Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

Sept 7-Sept 21, 2005
Issue #83

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
   
Brown Nose
Buffalo News Endorses Mediocrity
Allan Uthman

Occupational Hazard
Why They Hate Us
Alexander Zaitchik

Lie of the Storm
No one could've predicted this, or something
Kit Smith
Joltin' Bolton
UN Ambassador as bad as you thought
Jeff Dean
Beast Calling!
A Tele-prayer with the 700 Club
(includes audio)

Area Man Remembers 9-11 Twice Daily
Ian Murphy

Point/Counterpoint
A debate on withdrawal

The BEAST BLOG
Buffalo in Briefs
The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime
Matt Taibbi
Page 3
Bills Season Preview
Ronnie Roscoe
Separated at Birth?
Beast-O-Scopes
Kino Korner: Movies
Voicemails
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

COMIX:
Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Transporter 2

In many cases, the most interesting thing about three quarters of all sequels is the backstory– the tale of how they were made. With The Last Picture Show, Peter Bogdonovich was two-timing his wife with his film’s star, Cybill Shepherd. Nine people died during the filming of The Exorcist. Spielberg allegedly had a nervous breakdown during the filming of Jaws. Things of that nature.

But the original Transporter movie was by all means a terrible movie.

Nothing at all to merit the succession of, let alone a second thought of the movie’s nearly nonexistent plot--onto which the well-choreographed action scenes its meaty mitts--ran out of gas in record time.

Eurotrash assassins and pasty waifs are bedazzled onto a pitstained v-neck of a plot. Hell, the scene where a greased-up & shirtless Jason Statham slides his way through a martial arts warehouse battle must be on the rotation for talk around the bathhouses, if you know what I mean.

Stick all that in a blender, let ‘er spin, then take a big gulp. You’ll be shitting recycled motor oil in twenty minutes. That’s how I felt the first and only time I saw The Transporter. Like I said before, after the plot gives out quicker than an overweight nymphomaniac, the rest of the movie was like a descent into pure unclouded madness. If you want to look at reasonably slick fight scenes, and can rationalize the torment of the scenes between the fights, then you’re into a soccer hooligan version of James Bond or a European Jet Li– which might be worth checking out if Guy Ritchie directed (He’s the guy that knocked up and married Madonna. Hasn’t done anything interesting since).

I remember silently cursing the doomed son of a bitch next to me for the last fifteen minutes of The Transporter when I sat in that dark and gloomy suburban theater three years ago. This was the same manchild who’d recommended this modern-day gem/proof that god does not exist for my viewing pleasure. He sat there with his eyes glued to the Jujube-encrusted screen and the subsequent madness displayed across it. He was drooling like a goddamned fool. Living proof that a human being could transform into an enormous donut. I forgot about the movie and my focus turned to different ways to give the rat bastard cretin his comeuppance. Chloroform, a snotty rag, and a luxurious trunk view ride to the country? Gash his Achilles tendon with my rusty penknife? Twist it around all mean-like. Or maybe get the big galoot drunk on a jug of cheap wine, knock him out on his ass with low-grade sulfides, then give the dummy that trunk ride to the country. Give the lummox a thing or two to think about in the morning. Or perhaps I should dose the fucker with a few hits of LSD, head for the country and act like I’m going to execute him. Smack him in the head and shout in his ear. Watch him twitch in ditch for a spell then laugh as I feed him a stack of flapjacks and watch him try and eat. Play Bone Machine at high volume and watch him twitch some more in a chair, encased in three rolls of duct tape just before dawn.

Sorry. I lost myself. The Transporter was straight to video material. I couldn’t believe this was playing in a theater that wasn’t on a community college campus. I think the point where I finally busted into howling laughter was when the Jonny Quest-like villain was on a bus and ordered his daughter dead for some reason or another. Interfering with his Master Plan, if vague memory serves.

But there’s the matter of the sordid mess that spawned Transporter 2. Luc Besson used to be a pretty good director before he began executive producing (putting up money and lending his name to) movies such as this. His director’s eye is better than his nose for picking out a decent project, and his whole world’s going to hell. Mr. Besson was also married to Milla Jovovich for a while too. So he lets one of the most beautiful women in the world go, and now he makes crappy movies. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who sees the constant and increasing signs of the apocalypse.

I see Besson whoring around L.A., banging anorexic wannabe supermodels, wrangling money out of bloated fatcat studio execs and ever-so-smoothly rationalizing the scenes in Amsterdam that he plans to work into a script that he hasn’t written a word of. Or maybe he’s diddling clammy and even skinnier European supermodels as he uses his financial savvy to milk some Euros out of French merchant bankers. Jason Statham, the movie’s star–the DeNiro to Ritchie’s Scorsese– can’t really afford to scoff at a paycheck (or an appearance in a movie playing in The States) while Ritchie is raising Madonna’s kids in a state of emasculated despondency.

With this in mind, Transporter 2 is the further adventures of shady ex-military who operates under the radar of European law. Don’t see it. See it. Do what you want. This is the kind of movie that you need to eat raw meat during, before, and after to maximize the experience. Wear a black turtleneck when you do. Or you could treat it like a blind date set up online. You could expect the worst thing ever– a behemoth with little to no social skills, a godawful birthmark the size of Rhode Island on the upper thigh that’ll make you wish to God your date would’ve worn a longer skirt. But expect nothing more! Don’t pay more than seventy-five cents to see this movie. And don’t bitch to me if you do.


The Constant Gardner

I recently read an interview with Matt Damon. He was talking about how movies/films have two lives. One life is where they end up years down the line after they come out. The second was what Damon referred to as “initial hype,” where you would hear about Damon’s buddy (and fellow Oscar Winner) Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez every week for six months. And that initial hype came from the set of their movie, Gigli. But then again, Harold and Maude was only in theaters for a week, too. They both bombed, but whatever.

I thought about that while I watched The Constant Gardener, except for the Affleck and Lopez crap. I think this film won’t see its due for a while. Some critics will dig it and a few nomadic tribes of film geeks will carry its torch alongside some demented activist nuts. Then there will be those who will buy it years later, just because it’s six bucks at Target.

But that’s my point. Will it be a film that you would actually buy for dirt cheap? One that you’ll get right away, if at all? I buy and sell online. You start growing aware of these sorts of things. The idea of not having to pay ridiculous prices for stuff, if you don’t mind waiting a week. Anyway, I think Gardener will find its audience after getting some acclaim, maybe a few awards, then let the good times roll on video.

Or a few years down the line. Modern day English Patient stuff mixed in with some conspiracy theorist shit. Shit’s getting too heavy anyhow. People going insane in the world. Watch Bush say something racist now. It will be madness. This country will officially become Apocaland. This country would turn into The Road Warrior if that man said something stupid right now.

But what I’m getting at here is that when life is grim in general, you don’t want to watch this type of thing that brings up internal ethical dilemmas within yourself. Watch Old School! Watch Zoolander or something. Zoolander came out like two weeks after 9/11 and helped get us smiling again and shit. The Constant Gardener needs to be in a closet fermenting somewhere right now in the worst way. Which is not to say that it’s a bad film. With the way things are, watching this film to escape reality would be like cheating on your wife with her doppelganger. I see no sense in it.

But what I want to say here is that if you watch this movie right now, your mind will turn into mush. Let it sit a while and come back to it later. Go and watch something like Nightmare Alley with Tyrone Power. It’s about carnival performers who get successful and eventually go mad and become... Ooohoohoohoohoo! You’ll just have to watch it to find out. It was done in the late ‘40s and a much different world. Watch Nightmare Alley now and hold out for awhile on The Constant Gardener. Crazy ass title, too.

So. Looks like summer’s up, hmm? Oh you are working Labor Day too, hmm? Yes, yes, I took it too. It should be quiet that day and we get another free day off later on. Oh you’re out of benefit time already? That blows, dude. Well those dames beat the shit out of you after you kept using them to hook up with their friends. You had ‘em all too, didn’t you? You little manwhore, you! Those chicks almost cut your dick off, fool! I don’t know what to tell you. And quit wearing your jammies to work, man! The ones you had on yesterday had giblet stains on ‘em. It’s getting nasty. Nasty, indeed...


The Brothers Grimm

Terry Gilliam is easily one of my favorite directors. You know, the only American who was in Monty Python, who started making brilliantly bizarre classics like Time Bandits, Brazil, and one of the best films ever made, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Not a dull moment in that film.

But if you know anything about Gilliam, you know that his ability to make incredible motion pictures is paralleled only by his ability to battle film studios. He fought Universal studios after they returned a cut of his film minus nearly an hour of Gilliam’s edit. He nearly walked off the set of 12 Monkeys. So I ask myself, why doesn’t the silly bastard just start producing his own stuff? But some guys can’t play guitar and sing, so that’s that.

But when watching The Brothers Grimm, it occurred to me that Gilliam just might be the sort of FREAK POWER MAD DOG that needed a leash. If this guy started making his own pictures instead of making them for studios, it’d be a mad house. A MADHOUSE!!!

I also came to this conclusion while being pulled apart in several different ways when I tried following the plot. They had this ghostbusting shit and all of these demented things going on that they turned into children’s stories. And they each drag you a different way that makes you feel like you’re drunk. I mean, I’m usually trashed in some way, shape, or form when I go to the movies anyway, but I’m into the BYOB philosophy of drinking at the movies. There’s never anywhere to put the keg anyway.

The Brothers Grimm is by no means the best thing that Gilliam’s done. He also went through this nightmare production of Don Quixote after Fear and Loathing and it might’ve knocked all the piss and vinegar out of him. The Brothers Grimm does very little to refute this theory.

Overall, I wasn’t completely disappointed with it. It acts more like a series of incredible images than a motion picture. It’s kind of like getting a randomly assembled Sunday paper–you have to fish around to make sense of it and by the time you make even the slightest bit of progress in putting it all together you no longer give a shit. What was intended to be a quiet Sunday morning becomes a fiasco.


The Cave

If you catch The Conan O’Brien Show on the right night, you’ll catch this bit where he pulls a red lever behind his desk and a scene from Walker, Texas Ranger shows on the screen for maybe thirty seconds. Terrible production, rotten acting, and abhorrent direction have a skanky lovefest on a single bed and these are the love stains left on the sheets. They’re pretty fun though. It’s like finding a fiver on the ground or getting something in the mail. Those Walker moments are just terrible, but they never overstay their welcome.

Then we’ve got The Cave. This movie shares in the same absurdity, but overstays its welcome once the theater lights go dark. Picture a cross between Aliens and Journey to the Center of the Earth. These biologists or something played by wannabe character actors and general hipster fucks go on some deep spelunking expedition where creatures that look like high yella Aliens start attacking. Then of course, some asswad assumes leadership over the small band of survivors after the creatures initially attack–finishing each order/statement with the word people. I can’t imagine anyone caring what happens after that.

Someone once told me that there’s nothing worse than a comedy that fails. I agree with that definitely being a terrible thing, but I think a horror movie that fails is worse. Both types of movies have a mammoth task ahead of them, either in making you laugh or quiver in fear. And it’s a real letdown when all you’re really doing is trying to catch the right light on your watch because you can’t wait for the end that can never, ever come soon enough. But the most interesting thing about a bad horror movie is that it rarely fails to make you laugh and bad comedies always seem to make you cringe.

So I decided to help those that wouldn’t really be scared while watching The Cave. I figured this would be a good assignment for Tom Maccio. I’ve mentioned a while ago that his kid gave Obi-Wan Kenobi a spit ‘n’ shine job in London some weeks back and Maccio hasn’t completely gotten over it. The fact that his kid hasn’t started washing his hand yet isn’t helping matters any, either. He’s starting to look like he belongs in Munch’s Scream. Picture a Charles Addams caricature of a Serpico-coiffed Italian sitting behind you in a movie theater. You get smacked in the back of the head during an allegedly suspenseful moment. You turn around and see a sight like that behind you–pinwheel eyes and all–and you’ll suddenly get your money’s worth.

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