Collateral

First off I gotta say, Michael Mann is what you call overrated. What did he do, fucking Miami Vice – some asshole who forgot to shave fighting drug dealers in a pink shirt and no socks – we’re supposed to give the guy a fucking medal? I mean yeah it seemed like a pretty good tv show at the time but it’s not the fucking Parthenon. You belong to the city, you belong to the night. Let’s be a little more humble there, Michael Mann.

(To be honest I’m not sure what the Parthenon is, but what I mean is something good enough to last the ages and always stand as a proud beacon of achievement, etc. i.e. not Everybody Loves Raymond or even Miami Vice.) (read the rest of this shit…)

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY

I woke up this morning and it was Martin Luther King Day here in the United States, so I put on “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder. It’s that song off of Hotter Than July where he sings about giving King a holiday, back when the Trent Lotts and Dick Cheneys of the world were still preventing it from happening.

“Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
That they should make it become an illusion

And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King” (read the rest of this shit…)

Absolute Power

Okay, so everybody in their right mind loves the old Clint Eastwood pictures, and most people and critics love the Serious Clint Eastwood Pictures like Unforgiven, Mystic River and now Million Dollar Baby. But the period between Unforgiven and Mystic River is kind of an ignored period. The in between period is not as Serious or Important as those movies and they usually get mixed reviews. Well I was busy at the time so I missed most of these but now I decided to catch up starting with 1997′s Absolute Power.

Now this is a suspense thriller and the way it unfolds, it almost reminds me of a less flashy Brian DePalma. It even has the old DePalma voyeurism. But what I’m talking about is it takes its time setting up all the pieces and giving you the information you need a chunk at a time. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Killer

but not the John Woo one though
this one is 1972, aka L’INSOLENT

Sometimes in a man’s life a man finds an oversized vhs box with a weird painting of Henry Silva jumping out at him holding a gun. If you’re not familiar with Mr. Silva, he is the scary mafia don in GHOST DOG, the scary crooked CIA guy in Seagal’s ABOVE THE LAW, etc. He’s one of those guys, if he shows up in a movie, you know he’s a fuckin bad guy. Because you have eyes. That’s all you need to figure this guy out.

So I was surprised to find out that when he was younger he didn’t look quite as scary. I mean sure, he looks like a bad guy, but that whole thing improved with age. In this one he almost looks like Chevy Chase, if his head grew bigger literally instead of figuratively. Or maybe he is like the evil android of Wayne Newton. I don’t know. Still, he’s a cold motherfucker and from beginning to end he doesn’t have a kind thought or a moment of hesitation. He’s got his eye on the prize, the prize being to get all the money and fuck everybody else over without a look back. Because he’s Henry Silva. (read the rest of this shit…)

Million Dollar Baby

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

You know why I don’t pay attention to Oscar talk? Because it reduces an entire quarter of every year to a horse race. People don’t talk about the merits of movies. They talk about whether or not they’ve “got what it takes to win.” They pit films against each other. People start digging trenches and getting nasty about their team. And inevitably, the films that mean the most to me from a given year aren’t the ones that have the giant campaigns or the marketing muscle. So instead of getting all worked up and expending dozens of column inches to explain to you why someone else’s opinion is wrong, I’ll just stick to my own personal opinions of a film’s merits for the two hours I’m in a theater, and fuck the Oscars.

While I wasn’t knocked out by Clint Eastwood’s latest, I think it’s a nice little film, sincere and unadorned for the most part. When I got in this review from Vern, who is a raving Clint Eastwood fanatic, I figured it would be nice to run it as the film starts its expansion from limited release on Friday. Check this out:

Boys,

Just to prove that I don’t ONLY watch straight to video Steven Seagal movies (just mostly), I thought I’d send you my review of the latest from Clint Eastwood, America’s Badass Laureate. I know MILLION DOLLAR BABY is already playing in a few hotshot Oscar qualification type cities but I was lucky to see it before its official release here. In my parts this is early. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern goes mano a mano with Seagal and goes deep INTO THE SUN!!

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here, on the dawning of a new year with probably the most important story of 2004… That’s right… Our man Vern has an unhealthy addiction. Some like crack, some like weed, some like opium. Vern likes Steven Seagal. I don’t pretend to understand, just like I don’t pretend to understand ether addicts, but hey… someone’s gotta keep the love torch going for Seagal and Vern’s just the man to do it! I doubt I will ever willingly and knowingly watch another Seagal movie, but if I do this might very well be the one… Seagal singing? Seagal’s Angels? Released on my Birthday? Signs are lining up and if they click into place I will not be able to resist! Enjoy Vern’s man-love for Seagal! I know I did!!!

Howdy boys,

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for The Ain’t It Cool News. But the time has arrived. Once or twice, maybe three or four times a year, however often it is that Steven Seagal comes out with a new straight to video picture, it is my sworn duty to give you boys a holler. As you know I am one of North America’s leading Seagalogists, and I have found that your place is a good forum for sharing my initial findings as the new works are rolled out for study. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Aviator

In this new movie from Martin Scorsese (THE KING OF COMEDY), Scorsese’s young companion Leonardo Dicaprio plays an aviator. I was surprised to find that it was not just any aviator he was playing, it was actually Howard Hughes, the famous rich guy who peed in jars, wore kleenex boxes for shoes, etc. It turns out he not only grew his fingernails long and made a giant plane, he also was a movie director and producer. Which is probaly why Scorsese is interested in him.

After a brief origin story (explaining how a childhood incident led to his obsessive compulsive powers) the movie starts out with young rich boy Hughes, having inherited his parents’s drillbit company, making the world war one flying ace movie HELL’S ANGELS. He actually bought “the world’s largest private air force” and after years of disastrous (3 fatalities, 3 million dollars spent) shooting made a movie with the most spectacular aerial scenes ever produced (I guess. I haven’t really seen it. I am a phoney). THE AVIATOR gets alot of entertainment mileage out of portraying him as this crazy rich boy with a vision. Everybody thinks he’s nuts including his right hand man John C. Reilly. But he’s gonna spend his money how he wants to and he’s gonna make a god damn movie. This part of the movie I was thinking it reminded me a little bit of that movie where Johnny Depp plays Ed Wood. Then all the sudden Howard goes to ask a favor from Mr. Mayer of MGM… and it’s the same fuckin guy that Ed Wood tried to get a movie deal from! Same exact dude. Plus both movies have a score by Howard Shore. It’s like all the stars are lining up or something. There is no significance to it though in my opinion. Let’s get off of this tangent I guess. (read the rest of this shit…)

Unstoppable

First, a haiku:

Enormous talent
Piddled away on this shit
Why, Wesley Snipes, why?

Wesley Snipes IS Unstoppable. And by that I don’t mean that he stars in some crappy straight to video action movie called UNSTOPPABLE, although that is also true. What I mean is, no amount of cinematic crappiness can completely extinguish Wesley Snipes’s fire. The guy is great in everything he does, from Spike Lee dramas to vampire movies. He’s great in all 3 BLADE movies, even though the third one isn’t as good. He’s great in that movie where he played a drag queen named Noxzema Jackson. He’s great in his cameo as a crackhead in ZIG ZAG. He’s great in the bad Walter Hill prison boxing movie UNDISPUTED (see above). And he’s great in this terrible straight to video action movie where he’s a traumatized veteran who gets injected with a drug that makes him think he’s back in the shit during the Bosnia conflict. (read the rest of this shit…)

Sideways

So there’s these two middle aged dudes, Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (some dude from a sitcom they used to have). Jack is an ex-soap star who’s about to get married, Miles is a depressed middle school english teacher who can’t get his novel published and is obsessed with wine. Together they have to stop a criminal mastermind who is poisoning the wine supply in the San Fernando valley and turning wine drinkers into an army of zombies.

Actually I made that last part up but what it’s actually about is they go on a trip into wine country the last week before the wedding. The idea is for Miles to show Jack “a good time” which to him means going around tasting wine and showing off that you know how the grapes were grown and what year it is and stupid crap like that. I mean in this movie you got people talking on and on about Pino this and 1961 is peaking and all this shit, they might as well be talking backwards, you got no idea what these idiots are blabbing about. Except when they start talking about how fragile the grapes are or something, and it is obviously a parallel to their own emotional state or their dreams or something. But I’m sorry, metaphors are not a good enough excuse for that kind of talk. Anyway, it works for the movie because they are good characters. You are not supposed to think their wine talk is cool. (read the rest of this shit…)

Day of the Wolves

One of Richard Stark’s most ambitious Parker novels is The Score (aka Killtown) where Parker, Grofield and a bunch of other thieves team up to knock over an entire mining town. It would make a great movie, and it already made some french movie called Mise à sac that is not available to mere americans. Day of the Wolves isn’t based on The Score but it sounded similar enough that I thought I should check and be sure. Anything to help out my man Richard Stark.

I gotta warn you, unless somebody decides to put this one out on dvd, I don’t know if anybody else is gonna find it. It’s one of those mysterious dust-covered tapes you find, recorded in EP mode, real bad full frame transfer. Movie you never heard of, director you never heard of, big cast of actors you never seen before, real low production values. The only major connection between this movie and my world is that the cinematographer, when I looked him up, turned out he did three of my favorite Steven Seagal pictures (MARKED FOR DEATH, OUT FOR JUSTICE and ON DEADLY GROUND). But let’s face it, you don’t watch Steven Seagal movies for the cinematography, or at least I don’t. So this movie is a mystery find. And usually those finds don’t amount to much. But this is one of the better ones. (read the rest of this shit…)