Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Carol Watch

I'm putting together a bookcase today so don't have time to write the review of Eagle Eye I'd planned for today so instead here's a quick rundown on what critics are saying about An American Carol:

So far, they're saying jack and squat.
In what I'm sure was an act of negligence, the producers of An American Carol have yet to do advance critic screenings, hence the "N/A" rating on the Tomatometer. This couldn't possibly be because the reason producers always have for not doing advance screenings, that being they think they have a huge pile of crap on their hands. After all, this was made by a guy who made a couple of funny movies two decades ago. That means he's been saving up his creative wad for 20 years so he could blow it on the movie audience of 2008. The only advance screenings done so far have been for right wing bloggers like Ed Morrissey who said this:
When looking at a rough cut, one has to take into consideration the fact that the finished product may look significantly different. From what I saw, the timing will need to get tightened, and some dialogue spaced out better in order to keep laughter from stepping on punch lines. With that said, the movie seemed to go over well enough with the audience, but significant laugh gaps remain, even with an audience as sympathetic as yesterday’s.

Oh well, I'm sure loads of laughs have been squeezed into the movie since that rough cut and the movie will be chock full of comedy goodness by this Friday.

Thank goodness the country will have Beverly Hill Chihuahua to fall back on in the unlikely event that An American Carol stinks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Newman Owns

I've tried and tried but just can't come up with a decent obituary for Paul Newman. You all know what an amazing guy he was and that movies like Hud, The Color of Money and Butch Cassidy made life a little better for us all. So, I'll link to Ebert's memorial and leave it at that. Godspeed, Mr. Newman.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cry Like Your Sanity Depends On It

I honestly hadn't thought about An American Carol for a while. I had envisioned doing a series of posts about it but a quick search shows that I haven't even mentioned it since September 2. For those of you who don't know, An American Carol is an alleged comedy about a Michael Moore look alike who suffers through a takeoff of A Christmas Carol made by Airplane director David Zucker whose purpose is to make America stay in Iraq until it's the 51st state and change the Constitution before Election Day so George W. Bush can have a 3rd term. For a nice refresher, let's look at the trailer:

Here are the trailer's main points:
  1. Michael Moore is fat.
  2. No seriously, he's freakin huge.
  3. Look, he's eating a donut. Fat guys do stuff like that.
  4. He thinks that Cuba has better health care than America does. (Actually, healthcare-wise, we rank #35 in the world while Cuba sits way down the list at a lowly #37. U-S-A, U-S-A.)
  5. In some alternate world, Michael Moore owns slaves. Just imagine if Moore actually did real horrible stuff instead of the horrible stuff we make up.
  6. Michael Moore hates America so much he wants to abolish the 4th of July. Again, what if he actually did bad stuff like this? Worse yet, how can liberals like a guy who does imaginary bad stuff like this? This proves that liberals are America hating racists.
  7. Michael Moore can't tell women from men. Michael Moore is really stupid. And fat.
  8. Slapping fat guys who can't fight back is funny.
  9. Arab stereotypes are funny here even though they are exactly the same as Arab stereotypes that have been seen in countless other comedy venues.
  10. Rosie O'Donnell is fat too.
  11. Michael Moore is a perv who would grab a woman's breasts without her knowledge. Man, all these fake situations that we pulled out of our asses and put on the screen really make Michael Moore look bad. Still, he deserves it because he said bad things about President Bush and he wants all Americans to have good, affordable healthcare.
  12. The Christmas Carol story model of being visited by 3 ghosts in order to change a person's attitude had been done before approximately 8 billion times. Still, Michael Moore is fat so our version will be funny.

Now that we're all caught up, the reason I suddenly thought about An American Carol was the email I received recently from David Zucker. "Golly Mike," you say, "I didn't know you were so tight with the Zuck-meister." I'm not. I got that email along with everyone else who signed up for the movie's mailing list. Previous emails have urged me to become Part Of The Movement by becoming a theater captain. Also, I'm supposed to piss off at least 10 people by dragging them to see the movie. They are also supposed to drag another 10 people each and so on. This leads to the 2 separate emails that have borne Zucker's name. In the first one, he says:
All my Hollywood friends say I'm out of my foolish mind (this being Hollywood, they don't actually say "foolish," but you get the idea.) They were fine when I made people laugh in Airplane!, the Naked Guns, and Scary Movies, but now that I'm making them laugh with a movie that dares to love America and support our troops, they think I should be committed.

All right, first off, I want to know who the hell is saying that the Scary Movies were funny. Zucker took over that franchise with #'s 3 and 4 and did the impossible feat of making the two previous entries made by the Wayans brothers look like pieces of comedy genius. Second, the "love America/support our troops" stuff consists mainly of slapping a fat guy and adding in a scene where the abused, obese man is taken on a tour of the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center by the ghost of George Washington. Ha ha. (I covered all this in a post back in August.

In a second email from Zucker, he tells me this:
AN AMERICAN CAROL is different than AIRPLANE! and my NAKED GUNS and SCARY MOVIES, but even more hilarious.

Dude, Schindler's List had more laughs than the Scary Movies. In the same email, Zucker again makes the claim that he supports the troops. Zucker, of course, "supports the troops" in the typical neocon way, by wanting them to stay in Iraq until they die. They can die of bullet wounds or old age, Zucker would "support" either one.

And that's why I started thinking of An American Carol. Man oh man, is this movie ever gonna suck. I can't wait till Zucker blames the liberal media when it tanks. The sad thing is that I'll probably go see it.If the movie's opening week gross is $10, that'll be my fault.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For The Sake Of The Nation...

In light of the current crisis and the realization that I must focus all my energies to help the American people, I am hereby suspending this blog...oh, screw it. Everyone else on the internet has already done this joke. So, I'll see you all soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Written by...EVERYONE

Check out the number of writers that Eagle Eye has. This is not a good sign for the movie. It's a well known guideline that movies with more than 3 writers end up being bad. This movie has 5 and those are the ones we know about. I'd bet a million bucks that a half dozen or so other people had a hand in the script, just not enough to qualify for a screen credit under the rules of the Writer's Guild. Judging by the plot, I'm guessing the script had dumbness problems that a large number of writers couldn't solve. What a shock that a movie from the team of Shia LaBeouf and director D.J. Caruso, the folks who brought you Disturbia, a lame movie saved only by the bikini scenes of brilliant newcomer Sarah Roemer*, would take a script about some all powerful computer hacking terrorist who figured that framing some goob so he would do her bidding would be the perfect way to further her nefarious ends and make it look stupid on film?

There's a vague chance it'll be good. If it is, I'll let you know. If not, I'll let you know that too only phrases like, "Told ya so," and "MUAHAHAHAHA," will be much more prevalent.

* She is called "brilliant" here because she managed to act like she was attracted to Shia LaBeouf's character, a guy who was under house arrest and spent that time leering at her from his bedroom window while she lounged by her pool.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Picking The Low Hanging Fruit

I had fully intended to stop writing about anything related to Dane Cook. I'd have been annoyed had My Best Friend's Girl gotten a blockbuster #1 opening but instead it opened at #3, just barely beating out a crappy cartoon, so my lust for Cook's proverbial head on a metaphorical pike was satisfied. Unfortunately, Cook must have some sort of masochistic love for the things he reads about himself here so he has forced me to write about him again by showing the whole planet that he's a douchebag. Actually, being a douchebag is the nicest thing that this article on TMZ.com says about him. It starts off with an act of douchebaggery and ends with insanity.

It turns out that Mr. Melting Porcelain Vagina Face is so busy finding new inanimate objects to have sex with that he can't be bothered to clean up after his dog. In fact, a judge actually evicted him from his apartment complex because the place was hip deep in dog crap. I'm wondering how much of an exaggeration that is. It says a lot about Cook and his character that he allowed a situation like this to get to the point where his landlord felt he had to evict him. There were almost certainly at least a few warnings given, maybe a note taped to the door saying, "Hey Dane, I know you're busy making that movie where you emotionally abuse Kate Hudson and hey, she deserves it after making Fool's Gold, right? Ha! You can use that. Anyhoo, if you get a minute or two could you maybe find some time to please clean up the massive pile of feces that little Rover has been dumping by the pool? It's just that it's starting to look like that mountain from Close Encounters and the other tenants are starting to complain. Thanks heaps, the Landlord."

So, he gets evicted and needs to come up with a reason why he and his four legged poop machine shouldn't be thrown out. He comes up with what I'm assuming he actually believed was a really good reason:
Cook claims he only rented the apartment in the first place because his heroes, (John) Belushi and (Steve) Martin, used to live in the same complex back in the day, and according to the court docs filed in L.A. County Superior Court, he would suffer serious "mental and emotional" damage -- and his career would crumble -- if he was forced to leave. In the docs, Cook claims, "I know that the presence of those that have lived there before me affects me deeply and provides me with inspiration."

Wow, you mean if he's forced to move we won't see any more movies where he screws a burrito, vomits in public and drops an old woman on the floor? Oh no, I almost forgot we'll also miss out on those comedy specials where he goes on at length about seeing his dad's dick. Also, he's trying to say that truly gifted comedians like John Belushi and Steve Martin share some portion of the blame for all this.

Cook actually said he would pay his landlord $40,000 in compensation for what his dog did which means that Cook must have allowed his dog to leave a LOT of shit lying around. For considerably less he could have hired someone to walk and clean up after his dog but I guess he was too busy getting ready to shoot his next movie which is called...um...huh, he doesn't seem to have any movies currently in the works. Hopefully this means he'll be sitting in his apartment getting high off the smell of dog shit and waiting for the ghost of John Belushi to inspire him to write Piss Boy, the story of a guy who uncontrollably pisses on everything including his potential girlfriend who'll be played by a hot starlet who'll accept the role while drunk on absinthe. Belushi will probably tell him that he should kick the whole "oral sex with non-human things" up a notch and in this movie and do it with something living, like an ostrich or a koala bear. Hell, why not both?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Yeah...ok...shouldn't a movie called Appaloosa have an actual appaloosa or two on the poster? I haven't seen it yet but the plot synopsis I read doesn't even mention appaloosas. I wonder if other upcoming movies are like this. Will Lakeview Terrace contain no terraces with view of lakes? Will Choke not have anyone choking? Or am I freaking out over nothing? Just in case I'm not...


I'm gonna be very embarrassed now if Appaloosa turns out to be chock full of appaloosas. I'll be seeing it today or tomorrow so I'll let you know.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Something Rotten In The State of Dane-Mark

And I am vindicated. Ever since May, I've been saying that Dane Cook's My Best Friend's Girl was going to suck in a way that would redefine the word "suck" in such a way that people would no longer use the word "suck" and would instead start using the word "Dane." For example:
  • "This steak is horrible." "Yeah man, it totally Danes."
  • "This milkshake is so thick it's hard to Dane it through the straw."
  • "Baby, if you loved me, you would Dane me."

Mr. Melting Porcelain Vagina Face can make all the excuses he wants now (and I'm sure he will) but none of them will help. The only good thing about this is that Cook will no longer have to put up with people saying that Good Luck Chuck was the worst movie he's ever made.

I like to think that, in some small way, I brought about the fierce and terrible judgment that Cook is now experiencing but no, he didn't need me for that. His gross, misogynistic and Just-Plain-Evil comedy was enough to bring him down. I may actually go see this now because I'm sure I would be alone in the theater and I like it when that happens and it would be a distinct pleasure to rip this movie a new one, or at least to take the new one that everyone else has ripped into it and make it just a tad wider.

Anyway, enjoy watching Ghost Town or Lakeview Terrace or maybe your second or third viewing of Dark Knight or Tropic Thunder. If you get a soda and it seems a little salty, you are probably tasting Dane Cook's tears.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hate Dane

I would show you the Tomatometer's rating for the new Dane Cook film, My Best Friend's Girl, but as of this writing it's blank. That means that no advance screenings were given to critics and that means the studio thinks it sucks so badly that the Earth itself would explode if critics actually reviewed it. I have also noticed that ads for the movie are suspiciously free of quotes from praising critics. Movies like this can usually bypass Roger Ebert and find someone like Bob Bukey of the Boise Possum to say, "I laughed so hard I wet myself," but not this time. At this point, I feel like tooting my own horn about how some of us were on to this back in May.

Of course, if it does flop, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with Cook having oral sex with a burrito* but instead will be due to the Baldwin-free poster in which Cook schizophrenically believed that he looked like some sort of horrid melting vagina with perfect skin. Oh well, people will have to somehow get through their weekend with seeing Kate Hudson being emotionally abused by some asshole boyfriend who hires an asshole to treat her like an asshole so that, like an asshole, she runs back to the first asshole.

Oh, if you see My Best Friend's Girl and you liked it, for the sake of society, please keep it to yourself.

*Apparently, this was an ad lib on Cook's part that, instead of making everyone on the set retch, made them laugh instead so they kept it in. I'm assuming everyone on the set was on what must have been the most awesome drugs ever made.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Burn Notice

For the last 12 years, the Coen brothers have had a problem. Twelve years ago was when they made Fargo. You see, despite the fact that it lost the Oscar to...um...hold on, let me look that up. According to IMDB the Best Picture Oscar for 1996 went to...The English Patient? Are you fucking serious? The only thing about that movie that really sticks out in my memory was Juliette Binoche's flat, wooden performance as a nurse who cared for the severely burned man who inspired the film's title and OH MY FREAKIN GOD ON A POGO STICK SHE ALSO WON AN OSCAR. I serve this up as proof that the Oscars are meaningless as standards of excellence and also proof that there is no Jesus. Quick, what movies won in the years that Apocalypse Now, Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. and Pulp Fiction came out? The answer to each movie is, "Who gives a damn?"

Anyway, Fargo was one of the greatest movies ever in the history of anything and Joel and Ethan Coen were rightly hailed as movie geniuses for having written and directed it. Their problem after that was that movies they made after failed were all measured against Fargo and failed to measure up. Aside from 1994's The Ladykillers which was a genuine clunker their movies since then were at least watchable and The Big Lebowski even has a genuine cult following. Had anyone else made these movies people may have said, "Wow, these movies are pretty good," but "anyone else" didn't make them. The Fargo guys did so we expected more. Then, finally, 2007 rolled around and the Coens gave us No Country For Old Men. Again, they gave us one of the greatest movies ever in the history of anything and this one actually won the Best Picture Oscar. In addition to great characters like Ed Bell and Llewelyn Moss, we got the best screen villain since Hannibal Lecter, a living symbol of death called Anton Chigurh. And so, the Coens now have a new problem and that problem is called Burn After Reading.

Burn After Reading just doesn't come close to measuring up to the standard set by No Country. Oh sure, they're radically different. Burn After Reading is in the Light Comedy category as opposed to No Country's Hardcase Crime Drama/Holy Crap That's Scary category. They're also radically different in that No Country is in the Super Mega Excellent category while Burn After Reading falls more into the Hey, What Was That Movie We Saw Last Month That Was Made By Those Guys Who Made No Country For Old Men? Category.

When not being compared to one of the great movies on the decade, Burn After Reading is fairly decent. John Malkovich plays Osborne Cox, a man fired from his job as a CIA analyst because of his drinking problem so he decides to write his memoirs. His wife, Katie (Tilda Swinton), decides to divorce him so she can be with her lover, Harry (George Clooney), who's mainly just using her for sex in the same way he uses every other woman he meets for sex. Anyway, Katie steals a disc containing Osborne's memoirs and gives them to her lawyer's secretary who promptly loses it at her gym and that's where we meet the insecure Linda (Frances McDormand), a woman who would be a cosmetic surgery addict if she could afford it and the moronic Chad (Brad Pitt), a personal trainer who, due to the fact that he's a moron, thinks it's a good idea to try and blackmail Osborne for the return of his disc. This decision leads to consequences both humorous and tragic especially for poor Chad. Let's just say that he gets way worse than he deserves.

My favorite character is played by the wonderful J.K. Simmons. He plays a high ranking member of the CIA who can't believe it when this strange, confusing and trivial situation winds up on his desk and always quickly accepts the fastest and most straightforward solutions. One character ends up in a coma? Good, deal with him when he wakes up. Another tries to skip the country and escape to Venezuela? Excellent, put him on a plane to Venezuela.

I liked Burn After Reading when I was watching it despite the fact that some crucial scenes happen off-screen and are described later as if this was some sort of Greek tragedy. This is even how the movie ends but, oh well, it's a decent movie in the middle of September so I suppose I shouldn't ask for too much.

IMDB says that the Coens currently have two other movies in production. Joel and Ethan Coen, I hereby speak for the nation when I say that they'd better be as good as No Country For Old Men. If not, we'll only let you make movies for another 12 years.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Noxious Kill

Has anyone ever seen a movie about Abraham Lincoln? If you are the kind of person who watched a movie about Abraham Lincoln and thought that his assassination was a shocking twist ending that no one could have predicted then you will be absolutely amazed by the ending of Righteous Kill. You'll be so flabbergasted that you'll most likely wet yourself in amazement. Anyone who figured out ahead of time that Lincoln was going to die, however, will figure out the ending of Righteous Kill long before it arrives.

Don't be thrown by the fact that the movie stars Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. This simply is not a good movie. Oh, it's not horrible. It starts off ok and I mean just ok. There are no moments of greatness but there are moments of halfway-decentness. When it opens, we see DeNiro's character, Turk, making what seems to be some sort of confessional video where he admits to killing 14 people. "A ha, he must be the villain," you think. Oh, my poor, sweet simple reader, how naive you are. The video pops up again from time to time all through the movie reminding that Turk is way too obvious a suspect to have committed these crimes. Oh, a skillfully made film could reveal the criminal in the opening scene and hold tension all the way to the end but this film is not skillfully made. It was directed by Jon Avnet whose most famous movie is Fried Green Tomatoes which, somehow, made studio heads think, "YES! This is the guy I want directing my dark, hard-boiled crime drama."

The crime is a series of vigilante killings. Turk and his long time partner, Rooster (Pacino) are assigned to the task force to find this guy and quickly deduce that it must be a cop who's doing the killings. Also on the task force (which means they're also on the list of suspects) are John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg as Detectives Perez and Riley and Carla Gugino and Karen Corelli, a forensics detective and Turk's girlfriend. That, of course, is yet another one of those Hollywood relationships between a middle aged man and a babe half his age. There is a certain level of credibility (Karen is with him because she's turned on by violence and Turk is a violent guy) so I'm sure it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that most of the people who made this movie are middle aged men who'd like to be dating babes half their age. Hey, did you see that I just wrote that Turk is a violent guy? He is. He has a short temper and a history of abusing suspects. Also, we know that he once framed a man for a murder he didn't commit because he got off for the murder he did commit. I guess that plus the confessional video is all the proof we need that he's the killer, right? Yeah, you just keep believing that.

We also meet Spider, a drug dealer played by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson who runs afoul of Turk and Rooster. Turk handcuffs him and kicks him repeatedly after a female informant is injured in his club. Hey look, Turk committed police brutality. I guess that clinches his guilt.

I figured the whole thing out about halfway through the movie which means I got to spend the other half knowing exactly what was going to happen. Oh well, there was some decent acting, especially from Pacino, a few good jokes and some mildly exciting scenes. Like I said, it wasn't the worst movie-going experience I've ever had. Hell, it wasn't even the worst one this month. However, when you have two of the country's greatest living actors, I shouldn't have to say, "It wasn't the worst." I should at least be able to say, "Um, I guess it didn't suck."

Why Obama Must Be Defeated

I was an Obama supporter until today, but I have found at that, if Barack Obama becomes the next President, the long awaited sequel to Biodome will most likely never be made. VOTE OR DIE, MUTHAF***ERS!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dear Dreamworks

UPDATE 2/19/09: Could someone please tell me why, approximately once a week, someone Googles the search term combo "Michael Clear Dreamworks" and ends up coming here? I had assumed that someone who worked at Dreamworks had the same name as I do which would have been awesome since I could easily stolen his identity and emptied his bank account but I've yet to find any evidence of a Dreamworks employee named Michael Clear.

I see you have a movie coming out in November with Robert Downey and Jamie Foxx called The Soloist about a schizophrenic cellist and the reporter who helps him. I'd like to suggest changing the name to Academy Voters, If This Doesn't Sweep The Oscars Then You Will Be Heartless, Child Molesting Nazis. An alternative title would be Movie Audience, If You Fail to Shed Tears While Watching This You Will Be Heartless etc. Either one of those should get your point across and help draw in people who think that The Soloist is a movie about masturbation.

Sincerely Yours,
Michael Clear

P.S. It's good to see that Downey was there to make sure that Jamie Foxx didn't go full retard.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Right Wing Movie Reviews -- Babylon A.D.

I was again contacted by right wing blogger Götterdamerung from the website TwilightOfTheDemocrats.com. Usually he's very businesslike but this time around he was close to being in some sort of frenzy and wasn't making a lot of sense. For instance, he kept telling me I was talking too loud even though our entire conversation took place through email. Anyway, I gleaned from his ravings that he wanted space to respond to my recent review of Babylon A.D. so here is his response. -- MC

Hi all, Götterdamerung here. When I first saw Babylon A.D. I couldn't stand it. I actually agreed with the liberal critics (and you know that they're liberals because they're critics HA! Lord that was funny) that the movie was slow, boring and confusing and yet, it premiered at the number one slot. Why? I just couldn't figure it out until Wednesday night of the Republican National Convention when I saw Sarah Palin. That was when I realized it. I don't know how the producers of Babylon knew who she was, what she represented or even how they knew that she was going to be John McCain's VP choice, but they did. Symbolically speaking, Babylon A.D. is the story of Sarah Palin.

First off, Sarah Palin is AWESOME. She believes everything I believe. I've often said that the only hope for this country is to give George W. Bush a third term but I say that no longer since Sarah Palin would BE George W. Bush's third term. She believes everything I believe. She believes that we have too many taxes and not enough wars. She thinks that we should ban books we don't like and use our power against our enemies. She wants English to be America's official language since that's the language Jesus spoke. Hell, we both even want Alaska to secede from the Union. I, too, think that it's about time that rape victims should pay their fair share if they expect society to track down their rapists. I say, let them get their lazy asses off those rape gurneys and find a damn job instead of whining about how they've been victimized. I even had a dream about Sarah Palin that I believe was a revelation from Jesus. In the dream, the Spartan King Leonidas and I sexually please Queen Sarah and, afterward, she orders us to make rough, passionate love for her amusement and we oblige. Remember, I said this came from Jesus so it couldn't possibly be gay.

When the movie opens, we see Vin Diesel's character, Toorop, walking through the streets of some rundown city. Toorop is a tough, masculine man who tries to make his own way in the world but is depressed because the world is not what it once was and he has lost all hope that it will ever be good again. Toorop is clearly meant to represent the modern Republican Party. Toorop is given a difficult if not impossible job of transporting a girl from Mongolia to New York in much the same way that the Republicans were given the job of getting John McCain elected. That's when we meet the girl. Aurora is beautiful and mysterious with powers and abilities we don't fully understand. Clearly, Toorop did not give her a proper vetting before he agreed to take the job and now he is stuck with her but then again, vetting is not part of Toorop's mavericky style. On the way they fight two factions of villains, a strange and powerful, elitist Messianic figure that represents Barack Obama and a group of violent gangsters who represent the liberal media. Both sides try desperately to destroy Aurora but they fail because she and a re-energized Toorop prove to be too powerful for them. We even find out that Aurora may be brought down by an unplanned pregnancy but, thanks to her determination and the willingness of those around her to redefine their core beliefs and think that such a thing is normal and acceptable, the pregnancy that should have brought her down instead becomes her greatest strength and she is able to unleash her full power and fury on her enemies.

You may be wondering why the producers of Babylon A.D. sinply didn't make The Sarah Palin Story and instead chose to cloak their conservative folk tale in the guise of science fiction allegory. The answer is that Liberal Hollyweird would never have allowed them to do so. Conservatives are persecuted in Hollywood in the same way that Jews were persecuted by the Nazis except that conservatives have it worse. If that's not true, why isn't there a single prominent conservative who dares to openly express his or her right wing beliefs? If you ask people like Jon Voight, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano and Kelsey Grammer, proud conservatives all, they'll tell you that they dare not let anyone find out about their political leanings lest their careers end. Voight has supported many right wing causes and even endorsed Republican Presidential candidates, first Guiliani and then John McCain, and as punishment he has only been allowed to star in three of the top grossing movies of the past four years, Transformers and the two National Treasure movies. Why was he not cast in Iron Man or The Dark Knight? Clearly the leftie cowards who run the movie world got their revenge. Gary Sinise even runs a secret club that no one knows about called Friends of Abe where Hollywood conservatives get together to talk about how they will all be shunned if anyone ever finds out about their political orientation. The only decent role Sinise himself can get these days is the starring role on CSI: New York, a spin-off of one of the most popular television shows of all time. Clearly, these are dark days for Hollywood conservatives but people like Sarah Palin and movies like Babylon A.D. show us that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I encourage everyone to go to multiple viewings of Babylon A.D. to show their support for Sarah Palin and to say, "Take that, you elitist prigs," to the Democrats. Remember that McCain is 72 and has had 4 bouts with cancer so his odds of surviving to the end of his Presidency are not good so we will most likely get President Palin. (Oh, if you hear a liberal say that, be sure to accuse him or her of ageism.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today I go a tad off topic and review a television show. I'm tempted to say that I'm one of those people who's so cool that I don't even own a TV. The reason I don't is because people like that, instead of being cool, are usually total douchebags. Instead, I admit to watching a healthy amount of television and that my favorite shows usually have a science fiction or fantasy theme. I'd say my current favorites are Heroes, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica and Lost. Lost is especially important on that list as one of its creators, J.J. Abrams, is also one of the creators of a show that premiered last night on Fox called Fringe.

Fringe is an X-Files style show about an FBI agent who investigates strange phenomenon that exist on the -- wait for it-- FRINGE of science. This is the type of science fiction that posits science's only purpose to be finding newer and better mutant viruses and doomsday devices.

Fringe opens on an airplane where everyone on board suddenly and grossly discovers that their skin is falling off. I suppose there's no way to have your skin fall off and not have it be gross, but we didn't have to see every second of it. After everyone on the plane turns to goo, FBI agents Olivia Dunham played by newcomer Anna Torv and John Scott played by some goob are called in to investigate. John happened to be penetrating Olivia in some motel room when they got the call which made it inconvenient when they had to show up separately at the crime scene and pretend that they hadn't just seen each other naked. Olivia meets the agent in charge of the investigation, Phillip Broyles, who hates her because she sent a buddy of his to jail. The two act like assholes to each other, setting a pattern for the show. Pretty much every character in the show is an asshole to every other character.

Olivia and John are sent off to follow up what they believe is an obscure lead but surprise happens to be the big break in the case. Unfortunately, John gets exposed to the same face melting chemicals that killed everyone on the plane just as he sees the guy who did it. Olivia decides to put the fate of the man she loves into the hands of a scientist who did some work in the exciting field of face melting research 2 decades earlier. The one flaw in this otherwise perfect plan is that the scientist, Dr. Walter Bishop, has been in a mental institution for 17 years. Olivia is told that, to visit Bishop, she must be escorted by a family member since things like subpoenas and court orders apparently don't exist in the world of Fringe. This plot point allows the show to introduce another regular character, Walter Bishop's son, Peter Bishop played by Joshua Jackson from Dawson's Creek (he was the dark haired guy, not the blond guy who looked like Helen Hunt).

Peter and Olivia immediately go into asshole mode when they meet and Peter only agrees to help her out when she threatens to tell some gangsters who are after him where he is. Walter says sure, he can help, but only if he's in his old lab at Harvard. Despite the fact that he hates her, Broyles agrees to every single one of Olivia's crazy and probably extremely expensive demands which includes getting Dr. Bishop a cow. It turns out that the cure for Skin-Melting-itis can only be developed is you happen to know the exact chemicals used. Golly, says Olivia, John was the only guy who saw the face of the guy who made the compound so I guess we'll never know but then Dr. Bishop casually mentions that he knows a procedure that will allow Olivia to enter John's dreams and see the criminal's face. Damn, that sure was handy. The method involves Olivia injecting LSD and stripping down to her sexy black underwear, something I think will end up being a solution to loads of plot conflicts in later episodes of Fringe.

After all this, plus a few plot points I'll leave as surprises for anyone who may have Tivo'd this and hasn't seen it yet, Broyles, even though he hates her, invites Olivia to come work for him in what turns out to be some super secret organization that investigates weird stuff like Face Melting Disease. Thus, the basic plot model of Fringe is set.

Man oh man, this was the height of TV silliness. I'm really annoyed since I expected more from the guy who created Lost and Alias. Of course, the show's other two creators are Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci who were writers on the Transformers movie. You all may remember that as the movie that chose to waste loads of time showing us giant robots taking time out from their mission to save all humanity from the evil Megatron to help Shia Lebeouf outwit his parents and to nail the hottest girl in school. I didn't even mention when crazy Dr. Bishop gets to utter that immortal line of dialogue, "I pissed myself." This could be one of those cases where the pilot episode blows but the series in general vastly improves after that. I may give it one more episode or I may not. It depends on how much time I have and what else is on next Tuesday.

Oh, after Bishop said, "I pissed myself," he followed it up with, "Just a little squirt." I guess I wouldn't want to miss moments like that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lakeview Terrace

So, what's the point of Lakeview Terrace? It seems to be, "Don't trust the black guy living next door to you even if he's a cop," although more likely the point is, "We had some extra money in our movie making budget so we picked a script at random and hired Samuel L. Jackson to star in it so at least a few people would actually go see it." That doesn't make much sense but, then again, neither does Lakeview Terrace.

Allow me to blow the ending of this even though I have neither seen the movie nor read an advance copy of the script. The interracial couple who moves next door to Jackson's character and end up being persecuted by him maneuver Jackson into exposing himself for what he is, thus jeopardizing his job as a cop as well as his entire lifestyle. This causes Jackson to get one or both of them into some shadowy, menacing location where he yells things like, "You have to understand, I was just trying to protect my neighborhood." Don't know the details after that. Jackson may die some fitting, gruesome death or just be arrested in disgrace but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that he will be defeated and life will be made safe for interracial couples everywhere, or at least for the young, attractive ones.

I'm going to see Lakeview Terrace though, maybe more than once. Why? Because I firmly believe that we, as a society and as a nation, have an obligation to go see all of Sam Jackson's movies so he doesn't start taking drugs again. If you don't go see this and you read that Jackson was found in some cheap motel room surrounded by hookers and blow, it'll be your fault.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bangkok Danger-puss

This should be really easy to write since Bangkok Dangerous is very similar to last week's Babylon A.D. A highly competent underworld figure is hired to do a job that, due to his attraction to a hot girl, he finds he can't do so he shoots a lot of guys and blows a bunch of shit up. The biggest difference this week is that Bangkok Dangerous was actually dumber and more boring than B.A.D.

Nicolas Cage, who for some reason was made up in this movie to look like Dracula's servant Renfield, is a hitman known only as Joe who's been hired to kill four guys in Bangkok. It turns out that one night in Bangkok does not make a hard man humble. It actually takes about a month. Joe hires some sleazy street guy named Kong to act as a middle man between him and the people who hired him. We've been shown that this is his standard procedure, that and killing the middle man after his job is all done so at first you're thinking that you won't be seeing Kong in Bangkok Dangerous 2 but Joe, for no other reason than script convenience, grows to like Kong and starts teaching him how to brutally murder people for money. Joe also meets a pretty deaf-mute Thai pharmacist who makes him feel all funny "down there" which, apparently, is enough to get him to betray his hitman code and go to war against his employers.

I have never seen the 1999 Thai movie of the same name but I can't imagine it was as boring as this English language remake. Ah, there's that word again. Boring. I could have left out the whole plot synopsis and just used that one word. I figured it would pick up at the end when Joe had to raid the bad guys' evil fortress -- well, more like an evil warehouse filled with water jugs, EVIL water jugs, but it didn't. The only reason I bothered to stay awake was because I figured we'd get some of those crazy-as-they-are-cool Asian action scenes. You know, things like the hero setting monkeys on fire so that he can follow the flaming monkeys into some sort of bad guy stronghold. The villains are all, "Huh? What's the deal with the flaming monkeys?" while the hero pulls down their pants so that the flaming monkeys can crawl up their asses. You see the bad guys running around with flaming monkeys hanging out of their asses while the hero does whatever the hell it was he wanted to do there. You later see the hero with some girl he wants to bang watching as the bad guys burn to death while the monkeys, who managed to put themselves out, run away.

What did we get? Some exploding water jugs and, well, that's about it. We never even get some gratuitous sex scene between Joe and his deaf-mute girlfriend (who still should have seen his Renfield face and signed the words, "Must wash hair," when he asked her out).

Oh well, another 2 hours of my life wasted. In the end, Bangkok Dangerous isn't much between despair and ecstasy. One night of Bangkok Dangerous and the tough guys tumble. Can't be too careful with your company. I can feel the devil walking next to me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Because I Care Too Much

Nothing today. I just didn't want the hit numbers to skyrocket for no reason like they always do when I post nothing. So here I am, posting to say that I am not posting, a logical fallacy that probably requires Norman to coordinate. Oh well, see you tomorrow. Unless I don't.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Strange Days

Two things about this site have amazed me since I started it. First, the hit count actually goes up when I take a few days off like I did for the Labor Day weekend or like yesterday when I was busy and didn't post anything. Theoretically, if I took a few months off my hit count would rival Google's. I figure the reason is regular readers coming to the site multiple times looking for something new. One solution to this is subscribing to the site's RSS feed with something like Google Reader. That way, when something new gets posted your reader grabs it and brings it to you. Other than that, your only option is to find a way to enjoy the heaping portion of nothingness you receive on my days off. Give it a shot. You can then brag to your friends about how existential you are.

The second thing, and this one I can't quite figure out, is why so many of the regular readers are Canadian. I've loved Canada every time I've been there. I'm hoping I get gravely ill on my next visit so I can take advantage of your health care system. It's nice being an international sensation but I still can't figure it out. Anyway, thanks for reading, Canada. I admire your grasp of English since this blog is not written in your native language of Canadese.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Things I've Learned From Watching Movies Part 40

I've learned that every other movie star was too busy to star in Eagle Eye so they had to cast Shia LaBeouf. Come on, Hollywood, Shia LaBeouf? Really? What is it? Does he have pictures of every top studio executive getting blown by a goat? Does he have some sort of mutant mind control power? Can he hack into your computers and replace phrases like "Let's cast Will Smith" with "Let's cast Shia LaBeouf"? Oh well, this can't last too much longer. In a few years he'll be talking about how excited he is to be starring in a straight-to-DVD comedy called Bra College and from there we get the inevitable VH1 special about his downfall where he gets hooked on badger laxatives and punches the Pope in the face because he thought the Pontiff's pointy hat was looking at him funny.

You'll be seeing something similar to this next summer when Transformers 2 comes out. Till then, have fun at the movies. Except for Eagle Eye, of course. You'll most likely cry during that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Babylon AI-EEEEE!!!

In the last post before my 3 day weekend, I mentioned that the Tomatometer had Babylon A.D. at 6%. That number has since changed to 4%. After seeing the movie, I wondered who the hell are the 4% of the critics who gave it a positive review? This is similar to those 1 out of 5 dentists who don't recommend sugarless gum. The closest thing they listed to a good review was from Rob Vaux of Mania.com who wrote, "While Babylon A.D. isn't the worst big-budget sci-fi film ever made, it comes near enough to merit avoiding at all costs." If you have seen the movie, you know that saying that is like saying, "Death by having your belly sliced open isn't the worst way you can die but you should probably avoid it." Babylon A.D. is the kind of movie you show in film school and say, "Study this and do the exact opposite."

The movie loses me from the opening credits when I start seeing a lot of European names in the credits. I have nothing against Europeans themselves but I have a hell of a lot against their action movies. At best you may get something like The Transporter movies which are somewhat fun with some exciting stunts. On the other end, you get Ultraviolet which had a lot in common with Babylon A.D., not the least of which was that they both sucked.

Babylon A.D. or, as I'm sure its viewers would prefer to call it, B.A.D., is set in a dystopian future setting that is so popular with crappy Euro flicks. The world has become one giant shithole. The world of B.A.D. makes The Road Warrior look like Mayberry. It actually opens with a hint of promise which makes the movie all the worse when that promise fades. It's like being told you have a horrible disease but there is a treatment then the treatment doesn't work. We see Vin Diesel's character Toorop walking down the street of what looks like some bombed out Eastern European slum (mainly because that's exactly what it was) and attacking a guy who sold him a defective gun. He is surrounded by lots of guys with rifles who don't seem to realize that just showing Toorop the rifles doesn't do anything and that you have to pull the triggers to get them to works. Thus, Toorop gets to walk casually back to his apartment where he is attacked by a swarm of heavily armed mercenaries. The head mercenary turns out to be an old enemy and, again, Toorop benefits from the fact that all these guys don't seem to realize you must pull the trigger for a gun to be effective and Toorop is able to shoot his enemy in the head. After all that, he's escorted outside to see the guy behind this all, a crime lord named Gorsky (played by Gérard Depardieu who apparently told the makeup staff to make him look as disgusting as possible). Gorsky tells Toorop he can leave this massive cesspool of a country and go back to the United States if he delivers a girl to New York City in six days and then says, "If you cross me, you will have no place to hide." Those of you who are not functionally retarded have probably already figured out that Toorop is going to cross Gorsky and that it will all be the fault of the girl.

When these mercenary transporter types are charged with getting a girl from point A to point B, it's never an ugly girl and this case is no exception. The delicately beautiful French actress Mélanie Thierry plays the delicately beautiful Aurora, a girl who has spent her entire life in a Mongolian convent. Accompanying her is one of my favorite action movie stars, Michelle Yeoh, who plays Sister Rebeka (those Chinese sure do have funny names). Michelle Yeoh's presence in this movie is yet another "cure for the disease" moment that gives me a glimmer of hope that, in this shitpile of a movie, perhaps a small rose of quality will grow. No such luck though as I quickly realize that the makers of this movie had no idea what to do with someone like her. Her martial arts scenes were some of the least inspiring of her career. I don't blame her and I hope she at least got paid a lot of money. Anyway, Sister Rebeka is one of those holy types who always tells you how peaceful she is just before she kicks you in the face. She's Aurora's guardian and will accompany her and Toorop to New York where they are supposed to...um...well, to tell the truth, I'm not exactly sure what they were supposed to do. I never could quite figure it out. I suspect that the writers and the actors had the same problem. It turns out that Aurora has some sort of vague super powers. She can see the future though, like all movie psychics, is unable to see that her predictions and pronouncements will freak the hell out of people. If any of you out there can see the future, please understand that when you matter-of-factly tell people that they're going to die, they're going to be a bit upset about it. Hell, they'd be taken aback if you correctly predicted that their pastrami sandwiches were going to be a little dry.

B.A.D. eventually devolves into a mishmash of religious cults, half-robot guys, virgin births, fight scenes that look like they were edited by someone with A.D.D. and a big battle between Toorop and rival gangs of Eurotrash. There actually comes a point where all the characters more or less say, "Fuck it," and go home allowing Toorop and Aurora to give the movie an ending that, even by this movie's standards, is stupid and implausible.

Oh well, I can console myself with the fact that we don't get too many of these Eurotard movies. The next one is Transporter 3 in November and I should be fully recovered by then. One more thing: if you have a choice of seeing B.A.D. and seeing Disaster Movie, go see B.A.D. As horrible as this was, Disaster Movie was like looking through the gates of Hell, or at least the first ten minutes I saw when I snuck into the theater was. I'm sure the fact that some of the same people who made this were involved in the making of American Carol won't affect that movie's quality in the slightest.