Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Devil's Whiskey

Well, it's been far too long since I've actually sat down, put finger to keyboard and reviewed a movie, but it's not for lack of trying! So to make up for lost time, here's a threesome for you. Three seemingly unrelated movies, all bundled together into some sort of movie review equivalent of a toxic asset, with but one thing in common: a man with a dream and a bar. A man called Duffy.

Boondock Saints I

Oy. I think it makes more sense if you watch the documentary about it first called Overnight. As much as I hate to agree with The Onion, I'm afraid they got it right. Any charm the movie had in the first half, biblical or otherwise, is lost in the second when it becomes a Death Wish-esque... I hate to call it a thriller, or even a clone. Let's say an homage, but with delusions of national grandeur. Almost like Fight Club, but even Fight Club doesn't feature phony local news testimonials at the end... oops! Should I have said spoiler alert? Maybe the Beltway sniper watched it before going berserk, who knows. Any publicity is good publicity, right?
Well, I hope Harvey Weinstein learned a valuable lesson, as it was he who unleashed this monster unto the world. Well, that and Hannibal Rising. But I will say that I like Troy Duffy better than Kevin Smith. A shame that the acting talents of a David Della Rocco go largely unnoticed by Broadway and Hollywood alike, and Jason Mewes is the stuff of international stardom. Will Willem Dafoe ever live down his performance in this movie? I think he hopes so!! Troy, of course, gives himself a plum role in the movie at the beginning, doing what he does best: pounding the $#!... out of phony Russian gangsters.



A lively chronicle of the rise and fall of Troy Duffy, the latest and greatest hot young filmmaker since... well, since Troy Duffy, frankly. Not that I can't think of others. Tom Noonan is also similarly talented, directing AND doing the soundtrack for his movies. Hell, even Clint Eastwood composes for his Oscar-winning films, right? (see the movie) Anyway, we begin with Harvey Weinstein walking into a bar, and boy! Did he hit his head hard! Thinking he's found the perfect filmmaker, with the low budget of a Quentin Tarantino, and a flair for the cinematic that he learned from working in a video store of a Kevin Smith... something like that. With maybe just a dash of an Edward Burns thrown in for good measure. All is right with the world... or so it would seem. We don't get a glimpse of what Troy Duffy was like before Weinstein entered his life, but afterwards we see an ego balloon on hyper-inflate. The first sign of trouble comes when he's on the phone with Harvey and goes "Hey, man, I'm not a director! I haven't even been to film school..." Eventually, after spurning many of Harvey's casting choices, the deal is off. Oh, and Troy's also in this band, and that doesn't go anywhere either. But, the story does have half of a happy ending. The film does get made, Troy almost gets martyred, and 10 years later the sequel comes to life! I'm probably forgetting some important point, but that's about it. Oh, and the filmmakers themselves are... were Troy's business partners for a bintel brief, so one might think this is all just a revenge doc, but they seem objective enough given the circumstances. And if Troy's lawyers are happy, I'm happy.

Good double bill with: The Typewriter, The Rifle & The Movie Camera


Boondock Saints II: The Re-Boon..t?

Valuable lessons learned: like all great directors Troy puts the credits at the END of the pic instead of the beginning. Well, all of the good things about the first B.S., and I guess there were a few, seem to get lost in this outing. And all the bad ones are intensified. Another flamboyant FBI agent is on the trail of the religious hit men. They're a little older, a little puffier, especially Powder. Ugh! What happened, man? Anyway, the Willem Dafoe character is dead, so in comes Kate Beckinsale. Well, close enough. We see her red high heel shoes first, but somehow she doesn't live up to them. Cameron Diaz, maybe. Angelina Jolie, uh huh! Normally with a movie like this, I wonder... WWMD? What Would Maxim Magazine do? This movie was tailor made for them! What more do you want? I mean, besides more Russ Meyer type stuff? Unfortunately, Maxim has standards too, and they like the Oscar material like everyone else. The Godfather. Apocalypse Now. Pulp Fiction. The Blind Side. Boondock Saints is NOT in that league. But somehow it magically re-appeared on our TiVo and we just can't stop watching it! Piecemeal, anyway. Clifton Collins Jr. does what he can as the Joe Pesci Lethal Weapon-esque comic relief. And it gives the boys a chance to denigrate non-Irish ethnic types! Which they take, of course. Fun for the whole family. Oh, right, and Judd Nelson's in it, too. Pretty much reprising his role in The Breakfast Club. Sheesh.


-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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