A friend of mine was all excited a few months back because
a movie was based on an Isaac Asimov book. This is good, in theory,
but when has Hollywood made
something good in theory good in practice? As for my friend, the movie
version of I, Robot is merely suggested by Isamov’s
Suggested. What the hell does that mean? Does a copy
of the book sit there and say, “I think Don Cheadle would make a good
Spooner and don’t spend more than 5 million on special effects?”
I think what could have possibly been a great and interesting
movie was turned into yet another opportunity for Will Smith to play
the same character he’s been playing since the first Bad Boys movie.
I, Robot plays out less like a supposed sci-fi classic and more
like a Matrix prequel tricked out by a Hollywood chopshop.
A robot allegedly kills a human right before a large distribution
integrating them into society. If you’ve seen even one trailer, you
know that, eventually, all hell’s going to break loose, and nothing
draws a crowd better than religion, politics, and killer robots.
I want you to be careful on this one people, because the title is
very suggestive, and the ushers giving you a pillow, blanket, and
a glass of warm milk when you enter the theater doesn’t help much
either. Sleepover retells (and only retells) the classic story
of popular kids vs. unpopular kids in a fight for the popular table
in the cafeteria—they go on a scavenger hunt to win it. How exciting!
Sleepover isthe perfect tool if you want to troll for teenage
girls as their mothers drop them off at the mall. I gave that up days
ago, so it’s beneath me. Sleepover is filled with a lot of
the latest new trends like skateboarding and heroin mullets, and also
stars child actresses with names such as Scout Taylor-Compton and
Kallie Flynn Childress. A flamethrower should be taken to anybody
who had anything to do with this movie, with the exception of Jane
Lynch, who has to do more Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy movies
in the future. Sleepover filled me with hatred and disdain. I fully
realize that it’s intended for kids who probably don’t need much out
of a movie, but shouldn’t we encourage them to think, and give them
more than a less-than-entertaining way to sell popcorn? I believe
the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the
way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense
of---just avoid this movie.
A Cinderella Story
forget for a minute that the Cinderella story has been done more times
than Pamela Anderson, and as a result, let’s also try really hard
to forget that Hollywood’s also run out of ideas. With a little concentration
and a lot of medication I can do that, but what I cannot and refuse
to do is treat it like a brand-new concept because Hillary Duff’s
in it and it takes place in present day California as opposed to medieval
A Cinderella Story is the kind of movie that
you see only when you lose a bet or have a kid with either no sense
of taste or just bad tastein movies.
Much as with Sleepover, I feel that cast and
crew of A Cinderella Story should be lined up against a wall
and shot with potato launchers until death, with the exception of
Jennifer Coolidge who, like Jane Lynch in Sleepover, needs
to do more Eugene Levy/Christopher Guest movies.
A Cinderella Story inspired me, however. I think
all of the studios should get together and hire Alec Baldwin to reprise
his role from Glengarry GlenRoss and get Hillary Duff, Lindsay
Lohan, the Olsen twin who’s not on smack, and any other actress who
dresses like a whore while starring in kids’ movies—we’ll have a
similar contest that the salesmen in Glengarry GlennRoss had.
Give the teenybopper set six months to pull a Christina Ricci by going
from bullshit to brilliance. If they flunk out, they either get sent
to Ron Jeremy, a strip club, or the glue factory.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy ***
when a “Saturday Night Live” cast member leaves the show, you never
hear from them again. If you do, you usually wish you hadn’t. Molly
Shannon hasn’t done anything noteworthy (with the exception of the
short-lived Fox series “Cracking Up”), Chris Kataan keeps hanging
around the show like that guy who quit the place you work and keeps
coming back to…you know, visit. Anyone seen Cheri Oteri lately? But
Will Farrell is the SNL cast member who’s actually showing that it
was a wise move for him to leave.
Old School was an instant classic that had anyone
with a sense of humor rolling, and Elf was pretty damned funny
for a PG-rated movie. Mr. Farrell continues the fine tradition with
It’s a throwback to pre-cable news reporting, when men
were men and women were a place to put your dick. There’s plenty of
sexist humor and a shitload of laughs. Most of those laughs come from
Farrell himself, often without even saying a word. There are enough
cameos to make you think you’re watching other movies: Vince Vaughn,
Luke Wilson, Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Tim Robbins show up briefly
to add to the almost excessive laughs. I don’t want to blow anything
for you, but there’s a rumble scene with rival news teams about an
hour in that left me hyperventilating. It’s really good to see a comedy
that’s actually funny.
I recently saw Farrell in an interview where he said
that he’d like to see anyone on SNL doing George W. Bush in the flight
suit. I personally would like to see Farrell in every comedy.
When you get done watching King Arthur, the age-old
question as to which came first, the chicken or the egg, will come
to mind, but will not be answered. Anybody who’s seen Monty Python
or hasn’t been hiding under
a rock for the last thousand years or so knows the story. Then you
watch the most recent adaptation of the Arthurian legend and think
you’re watching a lost chapter of Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien borrowed from the Arthur story and director
Antoine Fuqua took from Rings director Peter Jackson. See how
things go around?
I heard that they were updating King Arthur and I got
slightly excited. I’d taken a mythology class a few years back, was
familiar with the material, and may possibly even get a little more
out of it. Then I saw the trailer. It looked like a music video and
Jerry Bruckheimer’s name was on it.
Although I’m glad that actual English actors were cast
instead of getting a bunch of Americans trying to sound like John
Cleese and Eric Idle, King Arthur fell short and could’ve been
better. It’s a cinematic wolf in sheep’s clothing—a typical summer
movie trying not to be. You’re better off reading pages 349-494 of
Bulfinch’s Mythology. Call me crazy, but I’d prefer to learn from
a 19th Century bank clerk than Jerry Bruckheimer.
Coffee and Cigarettes
could bitch about living in Buffalo as can just about anybody else
living in this city. I hear people bitching about economic depression,
a haggard job market, and being under the thumb of political hacks.
But for me, the worst part is having to wait two months for a movie
that’s already old news in other cities.
Which brings me to Coffee and Cigarettes, the
latest film from Jim Jarmusch. Jarmusch has brought us such independent
classics as Down By Law, Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train,
and Dead Man, which are every bit as quirky and nutty as
they are good, and I’m happy to say that Coffee and Cigarettes
is no different.
What is it about, you ask? Coffee and cigarettes! The
movie itself consists of eleven vignettes which take place at diners/restaurants.
Most of them faeture actors or musicians playing themselves. You’ve
got Tom Waits and Iggy Pop trying to one-up each other. Jack and Meg
White ponder the brilliance of Tesla (the scientist, not the band),
The RZA, The GZA, and Bill Murray discuss homeopathic remedies. Each
vignette is great in its own way, even if you wouldn’t be interested
unless Tom Waits or the Wu-Tang Clan was in it. None of the vignettes
overstay their welcome, and some you just won’t want to end.
Coffee and Cigarettes is great in the sense that
it requires no commitment: there are no drawn out stories, and boredom
is given no chance to set in. It’s got great dialogue and is hilarious
in a very subtle way. It’s wonderful when a bare-bones movie about
really nothing comes along and requires little of its viewer but to
just sit there and enjoy.
There’s a very strong possibility that Coffee and
Cigarettes will be gone by the time this review hits the stands.
In that case, all I can say is to catch it when it hits home video.
You won’t be sorry.