Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

August 10 - 24, 2005
Issue #81

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
   
The BEAST 25 Most Loathsome Buffalonians
Queen City Loathing
 

Legislative Juice
Palmiero Charged for War Crimes
Matt Taibbi

 
Here Comes the Sun
But it's Not All Right
Alexander Zaitchik
 
A Mighty Wind
Green Power Threatens Corporations
Kit Smith
 

Tough All Over
Upstate Sucks; No One Cares

Shawn Ewald

 

Ohio Player
An Interview with Rep. Sherrod Brown
Matt Taibbi

 
FAUX-TURES

Bush Names New Planet "Little Arbusto"
N Sorrentl

 

God Hates Boy Scouts
Scott Wagner

The BEAST Blog
Buffalo in Briefs
The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime
Page 3
Separated at Birth?
Beast-O-Scopes
Kino Korner: Movies
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

COMIX:
Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Kino Korner: Movie Reviews by Michael Gildea

The Dukes of Hazzard

There are a few different kinds of people who will go to see The Dukes of Hazzard. You will see those who just want to see a dumb action movie that will allow them to be declared legally braindead for a better part of two hours and don’t want to have any semblance of a thought after paying way too much for their ticket. There’s also the type of person who will see this movie as a celebration of Americana. You know, the fun-lovin’, Coors-drinkin’ good ol’ boy who lives to perpetuate stereotypes and has a good-lookin’ cousin. Then we’ve got the third type of person, who goes to this kind of flick for the sole purpose of laughing at the other two types of people.

When asked about The Dukes of Hazzard, the movie version of the early-‘80s TV show about two cousins who are almost always feuding with the law, star Johnny Knoxville replied that the movie’s “just an excuse to blow shit up and look at Jessica [Simpson]’s legs.” You’ve got to admire the man’s honesty, if not his film choices. Knoxville started to show some brains when he stopped getting the shit beat out of himself on MTV and hanging with white trash skate rats who got surprisingly rich off their lack of common sense (who am I kidding? I’d have been in on that show in an instant). But when he actually started making movies, none of them were actually any good.

So let’s consider the source of Hazzard. The show was about two guys who did odd jobs around town and drove around in a hot orange car with a confederate flag painted on the roof. There was also this weird incestuous thing going on with their hot cousin Daisy and their pale yet leathery Uncle Jesse. There was always some fussin’ and a feudin’ going on with Boss Hogg and the local law, and Daisy was always the one to figure out how to save the day.

The actual movie is like a 90-minute infomercial for the current white trash chic movement. It flaunts moonshine, bad fashion, and NASCAR (does the whole word really need to be capitalized?), while saying absolutely nothing. And it’s all done in hopes of keeping trucker hat sales from plummeting.

Then we’ve got the latest in an ongoing series of dumpy-hot southern belle pop singers with Jessica Simpson, who plays Daisy. You know Daisy. The smart one. Jessica Simpson as the smart one. Come on! Casting-wise, that’s right on par with casting Keanu Reeves as the guy with too much information in his head in Johnny Mnemonic. Then we’ve got the matter of Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse and Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg. I know the world’s gone to hell since their heyday, but has it really gotten this bad? Well, I just saw a commercial for Maxwell House with NASCAR Nascar guys singing the Madness song “Our House.” So I guess it has.

So. You’ve got Stifler and Johnny Knoxville in a Down Home Hee Haw White Trash shitty mud puddle of a southern cesspool with Jessica Simpson. And the two guys who should really be ashamed of themselves for thinking of making this movie, let alone actually starring in it. If that’s your bag, today’s your day! Everyone is so arousingly filmed in this movie that if you’re turned on by even one of them, you’ll be passed out for days after perpetually pleasuring yourself at the very thought of them. You’ll be dangerously dehydrated and look years younger. So if you want to see a terrible movie or try out a new beauty secret, go see Dukes of Hazzard.


Stealth

I remember seeing the preview for Stealth right after this year’s Oscars ceremony. The Guy Who Got His Ass Kicked By The Hulk (Josh Lucas), That Hot Girl Who Was In The Chainsaw Massacre And The Last Blade Movie That Was Okay (Jessica Biel), and The Guy Who Just Won The Oscar For Ray And Was Up For Another One For Collateral (Jamie Foxx) are hotshot fighter pilots who have to take out an evil, artificially intelligent state-of-the-art jet fighter that’s threatening to destroy the world. I also remember thinking that Jamie Foxx must have made this movie before he got that Oscar. 

Based on the plot, it goes without saying that we’re looking at the typical summer action blockbuster based almost entirely on computer-generated visual effects. This practice will usually entice filmgoers the same way that shiny things attract newborn babies or fully grown chimpanzees. You know the recipe for this kind of gig: a lot of fighting, a little sauce, and a villain with a creepy robotic voice that really wants to be HAL. Stir and let sit in an air conditioned theater for a better part of two hours. Don’t eat a big meal beforehand, bring your lowest expectations, and you might even enjoy it.

Yeah. So how’s your summer so far? Oh, you’ve got a picture of her in your camera phone? Yeah, she’s nice! Oh, you hit that shit already? Good for you! Good for you. And you say your ex’s best friend is calling you up, too? Well, what the hell else could she want to do at two in the morning? Well, you’re young. You could pull it off. Why not try and hit them both? I would if I were your age again. Enjoy it now, man; it’s going to be gone someday.

Well I’ve got pictures of two of my dogs. And one of my cats. Yeah. He is a cute little guy, isn’t he? We call him Kitten...


March of the Penguins

To cleanse the pallet of the usual crap that gets splattered across the screen every summer, a fresh breeze in the form of an animal documentary will come to shoo away the landfill smell usually exclusively found at the multiplexes. 

So this year, we’ve got March of the Penguins, the result of French filmmaker Luc Jacquet’s 13-month visit to Antarctica on the trail of emperor penguins. If you’ve seen Animal Planet or and episode of “Nature” on PBS, you know that there’ll be a lot of single-file walking, some rat-bastard leopard seals, and baby penguins standing on their mother’s feet as they learn to walk. And a lot of cute shit as they just might sing that song from the Mentos commercial with all of those birds.

It’s pretty straightforward, but you don’t ever quite get sick of it. The Americanized version, now in theaters, features narration by everyone’s favorite Cookie Crisp Syndrome victim, Morgan Freeman. Aside from the damned seals and possibility of freezing to death, the whole thing lends to a very soothing experience. And you can take kids to see it and not have to worry about having to buy a March of the Penguins kids value meal at a fast food chain on the way home. Plus the kids may actually learn something. Maybe if the kid I keep locked in my basement behaves, I’ll take him to see it.

I understand that the French version didn’t have Freeman’s narration. Instead I’m told it had “whimsical” narration by French adults making kiddie voices for some of the main penguins. For once, I can say that the Americanized version sounds better than the original. Who knows; maybe I’ll torment myself if the French language track is available on the DVD.

March of the Penguins is sure to please, regardless of whether you take the extra ten minutes in the parking lot or not. But just to give you the heads up, bring the Kleenex or a dry hanky. You’re probably going to need it.


Must Love Dogs

If you’ve ever gone to the pound, you’ll usually see a lot of different kinds of dogs. You’ll see the kind that are great with kids and other dogs. You’ll find the ones that are happy as all hell to see you. There’s also the dogs that know how to play the game of getting adopted when people show up and are just generally friendly, or very, very smart.

Then you’ve got the dogs on death row. They’ve got bad rap sheets. They projectile shit when you bring them out of their cage, pissing all over the place and whining because they’re nervous as all hell. If you’re anything like me, this is the one that you take home, because you know this is the sorry bastard’s last chance before he goes in for The Big Sleep.

But movies are not like dogs, because no matter how boring they may be, like a golden retriever or a purebred cocker spaniel, dogs are generally good-natured slobs that’ll love you no matter what. Movies don’t do that.

Metaphorically speaking, bad movies do gnaw on your furniture, piss on your floor, bust into your room and trash the place out of boredom. Wait—that was a bad point, because I do all of those things in a theater when I see a boring or bad movie. Never mind.

Must Love Dogs is the traditional date movie template that involves an almost comically embittered divorcee whose meddling family (that’s just plain wacky!) wants to see her get “back into the game,” maybe more than she does! I don’t know about you, but my sides are splitting already! So she winds up meeting this really nice guy online after a series of comic mishaps. Will our heroine get past her damage and finally find happiness or will her despondency get the better of her, sending her into a downward spiral of Oprah, magnetic ribbons for her fuel efficient mini-SUV, and a steady diet of contemporary female singer/songwriters that write albums about their children?

Must Love Dogs is like that dog you see at the pound that you can tell right off the bat is going to need a lot of attention. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the dog who sits in a crate all day. But the good news is that, unlike a dog, a movie had no feelings. Sometimes they instill feelings, but most of them are actually dead inside. Just dead.

Leave Must Love Dogs at the pound unless you’re the kind of person who likes that kind of dog. Then you can start buying it sweaters and other stupid outfits when the weather gets colder and feeding it food out of your mouth…you goon.

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