Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Movie Related News Story

Just a little article about movies that my wife just sent me, not a review and not my words but I felt it was relevant to movies and deserved a spot here.
I put this post in a different font so that it sticks out to the casual scroller and is easily recognisable as not being a review...

Films target kids to push limits of violence

LOS ANGELES — Once it was risky to have a child die in the movies, particularly in violent fashion. Now they're dropping like flies.

Whether it's for art or shock value, a recent spate of films has been rubbing out children, prompting an outcry among some parents and critics.

(Warning: The examples cited may be spoilers for those who haven't see the films.)

•A child's hanging begins Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

•In Hostel: Part II, a killer orders a child to pick one of his playmates to die, then executes that boy.

•In Grindhouse, a boy played by director Robert Rodriguez's son Rebel shoots himself (off camera).

•Last year's Pan's Labyrinth ends with the shooting of the heroine, a young girl.

The carnage even has studio executives wondering whether filmmakers are straining boundaries to shock audiences.

"It certainly seems like the envelope is getting pushed further and further," says Steve Rothenberg, president of domestic distribution for Lionsgate Films, which released the sequel to Hostel. "Whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know."

Others are less equivocal.

"What's next, killing infants?" asks Nell Minow, aka Movie Mom, a film critic and columnist for Yahoo!

Minow says in some instances, such as Labyrinth, "you can reluctantly excuse it for the story. But many of these others are just for cheap thrills, to push audiences who have been numbed by all the violence they're seeing."

Not that killing kids is unheard of in Hollywood. Frankenstein's monster accidentally killed a girl in the 1931 classic. Anakin Skywalker mowed down young Jedis in 2005's Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

But in Frankenstein, villagers hunted down the monster for the death. And Anakin's rampage was the final straw in his becoming the most reviled guy in the universe.

This year, "it seems like we're getting it more for shock value," says Gitesh Pandya of "You have to wonder how long people will take it. It's easy for people to say they aren't going to see a movie."

Filmmakers say it's not all about pushing the limits of taste. At the time of Grindhouse's release, Rodriguez told USA TODAY he was aiming for true terror.

"I wrote it thinking, 'What would be the scariest thing that could happen to me?' And I thought, 'My God, me losing my child.' "

But where does it end?

"It's gotten pretty dull seeing a 25-year-old get killed," Pandya says. "Maybe the senior citizens are next."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Color Me Kubrick

John Malkovich proves once again that he's the only one properly capable of playing a man who pretended to be a director who pretended to the world that he directed films that made any sense.
The basic plot is based loosely on true events where one Alan Conway pretended to be the fiercely reclusive film director Stanley Kubrick to his own ends and ruins a bunch of hopeless wannabes on the way.

It's a nice little take on the idea that many people have that they know as much, or more, than most famous people do about their own professions, and also the idea that most people will do almost anything a famous person says, if the promise of being famous or rich themselves is given.
Alan Conway (In the film anyway) seems to take that conversation we've all had in a pub on a dark and lonely drunken Saturday evening about how "'Ken that bastard Kubrick (or any famous director musician actor writer whatever) ?That cunt disnae 'ken shite aboot nuthin' man! Ah could make a fuckin' film better than that fuck... aye!" and bams it up a notch, into living a whole life of being the man himself...

It's also littered with a host of Kubrick film references.

At least, I assume it's littered with them... I've only been able to force myself to drudge through a handful of Kubrick films so I only noticed the tune from 2001: A Space Oddysey (Which I recognised from a Simpson's episode) and a line or two from Clockwork Orange (Which I was obliged to watch before getting into punk music). The whole film is probably actually a series of Kubrick films cut-and-pasted together into one coherent film...

As I type this I'm watching the special feature on the DVD "Being Alan Conway" which is a little witty take on the extremely brilliant movie Being John Malkovich. Did you ever see that film? I saw it in the cinema back in 1999. I didn't really know what to expect of it but I often find that's the best way to see films, to not know a thing about it or anyone involved.
Being John Malkovich was a cinematic delight! The basic plot is a gentleman by the name of Schwartz gets a job in a bizarre little (literally) office and as often happens in these situations, finds a portal into the mind of John Malkovich. On the way he tries to find love, riches and power and succeeds! It's a classic tale of rags to riches to rags again and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone! Definitely, in my opinion, one of my favourite movies of all time!

Being John Malkovich gets:

Color Me Kubrick:

Offical Color Me Kubrick Website

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Mad

"Does Anyone Have Anymore Questions Or Comments On The Subject Of Zombies?"

Ever wonder what would happen if a plain old mundane ordinary run-of-the-mill dullsville disease like, oh I don't know, Mad Cow Disease was in any way interesting and turned people into awesome blood eating Zombies?

Well... wonder no longer because there's...


In "The Mad" a family trip to middle-of-nowhere-ville turns into a relatively ridiculous frolic filled with zombies created by people unknowingly eating tainted toxic beef from a local crackpot's farm, gun toting locals, mindless references to 80's electronic music and one unnecessary blow job scene.

As far as regular horror films go, it's pretty tame, but if you're a zombie film fan it's probably worth a look (If you can find it, I imagine it's not the easiest one to come across by conventional methods...). Definitely gives a comedic and alternative look at a group of people dealing with a zombie uprising similar to Shaun Of The Dead in that respect (Though The Mad is slightly more retarded. I'm sorry, I mean The Mad is slightly more Intellectually Challenged, and not nearly as awesome as Shaun Of The Dead)
It boasts the best scene explaining zombies I've seen in a zombie film to date. Most films have them, at that point when people realise it's zombies, not people, they're dealing with but The Mad's take on that scene was one step above par. Or is it below par? In golf, below par is good, right? But if I said "The Mad is one step below par" it'd sound derogatory, right?? right?!

Whatever, answers on a postcard, here's a trailer.

The Mad's IMDb Page

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Short Circuit

Watched this little treasure last night. I've been trying to talk Becky into watching it for about 25 years now (We've both seen it already, I'm just an asshole) and last night without even prompting she said "If you want to watch Short Circuit, make it tonight".
Honestly I wasn't particularly in the mood but how could I pass up this oppurtunity?!
I couldn't! And I should stress very carefully that I wasn't in the mood for it. As soon as that tape started rolling (Or rather, as soon as those little electrical signals started sending, as we watched it on NetFlix - Watch It Now)I was launched into the mood!
This movie is every bit as awesome as I remember, with the added bonus that you suddenly realise that the Indian (As in, next to Pakistan) Doctor guy is fairly racist! Ah the joys of the dark gloomy doomed racist era of the 80's before anyone really thought we were all born equal!
Hold on, that sounded like communist propoganda!
It also sounded like I supported racism!
This film was a blatant exercise in neo-nazi inflammatory evil mind-washing and should have all copies burned and destroyed save for one copy, which should be kept in a glass case in a museum in Auschwitz to serve as an example.
Years from now people can pass through and see the darkness that once, many decades ago, fueled enough racial hatred and radical ideas about machines having minds of their own to send the world toppling into the greatest depression it has ever seen. Not to mention the great "Short Circuit Wars" of '91.
It's a little known fact that both conflicts in and around Iraq were a direct result of Presidents' viewing this very film.

This clip is actually only referencing Short Circuit 2, in which Johnny 5 learns the true meaning of Christmas.

Johnny 5 Fan Site

The Aviator

Today's review is of...


The Aviator was about 2 hours too long but contained at least 30 minutes of really excellent scenes that make you think it's worth sitting through all the nonsense in between them.

Footnote: Replace "The Aviator" with any other film by Martin Scorsese and you have a relatively accurate review of every movie he ever made

The Aviator's Official Site

Friday, June 1, 2007

El Laberinto Del Fauno/Pan's Labyrinth

Two of these facts are false, see if you can guess which ones!

Pan's Labyrinth is entirely in Spanish.
Pan's Labyrinth features a Faun.
Pan's Labyrinth has fascists.
Pan's Labyrinth features Guerrilla warfare.
Pan's Labyrinth created the International House of Pancakes as a replacement for the League of Nations.
Pan's Labyrinth features some torture scenes that shit all over Eli Roth's Hostel.
Pan's Labyrinth includes one scene where someone gets their face beaten in with a bottle.
Pan's Labyrinth has the coolest walking death scene I ever saw.
Pan's Labyrinth features a freaky thing with long fingernails that reminds me of Voldo from Soul Caliber.
Pan's Labyrinth has no problem with removing the last chip from a Pringles can.
Pan's Labyrinth reminded me of Vandal Hearts, though I'm not sure why.
Pan's Labyrinth is the best movie I saw yesterday.

Official Pan's Labyrinth Site