Sunday, November 12, 2017

Auteur Watch - Danny Glover

...I'm getting too old for this sh... stuff.

The Fall of the House of Priapus

The floodgates are still open, and more stories of Hollywood sexual harassment are coming out.  Fortunately, we live in the Internet Age, and Excel spreadsheets and SQL databases are finally being filled with useful information.  The latest anecdote comes courtesy of Rebel Wilson, who recently told her story of a guy in a position of power who's far, far too big a fan of that one scene from Last Tango in Paris.  I try to keep this a family-friendly blog... okay, maybe not that hard, arguably.  But the guy in a position of power put his own unique spin on it, by wanting Rebel to stick some fingers where the sun don't shine while his friends filmed it on their iPhones.  So far we don't know who this mystery guy is, but judging from what little I know of "Entourage" I'm thinking maybe it was Mark Wahlberg on the set of Pain & Gain... you know what this all means, right?  This means that Hollywood is losing its power!  Its allure as a business unlike any other, with rules that normal people don't have to live by.  I guess we have to look to the world of computer programming now as the place of hopes and dreams.  For one thing, there's apparently a sharp increase in these Silicon Valley types getting plastic surgery.  Can't get more showbiz than that!
As if that weren't bad enough, another Right-wing figurehead that seemed unstoppable looks like he's just about to topple.  There are early reports that Sean Hannity is going to lose a few advertisers over his softball interview of Alabama Senatorial candidate and heterosexual pedophile Roy Moore.  And if Bill O'Reilly is any indication, a complete loss of his show just might be imminent.  But who knows?  I'm not privy to the rumor mill, but Sean seems slightly more straight-laced than, say the aforementioned O'Reilly, who of course recently appeared on Hannity's Fox News show post-career implosion, and he seems slightly more under control than Eric Bolling who got into the sexting hobby while still gainfully employed by Rupert Murdoch.  These guys always have to learn the hard way: all penises aren't special.  No, Sean Hannity's thing is sending around pictures of his bowel movements.  Gonna be sad when that comes out, and all the news anchors have to tiptoe around that.  But one of my Facebook friends makes an interesting point: didn't the party of Lincoln once consider itself to have a monopoly on family values?  I guess they still do, but here's my idea for a Bill Maher-esque new rule: the GOP really has to cut it out with all this "Party of Lincoln" crap.  Um... you know which side of the Civil War he was on, right?  The non-Confederate one.  I don't know much about Lincoln, but something tells me he wouldn't be in favor of all these Confederate monuments erected in 1911.  You know, the Golden Jubilee of the Civil War.  I know Republicans are never hypocritical, but you can't like Lincoln AND the Confederacy at the same time.  You gotta pick.  And so far, they seem to be picking the traitors.  Russia, the Confederacy, what have you.
Oh, but I dwell.  Let's get back to the Top 10.  As expected, Thor: Norse Armageddon is #1 again.  And I couldn't help but notice that a recent TV spot for the film seemed to have a lot of clips of Jeff Goldblum in it.  Which is fine by me; he's probably the best thing in it.  May Act II of his career never end.  The only two debuts this week are the new Murder on the Orient Express and that new Will Ferrell movie called Daddy's Home 2.  Which brings me to a mini-Auteur Watch... Sean Anders.  I mean, look at this confident guy.  Doesn't even need a decent haircut!
...sorry, had to restart Firefox.  I know it's an efficient program and all, but... really?  4 GB?  Why does it need 4 gigabytes of RAM to run?  Maybe my hyperlinks will post a little quicker now.  It was taking me five seconds per link before.  Okay, back to Sean Anders.  Take note, all future writer-directors.  Mr. Anders is nothing if not a prolegomena.  This is what hard work looks like.  It takes 10 years just to get that first film made, and then another ten years to claw your way to a prominent place on the national storytelling stage.  But I can't help but wonder what it says about a guy's résumé when a title like Mr. Popper's Penguins might hurt all your street cred.  Also, you can't help but see that old Hollywood Boys' Club mentality at work with this guy.  I mean, one of his IMDb Top 4 is a film called Sex Drive.  Because, you know, a) even a phrase like "sex drive" can have a double meaning, and b) it's been 20 years, so why not remake The Sure Thing?  Why not, I say?  I'm not saying that Anders' stuff isn't great and all that, but recently he and Jon Lucas / Scott Moore went to each other's meetings in Hollywood by mistake... and no one could tell the difference!  Actually, that's not true... Anders hasn't had as big of a hit as The Hangover.
And finally, I want to give a brief shout-out to Lady Bird, which isn't a debut in the most technical sense because it's been out for two weeks, but it's the first time it's been in the Top 10.  I dunno... doesn't Saoirse Ronan deserve better?  Maybe she will later on when she plays Mary Queen of Scots.  But who knows?  Maybe a thinly-veiled autobiographical slice of Greta Gerwig's life will be just as important in the historical scheme of things when all is said and done.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Auteur Watch - Conrad Glover

How to handle an auteur and former Hollywood actor that no one seems to want to take credit for like Conrad Glover?  (Credit 1, Credit 2)  Well, for some reason, the Muse struck me... that's right, critics have Muses as well... that the way to approach this is to take a closer look at the Conrad Glover Rolling Stock Company of actors that appear in Conrad Glover joints films.  Take this one guy that's appeared in all five!  Named Conrad Glover... oh, right.  We'll skip that one for now.  Well, the hands-on favourite champ, other than Conrad, has got to be Nicholl Jones.  For one thing, she's got a head shot.  Not all these actors do, even though it's been an IMDb feature for some time now.  But she's got to be the big star of the Conrad Glover Rolling Stock Company that everyone else is jealous of.  I mean, she's the Maya of "Maya's Soul" fame, for God's sake!  That's not nothing, is it?  So, what was it about Twists of Fate that made her drop out of the Conrad Glover Rolling Stock Company?  Was she so busy?  Samuel L. Jackson always finds a way to clear his schedule for Quentin Tarantino!  Maybe it was the co-director part that she had trouble with.  But Conrad didn't want to be without a Nicholl, so Michelle Nicolle had to suffice.
Then, of course, there's Ricky Velez... oops, I was thinking of "The Nightly Show."  Sorry.  Sigh... I miss that show.  I'm telling you; Trump made a call, and boom.  Gets cancelled.  The NSA knows it's true.  I mean, Jaime Velez.  I love Jaime Velez... those of you who speak French understand.  Similar deal, four pics under Glover's helm.  But not Twists of Fate!  What's the dilly-o here, anyway?  Can't figure it out.  No casting director credited on Twists, so... hmm.  Maybe that was part of the problem.
But I think I know what happened, after a little more considerable data anaylsis... alanyssi?  Something like that.  The more I type, the more esoteric my typos get.  There seems to be ONE person that appeared in Fate and in a non-Fate based title.  And that person is... Ray Bolger... no, that can't be right.  Ray Bolger died in 1987!  ToF has a release year of 2009!  Either Ray Bolger pulled some next-level Tupac type sh... stuff here, or I got the name wrong.  Okay, I know what happened.  Rick Borgia.  The more I type, the more esoteric my name mistakes get.  That's just all there is to it.  Anyway, this Rick Borgia was also Fate's producer... and an executive one, at that!  He probably acted as an uncredited casting director... executive producers always do.  It's like how Steve(n) Mnuchin has a thing for Ben AffleckThe Accountant, Batman v. Superman... the titles probably go on and on.  Anyway, so Rick told Conrad Glover point blank, and said "I've seen your other films.  They're good!  That being said, YOU'RE NOT CASTING YOUR USUAL LOT OF LOSERS IN MY MOVIE.  Twists of Fate IS MY MOVIE, AND YOU... AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO F... mess it up."  Something like that.  Hence the extra Borgias in the cast.  Rick wanted his usual lot of losers in the movie instead.  But hey!  It's just the jealousy talking.  Can't argue with results.  Borgia brought on a second director, and now Conrad's out of the biz completely... actually, the co-director's not doing too well either.  Guess the experience wasn't all rose petals falling onto the bed... oh, right, probably can't reference that anymore. 
But I was curious about one part of the casting.  There's one Jamie Mattus credited as "Goon"... and probably not the whimsical "Goon Show" that influenced Monty Python, I'm thinking.  But there's also one Jamie Mattus credited as Billy's Crew #1!  And he does watch movies about gladiators... ick.  Now, I know it's asking a lot, because the IMDb doesn't easily rectify mistakes... or maybe this is the greatest bit of one actor playing two different roles since Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers or Tom Hardy in Legend.  Of course, if that were the case, someone probably would've put a link to an external review.  As of this writing... none.  I'd even settle for a Deadfall-type deal with someone trying for a Nicolas Cage-type deal of chewing the scenery so hard it spits itself out!  He did win the Oscar two years later, if anyone cares.  Not me; I gotta move on to my next big disappointment.  No time.

Gunter Gleiben Glauchen Globen

So behind on the times.  Well, I don't have a Blu-Ray player on my desktop computer so I'm unable to take a screencap from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, so 2008's Iron Man 1 will just have to suffice in this pinch.  Because once again, the latest Marvel(TM) movie is a massive #1 hit.  Not bad for a superhero movie in November!  Used to be that superheroes were for summertime.  Not anymore!  Not for a while now, if I really wanted to look into it.  But DC Comics hasn't been idle exactly either.  They of course have the big Justice League movie coming out.  Then of course there's the fourth season of "Gotham."  We have it on DVD... which is part of the problem.  These days, it's Blu-Ray or nothing.  My constant viewing companion has been complaining about Professor Pyg, because he's having trouble keeping track of all these plot threads.  I on the other hand realize the necessity of new characters.  Which is why there are over 600 characters in the Simpsons universe... Simpson-iverse?  Simpsiverse?  Unisimps?
Guess I just can't get excited this week.  I'm still sulking over Suburbicon.  America... you make me sad.  Films tend not to come back when they debut in ninth place.  But in three months' time I'll get to get it on Blu-Ray and download my digital copy of the damn thing.  Of course, I've been using 123Copy these days.  Pic quality's a little splotchy, but hey!  Can't argue with results in general, right?
Before I forget, I do want to give a shout out to musical group Imagine Dragons.  They scored a big coup by getting a bastardized version of their hit song "Believer" into a theatrical trailer for the new Murder on the Orient Express.  A toast to their current and future successes, of which there will surely be many.  The only other debut this week is A Bad Moms Christmas, which I think doesn't speak well of male-dominated Hollywood.  So, moms only get to celebrate Christmas on November 5th?  Is that the deal now, guys?  (#77CentsOnTheDollar)  Stay strong, girls and grrls.
While technically the film at #10 this week, Let There Be Light, isn't a debut, this is the first I've seen of it.  You know, because I don't religiously read Variety, and look at their Top 1000 list of all theaters all over the world.  But Let There Be Light is the latest in a string of movies that seems to be made very specifically for The Onion's A.V. Club to trash.  But they don't do it online anymore!  It clearly is up to me now.  LTBL stars Kevin Sorbo, and apparently in this, the 2nd Act of his career, he's finally found Jesus, and is trying to repent for all his Atheist-ish work in the 1st Act of his career, playing... Hercules, mostly.  And to a lesser extent, Kull the Conqueror.  But that's the world we live in, where Kevin Sorbo was once a household name, yet Peter Strauss all but languishes in obscurity.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Short Reviews - November 2017

@Risk - With Rob D'Angelo as Jack

#66: Action Sequences - With Yanda Djaitov as Jack

"#ParangNormal Activity" - With Joshua Joffe as Jack (3 episodes)

"00Angels" "Higher Stakes" - With Darius Green as Jack

09.05.57 - With Caleb Yowell as Jack

10 Things I Hate About You - With Joshua Thorpe as Jock

10.0 Earthquake - With Henry Ian Cusick as Jack

100 balas - With Javier Arroyo as Jack

1001 Faces - With Derek Zuzunaga as Jack

"100MG: Tempest" - With Enrique Arce as Jack

101 Ways (The Things a Girl Will Do to Keep Her Volvo) - With Glenn Fitzgerald as Jack

102 Piit Krungthep Plon (AKA Bangkok Robbery) - With Kowit Wattanakul as Jack

11:14 - With Henry Thomas as Jack

12 - With Adam Longo as Jack

12 - With Sam Trafford as Jack

13 - With Alexander Skarsgård as Jack

13 Hours - With David Dyer as Jack

13 West Street - With Adam Roarke (or Jordan Gerler) as Jack

18 Ans Après - With Grégoire Lavollay-Porter as Jack

"18 Wheels of Justice" "Countdown" - With Barry Sigismondi as Jack

1957 - With Connor Linnerooth as Jack

"1st & Ten: The Championship" "Vindication" - With John Fleck as Jack

The 2 Coolest Ninjas to Ever Kick-it at Lincoln University - With Dustin Capp as Jock

20 Minutes - With Pete Brown as Jack

20 Questions - With Bert Emmett as Jack

20 Seconds of Courage - With Sam Maxwell as Jack

200 Cigarettes - With Jay Mohr as Jack

2020 - With Charlie Gillette as Jack

2043 - With Rowan Davie as Jack

2050: A Room of His Own - With Geoffrey Nolan as Jack

"21 Jump Street" "Fathers and Sons" - With Warren Selko as Jack

21st Century Man - With Taylor Maxwell as Jack

"227" "Where Do We Go From Here?" - With Steve Susskind as Jack

24 Hours to Die - With Camille Yourell as Jack

"24-Hour Call" "Life Line" - With Angus Lennie as Jock

The 2nd Chance - Met Nathaniel Malik als Jack

"2point4 Children" "When Saturday Comes" - With Richard Davies as Jack

3 Days in the Mud - With Bill Cooper as Jack

3 Men and a Little Lady - With Ted Danson as Jack

3 Minute Paradox - With Dan Heubel as Jack

3 Ninjas Knuckle Up - With Charles Napier as Jack

3:21 - With Ryan Templeman as Jack

30 - With Daniel Hutchison as Jack

30 Days to Say Goodbye - With Bradley Bundlie as Jack

"30 Something... else" "Babysitter Part II" - With Lucian Perez as Jack

3000 Miles to Graceland - With Howie Long as Jack

"3rd Rock From the Sun" "Dick, Smoker" - With Jonathan Everett Lewis as Jack

"3rd Rock From the Sun" "Near Dick Experience" - With Alexander Folk as Jack

"3rd Rock From the Sun" "Youth Is Wasted on the Dick" - With Miguel Ferrer as Jack

40 Hours - With Reuben Turner as Jack

451 - With Kyle Cunningham as Jack

45RPM - With Ed Lowry as Jack

5-25-77 - With Mike Markoff AND Michael P. Noens (uncredited) as Jock

500 Pounds Reward - With Claude Fleming as Jack

57 - With Paul R. Kempf as Jack

6 Balloons - With Dawan Owens as Jack

605 - With Cesar Rego as Jack

60th Day - With Max Davidse as Jack

"616" - With Ian Weichardt as Jack (3 episodes)

The 7 - With Derek Craigie as Jock

"7th Heaven" "All Dogs Go to Heaven" - With Christopher Khayman Lee as Jack

"7th Heaven" - With Garrett Strommen as Jack (7 episodes)

"7th Heaven" "Blind" - With Stephen Collins as Rev. Eric Pederast.  Let's leave this one alone now.

9 Ways to Hell - With Blake Freeman as Jack

99 Bottles of Beer - With Tony Le as Jack

99 Homes - With Joseph Angelette as Jack

9am - With Errol Sack as Jack

"A-Lister" "Blacklisted" - With Tyler Dash White as Jack

"A. P. Bio" - With Glenn Howerton as Jack (4 episodes)

"Aaron's Way" - With Ethan Tudor W. as Orphan / Jack (10 episodes)

Abandoned - With Rick Bolton as Jack

"Abandoned" "Driving Lesson" - With Joe Davidson as Jack

"ABC Afterschool Specials" "Tattle: When to Tell on a Friend" - With Luke Edwards as Jack

"ABC Stage 67" "The Wide Open Door" - With Bernard Fox as Jack

"ABC Weekend Specials" "Commander Toad in Space" - With Cory M. Miller as Jack

Abe Lincoln in Illinois - With James Congdon as Jack

"Abomination: The Evilmaker II" - With John Bowker (also the director) as Jack

About Margo - With Dylan (R.) Nix as Jack

"Above Average Presents" "How to Defend Yourself Against a Pit Bull Owner Attack (Ft. Vinny Guadignino)" - With Michael Antonucci as Jack

"Above Average Presents" "Roomie (Room Parody)" - With Lori Zelikson as Jack

Above the Clouds - With Glen McCready as Jack

Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe - With (Zeon) Zion Forest Lee as Jack

Absolute Quiet - With Wallace Ford as Jack

Abstract Art - With Elijah Muldrow as Jack

The Abyss (2016) - With Riley Brown as Jack

Acceptance - With Christopher G. Pike as Jack

Accident - With Pierre Parker as Jack

Acid Test - With Patrick Sane as Jack

"Ackely Bridge" "Episode #1.1" - With Jamie Dorrington as Jack

"Acropolis Now" "Ricky Sings the Blues" - With Wade Beed as Jack

Across the Universe - With Timothy R. Boyce Jr. as Jock

Act of Vengeance - With Peter Brown as Jack

"An Actor's Life for Me" "Not Suitable for Parents" - With Elisabeth Hadfield as Jack

The Actors - With Michael McElhatton as Jock

Acts of Worship - With Christopher McCann as Jack

"Adam" - With Brendan Reardon as Jack

"Adam's Family Tree" "The Irate Pirate" - With Lee Cornes as Jack

Adam's Law - With Bradley Goveia as Jack

"Adderly" "Secrets of the Sun" - With David Ferry as Jack

Addicted - With Sam Crossingham as Jack

"Addled" - With Phil Kruse as Jack

Adjustments - With Al Sapienza as Jack

"Admissions" - With Gianluca Russo as Jack (2 episodes)

"Admit None" - With Steven James Tyler as Jack

Adonis - With Matthew Eriksen as Jack

"Adots Apprentice" - With Ben Fawcett as Jack

Adriana - With Dustin McLean as Jack

Adrift - With Brian Cobos as Jack

Adventures in Babysitting - With Philip Honey as Jock

"Adventures in Speed Dating" "Oldies But Goodies"  - With Jeffrey Fritz as Jack

"Adventures in Speed Dating" "Opa!" - With Michael Barbee as Jack

Adventures Into the Woods: A Sexy Musical - With Kristian Steel(er) as Jack

The Adventures of Black Feather - With Robert Caso as Jack

The Adventures of Jody Shanan - With Ron McPherson as Jock

The Adventures of Penny Patterson - With Mike Magliocca as Jock

"The Adventures of Pete & Pete" "Saturday" - With Vince Giantomasi as Jack

"The Adventures of Puss in Boots" "Adventure" - With John Leguizamo as Jack

"The Adventures of Puss in Boots" "Boots" - With John Leguizamo as Jack

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" "Farewell to Tuck." - With Harold Goodwin as Jack

"The Adventures of Robin Hood" "To Be a Student" - With Roger Bizley as Jack

"The Adventures of Skippy" "Skippy and Tike" - With Deryck Barnes as Jif Jack

"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" "Superstition Stage" - With Zon Murray as Jack

Affliction - With Chris Ewing as Jack

"AFK: The Webseries" - With Calum Gittins as Jack (11 episodes)

"African Patrol" "The Robbery" - With Bill Norbury as Jack

After Dark, My Sweet - With Corey Carrier as Jack

After Freedom - With Raff(i) Anoushian as Jack

After School - With Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Jack

After the Infection - With Paul Nandzik as Jack

"After the Promise" - With Blu Mankuma as Jack

After the Smoke - With Sam Reid as Jack

After We Leave - With Brian Silverman as Jack

Aftermath - With Charlie Chaplin Capen as Jack

"Aftermath" - With Robert Urich as Jack

Afternoon Delight - With John Kapelos as Jack

Afternoon Is Night - With Spencer Jones as Jack

Again - With (J.) Trevor J. Davis as Jack

Agape Blue - With Gregory Fuller as Jack

Ageless - With Tyler Reid as Jack

The Agency: Hunt for the Cure - With Andy Thora as Jack... also with Jason Gorze as Jack Steadman

"Agony Again" "Dazed and Confused" - With Dean Gatiss as Jack

Ailsa - With Gary Lydon as Jack

Aimer, Boire et Chanter (AKA Life of Riley) - Avec Michel Vuillermoz son Jack

Air - With Michael Jordan Judah as Jack

Airborne - With Chris Conrad as Jack... also featuring Jack Black as Augie, for those who care

Airplane! - With Howard Honig as Jack... also with William Tregoe as Jack Kirkpatrick

"Airs de France" "Il Faut Marier Maman" - Avec Christian Borel son Jack

Al Capone: Peace Maker - With Reynald Adolphe as Jack

Ala eh... con Bisoy Hale-Hale-Hoy!  Laging Panalo ang mga Unggoy - With Ramon Christopher as Jack

Alan Partridge's Scissored Isle - With Adem Marshall as Jack

Albino Alligator - With John Spencer as Jack

Alchemy in Hyde Park - With Robert Beshara as Jack... because, you know, as a writer-director, he knows the intrinsic importance of being Jack.

"The Alcoa Hour" "Long After Summer" - With Donald Harron as Jack

Alex in Wonder - With Ryan Freeman as Jack

"ALF" "When I'm 64" - With Phil Leeds as Jack

"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" "The Star Juror" - With Mark Murray as Jack

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" "The Changing Heart" - With Robert Sampson as Jack

Alice Agonistes - With Chris Waters as Jack.  Also with Mikey Effie as Young Jack.

"Alice" "Here Comes Alice Cottontail" - With Christopher Tayback as Jack

Alice in the Attic - With Levi Meaden as Jack

"A Billion to One" "First in Line" - With Dennis Corsi as Jack

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Auteur Watch - Maya Glick

...any relation to Jiminy, I wonder?  He never seems to mention her.  Whelp, she is a newbie to this biz, and I'm only about half familiar with her work, because I saw "Fanarchy" on the telly one night; that seems to be her on the cover.  Her thing is trying to toughen the image of the Marvel superhero Storm that was so thoroughly botched by Academy Award(TM) winner Halle Berry, probably on all occasions, but for wildly different reasons.  And so we get the short feature called Rain.  Now, normally with a perceived threat like this, and Marv Films, the Marvel Super League of copyright lawyers would spring into action.  But as explained in "Fanarchy," they try to go easy on the superfans, and for the most part just let them do their thing.  In the case of Fanboys, well... one of them BETTER be dying, or they WILL be dying!  Probably from clinging to the electric fence around the estate!

Auteur Watch: George Clooney

...did anyone else notice this while watching La La Land?  There was the scene where Ryan Gosling was in his apartment, and he was playing the piano.  And it seemed like they re-dubbed his playing with someone else's, which seemed a little unnecessary.  But then I thought that, well, maybe it's an actual L.A. apartment they're in, so the sound outside is probably drowning out everything.  Plus, there were probably a lot of gawkers outside as well, and security guards trying to hold back the throngs wanting to catch a glimpse of Ryan Gosling.  Never did finish the movie; a little too L.A. narcissistic for my taste, but someday I will really sit down and watch it on a double bill with Up in the Air.
Anyway, America... you make me sad.  Ever since 2002, George Clooney has directed a film every three years.  We've got 2002's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, 2005's Good Night and Good Luck, 2008's Leatherheads... that's the black sheep of the family, if only in my mind... There's 2011's The Ides of March, 2014's The Monuments Men... and now, 2017's Suburbicon, the long rumoured Coen script in which Clooney was supposed to play a guy who gets beaten to death with a golf club, because someone else saw Pacific Heights too!  There even was a sustained TV and IMDb-based ad campaign for the damn movie.  You might've seen it too.  I only seem to watch "The Daily Show" and it was there!  And that's, like... the most popular show on TV!  Alas, it wasn't meant to be.  Maybe it's only in 300 theaters or something, mostly in the Midwest.  Well, people stayed away because they saw the ads and went "...Paramount?  I thought Clooney was a WB man, through and through.  Nope, ain't going to see it."
No, people wanted a little more fantastical version of violence, so they went to see Jigsaw.  Ick.  Well, it was #1 with a piddly 16.3 million dollars, so Jigsaw will go on to play against Jason in the semi-finals.  Alien seems to be winning on the Alien v. Predator side of things.  No one likes Predator anymore.
Meanwhile, at #6, it's Thank You For Your Service.  It made $3.7 million domestic, so I think the phrase is safe.  People probably aren't going to confuse it for the movie any time soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Submarines Make Me Feel Fine

Whelp, better late than never, right?  Is The Hunt for Red October (1990) one of those movies that you need to see before you die?  Or is it just another tile from the big tile factory?  ...like I need to tell you, that's from one of the episodes of "Feud: Bette and Joan."  Well, the Maltin guide gives it 3.5 stars, so clearly it's got legs and a bit of goodwill behind it.  The book nerds at my high school were excited about Tom Clancy finally getting his Hollywood due, being both fans of fine literature and the fine Cold Warriors that they were.
I will say that perhaps Clancy was trying to warn us with the one character named Putin.  But the Russians on that vessel took care of that guy, that's for sure.  Thought he could just take over the whole sub by himself, eh?  Harumph!  Maybe history will repeat itself, who knows.  But I do know this: Sean Connery plays a bad guy here... or does he?  This isn't The Hill or The Offence, after all.  Plus, the producers were thinking blockbusters and sequels, so you know they weren't going to get too dark with the proceedings.  Sorry... SPOILER ALERT(s).  That it's rated a mere "PG" instead of "PG-13" is merely a sign of the times.  A "PG" rating was still fashionable then; now it's kind of the kiss of death.  Your blockbuster of today has to be a PG-13; how close to an 'R' you are allowed to get depends probably mostly on the budget.  Take The Dark Knight, for example.  Some messed-up $#... stuff in there, just sayin'.  In case you didn't know.
For me, the plot gets a little too ridiculous at times.  Mostly the drama of a helicopter running out of fuel while trying to land Jack Ryan on the top of the American sub.  Then of course, there's the moment when Jack Ryan gets onto Sean Connery's sub, and the Americans and Russians team up to kick some Russian sub ass together... sorry, SPOILER ALERT.  Other than that, a fine sub-based drama.  Who doesn't like a good paradigm shift in their cinematic experiences?  In case you didn't know, the story is basically about the drama that unfolds when the Russians gain an advantage in submarine technology, able to slip and slide about under the sea undetected by NATO tracking equipment.
Now, I did happen upon the following "conspiracy" theory about Hunt for Red October (directed by John McTiernan) and the Die Hard series... at least, the installments directed by John McTiernan.  That one involves the involvement of one actor who plays roles in all of the movies.  I think I can do him one better.  In both Die Hard 1 and The Hunt for Red October, both involve a black nerd ("blerd"?  Am I allowed to use that term?) who's pivotal to the plot.  Fortunately, he's on America's team in Red October.  Both DH1 and Hunt have a scene where a guy's crawling around in a tight space, and doing sarcastic commentary to himself.  And did anyone else think that the big explosion at the end of Hunt (spoiler alert) looked a little bit like the big explosion in the middle of Die Hard 1 when Bruce Willis blows up the bad guys' big cache of explosives located in the middle of the building?  Guess I better go to my local video store and try to rent the two of them.  Sadly, my DVD collection's a little incomplete.  Also, I didn't use Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to catalogue it, so, sorry to the database nerds out there.  Those are the big three similarities that occur to me off the top of my head.  Not that McTiernan repeats himself that much.

***
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Auteur Watch - Ron Glass

...Alton's father, perchance?  Anyway, this will be a first test of just how popular "Barney Miller" is.  Because even a workaholic like Ron Glass longs... longed for bigger and better things.  Wonder if there's social mobility in Heaven?  I guess there is, when one thinks of Seraphim and Cherubim and what not.  It's not enough just to be even an angel, go figure.  There are alpha, beta and omega members of, say, the X-Men and the Justice League, after all.
But let's face it.  Ron's a star, just not a big star.  You never hear anyone talk about him playing Felix Unger on "The New Odd Couple."  For that matter, when was the last time they played Bustin' Loose on cable?  I mean, it's Richard PRYOR, for God's sake!  And he's bustin' loose!  Why can't we see that every now and again?  Then again, you don't hear much about the new Honeymooners either.  But I think I know how it is.  I'm an average guy, and Ron seems like an average guy, and going from actor to director means a move into management.  Average guys tend not to want to make that move.  You know, and ruin the delicate friendships they've worked so hard to cultivate.  Orchids and morels, they are.  Or like my dad says, whenever he goes to play poker.  If you win big in the first thirty minutes, well... you can't just get up and leave!  People don't like that!  Might not want to play with ya in future tourneys.  They're angry enough already as it is.
But the time eventually came to give it a try.  Ron was tired of watching all his friends getting pulled up by their bootstraps, while he sat by and no one helped.  So he wanted to get a chance to put his ass in that physically humble yet symbolically all-powerful director's chair.  But he didn't want to do an episode of either "Amen" or "Rhythm & Blues."  Because, again, his friends.  Who wants to direct their friends?  Especially when the demons come out because of the looming deadlines.  Looming deadlines always tend to bring them out.  So, an episode of something called "Stat" would have to do.  Oh, but I do it injustice.  After all, as of this writing it's got an 8.7 out of 10 on the IMDb.  Of course, only seven people voted so far.  The Shawshank Redemption, in contrast, has a 9.3, but 1.8 million people have cast a vote!  Now, the episode he did is called "High Society."  Wonder if it's anyone's favourite?  Probably not Dennis Boutsikaris.  Probably doesn't remember doing it.  He's too busy bringing roses to Ron Silver's grave, and telling reporters that he's the best thing on "Better Call Saul."

Halloween 2017 - Insert Title Here

Here's something to file under the "How Sad is That" Dept. at Mad Magazine: I was somehow looking at a sampling of customer reviews at Amazon, and I couldn't help but think to myself... hey!  Why isn't MINE in there?  Then I realized that I put no effort into what I write for those.  I usually just give the bastards five stars and move on.  Believe it or not, there were some other things I wanted to do with my life... but as I sit here in front of the computer, none of them are coming to me.  Oh well.
Well, arguably and perhaps even technically all Madea movies are sequels... you might notice a special Madea subsection in the Electronics department at your local Wal-Mart even... Tyler Perry was nevertheless rejuvenated with last year's Halloween movie.  So much so, that a sequel to it was clearly in order.  But in the wake of a new spate of post-Weinstein sexual assault and or abuse allegations, something tells me that she's going to be speaking up soon... just sayin'.  Ain't no Uggos getting any action.  They say that Camryn Manheim is outspoken, so where is she in all of this?  Didn't Michael Ovitz make a pass or two at her at some point?  Nothing but celebrity inbreeding in the bubble!  You venture outside the bubble at your own peril.  Anyway, congratulations to Tyler Perry for another fine payday.  A writer-director writes/directs!  Always!
Our second debut this week is an attempt by former Roland Emmerich producer Dean Devlin to do two things: 1) make a Roland Emmerich-type vehicle, and 2) wrap up the Gerard Butler "Has Fallen" trilogy... in the meantime, he came up with something called Geostorm.  I hate to be so glib, but it is past my bedtime, so let me just say that The Day After Tomorrow called...
Our third debut coming in at #5 is called Only the Brave.  I hate to be repetitious, but the same thing happened to Only the Strong.  People saw that title and said, "Well, I'm not strong, so I obviously can't go."  In the case of Only the Brave, well... I can't help but think of Hereafter.  They hesitated to release it in Japan because of the tsunami sequence, and the recent tsunami that hit in Japan, which devastated much of the coastline, and a little bit of Gilbert Gottfried's career.  Only the Brave is about an elite group of firefighters, and lately the fires seem to be winning.  Take Santa Rosa, for example.  I think these California communities under siege from such wildfires need to take more preventative measures.  First of all, they need to surround their community with wetlands.  A large buffer of wetlands.  I guess a mere moat might not do it.  Maybe test out different ideas!  A wall, some artificial hills, but I'm still smitten by the idea of a wetland... something that might slow the fire down a little bit.  I'm thinking the insurance companies are going to weasel out of payments, probably take care of the bigger Anaheim estates first that also recently burned down.  Or just move to Washington state!  We're not growing fast enough.  We can't build these McMansions next to state parks quickly enough.  Buy a few of them!  Come on up, the party's just getting started.  I'm 40 years ahead of the trend myself.  My problem is I didn't bring a BMW and a ponytail with me, so of what use am I?
And finally, at #8 is The Snowman.  Produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Michael Fassbender... they'll get him to play Walter White in the final season of "Better Call Saul."  Alas, The Snowman didn't make a lot of money, and probably didn't bring in many X-Men fans either.  They're never interested in X-Men actors in non-X-Men movies.  Except for Mother!, of course.  Somehow this movie treads that fine line between Fargo and one of these new PG-13 rated horror movies.  Someone's probably come up with a good subgenre name for them, but I don't have kids so I have no idea what that terminology would be.  I feel sorry for parents these days.  They gotta plunk down hundreds of dollars for a Sony Playstation or a Microsoft X-Box, then shell out 50 bucks a pop for the games.  Better to just develop your child's friend-making skills, really.  Get them to find a rich kid to siphon off their entertainment needs from.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Auteur Watch - Alton Glass

After giving up on acting in 2001, our next auteur Alton Glass has never looked back from his lofty perch in that humble director folding chair.  Of course, the really good directors don't usually sit in them for long; they're too busy walking around, micromanaging the crew half to death.  Everyone pictures directors just sitting in the chair, clapping their hands, and everyone running around automatically knowing what they must do.  Takes years to get to that level of shorthand.
But when you've got a résumé of directing credits as long as Alton has, you just have to narrow it down.  Narrow that sh... stuff down.  Which is where the IMDb Top 4 comes in, for one.  Now, I have a question: as of this writing, Alton's IMDb Top 4 is Cru, The Confidant, The Candy Shop and Marco Polo.  All theatrical releases, mind you!  But what about Alton's TV work?  What is that?  Say it with me... CHOPPED LIVER???!!!!!!!  I mean, take a look at Rod Daniel!  As of this writing, ... ah, they're sticking with his 80s catalogue, but I'm pretty sure "Home Alone 4" was direct to home video... Good Lord.  Okay, let's try Peter Bonerz.  There you go!  All kind of TV work in his Top 4.
Anyway, I wonder what Alton's own favorite one is.  I'm thinking The Confidant.  You know, because of working with Key and Peele... that is Key and Peele, right?

Shakespeare in Lust

As you can tell from his high school yearbook photo, Harvey Weinstein is in the news lately.  A lot of Harvey's old colleagues are coming out of the woodwork... but they don't seem to be speaking up for him.  Kevin Smith, for example, apologized for Weinstein's behaviour and said he feels "ashamed" for having his work financed by Weinstein.  As opposed to his post-Weinstein work, which... well, it doesn't seem to have an edge or a bite to it.  Maybe I'm painting with too broad of a brush here.  What about Quentin Tarantino and Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 11/9 is apparently still being financed by Weinstein?  Awk-warrrrrrdddd........ and what about Bob?  What is he, chopped liver?  Like Bobby Farrelly, you never hear about Bob a whole lot.  Anyway, Harvey is in the news because of his busy hands.  Republicans are ganging up on him, but only because of the really disgusting stuff... you know, giving money to Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Pretty soon, they'll be trying to demonize him like they attempt to do with Colin Kaepernick, saying how he's taken American dollars from this country.  It's America's money, not yours, and it should ONLY be used to pay for Mike Pence's mortgage... what is Harvey's net worth, anyway?  Nobody's talking about that; it must be a lot, but the media won't hit below the belt like that and go after a monster's net worth.  But one nice thing about Yahoo's search is that it will automatically get a person's net worth from celebritynetworth.com and put it on their page for you, thereby saving you the agony of going to another web site.  As Jerry Seinfeld will tell you... it's agony.  Stop sending him pages, damn it!  But I think Ronan Farrow's right, ultimately.  When you go from #4 to #200 on Hollywood's power broker list, you leave yourself vulnerable to accusations, and getting your ass dragged into the public square to be eviscerated by the late night jesters, and possibly even to drawing and quartering.  People want to see flesh and blood, and limbs off the bone, and you can't be a serial molester if you're only worth a paltry $200 million.
...where was I?  Oh, right.  Anyway, back to the horse race.  Coming out of left field again at #1 is another PG-13 rated horror movie.  This one is called Happy Death Day.  As of this writing, this is not an official American holiday yet.  Might make us a happier culture like Venezuela or Brazil, should we ever decide to go that way.  But we are a youth-obsessed culture, and we don't associate youth with impending death yet, but Children of Men tried.  As usual, I don't know where the ad campaign for Happy Death Day came from; maybe the Russians did a big Facebook campaign for the movie or something.  They've taken renewed interest in my site once again, as they seem to do every couple months or so.  Not a terribly big boost, mind you... I think they're just attracted to the email account I use as a login name.  Keep fighting the good fight, comrades!  The Israelis will take care of Putin for you, if the recent news headlines are to be believed.  Anyway, I also haven't seen a big IMDb ad campaign for Happy Death Day or anything.  No, they're currently pushing Suburbicon, the latest movie made from a Coen script.  Don't need to sell me, though!  I just gotta wait 12 more days.  The film's not even out yet and it's already up to 4.6 out of 10 in ratings!  How do they do that?
The other debut this week is Taken... I mean, Jackie Chan's latest, The Foreigner.  It's about a guy who seeks revenge after his daughter is kidnapped... I mean, killed.  Totally different.  It's a Martin Campbell picture, and it's not like Edge of Darkness, where the protagonists' daughter dies from radiation poisoning.  And speaking of Mel Gibson, his American rehabilitation continues with the upcoming Daddy's Home 2.  Marky Mark keeps his feelings very well under wraps, and he'll keep mum about all this as well, too.  But who knows?  Maybe he and Mel Gibson got along well.  They play father and son in this show.  In the upcoming Dragged Across Concrete, the plot description says it's about two policemen.  One is the old-timer (Gibson), and the other is his volatile younger partner.  Try and guess who plays that part.  You won't believe it either.  Who could it be?  Josh Duhamel?  Dane Cook?  Adam Sandler?  Kevin James?