Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Saturday, January 25th, 2003

Well geez, it’s not too often you get this with a movie writer, but apparently this Charlie Kaufman guy can do no wrong. Between the brilliant BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION and the underrated HUMAN NATURE and now this… I mean really, what more could you ask for from a writer? There is no other non-director writer working who has been so consistently inventive and surprising and at the same time so personal. In fact there are few who have ever worked who could be in this same category. These are all movies made by skilled directors but it is always the writer’s voice that comes through.

You hear that, motherfuckers, the WRITER.

This is Kaufman’s most straight forward and normal picture so far, but that’s not saying all that much. It’s adapted from Chuck Barris’ autobiographical novel, and the gimmick of course is that in the novel he claims to have been a CIA hitman while he was hosting the Gong Show, which seems pretty dubious. Also he talks about the genesis of The Gong Show, the Dating Game, the Newlywed Game, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Getaway (1972)

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Now this is what I call a fuckin MOVIE. I forgot about it until seeing it on Bravo today but it is even better now that I’m older and now that I’ve done my own bid. First though, a word about Bravo. This is the “film and arts network” they CLAIM, but they don’t have the balls to live up to that slogan. You know how Sam Peckinpah movies always have the real slick opening credits with the freeze frames and the atmosphere and what not? They show these in widescreen and your thinking, “Look at that! Look at that rectangular screen! That atmosphere! THIS is a fuckin MOVIE.”

And then it says “directed by Sam Peckinpah” and BAM, no more widescreen. No, that’s just so the words will fit, we don’t need it anymore. The picture is square and cramped and the film is all faded and dark and you’re thinkin, “What is this crap, Hunter?” (read the rest of this shit…)

Sudden Death

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

There are about three kinds of Jean-Claude Van Damme pictures in my opinion. There are the real experimental, artsy type like Double Team and Knock Off (the best kind), the real cheap and crappy ones like Cyborg and Double Impact (the worst kind), and the more expensive ones where he’s trying to become a more respectable mainstream action star (the kind that Sudden Death is).

I have a hard time reviewing this picture since it is an unofficial sequel to Die Hard. For those of you who don’t know I am a HUGE fan of the Die Hard pictures (starring Bruce Willis, look it up if you haven’t seen it) because, as a fan do I want to support this as part of the die hard mythos or should I not support it since it is unofficial, it is hard to say. (read the rest of this shit…)

First Blood

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Some video association recently named Sylvester Stallone “Action Star of the Millennium.” Well nobody knows where the fuck that’s coming from, mainly because there are about 999 years left on this millennium and about 900 on the previously millennium where nobody had figured out how to make action movies yet. But also there’s the sorry state of Sylvester Stallone’s career.

Now by that I do not mean that Entertainment Weekly shit that he is not making hits. There are many actors who are not making hits who are still completely respectable, such as our friend Mr. Eastwood. But Stallone is in the Arnold category, he’s done so much worse than making less money. His good days are so far behind him you almost don’t even associate him with them. First he turned Rambo into an icon and became the symbol of everything that is wrong with our country, our culture, our movies, and our clothes. (I mean that headband looked fuckin ridiculous.) Then he started makin shit like COBRA and DEMOLITION MAN and etc. etc. He fell so hard that even HE started noticing it after a while. So he went through a stage where he was fighting for critical respectability. He tried to go the Travolta route and lobbied for the role of Max Cherry in JACKIE BROWN. When that didn’t pan out he got fat for the role in COPLAND and america was under his spell until, you know, the movie came out. Soon he became so desperate he tried to revive both the Rocky and Rambo series, but luckily that hasn’t worked out yet. (read the rest of this shit…)

Femme Fatale

Sunday, December 1st, 2002

Brian De Palma has gotta be one of the most controversial directors there is. Not because of the content of his movies but because of the reactions to them. It seems like anybody who knows who he is either hates him or loves him. Mostly hates. But they’re wrong.

The reasons for hating him: the movies are too good. I’m sick of seeing movies that are so clever and well made. Why does every Brian De Palma movie have to be a masterpiece or an interesting failure? Why are his movies so stylish? It gets old after a while. De Palma has a recognizable style, I’d rather not be able to tell the difference between one movie and any other movie. His style is too fetishistic, thrillers aren’t supposed to be personal. It’s too hard to tell where the movie is going, it makes me uncomfortable. How DARE he surprise the audience with the beginning and ending of a Mission Impossible movie? I wanted to get exactly what I expected and nothing else. His camerawork and editing is distracting because it is too inventive. If he’s such a great director, why hasn’t he done a movie about world war 2 or retards? Also why is he so into Hitchcock. It’s almost like he admires Hitchcock, he does so many homages to him. I noticed part that was like a Hitchcock movie. Since I spotted it I have every right to be angry. I hope I get a ribbon. (read the rest of this shit…)

Solaris (2002)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

Well that young bald man Steve Soderbergh is still on a roll. He just keeps hittin em, bam bam bam and even when they’re not a home run like THE LIMEY or OUT OF SIGHT they’re still real good. Hell, even FULL FRONTAL, he just squirted that one out like a soft ice cream, and it was pretty good ice cream too. This one is a little more of a sunday. It’s not my favorite soderbergh movie but that’s like saying “that’s not necessarily the greatest blowjob I ever got.” This guy has never made a bad movie. Go ahead, try to find one. You can’t. You would have to make a fake movie and put his name on it. But he didn’t make that one, you did. You can’t fool me. Fool me once, shame, shame, you can’t fool me.

First of all let me make it clear that I am ignorant on the topic of Solaris. I have not seen the legendarily long and boring and brilliant Russian version by Mr. Tartavsky. Also I have not read the book which is according to the credits what Mr. Soderbergh’s version is based on. But I did see this movie. So that’s my background on that one. (read the rest of this shit…)

Half Past Dead

Saturday, November 16th, 2002

I don’t know how to explain my fascination with Steven Seagal, but you can read my review of ON DEADLY GROUND and maybe you’ll understand. I don’t think the dude is exactly advancing the cause of Badass Cinema with his works, but I still enjoy every new chapter of his saga.

This time around we find Seagal working with a young rapper named Ja Rule, stealing cars for some European guy. BUT NEVER FEAR. Although Seagal may SEEM to be a mere car thief (or I guess, since he’s Steven Seagal, an ex-CIA black ops car thief), it is heavily implied in the opening scene that he MAY actually be some kind of undercover FBI agent. I don’t want to give anything away though, who knows if he really is undercover or not. Nobody really knows until they themselves have seen the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Tuesday, November 5th, 2002

Nobody told me the Brits knew how to make a crime picture. I mean I know the Limey is a limey and all but that one is American made on American soil. Here’s one those Brits can be proud of in my opinion.

People probaly compare this to Pulp Fiction and what not and I do believe it’s somewhere up there. It uses an even greater mastery of cinematismic languaging with maybe a little less substance as far as most people are concerned but then what the hell do those bitches know. Anyway it’s a fun as hell movie about four Londonese dudes about 30 years old each who invest in a big card game. They come out in the red for $500,000 and have one week to pay it back if they don’t want to start losing fingers. They owe the money to a guy named Harry the Hatchet and this motherfucker means business so they will stop at nothing to get the money they need. What follows is a complex game between these four kids, two other gangs, a house of pot dealers, and Harry the Hatchets horrific henchmen. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN Watches ON DEADLY GROUND With MR. SHOW At The Olympia Film Festival!!

Monday, October 14th, 2002

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Wow. Bob and David are everywhere right now, and it sounds like they’re having a great time. I still don’t know if I’m going to be able to get into the insane benefit show they’re part of in a few weeks, and I missed this. Still, if we had to have anyone cover it for us, thank god Vern was the one who went. You’ll see why when you read this…

Boys–

I know how you feel about film festivals. You’re for them, right? I think one of you said you were. I’ve seen a couple good pictures at the Seattle International Film Festival but that’s about it for me. Until today, when I decided to venture south to the Olympia Film Festival. And I’m real glad I did.

Usually I avoid Olympia. I know it’s our state capital, it once had a fine brewery and they got lots of college kids who brag because the rock band Sleater-Kinney was named after a street they still have near there. But I mean come on. The street isn’t even that good. In the downtown area the buildings are too far apart, and everything is closed. At least on Sunday. Anyway today they finally got a reason for me to go there: ON DEADLY GROUND. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN Sees THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE!!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2002

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

All my favorite muthas are hanging out tonight. Quint and Beaks and Vern, our man in Seattle, all 7 foot 5 inches of bad-assedness of him. He’s here tonight with a look at a film that I am hearing basically nothing good about so far. I hope all the buzz is wrong. I hope Jonathan Demme has made a great, breezy entertainment that manages to have fun with the classic CHARADE. I hope because I like Demme. I hope because the alternative is tears.

Fellas –

It’s me Vern again. Last week I sent you a review of the unneccessary remake of THE RING, which if I remember right, I believe I liked that one. This week I got another review of an uneccessary remake. This one wasn’t quite so hot.

The movie is THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE and if you know your shit, you know it’s a remake of Stan Donen’s CHARADE, an undeniably great movie starring Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn. I mean you can’t beat that. (read the rest of this shit…)