coming out.

    hamslime – I would consider TINTIN to be in the pretty good tier of Spielberg’s. Not up there with the classics (RAIDERS, etc.), but in the CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, DUEL echelon.

  327. Totally agree with Mouth about eating scenes in movies. It’s fucking gross. Chew with your mouths closed.

    The one take action scene in TINTIN totally bored me. I mean, who cares that you don’t cut when it’s all fake anyway? Not convinced you couldn’t do that shot live action. More concerned that you shouldn’t.

    I liked WAR HORSE though.

  328. Paul, what are the “family values” and which recent Spielberg movies did they ruin? I never heard that as the complaint about Crystal Skull, it would be insane to say about Munich, I would be surprised if you’ve seen The Terminal, and I don’t see how it could be Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report or A.I. (and that’s going back a decade).

    So my only guess is that because one certain character turns out to not die in War of the Worlds that means “SO MANY of his recent films” have been “ruined,” but I call bullshit on this theory, especially since War of the Worlds is probly the harshest PG-13 movie to date with people being turned to ashes left and right.

  329. Fred, are you joking when you say that shot could be done live action? The only way I could see it being done live action is if you CGI’d everything in later. If you really believe it could be pulled off live I’d like to request that you please become a director. You’d make CHILDREN OF MEN look like complete amateur hour.

  330. Not joking at all. If Cuaron can do CHILDREN OF MEN then Spielberg can send a camera down a winding road with explosions and special effects. Better question: why should he? But the movie had lost me long before then, and this was one I REALLY wanted to love. Easily like CRYSTAL SKULL more which I trust is an honored and respectable opinion around here?

    Also, this other sequel of Spielberg’s…

  331. But that shot was several orders of magnitude more complicated than anything in CHILDREN OF MEN. I don’t see how it would be possible to choreograph two cars, a burst dam, an entire building sliding down a hill on top of a tank, as well as a dog and hawk fighting over some slips of paper. All while the principal actors perform multiple life threatening stunts, jumping to and from moving vehicles, sliding down a zip line, etc. And somehow filming with a camera that has complete freedom of movement and can film anywhere from ground level to a few stories up anywhere along a road, between buildings, on a river, etc. I’m unconvinced.

    I’m also not sure what you mean by saying he shouldn’t have done it that way. That seems to imply that there is somehow a correct way to film an action scene like that and using one shot isn’t the way. Was it also the wrong way for Pinkaew to film the scene in TOM YUM GOONG? I don’t think I understand the objection.

  332. RRA – I thankfully had seen enough movies in my life by that point to not ever give THE TERMINAL a chance based on it’s stupid premise and it’s trailer. Tom Hanks be damned.

    Here’s the thing with Spielberg. By the time I had started to actually get seriously into watching movies (age 5 believe it or not) LAST CRUSADE was coming to theaters quite soon. In other words up until that point he was one of the most consistent muthafuckas of all time. Mind you I was only really familiar with JAWS, ET and the INDY movies at that time. Didn’t see the likes of SUGARLAND EXPRESS, COLOR PURPLE or EMPIRE OF THE SUN till I was in my teens but for a young kid who up to that point only watched horror and James Bond movies that shit was all bliss. Truthfully I always credit Verheoven, Cameron and Burton for really hooking me on film.

    Because as a kid my most watched movies were easily ALIENS, ROBOCOP, PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, BEETLEJUICE and THE TERMINATOR but at the same time Spielberg was also a big part of that. BACK TO THE FUTURE which is to me the greatest movie of all time wouldn’t be had he not exec produced it and ROGER RABBIT blew my fucking mind (guess I gotta give Zemeckis some cred here too). Then ALWAYS came and I just remember going “wow this is so boring” then HOOK came and I remember going “man this is so corny” and the toys sucked ass too.

    So ever since then I’ve been very selective about what I see from the guy. But even then I’ve still been tricked. Since JURASSIC PARK was one of the greatest movie going experiences in my life I was tricked into seeing LOST WORLD opening weekend; and that was easily one of my worst. For every SCHINDLER’S LIST there is an AMISTAD. For every AI (it WAS damn good) there is a MINORITY REPORT or WAR OF THE WORLDS.

    I waited years for an INDY IV and by the time it actually came out I didn’t even bother. The trailer looked awful and I was just really indifferent about it all by that point anyway. I think I got over that back when people were still worried about Y2K. So never seen it and never will. I will say though MUNICH and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN are 2 of the greatest movies of the early 21st century without a doubt.

    So I know he does still have the occasional classic in him but really WAR HORSE looks like lame pretentious shit and TINTIN does not interest me at all. I hate that mo-cap shit but if it had been traditional 2D or even CG animation I would’ve been all over that shit. It definitely was a long time coming for a Spielberg animated movie but it was not what I expected and it’s technically not animated since it is performance capture. I’m tired of soulless POLAR EXPRESS eyes and stiff movements in my characters so I think I’ll have to pass. LINCOLN though well like I said before I am so there.

  333. “Also, this other sequel of Spielberg’s…”

    Fred, are you trying to say you like The Lost World better?

    because yeah….I think The Lost World is a bit better than Tintin

    still loved Tintin though…..

  334. Yes, I guess I am saying that with all that action going on in a single take, I was just completely underwhelmed because it’s all fake. And it’s not the animation factor. Pixar makes some of the most thrilling action scenes we see. Mocap is a far lower rung than pure animation.

    Griff, you make an interesting point about LOST WORLD :) thanks for picking up my lead.

  335. On a completely different topic: I watched the 2nd to last episode of GAME OF THRONES yesterday and why the hell did nobody tell me that Sibel Kekilli is in this show? One should think that when a German/Turkish ex-pornstar-turned-award-winning-character-actress is getting a role in your award winning TV show, people would mention it once or twice.

  336. On a not-so-different topic: I’m still not 100% convinced by performance capture, because the only one who knew how to use this technique right was James Cameron for AVATAR, but I can totally see what an intriguing tool this is for a filmmaker. If this would be one of those things that could be done with a 300 bucks HD camcorder and an After Effects plugin, I would have done a million of shortfilms that way.

  337. Broddie – I have to admit, I’m still shocked by all the hate The Lost World gets, I really don’t understand it

    now maybe it’s because I kept my expectations at a relatively low level, maybe I was just so happy and buzzed from watching the first Jurassic Park again for the first time in 6 years, but after I finished Jurassic Park I popped in The Lost World right after and had a blast

    the way I see it, I think Spielberg might have been reluctant to do a sequel in the first place and figured that if Universal demanded it he might as well do it and just have fun with it and that’s the whole point of the movie, just having fun, it was Spielberg letting out his inner child to wreak havoc with his new fancy dinosaur toys

    I’ll now list some things I loved about it

    I love the fact that mother fucking Peter Stormare is in it, I totally forgot he was

    I love that Pete Postlethwaite’s character turns out to actually be fucking awesome and not really a bad guy instead of the stereotypical “evil hunter”character he could have been

    I love the guy getting stepped on by a T rex

    I love the T rex causing a bus to crash into a Blockbuster with hilarious fake movie posers in it during the finale, of course I just love the fact that Spielberg had the balls to put the T Rex in San Diego in the first place (which of course does not happen in the book)

    while I still wouldn’t say it’s better than the first Jurassic Park, it’s without a doubt a worthy sequel

    I will be honest though and say that a big part of my enjoyment of Jurassic Park and The Lost World comes from nostalgia, what can I say? I just love the 90’s as a decade for movies, even though the second half gave us Michael Bay and The Phantom Menace, I still love the whole thing

  338. CJ Holden – I guess now would be as good a time as any to mention that I’ve been patiently waiting for you to complement me on my Venture Brothers gravatar

  339. Don’t worry, Griff. I recognized it a while ago. I’m just a person who almost never comments on other people’s avatars (or clothes, in real life).

  340. I’m finally caught up with the Venture Brothers by the way

    I fell behind when season 4 started in 2009, but after Adult Swim replayed the first half I was able to watch the rest because I saved them on the DVR

    what are your thoughts on season 4? I think it has some great episodes (especially in the first half), but overall it’s not quite as good as the first 3 seasons

    I’m really not too crazy about Brock being replaced by Sgt Hatred as the bodyguard, I appreciate that they’re not afraid to shake up the formula and have the show evolve, but Sgt Hatred is a pretty irritating character and Brock is just so damn awesome, the Sphinx thing is really cool though

    I was surprised that the season 4 finale was kind of a downer

  341. I really liked Season 4, but I only watched it once, so I can’t remember anything. I’m gonna buy the DVD box soon, though and then I’m gonna refresh my memory. I was just pretty pissed off that The Revenge Society didn’t make an appereance in the finale. They seemed to become THE new villains and then completely disappeared after Dean’s NY adventure. Bill Hader is a great replacement for Stephen Colbert, though.

    Y’know the more I think about it, the more stuff comes back to my memory. Dermott’s dark origin, The Brown Widow and the Rusty Venture musical (I’m still mad at Doc and Jackson, for not releasing a longer version of the “I’m Rusty” song, that they played in the end titles), the return of Ünderbheit, #21 becoming the most badass nerd ever, Triana finding out about her abilities…yeah, season 4 was seriously good. There is a reason why I often refer to it as the 2nd best written show on TV right now, right after BREAKING BAD.

    I even liked Sgt Hatred. Sure, I would prefer if Brock returns and pedophilia jokes are only funny a few times, but he is a good character. He not just tries to be not-pedophile anymore, but also to be the best possible Brock-replacement, although he knows that he will never be half as good as him. So I really root for him.

  342. oh my God, the Rusty Venture musical, that was hilarious (and so was the Spider Man spoof that shot web out of his ass)


  343. Also while I loved the season finale, I think the one for season 3 was better.

  344. So I saw Fincher’s TGWTDT today. I watched the Swedish version for the first time a few months ago, and I enjoy both versions very much, though I can’t really say that I feel Fincher told the story “better” than the Swedish one did. They were virtually identical, with just a few changes and additions here and there. The most noticable stuff being including the Anita character and the increased focus on the Wennerstrom subplot at the end. The former is nice I suppose, but like the latter, they spend a lot more time on it than is needed, especially given how the main story we’ve got the most investment in has been resolved by that point, so the film should be wrapping up, rather than shifting gears into something else for another 20 minutes. What I’m saying is, Fincher’s TGWTDT is the swedish mystery thriller version of RETURN OF THE KING. I have no complaints about the main cast really. They all did great, Rooney Mara especially. Wouldn’t say she outdid Rapace. They’re about the same. Mara’s eyebrows are different. DIFFERENT I say. Not gone. She just bleaches them, rather than actually shaves them. What a poseur. Daniel Craig does fine too, but while I think he’s a more “fun” take on Mikael, Michael Nyqvist’s version I think is a more “real” take on what the character should be. Craig’s a bit too much of a “Hollywood” version of a crusading journalist. He’s younger/better looking, in better shape (despite never being shown working out), more of a ladykiller and a little more snarky than the Swedish version. He’s also got more fight in him from the get go, and I think the Swedish version was more true to all these qualities. I could believe that version was a journalist more and more importantly I believed he had been beaten down by what he had recently been through professionally. Swedish Mikael takes the case because he just wants to get away from his troubles for a while and maybe feel like a real reporter again, whereas Fincher’s Mikael has the motivation from the start of being told he’ll be given some help in his fight with Wennerstromm which I think he’s shown to care far too much about at the end. I think also they make Lisbeth SLIGHTLY more sympathetic than she needs to be. Mostly I’m talking about what happens when they find out who the killer is.
    The craftsmanship of the movie is topnotch though, and Fincher really does great with the visuals(and it has an incredible titles sequence), though in that regard, I can’t really buy this “not a remake, but a seperate adaptation” thing, because I just got so much deja vu from set design, camera angles, clothing and locations, to the point I can’t really say for sure they used a different place for the island it mostly takes place on. This is one regard where I think a relocating to the UK or America would have worked better, and not just because of the “It’s Sweden, but everyone speaks english and only a third (at most) of the text we see on books or tv or computers is in swedish, and a tv anchor refers to the swedish currency as “swedish krona”, because I guess people need to be constantly reminded they’re swedish because of all the non-swedish culture around them” thing. A couple of other things took me out of the story too, like weather effects that could only have been done using computers, which I don’t recall the original version needing to use too much. Also, some of the casting. Did we REALLY need to have Alan Dale playing a part that only had about 2 minutes of screentime? Also, Lisbeth’s tech guy friend being played by a british comic actor who tends to play just this sort of thing…only he does it in actual COMEDIES, so he seems a little out of place here.
    Don’t get me wrong though. It’s really good despite my nitpicks, I just think people who’ve not seen the other version or have ONLY read the books will get the most out of it.
    PS: What’s up with Christopher Plummer playing so many characters with SOME connection to Nazis? And such a wide range too! Nazi, Fugitive From Nazis, Nazi Collaborator, Nazi’s Relative.
    PPS: You wouldn’t think a movie like this would remind someone of BLOOD AND BONE, but when Julian Sands is playing the younger version of Christopher Plummer, you kind of expect him to have a manservant called O’Hara who’s sole purpose is carrying around swords for people to fight with. If the killer had listened to some Wang Chung instead of Enya we’d have been set.

  345. You know Griff I’ve actually grown to respect THE LOST WORLD a tad more as I’ve gotten older. The T-Rexes by the cliff scene despite being mean spirited with it’s aggressive offing of the only likeable new character in the first half of the movie was a fantastic setpiece. I also dig some of it’s more big screen b-movie sensibilities which is why I could totally agree with you on the awesome displayed throughout the T-Rex in San Diego sequence. Since I’m a Goldblum fan and Ian Malcolm was my favorite character from JP it’s a plus that he’s the lead.

    However the fact that in retrospect I could now give it a pass does not change the fact that it was a colossal disappointment to me back in ’97 & is an insanely flawed film. Postelwhite’s character was a big reason why. This is not just an ordinary merc but one with some real conviction and principles. Every time Pete was on screen he owned the fucking thing. You want to know so much more about this Roland guy which makes the under use of that character during the 3rd act especially a giant WTF moment.

    Also Vince Vaughn was obnoxious as hell and as much as I love Julianne Moore in other shit including but not limited to STALLONE VS. BANDERAS: A RICHARD DONNER FILM; she sucked royally in this. Her character just spewed wack juice everywhere and Hammond’s dumb ass nephew was such a lame ass foil. I could definitely admit that there is certainly good in there but the bad outweighs it greatly even if I’m not as hard on the film as I once was. Because of that in certain respects it’s just a very frustrating movie for me to rewatch to this day to be quite honest.

  346. believe it or not, Vince Vaughn didn’t bother me, I actually thought his character was kind of cool

    his quote about him being Hammond’s backup plan was pretty badass

  347. Vern – I’ve heard of “War of the Worlds” but never bothered to see it. I also deliberately skipped “Catch me if you can” because all the reviews basically tore it apart on this one point, saying that Hanks’ relationship with Leo became the focal point of the movie and turned it into a cliche’d family drama, thereby lessening it. I can’t speak towards the truth of either of those film criticisms because, obviously, I haven’t seen either of them.

    I have seen “Jurassic Park” (the only thing I really didn’t like about this movie was the kids), “The Lost World” (we have to spend all of our time with the asshole civillians who fuck everything up and get the soldiers killed), “Minority Report” (our hero spends pretty much the entire movie either being chased or moping about his lost son), “Crystal Skull” (Indy has an annoying sidekick son!), “Last Crusade” (Indy has an annoying sidekick father! Except not really… but he COULD have been), “Temple of Doom” (Indy has an annoying girlfriend and racist caricature little kid sidekick!) etc.

    My point is that whenever Spielberg puts in a parent-child relationship (usually father-son), it generally turns out to be the worst part of the movie. Hell, I’d have to go back to “Goonies” or “E. T” to find a non-annoying child-character in Spielberg’s work. Allowing that I haven’t seen “AI” or “War of the Worlds” or “Catch me if you Can” or a bunch of others that I can’t be bothered to name right now, I HAVE seen a lot of Spielberg’s movies. I give “Last Crusade” credit for bucking the trend here, but I think that’s more down to Connery making a bickering father character likeable than anything Spielberg did.

    But I was primarily referring to “Munich”. The “innocent child in danger” scene stuck out as particularly unpleasant for me (a trope, incidentally, that Spielberg’s been using since “Jurassic Park”. And yes, it is a “trope”, at least as far as Spielberg uses it, since the kids in question are, without any exception I can think of, either non-entities or annoying brats.)

    But there’s also the sub-plot with the arms dealer who lives in the mansion and who says “You could have been my son” or something like that to Eric Bana. This in a movie that contains a blatantly misogynist scene where a beautiful assassin gets shot in the head while naked. (I don’t object to blatant misogyny in movies, by the way, as long as it has a point. This one didn’t seem to, apart from to make the main characters seem that much less inhuman, which it did in an incredibly contrived and unpleasant way.) On the one hand we have that scene, and on the other we have Spielberg trying to shoe-horn in his usual cliche’d father-son bullshit into a film about Israeli assassins hunting down terrorists… yeah. Doesn’t work. At all.

    Yeah, see, this is why I hated that movie. And it was well-directed, extremely well-acted, had good cinematography, was a little noisy score-wise but otherwise that was good. So much about that movie was good. And I HATED it. Really, really hated it. Everything about it felt manipulative, contrived, false. I can’t in good conscience say that it’s a bad movie, but it didn’t work for me on any level other than the purely technical.

  348. Oh, “Jaws” and “The Color Purple”. How the fuck did I miss those? Haven’t seen “The Color Purple” for a while but I read the novel just beforehand and remember thinking the film just dumbed it down a shitload without otherwise managing to make it interesting.

    At least Spielberg had the good sense to kill off the asshole kid in “Jaws”.

  349. Oh, and “Hook”. A whole MOVIE about annoying kids, and one of them is played by Robin Williams. I don’t think it’s as bad as some people say it is (although “Jurassic Park 2” definitely is). But it isn’t very good.

  350. Best part of “Jaws” – when the three men get on the boat and go hunting. And Peter Benchley’s subplot about Hooper and Brody’s wife is wisely left out of the movie.

  351. I could go on and on here. Anybody want me to? Because I had other things to do, but fuck it, I’m on a roll…!

  352. I read the book JAWS just because I heard about the affair subplot and thought it was a fascinatingly misguided irrelevant direction typical of novelists, so I had to experience it. I remember being disappointed it’s basically a few lines at the end of a chapter that says Hooper makes a move and they sleep together. So it’s not even a well developed irrelevant subplot in the book.

  353. And yes, Paul, please continue!

  354. If I had to guess, I’d say that the stupid adultery subplot came from Benchley turning in his manuscript and his editor saying “What the hell? Where’s the sex?” All the big airport novels had to have plenty of sex in them back then, even the ones about killer sharks.

  355. Man, Paul, it’s a shame you have not seen some of my favorite recent Spielberg films (Catch Me If You Can, War of the Worlds) as you might really like them!

    I know it’s really easy to be cynical, and I used to be really bad about it, but after I saw Speed Racer I have become much more open minded. I was the 16 year old kid who hated The Matrix when it came out. I don’t like that anime stuff and never liked the cartoon of Speed Racer. I had no interest in seeing a pseudo cartoon movie of a cartoon I didn’t like and directed by some guys who made three unbearable movies I had to hear people talk about for years. Then I saw Speed Racer and HOLY FUCK DO I FUCKING LOVE THAT MOVIE.

    Seriously, guys, seeing that movie and falling in love with it has really made me a lot less cynical. Combine that with a habit of seeing movies blind (I saw City of God, Amelie, Dancer in the Dark, and a lot of other films without knowing anything about them and it made the experience better) and I’m just trying not to be too cynical about movies. I just want to go have a good time. Making a movie is a lot of work and I hope it means something to the people doing it. I’m hoping there are more film makers doing it because they have something they want to say than there are Adam Sandlers (I think the Red Letter Media guys are onto something with Sandler) but maybe I’m wrong, I am the guy who didn’t like The Dark Knight and actively hated Inception afterall.

  356. wasn’t there also a subplot in JAWS about the mayor having ties to the mafia or something as well?

    and is the book any good at all or is this a case of a movie greatly surpassing the book? I’ll probably never read it, I’m just curious

  357. Damn Paul reading that comment was a bit scary cause your feelings about MUNICH completely mirror my feelings about INCEPTION.

  358. What I tell you know might be hard to believe for most of you, but I just watched that WINNIE THE POOH movie that came out this year and I laughed my ass off. It’s incredible how much humor they were able to squeeze out of a bunch of naive fairy tale animals, who were always doing the wrong thing.

  359. Yeah. Winnie the Pooh was great. I loved the way the letters of the storybook became part of the environment for the characters. However, I wish it had some sadness in it. When Christopher Robin goes off to school it’s not even a big deal! Compare that to, “Promise me you won’t ever forget me. Because if I thought I could forget you, I’d never want to leave.”

  360. I don’t know, man. Not every animated movie has to be deep and emotional. They don’t have to be early Dreamworks level, but when a cartoon was made to just entertain its audience, doesn’t matter what age it is, AND even succeeds like this one did, why should they ruin the fun with some sappy emotions?

  361. Also the new year starts here in around 40 minutes. I doubt that I will be online till then, so let me wish you a happy new year!

  362. I appreciated that WINNIE was produced in traditional 2-D animation. Of course the box-office failure doesn’t help that particular cause. CJ, since you’re the local Disney fan, has Disney actually said they’re making another such 2-D feature-length toon?

  363. Not every film needs to have some emotional core like that, but Winnie the Pooh *DOES* have that emotional core. And, what’s more, I’m pretty sure that emotional core was the whole point.

    anyway, did you watch after the credits? There’s a really cute scene.

  364. to be fair, I get where Tawdry is coming from. As someone who at that appropriate age actually read the books instead of watching the cartoon, that last book’s ending screwed me up. Robin leaves not just to school, but boarding school so he’s leaving forever and the characters know they’re going to die pretty soon as a result. Such melancholic sadness that somehow made that ending that Tawdry referred to as uplifting in comparison.


  365. Happy New Year to everyone from the UK! Just 17 more days until HAYWIRE gets released!

  366. WINNIE THE POOH was fucking wonderful. Great year for family movies, THE MUPPETS, HUGO, etc. CARS 2 notwithstanding.

  367. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    December 31st, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Woo! Happy new year!

    It’s 3:00AM in the morning here and I’ve just got back from watching the fireworks… and will soon be going to see “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Finscher. Will try and write something on that one, but hopefully it’s good. I’ve read all three of the Stieg Larsson books (very recently in fact), so I’m interested to see what changes Finscher makes.

    I will note down “Winnie the Pooh” as a should-see. I was always a huge fan of the books but that’s primarily because they were children’s books as told by a writer of golden-age mysteries. So you had lots of devices common to that genre including footprints (the wonderful story about the heffalumps), mistaken identity, etc. Don’t think Disney ever really captured that feeling. But then Disney has its own “feeling” that it seems to apply to all of its movies.

    On another subject… I feel like having a good bitch about something incredibly petty. So here goes…

    So I was waiting for twenty minutes or so in the Odeon foyer for “Mission: Impossible 4”; and they were playing the “Alvin and the Chipmonks: Chipwrecked” trailer, at great volume, on continuous repeat, with a few ads in between the showings. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any human being make a noise that makes me want to suffocate myself by jamming my own ears down my throat, as much as those chipmonk “voices” do. Seriously. They even do a rendition of “Survivor” by Beyonce, and I think I’ve made my feelings about Beyonce clear enough on this forum (but in case I haven’t, she’s a talentless vainglorious hack with zero artistic integrity and a toxic persona who’s single-handedly set black music back to the days when “I shot the sheriff” by Warren G was the only thing on the radio for weeks). Yeah, and “Survivor” was her absolute worst song (at least of the ones I’ve heard). And somehow the chipmonks make it sound WORSE.

    Anyway, Beyonce isn’t my target here… it’s that trailer. I mean, I hate to pull out the old cliche’d comparisons, but… this trailer is worse than Hitler. It’s worse than Bieber. It’s worse than tapioca and custard. It’s either proof that there is no merciful God in heaven, or proof that we actually do live in hell. Moreover, I get that this film probably hasn’t been performing to expectations, hence the massive publicity drive; but I think this may seriously backfire. I don’t want to go back to the cinema while there’s the slightest chance of hearing those fucking chipmonks again, ever. This trailer could be solely responsible for the death of cinema. (And yeah, I know I said that a while back about the douchebag who emptied his popcorn all over my head. But this time I MEAN it.)

    Ok, bitch over! Hope you were mildly entertained.

  368. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    December 31st, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    And can somebody please explain to me how the fuck everyone’s suddenly saying on the forums that 2011 was a terrible year for film?

    Did they just watch “Captain America” and decide fuck it, they’d had enough of this shit, and not bother to see anything else? Because I thought it kicked 2010’s arse to the curb.

  369. I had far less favorites in ’11 than I did in ’10. Plenty of solid movies I enjoyed I guess, but that I’d never think about after. Sure, we did a lot better than CAPTAIN AMERICA, but I already feel that 2011 is getting overrated.

  370. The nerds bitching? I’m shocked.

    Paul – I’m with you on Mrs. Jay Z*. One of endless divas and their boring as fuck bland as vanilla wafers, tap waterpop music.

    Or put it another way, look at Lady GaGa. What was her best song from ’11? “Perform This Way”….which was a Weird Al Yankovic parody of her biggest hit.

    *=I hope Jay Z doesn’t pussy out because of the kid thing. I laughed when the Onion TV show made that crack, but…its kinda true?

  371. Happy new year, everyone, and continued badass studies in 2012.

  372. RRA: I don’t know if anythign is announced yet, but since Lassetter and Catmull are now running the Disney animation studios and mention in every interview how much they love traditional animation, you can be sure that there is another “hand drawn” (Hey, computer animation is hand drawn too!) movie in the works.

    Tawdry: I get that the POOH books are pretty melancholic, but I think by not spoiling the fun with any drama, they made the right decision. After all it’s not that they turned the characters into pop culture spouting wisecrackers, who dance to rap music.

  373. That’s a shame to hear CJ. Cause as a 2D animation enthusiast I was quite looking forward to POOH but now that I know it won’t have Christopher Robin doing the humpty dance my enthusiasm decreased by like 1000.

  374. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 1st, 2012 at 7:55 am

    AN ODE TO 2010, BY PAUL.

    In the past year I have seen:

    – A hit-man film that made “Leon: The Professional” look positively amateurish by comparison (“Kill List”)
    – A film about a man dying of cancer that is both heartwarming and hilarious (“Third Star”)
    – One of the best political thrillers I can remember (“Ides of March”)
    – A bloody good, if not exactly great, John le Carre adaptation (“Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy”)
    – The best piece of eighties car nostalgia I’ve seen in a long time (“Drive”)

    …And many, many more.

    My personal best films of last year were “Toy Story 3” and “Inception”. And as good as those films are and as much as I love them, I gotta say that “Ides of March” and “Kill List” are a fantastic top two for this year.

    BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Even the BAD films haven’t been that bad. There’s sure as hell not been anything that’s on the same level as “Buried”. I’ve also seen…

    – A third “Scream” sequel that didn’t entirely suck
    – A “Twilight” ripoff that didn’t entirely suck (“Red Riding Hood”)
    – A “Thing” prequel that didn’t entirely suck
    – A “Fast / Furious” movie that I actually enjoyed a lot, more than #2
    – An “Inception” spinoff that didn’t entirely suck (“Source Code”), and another that was actually very good (“Adjustment Bureau”)

    Fuck it, even the “Harry Potter” adaptation (at least the one from the start of the year, haven’t seen part two yet) made the leap from “good disposible entertainment” to “genuinely great film”. Don’t ask me how the fuck that happened, but it did.

    So what I’m getting at is… when the bad films aren’t that bad, and the good films are that good, it’s been a damn good year IMO. There’s a helluva lot I haven’t seen but there’s been a lot of gems.

  375. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 1st, 2012 at 8:00 am

    …And I just realised that I put “2010” instead of “2011” in the title. Freudian slip?

    Also forgot to mention the “Mission: Impossible” sequel that didn’t entirely suck either.

  376. I don’t know how it was in the US, but WINNIE THE POOH came out a month or two earlier in the UK than it did in the US and there was practically no marketing for it, and I’m not just talking relative to RIO or CARS 2 or all the other kids films that had a real marketing blitz this year, there was literally nothing I saw beside a cardboard standee inside one of my local cinemas. So I wasn’t surprised that few people went to see it, as I can’t imagine most kids or parents were aware it was out.

    I suspect Disney saw it as a long term investmant, and didn’t bother promoting it as they know it will be a constant big seller on DVD. The POOH “franchise”/”brand” is a magnet for young kids; the “pre-boot” films (HEFFALUMP MOVIE etc.) didn’t last long in cinemas either, but that didn’t stop the characters being just about the most prominent and profitable kids characters out there, and I’m pretty sure their DVDs have been bought in large quantities for seeming unquenchable young fans and as default babysitters. (POOH merchandise also seems to be freakishly popular with nostalgists, people who think liking family-friendly cartoons makes them quirky and interesting, and the “young at heart”, but I don’t know if most of these people would ever consider watching a POOH movie).

  377. Pacman Fever – if that was the case, why didn’t they just release it straight to DVD in that territory?

  378. Even an unsuccessful wide release theatrical is generally going to enjoy a much higher profile than a DTV film (with the possible exception of DTV sequels). As I understand it even these flops get a much higher profile than Rental Chains and High Street Shops than a DTV. It’s also a considerable advantage when it comes to negotiating TV rights, although that’s probably far less of a concern with Disney. Put it this way I suspect there are far more people out there who’ve heard of (or even seen) BATTLEFIELD: EARTH, PLUTO NASH and SON OF THE MASK than have heard of IN HELL, which was considered a major commercial success for a DTV film. Plus you get all the reviews from the high profile critics (in POOH’s case very good ones), and it wouldn’t surprise me if Disney wanted a look in at the Best Animated Feature Oscar too.

    Of course I could be way off base with all this, but I guessed at the time that Disney didn’t put much effort in to the marketing because they knew it would essentially (over time) sell itself.

  379. The target audience for Winnie the Pooh is 3-5-year olds. You didn’t see any marketing because you’re in the opposite demographic. But you’re right, the new Pooh movie was made specifically to keep brand awareness up and it went theatrical to keep Pooh seen as a A-level character.

  380. oh my God guys, I have terrible news

    I just read that they closed the Jaws ride at Universal Studios Florida for good this time, it’s going to be replaced by ANOTHER Harry Potter thing

    boy, this is a tragedy, the Jaws ride is a classic, I can’t believe they’re really gonna close it

    first King Kong, now Jaws

    I last rode it when I visited in 2010, I can’t believe that was the last time….

  381. Now where am I going to propose to my future wife?

  382. Griff – I thought that asshole wizard kid already got his own theme park? Greedy little half-blood. (I’m not racist, I have half-blood friends.)

    Fred – The Murder, She Wrote Mystery Theatre.

    (Wait they closed that too? OK, Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies. THAT TOO? ok ok, wait I got it! Back to the Future The Ride! Perfe…wait that closed too? AH GOD DAMMIT!)

  383. From 1987, Siskel & Ebert recommending their favorite “Guilty Pleasures.”

    Personally I think the late Siskel wins for his picks of THE FUNHOUSE and THE LAST STARFIGHTER. (and as a bonus, Berry Gordon’s THE LAST DRAGON. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.) Ebert did like of all things, INFRA-MAN.

    Also turned out, Siskel gave thumbs up to CLASS OF 1999. Mad props to him.


  384. They should not feel guilty about such pleasures. They should have embraced and enjoyed them.

    I guess I have the reverse issue. No guilt about any cinematic pleasure, but I hate important movies. I resent their implied and generally accepted importance. It takes a real transcendent one to impress me like THE MESSENGER, PRECIOUS BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE, SEVEN POUNDS, MONSTERS BALL, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, HOTEL RWANDA, which I guess I list only to prove I do have a soul and I can be touched.

    Actually, it should be noted I love movies about grief. Healthy ones, not Oscar bait death bed movies, but this year RESTLESS and 50/50 did it well.

  385. guys, something must be wrong with me….

    I’ve been listening to an Insane Clown Posse song and actually….ENJOYING it…

    I know it’s stupid, but I find the stupidity strangely comforting

    to be fair it’s from one of their 2002 albums and it makes me strangely nostalgic for the early 2000s, I guess nostalgia can sweeten anything eh?

    please tell me I haven’t lost my mind

  386. No, no you haven’t lost your mind. Let’s talk about it more in this woodshed over here, while I get my…gun shaped drinks dispenser.

  387. will you tell me about the rabbits first Stu?

  388. Sure I will, buddy. Sure I will. *cries*

  389. Oh and Ebert randomly tweeted this yesterday, that Vern might appreciate:

    “Yes, Nic Cage is erratic, but when he’s good he’s great.”


  390. GrimGrinningChris

    January 3rd, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Guess I will put this here so as not to derail the TinTin or 2011 wrap up threads any further.
    Fred Topel

    July 9th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Yes, Chris, I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it. I think I see why it didn’t go over well. It’s oddly lit and colored, a fantasy effect gone wrong. Typical early ’00s CGI and actually the scenes with kids and Captain Hook made me really uncomfortable. I thought Ludivine Sagnier was phenomenal though. What a delightful little mime performance in there.

    Glad you dug Sagnier’s performance. I think she was just phenomenal in this movie. And have found her tremendously appealing ever since (both clothed and unclothed) even in otherwise snoozers like The Swimming Pool.

    While I agree that the movie is oddly lit and colored and that the cg SEEMS like typical early ’00s fare, in this case I think it is a specific stylistic choice and one that I quite like. There is nothing vaguely believable or real looking about the flight to Neverland, but fuck me does it ever look magical! Same for the scenes in the clouds when they first arrive. There is a stagey look to the clouds that I just love.
    Not sure what you mean in regards to the scenes between Hook and the kids, unless you got some pedo-vibes that I didn’t get simply because he and Wendy found some common (if flipped) ground. I think Isaac’s Hook is the closest anyone’s ever come to making Captain Hook into a real (though still fantastical) character and not just a CARICATURE.
    You didn’t say anything about the pacing or the child actors or the story interpretation. Maybe it isn’t fresh in your mind anymore… so this may be a pointless discussion.
    Regardless, I am glad you gave it a shot and am sorry that you didn’t like it is much as I did/do (Sagnier aside).

  391. Definitely don’t remember it anymore but I wanted to like it too. Maybe it’s just the eras. HOOK has enough of what I like that I can still enjoy it. PAN 03 was just a little off for me. And my favorite movie is LABYRINTH and I love GOONIES so the kids in action should be my thing.

    I did get a slight peso vibe, unintentional which made it worse. So it wasn’t trying to e edgy but something about a shirtless lad flying around seemed wrong. Thats why they have a grown woman play Pan onstage.

  392. Public Service announcement about how to do a CPR right, starring Vinnie Jones:


  393. I saw a few days ago RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN with Dwayne Johnson on TV and I hated it. I thought it was amateurishly edited and all in all one of the most plot hole filled and confusing kids movies that I had ever seen.

    Now I learned that the late afternoon TV version that I saw was missing around 15 minutes, that were cut out to make it “suitable for young viewers”. WTF?

  394. GrimGrinningChris

    January 4th, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Yeah, CJ… I quite liked that movie. I thought the kids (even in their alien near-emotionlessness) were charismatic… The Rock, obviously so (and in a “family” movie, but not dressed in a tu-tu). It was nothing earth shattering, but it was fun and entertaining (I loved the Natty Gann reference). Plus, I could watch Carla Gugino walk back and forth across an empty room for 90 minutes and be pretty entertained.

  395. Chris, I really wanted to like Race to Witch Mountain, but for me it’s easily the Rock’s worst film (still haven’t seen Southland Tales though), and I would say it’s his one performance where he seems to be phoning it in slightly. There did seem to be an inordinate amount of violence in it for a kid’s movie, but certainly not 15 minutes worth, so no telling what they deleted, CJ.

    And as a fellow Carla Gugino fan, I got excited when she reteamed w/ The Rock in Faster, but I honestly can’t remember if they even have a scene together.

    And I thought both The Game Plan and The Tooth Fairy were way, way better than their trailers made them appear, i.e. lousy. On a side note, do you think if the internet was around 20 years ago, would we all have been bitching about Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop after the trailer came out?

  396. GrimGrinningChris

    January 4th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Zod… Bummer that you didn’t like Witch Mountain. I think I may be in the total minority on that one, and that’s fine.

    And yes, there would have been a total uproar online had the internet been around when Kindergarten Cop come out. He had done comedy before that, but at least Twins had the outward appearance of an “adult” comedy, even though it was PG or PG-13… and not a bunch of 5 year olds. Though I think KC is actually much funnier and Richard Tyson is such a great slimeball in it.

  397. I do agree about Johnson’s* performance. Usually he is likeable and entertaining in everything, but this time he seemed to be ashamed of being in it.

    *When he isn’t in the ring, I refuse to call him The Rock. After all he dropped that name completely when acting, so I thought I should respect that.

  398. RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN is incompetent and amateurish in its theatrical cut too. You probably got the gist.

    I remember specifically one scene in a casino where the extras are mugging and pointing at The Rock. Maybe he was creating a scene but it just looked like the stupidest extras directing. Like why would Fickman either not notice the extras were distracting or, more likely, want them to be pointing and goo goo ing.

  399. A thought out of nowhere: If they make a LETHAL WEAPON reboot I declare war on humanity..It´s been awhile since an update on the project so I think it´s pretty much dead but still……JESUS!!!

  400. Fred: As far as I remember, the extras (one of them was Drew McWeeny, btw) were looking and pointing at the alien bounty hunter that was after him and the kids in that moment.

  401. I caught a few minutes of RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN on tv the other day and I did find the Rock’s performance weird. I remember iwatchstuff.com making the joke about the trailer for the movie that The Rock seemed to playing his character as if he was was Joey from FRIENDS, and I could sorta see that.

  402. RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN was pretty forgettable. Nothing objectively bad about it, just very disposable.

    Two elements though I did like: (1) Carla Gugino’s fustration of wanting to legitimately and scientifically tackle the idea of Aliens, but stuck having to live with those retarded, nutzoid UFOphiles who can’t accept the bullshit inherit in crop circles or cattle mutilations. As a Pro Wrestling fan, I absolutely can relate to that feeling.

    (2) Mr. The Rock threatening to tell the press, and the villain (who moonlights as Julius Caesar in the past) carefully and logically unpacks him as a serious threat, not even the tried true try to kill or whatever conventions.

    Even though if you have a chance to liquidate Mr. The Rock, do it. (Because if you had, we would’ve been spared TOOTH FAIRY. Which if I remember right, once upon a time was supposed to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. I think.)

    BTW off-topic pro wrestling-related: Does the WWE realize that at Wrestlemania down in Mr. The Rock’s hometown of Miami, that they’ll fucking boo Cena the fuck out of the arena?

    Punk/Jericho should be awesome though.

  403. Considering they’re playing up the fact Cena gets booed already and actually selling “Cena Sucks!!” shirts off of it, I’m sure that’s crossed their minds.

    “Mr. The Rock threatening to tell the press”
    So in other words:

  404. Has anyone seen the high school comedy Get Over It? Its one of those lame Shakespeare rip offs but it stars Ben Foster, Kirsten Dunst, Sisqo ( of thong song fame), Mila Kunis, Martin Short, Zoe Saldana, and Colin Hanks. Well, the trippiest part is at the end, when they are all singing and dancing to Earth Wind and Fire’s September in the cheesiest video ever. Even Carmen Electra gets into it. I thought i was just drunk or high but no, this actually took place.

  405. If by lame you mean, “Often very good” then yeah, I’m familiar with the Shakespeare-goes-to-high-school subgenre.

    Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You and O were all pretty excellent.

  406. You forgot She’s All That

  407. Romeo + Juliet is also awesome. Haven’t seen She’s the Man or Get Over It however.

  408. Shakespeare didn’t write Pygmalion. Or the original Pygmalion.

    Sidenote: how come I can spell Pygmalion off the top of my head?

  409. Well if all those cast members singing “september” doesn’t make you wanna see Get Over It i don’t know what will. It’s fucking surreal.

  410. In defense of all those high school shakespeare remakes, i enjoyed them but i can’t say they’re good movies. I did enjoy them though. Gotta love the 90’s early 2000’s. They’re still kinda lame though.

  411. CLUELESS is a Jane Austen joint. And it’s outfuckingstanding.

  412. Tawdry, perhaps you can provide some insight on this:

    If a somewhat poor aspiring actor were planning to move to L.A./Hollywood (even though he just landed a part in Charlotte for a thing with James Hong, of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, etc. fame), what would be the best neighborhood in terms of convenience, by car or bicycle, to go to auditions and do [struggling] actor stuff?

    Also, if I were to be this person’s roommate for up to a year stretching into 2013, I would need easy access (walking distance, ideally) to fun city rat stuff & cultural event locations, so if possible please take that into consideration as well.

    I’ve been to the area, like, 4 times the last several years for tourist stuff & whatever, but I’m not educated on the locals’ perception of the difference between Hollywood & West Hollywood and the “hip” residential pockets and whatever else there is. Personally, I love every time I visit Santa Monica, but that would likely present an unnecessary commute for the actor friend.

  413. just thought I’d share this video with you all


    gotta love that 2003 era satire, somehow this video evokes a very, very strange nostalgia in me

  414. For any reason I would have loved to see this movie get made. It does sound seriously generic, but the writers belong to the smartest and most hilarious in terms of family entertaining, so I guess it could have been the one action-star-is-forced-to-look-out-for-kids-movie of the last decade, that could have been great.


  415. Shakespeare? That takes place in modern day? How wonderfully decadent!

  416. ThomasCrown – the one thing I didn’t like about Get Over It that I think I mentioned somewhere on one of these boards was that as soon as Zoe Saldana showed up, I knew she would cause trouble for/backstab the main girl (Dusnt). Women of color seem to always be the villains of the “classic lit in high school” genre – if I recall correctly Gabrielle Union did it twice in a row!

  417. Clueless wasn’t Taming of the Shrew? I totally remembered it being Taming of the Shrew!

    Mouth: Los Feliz, Echo Park and Silverlake are all very cool areas. They’re kinda the ghetto, but they’ve been very gentrified. Like, not a sincere moustache in sight.

    NoHo has the train station which makes auditions easier. Rent is cheaper. But it’s not hip. Unless you wanna kick it with high schoolers. I know where all the cool high schooler’s hang out there. Or did in 2003 when I was to HS there.

    Santa Monica is lovely, but very expensive.

    The Valley sucks. Stay away from it. Unless you wanna do porn. Then, come to my hometown in the North West valley.

    I’ll ask around and find you some more info. But I gotta go interview Michael Biehn right now.

  418. Excellent.

  419. Tawdry – yeah, Clueless was Emma, and 10 Things I Hate About You was Taming of the Shrew. I remember thinking Heath Ledger was excellent in that movie, even though he appeared to be about 5 years older than everyone else (didn’t he have a scene where the high school guys track him to a bar?)

    He also physically resembled Richard Tyson (the bad guy from Three O’Clock High) enough that I always thought it would have been awesome if Ten Things was an Undisputed 2/3-esque spinoff of Tyson’s bully character.

  420. You’re right neal, i never really noticed that. Leave it to the black/hispanic chick to screw over her white friend. Although in She’s All That, Paul Walker was a best friend back stabber as well for whatever thats worth. Is that the only role he’s had where he’s considered a villain? The Skulls was close but he kinda came around to the good side in that one.

  421. Big Sir sounds a bit like MR. NANNY.

    “He also physically resembled Richard Tyson (the bad guy from Three O’Clock High) enough that I always thought it would have been awesome if Ten Things was an Undisputed 2/3-esque spinoff of Tyson’s bully character.”
    No, see, Ten Things is actually a DARK KNIGHT prequel about the Joker before he goes insane. Ledger’s already got the long hair(which gets painted green at one point) and additionally he’s already rumoured to be a lawbreaker, is a smartass, handles a knife pretty well in one scene, and can organise elaborate attention grabbing schemes like this:
    (which illustrates he also has experience talking to people over a speaker, and evading cops). There’s also a bunch of rumours about him selling his liver, and eating a live duck, which is kinda like a goofier version of “You wanna know how I got these scars?”. If Joseph Gordon Levitt turns out to be his Ten Things character under a new name in RISES, we’ll have confirmation.

  422. Thomas – Paul Walker looks so much like an asshole and plays the part so well in She’s All That that I had him pegged for the next William Zabka, i.e. the douchey guy who gets punched out at the end of comedies. But I’m glad he was able to turn it around; I think he’s a really underrated actor. Bradley Cooper’s also doing a good job of getting himself out of that pigeonhole as well.

    Stu – Genius. I may have to watch Ten Things and Dark Knight back to back as my next mini-marathon.

  423. That’s fairly brilliant, Stu. The 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU crew should really consider doing a Lucas and going back to the prints of their film to digitally spice it up with various special effects. Namely, they should cgi in an ominous pencil in a fidgety Heath Ledger’s hand, presaging Joker’s killer magic trick. And some ADR could supply some giggles, maybe a faint offscreen “Why so serious?” at the end of his meetcute scene with Julia Stiles.

    In other news, I saw MOZART’S SISTER tonight and it crushed my soul. Good movie, but jesus fuck do I feel like scum for being a male after seeing it. Females got a bum rap back in 18th century Europe. We already know that, but this movie’s period piece realism drives it home. Depressing & sometimes dour, but rich & entertaining in a non-traditional sense, so I’m glad I saw it. Liberal, pro-atheism commentary shines through the religious bullshit, too, if you pay attention to the subtly tragic chastity-convent subplots.

    Alright, anyway here’s the big news: I have a bold prediction for the future of French cinema stardom. To me, the star of MOZART’S SISTER is this [French? Belgian? Swiss?] guy Clovis Fouin. He’s a nobody, doesn’t seem to have much going on on his imdb page, but my big prediction is that that will soon change. This guy is amazing. The camera loves him. He’s magnetic, striking, interesting to look at. Yes, I’m heterosexual, but I’m not gonna lie — I couldn’t take my eyes off this Clovis Fouin guy. He has a good role and he dominates it. Not at all in a mega-acting sense — it’s more subtle, but I think if anyone else sees this movie they’ll see what I’m talking about.

    We don’t know if he has any range or filmatistical acting longevity, but I think his work in MOZART’S SISTER is special.

  424. Speaking of Ledger though, does anyone else here REALLY enjoy A NIGHT’S TALE? I know deep down it’s kind of a stupid movie, historically incorrect, but it just owns it so much and I find the intentional anachronims too fun to hate(e.g. the banquet scene where the formal dance song turns into “Golden Years” by Bowie”. Bettany’s having a lot of fun as Chaucer, Rufus Sewell as the prototypical upper class prick, Alan Tudyk…

  425. Mouth, I second Los Feliz. Seems the best area to fit your bill.

  426. Stu – I read somewhere that the reason a Knight’s Tale has so many anachronisms is because the director realized that most medieval movies are filled with anachronisms anyway, so he figured why not have fun with it?

  427. Preesh, Fred. I’m having way too much fun looking up apartments for rent in the nine-oh zip codes. This might take months to figure out, but Los Feliz & Silver Lake, etc. are looking beautiful.

    Also, a Beverly Hills penthouse is looking more & more viable to me. Only 3-4k a month? Why not? I did not realize how cheap everything is in the Bush[-Obama?] burst-housing-bubble crashed economy. I might have to subsidize my sadly destitute actor friend, at least until he makes it big time like everyone else who moves to L.A. for that reason inevitably does.

    Fred, I won’t forget about you if I ever make this move to the area. Or when you’re en route to my neighborhood for ActionFest 2012, perhaps?

    You & I have some partying to do.

  428. Mouth, can I come visit you sometime? (I’m not kidding)

  429. April 12-15 in Asheville, North Cakalak, Griff, and you’re quite welcome to crash wherever I’m staying if I’m there at that time, which will be a decision I make hopefully once ActionFest releases the film schedule.

    I’ll also be in Charleston, SC, for much of Spoleto around Memorial Day 2012 and possibly part of June.

    And I plan to revisit Dubai, UAE, probably in April-May, possibly as part of an extended trip that includes stops at Istanbul & south France (including Cannes, Allah willing). If you have your passport & a few disposable thow & a disregard for DHS goons tracking your movements, you should check it out.

    The L.A. thing is months away and full of question marks. My boy is def moving there. I don’t know how much time I’ll spend there or when.

  430. Investigating Tiger Hu Chen, reportedly Keanu Reeves’ MAN OF TAI CHI (2012 or 2013) partner, I watched HOUSE OF FURY (2005). It has some cheesy family-kids’ movie elements, but it’s well put together and not annoyingly unfunny. Yuen Woo-Ping is the “Martial Arts Advisor,” so I was hoping for some awesome violence magic. It’s good, not great, not magical.

    I had to so some chores & house cleaning during the non-fight scenes to justify watching it, but it’s a more respectable pg kung fu movie than most. Clean shooting style, no shaky cam, except sometimes an actor’ll be incapable of finishing a flying 540 or something, so the editor has to help out.

    Being an “… OF FURY” movie, it has an obligatory CHINESE CONNECTION/FIST OF FURY homage. Anthony Wong, great as usual, does a decent, funny Bruce Lee impersonation and uses part of a plastic skeleton, I think, as nunchaku. The bad guys take a beating, but I can’t help but remember how much better Bruce Lee was at kicking guys in the head & neck. Anthony Wong and more skilled kung fu fighter-actors are good, but they don’t have the same combination of flexibility, speed, and brutality. When Bruce Lee sent his heel into a guy’s skull, it looked like it really fucking hurt. Imitators seem to have trouble landing a hard kick above the sternum. Maybe because of newer film safety laws & pussy doctors warning all non-Thai people of the world about concussions.

    Other HOUSE OF FURY highlights:

    Kid played by Jake Strickland is good at twirling a stick.

    “Forget it. The glass is bombproof.”

    a funny shot involving a REDBELT climax kind of move against a wheelchaired bad guy, who then hits a brick wall at full speed, and I didn’t want to laugh at it but couldn’t help myself


    Anyone seen the insane Polish epic 1612?

  431. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 7th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    neal2zod – THAT’S all you didn’t like about that movie? I hated whassisname’s character – the main guy, the kid from “Hostage” – and didn’t much care for Kirsten Dunst either. What kind of dumbshit movie makes you not care about Kirsten Dunst? At least before Spiderman did? And what kind of movie wastes Sisqo on the “token black guy” role? He never once gets to unleash dragons of any description whatsoever.

    I did like “Knight’s Tale” though. I also liked “Ten Things” and “Clueless”, for what it’s worth. But then I kinda grew up with these movies. Looking back… “Ten Things” doesn’t exactly hold up that well unfortunately. It’s still enjoyable but I kinda hated the portrayal of the bully / nasty ex-boyfriend character. He doesn’t really seem to do anything to deserve the hatred he gets from all the main characters early on, until finally he does something so despicable that it puts him pretty much beyond the pale, morally speaking. But everyone’s been so nasty to him that his act comes off less as assholish behavior and more justified revenge.

    Talking of Colin Hanks, I’ve just come off watching the last season of Dexter. Hopefully last as in “they won’t make another one” if the decline in quality continues… I thought it was pretty bad. Anybody remember when Dexter was a tragic figure and not some kind of immortal superhero? Yeesh… not sure which is worse, this season or season 2 (the one where Dexter gets hunted by the FBI, which might’ve been an interesting story; but instead we have to spend about 80% of every episode watching his dysfunctional relationships with his sister, girlfriend, and evil secret admirer, all of whom are incredibly annoying pretty much all season long). I think this one… season 2 annoyed the crap out of me, season 6 just bored me.

  432. Mouth, are you talking about The Saragossa Manuscript? If that it the case, yes, then I ‘ve seen it and I love it! It’s the best 4 hour black and white Polish psychedelic movie I’ve ever seen!

  433. peggy, I was talking about this:

    1612 is poorly scripted and sometimes poorly acted, but it’s also gloriously excessive fun, plus there’s a great scene involving a bunch of naked chicks frolicking in a hot tub and there’s a bunch of magnificent violence. Vern would appreciate how the good guy learns a technique early in the movie and then uses it to triumph at the very end by stabbing a guy in the mouth. There are several mutilations and novelty projectile injuries.

    But SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT looks intriguing as well.

  434. Who doesn’t love those Eastern European crazy movies?! But seriously, seek out The Saragossa Manuscript. It’s the movie Jerry Garcia suggested you’d stay sober while watching (you’ll feel stoned soon enough!).

  435. 1612 features a unicorn.

  436. The Saragossa Manuscript features a flashback within a flashback within a flashback within a flashback – yes, we’re talking about a movie that made Martin Scorsese and Jerry Garcia feel like they where watching something new in the mid 70’s.

  437. Mouth – so I looked up that movie and downloaded that scene (from a “certain website”) and holy shit, it’s hilarious

    you have to love the dramatic serious music playing while a bunch of naked ladies laugh and frolic

  438. so guys, I found a youtube video that doubles as a perfect metaphor for the SOPA bill (if it passes)


  439. Started watching BLOODSPORT 2. I was curious to see how good a sequel it was to one of my favourite movies of all time. And it´s not bad. Good fight scenes, it has Pat Morita, Donald Gibb returns and Daniel bernhardt may not be Van Damme( to be fair Van Damme is no bernhardt either,they are two completely different persons) but he´s good enough. I´m kind of dissapointed not to see Chong li perticipating in this years tournament, but I guess everyone knows what a cheating asshole he really is and he probably didn´t bother showing up.

  440. I got nothing to say except that Moneyball and Drive were really good, so I’ll just post a link to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opening on the Youtube.

    Carry on.


  441. Thanks for the link, hamslime. I saw it yesterday and got stuck sitting too close to the screen. Not only was that sequence too much to process visually at that distance but I was distracted by how pixelated the digital projection looked when not sitting far back enough. Yet another thing you didn’t used to have to worry about when planning to go see a movie. (If it’s in Imax, see it at Imax. If it’s not in Imax see it at Cinerama, unless it’s in postconverted 3D, then see it in 2D at the multiplex, but don’t sit in the first 10 rows unless it’s on film, which it’s usually not… it’s getting complicated.)

    Anyway I appreciate being able to make it out better. I like how it’s like an evil James Bond intro.

  442. You’re welcome.

    I actually prefered it up close in the theater. The images coming as quickly as they did along with the music just grabbed me by the balls and kicked a dildo up my ass. Figuratively of course. Unfortunately you can’t play it over and over and over in the theater without pissing off the theater owners.

  443. WOW I couldn’t watch that clip without muting it. That Zeppelin cover is so damn annoying. Perhaps some songs should just be left alone. I’m actually a Trent Reznor fan too but that shit sounds like ear poison. Nice visuals though. In another time that shit would’ve been a mac commercial.

  444. Do these visuals make any sense in context of the movie? I mean, I get some of the symbolism, like the phoenix or the guy who gets strangled by computer cables, but to me it looks a little bit too much like style for style’s sake. It does look pretty cool, though, but most of all it reminded me that I never saw anything visionary or interesting in Fincher’s music videos and commercials.

  445. It’s a nightmare that Lisbeth had. A dream sequence if you will.

    I haven’t seen the other movies or read the books but I have it on good authority (the internet) that some of the images are from parts of the other books. For instance the girl getting punched I guess is supposed to be Lisbeth’s mom, and the hornet crawling out of the eye represents her love of Mickey’s malt liquor.

  446. Oblique, symbolic credit sequences are one of Fincher’s Auteur signatures, which is kind of ironic because he usually doesn’t “direct” them in the strictest of senses.

    A few examples:

    Seven had that cool NIN ransom card opening that foregrounds the decrepit grime of the film’s world.

    Fight Club had the long pull out from inside the Narrator’s head which foreshadows the twist.

    The Social Network has a more traditional opening montage of Eisenberg walking through campus. However, when juxtaposed against the 8 minute long, ultra-dense conversation that preceded it, the sequence seems queer. And, given the denseness of the overall film, these sequence is basically the only ‘fat’ in the film.

    In summary, I think it’s a silly cop-out to call Fincher’s opening credit sequences “style over substance” and that it is furthermore lazy and insincere to call them “music videos.” Yes, we all know that Fincher started out making music videos (and matte paintings for Return of the Jedi) but TGWTDT’s credits would make a terrible music video and would be commerical suicide as an iTunes/Mac advert. If anything, these scenes recall a CGI era Saul Bass or a surrealist painting. They are not style over substance at all. In fact, they are almost summaries of the film that follows.

    That said, the Mac product placement in the credits did kinda ruin it for me.


  447. Hey, I didn’t diss Fincher’s opening titles in general, I just think much of his music video and commercial work is as generic as it is stylish and without knowing the context of the DRAGON TATTOO credits, they come across as “stylish, but random pictures without any substance” to me. Hence the question about the context.

  448. All of this talk of opening scenes gives me an opportunity to be obnoxious and bring up my favorite movie from 2011: Melancholia.

    It has an amazing opening scene.

  449. Why do people have a problem with style over substance? I like style. Can’t something just be awesome for the sake of being awesome without saying anything? Why’s everything got to have a point to make?

  450. Because sometimes it can be pretty annoying annoying, when it gets out of hand. Like when directors interrupt their movies with crazy cartoon scenes for no apparent reason, music acts have stunning light shows running in the background while performing their shitty music on stage or Apple sells these cool designed gizmos for a way too high price.

  451. “Because sometimes it can be pretty annoying annoying”
    is that a call back to Tony Scott having unnecessary juttery repetition in his stupid editing for DOMINO, or just a happy coincidence?

  452. Yeah, that too. Especially that.

  453. I really enjoy Fincher’s music videos. He was the first music video director that I can remember, to have a signature style with dark and beautiful cinematography. When I would see one of his videos, I knew it was him without having to look it up. He’s the first music video auteur in my book. My favorite video of his is Madonna’s Express Yourself. It has the most flashes of his future brilliance. It’s like watching a future hall of famer in the minor leagues. And its just a cool Madonna video, back when she was still hot.

  454. I liked the one he did for Cold Hearted Snake. That video gave me more than a few boners back in the day.

    Why is it a slight to bring up music videos? There have been some really cool ones. The Beastie Boys Sabotage video comes to mind or even something more abstract like most of Kevin Kerslakes videos. Just because it isn’t a three hour narrative doesn’t mean they can’t be great. Heck even the part towards the end of Magnolia when everyone is singing is pretty much a music video and can stand alone as it’s own entity. It’s also one of my favorite parts of the movie second only to the prologue.

  455. hamslime – call us cynical.

    (Who else got an early career start on videos? Michael…the last name isn’t coming to mind. He made that one funny commercial about Aaron Burr, but his career has gone downhill subsequently.)

  456. Hey new Jay Z single! How random. How totally not predicted by The Onion last year.


  457. Jay-Z is so fucking wack nowadays it’s beyond ridiculous.

    *goes back to bumping some Geto Boys*

  458. Talib Kweli had a better version of this type of song almost 10 years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoxNsAcwciw

  459. RRA – Perhaps this will breathe life into your dead cynical hearts.


  460. Guys, something huge happened last night in the professional wrestling.

    For months they have been hyping the return of Brodus Clay. He was going to be some monster heel that was going to wreck the world. He would be an unstoppable force. He would eat the world.

    He finally made his debut last night and it was amazing.

  461. Yeah, that was great. Loved how they reused Ernest The Cat Miller’s theme for him.
    Another hilarious wrestling related thing:

  462. Well,the credits to THE GIRLS WITH THE DRAGON TATTO had probably the worst audio rape on my ears since the theme to THE SHIELD.

    THIS is more my kind of shit,music in credits-wise:

  463. Here is one of two redeeming things about Hova’s new record: http://jezebel.com/5874768/jay+zs-mention-of-beyonces-miscarriage-is-actually-groundbreaking

    The other is the fact that it’s one of the first time’s I’ve ever heard an A-list rapper talking proudly about monogamy and the joy of responsible fatherhood.

    Sure, Weezy apparently takes care of his kids, Biggie did too. I’m sure that many/most Hip-Hop artists are proud fathers, but how often do you hear about that on the record versus the tired, “Bitches ain’t Shit” cliche.

  464. *times

    Also, Jezebel is a kickass website in general. Bookmark that shit. Funny, insightful and well researched.

  465. Damn Shoot the actual credits sequence rules cause of one subtlety. Clapton goes “it’s probably me” at some point and then BOOM you’re literally blown into the movie. Good shit.

    Is it weird that though I’m not a deity worshiper I could never see myself ever calling a grown man Hova?

    I never quite got that shit. Jigga I was cool with but once he started that shit in ’98 I was like “fuck is this nigga on?”

    The actual song has grown on me. I’ve come to terms with it and accepted it. I like that there is some honesty in his music again. I haven’t felt any sincerity since AMERICAN GANGSTER well ok maybe the song BROOKLYN GO HARD but after that I just can’t fuck with Jay-Z no more.

    This elite euro centric “international hov” or whatever the fuck just doesn’t work for me. I can’t even fathom listening to WATCH THE THRONE cause of that shit and also cause Kanye is wack. I got 3 great albums from Cunnninlynguists, The Roots and the Beasties & a solid one from Common last year that I’m still fucking with real hard so I don’t need that shit in my life.

    BLUEPRINT 3 blew ass and I returned to Target and exchanged the shit for a fresh copy of IN MY LIFETIME VOL 1 instead since my old one is scratched to bits. “Niggas want my old shit buy my old albums” indeed.

    This GLORY song though; I just think the reaction to it and the baby’s name is beyond hysterical. Like in the Daily News they mentioned how he named the baby Blue. Then they’re like ‘he once rapped that his favorite hue is “jay-Z blue” and has 3 rap classics with the name Blueprint’ I just shook my head but I don’t expect real rap knowledge from the NY Daily News I respect the fact that I’ve been bumping rap all my life more than that.

    The mainstream media thinks it’s crazy innovative cause they’ve never heard the guy not be materialistic or misogynistic or recollecting on his drug dealing past or all 3 on one record. That and because he’s the only rapper that they even listened to as evidenced by the amazed yuppies at my jobs harping about it at the water cooler today.

    It’s like when the jigga warriors (Jay-Z fanatic slang on rap forums) went nuts over that song MEET THE PARENTS even though he’s been doing storytelling songs since REASONABLE DOUBT at that point in his career it had been so long that the shit seemed crazy. Real hip hop fans are like “fuck is the big deal?” cause we’ve been familiar with that trope since Slick Rick’s IT’S A BOY but it’s cool that some random chickenhead could find real depth and something of merit from something she won’t turn off the radio since it’s Jay-Z.

    In that since I’m kinda glad though cause it gives the mainstream the perception that rap is more than just the plain ass juice that is the plague known as YOUNG MONEY. There is still shit with merit from mainstream rappers. Eminem proved it last year and the camel could prove it with a new album if and I mean if this new found enlightment from being a father inspires true genuine honest expression. No more formulas.

  466. sense not *since

    The fuck yo.

  467. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 10th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Shoot McKay and Broddie – are you for serious?

    Trent Reznor does “The Immigrant Song”, Karen O on lyrics just steals the entire song out from under Led Zeppelin’s collective noses, and you call it ear-rape?!

    I… have… no… words. Although I do have three questions:

    1) When “Boom Boom Boom” by the Black Eyed Peas came on at the end of “G I Joe”, were you dancing along to the music?
    2) Did Alvin and the Chipmunks doing “Survivor” in the “Chipwrecked” trailer make you immediately want to buy a ticket to the movie?
    3) When you watched “Sucker Punch”, did you think “This film’s soundtrack is so much worse than the film is”?

    If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” for either one of you, then you are officially dead to me. Sorry.

    And as for the Sting video, I love the singing, Clapton is great on guitar, the song is ok, I love the buildup at the end, but what the hell is going on with the percussion at the start? That clicking drills into my brain. I’d give it a seven-and-a-half, maybe an eight if I’m feeling generous. Let down by some dodgy percussion choices and an overindulgence of saxophones. (And yeah, I know I said I liked the saxophones in the Lethal Weapon soundtrack. I’m capricious.)

    Also, while we’re on the subject of terrible music, I know you guys are fans, but I officially hate Jay-Z after hearing the full version of “Empire State of Mind”. Great song – lyrics are a little corny perhaps, but Alicia Keys pulls it off – but what a godawful mess the rapping makes of it. I heard this song ages ago when it was called “New York” and was Alicia Keys, live, on a stage alone. Much, much better. Sorry if the rest of Jay-Z’s songs are classics – it’s not as though I’d know, I’ve never knowingly listened to one of them – but this one irritated the hell out of me.

    That thing when rappers take another song, generally a classic one, take the main theme of it, then cover it by telling a little story over the music instead of singing – what’s that called? Is there a term for that kind of cover? Do those “in the know” about rap music have a word to describe it? Because I fucking hate it when they do that and I’d like to know what exactly I’m describing!

  468. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 10th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    This is what I’m talking about (it’s one of the few rap songs I actually remember from my misspent youth, mostly because it seemed to get played everywhere for about two years straight, I despised it from the first time I heard it, and it somehow seemed to get worse with every hearing…) If you have ever enjoyed a Bob Marley song, then I would suggest you avoid the link I’m about to post, because it WILL spoil a few childhood memories. It’s that bad.

    Anyway… takes a classic, well-known song, makes up a little story, speaks the story over the track (I’d call it rapping except it barely qualifies as that… he has zero animation in his voice and he can’t even get the rhythm right at times). Is there a term for this?


    God, I hate Warren G.

  469. Didn’t see any of those movies nor do I care to ever listen to any of those songs Paul. That ho is no Robert Plant. I’ll leave at that. Trust me I love Trent Reznor. My entire adolescence those first 3 NIN albums were like my bible along with a bunch of Morrisey, Depeche Mode and Smiths records. Especially PRETTY HATE MACHINE but that shit sounds like borderline hack stuff.

  470. EMPIRE STATE OF MIND is one of the worst songs Jay-Z has ever made IMO and I’m a native and still living there NYC resident. It’s just horrible music overall. Extremely overproduced with a melodramatic and forcibly operatic hook (though that’s the part that grabs peoples ears) and some seriously mediocre verses with Jay-Z completely misusing the cadence he gracefully used in the song BEACH CHAIR. I still have a hard time believing that song is not a parody but I don’t have a hard time understanding why it was a hit. The masses love forced garbage passed off as “art”.

  471. Oh yeah and it’s just called a “hip hop remake” or “rap version of…”

  472. It’s not the first time Jay-Z raped a Sinatra classic either. Cue the equally horrendous I DID IT MY WAY from THE BLUEPRINT 2.

  473. Broddie:

    I don’t like Jay-Z. Never have.

    Only tracks I liked were the ones where Kanye did the beat. And even then… He just doesn’t do it for me. However, I am a lame ass who discovered rap during freshman year of college through Lil Wayne. My Bro-tastic rommate would play Weezy all the damn time and one day I head, “I Feel like Dying” and suddenly it clicked. I actually really like Weezy’s mixtapes. The problem is, he’s a phenomenal rapper, (he gets all e.e. cummings and T.S. Eliot sometimes) but a terrible songwriter. Also, Nicki Minaj is an undeniable talent. Whether you like her or not, it’s impossible to deny her fundamental skill. The rest of the crew could die in an airplane accident tomorrow and I wouldn’t notice, however.

    Also, My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy is the best rap album I’ve heard in ages. If it didn’t have the horrendous Rick Ross on 3 tracks, I could consider it a classic. Yeah, Kanye has limits as a lyricist, but as I’ve said before, those weaknesses are part of the appeal. The disparity between what he is good at and where he is lacking adds a great deal of tension to his music. Plus, dude makes sick beats and has ambitious song concepts.

  474. Paul, there are two ways this practice can be accomplished. One is by “sampling” the song. Most of the time, sampling consists of taking just a few seconds of a song and looping it over a beat to create a new rhythm. However, certain producers (most famously Puff Daddy) decided that this was hard work. Why bother with that when you can just pay for the whole song and rap over it? If the song was a hit once, it will probably be a hit again. Sadly, he was right, and this wholesale musical hijacking came to characterize the hip-hop of the late 90s and early 200s. Regardless of how much of the song is used, however, it’s still just sampling. The other way this can be done (and this is probably what Warren G did, since he was more of a knob twiddler than a crate digger) is to use what’s known as an “interpolation.” It’s similar to a sample expect that instead of looping the actual recording of the song, you re-record the part you want to use with studio musicians. Warren’s cousin Dr. Dre is a big proponent of this practice, since it’s cheaper than sampling (you have to pay for publishing but not for use of copyrighted recordings) and it gives the producer more leeway in how the repurposed material can be integrated into the new song.

    I don’t think anyone thinks of this practice as “covering” the song, though, since the words are different, except for the chorus or “hook” which are generally considered fair game in hip-hop circles. However, some examples of rap covers would be Run-DMC’s famous version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and Kurtis Blow’s not-so-famous interpretation of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business.” These situations are rare because rappers like to think that they’re “real” and so speaking someone else’s words (unless you have commissioned a ghostwriter to write them for you, which is okay because you’re paying someone else to express your thoughts and, as Puffy said, “I don’t write rhymes, I write checks.”) is considered “not real.”

  475. In other news, Kanye’s horrible personality completely overshadows whatever highly overrated talent he brings to the table. He’s one of the participants in the musical Special Olympics that hip-hop is become, in which people like Kanye are wildly overpraised for doing things (having unorthodox song structures, using real instruments, etc.) that is considered par for the course in any other genre.

  476. Tawdry I don’t fault you cause Jay-Z is an acquired taste. Was always more into Nas, Redman, 2Pac, Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang myself when Jigga was blowing up. Took me till BLUEPRINT to even like him again to be honest cause before that he fell off with VOL. 2 IMO. I never gave that album a shot. Maybe I’ll give it a go though tbh I only have listened to Kanye by default (Ie: my friends are bumping it) but I do recall enjoying cuts Kanye’s debut (Still revisit the song LAST CALL on youtube every now and then for example) and to an extent GRADUATION for what they were.

    I seriously think LATE REGISTRATION is one of the most overrated albums in music history though. That shit bored me to to tears but I will give MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY a try on account of the Wu-Tang connections it had. It’s interesting to see a fellow disciple of RZA actually finally get to collaborate with the guy. Could create an interesting dynamic.

    Majestyk though what Puff did was lazy as fuck (the equivalent of looping a break on a Pioneer CDJ now a days) it’s still sampling cause he ommitted the rest of the songs in favor of those breaks. Like HYPNOTIZE is not Big rapping over RISE nor is BEEN AROUND THE WORLD really LET’S DANCE with rapping over it. Not like how Ghostface’s HOLLA really is Ghostface rapping over LA LA MEANS I LOVE YOU anyway. Also Warren G is actually Dre’s step brother not cuz but you’re completely right on as usual with the rest of the post.

  477. Hey Mike Dean always used real instrument on those Scarface albums same with DJ Quik on his albums and Too $hort and Ant Banks on all the Short Dog classics. Kanye just doesn’t do it with the same finesse and neither do many of his contemporaries when it comes to producing quality rap tracks.

  478. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 10th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Majestyk – that’s actually a really good breakdown of the trend. And thinking back over the little rap music I’ve actually heard from that period, it kinda makes sense. In other news though, Warren G was Dr Dre’s cousin? Wooow… even I know who Dr Dre was, and “The Chronic” is one of the few rap albums I’ve actually sat down and listened to. It amazes me that those two could be related.

    “This wholesale musical hijacking came to characterize the hip-hop of the late 90s and early 200s.”

    Yeah, that’s kinda what I meant when I was criticising Beyonce in one of the New Year threads. Although, again, my knowledge of rap and / or hip-hop is practically nonexistent. To use the old quote, I don’t know much about art, I just know what I like.

    Broddie… yeah, I’m sure as a British guy in his thirties I’m SUPPOSED to like the Smiths, but I never did. As for “Depeche Mode”, well, I used to listen to “Barrel of a gun” a lot, and of course “My own summer” from the “Matrix” soundtrack, but I bought the album it’s on and couldn’t get through it. So it’s fair to say our tastes are… different.

  479. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 10th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Jeez, just occurred to me, I’m feeling bitchy as hell tonight. Long day, I guess.

    On the 2011 / 2010 comparisons, it occurs to me that you might say 2010 had the best MAINSTREAM movies. 2011, though, had films like “Kill List” and “Third Star” propping up the likes of “Ides of March” and “Drive”. So while you might reasonably claim that 2011 was lacking in mainstream masterpieces, it made up for it in some of the smaller films that came out.

    Anyway, it’s been all quite on the arthouse front for a while now, and then three interesting-looking films come out at once… “The Awakening”, “The Silence”, and “Dreams of A Life”. Anybody got any insights into any of those three films, aside from the kind you can get with a search bar and some PMA? Anybody heard of them, seen them, have recommendations about them?

  480. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 10th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Should probably elaborate on that last part, so here we are:

    “The Awakening” – British supernatural yarn set during WW1 starring Imelda Staunton. “Rationalist steps into the haunted house” stuff there.

    “The Silence” – hunt-for-a-child-killer procedural from one of the Northern European countries, not sure which one.

    “Dreams of a Life” – documentary about a woman whose body wasn’t discovered in her house until three years after she’d died (yeah, fun stuff). The film is about who she was and how she came to be in that position.

    Anybody heard anything about these three films?

  481. Solondz AND Goldwait have new films this year. So, it won’t be quiet for long…at least I won’t be. I’ll be too busy being the only guy laughing in the theater.

  482. Goldwait as in Bobcat?

  483. Oh and VOODOO is the best comic book that comic book readers are not reading right now. Well also MONOCYTE on account of it being such a fucked up piece of art that I can’t take my eyes of it despite not knowing wtf is really going on.

  484. Why is it that rap albums still insists on those dumbass skits?

    If you assholes want to fill up, do what artists in about every other genre do: create filler songs. Hell a 90 second rap track, see what you can do with that hand-tied-behind-you handicap. Or hell be bold and go funky experimental. I mean filler is a half-finished idea’s best friend.

  485. The FBI makes public Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s 93 page file.

    As soon as I read that headline, I knew this news would be good.


    For the entire (and partly redacted) FBI file itself in PDF form, go here:


  486. Broddie: I like the concept of the “hip-hop remake” because it points to the mercantile nature of the music. An old song is not seen as an expression of someone else’s creativity but merely as a property that must be updated so that it can be “relevant” to the new generation,

  487. I’m not sure I used the word “mercantile” right, but that’s okay. I’m just following in the venerable hip-hop tradition of using big words wrong, like Ice-T using “antidisestablishmentarianism” to mean “being all like fuck the Man.”

  488. Everytime I hear a rapper misuse a big word it reminds me of those old “Damian Wayans as a muslim in jail” skits from IN LIVING COLOR. It’s one of my favorite rap music tropes for that very reason.

  489. Damon not Damian sorry I was simultaneously posting and reading the latest BATMAN & ROBIN.

  490. So, according to Harry Knowles, THIS could be about to happen:


    Interesting to note how the film appears to have worked it’s way thru the holy triumverate of badass cinema.

  491. Thanks Broddie, now I won’t ever not think of how similar sounding “Damon Wayans” and “Damian Wayne” are…especially since Marlon Wayans was originally cast as Robin in one of the Batman movies.

  492. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 12th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Ok, I will see:

    “Dreams of a Life” – Saturday
    “The Silence” – probably next week.

    “The Awakening” was the one that interested me the least anyway, and I don’t have time for three arts centre trips… a pity, but there you go. There ain’t much on at the multiplexes right now although I saw my first “Haywire” poster today. Yay, another Soderburgh film that will be technically superb while leaving me utterly cold to it…

  493. Did anyone see the first 5 minutes of Haywire that got put online? Some questionable acting going on, but a satisfying CLANG! towards the end.

  494. I’m having physical reactions to my excitement for BEAUTY & THE BEAST 3D tomorrow.

    Haven’t been this pumped for a January movie since RAMBO four years ago.

  495. How the fuck does Twilight & Star Wars get people to camp out on the sidewalk for days but I can’t get one midnight showing for BEAUTY & THE BEAST 3D?

    What is this?!?!?! I have to wait 12 more hours to see it? This is torture. Literally torture. And I’ve been through SERE school.

  496. Mouth – does anyone in your old company know about this current “excitement”?

    Anyway so FINDING NEMO is the next Disney 3-D rerelease. I liked that movie, but to this day I just don’t understand how it became that big monster box-office hit. TS3 making a billion I understood, and if INCREDIBLES had done the same, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

    I guess its truely all about the timing.

  497. Anyway new EW issue about DARK KNIGHT RISES (WB-affiliated rag hyping up a WB movie? No way!) and it featured this one intriguing as fuck passage that Jonathan Nolan lets slip out:

    “If Batman’s plan was to stamp out crime the new movie asks: What if the plan actually worked?”

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I like how those fucking Nolans already got me convinced to buy that opening weekend ticket, but they’re still pimping it hard my way. Good job guys.

  498. RRA – I thought Finding Nemo was a somewhat weak Pixar entry as well, no idea why it was such a massive hit, I thought both Monsters Inc and The Incredibles were better (the ones that came before and after Nemo)

    anyway anyone up for some video game talk? I’ve been re-playing God of War 1, 2 and 3, I have not played God of War 1, 2 or 3 since 2005, 2007 and 2010 respectively

    I played the “HD collection” of God of War 1 and 2 for the PS3 and God of War 1 looks pretty darn dated (it’s still fun though), but I thought God of War 2 looked pretty damn amazing for a PS2 game

    but the graphics in 3, oh my God, they are MINDBLOWING, it’s by far the best looking console game I’ve ever seen, it’s insane

    overall I would say God of War is one of my favorite video game series as a matter of fact, any other fans of it here?

  499. Griff: Many people consider MONSTERS INC as a lesser Pixar movie (but I love it too). About NEMO, I guess it became that big, because it was simply well done. It wasn’t outstanding, but it had a nice, simple, but not dumb script, that provided engaging characters, fun and heart. And most of all: Since it’s all about cute little fish and not about weird looking monsters or “violent” superheroes, it’s good, clean fun, that can’t offend anybody. So there.

    And video games: I love to play them, but I’m totally out of the loop. In my childhood, I spent most of my time with them, but then, in the late 90’s/early 00’s a lot of shit was going down in my family, plus with me now leaving school, I had less time to play. So you can say my knowledge of video games ends at PS1. A few years ago I bouhgt a cheap PS 2, but have very little games for it. I do still own my old NES and SNES + two original Game Boys, although I got no idea if they still work. The NES & SNES do and they are still in use. (The SNES even has ZOMBIES ATE MY NEIGHBOURS in it at the moment.)

  500. I personally just thought Finding Nemo was pretty forgettable, I don’t even remember much about it

    I remember Monsters Inc well though even though it’s been a decade since I’ve seen it, the chase through the doorways is better than anything in Finding Nemo

    and yeah, it’s hard to keep up with video games as you get older, I can related, it’s definitively a young person’s hobby due to how time consuming it can be

    in my early to mid teen years I played just about every major release that came out (not counting sports games) because I would rent most of them, I probably went to blockbuster about once a week

    but these days there are so many major series that I’ve never touched, like Assassin’s Creed and so many games that I’ve yet to finish, like Mass Effect 2

    plus another thing I’ve noticed is when you get older as a gamer, you start revisiting old games more for the nostalgia, I would have scoffed at playing an old game in the past, these days I play almost as many older games as I do new

    I’m not surprised that for a lot people gaming eventually becomes exclusively a nostalgia thing, you know, the people that call themselves “old school gamers” and only play 2D games or whatever

  501. Well,just purchased the LETHAL WEAPON 5-DISC BLU-RAY COLLECTION and the backcover of the box sure is interesting….

    1) At the top it says: A HI-DEF EXPLOSION….and at the botttom in the special features (!) box it says: May not be in high definition…..that´s even dumber than that usual Beyond hi-def idiocy that plagues a lot of blu-ray box.

    2) It also says: “All four explosive films directed by Richard Donner are available in razorsharpe bullet-proof blu-ray”. i can buy the razorsharpe part but bullet-proof?! Have they actually tested that? Why would they put such an asonine statement even if it was true?
    I don´t know much about this kind of shit, but isn´t that false advertising? If I actually shot one of the blu-rays and it shattered in a thousand pieces, could i get a refund?

    This sure sound stupid to me,but I guess like german tourists the stupid are everywhere..

  502. I was just thinking the same thing last night when there was a Blu-ray commercial on the GREEN LANTERN DVD that said that Blur-rays were “sharper than steel and more thrilling than flight.” They are neither of those things. I would much rather cut something with steel than with a Blu-ray, and it would be much more thrilling to be able to fly than to watch a Blu-ray disc, regardless of the revolutionary pixel rate.

    Also, GREEN LANTERN: not very good at all. A bold statement, I know, but I gotta speak truth to power on this one.

  503. They really are over-hyping the blu-ray format. It´s OK in my opinion. Some of the menu navigations are brilliant. None of those 1 minute animation you´ll have to sit through everytime you click on the special feature button on your dvd. i don´t think I´ve seen a blu-ray that has those timewasters.

  504. I guess because it’s 2012 and Blu-Ray still hasn’t replaced the DVD. (But please don’t turn this into a DVD Vs Blu-Ray debate again.)

  505. Come to think of it. It would be rather cool if my LW-discs actually were bullet-proof….of course there is hole in the middle of the disc….which…makes it kind of ..ehhh..useless I guess.

  506. You just have to buy the box something like 25 times, so that you have enough discs to glue them into a gapless armour.

  507. And if they really were sharper than steel, they could be used as throwing weapons.

  508. So you mean LETHAL WEAPON is not the name of the movie, but it’s a warning?

  509. And then they would really be lethal weapons…

  510. I’d like to believe the alien in I COME IN PEACE is just throwing around his world’s equivalent of LETHAL WEAPON 4.

  511. RRA – To EW’s credit they have also covered the Marvel movies as extensively in the past. That quote is interesting cause this means he’s left Gotham wide open and pretty much sat on the sidelines in the eight years between that movie and TDK. No wonder Bane comes in full scale and invades the shit out of the place.

    Would also love if Ra’s Al Ghul ecoterrorist mastermind and affiliated with Bane in the comics would show up in the movie too. I mean in the present not flashbacks and played by Neeson btw.

    Say he was saved after crazy train explosion by the league via Lazarus Pit. Have him co-conspire with the character that is obviously going to end up being his daughter Talia (that stupid french actresses’ character) and be the one responsible for Gotham being taken over. Bring it all full circle with style and fun. But nope Nolan doesn’t like to have fun so that won’t be.

    Griff – I refuse to buy a PS3. Matter of fact I’ve pretty much slept on this current generation as a whole. So I haven’t played part 3 but the first 2 were cool games. I had the PSP game but I never really sat down with it much. I think the games were a bit on the overrated side but very fun and extremely user friendly. Unlike the equally awesome but frustrating for more casual gamer 3D NINJA GAIDEN series or DEVIL MAY CRY games (well except for wack ass DMC 2).

  512. Oh and I cannot ever fathom ever buying non-recordable physical media anymore. One of the reasons I never got on the Blu-Ray bandwagon in the first place was cause of this.

  513. The Sesame Street Monsterpiece Lethal Weapon 3, in which the title is taken literally. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ7FV8HSSR0

  514. Greatest Sesame Street video ever?

  515. There’s a whole bunch of those Monsterpieces that are worth checking out, for starters the Twin Beaks and Waiting for Elmo ones. Waiting for Elmo pretty much is Waiting for Godot in a minute and a half.

  516. So they were totally cool with pimping an R-rated movie full of swearing and violence and premarital sex?

    SESAME STREET is hardcore.

  517. Muppet shit in general was always aimed at entertaining families and not just the kids at it’s core. People want to credit Dreamworks’ SHREK with that but honestly Henson was the OG.

    SESAME was still carrying that tradition around that time (early 90’s). Now a days though it’s a whole different story.

  518. That awesome barfight scene from LW1 are missing from the deleted scenes section on LW1-blu-ray. What the fuck is that about?

  519. Watching LW1, one of the great unsolved mysteries we never got answered; Did Alfred get an icecream? I always felt kind of bad for him. When all the other children get delicious sweets, poor Alfred is left identifying psychotic albino mercenaries. Not something kids should be doing in that age…

  520. One problem I always had with that scene: Was Mr. Joshua running around in a sleeveless T-shirt? How else would his Special Forces tattoo be so visible to a kid in stupid novelty glasses hiding underneath a porch? I don’t know, Mr. Joshua seemed like a pretty snappy dresser to me. I can’t see him rocking a wifebeater, especially when he’s pretending to be a gas company employee. I’d imagine the dress code is stricter than that. He’s already drawing a lot of attention to himself by being a albino jackrabbit sonofabitch in that particular neighborhood.

  521. SESAME STREET did a TRUE BLOOD parody not that long ago too.

  522. Also, did he really need to C4 the whole fucking house? This guy’ a trained killer, he can’t off one drugged-out bisexual hooker in a slightly less ostentatious way? Riggs never would have twigged to it being a black bag job if Joshua hadn’t been such a showoff with the mercury switches.

  523. Oh and something that confused me with Lethal Weapon 1, when Riggs and Murtaugh are running through theories about the murdered girl, and Riggs deduces that she was had a female lover and refers to it as disgusting. Did homophobia in the 80s really extend to when it was between two hot women? Or was that Shane Black’s view? Or is Riggs just an old fashioned guy, what with liking the THREE STOOGES and being old enough to have served in Vietnam?

  524. Or is that just an early example of the bigotry that Gibson would become known for? I have pondered the origins of that line myself, but since Mel has managed to be friends with Jodi Foster for about 20 years now, I’d say his lesbo cred is probably pretty secure.

  525. Majesty- When it comes to blowing up a hooker´s house: The guy´s just being thorough. He says so himself.Even Riggs himself knows that about mr Joshua through reputation.

  526. I meant Majestyk. You´re not of royal blood are you? Didn´t think so.

  527. I’m royally awesome, if that’s what you meant.

  528. Could be…could be….

  529. I can’t believe you guys are having a LETHAL WEAPON without me.



    Hard to read back what you’re typing when it’s thru tears.

  531. As a commentator to this video so brilliantly put:
    “You could give them the keys to the city. But there would be scorched earth behind the door. ”


  532. So did you just hear about Gene Hackman? Apparently he got hit by a car…and got away with a few bumps and bruises. 81 years and still too badass to die or just get seriously injured by something as boring as a car accident.

  533. It would be some twisted irony if Popeye Doyle got run over by a car…

  534. Karlos – don’t worry, Stu can read back for you champ. Oh and great news about that DVD. About fuckin’ time. Now I await for DVDs of THE KEEP and Frakenheimer’s THE CHALLENGE.*

    CJ – and Lex Luthor is once again free to wreck havoc. When will we learn?

    Stu – I would blame Black, but he did create Gay Perry, arguably the most badass unambigious** gay character in recent cinema. Maybe he mellowed out, or that line was written in by Silver or Donner or whoever.

    ShootMcKay – Kinda like how Paul McCartney was killed in a car wreck after penning “Drive My Car”? Totally eerie as fuck. But his replacement surpassed expectations and did good.

    *=I have to call it “Frakenheimer’s THE CHALLENGE” because IMDB claims the Olsen Twins had done a movie under that same title too.

    **=You don’t qualify, Mr. Transporter.

  535. Broddie – you have no idea what you’re missing by not playing God of War 3

  536. RRA- True. And he was the one in PREDATOR to mock Blaine after he called everyone “faggots”.

  537. ^oh wait, that wasn’t Shane Black’s character.

  538. Stu – thank you! You’re a real community treasure.

    Griff – Well unlike way too many gamers, I don’t necessarily hold graphics against a game. Sure GOD OF WAR #1 now looks arcaic, I thought they were about what to expect from that time. Still a damn good fun game. As with the sequels.

    Hell I even enjoyed the GOW Origins HD Collection, porting those two PSP titles onto PS3. Sure take into account the graphics differential, nevermind those games aren’t as “big,” but still I liked them.

    In the end of the day, I love graphics and gameplay. But push comes to shove down the stairs, I’ll always gladly take gameplay. And even then, I’ll only bitch about graphics if its say 2012 and you’re dealing with 2004 PS2-level graphics. You know, pointlessly arcaic/lazy/cheap for a contemporary release.

    CJ Holden – I think the problem with a ZOMBIES ATE MY NEIGHBORS movie isn’t the zombie movie glut, its that we’ve got a glut of zombie comedies too. After SHAUN OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIELAND, I’m not exactly hungry for another one of those anytime soon.

    I don’t know how it would work, but a SEGA title that would be an interesting movie property to play with: MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL. Yes American football teams of aliens, mutants, Mad Max rejects, robots, skeletons, etc.

    My favorite element was your audible ability to bribe the referee who’ll throw bullshit calls against the other team. Until they kill the ref, which case 5 yard penalty flag against them. With this option, you practically get a free 1st Down.

  539. Holy shit, Mr Holden, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is amazing. One of the best co-op games ever (take that for what it’s worth since I’ve not really played much since 1999 or so).

    The wife is playing a ton of Sky Rim. It looks fun. I’ve become a widower because of it, though :(

  540. RRA- my comment there was correcting something I said in a post awaiting moderation. I said “RRA- True. And he was the one in PREDATOR to mock Blaine after he called everyone [gay slur that probably is the reason my post hasn’t shown up yet]”. I was reading back on MYSELF there.

  541. Oh and for the record, I would fucking orgasm if MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL was ported to the PS3.

    (Remake isn’t a bad idea, but after playing GOLDENEYE 007 RELOADED*, I just want to pay $10-20 in a pitiful attempt to recapture my childhood.)

    *=The game was decent, but where’s my Donkey Kong code? Where’s my ability to shoot hats off guards? Or the fact that Bond movie plot suitable for 1995 doesn’t translate well in 2011?

  542. Stu – Sorry, my mistake. My bad.

    (BTW, did Shane Black do a script draft for SGT. ROCK when Silver was trying to make that movie?)

  543. All I can find on that is just that he’s holding a copy of the comic in the end credits of Predator. I’ve only ever read one Sgt. Rock story total, but I don’t get why it’d be so hard to make into a movie. It’s a simple men on a mission WW2 story genre. I guess maybe misgivings over how THE LOSERS did at the box office? I remember they announced they would be changing the setting to the near future…are they still sticking with that?

  544. I think it’s because they just don’t see how to sell it since it’s a niche character in a niche genre. RE: modernizing it within the “near future”; well they did release a comic in september called MEN OF WAR which is a contemporary war story. The protagonist is the progeny of Sgt. Rock and like his grandpappy becomes a platoon Sgt.

    Maybe that’s the approach the movie people tried to take. In any case I don’t think even that would do them any good as DC has announced the book’s cancellation this week. So it’s obviously something that also doesn’t seem to resonate beyond a niche audience (which I happen to be a part of btw). I mean if most comic book readers are looking away from it then imagine movie audiences.

  545. should read

    *starting in september

  546. Well I hope they don’t get hung up on it being based off a comic book like JONAH HEX and throw in a bunch of silly sci fi/fantasy stuff that really has no place. It shouldn’t need jetpack Hitler to be engaging. Did you read MEN OF WAR, Broddie? I heard it still overlapped with the superhero genre by having it be a view of that sort of thing from a soldier’s perspective, and it had the terrorist group Kobra(no relation to the other snake themed terrorist group Cobra from GI JOE) in it.

  547. Amazing how something as simple as Jonah Hex can be easily fucked up. I mean badass cowboy with a nasty case of facial disfiguration kicking ass and shooting people. What’s so difficult about that shit?

    Come to think of it, why do Hollywood insist upon steam punking big budget westerns? Do they really believe people globally won’t go to a western unless sci-fi shit is thrown in their face? Newsflash suits, JONAH HEX and COWBOYS & ALIENS, nevermind that Giant Spider Movie*, all were box-office “disapointments” (nice word for dud). It doesn’t really work.

    Of course those assholes don’t learn. Apparently Verbinski’s upcoming LONE RANGER movie with Depp will be basically PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN out in the Old West with the supernatural/monster bullshit. Or something like that. Whatever.

    *=WILD WILD WEST really disapointed me especially because I watched the original TV show’s reruns as a kid, and later as an adult, and still enjoyed it. Took a wacky as fuck idea of blending 60s James Bond/spy junk with the Western…and it actually worked. Steampunk before that term was invented, plus a sense of humor.

  548. Speaking of WWW, I remember reading somewhere before its release (USA Today? umm) about how allegedly Will Smith came in and had replaced the previous guy casted for the Jim West part: George Clooney. I also remember in that same article, Barry Sonnenfield bitching that he and Clooney somehow disagreed about the movie’s direction, because Sonnenfield wanted a “fun” picture.

    Of course this is all based on a memory, and I’ve never heard/read anywhere else subsequently about Clooney being involved with that project. So maybe I subconciously blending several differnet memories into one, without realizing it.

    For example: Clooney at one point in the 90s was indeed supposed to do GREEN HORNET.

  549. RRA: What worries me about a ZOMBIES ATE MY NEIGHBOURS movie is pretty much exactly, that it will be just about Zombies. But if you remember the game, it had zombies, blobs, Metaluna IV aliens, giant ants, werewolves, mummies, Chucky dolls, triffids, pod people and hundreds of Jason Vorheeses! And a giant baby! A movie about this, could be this generation’s MONSTER SQUAD (only good), but I’m scared that in the end, it will be just a ZOMBIELAND rip off. (And I liked ZOMBIELAND.)

  550. Also MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL would be awesome as movie. It would be like your typical underdog sports movie. Only R-Rated (or a very hard PG-13) and full of monsters.

    GOLDENEYE 64 was never released here in Germany (Our government had even back then a huge problem with violent games), but an import version was available for rent in our local video store. Man, I loved that game. And my sister had a way too sadistic joy in shooting innocent bystanders in the ass, although she regretted that they would die after the 2nd ass shot.

  551. CJ – totally agree on NEIGHBORS. Pity because that’s just a fucking awesome title too good to not be used on a marquee. I don’t know your age, but I do remember those MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN juvenile books that were popular with my generation.

    Anyway, the last book in that series has probably one of the greatest roll-off-the-tongue-I-wish-this-was-a-marquee-title: MY TEACHER FLUNKED THE PLANET. I don’t know why it’s awesome, but I want to watch that movie. Hell I want to make it. But I’m too lazy.

    RE: GOLDENEYE – I countless times purposely failed the tank level because I wanted to run over civilians. When I’m truely sadistic, I would push my luck and wound scientists/civilians holding their hands up when I’m aiming my gun at them. Sometimes they die, sometimes they’re having to stand up despite a brutal bloodied kneecap wound.

    My favorite though: Second mission at the satellite relay station, where I’m supposed to be clearing a path through countless henchmen and soldiers so the Russian scientist babe can slowly and mindlessly take her sweet ass time exiting that joint. But usually I just cap her so I don’t have to worry with that shit.

    I’m surprised I didn’t become a Bond villain myself.

  552. RE: Mutant League Football – I think a hard PG-13 could happen, if campy humor is deployed with the violence. Remember when the skeleton players are “killed” and basically the graphic is simply bones flying up into the air and back into a pile?

    First off, that immortal question: How do you “kill” a skeleton?

    Two, why in that game couldn’t I just take glue and ressemble them and get those players back? You could even have that joke of destroyed skeletons and robots rebuilt but held together by duct tape and super glue. You know, bonehead humor.

    HAR HAR HAR!!!

    Plotting, yeah underdog story works just fine. Human QB joins mismash tagtag team of goblins, robots, aliens, and its star skeleton running back, Bones Jackson.* (Most known for his sneaker ad campaign: “Bones Knows!”) They are of course the not-so-thinly-disguised-Chicago-Bears clone the Midway Monsters, with the evil warlock version of George Halas from the depths of hell.

    Human deals with his supposed physical disadvantage, yet still kicks kicks and leads them into the playoffs. Media and fans claim he’s using performance enhancement drugs. Not that they’re illegal, hell the Road Warriors franchise is full of steroid beef cake freaks. No the guy might be in trouble for not registering that he cheats with the ass injections.

    Oh and his girlfriend is an alien squid who has a shady past as a former porno actress, mostly those live-action hentai productions.

    *=I want the obligatory scene where the rattag freaks bond over a poker game, and Bones is kicking ass because how the hell can you read a skeleton’s face whether they’re bluffing or not? It’s not like fucking HE-MAN where Skeleton was given aritficial skull features that supposedly resemble anger or joy or agitation. A skull is a skull, happy or mad. Or bullshitting. Or horny. (“Honey, I got a bone to pick you with!”)

  553. here’s some more video game talk

    I have objectively come to the conclusion that Sony is the best video game company out of Microsoft and Nintendo and the PS3 is the best console of this generation

    that might make me sound like a fanboy, but I’m just making an honest observation, I’m primarily a PC gamer these days anyway

    Nintendo decided to focus on gimmicks and sacrifice graphics

    and Microsoft? well not only is the 360 REALLY showing it’s age, but you have to pay for Xbox Live, which fucking sucks and you don’t have to pay for the PSN

    and as far as the games go, Microsoft mostly produces games like Gears of War and Halo, ya know stereotypical big burly space marine run and gun games (with the exception of Alan Wake, which I really, really liked)

    but Sony produces more interesting games, like Heavy Rain, the Uncharted series, God of War series and Little Big Planet

    and it’s pretty much always been that way since the days of the PS1, the problem is that Sony got hit with a HUGE backlash after E3 2006 and that backlash has never really gone away even all these years later

    but it’s time to come to terms with the fact that that backlash is/was bullshit

    so for what it’s worth, I say Sony has won this console war (but of course, PC will always be the best)

  554. Grifff – Of what I’ve played when I’ve gone to my friends houses and stuff I prefer many 360 games (MASS EFFECT series, FORZA 4, FABLE III) to PS3 ones to be very honest. I’m not into multiplayer FPS games at all never have been and never will be.

    I like immersing myself in a game and being sent to their world via escapism. Not arguing with people over a headset cause they lack common sense. So I don’t give a rats ass about online gaming though you forget to mention that because you pay for Live and not PSN you get the better interface and options on the microsoft machine.

    That being said I’m still very much a portable gamer and in that sense I could easily say Nintendo has not skipped a step as the best at this video game shit. Why is that? because there games FEEL like video games. They are imaginative and full of things that you can only find in video games. They still push adventure games and platformers to their fullest extent and since those are my bread and butter I think they easily clinch it.

    Most Sony and MS games just try way too hard to seem “cinematic” for my tastes. To the point that many times they’re so serious that they bore me to shit and I don’t find anything about them really amazing because it resembles our bland world so much more than a Nintendo game. So they don’t feel like video games a lot of times but interactive movies and that shit to me personally just kills the dynamic of gaming in the first place. It’s a big reason why I’ve skipped out on this gen altogether.

    I mean even in the case of the Wii which you say is all gimmicks there will still games like SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 and METROID PRIME 3 that are very addicting and fun & stand out amongst the best of this generation’s offers. Cause of great and outrageous level design, intuitive but responsive and simple gaming mechanics and most importantly a great fun factor. Nothing that seems too bleak or overtly serious to the point of dragging you down as you play it.

  555. holy fucking shit you guys


    look at it, just fucking LOOK at the shit in this article

    this shit is CRAZY, I literally cannot believe my eyes, I literally feel dizzy

  556. Stu – I have read it and while it clearly takes place within the DCU it’s not a hindrance on the story either cause it’s not dependent on that fact. In other words it doesn’t change the genre of the book from WAR to SUPERHERO in any way. Matter of fact the biggest “cape” cameo we get in the entire 5 issues we’ve seen so far is a big red swoosh flying across the sky in issue 1.

    The thing with JONAH HEX is all they had to do was follow the excellent Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray series that started back in the mid 00’s. None of it has any supernatural nonsense (outside of the occasional cameo by the western comic book character El Diablo) or steampunk bullshit weighing it down. It’s all strictly stand alone stories about a former confederate soldier turned bounty hunter traveling across the west collecting bountys and it was FUCKING INCREDIBLE.

    One of the best comic book series’ ever so good that spiritually it still continues to this day in a book called ALL-STAR WESTERN. That’s what made seeing the trailer for the movie so frustrating to me. The movie could’ve been done way more faithfully and been way better for it had they not insisted in adding all this superflous shit to it. It would’ve cost WB a lot less money that way too and probably turned a profit like solid conventional westerns have been doing recently (like TRUE GRIT) because of it.

  557. Fuck having a 3D TV in my house. I’ll wait to the day when hologram TV’s become a reality before upgrading past HD-TV.

  558. I´ll wait 10 years until I upgrade my TV,thank you very much…

  559. it’ll be probably be at least 10 years till I could even hope to AFFORD one of these things, I mean this shit is BANANAS

    of course as cool as the thinness is, the insane resolution is actually a problem since nothing supports it, no video games, no blu rays, no tv channels, so what the fuck would you do with the thing?

    I almost wonder if they’ll release a super thin 1920x1080p television, that would be cool (even though I probably couldn’t afford that either)

  560. On a completely unrelated and more personal note: Although I gave myself over the years the reputation of someone, who is a nice guy, but not necessarily the most trust worthy and reliable person, I learned over the last months that I was and maybe still am surrounded by way too many people, who are in fact even worse than me.

    I mean, if you ask me to do something and I screw up, I tell you immediately and apologize. I’m also not a backstabber and in fact even encourage people to tell me in my face if they have a problem with me, because I can take it and rather know where we stand, instead of thinking that everything is okay, while you are bitching about me behind my back.
    And no, don’t think, that because I don’t talk to you anymore since a few years anyway, I won’t get angry at you when I find out five years too late, that you totally fucked me up my ass, without me even noticing.

    On a more cheerful note: Hey, I actually am a good person! At least better than 99% of those motherfuckers who pretended to be my friends or at least not be my enemies.

  561. And no, I’m not talking about anybody here. (For now?)

  562. Right now, I´m trying to get my head around that DEUS EX HUMANgame.I can´t seem to do anything but die!

  563. Broddie- Yeah, the Hex comics made the more supernatural stuff work not just because it’s easier to take in that medium, but also because Hex’s attitude to it is the same as his attitude to everything else: total indifference. Also the supernatural stuff doesn’t usually overwhelm the western aspect of it. ALL STAR WESTERN’s great, and it’s a testament to the writing that it works and still feels like a western despite throwing in all the Crime Bible stuff and NOT setting it in the west at first.

  564. Griff- While I appreciate how much HDTV can making gaming a better visual experience, I don’t like when the developers seem to assume everyone HAS a HDTV when making their game. This is typically shown with UI design, where the text is so small it can’t be made out on a regular tv.

  565. RRA- Googling it it seems that Clooney was originally going to be in WILD WILD WEST, but in Kline’s role rather than Smith’s, and he didn’t want to do it because he didn’t think it was an interesting role. Makes some sense as I struggle to imagine any actor demanding a big studio movie about cowboys playing with James Bond’s gadgets be “more serious” (also it always seemed to be tailored to recreate the success of Smith and Sonnenfeld working together in MIB)

  566. RRA: The Half in the Bag guys really liked COWBOYS & ALIENS. The sincerity of their review almost persuaded me to rent the film. They argue that the film wasn’t a hit because it was too straight of a western, that the goofy anachronistic stuff was downplayed too much for mass audiences who wanted all that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN stuff that you describe. Not having seen COWBOYS & ALIENS, I don’t know how accurate that point is. But the trailer certainly seemed to play up whatever goofiness the film had to offer.

  567. I saw COWBOYS AND ALIENS and I am of the opinion it’s rather well made, but yeah, they play it way too straight and lean more on the western tropes than the sci fi ones. Also, the aliens aren’t terribly interesting or original, barring having an extra set of arms that come out of their chests.

    In other news:
    May. The next PARKER Graphic Novel Adaptation. THE SCORE:

  568. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 14th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    …And once again, I miss a film because the cinema is sold out. I’m gonna have to start booking in advance.

    That was an hour and a half’s drive, after a day of work. Grrrrrrrr…

  569. Tough luck man. At least HAYWIRE’s out on wednesday for you to be ambivilent about.

  570. Watching my beloved Patriots dominate G*d’s son’s Broncos, I caught a glimpse of a preview for the new Rock movie, JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. (This is a sequel to something?) I had never heard of this movie or this series, except it might have been one of the trailers I missed during my BEAUTY & THE BEAST 3D screenings yesterday.

    Anyway, I wanted to say that the dumbass trailer producers really buried the lede with this one, because only by the grace of my eagle eyes did I see that my dreamgirl Vanessa Hudgens is in this thing. I’ll buy a ticket to see more of her any day. And now, along with stunts being performed by The Rock’s pecs, I have multiple good reasons to see a February release PG family movie.

  571. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 14th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Stu – thanks. And nobody wants to break the cycle of Soderburgh’s movies impressing the hell outta me while also leaving me utterly cold than I do. I’m hopeful that “Haywire” can do it for me.

    I will now not get to see “Dreams of a Life”. Hopefully I should have a write-up of “The Silence” for you guys by the end of next week.

  572. Well our boy Quentin T. revealed his best/worst list for ’11. His #1 movie of last year? MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. Haven’t seen that.

    His worst of ’11? I won’t say, except I feel smugly vindicated. I feel like Bobby Heenan after his client finally wins a belt. If not as awesomely weasely.

    Actually I don’t, since my turkey prize (a gold-plated turkey baster) went to TRANSFORMERS 3: DARK OF THE MOON (SORRY WE COULDN’T AFFORD THE RIGHTS TO “SIDE” FROM E.M.I.)

    But still, he made a solid pick none the less. A pick that some in the peanut gallery will not like, but eh sometimes life shits on you and you’re stuck having to pick up the check for a Fucker Lunch you didn’t want or order.

    (I so coulda been a M.A.D. writer. See how clever I was yo with that lame pun! I should work for Cracked. No not the website, the magazine which went defunt a long time ago. They’ll be easily impressed with my talent. God knows they never said no to anyone before.)


  573. I’m trying to remember: Have you actually seen SUCKER PUNCH, RRA?

    QT liked OUR IDIOT BROTHER, which is quite boring, and THE SKIN I LIVE IN, which is wretched, but his #1 is an unimpeachably excellent selection. Solidarity!

  574. Mouth – Yup. Crazy thing is, I always thought the guy would’ve liked something like SUCKER PUNCH, right? You would think such a thing would be porn* for him.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention his most mind-boggling pick on his best list: a Paul W.S. Anderson production. That shocked me personally. I would love to hear him give a batshit insane argument why that was the wife’s tits. Or why he also liked GREEN HORNET.

    Man, FUCKER LUNCH. That’s so juvenile, stupid, and creatively lazy, it still makes me laugh.

    (*=Same with DRIVE, which he called “Nice Try.”)

  575. Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that he gives DRIVE, a universally loved semi-hommage movie, just a “Meh, nice try, it’s not as good as what I do”?

  576. I stopped caring what Quentin Tarantino thinks. It´s not like he´s Mr Flawless Motherfucker as I thought he was when I was a teenager. i actually fooled myself into thinking JACKIE BROWN was a good movie, when in fact it is the most forgettable movie he´s done

  577. For me there is only one movie called DRIVE; the one with Mark Dacascos. he kicks so much ass in that one in what in my mind is the greatest american martial arts movie ever made.

  578. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 15th, 2012 at 5:32 am

    RRA – as someone who thought Sucker Punch was juvenile, stupid, and creatively lazy**, I’m confused as to whether you’re referring to the film or the pun. Or maybe the pun was an ironic riff on the qualities of the film?

    **Yeah, ok, maybe it was THAT interesting a failure.

  579. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 15th, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Wasn’t, I meant. Wasn’t, wasn’t, wasn’t!

  580. hey, I admit Sucker Punch is a flawed movie, but I still like it anyway

    it’s an unloved little orphan, I’m proud to claim it as my own

    I also confess to enjoying Wild Wild West when I saw it in theaters way back in 1999, what can I say? I’m a sucker (punch ha ha) for Steampunk and I got to see part of Salma Hayek’s ass at 9 years old, it made my day

    it’s not a movie I have a great desire to watch again anytime soon though

  581. That list isn’t particularly interesting without comments; I for one would _love_ to know why he liked THE THREE MUSKETEERS so much. I mean, I can easily see him liking it, I’m just not sure why.

  582. Probably because W.S. is a lesser filmmaker in comparison to QT than Refn. Perhaps the awesomeness of DRIVE intimidated him deep down inside and he’s trying to save face.

    Good call on MIDNIGHT IN PARIS though; such a great movie.

  583. Yes, I’m always intrigued by Tarantino’s lists. He always has a few out of the blue choices, some obvious ones and some validation of otherwise looked down upon movies. I agree though, it doesn’t mean much without his explanations, which he never offers.

    I don’t think he’s done a “worst” list before. That strikes me as kind of mean, just because it’s more sad if Tarantino hates your movie than if a critic does.

    And the “nice try” part is weird too because I can’t tell if it means “it almost worked for me” or “fuck these guys.”

  584. I’d say it’s probably “fuck these guys” accentuated by “so I’ll make sure they get no real shine from me since they’re pushing filmmaking as far as I did back when I was still hungry and no longer really do. They could be a threat.”

    I have a feeling DJANGO UNCHAINED will shut my filthy mouth though.

  585. I saw GREEN HORNET yesterday, and I actually had a lot of fun with it, though more as a superhero parody than as a superhero movie. Just thought they did a lot with the lead’s egomania, the villain’s motivation being a mid-life crisis and the rather cavalier attitude to how many people Hornet and Kato kill throughout the movie, especially the final one, which was pretty much a straight up murder, played for laughs.

  586. I thought the “nice try” was supposed to be a movie that had the potential to be good but didn’t quite get there. Not great but you get an E for effort.

    I also liked Green Hornet…and Jackie Brown. Didn’t see Three Musketeers though.

  587. Love the love he’s giving to Red State. That movie is aces in my book.

  588. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 15th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    RRA – I’m confused about Sucker Punch from reading what you put there, I mean. Not that there’s any ambiguity about that, it just struck me that your point could apply equally to the criticism or the film itself.

    Griff – I loved “Batman Forever” when I was that age too. Not taking anything away from the film, but it hasn’t exactly aged well, especially when compared to its peers. I would never damn somebody for what the like or don’t like, for the most part. There are exceptions. (I pretty much threw bile at AICN for criticising “Mission: Impossible” for bizarre reasons, then praising “Mission: Impossible 3” to the heavens, when IMO the first film was one of the best of the decade whereas the third was an unmitigated festering pit of mediocrity that had zero artistic reason to exist beyond the first scene.)

    I’m genuinely impressed by anybody who’s seen enough 2011 movies that they’ve been able to make a “worst of” list. For me I couldn’t even pick a “worst film” of the ones I’d seen. I mean, “Sucker Punch”, “Red Riding Hood” or “Source Code” would have to be at the bottom, and none of them are terrible by any means. Plus it was pretty much the year of the arthouse, and most of the films I’d consider as masterpieces – “Kill List”, “Third Star”, etc – seem to have had limited audiences at best.

    Talking of “Kill List”, we’re coming up to Oscar season (hence the wave of biopics that allow famous actors to mimic dead people for the benefits of Oscar glory). What do you reckon the chances are that Neil Maskell will get a look-in for “Kill List” (in which he gave the most stunning, electrifying performance I’ve seen for a very, very, very long time)? 500-1? Or is that being generous?

  589. Paul – I was talking about lame parody title FUCKER LUNCH*, not the movie. No I didn’t like the movie, but I do give Snyder credit that he went nuts to whatever it was he was wanting to pull off with somebody else’s money. God bless him. And it backfired. Shit happens.

    And yes, AICN can be a collective dumbass at times for nerd reasons. But you forget who directed the third MISSION movie. I call that pre-release bias. Or in spite of that supposed nerd advantage, people wanted to crucify the movie after Cruise went goddamn insane on us and found that the movie was alright. Inoffensive to much a fault, not Satan Rape.

    Plus I do completely agree with your assessments of MISSION #1 and #3.

    *=I would joke that is a worthy porno title, but do people still make pun porno parody titles like that anymore? Now its like NOT SUCKER PUNCH XXX or something that commercially soulless. No fun!

  590. I’m surprised there’s no mention of TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY on any of Tarantino’s lists. You’d think he’d at least go to see it. I mean, it’s an talky ensemble flick set in the 1970s(admittedly, 1970s Great Britain, which he hasn’t shown to be much his thing), starring Drexl.

  591. Vern- I don’t know if he’s made “Worst of” lists before, but I know he cited MIAMI VICE as his least favourite movie of 2006, and really tore it a new one (although I can only find Forum posts with the quote while googling this, so it might not be true)

  592. I want the full length version of this. Although I’m not sure how to feel about the use of some legitimate Badass Cinema classics in this context.

  593. Pacman – that’s weird, you figure Miami Vice would be just the type of movie he’d love – it’s arty and talky, surprisingly gory, and from an auteur director that film geeks love. Plus it turns the audience’s expectations for a slam-bang action flick on its head (sort of like his own Inglorious Basterds, except that was actually good) One of our local critics said Miami Vice was one of the best movies of the decade(!?) even though literally everyone I know in real life hates it, including me.

    And re: Tarantino’s best-of lists, he lost credibility once he put Anything Else on his list. It’s borderline unwatchable and seeing it was one of the worst movie-going experiences of my life.

  594. I loved Miami Vice and enjoy Anything Else, even if it is a rehash of better Allen films.

  595. yeah, I didn’t like Miami Vice either

  596. My first viewing of MIAMI VICE (2006), for some reason I convinced myself it was stupid that the city cops would have such a seemingly huge budget (hi-tech equipment, continuous covert ops, freely going to Cuba & whatever else without much coordination with the feds, etc.), and I couldn’t enjoy the movie.

    The second time I saw it, I thought it was outstanding. I’ll probably rewatch it about once every 2 years for as long as I live, and I’ll enjoy it every time. If there’s such a thing as 2nd-tier Mann, MIAMI VICE is a fine example of it, and 2nd tier Mann is far far better than most filmmakers’ 1st tier representative works.

    Coincidentally, I just watched the CRIME STORY pilot episode (Director: Abel Ferrara, 1986). That’s the Michael Mann-produced tv show (I think he officially directs one episode, but his touch & creative approval is obvious in most shots.) with Dennis Farina and a lot of grizzled badass costars
    (Michael Rooker and, well, see for yourselves: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090410/fullcredits#cast )
    & guests. Outstanding 90 minutes of television. A fair amount of copy-&-pasting from the MIAMI VICE tv show template, but it’s still intense and it still works, plus the fun of the circa 1962 setting, costumes, & music.

    I tried to post some nice things about ELITE SQUAD in its thread, but I must have had an internet hiccup or 300 words is too much for one post or Vern is taking away my free Outlaw speech rights. I’ll try again. Short version here: ELITE SQUAD is a helluva movie. You should see it, and see it with zero expectations or foreknowledge.

  597. Miami Vice is exceptional for a number of reasons. It’s one of the best films ever made about vertical integration in the cocaine trade (Cocaine Cowboys is the best, but that’s a doc). The detail and nuance is utterly fascinating to me. Also, it’s just beautiful to look at. Utterly stunning. The cinematography is a perfect example of how digital should be used. It doesn’t look anything like film, it’s not supposed to look anything like film. Mann understands that digital versus film is like oil paints versus watercolors. Both can be used to paint a masterpiece, but you can’t paint in the same way. Lynch also gets this.

    I totally understand why Miami Vice is an unpopular movie, but since I came to it without ever having seen the TV series, I was able to view it as a singular piece.

    Hell, I’m gonna go home and watch it again tonight.

  598. to be fair it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Miami Vice and I don’t remember a whole lot about it except it pretty much just bored me

    I did appreciate that they played it straight though instead of turning into a comedy like that Starsky and Hutch movie

    I’ve actually seen a couple of episodes of the original tv series and (in it’s early seasons at least) it’s a lot less cheesy than you’d expect

  599. so guys, here’s a movie trailer for a documentary I think you guys might find interesting


  600. Yeah, the thing about the MIAMI VICE series is, that everybody only remembers it for the horribly dated 80′ clothing and by today’s standards cheesy popmusic inserts and therefore dump it unfortunately in the same bin with REAL 80’s TV cheese like KNIGHT RIDER, but they forget that it was apart from that a seriously well written show, that turned many of the typical TV conventions of that time on its head. For example the show dared to NOT end every episode with a clean cut happy ending and even came up with some serious downers. Not to mention that it wasn’t afraid of letting their heroes go through hell and face its consequences.
    The movie? Never saw it.

  601. As someone who is really annoyed at every QT film (that and my dislike of Nolan makes me worse than Paul, I’m afraid) I usually expect QT and I to have similar tastes as he usually “pays homage” (rips off) films that I really love. Once Upon A Time In The West is one of my most favorite films and he just steals the entire film in Inglorious Basterds.

    It’s really weird because I expect QT and I to have similar tastes that when his list is pretty awful it shocks me. Sure, I might be in the minority that didn’t like Hugo but giving Drive a “fuck you”? Really? Drive is a ton better than all of QT’s films.

  602. I remember the MIAMI VICE from the 80s well enough to not confuse it with KNIGHT RIDER. I also remember it well enough to know that the dude had a pet alligator living in his boat, and it’s idea of a brooding soundtrack was Phil Collins and Glen Frey.

    It had guest appearances by: Bruce Willis, Pam Grier, Dennis Farina, John Turturro, Ving Rhames, John Heard, Wesley Snipes, Brad Dourif, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McShane, Benicio del Toro, and Miles Fucking Davis.

    Also: Gene Simmons, Penn Jillette, Eartha Kitt, Little Richard, Frankie Valli, Ted Nugent, The Fat Boys, Tommy Chong, Don King, Lou Albano, Sheena Easton, and Frank Stallone.

    Let’s call it a stalemate.

  603. I bought the Miami Vice box set a few years ago and have watched the whole thing twice since then (in addition to seeing it on TV in the 80’s), and I think it’s a brilliant show. Sure, it had some tacky clothes (people forget that they wore the white suits and pink wifebeaters only on certain under cover jobs, and in the whole of season three they mostly wore black and other dark colors) and shallow music (that’s Billboard for you), but also a lot of great 80’s rock ‘n roll, violent action scenes and more depth than most crime shows on TV. The movie version’s perhaps not that groundbreaking, but at least Mann gets the tone right. What he should have done was to make another Miami Vice television series with Foxx and Farrell so that they could have grown more into their characters. The three episodes with Pam Grier are perhaps the best of them all in the original series.

  604. Holy shit, guys, I’m getting excited for HAYWIRE. I’m reading this interview with Soderbergh (http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/i-cant-imagine-doing-another-action-movie-steven-soderbergh-discusses-the-fights-music-influences-of-haywire) and he’s saying all the right things.

    For instance:

    Q: In the fight scenes, you just put the camera here, and you watch events unfold.
    A: That was kind of the rule. Except for the Barcelona sequence, there isn’t any handheld in the movie. And even that, I tried to take the curse off the handheld by going off speed, so that it was still kind of smooth. But that was kind of the rule; the camera is not on your shoulder, and there’s never a shot that’s so tight that you don’t know what’s going on, or who you’re looking at, or why.

    The greatest poetry is always the simplest, don’t you think?

  605. Also:

    “I guess since I do this for a living I can tell when somebody’s just bluffing. So when I feel like you’re doing this because you don’t have it, or because you don’t have an idea. Your idea is to make it go fast so that it seems like it’s energetic but it’s fake. It’s just like somebody’s speed rapping but the sentences have no structure. I feel like I can tell when that was a plan or that was not a plan.”

  606. It’s sad how low the bar has been set for good action filmatism. Soderbergh shouldn’t have to articulate such an obvious problem & easy solution in an interview as though only his expert professional eye is what allows him to see the issue with post-action. Anyway, I hope 2012 Stallone reads that and lets 2008 Stallone out of the custody of the shaky-cam demon.

    I was already planning to see HAYWIRE opening day. Now expectations go from A- to A+.

    Let’s promise to contain our reactions & babblings until Vern posts his official review. Or not, since this is America and/or the internet, where freedom reigns, do what you want, I’m no dictator, home of the brave etc..

  607. Right? It’s like some champion marathon runner having to be like, “When I walk, I like to put one foot in front of the other. I don’t think it makes sense to try to step with both feet at once because then you will fall down and look like a total ass. But that might just be because I’m a professional and I notice these things that are invisible to the layman.”

  608. Your comparison humors me. Now do another one, comment monkey. There’s a Cuban cancer stick in it for you.

  609. Okay, um, how about…

    It’s like Frank Sinatra being all, “I think it’s important for singers to open their mouths when they sing. That’s what lets the sounds come out in my opinion.”

  610. Good job, little guy! Hop on out of that cage and have yourself a banana.

  611. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 17th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Casey – I will happily admit that both Nolan and Tarantino are very much an acquired taste. I know people who can’t stand one or the other and for whom the comedy-violence of “Pulp Fiction”, for example, is a sickening turn-off. As for Nolan, well, when the film of yours that probably worked the least was “Batman Begins”, you know you’re doing something right. But his more individual stuff is not going to be to everyone’s taste. I can understand that more than, say, the Fincher naysayers (seriously, what the fuck?)

    But then again, I’m the guy who’s taken nothing away from any of Soderburgh’s films except “Traffic”. (Yeah, I liked that one.) So I don’t suppose I’m in any position to talk. Hell, even I acknowledge his genius (mostly – I still think the whole tone of “Out of Sight” is like the movie version of the asshole intellectual in the room who has to prove he’s smarter than you every chance he gets).

  612. if Nolan and Tarantino are an acquired taste, than I got that taste in spades

  613. Nolan and Tarantino are mainstream blockbuster filmmakers who do movies with 9-figure budgets. They’re hardly ‘acquired tastes.’ It’s not like we’re talking Harmony Korine, Olivier Assayas or Catherine Breillat here.

  614. Paul has some strange notions, Tawdry. In his world, Nolan is a niche filmmaker, nunchucks are extraneous distractions, and LEON would be a masterpiece if Gary Oldman had passed on it. He holds a funhouse mirror up to our most cherished beliefs, and for that he is an invaluable member of the outlaw family. Without him hanging around making hamburgers of our sacred cows, we might start taking things for granted.

  615. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 17th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Tawdry – put it this way – I’d love to see what my dear old mother, and her mainstream sensibilities, would make of “Pulp Fiction” or “Memento”.

    Majestyk – now you’re doing that thing when you exaggerate the other guy’s statements to the point at which they become ridiculous. Also nunchucks are AWESOME! But nonetheless, I thank you for the back-handed compliments. I will edit them thus:

    “Paul… is an invaluable member of the… sacred cows.”

    Then date, sign, and have them delivered to my local funeral home so that they can be stamped on my tombstone.

    I hardly think I’m in the minority on “Leon”. Although when “Kill List” gets the cult following it deserves, I think “Leon” will very quickly cease to be the benchmark hitman-themed movies are measured against. Look, I love “Leon”, Oldman’s film-murdering performance notwithstanding; but it’s nowhere near being in the same league as “Kill List”.

  616. “now you’re doing that thing when you exaggerate the other guy’s statements to the point at which they become ridiculous. ”

    Paul – do what I do whenever Mr. M tries that shit on me: act goddamn ridiculous in the first place, it co-opts his gameplan and he’s forced to limpwrist comment or ignore.

    (or quote STAR TREK 2, whatever works.)

  617. So Cormac McCarthy wrote a spec script and is shopping it around. That’s randomly fascinating.

    Of course it’ll only get better when Orci and Kurtman rewrite his screenplay.


  618. It’s on the second season so I’m late to the game here, but any of you fellas watch Face Off? (The T.V. show about make-up artists, not the Cage / Travolta masterpiece)

    I saw a few of the episodes from Season 1. I especially like the one where they have to put their own make-up on and trick their familes into thinking they aren’t themselves.

    The leader guy of the judges kind of annoys me but it’s cool to see those make-up artist do their thing. Hopefully Rob Bottin will make a guest appearance on there one of these days. That would be boss.

  619. So, your mother is the barometer for popular culture right now? Show your Mom Momento, then show her Fat Girl, or The Holy Mountain, or Carlos, or Gummo.

    Inception made 825 million dollars. Dark Knight did about a billion. Clearly Nolan is not making ‘difficult’ films.

    Pulp Fiction did over 200 million in 1994.

    I think it’s pretty easy to determine that two of the most celebrated filmmakers of our generation hold mainstream appeal. Saying that Pulp Fiction is an inscrutable text is just lunacy to me. It’s incredibly easy to digest, even if it is quite complex.

  620. What´s this now? THE EXPENDABLES 2 getting a PG-13-rating because of Chuck Norris?!


  621. Yeah, I heard that rumor too, but a.) He is in this interview only talking about “foul language”, so in the end it maybe just means that if any changes were made because of him, the dialogue for his character was re-written.
    b.) Don’t wanna sound cruel, but I doubt that Chuck Norris has enough power, to change the whole style of that movie.
    c.) The first movie made much money while being rated R, so I doubt that the producers will take a PG13 into consideration.

  622. CJ- I believethey cut this section out of the interview to have a story to publish. It doesn´t necessarily mean shit.

  623. so did you guys hear about this?


    this is either a hoax or something pants shittingly scary, seriously what the fuck is that?

  624. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 18th, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Tawdry – you CAN’T say that something doesn’t appeal specifically to a certain market or group just because its sales figures are impressive. If you start arguing that, you’d have to argue that “Twilight” and Justin Bieber have universal appeal just because their sales figures are good. And I don’t see a lot of sixty-year-old women buying Justin Bieber CDs (although I might be wrong about that, I think there’s a definite case for Bieber as softcore pornography for grannies.)

    What I’m getting at, simply put, is that Tarantino and Nolan’s films, Batman aside, are most definitely not for everyone. You wouldn’t take your kids to see “Pulp Fiction” or “Reservoir Dogs” and you wouldn’t take your non-filmgoing aunt to see “Memento” or “Inception”. (For the record my poor much-maligned mother did actually go to see “Inception” – against my advice, because as much as I love that film, I know her tastes – and hated it. But I think she was expecting a Leonardo diCaprio rom-com or something.)

    My point is, yes, these film-makers are popular. But they won’t be for everyone. I’m not trying to say they’re “niche” or that they only make films for hardcore geeks or something. But someone whose idea of a good time at the movies is laughing at a Martin Lawrence flick is not going to be into “Memento” or “Inception”.

  625. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 18th, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Oh, and if they do a “Die Hard 4” on “Expendables 2″… actually, I won’t even finish that sentence, it looks like I’m comparing “Die Hard” to the fucking “Expendables”.

    My guess is they released a rumour of a PG-13 “Expendables” to stir up the fanboys into campaigning for an “R” rating. Thereby lending the movie some publicity / legitimacy. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened.

  626. Well I know many “non-film going” types that absolutely loved INCEPTION to the point of seeing it multiple times at the cinema. While on the other hand I perfectly fit into the “hardcore film goer” criteria and I absolutely hated the movie to the point that I refuse to give that piece of shit a second viewing. It’s all relative.

    EXPENDABLES 2 WILL NOT be PG-13. Any goodwill they have left after the disappointment of the first is the guarantee of some R-rated goodness in there. I doubt they’ll shoot themselves in the foot that way. But then again…

  627. Wait a minute, Gibby Haynes made an entire career out of singing with his mouth closed!

  628. I’m not sure if I’d call myself a hardcore movie goer or anything. I like going to the movies and I watch a lot of movies at home while painting or whatever. My taste in movies has more to do with my father sharing his love of Leone and others than my finding out about them on my own. I don’t know, I’m just a dude. Still, I’m with Broddie that I fucking hated Inception and it bored the hell out of me. I even tried to watch it a second time and it’s even more boring than the first go.

    Tarantino’s violence and language doesn’t bother me. His movies aren’t shocking. Everyone in his movies are cartoon characters that speak in that same “70s blaxpoloitation jive reiterated through a loser movie store geek” voice while he “pays homage” by using camera shots, music, and scenes from better movies. Tarantino’s movies don’t bore me, they annoy me.

    I am pretty excited about a new Cormac McCarthy movie, or anything involving Mr McCarthy. He’s amazing. He’s like the Christopher Nolan of literature!

  629. Guys, I just came back from seeing HAYWIRE…

    It’s hard to sum up my feelings for it, but basically, prepare for disappointment. The film’s basic problem is that it’s entirety is buildup to a payoff that never comes. And I don’t mean it’s got a damp squib of a climax. It’s not a got a climax PERIOD. The first half of the movie is pretty solid, if it does have a bit of a weird atmosphere with the technically brilliant, but a bit cold and empty thing Paul talks about above. There’s just an awkward feeling here with the silent gaps when characters are talking to each other in scenes, with the music only filling the gaps in transitional parts/montages, but it is actually bolstered by a number of good fight scenes and the initial op in Barcelona is done with the feel of a precision heist. When the penny drops on her being set up, things do pick up more and that emptiness lessens, and it starts feeling more pacey and a bit more amped up, but then the film just abruptly ends. And the final scene this happens in is actually fine by itself. It creates a sense of anticipation. You know by this point in the film what Gina can do, so you’re just waiting for it to happen, then it does. But the problem is…this scene should not be the culmination of the story! This scene should either lead into the third act, or be a fun little coda after the climax, but we just cut to credits, and I get this weird mix of being disoriented and pissed off, because I honestly thought there was more to come. It’s like they lost the last 20 minutes of the movie, and rather than reshoot it, just decided to edit it so it ended there. Which has the effect of making the earlier action scenes now seem lamer, because I was viewing them as a warm up to something more spectacular. I should note that Carano’s action scenes are virtually all hand to hand combat/brawling. I think she actually shoots a total of one person the entire movie(on screen that is, during the Barcelona section she fires an uzi, but the camera’s in front of her, so for all we know it was just a warning shot), so I was expecting a proper blow out climax at the end, with guns and explosions, maybe even a car chase. But we don’t get that. And MAYBE I can sort of appreciate that Soderbergh was trying to subvert things a little. He was subverting this type of genre a lot with the rest of the movie*, basically saying “yeah, the actual specifics of who the bad guys are exactly and why they needed to kill this guy that Gina’s been framed for murdering doesn’t really matter, does it? I mean, all you need to know is they fucked with her and she’s going to deal with them, right? Good. Let’s get on with it then”, and “No, listen. She and her dad get along fine. There’s not going to be an unnecessary subplot about them being estranged over how she was raised, and they reconcile through going through this struggle together. They’re GOOD. I won’t even show them reuniting, I’ll just cut straight to her already being at his house and making the place more secure”, though actually there is a nice bit where he sees her in action and it clearly scares him a little for a moment, not to mention “Yeah, I know you think this character here is going to turn out to be a bad guy, but nope. You’re wrong”. But the thing is, those things ARE actually good changes to make, as they are cutting out a lot of the bullshit that pads action movies, whereas I feel I have every right to expect more of a payoff than I got. And ultimately it’s more the movie is frustrating because of it than it is “bad”. Just an extra 20 minutes and one badass action scene that tops the rest to put an exclamation mark on it and I’d rate the movie are pretty good. Instead it’s a confusing, interesting failure that squanders its potential.

    *no one says the title at any point. Even though Fassbender’s line about her being “out of control” could have easily been amended to work it in.

  630. Damn it Stu and here I thought this would be the end of my Soderbergh disappointments. I mean OCEAN’S 13, THE INFORMANT and THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE really sucked. I didn’t bother with CHE cause it looked too self indulgent and I don’t really care for it’s subject. But I was really hoping HAYWIRE being an action thriller with a great cast would be the one to be like “oh yeah this is why I still bother with Steven Soderbergh’s movies.” oh well.

  631. Vern, just letting you know, STIR CRAZY is out on Blu Ray the 24th of this month. Please review this comedy classic.

  632. Man…I’m turning into a real contrarian…I just watched Kill Bill Vol. 1 last night and it was fuckin’ awesome. Very, very well done. Smart, well constructed and visually and thematically interesting.

    And I think Ocean’s 13 is the best Ocean, The Informant! was hysterical, The Girlfriend Experience was one of the most beautiful looking films I have ever seen, and Che was a massive and overwhelming work of art that demands to be seen in the 4-hour cut and on the big screen. I don’t like Che as a person and I pretty much think he died how he deserved to die, but that movie is brilliant.

  633. Stu, judging by your wall-o-text I assume Haywire kicked so much ass that you forgot how to use the enter button.

  634. Broddie- Don’t get me wrong though, what is there is pretty good, it’s just kinda pointless without that hypothetical climax. Carano’s a pretty decent presence, though they do make her a really uncomplicated person, even by action movie standards, but she is believably tough and capable. The other cast are good too. Fassbender has a little bit more to do than you expect from the trailers, Tatum is more than just a heavy, and with Ewan Mcgregor, his actions are a little more interesting when you take into account that his character is not just Gina’s boss, but her ex-boyfriend, which I suppose makes his semi-competance when they fight make more sense, because up till that point he’s depicted as a bit of a pussy. She must have given him a few pointers.

    Oh, I also the trailer for THIS MEANS WAR:
    I…don’t know how to feel about that. Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, what looks like some decent action, and a premise that could be funny? But, on the other hand…Reese Witherspoon with top billing, and a premise that could just as easily suck?

  635. Tawdry I must say that I always felt that KILL BILL VOL.1 was excellent. To think the only time I saw it in at the cinema was a test screening which was LONGER than what I have on DVD too. I actually like both movies in that series very much.

    Along with JACKIE BROWN that encompasses the quintessential Tarantino to me. No disrespect to PULP FICTION or RESERVOIR DOGS because they always were worthy of their hype but as a director I don’t think he’s ever been stronger than those 3 movies.

    That’s when he really showed his diversity as a filmmaker (whether as a writer or director). Up to those movies it was a pretty transparent though entertaining formula; I mean you could believe that TRUE ROMANCE, RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION and even FROM DUSK TILL DAWN all took place on the west and midwest regions of the same universe.

    Not so much with JACKIE BROWN or the KILL BILL dualogy though. Those movies clearly take place in their own respective worlds which feels very different from the others. A great pulpy and spiritually very Elmore Leonard world and something that came from the bastard child of Leone and the Shaw Bros.

  636. Oh Stu I’m definitely still gonna watch it. I catch everything on matinee anyway so it’s only 6 bucks and change for me which in NYC is a hell of a bargain. But my expectations have definitely been lowered though. Your gripes sound like the type of shit that often grinds my gears when it comes to the flicks so it’s good to at least be prepared for them I suppose. I may end up enjoying it more this way.

  637. Not reading that. Sorry, Stu. I’m gonna allow myself a tiny little drop of hope for once in my goddamn life, if that’s alright with you.

  638. Tawdry- I said I was disoriented after it. My ability to find the enter button was no doubt temporarily paralysed.

  639. BTW Tawdry I also meant to ask what did you think of SOLARIS?

    I’m actually not an anti-remake type of guy but boy was that movie a complete mess. Biggest problem it has is the same one Nolan’s INSOMNIA had; it completely misses the thematic point of the foreign original and just recaptures superficiality. Any film without it’s primal spirit just won’t work and that’s why those failed; they were nothing like their original versions at all outside of the superficial. Tarkovsky IMO completely when over Soderbergh’s head on that one.

  640. *went not when. Good grief.

  641. I don’t like that people outside the USA get to see a movie before I do.

  642. Mouth- Too bad that’s a problem you CAN’T solve with aerial drones then. I’ll keep my thoughts on THE AVENGERS to myself when that comes out though, if that makes you happy.

  643. I hope THE AVENGERS is somehow not released in the UK until 2013, as Zeus righteously wills it.

    And I hope in Stu’s neighborhood it plays only in the shittiest cinema in the smelliest auditorium with “Exit” signs that are too bright & reflective off the edges of his shitty fake 3D glasses and I hope he has to park really far away and walk through slush to get to the box office and I hope he gets kicked out for illegally sneaking in mutton snacks or whatever it is his people eat up there.


    I find myself agreeing with some and vehemently disagreeing with so many of Broddie’s opinions in the threads lately, it’s been a real exercise in restraint for me to not address a few of them. I think I’m becoming a better person, learning that it’s okay to not express my opinion on everything all the time, that everyone’s opinion is his/her own and not likely to be adjusted by my counterarguments, that it won’t harm the world to let a wrong statement or stupid opinion stand unchallenged, that, although I am Rocky Balboa, not everyone else is Ivan Drago.

  644. I hope that every time you try to watch the musical episode of Buffy you go spontaneously deaf and blind for an hour, since we all know that’s your real reason for watching the show. And when you watch ANGEL, all of Lorne’s signing is inexplicable dubbed over with William Hung’s voice.

  645. And if you haven’t already watched all of season 3 yet, I hope all you see of the rest of is just “Beer Bad”.

  646. Broddie:

    Solaris is an interesting case. It’s a remake that should *never* have been made and certainly not made at an 80 million dollar price tag. However, it is still an interesting experiment. Certainly Soderbergh was never going to touch Tarkovsky, but I kinda like it visually. Plus, the bit where the future scientist is listening to the Insane Clown Posse is hysterical.

  647. I’m not a huge Soderbergh fan, however. I think his films generally feel very stilted. Oceans 11 had a few extra scenes at the end, Erin Brocavich left me cold. Sex, Lies and Video Tape is like 20 minutes too long. And so on.

    I actually think he’s at his best when he’s pandering to the audience on some level. Oceans 11 and 13 are great popcorn entertainment (and the latter has my favorite sound design of any movie ever) and move smoothly and beautifully.

    Frankly, when I go see a Soderbergh film I do it for the atmosphere, editing, acting and cinematography. The man is great at telling stories, but not a natural storyteller. Does that make sense?

  648. Mouth I take lots of pride in my inherent stupidity. It’s always a good reason to scream “Go USA”.

  649. See Tawdry I appreciate that he was trying to make up for the disconnect of 12 by bringing things back to 11 levels but the horrible overacting from Pacino and Garcia at times in that movie just kill it for me.

    They get way too hammy at times. As someone who actually thought the much hated GODFATHER PT. 3 is ok cause of those guys that was disappointing. Especially under an actor’s director like Soderbergh. Also Andy Garcia should’ve never been a part of the “team” even if it was a double cross or whatever. I can’t even remember cause that movie was a few years and many blunts ago.

  650. Today is Beat Takeshi’s birthday. Pay some respect by netflixing your favorite film (doesn’t have to be by him).

  651. I saw Oceans 13 three times in theaters, mainly because I loved the way it sounded and looked. Just a wonderful piece of entertainment. I know it’s blasphemy, but it’s honestly my favorite Soderbergh movie (along with Che, which has the best use of digital cinematography I have ever seen. I seriously thought it was shot on 70mm and not RED).

  652. I actually like OCEAN’S 12. I love how it just tears apart the first movie. All the money’s gone, everything keeps going wrong, and the slickly executed plan they had for that one is replaced by a sloppy snatch-and-grab that you might miss if you’re not paying attention. The “Julia Roberts” parts were a little unfortunate but I can forgive it for the awesome laser breakdancing burglary scene.

  653. Yeah I like it too. It’s why I never put it in the shit list. I like that it bucks the system and is completely NOT what you would’ve expected from a follow up to the original. A sequel with balls and unapologetic enough about it to still do it’s own thing while simultaneously shitting on itself. Ingenious satire at times in certain ways. It’s probably one of my most favorite big budget meta movies ever. Up there with LAST ACTION HERO which is hated even more. Pretty underrated.

  654. Oceans 12 was not written as an Oceans movie and that was painfully obvious to me. They keep putting the characters in jail or holding them up in some way because they didn’t have 12 necessary parts. Also, Bernie Mac was really annoying in it.

    Sidenote: one of the best rap disses I ever (co-wrote) had a final stinger about Mac —

    “You’re a blockbuster, I’m Netflix
    I’m what’s next, bitch
    your content’s skinnier than a fuckin’ anorexic
    and I’m the fat chick
    Your style’s so tight, well my flow’s spastic
    You’re home all alone while I’m out getting my ass licked
    May not be old school, at least I’m not Jurassic
    Never been in a fist fight? At least I got my ass kicked
    You’re biodegradable, I’m all plastic
    You’re pretty pink pussy, I’m black dick
    And if you can come back, I’ll go cardiac like Bernie Mac did.

    Now imagine a pretty and buxom little white girl spitting that and you might understand why it’s funny.

  655. “A sequel with balls and unapologetic enough about it to still do it’s own thing while simultaneously shitting on itself. Ingenious satire at times in certain ways.”

    Except, the movie is only like that because they had a certain window when all the stars were available, but no script. So, they took an unrelated (but very good) script and retconned it into being a sorta-Oceans movie.

    That said, the scene with the car exploding behind Brad Pitt is totally awesome and the color pallet is unique. Maybe I should give it another go…

  656. I didn’t know that. I was never into those movies enough to get into the BTS stuff behind it. I had no clue it was another SIMON SAYS type deal. Definitely explains a lot. I just went into it thinking “ok it’s the sequel”. For one thing I loved how the super cool guys from OCEAN’S 11 are supposed to be these extremely pathetic lowlifes in 12. That movie was a good deconstruction of the heist movie.

  657. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 18th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Stu – glad to hear about “Haywire”. Since I always disagree with you guys about everything Soderburgh, I fully expect to love it unreservedly.

    (Actually, although I’ll probably see it anyway, I’m not surprised – if a little disappointed – by your review of it. I’ve not seriously disliked a Soderburgh film since “Out of Sight”, which is to me what “Waking Life” is to Vern. Although I thought “Ocean’s Eleven” was a massive waste of his talent. Which I’ve never once doubted, by the way – the guy has LOTS of talent.)

    Anyway, that’s all by-the-bye. I have bigger news than this – nothing less than an Outlaw Vern exclusive! Yes, my long-anticipated review of “The Silence”! Writing it up now…

  658. I’ll do my own review while we wait.

    THE SILENCE is quiet…too quiet.

  659. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 18th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Ok, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for. Swedish arthouse police procedural flick “THE SILENCE”.

    So the film opens with the two killers driving down a country road in a car. This scene has echoes of “The disappearance of Alice Creed” in the way that the killers are initially presented as two mute men, going about their business in a coldly calculating way. That expectation is shot to bits when they spot a young girl on a bicycle going down a lonely-looking road. They stop (literally, the driver stops the car and reverses back to the entrance of the road), chase her down, and one of them rapes her.

    How does this scene play out? Well, the production values – unlike “Alice Creed” – are excellent. The cinematography throughout is pretty stunning and the score is another early contender for “best of the year”. Seriously, I hope that 2012 keeps this standard of musical scoring up, because “The Silence” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” have set the bar REALLY high. The rape itself unsurprisingly happens mostly offscreen, and would probably have been more disturbing if I hadn’t just watched the Swedish version of TGwtDT (which contained one of the most genuinely horrifying rape scenes I’ve seen in a long while. Seriously, that – and Lisbeth’s hobbled walk home afterwards – was brutally effective.)

    In a way, though, “The Silence”, although less horrifying, is even more disturbing. There’s something terrifyingly slapdash about it. This is clearly not something that the men have planned, although they have prepared for it to some degree; the girl wasn’t stalked, she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The sheer randomness of it is what makes it horrifying.

    The film keeps up the high quality of production throughout, but adds to it with great if lightly-sketched characters and a fairly gripping story. Partly it focusses on one of the initial killers, now twenty-three years older and with his own family to look after; partly it looks at it through the eyes of the police investigators; and lastly, we see the two families primarily affected by the killers’ actions. All three points-of-view mesh well with each other and have their own place in the story.

    So let’s go through it:

    THE GOOD: Gripping, tense police procedural with well-sketched characters and excellent cinematography and scoring.

    THE BAD: I didn’t like one of the characters; I thought the replacement lead investigator brought everything down a notch. He’s very much a one-dimensional character and a complete asshole to boot; his scenes were easily the worst of the movie. Other than that, I have no complaints.

    Should you see “The Silence”? Yes, if you like sombre slow-burn character-based police procedurals. This is a great example of the genre and definitely worth looking out for.

  660. You know I wasn’t going to see THE GREY, apparently a new recent Hollywood tradition of opening Liam Neeson action/adventures in the early dead months of the year.

    But then CM Punk tweeted that he liked it, saying “Wanna watch Liam Neeson fist fight wild animals?”

    Why yes sir, yes I would.

    ~If you can’t trust movie recommendations from pro wrestlers, who can you trust?

  661. Why would you not want to see Liam Neeson going all KICKBOXER on a pack of wolves?

  662. For me, the prospect of seeing THE GREY is a little uncomfortable, as the story of a widower coming to terms with his wife’s passing in the snowy wastes has somewhat of a parallel to Neeson losing his own wife in a skiing accident two years ago. I fear I’d be thinking too much of that to really enjoy the awesomeness of the movie’s concept.

  663. Oceans 12 is the best Oceans movie by far. You got all these overly confident thieves who basically breezed through the greatest heist of all time who’s backs are now against the wall. The movie did the impossible for me which is make me ask myself “how the fuck are they going to get out of this?” In the first and the third movie, you knew they were gonna pull the job off successfully and get away with it but in 12, I really didn’t know what was going to happen.

    There’s so much shit going on in that movie it took me about 8 viewings until I really understood what was going on. It also took me that long to realize that Brad Pitt is the main character this time rather Clooney. He gets to pull off the caper and get the girl in this one. Speaking of the girl, this also has my favorite performance from Catherine Zeta Jones. Not only does she look fantastic, she’s a capable foe for the Ocean’s crew. She just oozed class and intelligence (with a little deviance). The laser dance, the meeting with Robbie Coltrane, Bruce Willis, all good stuff in my opinion. The whole thing is a little self indulgent and the raising of the house using hydraulics (they were only going to make about 3 million with that heist and that alone must have cost like 5 million) was ridiculous but its my favorite Oceans and maybe my favorite Soderbergh film.

  664. Stu – That doesn’t bother me, probably for all we know, he did that movie because he could relate to it. GREY is not an art wrapped in tragedy of which you can’t unpack* like THE CROW or GAME OF DEATH or Landis’ episode in TWILIGHT ZONE movie or Prince’s EMANCIPATION album or whatever.

    There’s an article/interview of Neeson worth-reading (google it!) from last year (around time of UNKNOWN). The one anecdote I remember was sometime after that tragedy, he was at a Knicks game with his son. One of those stupid MSG TV reporters had one of those time-out/short interview spots with him, and before taping asked him which of his own movies does he prefer to watch: PHANTOM MENACE or SCHINDLER’S LIST?

    Yeah wrong question to ask, and Liam apparently nearly tore the poor ditzy woman’s head off for asking such a screwy question (“Lightsabre fights or death camps? Ummm…”) and his boy had to get him to calm the fuck down had the interviewer re-ask the question with something else instead of LIST (Taken? Can’t remember.)

    I don’t know why that tidbit stuck in my memory banks.

    Another anecodte I remember was when he’s asked Northern Ireland and he refused to comment, because he said the last time he did, one of his relatives got the shit beaten out of him because of it.

  665. Expendables 2 = PG 13. It’s been confirmed by Sly: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/52774

    They say Chuck didn’t want to do it otherwise but I’m sure they didn’t change the rating just because of him. It’s just a money thing and that’s making me really really sad. I thought we’d left this crap behind us after the first one, where for the longest time the rating was also in question. So I wasn’t even worried about this one, now suddenly they pull this? I feel hurt and betrayed etc.

    Now this is the 2nd Sly action movie I have to boycot this year after they fired Thomas Jane off Bullet To The Head.

  666. They’re not going to make anymore money this way. Stupid move especially since it alienates the movie’s actual demographic in favor of appealing to a demographic that doesn’t exist in 2012 (14 – 24 yr olds that will flock to Stallone movies).

  667. Oh but wasn’t Tom Jane replaced by that guy that plays Han in BETTER LUCK TOMORROW and the FAST & FURIOUS street car opera? I think that was a nice exchange cause I want to see that actor in more movies myself.

  668. Nothing against Sung Kang, but I’m a Jane fan and would have loved to see him work with Sly. Also they way it happened rubs me the wrong way, with Jane basically being fired because he’s caucasian.

  669. Well,with that PG13 rating on EXPENDABLES 2 it looks like the days of theatrically released R-rated movies are over (at least in Sweden..). Damn it,Sly, you were the last person I expected this from…

  670. man, my interest in EXPENDABLES 2 has been deflated, the first wasn’t even that violent (and it was super fake looking CGI blood)

    I really wish someone would make an extremely violent Paul Verhoeven style action movie these days

  671. Perhaps maybe even Paul Verheoeven himself.

  672. Stu – you’re right about HAYWIRE: saw it last night and it just felt flat. Carano’s great but everyone looked bored. All those reviews calling it a “non-stop thrill ride” – well, they must be written by critics who’ve never seen an actual action movie.

    I’m a little bit sad to see EXP2 is PG-13, but lest we forget – the “unrated cut”!!

  673. Unrated cuts are usually a case of too little too late. It all depends on the way a movie was shot, the overall tone etc. It’s not enough to add a few extra splashes of red CGI here and there and the occasional “fuck” when a character’s mouth is not on screen (like they did with Die Hard 4). Even with the first Expendables you could tell that the decision to go R-rated came really late in the process. There’s certain scenes with some cursing, but mostly the movie is free of swearing. I’m sure bits like the guy being blown in half by Dolph were shot just in case, but most of the film feels like it could have been PG 13 anyway.

    What I was hoping for was that there would be no identity crisis with the 2nd one because the first did well with an R-rating. I wanted it to be hardcore, and written and shot that way from the start. Now even with an unrated cut it’s going to be the same thing as the first all over again.

  674. RRA-“That doesn’t bother me, probably for all we know, he did that movie because he could relate to it.”
    Yeah probably. And I would dearly love for how he says he got the Oscar Schindler role in LIFE’S TOO SHORT to be true.

  675. Mike- Are you sure that they made a late decision with an R-rated cut of the first one? I´ve watched some reviews of the directors cut and it seems like the new cut has more swearing in it. If that´s the case, then Stallone shot more R-rated footage than what appeared in the theatrical cut.

  676. so since my comments on the movie’s respective reviews have disappeared from the “Recent commentary and jibber-jabber” I figure I’ll mention them here

    anyway I watched Darkman and Escape From L.A. tonight

    I liked Darkman a lot, the scene where Liam Neeson flips out at the carnival was fucking hilarious, I couldn’t stop laughing, “just take the fucking elephant!”

    Escape From L.A. I thought was only ok, the CGI was laughably bad, that submarine sequence looked like something out of an episode of Reboot and the movie pretty much entirely loses steam by the time Snake hang-glides into NOT Disney Land

    of course the ending is kickass, so overall it was worth watching, I dug the “mid 90’s B movie” feel

  677. Griff- I´really like ESCAPE FROM L.A. It´s cheesy b-action at it´s finest. Great supporting cast; Stacy Keach, Cliff Robertson( who looks a bit like Bush in myb opinion), Peter Fonda and more. It´s more about action than atmosphere and suspense than the first one, but that´s ok.And yes, the CGI was terrible even in those days. I remember buying the VHS and when I watched it, I couldn´t believe how bad it looked, especially that fake shark.

  678. another thing is all the shots of ruined buildings and stuff looked like it was photo-shopped in, it was very odd looking

  679. ShootMcKay – I am not 100% that the decision on an R rating for the Expendables came late, but it sure felt like that to me. Scenes with extra gore (such as Dolph shooting the baddie in half, Stallone vs the rapists) seemed to be isolated from the rest, same goes for scenes with swearing in them. I haven’t seen the new cut yet, it’s not coming out in Europe so I’ll have to import it at some point.

  680. By the way, if Stallone did shoot scenes several ways (pg 13 or R-rated style) then that must mean the decision on one or the other must have come late. Otherwise, why shoot it both ways?

  681. Mike: The extended cut of THE EXPENDABLES is released in Germany on February 20, so I guess the rest of Europe might get it around the same time.

  682. It´ll certainly be interesting to see how THE EXPENDABLES 2 gonna do in theatres. As it is now excluding the audience it was meant for does seem like a retarded idea, whether it´s Chuck´s fault, greediness or both. Retarded, because the logic behind a PG-13 rating is to have a bigger audience and an R-rating excludes younger people and less box-office revenue (is that the correct word?).Now that logic would work if the entire planet was overpopulated with teens.But by doing this they also exclude older people that grew up with Stallone,Schwarzenegger and Van Damme. I don´t know.. I think it´s stupid.

  683. And just when I thought I couldn’t be less excited for EXP2. My mood has now officially gone from “resigned apathy” to “total dread.” I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t even see it now. I’ve tried to make it a point not to do things that I know will just piss me off.

    I mean, it’s all just horseshit. PG-13 means digital blood. It means extra fast editing because god forbid it look like anything actually has any impact. And we’re supposed to just take Sly’s word for it that this is a good thing? There’s so much spin on his statement he must have needed dramamine to get through it. “This movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible.” That’s a great way of saying “We are hoping to squeeze an extra six or seven mill out of you idiots before we rape you for two versions of the DVD.”

    Aren’t these things supposed to be pure and simple fan service? Then when the fuck are we gonna start getting one single thing we want? Somebody’s getting serviced here and it sure as shit ain’t the people who actually love and respect this kind of movie.

    Fuck this shit. I’m out. Sly had me convinced for about five minutes that he had a soul, but he’s no different than he was when he made ROCKY V. Just give him the money and more time in the spotlight and he’ll do whatever the bosses say.

  684. Majestyk speaks the truth. Personally my day has been offically ruined, not once but TWICE!

    1) I failed an exam

    2) Coming home, thinking my day couldn´t possibly be worse, here was this bullshit from beyond my wildest dreams.

    I need to get drunk and fast!

  685. It could be worse, Shoot. I just got to work. My first drink is a long ways off.

  686. It IS worse! My first drink won´t come until I have money,which I won´t until tomorrow. So I´m looking at at least 16 hours until I can quelch my drinking problems temporarily. ( I don´t really have a drinking problems,just so you know. But on the other hand, that´s exactly what those with drinking problems claim…)

  687. At least Safe is R-rated, so we can see Statham kicking ass properly later in the year. While holding a little Chinese girl’s hand, yes, but you can’t have everything.

  688. I like the stakes raised in the SAFE trailer (it’s not just the russian and chinese mob after him but the god damn NYPD too); and it seems to have a promising mexican standoff in it too. Can’t wait to check that one out myself. Was always curious as to what made WB think Boaz Yakin was the best guy for a BATMAN BEYOND movie. Hopefully his action set pieces and pacing in SAFE will show me.

  689. I just can’t get excited for Statham movies anymore. I haven’t been really satisfied with a movie of his in a few years, not enough to merit the ticket price anyway. He’s looking more and more like “wait for DVD” guy. I love the dude, but I just don’t trust that the people he chooses to work with know what the fuck they’re doing.

    Man, I’m just one big fucking ray of sunshine today, aren’t I? I think I’m still smarting because I had about 24 hours of being really excited about HAYWIRE and then our British friends started taking massive dumps all over it. Plus, the AV Club gave it a good grade, which is never a good sign for an action movie.

  690. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Expendables 2 really IS PG-13?


    You know what this reminds me of? A little-known now-forgotten movie called “Cursed”, whose original cut (before it was butchered by the producers) was directed by Wes Craven, who pretty much disowned it afterwards. (If anybody here hasn’t read Vern’s review of “Cursed”, DO SO. It’s one of his absolute best and dissects the whole process of making a movie like this with ruthless precision. It’s a must-read.) Link: https://outlawvern.com/2005/02/25/cursed/

    Anyway, Vern made the point that “Cursed” was pretty much a movie without an audience, and I think the same applies to “Expendables 2″…. I mean, who are they trying to appeal to? The mass market, on the whole, was disappointed by the original, so they’re not going to turn out in droves for the sequel this time unless it looks seriously good. People as a whole aren’t that stupid, and this isn’t a case like “Transformers” where there were at least a lot of younger people who liked the original movie for the ‘splosions etc.

    Actually I might just have answered my own question there… if they’re going for the Michael Bay crowd, the PG-13 rating was a smart move. Oh dear.

  691. You don’t get it, Paul. It’s about emotions. Deeply felt emotions that need to be shared with everyone, and not just people who are 17 and older. Sly is just thinking of the children.

  692. ….and why would actually kids wanna watch PG-13 movies anyway , when they are used to gratuitous profanity and violence in videogames?…..God? I really reallly hate you today

  693. Aww, do you need to feel better today, Mr. Majestyk?  Shoot Mack?  Guys? You should read my ignored recent comment, as I borrow Griff’s cross-posting strategy here —  


    It’s my contribution to the real argument that will not die, the argument that SUCKER PUNCH is the most wrongly severely maligned movie in years.  

    There’s also a special treat for Jareth, our resident Guy Maddin aficionado if I recall right.  

    I can’t hate on Stallone too much, because he gave me RAMBO 4: THE INFINITE .50 CAL AMMO CRACKDOWN: A NEW HOPE, and whenever EXPENDABULLSHIT (pun rage!) news starts to anger up my blood, I remember RAMBO and I can’t stay mad.  

  694. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I will try and get to “Haywire” tomorrow. Actually there’s a bunch of movies all coming out at the same time that I want to see… it’s gonna be a long weekend. “Margin Call” and “Shame” are both coming to the arts centre soon. So hopefully I will have a bunch of reviews for you guys of these films.

    Did “Haywire” open over here before it did in the US? I didn’t even realise it was out.

  695. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Shoot McKay – don’t hate me, I’m just the messenger. It just so happens that the messages I bring usually happen to be bad…

    Makestyk – y’see, the “think of the children” logic doesn’t ring true, because I saw loads of R-rated movies (18 over here) when I was younger. Hell, I saw “The Thing” when I was, like, eight years old. Didn’t do me any lasting psychological damage.

    (Well, apart from those nightmares I still have of Wilford Brimley putting his HAND through my FACE. But apart from that, no damage at all.)

  696. How about the ONG BAK and CHOCOLATE sequels, Majestyk? Any enthusiasm for those?

  697. Paul – naw,the only messenger I have some issues with is Stallone.He was the bringer of bad news. But apparently he is aware of all the nerd-rage about the rating, so it´s nice that he actually bother to respond to all this.Not many actors would do that.

  698. Thanks for the link, Mouth – good stuff. Mr. Maddin’s Chief Propagandist thanks you.

  699. Paul: Apparently it opened in your neck of the woods last weekend. Stu and someone else have been peeing on my parade for the past few days.

    I’m kind of torn right now. Should I try to keep the last few embers of my optimism burning and go see it opening night, disregarding the fact that the wrong people like it and the right people don’t? Or should I try to avoid another MI4 situation and wait for the Vern review (not that that would have helped)? I know I’m making a bigger deal out of this decision than I should but going to the movies is such a pain in the ass for me that it really bums me out when they let me down. Look at it thi ways. I don’t get out of work until 7:00 or 7:30, and the nearest theater is about 30, 40 minutes away by subway. So the early showing is out because I can’t just walk into a Manhattan theater at the last minute on opening night and expect to get a decent seat. That means I have to wait for the 9:30 or 10:00. Which means I have to kill two hours in Manhattan, which means spending more money on top of the between $13.50 and $22 (depending on whether I got the ticket through Fandango, IMAX, 3D, etc) I spent on the ticket. Then the movie doesn’t get out until midnight, and I have about an hour subway ride home. So if the movie sucks, that means I just spent a bunch of money and about six hours of my life on some bullshit. It’s not like I’m just hopping in my car and driving to the mall and dropping a Hamilton. It’s an investment, and since I’m not by nature a gambling man, I get pissed off when my investment doesn’t pay off.

    Obviously, no one has ever suffered like I suffer.

    Anyway, yes, Mouth, I read your SUCKER PUNCH comment and I totally agree. There’s a movie that’s satisfying and subversive and pandering and interesting and retarded all at the same time. A total experience. We have a beautiful future together, SUCKER PUNCH and me.

    And you’re right, I can’t stay mad at the man who made RAMBO 4: THE THROAT-RIPPENING. I just want to put this whole EXPENDABLES thing behind me. It should have been glorious, it wasn’t, it never will be, get used to disappointment.

  700. Shoot: Sure, Asian action cinema is still kicking ass on a regular basis. But I’d kind of like to get both competent murderation and badass dialogue I can quote in its original language in the same movie. I don’t feel that’s too much to ask.

  701. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Shoot – Stallone’s statement reads much like Bruce’s that came out just before “Die Hard 4” did. Now personally I was one of those people who thought “Die Hard 4” was a bit of fun, although barely on a par with #2, let alone #1. But I think you’d find it hard to make a case that the PG-13 rating improved things.

    Anyway, my point is that I didn’t exactly trust Bruce then and I don’t trust Stallone now. They’re hardly going to criticise their own movies before they’ve had a chance to do some serious business at the box-office.

  702. Majestyk: I give Soderbergh about the same benefit of the doubt I give the Coen brothers: even when their films don’t work for me (or I outright dislike them, like HUDSUCKER PROXY and O BROTHER), there’s enough skill in the execution to make the viewing worth while.

    I’m just going to assume that the negative response to HAYWIRE is similar to all the heat the Coens got for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

  703. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Majestyk – I drove an hour and a half, twice, to see movies at my arts cinema, only to find out that they were sold out.

    Oh, and it gets worse. I drove all that way and back again to see “Buried”. Yep, what I described as the single worst movie of the last four or five years that I’d seen, I drove for three hours to see. Even bought petrol for the job. Even went on the basis that it had had some recommendations from people on the Internet who should’ve known a whole lot better. Damn it, it’s been over a year since I saw that shit and I’m STILL angry just thinking about it.

    So yeah… if I feel any sympathy for you, it’s because I’ve been through the exact same thing, many times.

  704. Majestyk – yeah those badass mandarin one-liners are quite hard to quote to people…

  705. I found this remark from Soderbergh about HAYWIRE kind of promising:

    “So we were just looking for ways to distinguish each of the fights, but to a certain point, if you’re not going to indulge in bullshit, the thing’s got to come to an end. If you’re not flying people around on wires, and you’re only allowing them to do things that people can really do, it can’t go on for very long, because eventually somebody gets the drop on the other person and then it’s over. The tricky part was making sure they had a natural length and rhythm to them, and it felt like a real fight as opposed to something that a bunch of movie people threw together.”

    Also, it’s co-written by Lem Dobbs with intentional stylistic connections to THE LIMEY.

  706. At least it’s not Cantonese. I’d like to preemptively apologize to Chow Yun Fat and millions of other Chinese people but GOOD GOD is that language hard on the ears. That’s why I’ll never get rid of my dubbed copy of THE KILLER where they call each other Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in what sounds suspiciously like the same boxing announcer’s voice.

  707. When the phrase”barbeque grand scale ass bashing” came up in Sly´s response, I immedialely thought of ACTION JACKSON and came to the conclusion; On that day,you can make a PG-13 actionmovie that tops ACTION JACKSON, Satan will be iceskating to work…

  708. Majestyk – I own a british VHS versio of THE KILLER and in the english subtitles they call each other Mickey and Dumbo.

  709. You’re supposed to tell me what you think about my favorite shot of 2011, Mr. M & Griff, et al.  Quit your job, go get your SUCKER PUNCH dvd, fast forward to the ~31:30 mark of the theatrical cut or the 38:00ish mark of the extended cut, and see if you see the same thing.  What’s so difficult about this request?  You care more about your job than about my movie questions?  

    I hate to hear the argument (and certainly hate to use it myself) that if a particular American movie had instead been, like, Norwegian or Korean or something, or if somebody without the built-in backlash & baggage of a Zack Snyder had instead directed a particular movie, then a lot more people would be willing to call it a good movie instead of dismissing it, but I believe that’s some of what has happened with SUCKER PUNCH.  Some.  Not all.  

    You know it’s true.  We have all seen people gush over mediocre Thai/Korean/Scandinavian/Japanese movies because they ignore the narrative weaknesses in favor of celebrating the wacky awesome stuff, the stuff that we assume we could never see in mainstream American films or within the Hollywood sensibility (if that exists).  

    Like TOKYO GORE POLICE or HAUSU — not the best storytelling or filmatism, but you gotta love the crazy shit, but if they were American or British films (The weakness of the argument I hate to use is apparent here, since we’re admittedly arguing a nonexistent thing.) they’d be judged very differently.  

    Or if XANADU or HOOK were Japanese, it wouldn’t get shit on, I bet.  Not sure.  

    Maybe this sounds like I’m complaining about a filmatistical criticism’s make-believe affirmative action policy, which would make sense coming from me, the hardcore “USA is better than wherever you live” guy, but that’s not what I’m getting at.  

    It’s politically incorrect to play the “foreign movies are unfairly overrated by wannabe hipsters” card, but sometimes it’s true.  I’m allowed to say that, though, because some of my best friends are Asian movies.  

    Anyway, what I’m getting at is not a precise parallel or a scientifically quantifiable data set, but I think it’s an interesting intellectual exercise to consider kind of the inverse — what if SUCKER PUNCH had been exactly the same as it is now, except it was in Mandarin/German/Canadian instead of American English?  Wouldn’t it be judged vastly differently?  

  710. I think some of it comes from people giving foreign movies the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like acting, dialogue, and shit not making sense because they assume something was lost in translation. Also, if SUCKER PUNCH had been Indonesian or something, some of the people who hated it might think it was a fascinating look into the psyche of a foreign nation, rather than a kinda muddled look into the psyche of an emotionally stunted frat guy. Also, there’s the Special Olympics aspect where foreign movies with good special effects get overpraised because it must have been really hard for them to do all that in their bamboo huts with computers that are run by a capybara on a wheel or whatever it is they have over there.

  711. Mouth: My big problem with SUCKER PUNCH is that the fashion models they hired to perform in the film do nothing but strike silly poses and maintain duckface for two hours. I like to think that I don’t spare films like GEOMON or CASSHERN, which are guilty of the same thing, just because they are Asian.

    I’m willing to forgive SUCKER PUNCH its retardedness and laughable themes, and even Synder’s heavy handedness. TOKYO GORE POLICE is pretty retarded too, and certainly not subtle. But Yoshihiro Nishimura seems to adore retardation and revel in it while still creating moments of genuine surprise and wit.

    Also, Eihi Shiina is a sympathetic genre actress, not a Tiger Beat pinup like the cast of SUCKER PUNCH. Do you think AUDITION would have been better with one of the anonymous SUCKER PUNCH stars voguing their way through it?

  712. Mr. Majestyk, I know your pain all too well.

    I have settled for just holding onto the movies I love so tightly that when I go out and see a new movie that ends up disappointing me I can always return to the warm embrace of The Proposition / Unforgiven / Speed Racer / Once Upon A Time In The West. It’s okay, Haywire, you were never going to be as good as City of God so I can’t be disappointed in you.

  713. Stallone: “Yes, Expendables 2 is PG13, but it is fantastic. The movie touches on many emotions which we want to share with the broadest audience possible. I don’t get why people are complaining. The fans of the original all say that a PG13 rating means it will suck.”

    Rambo: “They ain’t lying.”

    Stallone: “But Van Damme has turned in an inspired performance! Also there is a barbeque with ass banging where nobody is hungry. This movie will change the minds of these nay-saying fans.”

    Rambo: “Are you bringing any weapons?”

    Stallone: “Of course not, the movie is PG13. But we have kittens and cookies and in the biggest emotional scene Dolph Lundgren says something mean about Van Damme’s hair.”

    Rambo: “You’re not changing anything.”

    Stallone: “Just accept it, buddy: the R rated action movie is dead. Expendables 2 will bring in more money than the original and from then on all action movies in the world will be PG13.”

    Rambo: “Fuck the world.”

  714. Sorry, was bored. Also, still crying manly tears about the PG13 news.

  715. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Mouth – I’ll answer that question in my own way, if you please.

    See, I don’t have Jareth’s problems with the actresses they hired. I think they do their absolute best at exactly what they’re supposed to do, which is to play fetish-fuel eye-candy mannequins with zero character – who, let’s not forget, are portrayed that way while in the fantasy of A GIRL. Not a lecherous guy or something. A girl. I mean, what the fuck am I supposed to take from this? That the world this girl lives in is so utterly dominated by male chauvenists that even her dreams involve beautiful girls in skintight leather kicking ass? At the behest of Scott Glenn. (Poor Scott Glenn. He’s come down a LONG way since “Backdraft”.)

    And just to remind you, I didn’t hate “Sucker Punch”, by any means. I thought it was at times a great spectacle, and the moment I’d seen it I went out and bought the soundtrack. But the whole thing seemed grotesquely sleazy in a completely un-self-aware kind of way. I mean, the film completely seems to buy into it being some kind of a female empowerment fantasy where the females just wear skimpy costumes, etc, because hey, it’s a male-dominated society, and why not?

    But I gotta say, I didn’t buy into it, at all. I think the whole thing is bullshit. I think the guard showing remorse at the end comes off really badly, almost as if it’s pandering to the people who want Baby Doll’s actions to have had SOME consequence other than the other girl escaping (and bear in mind here, I also thought the ending where the girl escapes was by far the best part of the movie and the only bit of it where it “grabbed” me, emotionally speaking. Hell, if the rest of it had been a tenth as effective as that one scene was, it would’ve been a good movie.) But this is a dishonest movie, to itself and to the viewer. The film-makers clearly thought it was one thing, but it’s not that thing, it’s something a lot different and more unpleasant and sleazy.

    And no, I wouldn’t care if it was in a foreign language. Probably a quarter of the films I watch nowadays are foreign-language, and I can tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones, thank you very much. For example, “The Silence” was a good one. “Machine Girl” was a bad one. It’s not difficult.

  716. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Jeez, that last post came off way more patronising than I intended it. Sorry.

    I dunno what it is about Mouth and myself, we seem to bring out the worst in one another.

  717. Mouth – I just happened to watch Sucker Punch for the first time and still had the disc here via Netflix and re-checked the shot you spoke of before i returned it. And it’s fantastic. (The one involving the mirrors, right?) It’s show-offy and FX-assisted, like a Fincher Panic Room shot pulling through a coffee mug handle or whatever, or the Pulp Fiction shot going through the hole in the fence, but it’s even better because there’s a great story being told not just through the dialogue but also the visuals – you see Hudgens’ face in the foreground reacting to the story being told while pretending not to listen; your eye just happens to glimpse Chung in the reflection listening in as well. There’s a true mastery to it that actually reminded me of some scenes of Alien, or Universal Soldier Regeneration – Snyder knows what your eye is most likely to gravitate towards and focus on, and he plays off of it.

    As for the movie itself, I’m still trying to collect my thoughts on it to put in the Sucker Punch thread. I’ll say for now that the four action sequences/music videos are masterpieces and better than anything else in 2011 (yes that includes Fast 5, MI4, Tintin and especially Hanna); they made me feel like a kid discovering action films again, and I haven’t rewound scenes over and over like that since maybe Equilibrium. And the fact that Mouth’s favorite shot is during a simple non-action, dialogue scene, speaks volumes about how awesome this movie is.

  718. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    “Haywire” is on at the Odeon tonight, in half an hour’s time. And I’m not doing anything else important…

    Damn, I’m gonna regret this.

    See you later with a review, guys.

  719. Paul: It’s not so much the actual actors in SUCK PUNCH that bother me, it’s the fact that every element in the film conspired to fetishize Snyder’s very narrow idea of “sexy.” The music, the script, the special effects, the staging are all in the service of one very simple, juvenille idea. I think we agree on this point.

    Wong Kar Wai uses his style in a somewhat feishistic way as well, but it’s not in the service of making his actors look like pin-ups. Wong is more interested in alienation, ennui, the impossibility of memory, et cetera. If Snyder wasn’t so determined to show us a Maxim Magazine spread come to life I might be more sympathetic to him.

  720. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    OH YEAH.

    Sorry, just seen what Mouth was talking about.

    Yeah, that’s kinda clever. Not so much “White Rabbit” as “Through the Looking Glass”, eh?

  721. Paul – if its any comfort, and I’m sure it isn’t….Ebert gave a good review to HAYWIRE.


  722. Jareth: I actually really disagree with that. I think Snyder goes well out of his way to sexualize the girls as little as possible, given the fact that this is a story about burlesque dancers whose job is to be sexy. Beyond the fact that he never shows the dancing scenes, there are no overhead cleavage shots, no tracking shots following any nubile asses, and not even any scenes with any of the girls in their underwear. I’m not saying that sex is not on his mind at all, but he’s trying to be tasteful about it and not leer at them. The girls are sexy because they’re sexy girls, not because they’re being groped with the camera. Think about how Michael Bay would have shot some of these scenea (i.e., like a car commercial showing off the merchandise) and you can maybe begin to have a little more respect for the integrity of Snyder’s vision, as muddled and half-formed as it is. If he’d just wanted to show T&A, he could have shown a shitload more than he did.

  723. I never did see SUCKER PUNCH and it looked like the type of movie I wish that other recent big budget WB dream movie was like. I actually feel that Snyder is getting better as he goes along. DAWN was just ok then 300 was iconic. However WATCHMEN actually felt like a real movie. He got some amazing performances from Jackie Earl Haley, Billy Crudup and that bizarro Robert Downey Jr. guy from THE LOSERS.

    I’m a big fan of the comic but I just like the movie on it’s own merits cause quite frankly in many ways it changes the tone of the story completely (I’m looking at you shitty Adrian Veidt characterization and miscasting). I just felt Snyder actually came through very sincere there at times and was dying to see him take on something more original.

    By the time I was going to see SUCKER PUNCH it was already out of theaters. I was going to skip straight to MAN OF STEEL since I’m a Superman stan but you guys inspired my next rental and I’m going to give this one a shot. The real question is theatrical cut or extended cut?!?

  724. I haven’t seen the director’s cut but I’m perfectly happy with the theatrical one.

  725. Paul & Neal2Zod saw it. This pleases me.

    Not sure it’s an fx shot, though. It’s through the looking glass indeed, somewhat literally, and the Fincher shot comparison is acceptable. I could be wrong, but I suspect there are 2 body/back-head doubles, FACE // OFF style rather than PANIC ROOM style, and that some set & prop movers had to do some heavy, quiet lifting (just an inch outside the frame) while they were recording the shot.

    Maximum Movie Mode might unmuddle my minutiae musings.

  726. Broddie -i saw the theatrical bluray of Sucker Punch and it was great, but definitely felt like there were some compromises/edits (to the story, not the violence/sex, since the violence is AMAZING and there’s no sex.)

    On another note – I HATE rental discs now. Having no special features is one thing, because I can understand the studio wanting to give you just the movie to entice you to buy the real disc if you like the movie enough. Totally understandable. The problem I have is the lack of Chapter Select (at least on my Netflix rental of Harry Potter and Sucker Punch) and the fact that you can’t skip over the goddamn commercials/trailers. Harry Potter had I swear about 20 minutes of stuff before the menu screen, including commercials for the Harry Potter theme park and Lego Harry Potter, etc… The fact that I had to weed through this stuff AGAIN when I wanted to pick up where I left off the next day was insufferable.

    And is it just me or is the quality of these rental discs worse? Sucker Punch looked grainy and honestly not much better than a DVD on BluRay, and I remember one time I rented Kick Ass on DVD from the Redbox and it seriously looked like a copy of a copy. I put it in my computer and it was exactly 4.35 GB, or basically a first generation single-layer DVD. I’m surprised they didn’t make it non-anomorphic, Dolby 2.0 Stereo while they were at it.

  727. “The fact that I had to weed through this stuff AGAIN when I wanted to pick up where I left off the next day was insufferable.”
    I watch my DVDs and Blu Rays on my PS3, and when I put in a disc I stopped part way through the feature previously, it actually resumes right where I left off. Is this not a regular feature of dedicated DVD/Blu Ray players, or is your problem just a rental thing?

    I have been meaning to pick up the Sucker Punch Blu Ray(which seems to be the extended version by default over here), but looking for it cheap, since I got a £20 gift card from my work for a certain supermarket chain, and already spent 10 of that on the TROLL HUNTER dvd. Might have some luck with where I’m going tomorrow.

  728. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    OK… HAYWIRE. Yeesh. This movie gives me more problems trying to write a review than any other recent release I’ve seen. Generally it’s either “It’s good”, “It’s good but there are X problems with it”, or “It’s not good but it has X redeeming features about it”. This movie doesn’t fit into any of those categories, nor is it iredeemably bad. So what am I trying to say here?

    Firstly: Gina Carano, when directed well, can carry a movie. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. I was worried from the trailers, but I shouldn’t have been.

    Secondly: the cast is FANTASTIC. I didn’t even recognise Ewan MacGregor or Antonio Banderas initially. Michael Angarano (of “24” and “Sky High” fame) is in there. Michael Fassbender (of “X-Men First Class”) is in there. Michael Douglas (“Wall Street”, “Falling Down”, about fifty other movies from the last thirty years or so) is in there. All of these guys do good work.

    Thirdly, I disagree with Stu on one thing: I love the abrupt ending. Leave it ambiguous as to what happens after two characters meet… I thought that worked. Obviously it isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I think it was the perfect spot to end the movie on. I’m not so keen on what happens to the main “villain” though. The scene on the beach felt like an anticlimax.

    But let me start over…

    There is a shot, when Gina Carano leaves a hotel, which is essentially a very long tracking shot of her walking down a few streets, then upping the pace as she tries to evade the people following her. This shot is maybe three or four minutes long – I wasn’t counting – and it is sheer perfection. As we’re following Carano, from various angles, we see what she sees. And like her, we’re prompted into looking out for the people who are watching her. There’s a taxi that appears three times in a row – or is it three different taxis? What of the old-looking guy across the street? What of the car that starts up as she passes it? This shot – you’ll know it when you see it – is Soderburgh at his best. It’s incredibly tense and works brilliantly.

    I also have zero complaints about most of the action.

    But it’s not enough.

    Throughout the movie, I found myself asking questions that weren’t answered – and didn’t go unanswered in a “good” way, leaving things ambiguous so the audience could fill in the blanks. I’m talking about information that was necessary, in my view, to enjoying the movie completely, that just wasn’t provided. Things like: what happens to Angarano’s character before and after we see him? What happened to the people he was with? How did Carano get into the business she’s in? What happened to her father and what was her relationship like with him? Are they estranged, close, did he approve of her job, did he introduce her to it? She says he was “right” about Kenneth yet apparently they’ve not met – what’s the story with that? What kind of a relationship did she have with Aaron? Did they have a history together? And many, many more.

    The villains in this movie are weak. My favorite is Fassbender. Look, you’ve seen the trailers, you know what happens with his character, so I feel safe in spoiling here. He’s playing basically a hired gun but he does his level best to communicate both desire of and distance from Carano’s character. He’s also the only villain who’s a physical threat – so him dying early on does the film no favours as we’re left, as our main bad guys: a desperate dyspepsic bureaucrat, and one other guy – whose identity I won’t spoil, as it’s not made clear until late on – whose job and general relationship to just about everyone else is never clarified. Just who is he and what does he do? The movie doesn’t say. And how come the bureaucrat doesn’t use any of the “contacts” he mentions? How come he goes out alone when he knows Carano is after him? Again, I need answers to this stuff, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

    The score reminds me unpleasantly of “Out of Sight”. There are three or four scenes which are totally devoid of dialogue or sound effects and instead consist of actions on screen performed to music, like a silent film. Remember in “The Usual Suspects”, when the guys get off the plane, everything is done to Verbal Kint’s narration and a fantastic music track consisting of just a repetitive tapping beat and some strings? Well Soderburgh tries the same thing here, except his music of choice is some odd jazzy numbers that do nothing whatsoever for the film or for me. Vern, this is “Lethal Weapon”‘s noodling guitars all over again. Be warned.

    Yeeeeugh… I am SO conflicted about this film. On the one hand, parts of it – in particular that walk from the hotel that I described above – are genius, and show exactly what Soderburgh is capable of. On the other hand, you just cannot convey the essence of a character in a few glances or a single telephone call, unless you happen to be directing “Lost In Translation”. And as good as Soderburgh is, he’s never made anything close to that film. The characters are too insubstantial, the villains are weak, and worst of all, there’s no “physical” threat to Carano throughout the movie. Without that, and without better characters, the tension just isn’t there.

    So… that’s my review. Hopefully you guys will know if you want to see this film or not from it. I can’t in good conscience recommend it like I did “Contagion” – despite my misgivings with that film – because this one is third-rate Soderburgh at best. It’s ALMOST worth it for the good scenes, but you’ll have to suffer to get to ’em. Sorry.

  729. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    WOW, I had no idea how long that was going to be.

    Summary version of “Haywire” review:

    “Yeeeeugh… I am SO conflicted about this film. On the one hand, parts of it are genius, and show exactly what Soderburgh is capable of. On the other hand, you just cannot convey the essence of a character in a few glances or a single telephone call, unless you happen to be directing “Lost In Translation”. And as good as Soderburgh is, he’s never made anything close to that film. The characters are too insubstantial, the villains are weak, and worst of all, there’s no “physical” threat to Carano throughout the movie. Without that, and without better characters, the tension just isn’t there.”

  730. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I’m going to be interested to see what Vern thinks of that street scene though. I thought it was one of the best single scenes I’ve ever seen from Soderburgh, and that’s saying a lot.

  731. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:18 pm


    Just read this in the “Hook” review, and had to add it here:

    “These early lawyer scenes are scored with jazz that, fittingly, has a little bit of a cheesy modern fusion white-people-listen-to-it-in-the-dentist’s-office type of feel to it.”

    That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for to describe the scoring that Soderburgh was using with the “silent” scenes in “Haywire”. Thank you Vern!

    Ok, back to the “Hook” review…

  732. Goddammit, I ain’t no military historian but I seem to recall the US of A fighting a couple of wars so we didn’t have to put up with any goddamn royalists spoiling our fuckin’ action movies for us.

  733. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Majestyk – oh please. Without us “royalists”, as you call us, where would you get your endless supply of action movie villains? Hate to break it to you bud, but Hans Gruber wasn’t played by an American.

  734. “Thirdly, I disagree with Stu on one thing: I love the abrupt ending. Leave it ambiguous as to what happens after two characters meet… I thought that worked. Obviously it isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I think it was the perfect spot to end the movie on. ”
    My problem isn’t that it’s “ambiguous”, because I don’t think it is. It’s pretty clear to me that one of two things happened after that. My problem is that overall as an an action movie, it fails at the final hurdle to deliver when it was showing such promise.

    As for your other questions, I believe I can actually answer most of those, so SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER:

    “what happens to Angarano’s character before and after we see him? what happened to the people he was with?”. Before…um, why’s that important? He’s just a regular guy who was there at the time. Afterwards, since Douglas mentions him, I think it’s pretty clear that the number Carano gave him was for Douglas’ office, and so his people actually picked Angarano up and have him in protective custody. This is another subversion because while he’s there, his behaviour actually provides some mild comic relief, which the movie is lacking a bit, but whereas a regular mainstream action movie would keep him around for the rest of it to fulfill that role, they actually do the more sensible thing and have him written out because he provides nothing of value to Carano other than passing on her story. As for the people he was with…again, what’s the importance of knowing that? They were witness to the fight and probably phoned the cops, explaining the later roadblock.
    “How did Carano get into the business she’s in?”- Her dad mentions she was a marine. When she left the service, she went to work in the private sector. Boom.
    “What happened to her father and what was her relationship like with him?Are they estranged, close, did he approve of her job, did he introduce her to it?” Happened to him, as in before the movie? Or after? Before, he’s an Andy McNab/Tom Clancy type, apparently a former marine (since he signs his book with “Semper Fi”) turned military fiction writer, which probably explains her career choice somewhat. I don’t think they’re estranged. She smiles when she receives his book, and when she involves him in all this, he pretty much goes right along with it, only really suggesting she walk away once and dropping it when she says no. Also since he said “I raised her”, I assume her mother died in child birth possibly, so how he raised her again probably cultivated her general un-girly nature.
    “She says he was “right” about Kenneth yet apparently they’ve not met – what’s the story with that?”- from what she told him of Kenneth he probably thought he was an asshole, or would put his business first over her. This is kind of backed up earlier when her and Kenneth’s conversation reveals she’s been overworked lately because she’s pretty much his main asset.
    “What kind of a relationship did she have with Aaron? Did they have a history together?”- booty call, possibly first initiated in Barcelona, though maybe before that too? Dunno, really. Doesn’t make much difference in my opinion.
    “and one other guy – whose identity I won’t spoil, as it’s not made clear until late on – whose job and general relationship to just about everyone else is never clarified. Just who is he and what does he do?”- well yes, but as I said before, I don’t think it’s terribly important. I think Soderbergh may have been intentionally trying to highlight macguffins and action movie plots just being an excuse for action, so was being sort of upfront about how unimportant it was. Someone even later says of the chinese guy “troublemaking scientist, or a journalist- what difference does it make?”
    “How come he goes out alone when he knows Carano is after him?”- yeah that was some major plot induced stupidity, but I did laugh at the shot of her suddenly running up from behind him without him noticing.


  735. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Actually, re-reading Stu’s criticism… I realise he wasn’t just talking about the final shot when he talks about the disappointing “ending”. In that case, I agree entirely, Stu, although I put it in a different way – regarding the lack of “physical threat”.

    The structure of the movie is a problem as well. Soderburgh not only dispenses with much of what Stu calls the “padding” and relationship stuff – actually “Haywire” does a great job of showing why that stuff is actually necessary – but also junks the traditional “Bourne Identity”-style structure of “character loses everything, character escapes, character confronts previous acquaintances who are now hunting him” and goes with a more fluid timeline with flashbacks. Unfortunately this doesn’t work either. The effect is basically that the middle “chase” section of the movie – that was so good in “Bourne” or the likes of “Hanna” – is missing entirely. We go straight from the betrayal to the payback. Except that – coming back to Stu’s point here – the latter doesn’t provide enough payoff to make it worthwhile.

    Again, sorry guys. Don’t shoot the messenger. Having thought “The Silence” and “Dragon Tattoo” were both very good, I guess I was due a disappointment.

  736. Paul: Well, when Alan Rickman starts trying to kill my buzz for the one movie in ages that I’m excited to see, I will give him a talking to as well.

    From a respectful distance of course. That dude’s dangerous.

  737. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Wow Stu, our posts crossed. Yep, I realised I’d got the wrong end of the stick regarding your first “Haywire” post, as you can see from my last one. And I pretty much agree with you on everything. Except the “relationship stuff”, obviously.

    Also thanks for answering my questions, but they were mostly rhetorical – and I shouldn’t need to revisit that much of the movie to get a sense of it! Take Carano’s relationship with her father. A lot more could’ve been communicated with the brief phone calls to him plus the scene in the house later in the movie, than is actually communicated. I felt I just got the absolute basics and wanted more than I got regarding that.

    The roadblock bit occurred to me. Angarano and the father come under the heading of “show, not tell”, though. I want more than just a line of dialogue to explain what went on there.

  738. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Majestyk – can you not butt in, please? Us Brits are trying to have an adult debate here, and you ugly-ass American ignoramuses are trying to crash the party.

    (Yeah, I’m joking! Joking!)

    If it makes you feel any better, when I said I had difficulties evaluating this movie, I absolutely meant it. I’m by no means totally negative on it – there are scenes in it that are some of the best Soderburgh has ever done. So if you’re determined to go and see it, be encouraged by that.

  739. It’s obviously time for Vern to segregate the potpourris into a Redcoats’ section and a Continental/North American/Asian/Australian/African/South American/Others’ section.

    Also, I saw TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY today, so I’ll track down weirdo Paul’s thoughts on it and others’ reviews and report back if I’ve anything interesting to add.

    I serendipitously received GLORY from Mom&PopKillerFlix today, so I guess I might as well watch it & RED TAILS this weekend so I can compare them and find new ways to bore you all with my brand of cursory overintellectualization of war movies. I’m also looking forward to THE FUTURE so I can see what The New Yorker dude and Tawdry loved about it.

  740. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Mouth, I’ll save you some trouble, this is my summary:

    “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – slow, frustratingly so at parts, with a whodunnit that you’ll either guess right at the start or never get until the mole is revealed. Brilliantly acted and with some great moments, but it didn’t quite work as a whole for me.”

    Basically I liked but didn’t love it, and I hated how the whodunnit aspect was handled. I guessed it twenty minutes in and never really wavered, so there was zero surprise there.

  741. “The structure of the movie is a problem as well. Soderburgh not only dispenses with much of what Stu calls the “padding” and relationship stuff”
    Well the reason I consider it padding is because as a moderate filmic enthusiast, I doubt very much that if they’d done a “reconciliation with her daddy” or “burgeoning romantic subplot” thing, it would have been anything I hadn’t seen before. So I’m happy for that sort of thing to be totally absent. I also think it pays more respect to the idea of a female action protagonist to NOT give her a complicated motivation for her career choice. I mean, we don’t question why Dutch is a soldier in PREDATOR, do we? So not implying that she’s only a marine/merc because of some daddy issues or something puts her on more equal footing with the other gender, and I think in general the movie shows a bit more respect to the military/contractor type by depicting it just like a job, not some natural conclusion to having a horrible childhood or anything. I mean, we don’t assume that Mouth was an orphan who’s parents were starcross CIA-KGB agents who quit their jobs to be together only for one of their old nemeses to find them in the new assumed identities and gun them down before his very eyes, resulting in his dad’s old handler (played by Powers Booth) adopting him and raising him with the skills he’d cultivate for later revenge, do we?
    I’d say the ending is confusing in the fact that I don’t get what her motivation is for going after that guy considering all indications are that there’s another guy who you’d consider the big bad who seemingly is getting left alone by her, whereas the guy she does target is arguably less “invested” in what happened to her than McGregor was. Does she consider his part just as big a betrayal because they had coffee or something? She does say “I don’t like loose ends” earlier, but that other guy I mentioned…is kind of a big fucking loose end!

  742. ^Any similarity to Mouth’s actual lifestory is purely coincidental, and I apologise in advance if I induce a painfull flashback sequence where your parents’ killer is wearing an unconvincing wig to appear younger, despite still having all the extra weight and wrinkles he has in the present day.

  743. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Stu (with BIG SPOILER warning):

    “I also think it pays more respect to the idea of a female action protagonist to NOT give her a complicated motivation for her career choice.”

    Yeah, ok, I’ll give you that one. In retrospect, it would’ve been kinda cliche’d if she’d have gone into the business because of daddy issues or something. But without explaining her career choice, I still would’ve liked to know how she found herself in that particular situation at that particular time. Not her career, let’s say, but the state it was in when the movie began. Without that information, there are things MacGregor does that still don’t make sense to me. How can it benefit him to do what he does? Even Antonio Banderas’ expository speech doesn’t really explain things – if anything, it makes them worse. If Carano’s supposed to have gone rogue, wouldn’t that reflect BADLY on MacGregor? Wouldn’t it make the people he needs view him as more of a liability? The Iraqis getting rid of a dissident I can understand. But why does MacGregor want to get rid of Carano, when she’s the person who apparently has the best chance of saving his business?

    (And yes, that’s another rhetorical question. Don’t answer it. I don’t doubt there is an answer somewhere; but if it wasn’t self-evident in the movie, I’m not interested in putting you through more mental gymnastics!)

  744. “And yes, that’s another rhetorical question. Don’t answer it. I don’t doubt there is an answer somewhere; but if it wasn’t self-evident in the movie, I’m not interested in putting you through more mental gymnastics!”

    But…I actually have an explanation…and I don’t think it was that much of a stretch to come up with it…but…suit yourself.

    I’d best prepare for American Revolution II: Operation Stars and Tripe anyway…

  745. Mouth may I also suggest you add THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN to that que? I think it could be an interesting contrast to RED TAILS as it’s the same story with a more toned down approach.

  746. if I may dial things back a bit to the Sucker Punch discussion…

    what would people do if an American movie was made in this day and age that featured scantily clad ladies kicking ass and was NOT meant to be “feminist” or anything, just about scantily clad ladies kicking ass?

    would people absolutely lose their shit?

    I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve seen a lot of anime, but I don’t feel like I have to “punish” myself or “justify” enjoying scantily clad ladies kicking ass

    so all this debate over whether or not Sucker Punch is “sexist” or “exploitative” or whatever seems moot to me, since when did it become illegal for men to be sexually attracted to women?

  747. and by the way, my current gravatar is from the anime Black Lagoon, which was about was about women kicking ass

  748. “what would people do if an American movie was made in this day and age that featured scantily clad ladies kicking ass and was NOT meant to be “feminist” or anything, just about scantily clad ladies kicking ass?

    would people absolutely lose their shit?”
    I dunno, what was the reaction to the DOA movie?

  749. well considering it pretty much went DTV in the States, it didn’t have much of a reaction at all

  750. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    January 19th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Stu – ah, ok, on “Haywire” and the MacGregor question I’ll take your word for it.

    DOA went DTV? What a waste.

  751. yup, you could even say DOA was dead on arrival!

  752. ^^ Griff Shalit in the house.

  753. Ah DOA. Still the best fight scene I’ve seen with a girl wearing only a towel.

  754. so guys, big surprise today, the Resident Evil 6 debit trailer!


    it’s still an action game, but it looks better than 5 at least, I’m happy to see a return to urban city environments instead of a Spanish village or the jungle

    it’s not clear whether co op returns, but hopefully not

  755. Scantily clad chicks kicking ass? Wouldn’t that be Charlie’s Angels?

  756. ThomasCrown- Yes, but the series did have a vague feminist theme, what with having “Independant Women” on the soundtrack and all…

    RE 6 trailer- Really? They missed the glaringly obvious opportunity to call it PRESIDENT EVIL? Also…why is this being made? I thought 5 was meant to have completely wrapped up the main overarching plot of the series?

  757. Stu – Capcom, like all Japanese developers these days, probably really need the money, so I wont bemoan them continuing one of their most popular franchises

    I’ve always only been a causal Resident Evil fan anyway, so the changes made to that series don’t piss me off like the changes that were made to Silent Hill, plus I’m happy it’s still being developed by Capcom instead of being shipped out to a western developers like it was once rumored

    lastly, it looks like it has traditional zombies this time as well, so that’s cool

  758. I’ve never actually completed a full Resident Evil game, but I do actually think that what really ruins the tension of the series is that it’s got 6 main protagonists…all of whom are still alive all these years later. You’d think they’d kill one of them off just to shake things up a bit. Never mind the fact it’s kind of a obligatory thing in the zombie genre.

  759. Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle then?

  760. In awesome (or possibly terrible) symmetry, the trailer for RE5IDENT EVIL RETRIBUTION went online last night and it really is one of the most batshit things I’ve ever seen.

  761. Anonymous are pissing me off, man. They are the PETA of internet activists. Always more interested in making noise than being very helpful. Fuck these guys. By “avenging” Megaupload, they not just helped making SOPA a reality, by making the internet look like a brooding place of braindead criminals, they were also siding with “The 1%”. After all Kim Whathisname, the founder of Megaupload, is a fat, rich asshole who was already convicted for several business crimes, including insider trading.

  762. so tonight I finally watched Holy Mountain

    and man, what can I say about that movie? weird doesn’t even begin to describe it

    I liked it though, I thought it was interesting how some of the metaphors were obvious, but others were unfathomable

    I really have no idea what the overall message of the movie is though other than “the modern day sucks, you should be metating or something”, is it pro Christian or anti Christian? I have no idea

    I liked the humor of the movie though, it was a lot funnier than I thought it would be (funniest scene being the orgasm machine having a little orgasm machine)

  763. Just to clarify: I don’t think Snyder sexualizes the actors in SUCKER PUNCH so much as he fetishizes them. There’s a difference. In fact, the dancing scenes aren’t really erotic at all. They’re clumsy, over-stylized and inert. Snyder’s cinematic gaze doesn’t collude with a pornographer’s gaze so much as it collude’s with a dunderheaded fratboy geek’s gaze.

    THE MATRIX also fetishizes the coolness of the characters with silly postures and blantantly flattering camera techniques. To its credit, THE MATRIX fetishizes a lot of other stuff too, much of it awesome, like Buddhism and kung fu. More importantly, the Wachowskis know how to situate their fetishes in a compelling story with reasonably interesting themes. SUCKER PUNCH just hammers home over and over how cool Snyder thinks chicks and guns and lobotomies are. He neglects to build around his characters anything that would compell me to want to look at them longer than it takes to walk past the poster in the lobby of the theater. I find it one-note and boring. The only thing I learnedfrom SUCKER PUNCH is Snyder’s abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment to girls who look like teenage mannequins.

    Another comparison is AMELIE. Jeunet spends much of the movie finding ways to make Tautou look adoreable. But he does this in increasingly inventive and charming ways, underscored with enormous pathos and a dash of melancholy. Tautou’s character is also juxtaposed with gentle caricatures of faces and mannerisms that are anything but adorable (all those faces Mouth keeps saying he can’t get enough of). Jeunet paints his fetish with many colors. Snyder is using a single crayola.

  764. Griff: If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check out the orgasm technology in Woody Allen’s SLEEPER.

    Also, giant chickens.

  765. But Jareth, that’s the whole point, spelled out when Blue gives his sandbox-toys monologue and with the very clear theme of men sitting in the audience of a dark, creepy room to watch girls entertain them as objects.

    It’s not a fetish; it’s not a subconscious obsession or fratboy gaze. It’s a deliberate choice, the whole point of the movie. You can argue whether it turned you off as failed entertainment, but the meaning is clear & successfully conveyed.

    Also, the costumes & the way the girls were filmed could have been a lot lot lot more sexy or exploitative. Where you see skeezy fetishism, I see restraint.

  766. I’ll go ahead and say it with the risk of sounding like a pedophile – Browning was totally more fetishized in Lemony Snicket than Sucker Punch. I’m not kidding. I know plenty of dudes who admit that she’s kinda hot in Lemony Snicket (the way we don’t really want to admit that Natalie Portman is kinda hot in Leon), and now we have a whole movie where she’s of age, dressed skimpily, and doing all kinds of action film stuff, and I can 100% say I wasn’t turned on sexually at all. This is MOST DEFINITELY a stylistic choice by Snyder since a) it doesn’t take much to turn me on and b) the sex scenes in 300 and Watchmen were pretty good, he obviously knows what he’s doing.

    I think the only scene that actually approaches Bay-style camera-ogling was when they were walking in the WWI trenches in slow-motion, but even that seems more of a “badass” style shot than a Charlie’s Angels shot. Notice ANY other movie would have the dudes drooling or doing a spit-take or some shit as they walk by, here, the dudes don’t even notice them, not even the one who Vanessa Hudgens touches in the face (still trying to figure out the significance of that shot).

  767. Oh, I don’t doubt that everything in SUCKER PUNCH is deliberate. When I say “fetish” I mean that Snyder is exhibiting a single-minded commitment to depicting a particular (in his case limited) image of the femine form, cobbled together from predictable source material that he fails to do anything interesting with. I think Snyder really missed his calling in life as the guy who paints real kick ass images of pin ups on the sides of war airplanes and boats.

    I don’t think Snyder has a particularly nuanced view of anything, nor would he need to if he was simply making a rock video. I like the lack of nuance in the Ramones, but I wouldn’t want to sit through a humorless two hour version of “Beat on the Brat” performed by Tool.

    I can see the movie obviously works for some people, and I admire its ambition (however static), but it was too one dimensional to do much for me. Also: too much duckface.

  768. The fact that it is one-dimensional is the best part about it. It’s hyper-focused on making exactly one point.

    But the fact that others only see in it one dimension, wrongly, is the source of all the negative criticism.

  769. I’d be okay with the one dimensional aspect if I found Synder’s point particularly compelling or nuanced, or his technique inventive. Or at least witty. Wit goes a long way in selling brilliant one dimensional junk like ROBOGEISHA.

    Obviously there’s a huge disconnect between what Snyder and I find compelling. In a way, I’m kind of morbidly impressed with his ability to stop bravely at the surface of absolutely everything that catches his gaze.

  770. …and the sad thing is that THE EXPENDABLES 2 probably gonna do extremely well in theatres, because ordinary people can´t see the difference betweena a PG-13 or an R-rated movieor doesn´t care about the visceral impact an R-rated movie has….idiots….

  771. Shit, Shoot, now you’ve done it. I’ve been trying not to continue expounding at great length on this particular subject because it’s probably not good for my blood pressure, but you have released the kraken.

    I feel very emotional on this topic. I feel like it represents more than just a loss of blood and profanity. This is a betrayal. I feel comfortable using such a melodramatic term because that’s the kind of terminology Sly uses to express himself. He pitched this whole Expendables concept (and indeed, his whole post-ROCKY BALBOA comeback) as a return to warrior values, of loyalty and honor, of standing up for what you believe in. He speaks of it in lofty terms to give what is essentially a frivolous enterprise some symbolic weight, to imbue his silly throwback action movie with the virtues of the heroic tales of old. Total bullshit, but Sly has always sold retrograde emotions with a conviction that makes them connect to the audience. According to him, men want real action because it connects to a need for conflict, catharsis, resolution, adventure, redemption, etc. Big words, but that’s what was thrilling. It wasn’t gonna be CGI and prettyboys in tights. It was gonna be real men, real guts, real violence. That was the promise.

    And what do we get? Some quick-cut PG-13 bullshit and a lame excuse about reaching the broadest possible audience.

    Oh, is that what it’s about? I thought it was about connecting to the great warriors of history and legend, the men of honor who stand for something, not the idiot teenagers who just want a place to hang out for two hours without getting hassled by their parents. See, because that’s what Sly was talking about ad nauseum in every interview on these movies I ever read or saw. But golly, I guess honor, loyalty, and values are detrimental to the bottom line, so instead what’s important is compromising your vision to make it more palatable to whatever the fuck is fashionable/profitable right at the moment. Because that’s what the Vikings would have done.

    You know, I might not be so pissed off if he’d been honest with us. When DIE HARD 4 got neutered, Bruce came out and apologized and said he didn’t agree but he thought the movie worked anyway. He wasn’t trying to convince anybody that this was the way he preferred it and that we should see this as a good thing, like Sly is. If Sly had stood up like a man and said, “I fought against it, guys, and I lost. I’m sorry. It’s bullshit, but that’s the reality of this business and I hope you stick with the movie anyway,” I’d still have some modicum of respect for him. As it is, he’s just a fuckin’ Hollywood phony who does what he’s told.

    It was the action fans who stood by him through his wilderness years. We put him back on top. And now that’s he’s there, we’re forgotten. It’s time to pander to the jackasses who think Chuck Norris is hilarious. But they won’t be around in five more years, Sly. We will. Or will we? You only get so many comebacks in this life. It’d be a shame if you wasted your last one on the same fairweather fans who abandoned you the last time your star lost its luster.

  772. That´s exactly what I was after,Majestyk. Releasing your personal Kraken. You see because today,I`VE got alcohol! Now, Willis may not have been completely honest about his responses to DH4PG13. Because on the dvd commentary he says something about not having McClane kill someone needlessly even though he did exactly so in the other DH´s, especially in the third when there was that one guy nobody cares about shouting something about giving up or some shit like that, I cant remember I´m drunk, what do you expect. I think Willis wanted to tone down McCalne´s Cowboy-antics that´s how I feel anyway. Fuck Willis and fuck Stallone. Dishonest hasbeen pricks. How fuckin´great was RED, can you answer that,Brucie Boy?! rarely have I seen such a wasted cast in such an “unfunny” action”comedy”. Are we expected to laugh when Brain Cox laments that he hasn´killed anyone in 10 years?! What kind of fuckedup logic is that?

    I think I´ve ranted enough. I don´t have the energy to go on…..´burp´

  773. I was wrong. i do have enough energy to rant. RED is so fuckin´terrible you could use it as a pacification tool. Sit a bunch of hyped-up ADHD motherfuckers in front of RED and they will fall asleep in five minutes.

  774. And what really pisses me off is the fact that Stallone try to re-assure us of the quality of the “film” and uses words like emotion to go along with a sequel to a film where everything got blown up every 10 minutes. Really,Sly?Emotion? So it´ll be like DRIVING MISS DAISY?

  775. I´ll calm down now….

  776. It’s okay, Shoot. Let it all out. This is a safe place.

  777. Thanks,Mr Majestyk. It seems like I have my own Kraken to deal with.

  778. I just hope Vern will be the better man not to comment on this in a new blogpost ´Cause if he do I swear to God ít´ll be like opening up Pandoras box and none of you will be able to shut me up.
    Just sayin´

  779. AICN has some clips from THE RAID (embedded from other sites), together with a really hilarious PG-13ified EXPENDABLES 2 poster.


  780. Damn guys you’re so on the money it’s not even funny. Vern’s COUNTDOWN 2 DISAPPOINTMENT pic seems pretty appropriate right now.

    I remember seeing ASSASSINS & COP LAND at the flicks even though all my other buddies wrote Sly off after JUDGE DREDD. I saw GET CARTER and waited 3 years for D-TOX to hit DTV land. I watched fucking AVENGING ANGELO. I was supporting the guy when everybody wrote him off cause I always felt he still had something to offer cinema.

    So he comes back presumably wiser and having learned from his prima donna phase. He gives the fans what they always wanted (ROCKY VI and RAMBO IV) and does it with integrity and a humbleness he hasn’t possessed since he made the first ROCKY. He reconnects with most real action fans again.

    Vows to bring back some honest artistic expression and care to the action film and now he just turns around and goes all Brutus on them like it was nothing. Where’s the integrity? there is none left. A man who is wealthy enough to not worry about how his great grandchildren will eat is still just another slave for the dollar at the end of the day. Fuck the artistry all that shit about overcoming obstacles; staying true to your beliefs and going the distance this motherfucker fed us for years with his classics like ROCKY and FIRST BLOOD were for naught.

  781. Oh yeah and like I said yesterday it will all be for nothing as well because 15 yr olds aren’t just going to turn around and become Stallone fans overnight. I think it’ll do the same business as the original at best; they won’t get much more money from this at all which is what makes it even more of a WTF move.

  782. It”s also times like these I give even more props to dudes like Seagal . People joke about him being DTV but he also recognized this series for what it is and at the end of the day didn’t even look in it’s direction. Sure that movie where he had that eastern european accent was laughable as hell but it still had great and brutal action. The man rather cater to what hollywood perceives as a niche audience (those of us that grew up on 70’s, 80’s and 90’s hard boiled action) with his DTV’s cause at least they’re still “Seagal movies” than ever succumbing to the machine cause he wouldn’t be being true to himself. I respect that shit.

  783. There is absolutely nothing wrong with ASSASSINS, thank you very much. Except for Julianne Moore that is……

  784. On the plus side this inspired me to buy tickets for all my buddies that grew up watching the Van Damme, and Chow Yun-Fat and Seagal movies and go see THE RAID instead. It was originally going to be for EXPENDABLES 2 but I’ll make that my liquor and drug infused guys night out event of 2012 instead.

  785. Shoot a lot of people don’t like it for whatever reason. I love that shit though. I like the dialed down Sly from movies like that one and THE SPECIALIST, DIE HARD ON A MOUNTAIN and NIGHT HAWKS more than the iconic over the top (no pun intended) alpha male from movies like COBRA and the 80’s RAMBO sequels. Even though that guy is pretty ok sometimes too.

  786. Broddie- ASSASSINS is very much noncommercial in its dark tone. i don´t either get why that movie get so much shit. Banderas gives an awesome mega-acting performance as Miguel Bain. After I watched the movie I thoght to myself; WOW! Why can´t they make a movie about that guy?

  787. Am I the only one who kinda doesn’t care about EX2 being PG13? As I’ve been ranting all day, Sucker Punch has hands down the best action sequences of 2011, and it was Expendables-style action (groups of people shooting and beating down other groups of people), not MI4-style action (awesome stunts). There’s plenty of hard violence in Bourne, Bond, Indiana Jones – a truly kickass PG13 can be done.

    I would argue too that Rambo I, II, and III weren’t particularly hard R’s and I feel like Rambo IV and the over-the-top gore in Ex1 was actually the stuff that was out of character for Stallone. Since when was cutting of heads and ripping out throats part of his persona? I think I’ve also mentioned somewhere on this board that I think the PG13 AVP is actually gorier than the R-rated Alien3 and Die Hard 4’s PG13 rating was the least of its problems.

  788. I will concede for a moment and say that 16 BLOCKS is MY DIE HARD 4 and not the Wiseman one but like Wiseman’s movie was also PG-13. At the same time though the original EXPENDABLES made good bank on an R rating and was still kinda diluted in itself in certain ways. They’re coming back with something possibly worse? I mean I hope not and anything could happen but my expectations definitely went from the palace to the sewers with this news.

  789. Also not for nothing but I have more faith in Snyder to orchestrate interesting action setpieces regardless of rating than someone like Simon West.

  790. While I agree that action movies don’t need to be R rated to be good, EXPENDABLES going PG-13 is pretty much a betrayal of what it’s supposed to be, because this series has been promoted with the sentiment “Hey, you remember when action movies used to be hardcore and not pussified? Well we’re bringing that back!”, they even did a trailer basically saying the same thing for the first movie(the one with the Andrew WK song). So PG-13 is just a massive backtrack on that.

  791. If the dvd commentary of DH4PG13 is anything to go by, ataining a PG-13 is no easy task. A lot of ridicolous reglutations and bureucratic rules are demanding a lot of your movie. Like for instance ” the intention to kill or maim” which make you cut down on the amount of squibs and impacts on walls etc…

  792. ..when you´re firing a gun, I forgot to add.

  793. So unless Stalone( or what power may be) manages MPAAA to revise their defintion of PG-13, we are as fucked as a thai whore….

  794. Neal, the difference is that all that is fantasy violence. The MPAA will let you get away with a lot more carnage when you’re slaughtering orcs or ninjabots than if it’s good old-fashioned dude-on-dude violence. (I’ll concede your pint on DIE HARD 4, which I like a lot, even in its PG-13 state.) But that’s not really my point. The point is that every editing and camerawork problem we had with the first one will be amplified tenfold in order for the film to hit the PG-13 rating. Case in point: the theatrical and director’s cuts of SALT, the movie that prompted Vern to coin the term “post-action.” The fights are gibberish in the theatrical cut, but in the unrated version, they’re actually fairly fluid by modern standards. They make sense geographically and the hits have the necessary visceral crunch. That’s because the PG-13 version has those vital few frames of footage cut out of every single punch and kick to make them seem less violent. It’s not about my desire to see blood spewing from every corner of the frame (especially if it’s distracting-ass digital blood). It’s about my desire to not see every last action beat chopped down until it’s too soft to have any impact.

  795. I remember how Peter Jackson said that THE FRIGHTENERS got an R-Rating, just for one scene where a shotgun is fired at a door(!) two or three times. (Jeffrey Combs’s cool death scene was added after the movie got an R and Jackson though “Oh, what the hell?” He could have re-edited the door shooting instead!)

  796. Pussying out of an R-rating is absolutely the way to the angry chamber of my heart.

    However, it is possible, *possible*, to be hardcore & be PG-13. I won’t let hope die in me yet, as long as there are examples of PG-13 badassness, such as:

    -Both John McClane & air gunner Vanessa Hudgens have used the glorious sound of discharged bullets to mask the semantically sauciest part of “motherfucker!”

    -The dvd disc 1 cover of CRIME STORY has printed on it a paraphrased blurb from the pilot episode, iIrc: “When this is over, I’m going to find whatever you love, and I’m going to kill it.” And that’s 1986 network television, not even PG-13 stuff.

    Oh who the fuck am I kidding? COUNTDOWN 2 DISAPPOINTMENT indeed.

    On the plus side, RED TAILS has given me my fix for seeing Nazis killed in abundance. Seeing Nazis die never gets old, and here they die creatively, often screaming while fire engulfs them.

    Not a bad movie, but (and this is very odd for me to say) I wish it had been much much longer. I’m not asking for a tv series, but rather a 3-4 hour epic. Could have been fucking amazing if all the narrative threads had been given more time & muscle to support the script’s massive skeleton. A 4 hour epic — that kind of movie always scores big with theatre audiences — cha-ching, right? Big miss there, Lucas.

    The dialogue is often totally on the nose, and the subplots are rushed. The George Lucas interview with Jon Stewart turned out to be very helpful to my enjoyment, though. I believe he said he wanted to make, or produce in this case, a movie that young people & teenagers, especially young black Americans, could enjoy, an old-fashioned war story. I hear arguments & critics’ praises that that was what CAPTAIN AMERICA & WAR HORSE were supposed to be (minus the targeted black angle, I guess), but for me RED TAILS works much better than either of those 2 movies. Not essential viewing, but pretty good if you can overcome some of the groaners in the script.

    Also it’s total bullshit that neither Method Man nor Ne-Yo are on the soundtrack. I’m sick of filmatists not trading off realism for the chance to bump some anachronistic rhymes & crooning.

  797. Put your hands in the air/
    and make Mr Hitler care/
    for the bombs that I’m dropping/
    on your soldiers like the topping/
    of a pizza/
    something that rhymes with pizza

    Nah, I suck at this.

  798. Not bad for a German, CJ. And don’t worry, you need not try so hard — we believe you’re one of the good guys now. That war’s over.

    But seriously if you can rhyme something with “pizza” and put it in one of your dj mixes, I might consider granting you the highest award possible by making you an honorary American.

  799. I have offically decalred it to my ears impossible to make an arguement for an PG-13 movie. Dududumbi-do..dumbidumbidodododo……..