Archive for January, 2009

Fuck The Fat Man

Posted in Movies on January 27, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

Ladies and Gentleman, PAUL BLART:MALL COP has been the number one movie in America two weeks in a row. This is horrible and despicable. Before this, GRAN TORINO was the number one movie. I was hoping that would start a new trend of worthy films being in the number one spot. I am so naive.

You were really that anxious to see this?!mall_cop_segway

What the fuck is wrong with you America? Haven’t you been paying attention to politics? Don’t you all know that ‘CHANGE’ has come to America? Apparently not. Because you’re still going to see the same dip-shit, mind-numbing, vomit inducing garbage that you always go to see.

To be fair, I haven’t seen PAUL BLART: MALL COP. Nor will I ever see PAUL BLART: MALL COP. The title alone makes me want to stab myself in the eye. So, How can I be so angry about it? How can I be so sure it is bad? Simple: Just look at the title. Does that sound like a good movie at all?

To go one step further, I actually have seen PAUL BLART: MALL COP about seventy thousand times. And to prove it, I will tell you the plot of the entire movie. Ready? Here we go:

Paul Blart is a fat, lazy oaf who desperately wants to be a real cop, but he is far too obese and is constantly failing the physical challenges. We have a cute montage of Paul tripping, falling off his rope, getting stuck in the tire field, and winding up covered in mud to illustrate this point. We then meet Paul’s daughter. She’s very young and precocious and has dialogue that is far too intelligent for any child. Paul’s wife is not in the picture. They’re probably divorced because he is too fat, or for some other arbitrary reason. Paul wants his daughter to respect him, so he proudly goes to career day at her school (my school never had one of those by the way) to explain what it is like to be a Mall Cop. Her classmates make fun of him, which causes the daughter to cry and Paul to be very upset. And he probably falls flat on his face at some point. Cut to Paul at the mall, where he is ridiculed by everyone around him, falls on his fat face about fifty more times, and then suddenly the mall is taken hostage by terrorists. Almost everyone gets out, except Paul of course. Maybe because he is too fat to run or maybe because he wants to prove his worth. Or maybe both. The real cops show up outside, while Paul struggles to save the day. In this process he falls on his fat face about sixty more times. The cops outside find a ludicrous way to get in touch with Paul and for some mind-numbing reason try to help him save the day. Paul foils witless villain after witless villain and uses some arbitrary skill that was mentioned in the movie’s first five minutes to help him do this. His daughter may or may not be taken hostage as well. If she is, Paul saves her and the entire mall. Yay! Cut to Paul being made into a real police officer, despite still being an obese oaf, and his daughter sitting front row applauding him with that oh-so-cute smile on her face. Paul falls flat on his face while walking off the stage. Credits.

See? I have seen this movie.  So have you.  So why did you make it the number one movie two mother fucking weeks in a row?  Is it because you think Keven James is funny? That must be it.

This man is shitfatty3

Ok, Let me clear this up for you.  Kevin James is not funny.  He is a fat, untalented, ugly, cocksucking oaf who never deserves to even be mentioned with the likes of John Candy or John Belushi.  Hell, you know what? This motherfucker shouldn’t even be mentioned with Horatio Sanz.

His sitcom THE KING OF QUEENS was all ‘sit’ and no ‘com’.  It was about stupid, spiteful people being stupid and spiteful towards each other.  No wonder he and Ray Romano are friends.  And no he was not funny in HITCH.  Apparently, all a fat guy has to do is dance like a fucking retarded monkey and suddenly he is a comedy genius. 

Hey Will Smith! Look at me dance!hitch_3

John Candy and John Belushi were funny because they created characters that would have been funny even if they weren’t fat guys.  Their characters were original, sharp and funny comic creations.  The weight was just an added bonus.  These guys were all about their characters.   Kevin James is all about being fat.  That’s it.  That’s all he’s got.  He’s a fat guy who falls on his face.  End of story.

Ladies and Gentleman, Fuck the fat man.  Fuck him right in his big hairy fat ass.  If this movie is the number one movie next weekend, I’m hunting Kevin James down, hauling him to a plastic surgeon and sucking all of that fat that he calls talent out of every single cell of his body.

Thank you.

Oscar! Oscar!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

The 2008 Academy Award Nominations are in and, as usual, they’re a mixed bag.  It seems like every year, Oscar makes a big leap forward with some wild nominations but then sticks its head right back up it’s ass and takes two leaps backwards. 

Oscar suffers from short term memory (Hardly anything before November is ever nominated), a terrible desire to please (People are always nominated because it’s their turn, never because they actually deserve it), and the show itself is always five hours too long.  Because we only really give a shit about eight categories.  You film geeks can whine about how important editing and cinematography are, but when the show’s on, you’re waiting to see who wins best actor just like the rest of us, so shut the fuck up.

Hugh Jackman is hosting this year and that has me a bit perplexed.  Call me a purist, but I like my Oscar Ceremony to be hosted by a wise-ass.  I thought Jon Stewart was great and was hoping that they would go nuts and ask Stephen Colbert to do it this year.  But alas, Hugh Jackman it is.  Let’s hope we get more of the WOLVERINE Hugh Jackman and less of the BOY FROM OZ Hugh Jackman.  If it’s the latter, we’re in for an endless night of mind-numbing dance numbers and putrid songs.  Blow my fucking head off.  Then again, if it’s the former, the whole night might just be a shameless plug for WOLVERINE, which, lets all face it, looks like ASS.

Anyway, here are the only nominations that people actually care about:

BEST PICTURE

MILK

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

FROST/NIXON

THE READER

First: WHERE THE HELL IS THE GODDAMN DARK KNIGHT?!!! 

Second: FUCK YOU BENJAMIN BUTTON! YOU OVER-RATED SENTIMENTAL SLOP!

Third: Nice to have you here, SLUMDOG, MILK and FROST/NIXON.  You all deserve your nomination and I would be pleased if any of the three of you win.  Though, I’ll have to go with SLUMDOG as the best choice.

Last: Huh? The Reader? How did that get here?

BEST ACTOR

Richard Jenkins-THE VISITOR

Mickey Rourke-THE WRESTLER

Sean Penn-MILK

Frank Langella-FROST/NIXON

Brad Pitt-THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Yay Richard Jenkins!!! Of all the categories, I am most pleased with the choices for this one.  Mickey Rourke seems like the favorite to win, but Penn or Langella could take it away.  I’d rather see it go to Langella simply because Penn has won before and I get bored when Oscar repeats itself.  Nominating Richard Jenkins is fantastic.  He has no chance to win, but the fact that he got nominated (The movie came out last April) is a nice leap forward for Oscar.  The only thing that sucks is that Brad Pitt gets nominated for wearing make-up.  Nevermind the fact that he was much better this year in BURN AFTER READING.  Still, this is a solid selection.  And did I mention, Yay Richard Jenkins!!!

BEST ACTRESS

Kate Winslet-THE READER

Meryl Streep-DOUBT

Anne Hathaway-RACHEL GETTING MARRIED

Melissa Leo-FROZEN RIVER

Angelina Jolie-CHANGELING

Uh…kind of an odd selection.  Didn’t Winslet win Best Supporting Actress for the same role at the Golden Globes? Nevermind. I hope Streep doesn’t win for the same reason I hope Penn doesn’t.  Melissa Leo is a pleasant surprise.  I’ve been a fan of hers since HOMICIDE.  Fuck Angelina Jolie though.  Did Oscar nominate her just because they nominated her husband as well? Did they not want the skinny nutball to feel left out?  The real shame here is that Oscar left Emily Mortimer out for TRANSSIBERIAN.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Heath Ledger-THE DARK KNIGHT

Robert Downey Jr.-TROPIC THUNDER

Josh Brolin-MILK

Phillip Seymour Hoffman-DOUBT

Michael Shannon-REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Well, who do you think is going to win this one? Gee, I wonder.  Ledger has been a shoe-in since he died last year, despite the actual movie still being six months away from coming out.  I’m sorry, Ledger was great but Aaron Eckhart gave the movie its soul and it sucks that he has been completely overshadowed by a dead guy.  If Ledger was still alive, he might not have even been nominated.  Call me crazy, but I think we should give awards to live actors, not corpses.  I would love to see Downey Jr. win this one.  There may have been better performances throughout the year, but none more fun.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis-DOUBT

Amy Adams-DOUBT

Taraji P. Henson-THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Penelope Cruz-VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA

Marisa Tomei-THE WRESTLER

This is going to Viola Davis.  She deserves it too.  And that is that.

BEST DIRECTOR

David Fincher-THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Gus van Sant-MILK

Ron Howard-FROST/NIXON

Stephen Daldry-THE READER

Danny Boyle-SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

I think it will go to Boyle, but who knows? The main thing is that Christopher Nolan’s name belongs here.  The year that Oscar finally decides to embrace indie films is the year an amazing mainstream movie like THE DARK KNIGHT comes out.  Silly Oscar, always a year behind.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

WALL-E

BOLT

KUNG FU PANDA

Personally, I hate this fucking category.  If an animated film is truly that good (as WALL-E is), then it should be nominated for Best Picture.  Instead, the great animated films get sequestered with whatever other two animated movies got decent reviews and did well at the box office. ASS.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Eric Roth, Robin Swicord-THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

John Patrick Shanley-DOUBT

Peter Morgan-FROST/NIXON

David Hare-THE READER

Simon Beaufoy-SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

I hope Peter Morgan takes this one, but it will proabably go to Beaufoy and that’s perfectly suitable too. 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Courtney Hunt-FROZEN RIVER

Martin McDonaugh-IN BRUGES

Mike Leigh-HAPPY-GO-LUCKY

Dustin Lance Black-MILK

Andrew Staton, Jim Reardon, Pete Doctor-WALL-E

See? WALL-E gets a screenplay nomination but isn’t considered for Best Picture.  B.S.  I really hope McDonaugh takes this one.  IN BRUGES is completely shut out otherwise and it is one of the year’s very best films.

Well, that’s it.  For a complete list of nominations, go somewhere else.  I’m not providing a link.  They’re all over every damn web page out there.  And tune in at the end of March to see how it all turns out.  And to see if Hugh Jackman is going to dance with his shirt off.  Lord, I hope not.

 

 

 

 

 

The Last House On The Left: A Good Remake?!! Uh…Maybe.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 17, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

last20house20on20the20left20poster

First of all, don’t you just love that cheesy 70’s poster?  So many horror flicks from that decade used the infamous ‘it’s only a movie’ tag line (DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, SUSPIRIA), but if I’m not mistaken, it was LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT that started that trend.  And I do believe that it is the only one of those movies where the tagline was accurate.

The film that put Wes Craven and Sean ‘Friday the 13th’ Cunningham on the map is a disturbing, sickening, nasty little movie.  But that is not necessarily a bad thing.  A loose (very loose) remake of Ingmar Bergman’s THE VIRGIN SPRING, it tells the story of two college girls who are abducted by a trio of murderers.  They are then raped repeatedly, humiliated (one girl is forced to urinate all over herself), and murdered.  The killers knock on a nearby house for refuge and encounter a kindly middle aged couple who offer them a room for the night.  Little do the killers know that these people are the parents of one of the girls they murdered.  Once the parents figure out who their guests are, they go about killing the culprits off in ways even more horrific than what they did to the girls.

Not fun at all to sit through.  The film, nevertheless, is extremely effective and riveting.  There are moments of such absolute terror that even thinking about them is making me cringe as I write this.  FUNNY GAMES actually reminds me quite a bit of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT.  Both movies are disturbing as hell, but you cannot take your eyes off them.  Craven lived in a turbulent time and was heavily affected by the violence that he saw on the evening news.  His film is a pure depiction of violence that condemns those who watch movies like this for sick pleasure. Also very similar to FUNNY GAMES.

Another Great Poster

lasthouseontheleft2

When I heard it was being remade, I wasn’t exactly surprised, so much as befuddled.  Apparently, Hollywood is planning on remaking every horror and exploitation film they can get their hands on.  I’ve liked a few of the remakes (DAWN OF THE DEAD, HILLS HAVE EYES), but most are absolute dogshit (HALLOWEEN, THE OMEN, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE).  And it won’t be long before we get a SUSPIRIA remake and a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake.  Oh, I can’t wait for those.  Still, I understand the remakes.  The kids who loved these movies when they came out are now working at major studios and want to see big-budget versions of cheap flicks.  They can make new franchises out of old characters and maybe even revitalize the original ones a bit.  It makes sense. But, why this one? It’s not fun, It’s not really even a horror movie.  There are no oppurtunities for a sequel.  What could people get out of it?

Then  I thought some more and a new idea occured to me.  The original is not fun at all, but a remake could be: If it was nothing more than a balls to the wall revenge flick.  We didn’t cheer the parents on in the original; they frightened us just as much as the killers.  A remake should make them sympathetic and focus on their desire to punish these killers for what they did.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a good revenge story? 

The trailer hit a few days ago and it’s looking pretty promising.  Garret Dilahunt (Deadwood, No Country For Old Men) is an excellent choice for the lead killer and I like that there are now four instead of three.  That just means more blood-soaked vengeance.  Tony Goldwyn is also very good casting as the father.  That guy is always interesting to watch.  Not so much for Monica Potter as the mother, but maybe she’ll surprise me.

If you’ve seen the original, you’ll notice a dramatic difference in tone.  It just doesn’t look like it has any desire to be as disturbing as the original.  It looks much more like it just wants to be a bloody, mean little revenge story.  Granted, this could be a bad thing, but I think it’s a wise move.  There is no way a remake could capture the fierce intensity of the original. 

The New Killerslasthousefirst

A lot of people are complaining that this trailer gives away too much of the plot, but with a story like this, how could it not? Also, I think they’re assuming that most of us have seen the original and just want to see how they’ve spruced it up.  The trailer gives away just enough to wet my appetite.

Goldwyn and Potterlasthouse-goldwyn

Anyway, I’m babbling too much.  Check out the trailer at the bottom and see for yourself.  The flick hits theaters on March 13 and I will be standing in line.  I might be disappointed: the whole thing could just be tedious and if it tries too hard to be the original, we’re going to have a big problem.  But, it’s the New Year and I’m being optimistic.

P.S. I think half the reason I like this trailer so much is because of that sweet Guns and Roses cover. Very Nice.

SCALPED: The Saving Grace

Posted in Comics, Uncategorized on January 16, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

scalped-cover

It takes a lot for me to read a comic these days. There was a time, not too long ago, when I was reading more comics than I could account for. If I wasn’t reading at least three new comics a night, I was doing something wrong. Each one I read seemed original and exciting. The art form itself was what kept me coming back for more. I discovered comics late in life and when I finally did, I was like a six-year old kid in a candy store. I wanted everything.

Time has passed and the novelty has worn off.  I also ran out of exciting series to read.  Don’t get me wrong, I treasure comic books.  But for me to read a comic these days I need it to be on the level of SANDMAN or PREACHER or 100 BULLETS.  Unfortunately, those truly great series are few and far between and I just can’t get myself as excited about comics as I used to be.

Azzarello’s 100 BULLETS100_bullets_74_1024x768

 

Also, super-hero comics don’t really interest me at all.  Sure, I’ll read the occasional Batman book, but only if I like the writer or if it elevates the material (Loeb’s THE LONG HALLOWEEN, Azzarello’s JOKER, Morrison’s ARKHAM ASYLUM) and I loved every PUNISHER comic that Garth Ennis wrote, particularly the MAX series.  But after Ennis left the PUNISHER, I found myself giving the first non-Ennis issue a try and being able to stomach no more than two pages.

Azzarello’s Jokerjoker

In my humble opinion, super-hero comics are outdated.  These characters are better suited to the big screen these days (and they frequently don’t even work there).  The problem with the super-hero comics is that they are completely self-contained and self-referential.  They are not connected to the real world in any way and are basically soap operas with lots of elaborate fights.  I mean, who really cares what X-MEN character secretly had a child or was really another character’s father all along?  That stuff isn’t interesting.  It’s just cheesy, cartoon melodrama. 

Super-hero comics also generally ignore the importance of good artwork and the crucial relationship between artist and writer.  Too often, the artwork is bland and obvious and the story (Dr. Doom invades Reed Richard’s wedding to Susan Storm!) can rarely support it.  I have no interest in Marvel’s Civil War or any of the D.C. crossovers.  If I want to see if  Iron Man could kick Captain America’s ass, I’ll pull out some of my old action figures and answer the question myself.  That’s what super-hero comics have become: Action Figure Games for Unimaginative Children.

18078-106040-1-new-x-men-vol-2_400Who the fuck cares?

If I sound harsh towards comics, I apologize.  I do not mean to be.  Comic Books are wonderful, but I love movies too and that does not stop me from pissing all over them when they deserve it (Caligula).  For me, the best place for solid, thoughtful comic books is on D.C.’s Vertigo line.  Vertigo gave us SANDMAN, PREACHER, THE INVISIBLES, 100 BULLETS, TRANSMETROPOLITAN and countless others.  It is often referred to as the HBO of comics and that is fairly accurate.  Vertigo is always violent, sexy, disturbing, and imaginative.  Or at least, it always tries to be.

Magnificentpreacherdixiefriedtp_op_390x600

I say that because recently even Vertigo has been disappointing me.  Certain series that I truly enjoyed when I began them have either grown stale (Y:THE LAST MAN) or been cancelled (THE EXTERMINATORS).   Also, Vertigo is trying far too hard these days to be topical.  There are more war and terrorism themed comics on the shelves than anyone has time for.  I have no problem with a comic trying to make a point, but when it beats you over the head, it becomes frustrating.  Especially when Movies and TV shows can makes the same points with much more subtlety.  Comics should be subversive and challenging when they try to reflect the world we live in.  PREACHER is a brilliant example of that.  Garth Ennis was so over the top with his critique of religion that every dig he gave to the Catholic Church felt more scathing than anything a Pulitzer-prize winning play could say.  Vertigo is just too eager to take the easy way out and as a result I have stopped reading a lot of their series.

Now, with all that being said, I am reading SCALPED.    It has all the violence, sex, tortured heroes, and sympathetic villains that we have come to expect from Vertigo, but it is so much more.  It’s a Shakespearean tragedy, a gritty crime story, a feast for the eyes, a touching drama, a harsh criticism of the world we live in and it has more devious twists and turns than the most crooked road.  SCALPED is a miracle.

scal-cv14_solicit

It took me awhile to actually pick up SCALPED.  Vertigo originally billed it as a ‘Sopranos style crime drama’.  That barely scratches the surface.  SCALPED is such a moral labyrinth it makes The Sopranos look like a sitcom.  As the series begins, we are introduced to Dashiell Bad Horse (pictured above), a troubled young man who has just returned home to the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation after years abroad.  Dash is lucky enough to get a job from the local crime boss, Lincoln Red Crow, as a deputy.  Red Crow is the de-facto ruler of  ‘The Rez’.  He owns the police department, runs whorehouses, controls the drug supply, and is preparing for the grand opening of a brand new Casino.  It doesn’t take long for the reader to discover that Dash is an undercover FBI agent whose chief job is to bring down Red Crow.  Chosen because of his connection to the Rez and his tough as nails demeanor, he is caught between a rock and a very hard place.

Contrived? You bet.  But it serves the story and allows for series creator Jason Aaron to place his protagonist in one terrible situation after another where whatever decision he makes will be a bad one.  If 100 BULLETS is traditional noir, then SCALPED can be described as a kind of Neo-Noir.  It’s characters live in the shadows and are constantly making that terrible mistake that causes everything to go wrong.  It feels new because of that wonderful location (The Rez) and because of its modern sensibilities.

scalp_cv13

The Rez itself is a delightful and disgusting location.  Filled with cheap brothels, dirty bars, gangs with piercings on almost every part of their body, back-alleys, and a few good people scattered amongst the run down houses.  It reminds one of the worst ghetto, but I guarantee you, you’ve never seen a ghetto this filthy.  Everywhere.  The characters wear dirt like a second skin.  At the center of it all is that Casino, The Crazy Horse.  Massive, gorgeous, brand new, not a speck of dirt to be found on any of its slot machines or card tables.  A fresh cherry atop a pile of steaming shit.  Also, Aaron never lets us  forget the history of the place.  This is a land that has been fought over and shit on for centuries and it is a terror to see what it has become.   

However, the real strength of SCALPED is found in its characters.  Dash is a terrific morally ambiguous hero.  For much of the series, his true motivations remain unclear.  He hates the Rez with fiery passion, but feels drawn back to the place anyway.  He has never identified with his mother (Gina Bad Horse, another predominant figure on the Rez, but I’ll get to her in a little while) or with his heritage.  He’s such a bitter, angry soul that it is somewhat of a miracle that Aaron is able to makes us care about him as much as we do.  It helps that he is a righteous, fucking, bad-ass.  Sporting a pair of nun-chucks and an unbelievable persistence to keep on fighting, he would give Vic Mackey and Jack Bauer a nice kick in the ass.

Better still is Chief Lincoln Red Crow.  When we first meet him, he comes off as a horrific monster.  We cannot wait for Dash to bust his ass, but as the series moves forward, he is revealed to be a much more complex figure.  In the 60’s, he was an activist, working hand in hand with Dash’s mother, for the rights of their people.  But, of course, several terrible things happened and he ultimately chose to save his people in the only way he knew how: money.  His Casino became his dream and he did whatever was necessary to see that dream come to fruition.  When the Casino opens, he watches as the fights break out and as more and more blood is spilled he realizes that he has not saved anyone.  He is damned, and he knows it.  I hope as the series continues that this will make his actions more and more erratic because he is a man with a code, but if that code breaks down…well, who knows what Aaron will come up with?

 

A tangled web they weave

tangled-web

Then there’s FBI Special Agent Nitz, Dash’s boss.  There is not a single panel that contains Nitz where he is not smoking a cigarette.  He has his own reasons for wanting to bring Red Crow down and could care less if Dash gets killed in the process.  Aaron makes it clear that he is the guy with all the secrets.  Another intriguing character is Catcher, also a former activist.  He worked with Red Crow and Gina Bad Horse too in the sixties but has since taken to liquor.  He narrates a good portion of the series and believes to be receiving messages from the spirit-world.  He also believes he can see people’s ‘animal totems’ and artist R.M. Guera makes most of them look simply terrifying.  He’s a drunk too, so this provides some good old-fashioned humor.

But even funnier is the character of Diesel Engine.  A seven-foot tall muscular lug who claims to be one-sixteenth Kickapoo.  He constantly refers to himself as a true ‘Native-American’, despite his very white skin and long blond hair.  Ridiculed as a boy, he has become a hulking monster to compensate and has thrust himself into the Rez’ drug community.  He and Dash fight throughout and Diesel is short on brains, but he (like everyone in this series) has more than a few secrets for us to discover.

Gina Bad Horse provides us with a lot of much needed insight into Dash.  She is the only one of the activists who remained true to her beliefs and she continues to fight the good fight despite being constantly pushed down by everyone around her.  Dash cannot stand the sight of her (we learn in flashbacks why) and it is one of those rare scenarios where both characters are wrong and both of them are right. 

scalped5

Aaron weaves all of these characters together brilliantly and has a lot of fun with creating cliff-hanger after cliff-hanger.  He has an excellent ear for dialogue and makes his foul-mouthed characters sound like astute poets.  His plot twists are as surprising as they are inevitable.  You’re shocked and then you smack yourself in the head for not realizing it sooner.  Aaron also has a lot to say and not just about Native Americans.  By focusing on a small community, he is able to delve deep into these characters, their dreams, hopes and fears, and present the reader with an Indian Reservation that is a microcosm of the worst aspects of America.  But don’t worry, Aaron’s not interested in beating you over the head with his messages.  This is violent as hell and yes there are more than two or three scalpings. 

scalped_2_1280x1024

That is what I want out of a comic book.  I don’t want some pansy-ass guy in tights fighting another pansy-ass guys in tights while they argue over who gets the girl.  No.  Nor do I want message heavy nonsense that tries to be topical without being thoughtful.  I want SCALPED.  I want balls to the wall violence that looks fucking scary,  I want a world I haven’t seen before and I want it to repulse me and intrigue me, I want artwork that moves me with its realism while evoking a great sense of fantasy, I want characters that are forced to make impossible choices and always make the wrong choice. 

I want SCALPED.  So should you.

Not the Bees!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 2 – CARL’S PROPOSAL

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

I really don’t like musical theater.  At all. 

this-sucks

I guess I’m just exposed to it a lot because I’m around so many actors.  When the topic comes up in conversation, and I’m called on to voice my opinion, I’m always going to shrug.  So when Phantom of the Opera came up as a proposed sequel, I wasn’t giving it a thumbs down because the premise was bad, the title was bad, or any other problem cited by, no doubt, every fan of musical theater in the world.  I was giving it thumbs down simply because it was a lame fucking musical, and there’s no reason in the world to get excited for some dirty old man’s latest indulgence into extravagant costuming and choreography.

this-sucks-21

Lemme tell you what movie I want to see made into a musical.  They’ve set songs to the Evil Dead movies, Carrie, the Vietnam War, and menopause—why not Fitzcarraldo?

Fitzcarraldo is Werner Herzog’s finest film, and what he’s basically doing is staging an elaborate musical—except with all of Peru, namely, Iquitos.  The film portrays an opera loving Klaus Kinski who really really wants to put an Opera House in the Peruvian Jungle.  Klaus  just up and does it, dragging a huge steamboat up a mountain, with the help of some friendly native Peruvians—all done without the magic of CGI or special effects or whatever.

I want to see Andrew Llloyd Webber drag a fucking steamboat up a fucking mountain on a stage with a cast of like 100 people.  And he can have cute little songs, or a steamy love story, even have the Coney Island Cyclone in it, for all I care.  He’s just gotta drag that boat up that mountain, and through an exact replica of the Ucayali River rapids.  Then we’ll talk about me paying 50-something dollars to watch it.

 this-is-the-way-to-make-a-musical

Caligula: Historically Accurate

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 by kickingupthedarkness

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Countless people have been telling me to see Caligula for years.  I’ve been aware of its status ever since reading Roger Ebert’s scathing review.  Truthfully, its taken me so long to see it mostly because I was afraid to.  It sounded horrifying and I did not want to have to suffer through it.  However, after getting very wrapped up in HBO’s brilliant and short-lived series, Rome, and then getting even more wrapped up in BBC’s amazing mini-series, I, Claudius, I decided it was finally time to sit down and give this thing a shot.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I generally agree with Ebert, but we’ve had our arguments.  And so many people have told me that Caligula is brilliant.  Most have said it’s difficult to sit through, but well worth it for its historical accuracy.  So, after years of waiting, I curled up on my couch and popped it into my DVD player.  Here is my response to all those who told me to see it:

WHAT THE FUCK? I mean seriously, what the fuck? This is nothing.  NOTHING.  I can’t even call it a movie.  I can’t even call it porn.  It is a series of violent images spliced with a series of pornographic images and a shoe string plot for when the filmakers have run out of blood and sex.  Keep in mind, they very rarely run out of blood and sex.  It’s not a movie.  It can only be described as a thing.

I can understand Roger Ebert’s rage.  When the movie first came out, the violence must have been considered horrific.  But by today’s standards, it’s fucking laughable.  And the sexual stuff is so goddamn anti-erotic that you begin to wonder if you will ever have a hard-on again.

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Caligula raping a woman. Fun stuff.

Nothing in this movie is even remotely convincing.  Nothing.  Not the acting, not the sets, not the costumes, not the violence, not the sex, not the rape, not the bestiality, not the necrophilia, not even the soundtrack.  The whole movie is trying so damned hard to be ‘controversial’, but it isn’t.  It’s just annoying.

Bob ‘Penthouse’ Guccione should be ashamed of himself.  This whole thing was his fucking fault.  He took Gore Vidal’s screenplay, raped it, and handed it to Tinto Brass, a soft-core pornagrapher, to direct.  He then looked at Brass’ footage, raped it, and finished the job himself.  The whole process took him nearly four years to complete. 

deeds-bobguccione1vBlame this man.

Guccione actually defended the movie because he said he tried very hard to be ‘historically accurate’.  And almost every person who told me to watch this nonsense said the same thing.  Alright, look: There is not a single trace of ‘historical accuracy’ in any millisecond of Caligula.  And that is not up for debate.  I know scholars may argue over much of the history of ancient Rome, but that does not apply to this drivel.  If you want to argue this point with me, don’t.  You can’t.  It is impossible.  There are only two ways to explain how you could possibly think that this thing is ‘historically accurate’:

1. You are a complete and utter fucking idiot.  You slept through every single history class you ever had.  You are illiterate.  You dropped out of Junior High and have spent most of your life either begging for change or doing menial odd-jobs for anyone who will pay.  You think that a ‘monkey-wrench’ is a tool used by Gorillas.

2. You are deeply ashamed of yourself for jerking off to this movie every night for the past fifteen years.  You have managed to convince yourself that the real reason you love this thing is because of its unbelievably real portrayal of ancient Rome.  You tell this to yourself every night as jizz streaks down your TV screen.

The only way to enjoy this dreck is to get absurdly high with a bunch of friends and laugh at every insipid moment.  There are quite a few of them.  My personal favorite being a scene in which Caligula rides a prop horse that the movie tries to hide by placing it half-in and half-out of his palace.  He plays the entire scene in the bottom right corner of the screen while riding this ridicuously fake horse.  Ed Wood would have been proud.