Wednesday, September 29, 2010


When I was young and living in Pittsburgh, there was a store called Entertainment Tonight, and I thought that it was the coolest store on earth. This place had two floors, and on those two floors were, as it said in their sign, 'over ten thousand movies and counting'. They mostly had VHS's, but they were building a respectable DVD collection at the time of their closing. The place was a movie haven; a sanctuary for the film connoisseur- posters from every genre blanketed every wall, John Williams playing on the speakers, and in-depth conversations about the latest releases and how they compared to the film of yesteryear were in the air. It was a place of peace, the place of the date movie, the Halloween movie, the Friday night movie. The second floor was devoted to horror, and it was decorated for Halloween year round. Even if you didn't know what movie to get, you would walk out of that store with exactly what you needed. The best part was my family was friends with the owner, a guy named Mike, and he said to my mom- 'any McDonald that turns 16 has a job at Entertainment Tonight'. I used to go to the store just to hang out and browse the collection. It's the reason I love movies so much- I had a lot of exposure. I looked forward to my 16th birthday, and to the day I could proudly walk up to Mike and say, 'sign me up'. 'Welcome aboard,' he might have said, 'we're glad to have you'. The day I would become a man.
As you can tell, that day never came.
One day, I went to Entertainment Tonight and it was closed. There was a sign taped to the door with a simple message- 'Entertainment Tonight has been closed indefinatly. Thanks for all the years of service'. And underneath, a reply in red ink-
'Down with Blockbuster'.
That day, I swore I would have my vengeance. I looked up to the thundering sky and shouted my pledge- that I would be alive to see the downfall of Blockbuster. My day is come.
'...the Company and its domestic subsidiaries have filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Blockbuster's non-U.S. operations and its domestic and international franchisees, all of which are legally separate entities, were not included in the filings and are not parties to the Chapter 11 proceedings.' -Official Blockbuster Press Release

Praise be to God [closes eyes and raises arms]. $1 billion in assets- $1.4 billion in debt. I'm all about going to rent a movie, but this got personal once it involved Entertainment Tonight. Blockbuster destroyed local movie rental stores and ended up  monopolizing the whole business of renting movies. 
*and it's total crap, because Blockbuster sucks to begin with. It only had new releases and never seemed to carry the movie you needed. It also tended to employ people who could care less about movies. Local stores like Entertainment Tonight only hired people who can carry an intelligent conversation with someone about movies for more than half a second and knew more about the movies in the store than just where the horror section is.
But a new age has dawned- the age of the instant movie, more precisely- the age of Netflix. Blockbuster attempted to compete by implementing a similar online feature on its website, but it simply could not keep up with Netflix. Blockbuster Online had 2.9 million visitors in July- Netflix had 21.7 million in the same month. Blockbuster plans to reduce its debt to $100 million through a massive reorgaization of its shareholders but it is no use- the sun has set for Blockbuster.
I was pretty indifferent to Netflix when it came out. I'm the guy who wants to save the enviornment take a walk and rent a movie at the store down the block- the whole 'mailing movies right to you' sounded too messy to me. Now I can't help but love it. The Instant Watch feature alone is enough to buy a subscription.
This is a pretty useless post as it doesn't directly apply to film, but when I saw this story I couldn't help but write about it. You don't like it? Well...fine [buries self in sand].

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Hobbit Under Siege

Here's everything that is impeding the Hobbit from getting to theatres:
1) Two years after the release of Return of the King, Jackson filed a suit against New Line, claiming that he lost merchandising money from Fellowship of the Ring. He didn't agree to settle on any price but had New Line audited to see if they owed him anything outstanding. Jackson also didn't think this was going to be a huge deal when it happened, as it was a relatively small suit. However, Robert Shaye, New Line's co-founder, said he was insulted by the suit and said that Jackson would never make a movie for New Line again because he was greedy. After New Line made a string of flops Shaye apologized, saying that he respects Jackson as a director and would love to have him involved in the Hobbit in some way. Sure, he'll apologize publicly, but the bottom line is that tensions with Jackson and New Line are high.
2) The Hobbit is an enormous production. Each Lord of the Rings film was given approx. $94 million for everything it would need- each Hobbit film (there will be two) is getting $150 mil.
3) Nothing can get green lighted until the MGM issue is resolved. The issue being $7 billion in debt.
4) Nobody seems to want to direct it. Guillermo del Toro was initially signed on, but because of all the messiness and uncertainty with MGM, he left as director in May 2010 (before even agreeing to direct, del Toro expressed how much he didn't want to do it. He said he 'didn't like hobbits or dragons or swords' or something stupid like that). Jackson originally said he never wanted to direct the films because he felt he'd have to compete with LOTR, but now that there's no director, he is in negotiations to take up that job in addition to producing it (either way, he basically would have been directing, as he'd have complete control over everything).

Everything seemed to get more and more ludicrous as time went on. The most recent development is what we in the film business call [cracks knuckles] 'union woes'. The International Federation of Actors (FIA), which represents over 100 international unions including SAG, AFTRA, and the UK Actors Guild, has advised New Zealand actors not to accept work on The Hobbit because the makers of the film have 'refused to enter union negotiations'. Essentially, actors are on strike against The Hobbit.
*it's ridiculous, though, because if the actor did accept work for the movie, he'd get kicked out of his union. It's their way or the highway, and it's Fascist.
Recently, Jackson responded to the FIA, saying that a lot of the actors they get in New Zealand are non-union, and that FIA is interpreting this as him hiring non-union actors because he doesn't want to honor the contracts of union actors. He said that he has no problem with the unions, as he is a member of the Directors, Producers, and Writers Guild. His response is pretty lengthy- but I recommend you read it because it's interesting.
The reason it's interesting is because Jackson is doing something that nobody seems to have done, or even wanted to do in the past two years- defend The Hobbit. He's pissed because of all the setbacks, and he should be. He goes on about how it's all about money, and that this 'actor boycott' comes from a very small percentage of dissenters. He's a good filmmaker because he'll stand by a project no matter what. The way I see it is that everybody is being a child over this movie, and Jackson is stepping in as the adult. He may not have initially wanted to direct but I think that this union business may have pushed him over the edge.

So, that's what's going on with The Hobbit. Personally, I want this movie to be made because the LOTR movies are some of the best films ever made, and I want to see more. I've never read The Hobbit, nor have I read LOTR all the way through (I made it to the middle of the second book and gave up because I was 15 and had better things to do), but I know the story is good and the foundation is solid for some serious movies, and I'm confused and frustrated that these stupid unions and studios are fighting so viciously over something that will not only be awesome if it's done right, but make them a big pile of money. Jackson is doing the right thing by responding to the FIA so quickly (two days)- he's assuring people that the two years spent on this movie won't be wasted (they've got everything designed and written out, basically all they need is a greenlight and a director and to be pistol-whipped) and the four years to come will be used to make the movie as good as it can be. I'd rather have a jolly New Zealand man tell me that with a smile on his face (and shire music playing in the background) than have some fat studio executive say that the end is near [lightning strike].
I know there's nothing I can do about this. It's entirely possible that the movie will be scrapped, because that's just Hollywood. I can't help but have faith, though. Weird.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Virality, courtesy of Tod Williams

I liken virality to a woman. You devote your time and affection to something you trust, and in the end it's never what you had hoped. It's happened to me before with that whore Cloverfield and I have sworn never to let it happen to anyone else. And because I know have millions of adoring fans that pour themselves over my posts, I have decided- what better way to spread the word against virality. So take heed, fair reader, for I am the harbinger of a dread warning.
Paranormal Activity was a sweet movie because it was demanded. I got the same feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read up on The Blair Witch Project. It was the little movie that could- no budget, shitty filming conditions and work days, and that is something I admire out of a movie, because you can see the hard work that was put into it. That, in essence, was Paranormal's marketing plan- 'the movie millions have demanded to see'. Alright, that's awesome. I'll see it. But now, the inevitable has happened- Paranormal Activity 2.
The downside of having a movie like Blair Witch is that there is always a less-cool sequel (Book of Shadows is a laugh-riot), and Paranormal Activity is no exception. Howe'er, I gave it the benefit of the doubt. After I saw the teaser for PA2 (located heuh), I thought, 'Hm, ok, maybe if they leave it at that, it won't be as bad.' Of course they weren't going to stop there [frying pan to the face].
Check out this bale of hay. I read MovieWeb religiously, and the groan I emitted after seeing this on their homepage could have been heard four houses away. All I can say is to see it for yourself, but don't be fooled by it. It won't be as good as the first one (which wasn't that impressive anyway). Honestly, I feel like a gym teacher telling kids to wear condoms- stating the obvious. These viral videos are meant to lure you into the black hole of a sub-par movie. They're also a sign that the marketing department was desperate, because they can't do it the same way they did the first one.
Be not mistaken, I'm going to see it, because I'm a fan of the shaky-cam genre, but I am not expecting anything good, and neither should you.
Farewell, noble traveller, and be warned- there is danger afoot.
[rides off into sunset]

Friday, September 24, 2010

Points of Interest

danger lurks around every corner

So, apparently the seventh Harry Potter book was way too epic for just one movie so they're what I like to call 'Matrix-ing' it into two parts, with part one coming out in November and part two coming out in July. Oh, and by 'way too epic' I mean that the writers weren't creative enough to write one script and Warner Brothers jumped at the opportunity to make double the money. Anyway, a while back there was a huge trailer that pertained to both parts of the finale, and fanboys and girls worldwide simultaneously came. Recently, another official trailer for the first part was released. These people need not worry about advertising because no matter what they're going to break bank. They also don't have to worry about me seeing it, as Emma Watson has been in my spank bank since '01.
*her new haircut? Bankable.
The movies are pretty good though. After I saw the sixth one for the first time, I thought that they had completely gone overboard with the whole 'teen angst' and 'teen relationships' stuff, but after seeing it a second time my opinion changed greatly, not only for the sixth movie but for the franchise itself. They're really pretty movies; shot well, edited well, and cast well, but at the same time they've run their course, so I'm looking forward to masturbating to seeing Emma Watson the finale.

Mads Mikkelson, for those who don't recal [ashes cigar], played Le'Chiffre in Casino Royale. Not only is Casino Royale one of, if not the, best Bond movie, but Mikkelson is one of the best villains [give my guests five minutes to leave. Or throw them overboard]. He has the look and the chops to be a Bond villain, and he made the movie look all the sexier (like Craig needed any help).
I could go on forever about Cristoph Waltz. Inglorious Basterds is one of my favorite movies, and his performance is one of the best I've ever seen. Basterds deserved best picture and screenplay. It was undoubtedly the best movie of the year, but life goes on.
Milla Jovavich could kill my whole family and I would still offer myself to her. Sure, she's in really lame movies, with some exceptions (Fifth Element) but who cares? She should divorce that zero Paul WS Anderson for two reasons: 1) He is the reason she's in lame movies- he casts her in his movies. 2) So she can run away with me.
What do all these awesome people have in common? They're all tied up in my basement They're all going to star in Andersons 'The Three Musketeers'. Some set photos were recently released, and they revealed some interesting things about the movie. Waltz is playing the bad guy, Mads wears an eyepatch, and Milla looks like a million Francs [roll on snare]. That's all I really care about. I'll see the movie because of these three people, but not even the mighty Milla can make a Paul WS Anderson movie anything more than grabage.

If any of you have the desire to see a perfectly decent horror movie, see The Devil's Rejects. Rob Zombie is not an outstanding director, and he may not know exactly what he's doing 100% of the time, but he makes pretty acceptable horror movies. I'm a stickler when it comes to Asians horror remakes, but I can say I enjoyed most of Halloween and parts of its sequel. The reason he's good is because he takes full control and responsibility of his movies, something that doesn't always happen in Hollywood, because not all studios are that trusting. 
*although I honestly have no idea how he finds time to make movies, because if I were him, I'd be banging Sheri Moon-Zombie 24/7.
Earlier this week news broke that Zombie is going to make another movie, produced by Oren Peli and Jason Blum, the guys who did Paranormal Activity. It's going to be titled 'The Lords of Salem', after one of songs or something like that, and it's going to be about a 300 year old coven of witches coming to modern day Salem and then tearing it up, bro.
"What excited me most was Jason saying, you can have total control over the script, casting and final cut...I said I'm in." -Rob Zombie (Courtesy of MovieWeb)
That's what I like to hear [high five]. I'm excited for this because even though his movies aren't the best, they're definitely better than most of what Hollywood churns out of its meat grinder.

I have to admit, I didn't see the first Wall Street all the way through. I've seen parts, and it looked pretty decent, but I just never made it all the way. I don't like Oliver Stone, even though he's made some respectable movies.
*I liked Platoon, but honestly no movie about Vietnam or any war for that matter comes close to Apocalypse Now. Full Metal Jacket is up there as well, but when it comes down to it, I'm Apocalypse all the way. Platoon not only made me feel sad for all that happened in Vietnam, but I felt like it insinuated that it was somehow my fault. Alright, Platoon, see yourself to the door. Except Willem Dafoe. He can stay.
Anyway, check this out. This is Shia Labeefcake recounting a day of shooting Wall Street 2.

“We’re in the Adirondacks, and Josh Brolin and I are shooting this bike scene. And at one point I say to Josh a line — ‘You should look at yourself in the mirror first and see yourself. It might scare you,’” remembered LaBeouf. “I looked at the line for a couple of months and thought I’d go to Oliver and say, ‘You look at the mirror and look at yourself. It’s sort of repetitive. Why don’t we just cut one of those? Why don’t I say, Look at yourself. It might scare you.’ This is Oliver verbatim. He looks at me and goes, ‘I like mirror. I wrote Scarface. Go f*ck yourself.’”- Shia Labouf, courtesy of Vulture

Hilarious. Only Stone can get away with that. If I was Shia I would have been like, 'Yeah, you also made World Trade Center five years after 9/11. And cast Nicholas Cage.' Yeah, that would have been awesome [kicks can] [stares at the sky].
Josh Brolin also doesn't like the movie. He was quoted as calling it 'the most formulaic movie Oliver Stone has ever done'.
It kind of pisses me off that Brolin keeps starring in movies that he hated making. Jonah Hex, for example, was a train wreck, and even he has said that it's shit. He's a good actor, why is he not inside me good movies?
He later caught himself and said something to the effect of '...but you should still see it'. I might go see it this weekend, if I have nothing better to do, like cut my dick off.

GOD OF CARNAGE a play written Yasmina Reza. It's a comedy about two sets of parents getting together to talk about how one of their kids hurt the others in a park. It was huge on Broadway and starred Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, James Gandolfini, and Jeff Daniels. It's supposed to be amazing and really funny (most of my friends are obsessed with it) and now they're adapting it into a movie. Two good things about this: 
One- the cast. Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Matt Dillon, and Jodie Foster are playing the parents. I love the first two, really like the last one, and am completely and utterly indifferent to the third.
Two- the director. Get ready- Roman Polanski.
Roman Polanski is one of the best directors of all time, and he is one of my favorites as well (which is more important). I like every movie he's made. Even The Ninth Gate, which is his worst, is one of my favorites. The Ghost Writer, his most recent movie, is outstanding, and Rosemary's Baby is and always will remain in my top 5. He got into a spot of trouble a few years back (charged with rape in '77, when all he wanted was a good time), and hasn't set foot in the US since then (not even to accept his best director Oscar for The Pianist), which means none of his movies are filmed in the US.
*Fun Fact- The Ghost Writer is actually set in Martha's Vineyard but it was filmed entirely in Germany, all because he'd get arrested had he filmed anywhere else.
He's a seriously good director, one of the last great ones, and I think part of that comes from his severely messed up life. Your wife and unborn child getting murdered by the Manson family is hard to come back from.
No other info about the movie is out yet, but it should be pretty good. Kate Winslet is one of the few actresses I don't mind paying ten bucks to see, and Christoph Waltz is, well, he's Christoph Waltz. And Jodie Foster is a lesbian pretty good too. Matt Dillon was in Crash. I'll never forgive him for that [shakes fist in anger].

QUICKIE- BILL AND TED 3 officially happening. All the original people are attached, so it should prove to be entertaining. I'll always be a fan of 1 & 2. But here's the funny part- Keanu Reeves has approached Werner Herzog with an offer to direct. How hilarious would that be- 'Bill, we've totally got to get back to the wild and save the bears!' [bear sounds]

Need I say more?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recommendation: Masters of Horror

A teacher of mine had a saying: 'Never trust a Greek' 'Appreciate something for what it is'. It's easy to say that about something like a sculpture. You may not understand why the sculptor chose to chisel something a certain way, but you appreciate it because you know time and effort went into making it. The same is true for film. You might not understand or 'like' (whatever that means) something about a movie, but you should appreciate it for what it is. A movie is like a Christmas present: good or bad, say thank you.
People say, 'Hollywood isn't about art anymore, it's about making money.' Well, I'm not exactly talking about Hollywood. I'm talking about filmmakers striving to create something that they enjoyed creating, not something that was forged out of greed or necessity to meet the requirements of a studio that doesn't give two shits about how good the thing is, so long as it breaks even. I can watch a movie and tell right away whether or not the people making it hated making it.
Hollywood isn't all bad, though [friendly pat on the back]. I may be a meth addict an incredibly passionate person when it comes to film, but I'm also an everyday man-about-town. I love explosions, I love incredibly attractive women, I love a lot of what Hollywood does. I see movie like that with a grain of salt, however. I know that they make these movies like a candle attracts a fly (alright, fuckless, you know what I mean).
In response to the quoted text above- it's true- Hollywood only cares about figures. But saying that there was a time that Hollywood didn't care more about the money the movies made more than the movies themselves is malarchy [steps on hat]. Sure, a good movie is obviously more successful, but Hollywood would send dead puppie carcasses to 4,000 cinemas if it meant they'd make millions in profit. I have a point, really I do. There was a time where I would have said that even though the spirit of Hollywood is essentially the same, the movies that come out of it have degenerated throughout the years, but that's not what I should be saying. I should be saying that people have degenerated. 'Going to the movies' has very much lost its luster, because people have stopped caring about movies. It is truly a forgotten art. And because people have stopped caring, Hollywood is making a significantly smaller effort into making movies. If the people wanted something different, Hollywood would change right along with it.
*perfect example: vampire movies. After all this Twilight bullshit broke loose there have been masses upon masses of demand for vampires, and Hollywood is giving these assholes people what they want. If Twilight had been about, say, elephants in Kenya, well, I think the top grosser for this weekend would have been something slightly more African. Anythings better than Ben Affleck
**don't get me wrong, I love vampire movies. Some of my favorite movies (the '93 Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, Shadow of the Vampire) contain multitudes of vampires. I'm just saying that because Hollywood has started to cash in on them, they've lost their value.
I've got to get on topic.
I am a horror aficionado. I'm not going to lie to you and say that I love you that horror movies are just a guilty pleasure. It's one thing to make somebody laugh, but to make someone scream is wholly different. To truly scare someone through suspense, or shock, or whatever, is an achievement that people seriously take for granted, and I feel like like somebody must have executed order 66 on the horror geniuses at one point after in the past twenty years because to find a good horror movie nowadays is very hard to do. But fear not, for I know where good horror lies. Masters of Horror.
*credit is due to Mr. Charles Wein, my compatriot in the field of Horror and Suspense, who showed me the wonders of Masters of Horror. 
Masters of Horror is a collection one hour horror films that can be viewed instantly on Netflix.
*if you don't have a Netflix account, get one. The instant watch feature alone is enough to buy a subscription.
These one hour episodes are directed by some of the most revered and decorated pioneers in the horror genre. John Carpenter, John Landis, and my favorite so far: Dario Argento. Dario Argento directed one of the best horror movies I've ever seen- Suspiria (also an instant watch).
*I cannot recommend Suspiria strongly enough. If anything, watch it for the music.
The two episodes I've seen ('Jenifer' and 'Pelts') are some of the most gratifying horror films I've ever seen, both directed by Argento. Gore upon tits upon gore upon tits. Blood, blood, blood. He exploits sex and violence with a certain expertise and refinement that not only comes from years of experience, but from the freedom to do whatever the fuck he wants. Granted, the actors are a little blase [flips scarf] and they probably picked up the cinematographers from a dollar store, but the message and direction comes across perfectly.
The reason I'm recommending Masters of Horror, and the reason I went on a little rant about Hollywood, is because Masters of Horror brings in people who are good at what they do and love doing it to do whatever they want. Hollywood restricts something that should have no limits. The reason Masters of Horror is awesome is the same reason a movie like Antichrist, or any other movie made by someone that's passionate and committed to something they love, be it independent or otherwise, is awesome, because it comes from a place of love instead of a place of greed. That's why I tell people to see a good movie if you have nothing else to do. Go through the AFI best of... lists. Go through the Criterion Collection. See something you wouldn't normally see. You might fall in love with movies and not realize why you didn't do it sooner.
I got off topic. I'm not sorry. Anyway, Masters of Horror is great, but bear in mind that this is comng from a very sick guy. I love movies that exploit sex and violence, but I can't say the same for many other people. I can say that all I've seen are the Argento episodes, but I'm pretty confident that the others are just as good. Argento is a true mage of gore, so his movies are naturally going to follow suit, but for a guy like John Carpenter, who is all about suspense, the game is different. But like I said, give it a chance, especially if you're not a Greek a horror fan.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clint Eastwood's Latest Ball of String


Every now and then, Clint Eastwood makes a movie that he just assumes will win major awards and will be garnished with 'official selection's and 'winner's. Usually, he's right, and usually, they're well deserved. To be honest, I think this guy deserves every award there is (except my soccer trophy. Minesies.). I mean, he's the Man With No Name, Harry Callahan, whatever his character's name is in In the Line of Fire (Malkovich for life), he's William Munny...I could go on. The point is that he is the only guy in Hollywood that went from revered action star to revered director. And in recent years he's become kind of like the wise old grandfather of Hollywood. He's also the only man over 70 that I wouldn't want to get in a fight with (every other septuagenarian is mine). 
The movies he makes are like Pokemon rare coins that people collect. They have a kind of rustic charm, and everyone has a wacky relative who likes them a little too much. Invictus, Unforgiven, Gran Torino, all pretty solid movies. But people say, you know, he's too old, or he should just give up, or his time has passed. Clint is like that dude in the first Hellboy who is like a hundred and fifty and stays alive by winding up his heart. His blood may have long been turned to sand, but he's still truckin'.
Anyway, all that aside. Clint's next project is going to be a biopic of J. Edgar Hoover.
*I lied. Technically, his next movie is going to be the Hoover picture, but the next Clint movie to hit theatres will be 'Hereafter', which is about Matt Damon being able to communicate with the dead. I'm serious. Look up the trailer. It's worse than it sounds.
J. Edgar Hoover, for those who arent aware [pushes back glasses], is a hugely influential person from the 20th century: he founded the FBI and launched the first public war on crime. He also was, allegedly, a cross dressing fairy, and that is going to be the driving action of the movie. Needless to say, I can't wait.
Most of my excitement comes from the casting. Leo DiCaprio is pretty much locked in as Hoover, and once that deal is signed, it is very likely that Clint is going to rope in the man in the shadows himself, Joaquin Phoenix [laugh track] [gunshot], to play Clyde Tolson. Clyde Tolson is allegedly the man whom J. Edgar Hoover had many a midnight rendezous with, and the general buzz is that there may be a love scene or four.
*I love Leo, but in my mind Hoover will always be played by Billy Crudup. Public Enemies was not at all as good as I had hoped it would be, and it was, if anything, the most disapointing movie of last summer, but Billy Crudup was bangin'. [tell him he can call me 'J']
I like Clint Eastwood perhaps a little too much and I enjoy every movie he is involved with, but what I have read about his next two movies makes me feel a little uneasy.
*Matt Damon seeing dead people doesn't sound like the gunslinging president-saving cigar-smoking xenophobic man of men I've grown to know and love. I mean, really!
Don't misunderstand, I want Joaquin to be in a movie as soon as possible (especially after hearing that the past two years have been a big prank), and I think an Eastwood picture would be a great outlet for him, but I have to admit that I was a little dissapointed when I discovered that he wouldn't be playing Hoover. I got over it once I heard it would be Leo, because he's good at playing the dude who needs to go to a bathroom and slap himself to get back in control [pull yourself together Teddy]. I got off topic. This is most likely going to be a good movie.
I guess we'll just have to see, won't we?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good Movies That Haven't Come Out Yet


Steven Spielberg is responsible for some of the most groundbreaking and entertaining films of all time (Jaws, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List (talk about a laugh riot [boo][hiss])). J.J. Abrams is responsible for three years of my life that I'll never get back (LOST, Cloverfield). Now the two of them are teaming up (meaning that Abrams will be doing whatever the fuck Bergie tells him to do) for Abrams next directorial project, Super 8.
*Abrams was unavailable for comment, as he is required to have his mouth on Spielbergs dick a certain amount of hours per work day. It's a SAG thing.
Now, they're marketing Super 8 the exact same way they marketed that demon-whore of a movie Cloverfield, with an annoying fucking teaser trailer that tells you shit very little.Mysterious happenings going on, there's an out of control train, don't know what's happening, messages written within the trailer, government run train, somethings in one of the cars, something breaks through, Super 8. Cut, print. It's a known fact that Abrams had no idea where the movie was going to go after making that trailer. It's obviously a monster or an alien or my ex some other thing of the kind, but as far as what the monster looks like, where it takes place, what the story is going to be, and whether or not it's actually going to be a coherent movie, well, he's leaving all that up to his Spielberg and his design team.
*they're bringing in the same dude who did creature work for Abrams in past projects (Cloverfield, that awesome ice monster in Star Trek) to design the monster. They showed the guy the trailer and told him (no lie) 'Figure out a monster.' 'No problemo, amigo,' the guy probably replied. He's that weird guy you try to avoid at work but need to ask things of him from time to time.
Now, be not mistaken. Every creative step in this movie is all Spielberg. Abrams' job is to find locations and deal with actors and do what basically boils down to the shit portion of being a director. Spielberg wants to make good movies (essentially be attached to good movies), but doesn't want to take on a full workload. Why should he? I think he is fully entitled to doing whatever the hell he wants to do. He is the king (with George Lucas being the disgruntled science teacher) of Hollywood. And Abrams is definitely far from complaining; this is probably the coolest thing to ever happen to him [Star Wars main title theme].
Yeah, I'll see Super 8. The reason I'm not as excited as I was for Cloverfield is simple: the monster isn't going to be as cool. Even if a flying horse shooting green lasers out of its eyes came out of that train car, it still wouldn't be half as sexy cool as the poster with the statue of liberty torn to shreds. Simply put, the scale doesn't match that of Cloverfield, and scale matters with monster movies. Still, the Spielberg element keeps me very interested, so it'll be fun to see how it turns out. I just hope it doesn't turn out to be another Holocaust movie.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Points of Interest

What does this post and the systematic killing of stray cats have in common? Answer: I'm going to try and make a weekly thing out of it.

Answer: the Challenger Deep. For those of you who aren't familiar with this particular location, let me explain [removes hat][wipes brow]. The Challenger Deep is the lowest recorded area in the ocean. It's 36,000 feet deep, located near the Mariana Trench. That's so deep, that if my penis Mount Everest was placed at the bottom, you would have to dive a mile and a half down before you reached the peak. Jimmy wants to shoot scenes down here, and for some reason he thinks that this will help advancements in science and technology. James Cameron plans to take this contraption to the bottom with a camera in the trunk:

I'm not going to not say I've gotten aroused by the movie 'Cocoon' pretend to understand how this is going to make the Avatar sequels amazing: I'm just going to trust that Cameron knows what he's going. Avatar was pretty entertaining, albeit way too fucking a little long and pretty contrived as far as dialogue goes, but I can't say I didn't enjoy watching that huge tree get blown to shit. I will certainly buy tickets to these movies.

I recently caught up with the star of the Avatar sequels, an adult Macellicephaloides.
Me: So, Macellicephaloides, what was it like working with Cameron?
Macellicephaloides: Please, call me Mace. Jim, he's the man. You know, I'll always be a Cameron-ite after this. He really gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
Mace, a scale worm from the family 'Polychaete', says he'll never forget the day he met Cameron.
Macellicephaloides: Yeah, I'll always remember the day I got a call from my agent, Glen. He says, Mace, have I got news for you. You know who wants you for their next picture? James Cameron. I got so excited I mitosisised right there on the spot.
Me: So, where did you guys meet?
Macellicephaloides: Well, it's actually pretty funny, I was working at a car wash that Jim frequents, and we just hit it off. I didn't even know who he was. We struck up a conversation about where I'm from-
Me: Mariana?
Macellicephaloides: Originally, yeah. Yeah, he says he's in the film business (who isn't, am I right?), so I gave him my card and he went on his way. My buddy Rick comes over and he's all, 'Dude, don't you know who that was? James Cameron!'
Me: That's quite a story.
Macellicephaloides: Yeah, I'm really grateful. I've always been a fan of Aliens, and you know, I knew a few of the extras in The Abyss.
Me: That's outstanding. Thanks for your time, Mace, I'm sure you've got to get back on set.
Macellicephaloides: Not a problem. Thank you.

Cameron has also entered himself in the running for the next X-Prize. The X-Prize is a $10 million grant given by a non-profit organization to those who pioneer the fields of science and exploration. Cameron all the way, am I right?
Challenger Deep is also apparently a secret nuclear disposal site, so he might luck out and run into Cthulhu, or the cloverfield monster, or my wank.

Sarah Silverman is cool for a variety of reasons, number one being she's an actress I actually enjoy watching. She's going to star in a movie called 'Take this Waltz' or some shit with Seth Rogen and the movie sucks already [cough] [sneeze] but the good thing about all this is that she's allegedly getting naked for it. I'll buy a ticket to see her tits, cash on the table [how many aces are in that deck?!], despite the fact that I hate Seth Rogen.
*he's a shit actor who makes funny lines un-funny. He should just be a supporting character at most. What, is Hollywood so desperate for comic relief that they're turning to fatasses with a pube-beard? Why don't I just go down to my local McDonalds and hold an open call?

In case you don't know who Armond White is, lemme let you in on the gag [honk]. Armond White is a film critic for the New York Press. He's also a huge black guy that hates every popular movie that comes out. He also happens to be the asshole who gave Toy Story 3 the only bad review it got.

"The Toy Story franchise isn’t for children and adults, it’s for non-thinking children and adults." -Armond White, on Toy Story 3.

Thanks Armond, do you only let your kids listen to NPR? Yeah, you know how Toy Story 1 & 2 both have 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but 3 has a 99%?  Armond White. This guy not only hates everything that gets popular, but loves everything that people hate, which brings me to the next point of interest: Armond White's review for Resident Evil: Afterlife.

"If critics and fanboys weren’t suckers for simplistic nihilism and high-pressure marketing, Afterlife would be universally acclaimed as a visionary feat, superior to Inception and Avatar on every level."- Armond White, on Resident Evil: Afterlife

Afterlife does one-up Avatar and Inception on a few levels. One- Ali Larter's body. Two- Milla Jovavich's body. Three- Milla gets cloned, and the more the merrier. But as far as plot, visuals, action, character development, direction, sound, editing, art direction, cinematography, acting, casting, production value, and Leonardo DiCaprio, I think Afterlife could improve on a few things. Does he seriously think that people give a shit about marketing, when it's a fucking Resident Evil movie? Maybe if it wasn't a shitty movie people would pay attention and recognize how good it is visually, but White is arguing that it is a good movie. There is literally no way you could ever make a good Resident Evil. Seriously. It's a fucking video game. They aren't good movies. Sure, I bet it's great in 3D, because somebody finally realized that the only reason a movie will ever look good in 3D is if you film it in 3D, but that doesn't make it good. I can look at a piece of dogshit at 1080p in RealD and it'll be awesome, but I'm still staring at dogshit. And how can you even speak the words 'Afterlife' and 'Inception' in the same sentence? I don't get it, because they're two completely different movies. I'm not angry at you, Armond, I'm just disappointed. But wait, he's not done.

"Anderson redeems that techno-gimmick which James Cameron foolishly hawks as a gateway to new perception because he realizes it’s just a play thing, not a New Age talisman. Anderson toys with 3-D for artistic caprice, constantly shifting levels, distance, perspective, layers." -Armond 'Fuckless' White

What's that old political cartoon, where the woman walks out of a poll booth and says, 'I don't think I voted against the right person?' You can't write a review about a movie and compare it to other current movies at the same time. That doesn't make it a review, that makes it a cockfight. And what's all this 'new-age talisman' shit? What, did he think people bowed down before Jimmy 'The Slayer' Cameron when he decided that 3D was the way of the future? Well, maybe they did, but that's aside the point. [light switch] [footsteps] [tire screech] The point is, White is under the assumption that the director of Afterlife made the movie with the intention of revolutionizing the way 3D movies are made, which is false. He made the movie to make money. James Cameron made Avatar to make money too (although did it really make anything? I worry about him sometimes...), but he did all the 3D shit because he wanted to revolutionize the film industry, which he succeeded in doing. And don't even get me started on Inception. [I bought the airline]
Don't get me wrong. I love Armond White. I really do. I think his reviews are hilarious, and I think he does it just to shake shit up, which is what movie reviewin' is all about.
That, and tits.
Mostly tits.

TRON: LEGACY going to blow my mind. They recently released a slew of character banners for the movie, and not only does Jeff Bridges look like a sex knight, but the movie looks seriously outstanding. The guy who does the visuals did the visuals for the original (he also does creature work, Pirhanna, Star Trek, Cloverfield, etc.), and Disney has given him everything he needs to make the movie blow the fuck up right in my face.
Honestly, and this is just because the way the past couple of years have been going, I didn't really think 2010 was going to be a good year at the movies, but I'm mistaken. Good movies came out this year (Inception, Toy Story 3, Last Exorcism) and more are still to come (Tron, Social Network). Especially coming from Disney, whom I despise, this year is looking pretty good.

"Power to me."- Armond White

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Antichrist *Reposted

I'm reposting a review I wrote for Antichrist a while back. That is to say, I'm reposting the review now, and the review I'm posting is one I wrote a while back. Grammar. Anyway, I wrote this last year, so go easy on me, it's my first time. ;) :D 8===D<

"The utter commitment from every creative aspect of this movie is dauntingly intimidating. The story reminds me of some forgotten end-tale mythos that can be described only as unforgiving and relentless chaos, and the imagery alone in von Triers latest venture is enough to recommend this movie.

Both Defoe and Gainsbourg melt into the world that is von Triers episodic monster, and become a part of a vision that isn't so easy to become a part of. It's very refreshing to see an already great performer like Willem Defoe knock another movie out of the park, and very frightening to see Gainsbourg do things to a man that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Gainsbourg explodes in this movie, and the glow of her performance shines till the very last frame.

Her character, 'She' (with Defoe as 'He'), splits into two different personas, one as a grieving mother and another as a woman bent on destruction. Defoe plays the supportive husband who doubles as her psychologist leading her through the grief and mourning of their recently departed toddler. When they venture to the place She fears most, the woods, the world around them becomes the anti-Eden: a garden of Chaos instead of Harmony.

There are numerous scenes in this movie that have been super-glued to my mind. Lars von Trier uses animals very frequently and makes them into twisted devices: the deer giving birth, the fox, the raven, and the baby bird being eaten by the hawk, symbolizing their own sons death.

However, sometimes the violence and brutal sexuality took me out of the movie and made me feel like I was watching Saw on cocaine. Also, the misogynistic tone was slapped in my face on more than one occasion. But, there is no way to tone down this movie- it had to be the way it is; anything more or less would have been a fatal imperfection.

There are so many great things about this movie that it makes me angry that more movies like this aren't made. I don't mean incredibly explicit movies, I mean movies that have a task and an objective that is pursued with full honesty and passion. For you see, that is precisely what Antichrist is- passionate. Whether you liked the movie or not, you cannot disagree- the people making this movie knew what they were doing and were damn proud of it. It gives me faith in the fading light that is today's film industry."
I had seen advertisements for this movie a while back, and when I saw it was on demand, I couldn't resist. It's hard for me to play both sides of the chest when describing this movie because I love it so much and I feel like I would be too preoccupied with touching myself.
*Player beware- just because there is a lot of sexually explicit activity in this movie, please refrain from wank-yanking. You'll get started and it'll be ok for a while, but suddenly you'll get a block of wood to the nuts and cum blood.
A buddy of mine brought it up one night and asked me what I thought about it. After five minutes of thinking (I had to go to the bathroom and do a pee-brainstorm), all I could come up with was, "I dunno, man, you see Wille Dafoe's dick." He then proceeded to laugh at me. [wilhelm scream] 
Yeah, I could go on forever about the cinematography. Sure, I could ramble about the editing (the train sequence). But I really think the reason I like this movie, drumroll please, is because Lars von Trier is a conceited, psychotic asshole. One of my favorite quotes of all time-
"I am the greatest film director in the world." -Lars von Trier (after the Cannes screening of 'Antichrist')
Before production on this movie started (not even a year before principal photography began), this guy tried to off himself and spent time in a mental institution. I don't know about you, but I think that's awesome. Go straight from the funny farm to behind the camera.
*there are too many sane directors in Hollywood. If making a movie doesn't drive you towards insanity then you're not doing your job.
Look at Jimmy Cameron. [empty pooper-scooper] The story 'round the campfire is that Cameron is a slave-driver to actors and AD's. He almost died during the filming of The Abyss because his oxygen tank almost ran out during an underwater sequence.
*some guy allegedly jumped in and tried to save him, but all he ended up doing was putting Cameron in more danger, and Cameron had to sock the guy in the face to get to the surface. The dude got fired. And subsequently went to live on a farm.
The Titanic shoot was supposedly the worst. The crew spent something like an extra 80 days at sea trying to get shots and feed grapes to Cameron. But look at the outcome- they're all pretty decent movies. I know it's strange to compare Cameron to von Trier, but I do have a point. The point is that you need to be a little crazy to make a good movie. It also boils down to artistic control. Good movies are made by people who have complete Independence from any outside factors (i.e. whiny actors, big-time production studios, deadlines, hurricanes, etc). Cameron and von Trier are on opposite sides of the ruler. Von Trier is an auteur in the most basic way- he's an independent filmmaker with a reputation for making great movies, in short, he's reliable. Cameron is the same way, except he maintains total control because he owns everything. Put either of them behind a camera and you're guaranteed what you're promised. [tips hat]
Anyway, Antichrist is great. You just have to see it for yourself. I can't wait for November, because that's when the Criterion DVD comes out. Willem Dafoe's shaft, how can you go wrong?

I give Antichrist four out of four squirts.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Good Movies that Haven't Come Out Yet


I was, admittedly, a slave to the viral sites attached to Cloverfield. I spent a year and a half waiting for that farking movie to come out, waiting for one thing- the monster. I wanted to see it so badly I literally had no idea what to do with myself. I fell behind in school, lashed out at friends and family, hurt small animals, and watched a lot of violent pornography. A bum rap, I know, seeing as how the movie kind of sucks. What sucks even more is that they're making a sequel to it. There's a moment in the movie where the cameraguy (that annoying actor who can burn in hell [wait, you know about superman?]) swings his camera around and briefly catches another camera filming the same thing. That's what they're going off of. J.J. Abrams probably thought (once the first check came through the mail slot) 'Hey, let's go with it! Foolproof, people, foolproof!' [high five] [chandelier shudders] You see, the reason I'm not shitting my pants over this idea is because I had an operation and I don't want to talk about it there's only so much you can do with the story of Cloverfield. I've seen the monster, I know it fucks up Manhattan, what else do I need to know? Why should I give a shit about anything else, let alone the story
*(which is oh-so lame, if we're going to get into that. Kids running away from monsters trying to save their friend (who is definatly a whore and knows the exact dimensions of Matt Reeves' cock (J.J. Abrams: 'I promised you the flesh: you may take her, mine servant')) with incredibly glib dialogue sprinkled on shit acting and I don't care, give me the mons- THERE IT IS, FINALLY) [baby laugh]
Don't get me wrong, I'll see the movie. I'll see it many times; I may even purchase it at my local 'The Exchange'. Like my brother so eloquently put, 'If I have at least 5% interest in seeing the movie, I'll pay for the ticket.' He then went on to say several disconcerning things about Protestants. What he means is that going to the movies is what makes it fun. If you like a movie enough to watch it at home or buy it, fine, but a movie will always be 20% better when seen in a dark theatre.
Any-way [spins pocketwatch], Troll Hunter. This movie looks spamtastic. Check this link, fuckless. The reason I went on and on about Cloverfield is because, well, they're essentially very similar movies. I know this because it's incredibly obvious. A crew goes around filming giant monsters. What's not to like? 'Their devil-ways,' my brother might say.

Letterman was in on it, Herzog Saves the Day

Phoenix got a lot of attention when he told Letterman that he wanted to be a rapper [bitch slap], and now he's getting an unbelievable amount of press because the Casey Affleck doc is a sham. It was all an act, and now it appears Letterman was in on it. Give it to me straight, EW, how long havvah got?

“Dave knew about it, and Dave loved it because he could play along…It was great television.”

My idea of great television is what people might call 'a felony' (illegal in 49 states but mandatory in Iowa) [whip crack], so I don't really have much say in the matter, but I think the fact that Phoenix (I keep saying 'Phoenix' because I don't want to take the two seconds to look up how to spell his first name) has devoted two years of his life entirely to getting attention from the media is simply delightful. Howe'er, some people still think he's over the deep end. Sorry, EW, I was wiping my ass with twenties [honk].

“I’ve told people that [everyone is in on the joke], and not only don’t people believe me, they tell me that I’m wrong and that [Phoenix] is a schizophrenic and he needs help and he’s going to end up like his brother [River, who died of a drug overdose in 1993]. I said no."

'Hehehe...GET HER. That was your plan all along, get her?' Yeah, we need to drive up to Phoenixs' house and blackbag his ass, that'll teach'im! Think you can fool me, mysterious stranger? Take that! [old men laughing and throwing bottles]. Hell, I think the whole River Phoenix thing was a sham, too. He's out there somewhere, throwing back Calico Jack with bigfoot, laughing at the rest of the world.
Back to the Phoenix who's still breathing. There was a story that ran a couple days ago saying that Phoenix was in a car accident and was saved by none other than the caped crusader himself, Werner Herzog. Herzog alleges he was driving behind Phoenix and Phoenix flipped his car and was trapped inside. As he approached the car to see if he was hurt, he found that Phoenix was sitting upside down with gasoline running over his body attempting to light a cigarrette. He had to take the lighter from him because he wouldn't stop trying to light it. I would have loved to has been in his head five seconds beore the crash. 'Fuck, is that Werner Herzog? I've always wanted to meet him.' [urine]
Herzog makes badass movies, and I expected nothing less from him. His Loch Ness mockumentery is masterful. All of this Phoenix shit makes me constipated. He's gonna be on Letterman at the end of the month, 'out of character', so I'm definatly looking forward to not watching it. No, I think I'll just watch Pterodactly porn instead.

Review- The Last Exorcism

Time and again I ask myself the pivotal question: is there a movie out there, somewhere, anywhere, that can wrap itself around my soul and senses so tightly, that can bring me to tears out of sheer awe and the triumph of the imagination, that can give me such faith in the genre that it occupies that my faith in Hollywood can be renewed, that can lead me to whip out my wank and snap one off right there in my seat? Well, and I'm sure the three attendants that escorted me out of Destinta last night can attest to this, yes, there is.
I might have exaggerated. Nothing was wrapped around my soul, my eyes were as dry as my girlfriends mouth, and nothing short of Jimmy Cameron being found erotically asphyxiated in Nicholsons closet could ever bring me close to giving a shit about Hollywood. And there were only, like, 2 attendants, and they were both totally 16 [champagne cork] [gong].
Sure, I like Eli Roth. Cabin Fever is easily one of the most underrated horror movies of all time. Granted, the reason he didn't direct is because he is contractually obligated to blow Tarantino 18 hours a day (that's how long a Koala sleeps!), but he knows how to make a good movie, there's no doubt about that (he played 2 (?) different characters in Cabin Fever and it's hard for me to get past something like that).
Anyway, Last Exorcism. I saw this movie with maybe ten grade school syphallitics sitting five rows in front of me, and three equally depressing but slightly older characters sitting in the far back, and I firmly believe that this is the way the movie should be seen: eighty decibel whispers followed by screams followed by beautiful silence. This movie will shut you up [laugh track] [gunshot].
She may be Michael Cera, but seeing an overly religious homeschooled girl get possesed and try to round third with Supporting Woman 1 fulfills several of my fantasies. The movie's scary, too. The sound is respectable, and the thing with the chain around the girls leg is well placed and sets the tone very well. The main dude is pretty unbelievable- a magician preacher who is definatly not going Missionary any time soon [cough] [trumpet].
The plot: serious preacher who's basically a TV evangelist wants to shed light on the atrocities of modern-day exorcisms, a practice that all too freuently ends with the family killing the possesed for their own good. He goes to a backwater town to perform one last exorcism [fart] to show the world that it's all a sham. He meets this girl who is allegedly possesed and sets up a fake exorcism to appease the family and show that all she needed was to be convinced she was no longer possesed. There's this great scene, the first 'exorcism' he does on the girl, where he sets up speakers to imitate demon groans and invisible wire to move pictures and a cross that smoke comes out of and all that good stuff that makes it look super convincing. He 'exorcises' the girl and leaves on a chipper note with the family as the messenger of God triumphant, curtain Act 1. Act 2: fake exorcism doesn't work and the preacher needs to go back and do it for real this time, because if he doesn't, the father will kill her to save her soul. FULL CIRCLE.
I liked a lot of things. I like the distinct difference in the way he approaches the first exorcism versus the way he goes about the second. The first time, he's basically a professional con man who smooth talks his way through this family and gives a great show, perfectly convincing in ever way. The second time, he goes about it not as the TV evangelist but as the scared shitless man o' cloth. He wants the father to get the girl psychiatric help, and the father says if he won't do another exorcism then he'll kill her. Kodak this for me- man in linen suit shaking hands with smiling father on bright sunny day, man in tattered clothes sawing the chain off a possesed girl in an attempt to save her and then confronted by man with shotgun.
The cast is great. The guy is amazing and the girl is very, very versitile. She can go from sweet and totally cherry jailbait to viscious and sadistic but still totally cherry [unsheathed sword] in the blink of an eye.
The movie does mix genres a little. Think about it on a scale of reality- blair witch, paranormal activity, quarantine, last exorcism. Blair Witch was real and gritty because it didn't look produced, something that happened with the latter films because it became evident to Hollywood that these movies make money (Blair Witch is the highest grossing budget vs. income independant film ever made, it grossed something like $11,000 for every dollar spent making the movie). Last Exorcism looks well produced, and they use music, which takes away from the genre but ends up adding greatly to the movie. It's scary, believe me, I could be a millionaire if I sold all the sperm I lost watching it.
*At one point she alleges to being impregnated by a town boy, and the crew goes to find him and he turns out to be the town queer, which is absolutely hilarious. 'Um, no, I didn't touch that, omg lolzzz!!oneone1.' And after they leave, the sound girl goes 'well, he's obviously gay' [T-rex roar] [glass breaking] [tire screech].
The main critisism is how short the third act is. It can't be helped, obviously. If you have a gun in the first act it needs to go off by the third. The main chunk of the movie is build up to the end, but it's alright because the build up is awesome. There's no way to give the movie a pretty ending; that would contradict the tone and the message. The message being, SHOOT HAH! SHOOOT HAH!
The movie is worth seeing and worth owning. In my opinion it's more entertaining than any other film of its genre. It may not match the direction and overall maturity of The Exorcist and it may not be as earthy and gritty as Blair Witch, but it is an era-defining horror film in its own regard. I'd see it again today if I could, but I don't think they're going to let me in to that theatre any time soon [pull book to open hidden passageway].

I give The Last Exorcism three and a half out of four squirts.