Friday, January 30, 2009

Auteur Watch - Brad Bird

Ah, what's the diminutive Brad Bird up to? Is he preparing to hog another Best Animated Film of the Year Oscar? Well, for now he's keeping the IMDb public guessing with 1906, which could go either way at this point. As you may have guessed, it has to do with that infamous San Francisco earthquake, so one can imagine a wing of Pixar devoted to destruction modeling and whole banks of computers churning out wave rippling effects... like with all those windows in The Matrix that get broken!
But the main thing is his Iron Giant days are far behind him, the lean-and-hungry days where he has to rely on the sheer good will of people who would've LIKED to have seen his movie, and who tell everyone they know that it harkens back to a simpler time, etc. No, he's making money now! See, you've got to go the other way, and get people to shake their heads in disbelief. Why am I having so much trouble accepting a rat chef? Oh, Ratboy! Make me a huge pot of lobster tails with a side of bubonic plague. I'm a little concerned because Brad's bucking his own trend here and planning to release 1906 in 2009, a year ahead of his usual 3-year gestation period. Unless he's making up for lost time between Iron Giant and The Incredibles, he'd better have a good excuse. In any case, he's screwed because typically the Oscars don't let you win more than two at a time. Just ask Tom Hanks and John Toll. Or even Meryl Streep, for that matter! She may win the coveted third a month from now, but see how long they made her wait?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another Bloody Box Office tally...

Now I'm just not trying at all! Well, I wanted to find an image and/or a movie that captures werewolves AND the mall, but I loaned out my copy of Teen Wolf Too, so this will just have to do. Sorry folks.
For some reason I'm pleasantly surprised! I thought for sure the Underworld sequel would disappear without a trace, but no. It lands at #2 this week, but I gotta tell ya, how good could it be if Kate Beckinsale didn't come back for it? Am I right, people?
...Okay, so I was wrong. Man, these actors today have too much time to crank out the movies. I mean, what's David Frost doing in this vampire flic? I got confused because she wasn't in the TV ads. What's that all about? And incidentally, maybe I'm just far too opinionated, but a trailer, TV or no, is NOT a trailer if it's got the movie's title at the top of the screen all through the damn thing. It's called a TRAILER, not an infomercial. Meantime, the latest John Candy movie... I mean, Larry the Cable Guy movie is #1 with a bullet! Apparently a PG-reworking of Die Hard, it's Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Let me take a wild guess: some kid taunts him with the word "fart"? You know, The Master of Disguise was also PG and also a Happy Madison production, but parents! Try sitting down and watching it with your kids. More like PG-13? Anyway, kudos to the King of Queens, and Nick Bakay, but I wouldn't dust off your 20 year old screenplays that you wrote when you were first starting out in this biz just yet.
At #3 it's Gran Torino. Note to self: Quizno's. At 4 and 5, the dogs have it. Slumdog Millionaire shoots into wider release and reaps the benefits, while Hotel for Dogs gets condemned to #5. But hopefully not forever. At least that damn Marley & Me is gone. Where's the barrage of Hotel for Dogs product tie-ins? Exactly. Oh, what price dignity.
As for the rest, oh, it's too depressing to contemplate, but let's. The British horror pic sensation My Bloody Valentine IMAX slips to #6, and it ain't even Valentine's Day yet! Get a clue, wankers.
Next, it's Inkheart. It's all part of that Mel Gibson Image Rehabilitation program instituted by the government. Wasn't Braveheart a great movie, folks? Don't worry, we'll get barraged with Icon Production's latest turd, Push.
At #8, it's Bride Wars Episode 4: The Beginning. Don't push your luck, Chad Vader.
Benjamin Button, just like Slumdog Millionaire, gets the post-Oscar bump, only not as hard. #9? That means it's a bomb, right? How much money does it have to make to turn a profit? Dark Knight money? That'll take a lot longer than The Dark Knight took, that's for sure.
And finally at #10, it's Notorious, but Tyler Perry and I agree: we don't care. If the real Tupac ain't in it, I ain't watchin' it. Period.
And off to bed. I think it's finally happened to me! I don't know what triggered it, but my spelling is finally going. And my typing too. So from now on, it'll be "So form now on". Alot. G'night!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Too Much Cowbell?

I'm generally not a fan of Stephen King. I like The Shining... I'm sorry, Stanley Kubrick's bastardized version of The Shining. I am a big big sucker for Creepshow, and I kinda like Cat's Eye again. And of course, The Dead Zone. At least, until we sat down and watched it again. Does that ever happen to you? The memory you have of a movie is better than the movie itself? Well, in the case of The Dead Zone it's not a total reversal, just a little slippage.
For example, names. Christopher Walken plays a guy named... Johnny Smith? Oh, puh-leeze. Gag. On the other hand, he could've been named Jack or Frank, as 95% of all movie men are. As you may recall, he has a horrible car accident at the beginning of the movie and falls into a coma for five years. Just go with it. So the odds are with Johnny Smith so far. And not to give too much away, Johnny discovers he has psychic powers, so this movie may seem a bit antequated today with the overflooded market of psychic documentaries, talk show appearances and reality-show game shows.

Casting: Dreyfus as the somber doctor that escapes Nazi Germany? No, no. Sorry, can't accept it. ...well, okay. We'll let Shahbandar get away with this one. Cronenberg apparently uses some of his regulars in this one. I'm not up on my Cronenberg, I confess, so the only one I recognized was the philandering member of the liberal media who gets blackmailed by the rising Senator. Not that he needed to get his own hands dirty, just to scare the guy a little bit. ...nope, can't find him. Peter Dvorsky maybe? And the guy who plays Martin Sheen's ruthless henchman, keep an eye out for him. If nothing else, he's got a great future as a comedic sidekick; did he get to ad-lib his lines? Seemed like it. He was just that good.

Story construction: As with Quick Change, the dialogue gets a little wooden at times which constricts some of the performances at times. My close personal friend whose opinion I trust, who was the one who taped the movie, was trashing the movie the most! Soap opera, they called it. And they didn't believe it when Johnny's ex-fiance, now married with a child, goes over to see Johnny to have post-coma sex. They found the scene unbelievable, and I had my doubts, but I missed that one issue of Maxim magazine that had something about coma sex on the cover. "Coma Sex!!" I think it was called. Even Larry David would admit, it seems to be what the situation calls for. Me myself, I found the transition a little jarring when Johnny goes from deciding to do something about the corrupt senator, to getting the assault rifle, but I'll be the first to admit that it's just me. I'm not the assault rifle kind of guy. But I mention story construction because the movie does in retrospect seem like three short films strung together with fade-outs and fade-ins! Or maybe I'm thinking of Cat's Eye. Maybe it's because Skerritt is just in the one short film.

Even I must admit, of course, that it is one of Walken's best performances. These days he just seems to be parodying himself, but here he has some genuine moments. For example, when he tells Dr. Weizak that he's scared. The other one I thought was great was when he says to Zerbe "Don't you know who I am?" and he replies "Yes, but I didn't hire you for your fortune telling abilities..." Great scene. I kinda liked Walken in Communion, but that's my own quirk. Haven't seen that one in a while, and I don't expect it on cable anytime soon.  I didn't know it at the time, but it's one of the films that taught me the importance of a douchey hat... or maybe Streiber himself learned that from Bob Fosse, who knows.

And of course, from IMDb Trivia: Before the accident, Johnny instructs his class to read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Christopher Walken would later go on to play the Headless Horseman in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999). You know, it's that kind of connection that can bring a lesser man to tears.

So, what kind of note to end this review on? I must've missed something. As for the ending, well, it's definitely STILL not your typical Hollywood ending. Was that too much of a spoiler? Probably too much of a tangent, but it's almost like the new-age ending of The Dark Crystal, but it's tame compared to the endings of Crone's other films, especially Scanners and more especially The Fly.  But given my limited knowledge, I think it was one of the first films to risk the notion of the death of the protagonist for the greater good.  The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is an example of a film where the protagonist chooses to take a fall, specifically to piss off the prison warden.
So, Kudos to you, The Dead Zone, and I look forward to seeing you again in another ten years or so.

-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pitt. Blanchett. Button. Period.

Well, everyone's got their predictions about what 2009's going to look like cinematically. The top 420 films you MUST see this year, etc. Me personally, I think it will be a time when Hollywood is going to spend some political capital. Specifically, in the area of wishful thinking. Everyone's Candyman is coming home to roost: people from all walks of life are going to stand in front of their mirrors and say the names of the people they want to work with five times, and that dream person is going to show up and lovingly hack them to pieces. Something like that. If you stand in front of your mirror and say "Tom Sizemore" five times... oh, he'll show up! Might take him a couple days, but he'll be there, asking for work. Less extremely, there are other examples where the suggestion is made, and collaborations ensue, and has since become the stuff of Hollywood folklore. Eddie Murphy once complained that women are too selfish, particularly singling out the Janet Jackson song "What have you done for me lately." And BOOM! Nutty Professor 2 happens. On Night Court, they kept dropping Mel Torme's name, until one day he shows up. George Costanza on Seinfeld keeps wanting to make Ted Danson money, and lo and behold! Who's on Curb your Enthusiasm? Ted Danson! And of course, the most prolific one of all, Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song mentions Arthur Fonzarelli, and boom! Henry Winkler appears in damn near every movie of his since The Waterboy. We've all got our own examples, so please forgive me if I stole one or two of yours.
There are some near misses of course. Quentin Tarantino famously talks about Madonna's song "Like a Virgin" at the beginning of Reservoir Dogs. Three years later, Madonna appears in the film Four Rooms, but I don't think she was in Quenty's segment. In other song related news, Russell Crowe had a hit song called "I wanna be Marlon Brando", but so far he hasn't retired to an island and put on a bunch of weight that he wasn't able to take right back off.
And then, we come to Fight Club, when Tyler Durden threatens to kill a guy unless he doesn't start becoming a veterinarian. The guy runs away and Tyler yells "Run, Forrest! Run!!" And Brad thought it could never happen to him. But look what happened! Forrest Gump screenwriter Eric Roth, with a little assistance, has concocted the next 3-hour Brad Pitt epic, directed by Fight Club director David Fincher, and I don't know about you but it has kind of that Gump feeling to it. Several reasons which have already been explored to death elsewhere, mostly technical and story arc wise. While Benjamin Button isn't burdened with a lower than average IQ, he doesn't have a particularly remarkable life. Except for the whole Memento-esque twist, of course. There's a lot of ways that it's NOT like Forrest Gump. One which started to bug me after a while was the fact that no one seemed to notice, or care, that there's this strange dude who's aging backwards. Even his father took it all pretty much in stride. Must be that New Orleans voodoo. Or something in the water. Forrest got famous for much less, and was at least a die-hard bootstrapping Capitalist. Imagine the Highlander living a completely sedentary life, yawning as he has to sell the button factory, shrugging as he sells off the love shack that he and Daisy spent so many quality weeks together in. Shrimp were a little more integral to the story than Benjamin Button's button factory is.
So in addition to being a year of cashing in on the power of suggestion, this will be the year when that finite list of the proper memes will finally be hammered out. You know, all those babysitting lessons all movies seem to impart these days. Things like: Life is Short, and We have to make the most with what little time we have left. And we always have a choice. Even though our fate has been pre-determined.
And, of course, the sex. Lots and lots of sex. But when you're a heartthrob like Brad Pitt, people gotta live vicariously through you somehow! I mean, what do we get in Robert Ford? Mary-Louise Parker? I mean, she makes a fine prairie wife and all, and she sells all that weed on Showtime, but there's no action! Give us something for our R rating! And our THREE PLUS HOURS, for God's sake!
But that's the rule now. Did anyone notice there seemed to be a lot of making out in The Aviator? Leo made out with Kate Hepburn, right? Guess I'd better watch it again. Somehow I can't imagine the real Katharine Hepburn doing that in real life.  And of course it's still okay for the dudes to act like man-whores and sleep around a lot. There's the hilarious sequence where Benjy dates a bunch of anonymous partners in a row, suddenly shocked to find themselves in an old folks home. Was this written by Philip Roth? I forget. Meanwhile, every other man Daisy takes after is another dagger plunged into Benjamin Button's heart and given a good hard twist, but like Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, somehow we know he's going to survive and carry on, because it's a prequel, so they can't kill him off. But I digress.
For some reason when Tilda Swinton said the thing about, "I don't want you to think I'm the kind of woman who walks around in hotel lobbies at 3 in the morning" I thought of the Monty Python sketch where Graham Chapman says "I don't want you to think people in the Wood party are the sort of people who hang upside down in the middle of the earth's crust and say 'Oh bloody heck'." Was I the only one? I thought so. But like F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, there are no Second Acts in American lives. But maybe he'd want to take that back, just as Woody Allen wanted to take back his quote about how 95 percent of it is showing up. Benjamin Button may not have a Second Act, but it sure seems like it.
What did I like about the movie? Well, the old people at the home were nice. A refreshing change from the usual raunchy old people that Adam Sandler tends to find. And of course, the guy who got hit by lightning seven lucky times was a big hit with the audience. Which made the ending feel even more like a betrayal when the seventh and final lightning strike suddenly became a sentimental affair. Yes, whether you're a sea boat captain, a ballet dancer, or you've just been hit by lightning by seven times, it looks even better on Eastman Kodak. (TM) Oops, sorry to spoil the ending. SPOILERS. And of course, the whole Hurricane Katrina angle. Some might call that tasteless, but you're probably a Republican lawmaker who could've done something about it. Besides, it's not as tasteless as the first X-Files movie paying homage to the Oklahoma City bombing. And besides, just like in Eric Roth's The Good Shepherd when a certain piece of paper is set on fire near the end, that flooding basement makes a fine cinematic payoff. Oops, another spoiled ending.
As far as I remember, the acting is top notch. And I should mention that it's an American comeback for Julia Ormond. It's 1995 all over again, and she's once again starring in Sabrina, or close enough to it. As for Cate Blanchett, well, she does her usual exemplary work. The part I think I liked best is when she was in the hospital bed and says to Benjamin Button, "You would have to see me like this." Great line reading. Best LEAD Actress nom time? Could be! Anyway, the film will at least get Oscars for digital effects and probably that Oscar for makeup that Click almost got. Oh yeah, and the lettering of the Russian hotel? Awful. Is there a less romantic font than the overexposed Times New Roman? I think not. Even with Russian lettering.

So keep an eye out, America, because even the people on TV and the silver screen have dreams too, of meeting the people and achieving the goals that have inspired them, and 2009 is the year where it all comes true. The exception, of course, is the creators of South Park. In the South Park movie, for example, the Terrence and Phillip movie opens at #1 with 47 million dollars, if I remember correctly. But that'll never happen for those guys in real life. Even though South Park is now in HD.


-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Auteur Watch - Troy Beyer

Well, let's see what Troy Beyer's been up to lately! Between the acting, writing and directing they've been pretty damn busy this last decade, so Troy's taking a break right now! In fact, it would seem that Troy's best work is behind them, especially appearing on Dynasty as Jack Deveraux, or as the defense attorney in The Little Death. But if Troy were pressed to pick a career zenith, it would either be the BAPS/Let's Talk About Sex creative spurt, or the John Q / Love Don't Co$t a Thing creative spurt. You still got it, Troy! Just PLEASE don't wait as long as Whit Stillman did to adapt that new Chris Buckley novel. Please I beg you.

The Last Day...

And how sweet it is. But the Box Office never sleeps. And it's past my bedtime as well! Shame on me. Speaking of which, Bedtime Stories and all of last week's entries may have finally been purged from the rolls of the top 10, but Sandler's presence is still felt with... ugh. A movie named Paul Blart: Mall Cop. And congrats to Nick Bakay co-screenwriter, who wanted to call the movie Squirt Lurtzema: Mall Cop... oh yeah! Someone else remembers those sidekick days! And I may be the only one or two left. Careful what you Google, kids, because you'll Google everything and everyone they've Google'd as well.
At #2 it's Gran Torino... which reminds me. Note to self: go to Quizno's. I dunno. The more I see him get mad in the commercials, the more I know there's no way he's getting that acting Oscar this year. Maybe for the sequel next year. Mickey Rourke's got a lock on the statuette this year. In a headlock, if you will! But really, we all know it's for Johnny Handsome.
At #3, it's My Bloody Valentine 3-D. Oh, puh-leeze. Actually, it did quite well for third place! 21.9 million in the bank. Someone should say America, you've got too much time and disposable income on your hands.
At #4, it's Notorious, or from what I gather, it's the kind of role Don Cheadle USED to play in the good ol' days. And at #5, it's the kind of role he gets now, in Hotel (Rwanda) for Dogs. Stole that one from Spike Feresten, heh heh! But this one's all me: I think Cheadle's become a real Section Eight.
As for the rest, oh it's far too depressing to contemplate, so I'll make it quick. The Unborn? No, no. People want the R-rated horror pic, not the PG-13. As for Defiance, well, Blood Diamond didn't make a whole lot of money either, did it, Zwick? Tough break, ol' dude. Next time Moskovitz drops that line about making the same old picture, slap him in the face for me, will ya? Take an even bigger risk next time. Combine the movie going public's two favorite genres: World War II / Nazis, and the go-go 70s. Like Marathon Man did! In fact, why not just remake Marathon Man? Damn, it's late. Peace out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Auteur Watch - Judd Apatow

I was torn between Apatow and Darren Aronofsky, because let's face it. That Wrestler movie's got buzz like no one's business. Well, maybe like Slumdog Millionaire's business, but Mickey Rourke can only be in one. But then we were watching that thing on PBS called Make Me Laugh, and Apatow was in that talking about Steve Martin, and about how much money Apatow's movies have made, so sorry, Aronofsky! The choice is clearly out of my hands.
I'm sorry, Make 'Em Laugh. Close! Oh, Billy Crystal, you're looking so old. But back to Judd Apatow. Like any hot producer/auteur who's had as hot a year like 2008 under their belts, they have to save the A-material for themselves. Not that Drillbit Taylor, Pineapple Express, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall aren't cinema classics, but they're clearly not A-material, which is what Apatow's got lined up directorially speaking for the 2009. His directorial gestation period is a steady two years, with 40 Year Old Virgin in 2005 and Knocked Up in 2007. And for 2009? Funny People with Adam Sandler. Looks like Apatow's no longer content to be the new Sultan of Sophomoric forever. It's time to get into the serious stuff now. Adam Sandler continues his quest for Oscar acting gold playing a comedian with a generic terminal illness. Good! Don't want to make it something people actually get like lung cancer or Bonus Eruptus, because that sure wouldn't be funny. So, this terminally ill comedian reaches out to a protegé, and takes him under his terminally ill wing. They wanted to call it The Rob Schneider Story, but you know how it is. And you know how much clout Rob Schneider has in this bizness, so nix to that.
So that's what we got. We got the potty-screen stuff like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and we got the Oscar contenders like Funny People. And bigger things on the horizon even than that, for Apatow's apparently got the lion's share of the upcoming Ghostbusters sequel/remake. They still can't decide if it's a remake or a sequel. And someone actually had the audacity to say that Harold Ramis is the best Ghostbuster! America likes the brainiacs now? This just can't be. Well, good for you, Apatow. At least you were smart enough not to invest in Lethal Weapon 5. Oh, that's going to be a bloodbath.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tu Plan 2009: ¡Importante Evento! ¡Nuestra Invitacion! Brought to you by Cherokee Fast Food

Well, I'm going with the Bride Wars image anyhow. But who'd'a thunk it? Gran Torino drives to the top! Get it?
...I still say it's a Quizno sandwich. Okay, so the Gran Torino is a car you don't normally hear a lot about these days, but trust me, just like when Kevin Spacey endorsed the Mini Cooper, the Gran Torino's taking off big time. And the movie's doing pretty well as well. Somehow I think Clint owes some thanks to Tarantino for this one, I don't know why.
At #2 is the lovely and funny Bride Wars. Why so lovely and funny? Well, Hathaway and Goldie Hawn's kid, of course, but one always has to defer to the script, and this may have one of the strangest collaborations I've seen in a long time. Two actresses and the screenwriter of Saving Silverman dreampt this up. Long way to go to build a whole movie around the line "Your wedding better watch itself." Boy, Demme must be eating his fist over this one. Not since Silence of the Lambs was he so in the catbird seat career wise. Now his Rachel Getting Married is all too antequated all too quickly. It's his Crimes and Misdemeanors, so to speak. Right, Rotten Tomatoes?
At #3, it's The Messengers 2: The Unborn. I think the trailer spent too much time on the crawly creatures with the upside-down heads. It's supposed to be the disgusting surprise that makes you spill all your popcorn on the floor. And Sid as a rabbi? Puh-leeze.
Marley & Me slips to #4. Boo-yah! Oh, Iams is not going to be happy about this. Or Puppy Chow, one of the two. Me, I'm thinking, why oh why couldn't it slip away farther faster?
Meanwhile, Benjy Button slips to #5 and edges ever closer to ... only $100 million? Well, that's what happens when you have a 3 hour movie that's NOT Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
As for the rest of you pugs, no newbies sneaking in here this week... I take that back! It's Tyler Perry's Not Easily Broken! Directed by Bill Duke, the black dude that Ah-nold beats up in Commando, and they break in on that naked couple with the video camera? Classic. But I remember the Duke-stir best for his unbilled cameo in The Limey. Oh, I didn't forget! But it ain't 1993, and this ain't no Cemetery Club. You're gonna need something less bland to break out of the Hollywood Auteurs Club and get back into the Auteurs Club. Or at least back into Soderbergh's Circle of Cool.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Auteur Watch - Paul Abascal

And back to Auteur Watch! You know, I totally forgot about New Year's Resolutions. That's how sequestered I am! Nothing on Yahoo, none of my friends and associates talked about theirs. Mine is to do Auteur Watch alphabetically this year. Seriously! So let's start at the bottom of the barrel: Paul Abascal. Okay, he's no Albert Pyun, but close enough. Hair stylist to the stars turned director, of all things. Almost like Peter Guber or Jon Peters, one of those two dufuses.. plural being dufii? Anyway, after making a STUNNING silver screen debut and just-as-rapid finish with Mel Gibson's Paparazzi, he did a brief directorial stint on Mel Gibson's Savages TV show. Hey kids! Mel himself might even show up and do some cameos! I think that Savages TV show degraded the Icon Productions logo just a little bit. Not that I care about such things. So where is Mr. Abascal now? Well, he's still laying low, but the latest is his segment for the show America's Most Wanted. Not about him, per se, but about someone named Paul 'Action' Jackson. I used to watch America's Most Wanted, but this was in the days when they made that bust of John List out of canned ham, or something. You know, back when the show was young and fresh, and somehow we didn't care about 1984 and the Big Brother state, but we cared about using the awesome power of TV to catch scrummy bad guys and calling that number, 1-800-Crime-87. The number changed depending on what year it was, you know! Then it just became 1-800-Crime-TV. You know, if America's Most Wanted were in the movies, it'd have to be shut down because they caught the guy that killed John Walsh's kid, because that's the way things work in movies these days. Driven by personal wounds and inner daemons. Live for today. Make the most with what you have. Carpe diem, stay in school. What's the others? Man, it's late. What was I talking about?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Hmm! For some reason I'm getting Mexican emails again. Email in English, damn it! English!
Where was I? Oh yeah! Damn Minesweeper. Must you be so entertaining? Still it's kinda nice to get a week's vacation from the blog. Blogging is such a huge responsibility, and now I'm back to it. #1 this week once again is Marley & Me, no surprise there. Oh sure, Jen and Owen are good and all (do you think they're seeing each other?), but let's face it: you could have Jim Belushi and Courtney Love as John and Jennifer and it still would've been #1 for two weeks at least. Marley's the real star here! The dog food manufacturers are having the best winter of their lives with the movie tie-in ads, and I hear Nike's coming out with a Marley sneaker, designed specifically to be tasty for dogs that like to tear shoes apart. But really, you still gotta have a good script, for the cinema is all about stories. And we've got two crackerjack WGA members on the case! Scott Frank for the dry wit, and Don Roos for the Conde Nast angle. The whole thing kinda makes you sick, don't it? And yet Cesar Millan can only get a Beethoven's direct-to-video sequel! What is THAT all about!?
I swear I saw him in it! At #2, Adam Sandler's latest, Bedtime Stories. Why, he hasn't had a year this prolific since 2002, and frankly he couldn't be happier about that. Eight Crazy Nights and Punch-Drunk Love is a double feature few will spring for. What I'm still trying to figure out is why the hell wasn't Allen Covert in the Zohan movie? Was he so busy? Still, I'm pleasantly surprised to see how "Skeeter" pushes the PG rating. I'm guessing copious amounts of giant bug-eyed hamster urine, straight from the source. Like Carson woulda done with Joan Embery.
Meanwhile at #3 it's that Benjamin Button movie. Oh sure, it didn't hit #1 like Jen was praying it wouldn't, but it is at #70 in the IMDb Top 250. Poor Jen.

Emergency! Gotta go...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2008 - In Memoriam

Hah! Are you still writing 2008 on your checks? Me too! But we'll get over this year soon enough. Now 2006, THAT was a forgettable year! Did anything good happen in '06, I ask you? I mean, besides the election. Anyway, let's use my new found data-set to say a fond Goodbye to all those box office casualties that spent only one week on our beloved Top 10. Now I know what you're thinking: you're thinking, but Movie Hooligan! What about films like Blindness? And many others that didn't even make it onto the top 10? Sorry, McKellar, but that's the rules. To get acknowledged here, you had to be at least bad enough to make it into the top 10. Go to Variety for the real killing floor. Oh yeah! Strange Wilderness, too. All that money Happy Gilmore spent and it could only crack #11. Well, like they said, it ain't March of the Penguins, which actually made money.

Ghost Town

Miracle at St. Anna

An American Carol


The Express: The Ernie Davis Story

The Duchess: The Georgianna of Devonshire Story

City of Ember

Sex Drive, or Sexdrive

Punisher: War Zone

Cadillac Records

Nothing like the Holidays

The Spirit

And I'd like to give a brief Shout Out to Milk and Slumdog Millionaire, both of which rebounded after being on the list for only one week, and both of which were independent features that no one expected to crack the top 10 anyway. Also a brief Shout Out to Bangkok Dangerous (2008) which debuted impressively at #1, no surprise there, then dropped to #8, then completely disappeared like the assassin it portrays! Equally impressive.
Also I'd like to point out that my records only go back to August, so the list is dreadfully short. One of the files we lost in the fire, conveniently enough, and I tried to go back through my blog to reconstruct the data set, but inconveniently my blog entries were woefully incomplete. And besides, I don't really care for reading blogs all that much anyway. Yecch!
Happy new year!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Short Reviews - Dec '08

Oh girls of Matewan, will you marry me? Hey kids! Use our dating service and you too can go out with Heidi Klum and Karolina Kurkova!

Yahoo! News always asks the best questions, like "Is Alba pic really airbrushed?" The correct answer is, of course, who cares? The answer doesn't matter! It's all in the research. Next we have: "Is Miley Cyrus really divorcing her parents?" Well, she's just being Miley. As Colin Quinn might say, how often can you hear those same stories about Mulholland Drive and Achey Breaky Heart before you start pulling your hair out? Meanwhile, poll finds Americans are working more and playing less. I'll say! Just look at the other headline: "Bush defends pre-emptive war doctrine, use of military might." I think you just earned yourself another vacation, Mr. Bush! Better hurry and sneak it in before the 20th.

Bride Wars - I never thought I'd find myself thinking this, but movies are being made too fast these days. Rachel Getting Married 2 already? Really?

"Leverage" on TNT - what "Shark" was to James Woods, what "Rescue Me" was to Denis Leary, what ... was to Oliver Platt, you get the idea

The Harrad Experiment - Best movie Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith ever made together.

Class Action - It's a three star movie, maybe less. Can't believe I made it through the whole thing! Also, did she try out for Elaine?

Groundhog Day - Well, I never thought I'd hear the blasphemy, but someone said it! "It's kinda boring." Oh, snap! Well, that's eternity for ya.

2012 - The Day after The Day After Tomorrow.

A Fork in the Road - Back to Montana with ya, Kouf. And don't tell me this isn't an illicit sequel to Disorganized Crime. I'm sorry, I mean... Where's Salazar?

Fast & Furious - Meh.

Gran Torino - It's 2006 all over again for Clint, but at least not thematically. Why do I keep thinking it's the name of a Quizno's sandwich?

Pink Panther 2 - Meh.

The Soloist - Welp, looks like Downey Jr.'s goin' back to rehab.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Munchausen 2?

World's Greatest Dad - Shakes the Clown 2?

Doubt - Might get an Oscar, who knows...

Nothing like the Holidays - Oh Alfred. Did you really need the money? Incidentally, when are Billy Crystal and John Leguizamo going to do a movie together?

The day the earth stood still - The Day Keanu plays the role he was born to play... he's the robot, right?

angels & demons - Interesting trivia note: this was actually filmed at the same time The Da Vinci Code was!

Seven Pounds - Well, as long as it's not like Seven.

Benjamin Button - Man, that title's too long!

Marley & Me - Poor, poor Jennifer...

Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World

Clint Eastwood's other 2008 movie... ah, who cares.

Valkyrie - In a country in the grips of evil, in a police state where every move is being watched, in a world where justice and honor have been subverted, a group of men hidden inside the highest reaches of power decide to take action... Guys! We've got one month left! The time to act is now!!

The Fatties, Fart 2 - Now I know it's just a figment of Tropic Thunder's imagination, but the more I think about it, the more I want to see that movie!