Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Short Reviews - June 2014

Let's see if anyone notices............ .............

Blended - Adam Sandler apparently doesn't want to go back to SNL to host.... bawk bawk bawk bawk!

The Blair Witch Project - Four profane filmmakers get lost in the woods.  They should've called it Def Filmmaker Jam.

Deal - Well, I hope you're happy, filmmakers!  Now I'm no poker buff, but my friend is, and he felt betrayed.  Satisfied?  Hey, the next time you make a film about poker... SHOW THE HANDS!  SHOW THE HANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

House of Cards, Season 2 - Oh, will June the 17th never come?

White Nights - I guess no one likes this movie right now.............

Happy-Go-Nutty - I don't get it.  What does Katharine Hepburn have to do with this loony, loony Screwy Squirrel cartoon?  Did she play the gates of Moron Manor or something?  I never thought I'd be coming to her defense like this and all.  Strange times we live in.

The Bellboy - Here's how memory works... well, my memory, anywho.  So we were just watching this old Twilight Zone episode, brought to you by Chesterfield Cigarettes, of course.

Twilight Zone - Season 3, Episode 25: "The Fugitive" - The character of the mother didn't seem familiar to me...............

Who's Minding the Store? - ...or does she?  That's IT!  Emily Rothgraber!  The stern hunter and seeker of elephant shells!  You might know her best as Jane Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies.  Classic television that I've never seen.

Okay, time for a bold experiment... See if you can guess it.

What's Up, Tiger Lily? - 80 minutes

Take the Money and Run - 85 minutes

Bananas - 82 minutes

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About... - 88 minutes

Sleeper - 89 minutes

Love and Death - 85 minutes

Annie Hall - 93 minutes

Interiors - 93 minutes

Manhattan - 96 minutes

Stardust Memories - 89 minutes

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy - 88 minutes

Zelig - 79 minutes

Broadway Danny Rose - 84 minutes

The Purple Rose of Cairo - 82 minutes

Hannah and her Sisters - 103 minutes

Radio Days - 88 minutes

September - 82 minutes

Another Woman - 81 minutes

Crimes and Misdemeanors - 104 minutes

Alice - 102 minutes

Shadows and Fog - 85 minutes

Husbands and Wives - 108 minutes

Manhattan Murder Mystery - 104 minutes

Bullets Over Broadway - 98 minutes

Don't Drink the Water - 100 minutes

Mighty Aphrodite - 95 minutes

Everyone Says I Love You - 101 minutes

Deconstructing Harry - 96 minutes

Celebrity - 113 minutes!!!!

Sweet and Lowdown - 95 minutes

Small Time Crooks - 94 minutes

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion - 103 minutes

Hollywood Ending - 112 minutes!!

Anything Else - 108 minutes

Melinda and Melinda - 99 minutes

Match Point - 124 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scoop - 96 minutes

Cassandra's Dream - 108 minutes

Vicky Cristina Barcelona - 96 minutes

Whatever Works - 92 minutes

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - 98 minutes

Midnight in Paris - 94 minutes

To Rome With Love - 112 minutes

Blue Jasmine - 98 minutes...that's probably enough, right?

Get Smart (2008) - Ah, God, how I love blurry videotape.  The blurrier, the better.  No wonder Hollywood doesn't use tripods anymore!  A little bit of shaky cam, and the blurry videotape can handle it!  Also, it helps to differentiate your film from the films of the last century.  Like how people now use a zoom lens for no reason.  Who knew that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie was a trendsetter, cinematographically speaking?

Joe - Nicolas Cage's Mud

The Interview - Kim Jong Un threatens to go to war over latest Seth Rogen / James Franco comedy... publicity achieved!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - ...anyone else tired of these apes movies?

A Three Clowns

For some reason, I thought of what Jason Robards said in A Thousand Clowns.  He described people going to work as a horrible sight.  Well, New York tends to amplify everything, including the mundane, for one.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, I can't remember a time when a Stooge told the other Stooges that they needed to find a job.  Somehow it's always the given assumption, with the promise of them totally f... messing things up.  But this is Joe Besser we're talking about, and the Stooges are now doing lots of things they never thought they'd be doing.  Space Ship Sappy, as you can probably guess from the title, is their first sci-fi outing.  Well, flying saucers were all the rage at the time.  Plus, there's just something about Besser that makes one long for the solitude of outer space.
If nothing else, depending on your perspective, there's a nice play on words as the Stooges go to apply for a job as "sailors" on a ship.  Spaceship, that is.  Astronaut (or astro-man) might not have been a household word at that point, and the Stooges weren't too big on etymological trailblazing.  Anyway, to smooth things along, we learn that the guy preparing to go into space has had trouble finding willing applicants, so this time he won't tell the Stooges anything until it's too late.  Good writing!
Moe gets in a sly joke.  As with most of these space adventures, and so they don't have to wear the spacesuits all the time, the professor's daughter declares that the planet Sunev (or Venus backwards... get it?) has an atmosphere much like earth.  "Smog!" says Moe cheerfully.  And as with most of these low budget space adventures, the Stooges run afoul of alien Amazon women.  And cannibals to boot.  So these alien cannibal Amazon women are just about to make a feast of the Stooges, until something even more primal comes along.  The Stooges escape and it's back to earth they go.
I just hate to include a second picture, but even the Stooges weren't above using a different shot now and again.  It's not quite one of those half-telephoto, half-wide angle lenses, but it's close.  I wonder if Joe insisted he get to be close up.
I won't spoil the ending to this one, mostly because I want to parcel out the suffering.  You must suffer as I have suffered, but I will say that it kinda negates everything that came before.  The Stooges don't do it often, just with the occasional remake.  The point is they get to get all dressed up and look like human beings, for God's sake.  Hopefully not for too long, though.

Good double bill with: A Grand Day Out. (YouTube)

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Women are from Venus, and Popeye might be Poseidon?

(Females is Fickle)...and so are some internet movie critics, apparently!  Okay, gotta finish this thing up someday.  I guess it's a bit of a stretch to call Females is Fickle an exercise in existentialism, but it at least feels like there's a disparity between the film and its title.  Or maybe a biblical parable; the Bible's rife with phallocentrism and paternal misogyny, right?  At least, you might be surprised by the setup of FiF as I was.  Alas, the filmmakers are still trapped in post-Disney ennui, and for some reason the 3D background turntable has broken down, never to be repaired.  To address the shot off the bow of sexism, I'll just say that males is just as fickle, as you may already know, but apparently guys don't recover from breakups as well as the chicks do.  I heard that somewhere!  That's just math... or one of the dismal sciences.  I swear I didn't just pull it out of my ass.
Anyway, the setup, as much as I hate to spoil it.  Wait, let me dial it up here on the YouTubes... we start with Popeye on his floating mancave, doing sailorly domestic chores: mopping up the deck, and knitting a new chain for the anchor.  And then, along comes Olive Oyl... gosh!  I mean, oh my garsh!  What a strange walk, even for her!  She's brought along her pet goldfish.  "Is it a 14 karat goldfish?" Popeye mumbles to himself.  The fish spits in Popeye's face, much like the Stooges' trained clam, Cedric.  On to the next trick.  Olive gets the fish to jump through the hoop she makes with her thumb and pointer finger.  And by God, the fish does it!  Olive has the fish do it again and again, when suddenly...... I'll give you a moment to guess what happens next... yup, the fish falls into the ocean.  "Quick!  Save my fish before he drowns!" cries Olive.
At first, Popeye takes a stand.  He's not going to save no stupid fish.  "What do you think I am?  Anyhow?" asks Popeye.  Fans of the English language and its many, many eccentricities ought to like that.  But then, Olive uses the old Marty McFly trick, but rather than calling Popeye chicken, she calls Popeye a coward.  That does it.  In he goes to save the fish, using Olive as a diving board, apparently to rub it in a little bit.
And so, it's time for threes in this, the Second Act.  The fish, previously flapping its fins and crying like a lost puppy, is now gleefully spitting in Popeye's face and swimming away.  It's having fun in the ocean!  Popeye tries to put a stop to that... but encounters a few obstacles.  First: the old reliable giant clam... if only someone were reviewing all the Popeye cartoons and made some sort of catalog... I'm a genius!  Anyway, Popeye makes quick work of the giant clam this time.  With each challenge, Popeye has to go to the surface to catch a breath of fresh air, and a new spurt of water from the fish.  The second challenge is a bit more ordinary: a shipwreck with holes in the hull.  Notice how the animators cut a few corners by spacing the holes the same distance apart, and making them shaped the same.  Fine for the era, but not now in the age of 3-D and Pixar.  No sir!
The third challenge seems like a Disney-esque villain somehow, or perhaps it's a metaphor for ol' Walt himself: a giant combination jellyfish and Wimpy-esque glutton.  He traps his prey by hiding behind a corner, then jumping out, opening up its giant mouth and swallowing the prey whole.  And soon enough, Popeye and fish are trapped within the elastic beast.  Fortunately for Popeye, the creature takes a long time to digest its prey.  Of course, this is not frat boy engulfing living earthworms or goldfish.  This is Popeye we're talking about!  And this creature may yet regret not killing Popeye first, as a mighty struggle ensues.  This part is especially diabolical, as the creature realizes its mistake.  For the time being, the jelly creature seems to have the advantage.  Must be Pinto Colvig on voice duty.
Cue the spinach!  You can guess what the creature gets turned into.  The fish is saved... but the ocean's not done with Popeye yet.  It sends a shark, then an angry whale.  Popeye triumphs, arguably in the name of capitalism; too bad he couldn't bring the stuff to the surface, right, capitalists?  Anyway, the fickle part.  Now that the fish is saved, it is back in its tiny bowl, and it is sad, using its fins to dry its tears... if that makes any sense.  Olive is sad too, and decides to liberate her pet fish, and drops it back into the ocean.  Now, with great power comes great responsibility, but Popeye decides to do the opposite.  He drops Olive into the ocean, but not before giving her a new coat of rope, with one life preserver to keep her afloat.  He gets back to knitting himself a new anchor chain and sings the ending song.  Females may be fickle, but Popeye reserves the right to be a downright cruel and vindictive bastard.  Hasn't hurt him yet, has it, folks?  No matter how hard The Simpsons tries.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Todd Bridges

Oh, everybody wants to direct.  Hooray for Hollywood.

bo 6-1-14

Prepping for it on a Wednesday?  Boy, I must have too much time on my hands!  And so, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane grows weary of his Animation Domination on Fox.  And of being merely the voice of an animated bear.  This time he's the star of a new revisionist Western that's got its sights set on Blazing Saddles, and it's called A Million Ways to Die in the West, if memory serves.  And for those of you who were critical of his work as Oscar host, well, you can probably just kiss his black ass two times.  For one thing, no one can top Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal, and it's not really about the host, anyway, is it?  Second, sure, Seth's "We Saw Your Boobs" was infantile and juvenile, but check this out.  You might remember he mentioned Charlize Theron in the song and... boom!  There she is in the movie!  He must've done something right, right?  Meryl Streep, not so much... I forget who all he mentioned.

(Monday) On the other hand... POW!  Motley Fool was right.  Well, half right.  They're perhaps a bit optimistic in thinking that Maleficent is going to make a billion dollars, unless you count overseas, of course.  Why, China's already bootlegged about 500,000 copies of it!  Halfway there.  Well, Stew-Beef and Colbert... actually, just Stew-Beef... they talked about the kid of this guy.  They managed to not mention what Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," said in response to the recent horrific shooting in Santa Barbara.  Basically, it was that "your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights."  I dunno.  I was trying to think about anything else, I suppose.  Theoretically, it's true; the dead tend not to enjoy Constitutional rights as much as the living.  But what about the victims' Fourth Amendment rights?  Weren't those violated, Joe?  You know, the right to not be shot in their home?  Okay, sure, it was a sorority house, but that's still a house in my book!  Plus, they're, like, way more fun than regular homes; at least, they used to be.  But don't worry, Joe.  The battle to open up new collegiate markets to gun manufacturers rages on, and someday years from now, professors and students alike will gather in lecture halls, all wearing holsters and cowboy hats and at least one pistol and one assault rifle, and the professor will start the lecture with "Boy, my trigger finger's getting a little itchy today!  All right, let's continue our discussion of contract law."  Paradise.  But that's several centuries from now.  So much more work to be done.

Ocean's '45

Maybe it's a passing fad after all, but once there used to be what I call a director's "gestation period."  On average, as David Letterman would say, your "big time Hollywood director" takes about two years to excrete a new film.  The Coens take about two years per film, and Kevin Smith took about that long as well.  Then you've got your Steven Soderberghs who take about six months, and then there's Woody Allen, who's been spitting out a new project every year on the dot; pre-1982 it took him two years, but he invested in infrastructure well, and now it's every year.  Some years, even two!  Tyler Perry does two films a year for now, in between everything else he cranks out.  Spielberg once said eighteen months for the gestation period, so take his word for it, but from 1997 to 2005 it seemed like one film a year from him.  Okay, so they weren't all masterpieces, but you criticize the man's work at your own peril.
There's other examples I'm leaving out, I'm sure.  The point is, George Clooney, in addition to everything else he does, has cranked out a directorial effort every three years since 2002.  Alas, I'm unhappy to report that one of my viewing companions, one of Clooney's biggest fans, didn't care so much for The Monuments Men, Clooney and company's latest.  But they were able to put aside their new-fangled loathing of Bill Murray and John Goodman for the length of the movie, which surprised me.
The plot: it's another WWII movie with a slightly different angle, this time focusing on Hitler's side project of destroying the world's art.  Clooney ends up losing his beard and leading a group of seven who set out to find all the art that the Nazis have stolen.  I hate to say it, but I think The Simpsons beat Clooney to the punch a little bit.  And I know Hollywood thinks Alexandre Desplat is the new John Williams and Danny Elfman combined, but over my stern objections, I'm afraid.  Here he makes sure the proceedings don't get too serious, and gives the music a little The Great Escape feel to things.  Why, wasn't there a part with whistling even?
In general, the film fits right in with all the WWII epics made in the 50s and 60s, but there are occasional touches of what seems to be previously untold history.  The writer seems to have done their homework about paintings that are still missing, anyway.  I'm no expert.  And even though I've been numbed by CGI special effects, one of my viewing companions couldn't help but gasp when the Nazis started torching some paintings.  And Clooney shows more restraint than Brad Pitt at the end of Inglorious Basterds in a scene similar to, but not as potent, as his big scene in Syriana.  Oh, you remember, right?  With Christopher Plummer?  Whoa, dude.  And Spoiler Alert: Clooney proves himself a good son by giving his father a brief speaking role, albeit as the elder George Clooney.  So for now, it's good but not great, but I'm sure it'll only gain in stature as time marches on.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

The Running Girl

Well, Hollywood, I'm happy to report that 1) I've finally seen the first installment of The Hunger Games, and that 2) you just might get that un-coveted 65+ demographic after all!  One of my elderly viewing companions seems to be a Jennifer Lawrence fan, and they told me that they "wanted to see something different."  Hard to say if we're going to get into the sequels yet, but who knows.
As for me, however, I am a pickier audience, which is probably why I was pleasantly surprised to find that Katniss started out with contempt for the Hunger Games in the story... but who knows?  Maybe being a part of them, and totally rock-starring it in the process, will change her mind a little bit.  Which brings me to the plot.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the well-selling books, here's the basic premise: it's another post-nuclear war-type deal here, and America is now called Panem, which is Latin for "bread," if memory serves... close enough.  Instead of fifty states, there are now twelve "districts."  And there's a Truman Show type show on television, but it's more like The Running Man.  So apparently, instead of income taxes, the new yearly ritual is having young people kill each other on television.  Hey, go hard or go home, right?  Maybe George Carlin was on to something in his 2005 special Life is Worth Losing, when he talked rather extensively about putting suicide on television.
Anyway, that's the setup.  Now, on to the Time of Transition.  It's the 74th Annual Academy Awards... I mean, Hunger Games, and ... well, I just hate to give it away, so all I'll say is that Jennifer Lawrence ends up volunteering to be in the Games.  Normally, a person is picked, but volunteering's okay too.  And so, after that we're treated to, in the following order, a train ride to the capitol, a big feast, then the killing, then survival, etc.  And of course, lots of close-ups of Jennifer's face.  I tells ya, this girl's going places!  Oh right... she kinda already has.
Still, I couldn't help but think to myself, hmm!  There's an awful lot of gruesome non-war-related killing for a PG-13 movie.  Also, there's rather awkward handling of black and white race relations, if I may be so bold.  I never thought I'd say this, but there's a riot in the movie that owes a little bit to Do the Right Thing, methinks.  The special effects are mostly top-notch, and downplayed really well, except for when the forest catches on fire.  This technically is sci-fi, yet somehow doesn't feel like it; even The Onion's gotta like that.  However, I want to be critical of the big chariot sequence.  There were a couple shots of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson that were a bit confusing to me.  I'll never really know what the problem is, but this is all I can think of: it looked like the people were filmed with a wide-angle lens, and the background green-screened in later was filmed with a telephoto lens.  Somehow, the two didn't quite match.  Oh, but that's just nitpicking, isn't it?
So, did I enjoy myself?  Oh, I think I did a little bit.  I hate to admit it, of course.  Why, look at me!  I'm positively gushing over this!  And sure, the experts will go over the comparisons to Soylent Green and Logan's Run, and even The Prisoner to an extent.  I'll get that conversation started: see, it was an old TV show where this dude was trapped on a strange island, and each week, the Man would send a new operative to try and figure out why Number Six quit his job.  When an operative failed, they would be killed.  Spoiler Alert: this is what happens to the similar character in The Hunger Games, played by the dope-dealing kid from American Beauty with the gnarly chin-do, or man-scaping as the kids say?  Maybe I'm just cynical, but somehow I knew when they said "A new, one-time-only rule change in the games" that it wouldn't be the last.  I tell ya darling, these Hunger Games are about as ratings-conscious and as squeamish as the Oscars: when a Katniss Everdeen and her man comes along, they change the rules just for her!  But I think the Oscars for now are done with that part of the show where they individually kiss the nominated actors' asses before handing out the statuettes.  Another credit to James Franco, perhaps?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Multi-Duplicity, or Salvaging Private Besser (3 of 16)

...why do I feel like I'm at an eating contest?  Our next Stooge short with Joe Besser... urp... is called A Merry Mix Up.  I can't wait to see exactly how merry it is or isn't........................

Well, the Stooges have dabbled in a second set of themselves on previous occasions, almost too numerous to mention... but three?  Joe seems to be forcing them into strange corners.  In an uneasy salute to our various armed forces, we learn in the intro that there are actually three sets of triplets.  One set of Stooge triplets have the names we all know and love, and the other two don't.  Apparently, the writers didn't want to stretch themselves too far, seeing as how Larry Fine's not actually a Howard / Horwitz... oh, right, and Joe Besser's so not a Curly, but you get the idea.
Anyway, the three bipartite sets of triplets have never found each other... until now.  For the sake of time, they all live in the same city.  And why have they never found each other until now?  Because boobs.  Anyway, each set of triplets represents various degrees of marriage: single, engaged, and actually married.  If only I were a comedy writer, then I'd know how to exploit this situation for comedic effect.  Fortunately, the filmmakers are comedy writers, and the girls quickly turn vengeful when they think the Stooges are two-timing them... I forget if the fiancées or the wives start first.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, but The Movie Hooligan!  This isn't quite enough to sustain a whole Stooge film!  And you'd be right, dear reader!  Kudos to you.  Well, the filmmakers have planned for this contingency, and the solution comes in the form of an embattled waiter, played by a Chuck Connors look-alike.  The tension builds slowly at first, but it eventually builds and builds until the waiter's finally wielding a meat cleaver and trying to take a swing at any Stooge he sees.  The ending belongs to the disgruntled waiter who sees all three pairs of Stooge triplets in the same hallway.  His course is clear: he must turn the cleaver on himself... rather, he turns the cleaver on its side, and hits himself repeatedly over the head with the non-blade side of the cleaver until all fades to black.  Much like the ending of... gotta look it up now...Three Arabian Nuts!  That's it.
Well, at least the waiter got to leave.  I got 13 more to go.  I guess the filmmakers are finding that the more outrageous the plot, the better, because the less they have to focus on Joseph.  Oh, and I keep forgetting: the Stooges were nothing if not au courant for their time, and they liked to keep up on the latest trends, at least as fast as they could.  This seems to be a shout-out to Paddy Chayefsky's Marty.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Wherefore Art Thou, Spinach?

Time for another musical.  This one's called Shakespearean Spinach and, as you can probably guess, only Romeo and Juliet will do for the modern love story that is Olive and Popeye.  Why do the cartoons stay away from the likes of Hamlet, Richard the Third and Titus Andronicus, one of Shakespeare's rare pornos?
Incidentally, I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my high school English teacher who taught us that "wherefore" actually means why and that it's not short for where.  Not that it makes much difference now.  Seems like in all these cartoons, and probably some movies, Juliet will go "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" and of course, Romeo will make his grand entrance.  "Oh!  Here I am!" he exclaims.  No different from the instant case.  It's kind of a tradition in and of itself now!
The plot of Shakespearean Spinach is much less complicated than Romeo and Juliet.  Bluto arrives at the theater to discover that Popeye has replaced him as Romeo.  It's a tad confusing, because Bluto looks like he's dressed to watch the play, not to star in it.  Alas, a lesser person would have just gone home, but not Bluto, who decides to stay and take out his frustrations on everybody.  And really, don't we need more of that in the world as it is?  Besides, Bluto helps out as well!  There's about fifty curtains to pull up on the stage, one of which looks like a giant pair of pants.  Lol.
Anyway, you can kinda guess the rest.  A great battle rages between Popeye and Bluto.  Bluto gets the upper hand at first, but Popeye gets saved by some spinach, and this time it's not in his shirt pocket!  I hate to spoil that surprise.  We actually see the audience at one point, who watch Bluto as though he were the tennis ball at a tennis match.  The audience eventually gets whiplash watching Bluto as Popeye works out on him.  As usual as of late, Olive gets lost in the shuffle.  The Fleischer Orchestra has to play slow at first, but then things get more peppy.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Jimmy Bridges

Actor extraordinaire Jimmy Bridges was in One False Move.  He took one look at director Carl Franklin and said, Sheesh!  If that bozo can direct... okay, so it wasn't for him.  After titles like Black Ball and Foster Babies, it was back to the day job for him.  Not so easy, is it, Mr. Smarty Pants?....HE'S TODD BRIDGES'S BROTHER?!!!!  Well, you gotta hand it to James; the word "arrested" doesn't show up in his IMDb biography... which is why his career's not going anywhere.  Owch.

A Mutant Freak vs. the X-Men

Oh, it's going to be a Battle Royale this weekend, that's fer sure.  O'Doyles everywhere. will have the inside scoop, of course.  All I know is, there hasn't been a grudge match of towering Hollywood titans since Ah-nold's Last Action Hero was being released the same weekend as Jurassic Park... and I don't think I need to tell you how that turned out.  And so, we have a similar situation: a Republican governor of sorts dares cross paths with the hottest Jennifer Lawrence-related vehicle yet, X-Men: Days of Future Past.  And I just found out who its director is!  After the shellacking he took last year for Lord-of-the-Rings-izing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, director Bryan Singer's back in familiar turf with this latest of latest and greatest X-Men movies.  Sometimes you gotta play it safe, especially after something like Jack the Giant Slayer.
And in the other corner... it's Adam Sandler's 2014 pic.  He sent Drew Barrymore to see Stew Beef and do his dirty work for him.  Guess he's busy on Grown-Ups 3 or something, probably filming 3 and 4 back-to-back; you know, because Nick Swardson's not available or something.  Being a casting director for Adam Sandler must be the easiest job in the world: all you have to do is call the same 20 people over and over and over and over again!  Might be a bad thing, though.  Might make you soft, unflexible... you know, for when you work on a regular movie and there's scheduling conflicts.  Blended has its characters go on vacation in Africa, because Sandler's tired of making movies in Hawaii.
So which is it, America?  The fake heartwarming latest from Sandler and company?  Or the latest and greatest superhero movie of all time?  Better decide quick, because it's Angelina Jolie with wings next weekend.
(Sunday afternoon) Yup, just as expected... at least, on the X-Men side of things.  As it turns out, by a little over 2 to 1 in box office receipts, people wanted to see the other seagoing reptilian freak Godzilla in lieu of Adam Sandler this weekend.  Go figure.  He toned down the embarrassing stuff, guys!  Only half the fart jokes.  You know, all that fun stuff the kids like.  You'll hear all about it on the drive home, I'm sure.  No, the big surprise this week... there's just way too much stuff that floats under my radar, I'm afraid!  I admit it.  I'm a fraud.  Anyway, the not-so-big surprise is a little thing called Chef... no, not that one.  This chef's got jailhouse tats and attitude to spare.  And he's probably part psychic, too!  Why, one look at your face, and he peers into the shallow pool of your soul and he can instantly divine if you're a bacon man trying to score your next fix, or just looking for a nice t-bone filet on a bun.  With some au jus just for dipping.  This is one of those small films in between blockbusters that people like to do.  Well, it's probably more developed than Sean Astin's The Long and Short of It, anywho.  There should be no joy in Blockbusterville, as this tiny sapling got some sunlight.  No, we must look back to November 17th, 2013, when The Best Man Holiday was the only debut!  2nd place, no other debuts.  Or maybe to a lesser extent, January 26th of this year, when I, Frankenstein was the only debut... sixth place, but STILL!
Oh yeah, almost forgot.  God's not dead, but even God avoided the red carpet premiere of God's not Dead.  Oh, s'z'nap!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pumping Eggs (2 of 16) it over yet?  Anyway, time for the next Stooge flick called Muscle Up a Little Closer.  Wikipedia will tell you that it's a pun on a hot song from the time.  Meh.
You'll also learn that the other Stooges have haircuts here that are more like their normal hair in public, or out with their families.  Moe's adopted Shemp's haircut!  Lol.  And so, once again, the Stooges go over to their granddaughters' house... their girlfriends?  Good Lord.  We gotta stop these cradle-robbing celebrities!  What price money and fame?  The Joe couple go off on their own, leaving Moe and Larry to fend for themselves.  Here's a telling moment indeed: Moe and Larry spy some food on the table, so they get their girlfriends to give them a big hug while they grab some of the food!  What's that all about?  And this is the era of romance, for God's sake!  Now I know Joe Besser thinks he's the greatest Stooge since sliced bread, but even Curly never kissed a girl with chewing gum in his mouth.  Okay, sure, the Stooges only recently discovered the comedic possibilities of chewing gum with Shemp, but still... yecch.  Romance is just not for four year olds like Joe.
And then... things take a big left turn and the pic becomes a home invasion caper pic.  The Stooges' inner sanctum has apparently been violated!  That's different, I'll give 'em that.  Looks like Ruth Godfrey has returned from Pardon My Backfire to do Stooge bride duty... she's lookin' kinda old herself!  Anyway, let's just skip over to where the boys are at their job.  The opening gag is one for their people... sort of.  "A shipment just came in from Japan!" Larry tells Moe.  "What is it?" asks Moe.  "Matzos!" says Larry.  "Oh!  Just in time for Thanksgiving!" says Moe.  I'm guessing Joe didn't get that one... I stand corrected!  Maybe he was a Jew for Jesus or something.  How could he be such a shmuck?  I'll never be able to figure that one out.  Moe forces Larry to hold up his own nose with a crowbar; no big surprise there, but Moe gives only a half-hearted attempt to set up a ruse.  And then... whoa, dude!  Even Moe's a little fed up with Joe!  I haven't heard him talk that fast since he impersonated Hitler!
After that, they kill a little time when Joe ties his own hands while wrapping a package.  Moe and Larry cut him loose, then they're off to do some detective work.  Here's the problems with Joe, all summed in this scene right here: he says "They're terrific snoopers!  They're..."  First of all, he's not much of an ad-libber.  Second, did Curly ever lump Moe and Larry together like that?  On a regular basis?  I mean, gee whiz!  Why didn't they just get Don Rickles to be the third Stooge?  Half of the film would be Don saying to the camera "I told 'em they should've quit about 15 years ago.  They're NOTHING without me!  They got no act!  With the poking and the pie fighting..."  Even Moe knows something's gone horribly wrong.  Fifteen more films and he's out, I tells ya!  O, W, T, out!
While we're still waiting for the bad guy to show up, Joe's lawyers stumbled across a loophole in the Stooge law.  Joe doesn't want to be hit by the other Stooges... but hit by eggs?  That's okay!  And so, the closest thing we'll get to a trademark phrase from Besser IS... drumroll please... "Raw egg.  I hate raw eggs!"  And so, the warehouse floor is covered with broken eggs, so Joe decides to cook them instead of cleaning them up.  Splendid, but I never did care for floor eggs.  And so, the influence for Point Break and True Lies is bourne.  "A frustrated short order cook!" Moe quips.  A line that even Nora Ephron's ghost can appreciate.
Another problem with Joe: at one point he says "I think I'm having a heart attack!"  Twice.  Well, he was ahead of his time, I guess.  Today's obese youngsters can relate to that, perhaps.  Joe's heart can't even beat to the tune of "Shave and a Haircut"!  It just gets worse and worse.
After Moe gets shocked, it's cross-fade to the warehouse gym.  Tiny shows up and helps Joe work out.  "Oh, Joe... you're too fat," says Tiny.  Sure, it's the pot calling the kettle ... some color, I forget which.  But even Tiny knows there's something about Joe that's dragging the Stooge collective down.  Time is killed when Tiny lifts some barbells.  And then, finally!  The bad guy, Elmo Drake, shows up.  His first line takes a bit longer, however.  With an ending like this, it just makes me wonder if they could've made Elmo's time on screen shorter somehow, and solve the crime in about 20 seconds or so.  Despite his protestation of "You've got it all wrong!" the missing ring was in his pocket.  I guess he was just saying that to lie rather than having a J. J. Abrams-ish conspiracy behind the theft.  Well, I don't want to give all the Joe shorts two and a half stars, so I'll make this one a begrudging three.  Try as he might, Joe can't completely ruin the Stooge short formula.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

"The dresser!! The windah!!!..."

Awright!  Finally on to Disc Two of Volume Two of Popeye.  I gotta be honest here... maybe it's just the internet talking, but I'm not really looking forward to this disc.  No more 3D backgrounds!  No more Gus  van Wickie!  The only one I'm looking forward to is this one where Popeye tells his pappy, "You're too old to be young enough to be buildin' boats!"  I'm guessing it's either My Pop, My Pop or With Poopdeck Pappy.  They should bring the doors back for that one.
Anyway, first up, Never Sock a Baby.  And as you probably can probably guess, Swee'Pea's the baby in question.  As someone will probably note, it's a Popeye cartoon stripped down to bare essentials... why, it's just Popeye and Swee'pea in this one!  Where's Olive or Wimpy at least?  Usually the entirety of the Thimble Theatre was in every Popeye strip all the time... and what do the Fleischers have against the Sea Hag, exactly?  What's that all about?  But I digress.
Okay, spoiler alert, it also features Angel Popeye and Devil Popeye.  They both sound more nasal to a degree than regular Popeye.  This ethereal duo show up after Popeye gives Swee'pea a light spanking and, even worse, sends Swee'pea to bed without supper.  Dude, that's harsh.
We never do find out what Swee'pea did to make Popeye so disciplinary, but considering the way he kept sneaking out of his crib in previous installments... oh, chances are he's up to no damn good.  And, true to form, Swee'pea constructs the proverbial sack on a stick hobo luggage and sets out into the seemingly better world.  Swee'pea has yet to find out that Mother Nature's spankings tend to be quieter and more long-lasting at times.  Meanwhile, there's nothing for Popeye to do but wrestle with his conscience.  Popeye picks a side when Devil Popeye calls Popeye a wimp.  Why, it's worse than being called an imp, for Gawd'z zake!  It's 'imp' with a w!  Wimp.  Maybe not as bad as being called a freak, but still bad.  Popeye punches Devil Popeye into oblivion and rushes in to look at Swee'pea.  "The dresser!  The windah!" exclaims Popeye.
Now sure, I could be negative and point out that Popeye once again closes a whole canyon with naught but a rope and a tree trunk, or that the story arc is basically a rehash of every Swee'pea and Jeep cartoon, or A Dream Walking to an extent, but I did see Never Sock a Baby once on free tv.  Maybe it was on Cartoon Network when they used to show old stuff like this.  In context, sure, it's hardly original, but it gets points for showmanship.  And uptight Christians can even enjoy it to a degree, as the virtues of good parenting triumph in the end... or do they?  A single father, all by himself... wait a minute.  Popeye's not even the father!  Just a rogue babysitter!  I take that back.  Better stick with your boring animated vegetables and penguins... but I'm sticking with Popeye.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Chet Brewster

Another Tyler Perry connection!  Small world.


..I forget the ads.  I know there's something coming out on the 16th, and that the latest X-Men movie's got the 23rd staked out... the new Godzilla!  That's it!  Where Dean Devlin failed, the unfailing Legendary Pictures will get it right!

...welp, as expected, the latest incarnation of Godzilla was #1 this weekend, taking in a Godzilla-sized $93 million, or about one dollar for each mile the earth is from the sun.  Slightly more than the 1998 Godzilla took in at the box office, but probably about the same if you adjust for inflation.  The crucial second week?  Well, this Godzilla is going to have very stiff competition from Jennifer Lawrence and X-Men 5.  I'm assuming the filmmakers didn't skimp on Jennifer Lawrence.  They do so at their own peril.  Alas, Godzilla's not a real blockbuster this week, for another debut was able to crack the top 10: Untitled Jon Hamm Vehicle... I mean, Disney's Million Dollar Arm.  Oh, Disney's come a long way from the shoestring '60s and '70s of Kurt Russell and The Love Bug.  Now they've got Lucasfilm under their belt.  Um... anyone remember the Sherman Anti-Trust Act?  What, is the statute of limitations over on it or something?  I've also heard that AT&T and DirecTV are going to merge!  Where does it end?  At least Comcast can't buy TimeWarner, but only because TimeWarner's got too much pride... and apparently, they don't want to drop the "Time" part of it yet.  Hey, here's my impression of DirecTV on the phone with AT&T: "So, the new name... how about we call it AT&DirecTV?  That's pretty catchy, right? ... okay, how about AT&T&DirecTV? ... no?  Okay, what about just AT&TV?  Can we sneak a 'd' in there?  So it'd be AT&DTV?  What do you think?  Do you like... oh.  Okay, we'll just call it AT&T.  Or how about "DirecTV - A subsidiary of AT&T".  Otherwise, people might forget... wow.  Not even that, huh?"

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Children of a Besser God

Whew!  Glad that's over.... oh, right, we haven't started yet.  Yes, just as Mary Gross is the most outspoken, eloquent former cast member of Saturday Night Live, or the way Ray Manzarek was the most outspoken, eloquent former member of The Doors, we find that Joseph Q. Besser is the happiest of Stooges, despite the Spike channel's anti-Joe stance when it comes to showing the shorts.  Then again, Joe did try to have it both ways, co-authoring two books, one called Once a Stooge, Always a Stooge and the other called Not Just a Stooge.  Which is it, Joe?  Which is it?
I think what Joe's ultimately trying to say is that, like Ringo joining the Beatles, Joe's status in showbiz was elevated once he joined an already well-respected showbiz institution.  Sure, Columbia already had him under contract to do shorts... none of which I can seem to find right now on the YouTube.  Here's one with Joseph DeRita.  Go figure.  The point being, Besser had worked with Stooge veteran director Jules White previously, so when it came time to replace Fake Shemp, someone who could open the door to remaking the far richer library of Curly shorts would just have to do.
Up first: Hoofs and Goofs.  As you can see, the rollout of this new Stooge couldn't be more lavish.  Harps added to the theme music, the trademark three-part "Hello" with Joe... the studio must've thought it a good idea.  Try and stay one step ahead of the haters, something like that.  Yecch.
Anyway, the plot.  The plot seems to have been extracted from The Flying Deuces in an unauthorized subplotectomy.  Joe's reading a book about reincarnation and instantly assumes he's going to be hearing from dearly departed relatives in no time.  But Moe and Larry are old pros at this, and Larry says "We gotta do something about Joe" as though Joe's been with them for the last 23 years or so.
There's at least one highlight: Moe sticks a passed out Joe's face into a tub of water.  And spoiler alert: we've graduated from Fake Shemps to Fake Moes, if only for one episode!  If nothing else, this makes me appreciate Curly even more.  All the stuff with the talking horse is frankly kinda creepy.  There's a reason why it's at the end of The Flying Deuces after all.
Incidentally, to sum up Joe Besser's performance in 16 Stooge shorts, here he is in cartoon form as a studio gate cop.  It'll save you a lot of time anyway.  Me, I brought this upon myself.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Dear Sir, I wish to Protest in the Strongest Possible Terms...................

About thirty years before Monty Python addressed the concerns of a freaked-out British public on their show, the creators of Popeye apparently drew inspiration from the fans who wrote in expressing concern rather than admiration.  I wonder if Disney ever had to deal with these kinds of telegrams?  Anyway, we start out It's the Natural Thing to Do with Popeye and Bluto already slugging it out in a mild Fist Tornado where we can see their bodies... does a mild Fist Tornado still qualify as a Fist Tornado?  So many questions.  The fight extends to a pile of lumber, and Olive has to dodge the flying pieces of wood while doing dishes.
And then, the telegram arrives.  Why do the boys always have to fight?  Why can't they act like gentlemen for once?  Why can't they act a little more refined?  The boys are confused.  'Gentleman' and 'refined' aren't in their vocabulary.  This could be harder than turning the Stooges into gentlemen.  But they at least know that it involves more expensive clothes.  Next scene: Popeye and Bluto show up in tux and tails, and Olive's got a fancy dress as well.
Alas, this threesome has no creativity, and they can't think of anything to do other than fighting, so they just sit on chairs and try to think of something to say.  Perhaps they're part of high society already!  Olive rings a bell, and in comes a fat person pedaling a giant dessert cart.  The threesome is given a big stack of plates of various fattening goodies, and one cup of coffee for dunking.  They end up spending a lot of time trying to balance their various stacks of dishes, with semi-hilarious consequences.  To cut to the chase, things get boring, and slowly the boys revert to their fightin' ways.  Bluto even throws a can of spinach to Popeye to really get things cooking the way they were at the start.  "It's the natural thing to do!" the three of them sing, as even Olive joins in on the final Fist Tornado.  Well, what can be said?  These were the dark ages before the creation of Tyler Perry and the VeggieTales, and filmmakers didn't want to risk making boring entertainments.

Commentary: This one has commentary for some reason, and the guy doing it takes a few seconds off here and there, but the commentary's a bit more interesting than the cartoon itself.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Kevin Bray

Whoa.  This dude's been busy!!!  Kevin Bray proves that television's where it's at now.  I'm not sure exactly when TV overtook the cinema, but Kev seems to have gotten on that train early.  Still, I can't help but wonder if he'd rather be doing cinema fulltime.  I mean, Spielberg often refers to himself as a TV director, know whut I mean, Vern?  On the other hand, he's gotta step up his game to do cinema fulltime.  He's got a film called Linewatch that you can see for free on Crackle... is that good?  Short answer: no.

There is No Joy in Gelbartville............ one of the Zynga servers crashed and everyone's got to start their crops over.  Actually, I was going to go with Bieberville because of the recent feud between Seth Rogen and Justin Bieber... or was it all a setup to sell more tickets?  Nah, that can't be it.  Maybe to sell more bottles of Proactiv, the zit cream of this generation of rock stars.  No, the real insult from this week's #1 movie, Neighbors, goes to the ones the mortals used to call Larry Gelbart, mega-screenwriter of M*A*S*H (the TV show) and of the all-but-forgotten 1981 comedy, Neighbors, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.  Yes, Gelbart's in heaven right now, looking down and cursing Rogen and company.  Why, he'd probably say "Neighbors is my vision, despite Rogen and company's lifelong mission to deprive anybody of credit connected with that movie."  Need I remind you of two things?  That one, we were attacked on September 11th, 2001 and two, you adapted it from a Thomas Berger novel.... mmm.... burger.  The point being, while people may still not feel sympathy for Jay Mohr for having suffered on the Tonight Show couch next to the Biebs, attacking Justin Bieber appears to be a great business model.  Let's see how far we can push this thing, people.  I want to see an article on the Onion titled "You know who else hates Justin Bieber?  Justin Bieber!"
But we're probably getting ahead of ourselves.  There's two other debuts this week: Garry Marshall's latest holiday fest Moms' Night Out... somehow that apostrophe doesn't feel right.  It debuted at #7, so maybe Patricia Heaton can blame that on Democrats.  The other is the latest sub-Pixar production, but with grade A source material, called Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, the long awaited threepeat of Walter Murch's Return to Oz.  Personally, I would've cast Aykroyd as the cowardly lion, but the Scarecrow's a much cooler character... but he and Belushi will switch roles on Broadway, like Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly did with True West.  It debuted at #8.  Martin Short didn't even bother to mention it recently on Conan.  The Onion gave it a "D."  Happy now, filmmakers?  You made the Onion cry, for God's sake!

Friday, May 02, 2014

Short Reviews - April 2014

Crap!  My taxes!!!

You've Been Trumped - Fortunately, I didn't have to suffer through the whole thing, but apparently wherever "The Donald" goes, if he sees a beautiful young lady, he thinks and tells his people two things: 1) Is she pageant quality? and 2) Is she employee quality?  Just remember, young people... you are your résumé.

Ghosts Can't Do It - Wow... "The Donald"'s in that?   I guess that means it's classy...

The Day of the Jackal - One of the subplots... spoiler alert... involves a young lady seducing a member of DeGaulle's security team and giving updates to the bad guys.  If only it was worth it to do that to Donald Trump... great tie-in, eh?  Beauty!

Man of Steel - ...I dunno.  Does this deserve its own entry?  Probably.  But in case I don't get around to it, the future of cinema is clear.  More collateral damage.  The more, the merrier.  And why?  Because it creates jobs.  Jobs for already overworked digital animators, and the masseuses who work on them.  But there was one moment that still sticks to me.  When this planet Krypton is breaking down, Superman's father retorts "No one cares."  Something to that effect.  Not that anyone on earth can relate to that, of course, for at least the next 20 years.

Big Trouble in Little China - One thing I like to do is review other peoples' lists.  Fer instance, there's a list out there of ten great movies that were flops.  They got a few of them right, like Citizen Kane and The General.  Duck Soup probably belongs on that list as well.  Big Trouble in Little China, on the other hand, so does not.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Same list.  Released in 2005, it's the youngest addition to that list.  I guess it's too soon to put Draft Day or Pompeii or the Endless Love remake on the list.  But that's how you're supposed to do a list like this!  You make #1 the best choice you can, and #2 is something recent and/or a publicist's current suggestion.

Rush Hour 4 - ...holy crap!  It's actually in the works!  I was just going to suggest you get Jonah Hill to take over for Chris Penn's character, if you can get him.

Spaceballs - I coulda sworn I wrote this already.  Apparently not, so here goes.  Just saw on Facebook that May 4th is "Star Wars Day."  Am I the only one who remembers when Spaceballs came out in 1987?  Probably.  At that time, the critics asked "It's been four years since Star Wars.  Is a parody of it even relevant anymore?"

Cruising - On Facebook currently they keep having these ads for something called "Conservative Daily."  They say, "Click Like if you're an Al Pacino fan!"  I'm guessing they're not fans of Cruising.

Double Dragon - With the police chief of Malibu... real reactionary type

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Here we go again.....

Stephen King's Thinner - Actually, King's looking a little chunky these days...

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Skeletor diet?  Sign me up!

The Bonfire of the Vanities - The REAL Masters of the Universe

Almost Famous - According to the IMDb, writer director Cameron Crowe promised to give Eric Stoltz a role in every one of his movies.  Well, what about THIS ONE????

Elizabethtown - And THIS ONE?!!!!

Vanilla Sky - And THIS ONE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We Bought a Zoo - And THIS ONE?!?!?!?!?!!!!?????!!!!!!!

Untitled Cameron Crowe Project - And THIS ONE?!!!!!!

The Wild Life - And TH... oh, wait.  He's in this one.... he is?  Ewwwwwww!!!!!!!

The Longshots - First of all, there's only one Longshot, and second, it's the nail in the collective coffins of the street cred of Ice Cube and Fred Durst.  Why don't they do Daddy Day Care 3 together and get it over with?

John Carter (of Mars) - On The Onion, they have a link to a list of eight box office disasters.  Surprisingly, John Carter is not on the list.  Maybe it's because of Pixar, maybe it's because of Disney, who knows.  Also, The Lone Ranger didn't make the cut.  Maybe because of Disney... this could go on for years!

White Sands - All this time I thought Kevin Costner was in this movie!  What was I thinking?  Boy!  Some movie reviewer I am!

Barney's Version - I'm just a sucker for Mordecai Richler's stuff, but I have yet to see all of Joshua Then and Now.  I don't think my dad liked this movie as much, because at one point we took a break and I said "Pretty good movie, huh?"  Well, he looked at me as though I just told him that I took a giant dump on the kitchen table.  You know, as though I had said "Geez!  Was it only three hours ago that we had corn?  Boy, that goes through fast!"

The Love Guru - Another honorable mention.  Mike Myers' character in this one made it onto a list of the most offensive movie characters of all time... including Cretaceous and Devonian.  Personally, there's probably more offensive characters out there that were more deserving of this listing, but these lists are typically subjective.

Johnson Family Vacation - I'm with you, Solange!... if only because I don't know any better.

The Zoo Gang - Watch out for them Koch brothers!  They apparently don't care for the zoos.

A Million Ways to Die in the West - This made it onto the coveted "2014 Films I don't Give a Damn About" list.  Which begs the question... what films do they give a damn about in 2014?  They'd better be good!... welp, looks like not an indie cult classic in the bunch.  Oddly enough, The Lego Movie made both lists.  FLIP-FLOPPER!!!!!

The Cobbler - As of this writing, it says "Plot kept under wraps."  Well, if Adam Sandler's in it... I'm guessing he's going to play some sort of (cobbler?) loser, probably with kids and a supermodel-grade wife.  Picked on by the constant stream of O'Doyles, poor rich bastid.

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion - Woody would like to offer the following amendment to his now famous advice: if you are A CELEBRITY LIKE HIM, 90% of it is showing up.

Die Another Day - Okay, time to cannibalize another movie list.  This one's the coveted "15 of the most Ridiculous films that Actors Should be Ashamed of."  Boy, do people hate this movie!  Kinduva shame, because it's got the coolest gadgets.

Gigli - No argument there.

Catwoman - ...tee hee hee.  They're just picking on Halle Berry again, aren't they?  What's a purdy girl to do?

Green Lantern - $200 million budget?  Where'd it go?  Music rights?  I disagree with the following statement: "Bankable action hero Ryan Reynolds."  He'll always be Van Wilder to me.

X-Men: The Last Stand - Oh, puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeze.  Brett Ratner's directed far more embarrassing fare than that.

Waterworld - At least you have that sense of relief when they find land at the end!

The Lone Ranger - Oh, boo hoo.  Just because it was a little expensive.

Jack the Giant Slayer - They paid to be on the list, didn't they?

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within - This one paid to be on the list.

Land of the Lost - Now, now... Will Ferrell hates it too!  He just doesn't dwell on it as much as others.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash - Well, at least it's not Best Defense this and Best Defense that anymore, right?  No token Brits in this one!

Heaven's Gate - I think this list is confused.

A Good Day to Die Hard - Well, at least it's not Hudson Hawk this and Hudson Hawk that, right, Bruce?

Suburban Commando - ...(sniff, wipe away tear) and I thought I was the only one that remembered this movie!

Judge Dredd - I'm not a big enough fan of the comic book to complain.  Hey, at least it's not all Stop! Or My Mom will Shoot this and... Cobra that!  Hah!  Fooled ya.  Okay, on to the celebrities that destroyed themselves through plastic surgery... Axl Rose?!!  Go figure.

Dangerous Game - Now, I haven't seen this one, but surely it belongs on the list.  Actually, Madonna didn't make the list at all!  Save for Die Another Day, but her cameo as the fencing instructor wasn't even mentioned!  How totes unfair's that?!

Stepmonster - I love the plot description: "Todd Dougherty has an imagination driven by comic book(s)."  So refreshing, isn't it, ladies?  Of course, this was just a few decades before Hollywood became almost completely driven by comic books, mind you.  It's a period piece now!