SAVING MR. BANKS is the story of P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) flying out to Burbank to develop the movie of her book Mary Poppins with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). I’m surprised it’s not called TRAVERS, following the last-name-of-character-to-indicate-this-is-a-biopic-and-this-small-story-is-representative-of-the-larger-story-of-their-life trend (CAPOTE, HITCHCOCK, LINCOLN, BLADE, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, etc.). Maybe they were worried people would think it was about Peter Travers.
As a one-time film critic herself, P.L. would never be confused with Positive Pete. It’s not mentioned in the movie, but I’ve read that in ’37 this Travers reviewed Disney’s pioneering achievement SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS and trashed it. I wish I could read the whole thing, but all I can find is this quote that’s been floating around: “There is a profound cynicism at the root of his, as of all, sentimentality.” Lucky thing Rotten Tomatoes was only on index cards back then, so nobody cared that she was the Armond White of the ’30s, fuckin up its 100% fresh rating. (read the rest of this shit…)
Honestly, DA THE VINCI CODE or whatever is not a movie I ever though I’d watch. Some of the things going against it are:
a. didn’t look interesting to me
2. book I never cared about
III. director Ron Howard is competent but kind of a square director in my opinion, not somebody whose movies I ever get excited for and
d. in my opinion Akiva Goldsman is the writer of BATMAN AND ROBIN.
And I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for this Summer Movie Flashback I got myself into. There just wasn’t another significant summer of 2006 movie I hadn’t seen. Right up until the last minute I was actually planning to do MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND just ’cause I thought that would be easier to stomach, but I decided that would be dishonorable. This one was obviously part of some cultural phenomenon of the time and is more representative of that summer. (read the rest of this shit…)
What if there were like a book of maps, only it was made out of the sky? That would be weird.
Well, anyway. At a climactic point in CLOUD ATLAS a character talks righteously about freedom, and about refusing to accept boundaries. And that’s what Lana and Andy Wachowski (who directed this along with Tom Tykwer) have done with their lives, their careers and this movie in particular. If you haven’t heard what CLOUD ATLAS is, it’s a nearly 3-hour epic based on a supposedly unadaptable book. It takes place in a bunch of different time periods ranging from the age of slavery to a dystopian future to even a post-apocalyptic future after that. But not in order – it jumps around from story to story, like a bunch of unrelated movies edited together as a weird joke on Youtube. (read the rest of this shit…)
I don’t see as many movies as critics who get paid, so I’m allowed to take pride in seeing all the best picture nominees again this year. Most of them I had already seen when the nominations came out, but I had to see this EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE to finish off the check list.
This is the one nobody expected to get nominated. It got pretty bad reviews and didn’t make up for that by being a big hit or anything. I think it was Mr. Beaks who pointed out that it might be the first ever best picture nominee that was certified Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. I honestly wonder if it will be the cause of a rule change next year. There must be some kind of mathematical fluke that caused this to happen, and they better clear that up before YOGI BEAR 2 or something gets a nomination. I don’t know what caused this or who those women were who shrieked with glee when it was named at the nomination announcements. I blame them for this. I think they were up to something. (read the rest of this shit…)
I was sort of dreading THE TERMINAL, because I’d heard only bad things, and because I was pretty sure it wouldn’t stand up to SCHINDLER, AMISTAD and PRIVATE RYAN all in a row. Well, it’s not something a consider a good movie. It’s a hacky comedy script that squeezes cute bullshit out of a great real life premise. (read the rest of this shit…)
No joke, I never saw SAVING PRIVATE RYAN before. I’ve never been big on war movies and I think back when it was a recent movie I was real cynical and suspicious of any type of flagwaving. I thought movies like this were just brainwashing kids to join up in case they needed to blow up Iraq again.
But that’s stupid. This one’s about “the good war” and still makes it look like something to avoid at all costs. The famous Omaha Beach invasion sequence near the beginning is a total bloodbath, soldiers pouring off the boats into waves of machine gun bullets. They might as well just be jumping from a diving board directly into a giant fan, it seems like. (read the rest of this shit…)
ROAD TO PERDITION is that gangster movie that came out to pretty good reviews a couple years ago that we all forgot about already, but I never saw it until now so I’m late to the party I guess. Please disregard.
This movie is modeled after old fashioned gangsters movies. But it’s based on a comic book by Max Allan Collins. The comic book itself is modeled after LONE WOLF AND CUB, either the Japanese comic books or the great movies based on the comic books, I’m not sure which. Also I’m guessing it’s a little bit based on some real life historical type business since it’s got Al Capone and whatsisdick Nitti in there and I think somebody said Elliot Ness is in the comic book, and maybe some other historical figures like Thomas Jefferson or Voltaire or one of those guys. As you know I don’t read comic strips, but I have read a good book by Collins called TWO FOR THE MONEY. Actually it’s two books reprinted as one by Hardcase Crime, taken from the Nolan series, which is modeled after Richard Stark’s Parker series. (read the rest of this shit…)
A few years back I wrote a piece called FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN (working title: BORING: THE MOVIE). It is available on this web sight as well as in my collection 5 On the Outside. In the piece I talked about the wrongness of computer animators trying to create photorealistic human characters. I argued that no matter how real they looked they would never look completely real, because they wouldn’t be able to walk quite right, or have a human soul, etc. I guess I didn’t mention it in that piece but there was a scene in the movie where two realistic human characters kissed, and it was like watching mannequins go at it.
(For your information, there’s a porno called REAL DOLL: THE MOVIE where pornographic professionals like Ron Jeremy stick their penises inside ten thousand dollar silicone sex dummies. That movie is disturbing in a different way from FINAL FANTASY because the dolls are not moving and their faces don’t look alive. So it looks like these guys are having their way with dead bodies. But picture two of the dolls going at it with no animate objects involved. Then picture a rated PG version of that. That’s the scene in FINAL FANTASY, I guess. It’s not natural.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Now correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Richard Pryor ALSO have a movie by the name of toy story. This was not one of mr. Pryor’s better pictures in my opinion, its the one where a rich white kid buys richard as a toy. He says “a big train set won’t do it for me dad, I need a famous black comic to degrade.” The basic type of humor is Richard falls in the water and runs around in fast speed while the piranhas bite him in the ass. This may have paved the way for many of the Sinbad pictures I’ve seen on cable however in MY opinion it still is not one of the high points in pryors career.
Well I guess you can tell that I’ve been out of the picture for a while because i never heard of this other toy story and here i thought this was going to be the new Richard Pryor. To be honest I promised some dudes over on alt.horror I was gonna review the End of Days this week, but I’m afraid I let them down. Arnold (who by the way I strongly suspect is a kraut despite his front as an all american restaranteur type dude) probably lifts weights as much as a lot of the guys inside. However what Richard has is a quick wit and ability to transform himself into a thousand characters, even animals or inanimated objects (he could have easily played an etchasketch or yoyo in this movie, and convincing as hell too). This is a funny motherfucker with some great fucking stories and even is attempting to go clean for quite a few years. In my new positive life it is this type of intelligent talents that I must value over the muscles. Arnold unfortunately is not a funny motherfucker judging by the 15 minutes of Jingle All of the Way I watched on tv tonight. That is got to be one of the worst executed pieces of comedy i have EVER fucking seen, even if you count the web sight Rob and Marge’s Laugh Central. Sorry arnold. Read a book.
Well as you probaly know by now if you’ve seen toy story 2, richard pryor isn’t in it at all. What this is is a VERY fucking strange story where the toys such as a cowboy doll and a spaceman named Buzz Lightyear come to life when your not looking. There is a fat dude who steals the cowboy doll. This is a dude who collects cowboys and when he gets all of them he’s going to sell them to a museum. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with this motherfucker he collects all this stuff and as far as I can tell doesn’t even like cowboys. He doesn’t have any cowboy toys in his house that he plans to keep and he doesn’t even wear boots or own a horse. In my opinion this is the same type of dude who runs the movie studios today, who likes money but not movies but maybe got fired from the bank or the US mint or wherever people who have a passion for money work. So he controls the movie studio from a little different perspective than any normal person with a beating heart who loves and enjoys the Cinema artform. (read the rest of this shit…)
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT THE SHIT OUT OF VERN & OUTLAWVERN.COM
if that's your thing:
Toss me a couple bucks a month, support the good shit, also get access to a bunch of exclusive writing. This is my primary source of writing money that has allowed me to cut down to part time at the day job. Thank you!
2. Buy my books from your local bookseller or somebody