never really got into sports. I sort of tried watching football when
I was seven, but the people (who shall remain nameless) I watched it
with got psychotic about it, to the point of fist holes in the walls
and me being the only second-grader in my school whose tender ears knew
the term “fucking faggot cocksucker.”
whole attitude was what ultimately turned me off from sports. But until
I saw Friday Night Lights, I never realized how easy I had it.
Billy Bob Thornton plays coach Gary Gaines, who’s moved his family from
town to town after failing to achieve victory for the high school football
teams he’s coached. He’s got community members in the latest football-obsessed
town spouting vague and veiled threats in the event of the team not
are citizens in an inconsequential Texas town that vicariously and pathetically
live through the team. They stagger out onto the field and publicly
humiliate them when one of them makes a bad play.
is nothing whatsoever that makes Friday Night Lights stand out
from any other sports movie. If anything, it comments that football
is no longer a game, but an emasculating and emotional trip through
the grinder disguised as a twisted rite of passage. It’s well made and
Thornton is great as usual, but when you pile on the no guts, no
glory/no pain, no gain propaganda, the movie becomes a bit
much to take.
maybe I’m just a big fucking faggot cocksucker for not particularly
liking sports or this movie.
Your Voice (0)
PAIN! THE PAIN! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!
that excruciating Britney Spears movie that came out a few years back,
Crossroads? They made another one in the same vein, only this
time it’s Hillary Duff jamming the carpenter’s knife in your ribs while
she smiles for the better part of two hours.
plot goes something to the effect of this: Hillary wants to go to music
camp and her dad won’t let her (can’t you feel the tension building
already?). Her mom and aunt cover for her so she can live out a three-week
version of American Idol.
scary there. There are snobby kids that Duff has to soften up by perpetually
smiling through the movie and a dreamy English boy. I’m not sure, but
I think warming up the snobby kids was the main part of the plot.
Raise Your Voice is the cinematic version of what you’d imagine someone dragging a band
saw or perhaps circular saw up your ass crack. Hell of a way to go.
I’ve never seen that done, and I couldn’t even imagine it being done
to me. Then I saw this movie.
thing struck me as funny about this movie: Duff’s dad in the movie doesn’t
want her in LA out of fear of something bad happening to her. I think
he was afraid she would make this movie.
JimmyFallon announced he was leaving “Saturday Night Live” last May,
I was shocked, disappointed, and devastated all at once. He was one
half of the best weekend update team since a pre-breakdown Dennis Miller
gave tidbits about George H.W. Bush with a smart-ass candor not equaled
by many. And Fallon was funny whenever he was used for most of the other
sometimes-mindless skits too.
know that he’s trying to avoid becoming the next Tim Meadows by sticking
around the cast for the next seven years (he’s been on about five or
six already), but there’s a certain way you’ve got to do this. You do
a couple of movies first. Make sure people know who you are. Test the
waters. Wait a few dates before try to pork her for crissakes!
a two-minute cameo in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” thirteen
unrecognizable minutes of screen time in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous,
and a supporting part in the last Woody Allen movie do not a litmus
don’t know if Fallon owes somebody a big favor, money or what, but when
you fuck around like this, you wind up as Queen Latifah’s bitch in a
Latifah’s in this too, you say? Let me tell you something about Queen
Latifah. She’s laughing her sassy black ass off all the way to the bank.
She’s in movies like this for fun and she’s relishing in the fact that
she gets paid obscene amounts of old white men’s money to act like herself.
She’s fine with that. She could drop off the face of the earth in twenty
minutes and she’ll be fine.
it’s Mr. Fallon who’s got something to prove. When you come fresh off
of SNL, you don’t want to be that guy who makes guest appearances every
week like Chris Kataan. (“Oh, I was in the neighborhood.” Bullshit!
You were in Lorne Michaels’ office tossing his salad and begging for
your old job back!) You want to be like Will Farrell, who comes back
to HOST the show, not do a “cameo.”
Latifah’s a cab driver who gets sucked into an idiot cop(Fallon)’s bank
robbery investigation involving Brazilian supermodel bank robbers. She’s
got a tricked-out cab and loves Nascar. I laughed three times, but I
could see the puck hitting the back wall and flying in the opposite
direction so many more times than that.
could bitch about this movie for the next month, so I’m just going to
end it here.
if for whatever obscure and bizarre reason you’re reading this, I want
you to know I’m pulling for you. But use your head, man. You’ve made
some great project choices before, and I don’t want to see you on some
UPN game show in two years, thirty pounds heavier and talking about
some Lifetime movie you’re doing with Mare Winningham.
I had a nickel for every time its been mentioned how heroic and brave
firefighters are since September 11th, I’d not only be able
to make a house out of them, I’d have had the mortgage paid off as well.
And it wouldn’t burn down. We all know this. We’re all perfectly aware
of the abuse and next-to-impossible odds that firefighters face.
is the story of a firefighter who’s trapped in a burning building and
facing the end of his life after a calculated risk kicks him in the
junk. So, like anybody about to get his timeclock punched, he decides
to contemplate his life in a way conducive to cinematic storytelling.
He thinks about the girl he married, the kids they spawned, and the
homoerotic showers he took with his fellow first responders.
plays more like a firefighter recruiting video with big production values.
It doesn’t flinch in showing that it’s not all towel-snapping in the
showers and practical jokes involving a firepole. It’s also getting
your ass burned off and a nagging wife complaining that she’s afraid
for your life while perpetually guilting you by using your kids as weapons
to meet her own ends.
actors trying to be as accurate as humanly possible (you know—with all
that fancy fireman talk that the average schlep who’s thinking about
getting around to buying that smoke detector won’t understand) while
filmmakers trying to make Ladder 49 look as dangerous as possible.
And this movie would be pretty good except for one problem.
BORING AS HELL!
story is so boring, it’s like watching a documentary that wouldn’t be
interesting to anyone who isn’t or doesn’t personally know a firefighter.
Ladder 49 goes for low blows by tugging at the heartstrings where
the story takes a break. From what I could tell, the story didn’t even
know that it got hired for the job in the first place, So it just depresses
you in a somewhat poignant way instead.
Phoenix is his usual unengaging self in his usual uninteresting role,
and as for John Travolta—I’m going to say what Johnny T doesn’t have
the grapes to say—SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP THIS MAN! PLEASE! This guy’s
used more “get out of jail free” cards in his career than a professional
monopoly player. Travolta’s been crying for help since Battlefield
Earth. For the last four years for crissakes! The man’s filing professional
bankruptcy—again. Tarantino—he needs your help. Does he need Sally Struthers
to do an infomercial for him to tell you? God!
been trying to figure out for the last few days if Shark Tale
works. Sure, it’ll work in its function—to make kids nag their parents
until they’re taken to see it, making the film’s producers and studio
millions in the process, not to mention whoever’s handling the merchandising.
That’ll happen no problem.
just trying to decide if a computer-animated kids’ movie with celebrity
voices that spoofs mafia movies like The Godfather and other
mob classics works. Sure, it’s a long overdue relief for parents and
others emotionally blackmailed into consistently seeing mind-numbing
kids’ movies. (They stop the biological clock! The herd’s starting to
thin out!) More than enough adult-oriented humor and references are
never a bad thing, but will the kids get it? Will they understand why
it’s appropriate that sharks are represented as gangster characters?
Will kids understand a movie that plays off of movies they won’t get
to see, let alone understand for at least another decade?
fact of the matter is that it probably won’t matter. Children’s entertainment
(with a few exceptions) has been mindless for years and even if they
don’t get it there’s enough eye candy and shiny things on the screen
that’ll leave them not caring. They’re like monkeys that way.
there’s the matter of distracting the audience with celebrity voices
when you know you don’t have a leg to stand on with the story. Jack
Black, Will Smith, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese, Angelina Jolie, and
Renee Zellwegger are real draws for kids lately. Why wasn’t Joseph Fiennes
in there somewhere?
only things I can say that aren’t tinged with venom about Shark Tale
is that some of the mob references were funny. Mostly it affirmed that
mob comedies by and large suck. It’s an even worse idea when it’s a
kids’ mob comedy, but I guess that they’re trying to keep adults amused
while a movie baby-sits their kids. And to keep the elders titillated
as well! That Angelina Jolie fish was hot! Somewhere else Shark Tale
may have hit the mark is that it may be the seed that spawns a whole
new generation of mob movie fans. Ya prick ya!