Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

Issue #70    Buffalo's New Best Fiend       March 9th - March 23, 2005
FEATURES
METAL MAYHEM
Tumors for Sale
by Allan Uthman
ABOUT WHAT'S ON PAGE 7 - I'm Not Sorry
by Matt Taibbi
52 FUNNIEST THINGS
About the Upcoming Death of the Pope
by Matt Taibbi
STARVING THE BUFFALO
by Gabe Armstrong
SPOILER - AV Publisher Ruins Movie for WNY
MIDDLE AMERICA - Out of Step with Hollywood Values
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ISSUE#70 PDF FILE
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Separated At Birth
Straight Dope w/ Dr. Rotten
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[SIC] - Your Letters
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BEAST Movie Reviews
Be Cool

When Get Shorty came out, the movie to which Be Cool is a sequel, it worked damned well. It was one of those seemingly rare instances where so many things came into place and allow a certain magic to happen. John Travolta's career had just been reborn (again), a great cast and director had been lined up, and a great screenplay had come from a great novel. It's a lot like having the right ingredients for a really great beer.

So now here we are ten years later. Travolta hasn't put out a decent movie in a few years now and his career is about to spit out yet another death rattle. The cast is so contrived and unbelievable that it's almost like watching every episode of "The View" simultaneously.

It lacks all of the quirks that Get Shorty had and, worst of all, Be Cool violates my rule of sequels-if you wait more than five years to follow up, you shouldn't bother. If The Godfather and Star Wars can't pull it off, Travolta sure as shit isn't going to.

Be Cool allows me the opportunity to gloat victoriously. It's pretty much a rehash of Get Shorty which was plausible because a film buff/loan shark turned film producer was plausible. You could buy it, leave it at that and enjoy the film. But there's really no indication aside from his experience with dealing with gangsters as to why Travolta's character Chili Palmer would want anything to do with the record business. He meanders through the plot (or lack thereof), working the situations and ensuring that all will work out in the end.

And as for this big dance scene with Uma Thurman that's supposed to be the highlight of Be Cool, it's more like being at a dive in Cheektowaga on dingus day. It falls flatter than Debra Messing's chest.

Be Cool is a yawn and a snore all rolled into one. Oh sure, some of the actors have their moments, namely Vince Vaughn as the wigger manager who's entertaining for a few scenes before he decides to go over the top, but the crap-to-compensation ratio doesn't justify the price of a ticket. Get Shorty was like a really tasty India Pale Ale that you wanted to savor. Be Cool is like a metallic-tasting Coors that's made mostly out of three-year-old recycled beer.

One ½ stars
(Actor plays himself, likable thug, talented actor makes, wisecracking cartoon)

The Pacifier

If it wasn't abundantly clear that Vin Diesel was gunning for the title of Arnold, Jr., it's flat out obvious with The Pacifier.

It's a Kindergarten Cop knock-off where the human antelope plays a Navy SEAL protecting the family of a scientist who has invented an encryption key wanted by kidnappers/terrorists. (Oh my God! Can I say terrorists!?)

When Diesel came onto the scene, he made some smart choices. Saving Private Ryan and the underrated Boiler Room made the missing link hard to read. He looked like he was going somewhere. But as far as his career is concerned, quality was bested by quantity and now he's just fodder for the masturbatory fantasies of fat chicks with no taste and gay men who may or may not have taste. I've never had a penis in my mouth, so I can't comment on the comeliness of Mumbles the Jarneck.

What I can comment on is the fact that this was one of the most terrible movies ever conceived, let alone made. There's a scene where Diesel directs a school play and another where he battles girl scouts. And the whole obligatory warming-up-to-the-kids aspect of the story gets even more unbearable every time I see it.

If you know of a kid who wants to see this movie, you should tell them you'll take them to Disneyland instead. Drive to a burned down warehouse, and watch them cry. Let the little bastard off the hook after a few hours and tell them that's what they get for having no taste or sense.

No Stars
(Actor plays self, evil genius, simplistic, nauseatingly cute, glorification of law)

The Jacket

If there has to be one recurring theme in the film industry (and I know that there are many), it has to be that of rehashing. I think it was Keith Richards who once said something to the effect that there only being maybe seven original songs and everything else being a rip-off. The same is true of movies.

And the same is true of The Jacket. You've got a worn out, troubled military vet teetering on the line dividing reality and imagination.

Of course he falls into menacing situations that again, may or may not be real. Sounds a lot like the Tim Robbins film Jacob's Ladder to me.

Adrien Brody plays the emotionally mangled vet this time out, and he's actually good. He acts mostly with his scarecrow-like frame and longer-than-an-Oscar-ceremony face. And it's always a pleasure to see Kris Kristofferson, who shows up as a sadistic doctor, also with his weathered face. And as for highlights, that's about it. The Jacket bounces around like a superball on crystal meth with the time travel aspects of the plot and it tries really hard not to annoy, but quits attempting sooner than later.

You yourself can achieve what The Jacket tries to succeed in with some cheap cold medications and three bottles of MD 20/20 on an empty stomach. If you're up for some somewhat solid performances, it's worth checking out, but if you're looking for some genuine scares, keep looking.

Two Stars
(Impossible science, special effects, mind fuck, talented actor)

Man of the House
The type of film that an actor stars in is usually a pretty good indication as to where they're at in their own personal life and/or career. If someone's in something of quality, you can tell that things are probably going well for them. Common sense, right?

It also works the other way, too. If an actor does something that shows promise (or at least they think it shows promise) and it turns out to be a Gigli or an Ishtar, it may not apply, but when you open an envelope with a script in it and it smells like someone mailed you a piece of gopher shit, you have no excuse. Or you need to money.

Bad.

Watching Man of the House, all I could think and wonder was WHY? Why would an actor who has proven that he is definitely adept at his craft star in a movie about a twitchy Texas ranger who has to protect five cheerleaders that witness a murder? Now I tell you the plot, and you think that the ranger will become less spastic and the cheerleaders will each go through some sort of issues like bulimia, emotional abandonment, and popularity through promiscuity.

I knew the score before I walked into the theater. I have no one to blame but myself. I've been down this road, people. I've stared into the abyss and sat so close to it that I felt its icy breath in my face. And it gave me a look that chills me to this very day.

If you haven't figured out how I feel about this movie or what I think about it, let me put it this way-if someone were to force me to watch this Man of the House or plummet several hundred feet to my death, I'd probably watch the movie. That's just kind of dumb. But I would smash whoever made me watch it right in the mouth once the credits rolled.

No Stars
(Actor plays himself, evil genius, simplistic epiphany, glorification of law, likable thug, talented actor makes, noble retard)

Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Dear Darren Grant, director of Diary of a Mad Black Woman,

You are my hero. I don't know how you did this sir, but you have earned my undying respect.

Yet one question remains:

How did you do it? How in the hell did you convince a studio to give you an obscene amount of money with the intention of artistically wiping your ass with it? Did they know right away that you were going to fuck them over or did you wait until the first screening to surprise them?

You're a first time director and you have opened a door for other first timers trying to get their foot in the door. You have allowed them in their pitch to say, "It won't be Diary of a Mad Black Woman."

P.S. You are going to put the alternate ending on the DVD when it comes out, right? The one where Ashton Kutcher pops onto the frame and tells the audience they just got Punk'd?

No Stars

(Mind fuck, chick flick, dramatic embellishment)

Cursed

This film's title refers not to some sort of affliction to the movie's characters, but rather to the wallet of anyone who forked over money or spent time on it.

Or to the industry that allowed this movie to be made.

Cursed is directed by Wes Craven, which leads you to believe that it's going to be scary, even if it's not that good, but it's not either. Cursed could have been good, but the emasculation of the movie in order to get a PG-13 rating has sacrificed its content.

It's a copy & paste version of Scream (even to the point of sticking a "Happy Days" cast member in there), minus the balls. I had my suspicions that it was going to suck, so I wasn't that disappointed when it actually delivered in that respect. But the thing that did disturb me about this movie was how sickly Christina Ricci is looking. The once lovely and voluptuous angel has caught the skank bug and is now wasting away.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue...

No stars
(talented actor makes bad, noble retard)

 
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