Thursday

This poor bastard Skip Woods. How was he supposed to know? He stumbles across this winning formula of late ’90s independent quirky crime drama, and it just so happens that another individual, somebody named Quentin Tarantino, has already done it.

You gotta feel sorry for Skip. How was he supposed to know that Tarantino loved to take larger than life movie archetypes and show the mundane parts of their lives? Like this opening scene where three criminals who obviously don’t realize how annoying they are (Aaron Ekchart, Paulina Porezkova, James LeGros) stop in a convenience store after a big score to get coffee, and argue over the price until they end up killing the clerk and then have to pretend to work there when a cop comes in. And how could Skip have known that when he has the cop ask, for no reason, whether Eckhart prefers Picard or Kirk… that it JUST MIGHT look like he was some fuckin idiot jackass blatantly and embarassingly trying to copy the most superficial elements of Tarantino’s formula? (read the rest of this shit…)

Bubble

I might’ve mentioned before, I like this Steve Soderbergh guy. Number one, he knows what the fuck he’s doing. Number two, he does what the fuck he wants. He’s the epitome of the guy who does smart but crowdpleasing commercial movies (OCEAN’S 11, ERIN BROCKOVICH) then turns around and makes a crazy no budget weird ass movie (SCHIZOPOLIS, FULL FRONTAL). I wish he’d make more badass crime movies like THE LIMEY and OUT OF SIGHT but that’s just me. If I could tell him what to do that would violate number two (see above). A violation like that would probaly ruin the roll he’s on and all the sudden he’d start doing half-assed FINAL DESTINATION sequels or something.

Now that this guy has a best director Oscar (for TRAFFIC), a Criterion Edition (for SCHIZOPOLIS), an outlaw award winner (THE LIMEY) and the all important misunderstood sequel (OCEAN’S 12), he decided there was one thing he was missing: a series of six digitally shot improvisational movies starring non-actors in their real home towns to be released in theaters, on dvd and on cable all at the same time. BUBBLE is the first in this ridiculous experiment and let’s be honest here. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re getting into, you do know what you’re getting into. First motherfucker that watches BUBBLE and complains that it’s not INDIANA JONES gets a knuckle sandwich. This is not designed to entertain the whole world. It’s designed to be the type of movie you shoot quickly with a low budget on hi-def video and release on DVD at the same time as theaters. (read the rest of this shit…)

How’d we get so lucky? Vern is back again with a review of EIGHT BELOW!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here about to head off to bed so I can be chipper for tomorrow’s flicks at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, but I noticed another review by our own outlaw Vern trickle in via this fancy electronic mail box. I couldn’t help but immediately read it… laugh out load at least a dozen times and then post it up for the rest of you folks to enjoy. Without any further ado, here is the man himself!

Howdy fellas,

I’m only watching number movies this week. You saw my review of 2001 MANIACS. I’m planning on seeing THE THREE BURIALS OF (whoever it is, Miguel Arteta or somebody) but there was this screening of Walt Disney’s new picture EIGHT BELOW INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY, so I went to that first. This is a dog movie, and usually a movie like this would have a trailer set to either

a) “Bad to the Bone” or
b) “Atomic Dog”

and then the poster would say, “Every Dog Has His Snow Day” or some stupid shit like that, and the dogs would be wearing sunglasses and possibly giving a thumbs up, if dogs had thumbs. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Versus 2001 MANIACS!!

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

The always-brilliant Vern is back to show us how it’s done with his review today of 2001 MANIACS:

What’s up fellas,

You guys have been covering this ‘2001 MANIACS’ movie for what seems like years. Well, it seems that way because it is that way. Quint reviewed the script before Bush was even in the White House. Then you kept talking about it while it was being made and a while back I believe Moriarty personally presented a screening of it and you guys posted a bunch of reviews from the screening. That’s already more than enough coverage for a movie like this. But now that it’s found its rightful home in Direct to Video Land, it falls into my jurisdiction. I make the rules here. King Kong ain’t got shit on me, etc. etc. Anyway here’s my take in case anybody gives a shit. (Not likely.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Seattle is #2!

What is it about the Super Bowl that can drive men to madness? Look, I’m not really a sports guy, and especially not a football guy. By football I mean the American kind with the bigass helmets and giant shoulder pads to make everybody look like monsters, not the European kind where there’s less pads and people bite each other on the balls and shit. In this american type of football the whole season is leading up to the big day, zero hour, Men’s Christmas. The Super Bowl. See, I’m a man and I can prove it, but the fact is I don’t always watch the Super Bowl. I really don’t give a shit about football. That’s just how the Lord made me.

But a couple weeks ago the Seattle Seahawks were in their first playoffs in more than twenty years. Early afternoon the day of the last playoff game I was still waking up when I looked out the window and I saw a dude walk past my apartment with full head-to-toe Seahawks gear and a giant Seahawks flag over his shoulder. I almost spit out my non-alcoholic beverage because you don’t usually see that in this town. We’re used to our teams losing and those types of extremists usually have to be shipped in from the suburbs. I mean yeah the Mariners had a good season a couple years ago, the Sonics had a championship back before you were born and the Storm got the title recently. (That doesn’t count to these type of dudes because men don’t paint their bodies and set things on fire to celebrate women’s accomplishments. Maybe some day.) And the Seahawks have usually been the worst of all our teams. But there they were winning their first playoffs since 1984 which means they get their first Super Bowl since God made Adam, Eve and Steve. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Versus HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2!!

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

What a pleasure. Reviews this morning from Elaine in Rotterdam, Cbabbitt in LA, and of course, the one and only Vern. Good reading all the way around, but I don’t think anyone turns a phrase the way our buddy Vern does, and certainly no one else stepped up to battle such a potentially deadly foe as HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2. I’m impressed at Vern’s moxie. Let’s see how well he held up:

Hey boys,

I know you guys follow Dr. Uwe Boll around all the time so you’re interested in all his movies and their mysterious sequels. I know alot of people like to talk shit, but I will say this for Dr. Boll. The medical profession is a noble one. If he healed somebody some time in the past that is to be commended. If he is one of those pervy doctors that drugs ladies and feels them up or something like that, I’m against that. And if he makes bad movies like everybody says, I’m not gonna defend that either. George Miller M.D. heals people, that didn’t stop him from making MAD fucking MAX. So it’s been established that you can be a doctor and still direct great movies. Anyway that’s not important because this is not by Dr. Boll, but it’s a sequel to his movie HOUSE OF THE DEAD, I guess. I never saw any of his movies or played video games so I am uniquely unqualified for this review. (read the rest of this shit…)

Crash (1996)

Since I recently watched that movie CRASH that Roger Ebert said was the best movie of 2005, I decided to finally go back and watch the original David Cronenberg version, which in my opinion is pretty fucking different.

This is the courageous story of a movie producer (James Spader) and his wife (Debora Kara Unger from STANDER and PAYBACK and THE GAME) and all the people they like to fuck from behind (various). The movie opens with Ms. Unger in an a hangar rubbing her nipple against an airplane while some dude licks her ass. And you can imagine where it would go from there (perverted car crashes, etc.). Very predictable, standard stuff. (read the rest of this shit…)

Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power

Geez, I shouldn’t have put off seeing this movie so long considering it really is my beat. This is kind of a miracle actually. This is the rare DTV movie that could’ve passed for a low budget theatrical movie. The only thing really holding it back is being a prequel with a different star from the original, which is a real good reason not to release it in theaters. Going straight to video lowers the expectations and makes it only half count as a sequel or prequel, which gives it a better shot at working. And for me it did. Even if you don’t go for it I think you will be awed by its competence. This is definitely a landmark in DTV sequelization.

I love the original CARLITO’S WAY, but I haven’t seen it in years, so that probaly helps. I never knew this but DePalma’s movie was based on the second book in a series. The book was called After Hours, but they didn’t want it confused with the Scorsese movie of the same name so they called it CARLITO’S WAY, after the first book in the series. RISE TO POWER is actually adapted from the book Carlito’s Way, according to legend. (I haven’t read the books so who knows.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Match Point

MATCH POINT is the new Woody Allen picture. The title refers to tennis but to me it sounds like just some generic name of a place title like GOSFORD PARK or PACIFIC HEIGHTS or LAND OF THE DEAD. If it was up to me it would be called KEEP YOUR DICK IN YOUR PANTS. You know, like, “This winter, director Woody Allen invites you to… Keep Your Dick In Your Pants.”

This is the first Woody Allen movie in a long time that doesn’t seem exactly like every other Woody Allen movie. It takes place in London with a mostly british cast. Jonathan Rhys somebody (a guy from TITUS) plays a guy named Chris. He’s a former pro tennis player who’s kind of a cheapskate, always trying to bum shit off of people. So one day he’s taking advantage of a rich tennis student’s generosity when he falls for the guy’s sister (Emily Mortimer). And then as soon as that’s rolling he falls even harder for the guy’s fiancee (Scarlett Johansen [hubba hubba]). He wants Scarlett bad and tries to make a pass at her but it doesn’t work out. So what the hell, he marries Emily. He gets a good job out of it and her parents pay for him to have a nice apartment and shit. And she wants some babies, now. (read the rest of this shit…)

Mindhunters

Some day I gotta come up with a name for this certain style of movie I like, a movie that is really fuckin dumb, but in a good way. It manages to be so spectacular, almost innovative in its level of stupidity that it is what the young people now and in the ’80s called “awesome.” I’m not talking a dumb comedy like HOW HIGH, I’m talking about a movie that as far as anyone knows is supposed to be serious. One really good example is DEEP BLUE SEA, Renny Harlin’s movie about super intelligent sharks. That takes the genre to its highest levels because there are so many things that play with the audience’s expectations that it is undeniably clever, almost brilliant. And at the same time, so fuckin dumb. A movie where a girl has to take her scuba suit off and stand on top of it so as not to get electrocuted. Because of the super intelligent sharks. That’s the best, when it’s so smart and so dumb that you can’t even tell which is which anymore.

Well this is not that good but it is another dumb movie by the same director. I think maybe the pressure of doing a sequel to DIE HARD was too much for Renny Harlin to take, it damaged his brain and he’s been mushy ever since. MINDHUNTERS isn’t as good as DEEP BLUE SEA but it’s worthwhile if you’re into that type of stupid shit, like I am. It has Val Kilmer, Christian Slater and of course DEEP BLUE SEA’s LL Cool J in the cast but it sat on the shelf for a couple years. It actually came out on DVD in Russia a long time before it came out in american theaters. So maybe the Russians could tell me what to call this genre. (read the rest of this shit…)