Posts Tagged ‘Tom Waits’
Wednesday, May 25th, 2022
“Like Popeye says, ‘I yam what I yam,’ right?”
On May 1, 1992, Fine Line Features released Jim Jarmusch’s NIGHT ON EARTH on a mere 40 screens. By comparison, LEAVING NORMAL was released to 362 screens on the same day, and nobody ever heard of that one. But this was a well marketed limited release – I knew NIGHT ON EARTH existed, and in fact went to see it on one of those 40 screens, specifically the one that was upstairs at Seattle’s Harvard Exit Theatre (1968-2015).
This is Jarmusch’s fifth film. It’s possible I’d seen STRANGER THAN PARADISE and DOWN BY LAW already, but I suspect I rented them after seeing this. (I know I’d never heard of PERMANENT VACATION and saw MYSTERY TRAIN later.) So I may not have realized that by his standards it was kind of commercial: in Winona Ryder (who had BEETLEJUICE, HEATHERS and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS under her belt and was about to do BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA) he had his biggest movie star to date, and despite its simplicity it sure seems to have a bigger budget than his previous films, since it’s filmed on location in four different countries. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: anthology, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Beatrice Dalle, Frederick Elmes, Gena Rowlands, Giancarlo Esposito, Isaach De Bankolé, Jay Rabinowitz, Jim Jarmusch, Kari Vaananen, Matti Pellonpaa, Paolo Bonacelli, Roberto Benigni, Rosie Perez, Sakari Kuosmanen, Tom Waits, Tomi Salmela, Winona Ryder
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Drama, Reviews | 15 Comments »
Wednesday, November 10th, 2021
Francis Ford Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA is an incredible fucking movie that I previously mistook for a pretty good one. I saw it first on opening night in 1992, when I thought it was cool and weird, if flawed. (If you would like to imagine my wild teen years, I remember it was a foggy Friday the 13th and I was bummed that I hadn’t done anything good on Halloween, so I drove a carload of friends to an evening show, blasting the score from NIGHTBREED in the tape deck.)
The second time was in 2000 after reading the book (Dracula by Bram Stoker, not Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The novel of the film by Fred Saberhagen and James V. Hart Based on the Screenplay by James V. Hart from the Bram Stoker novel, which I have not read and can’t afford). At that time I wrote about it along with a bunch of other Dracula movies, and you can see I was pretty hard on the “ridiculous origin story” and “trying to make him into a more sympathetic Dracula,” among other things.
But it felt overdue for a revisit and on this viewing all that stuff finally clicked for me. Though I always thought it was a stylish looking movie, I feel like I didn’t fully appreciate just how much, or how special that made it. And everything else worked better this time too. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anthony Hopkins, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Eiko Sihioka, Francis Ford Coppola, Gary Oldman, gothic horror, Greg Cannom, James V. Hart, Jim Steranko, Keanu Reeves, Mike Mignola, Monica Belluci, Pete Ramsey, Roman Coppola, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, vampires, Winona Ryder, Wojciech Kilar
Posted in Horror, Reviews, Romance | 46 Comments »
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy THE DEAD DON’T DIE is… I mean, it’s a zombie comedy by Jim Jarmusch. Which is unexpected. When the trailer came out I couldn’t tell if they were trying to mislead us or if Jarmusch had made something totally different from his other movies. The answer is in the middle, leaning toward the first one. It feels closer to normal Jarmusch than to, like, SHAUN OF THE DEAD. It’s high on oddness and quirk, low on concept, plot structure or traditional resolution. Compared to ZOMBIELAND or TUCKER AND DALE or something the humor is bone dry and the pace is molasses slow.
But by LIMITS OF CONTROL standards it’s an action packed thrill-o-rama. It has a whole bunch of zombies digging out of graves like Thriller or RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, pulling out people’s intestines for a snack, and getting their heads chopped or blown off. They’re respectable zombies, too – o.g. slow shambling style, some personality to them, one played by Iggy Pop (DEAD MAN, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS). There’s one pretty distinctive touch in that they emit puffs of dust from their wounds. I imagine Jarmusch worked with more FX people on this than on all his other movies combined. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Caleb Landry Jones, Carol Kane, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover, Eszter Balint, Iggy Pop, Jahi Winston, Jim Jarmusch, Larry Fessenden, Maya Delmont, Rosie Perez, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Sturgill Simpson, Taliyah Whitaker, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, zombies
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Horror, Reviews | 18 Comments »
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is a slight but pleasant lovable-bank-robber tale that Robert Redford (THE HOT ROCK) apparently chose as his one last job. He plays Forrest Tucker, a real life thief who from the age of 15 to 83 spent his time stealing and getting locked up and escaping and repeating. Based on a New Yorker article, this takes place in 1981, when he’s 70 and at it again shortly after escaping San Quentin in a kayak he built and cheekily decorated with the county logo and a yacht club flag. I gotta admire attention to detail in a jailbreak, especially when it’s only for artistic purposes. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: bank robbers, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, David Lowery, Elisabeth Moss, Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Tom Waits
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 12 Comments »
Friday, February 8th, 2013
Now that I’ve seen SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS I understand why the ads made it look so dumb: it’s too hard to explain. They made it look like some corny post-Tarantino “isn’t it funny, they’re hardened criminals but they’re arguing over a Shih Tzu!” type bullshit. And that’s in there – writer/director Martin McDonagh (IN BRUGES) is about the only guy whose style can remind me of Tarantino in a good way – but overall it’s weirder and more distinct than that.
In IN BRUGES the protagonists were hit men, and there was a subplot about a movie being filmed near where they’re staying. In this one the movie business is more central. Colin Farrell plays a clearly idiotic screenwriter trying to write something called SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, but he doesn’t have much more than a title. He doesn’t even have seven psychopaths, so he just spends his time trying to think of concepts for different psychopaths, sometimes based on stories he’s heard or seen in the news. So we see these stories in his head, or going on around him, and fictional reality begins to blend with fiction-within-fiction. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brendan Sexton III, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Crispin Glover, Gabourey Sidibe, Harry Dean Stanton, Kevin Corrigan, Linda Bright Clay, Martin McDonagh, Michael Pitt, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits, Woody Harrelson
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Crime, Reviews | 31 Comments »
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Everybody loves Denzel Washington, including me, but I’m not 100% sure why. I mean, he’s a real good actor. Shoulda got an Oscar for MALCOLM X. Was good at chewing it up in TRAINING DAY when he did get the Oscar. He’s just so great at playing intelligent, strong, capable. But the weird part for someone as popular as him is that he’s not so big on playing likable heroes. His usual character is intense but mostly humorless. Kind of self righteous. Kind of a dick, if you think about it.
So it was pretty brilliant to cast him as a lone samurai walking through a post-apocalyptic wasteland on a mission of faith. The Denzel persona is much more endearing when he doesn’t just give verbal beatdowns, but full-on swordsman massacres. Actually he’s a little different in this one too – quiet and kind of crazy from being alone. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Dan Inosanto, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Hughes Brothers, Mila Kunis, post-apocalypse, Ray Stevenson, Tom Waits
Posted in Action, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 99 Comments »
Wednesday, May 14th, 2003
both directed by Martin Bell
Well this is an incredible, classic documentary and a pretty good narrative type companion piece, and both were filmed in Seattle and now that I saw them I wonder why in fuck’s name I took so long getting to them. The real winner of the two is STREETWISE, academy award nominated documentary about runaway kids on the streets of Seattle in 1984. The story behind this is that the photographer Mary Ellen Mark (web site) was doing a photo essay for LIFE magazine. At the time Seattle was considered one of the country’s “most livable cities” (imagine that) so she thought it would be the perfect place to photograph homeless kids. If it can happen in seattle then shit, it can happen anywhere. Well the photo essay turned out good so she decided to get her husband Martin Bell to direct a documentary about the same kids she took pictures of. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Edward Furlong, filmed in Seattle, Jeff Bridges, Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark, Tom Waits
Posted in Crime, Documentary, Drama, Reviews | 9 Comments »