Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Because There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Downey

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

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I was probably too young in the 80s and 90s to properly enjoy Robert Downey Jr.  I always knew who he was but didn’t care about his work.  Then he crashed and didn’t work for a few years.  Then a movie came out called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Downey kicked all kinds of ass, and he was back.

 

I’m talking about Charlie Bartlett today, and Downey has a small part.  A week after seeing the movie he is what stands out to me the most about the film.

 

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The story is of a sheltered, rich high school kid entering public schools for the first time.  He immediately doesn’t fit in and gets his ass kicked until his Mom gets him prescribed to Ritalin.  He starts up a business of sorts in the school bathroom offering life advice and drugs for the students.

 

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ferris Bueller.  Anton Yelchin plays Charlie as a kid desperate for popularity but unwilling to show his desperation.  He generally comes across as a kinda pathetic (whether that’s intentional or not, that’s how I saw it) attention whore.  Really, isn’t that what Bueller was?  I’m not denying that they’re both very charming and funny, but it is what it is.

 

Back to Downey, he is the principal of the high school and the father of Charlies’ girlfriend.  He is not respected by the students even though he is fair and well intentioned.  I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old, but I identified with his character more than any of the students.  I don’t feel bad about that.  Fortunately, I haven’t turned out to be one of those people in their late 20s who fret about getting older and turning their back on their youth.  I embrace it.  Bring on the gray hair, I’ll rock a white mane til long after I bite the dust.Okay, okay, off the subject, I know. 

I’m sure there is meant to be a message embedded in this film, but the delivery falls short.  It takes place in the 80s and seems to be making a statement about the overindulgence of the decade (a dead topic and an easy target) and the over reliance on drugs for children that became rampant in that time period.  (My own brother was prescribed Ritalin back then, though the dosage was discontinued once my parents realized it made him worse.)  Carrying a message in an entertaining film is tricky, and vice versa.  This film definitely works more as simply entertainment, and in that respect it is everything it strives to be.   

Steveevilreeves@gmail.com

           

 

Dear Reader, I Have Let You Down

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

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I realize that it has been over two weeks since my last post, and I apologize.  I do not have an excuse or reason that is acceptable by any means.  In my absence, I have seen a few things I’ll pontificate on presently. 

            Today I’m going to talk a bit about Be Kind Rewind.

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I realize that this is a movie that a lot people will either not like, or will just have lukewarm feelings.  Personally, I loved it. 

You probably know the basic story, Jack Black gets magnetized and erases all the tapes in a small mom&pop style video store.  He and the stores’ employee, Mos Def grab a video camera and make their own no-budget versions of the erased movies.  The local townsfolk really like what they see and the two become a bit of a local sensation.  That’s the basic premise and pretty much what the trailers gave you.  That is also, I would guess, approximately 25% of what the movie is really about. 

Jack Black and Mos Def give what are two of my favorite performances in each of their careers.  Mos Def comes across as a fairly dumb individual, almost semi-retarded in a way.  Jack Black is the slightly pathetic, probably smelly, guy that always seems to be hanging around ….hell, anywhere…. that you don’t necessarily like being around but he can entertain and make you laugh so you put up with him anyway.  As a team, you see a very unique and strange chemistry onscreen. 

The surprise of the film is that it is more or less a testament, or tribute, to independent filmmaking and even practical special effects.  Michel Gondry, the director, is known for not using CGI to enhance his features (he directed in Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Human Nature and a whole bunch of music videos using all practical effects) and a lot of the last half of the film is spent showing a lot of love and appreciation for this art.  Some may find it a bit preachy and overbearing, but since it is a subject that I am very interested in and have pretty strong feelings for, I found it great.  I guess it’s the same line of thinking as to why ___________s don’t mind going to ___________.  (Insert the religion and place of worship of your choice in the above blanks)

You might find it overly sentimental when the whole town gets behind the duos’ films in a fairly unrealistic and fairytale-ending-like way.  To me, the sight of hundreds of non-hardcore movie watchers getting behind and cheering for true, real independent cinema is a wonderful thing. 

Steve!!

evilreeves@gmail.com

 

Sunday Fun Day

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

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Philip Hendrie is best known as the host of The Phil Hendrie Show, a comedy talk radio program that is syndicated throughout North America on Talk Radio Network. While The Phil Hendrie Show became renowned for its unique and controversial guests, those guests are not real people at all—they are fictional characters created and voiced by Hendrie himself. If you’ve never listened to his show, check out this great archive of classic clips. Peep it here. 

Carlin Remembered

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

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George Carlin, accomplished comedian, actor, philosopher, and author performed for an audience for the last time last week.  One could speak of his impact on the comedy/pop community with his “Seven Dirty Words” or his neglected talent in movies, but this space is reserved for selfish reasons.  

      George Carlin was a personal inspiration for the writer, almost a “distant mentor”.  With the end of his “You Are All Diseased” show, I realized that George had crossed the comedic space of foul language and situational comedy to inspired, informed and intelligent humor.  Rarely can one consider a comedian’s ranting and ravings life altering;  hell, should we?  Regardless of the answer, I found myself echoing some of the ideas and values that George had spoke of as I went through college and into my working career, further reinforced through “Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” a book given to me from a friend. 

      George Carlin is one of my points of inspiration, and his passing has left me at a loss for words.  It doesn’t matter where he went, it only matters what he did for anyone who got an earful of his humor/acting/philosophy.  He was a friend, conversation/argument starter, and a popular culture icon. 

To quote the man, who ten years ago made this comment/request on his own passing: 

“Gee, he was just here a minute ago.” 

I’ll be damned, he was, and the world is a little less bright already. You will be missed.

A Whole New Batch Of Bizness

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

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Hey everybody!!  Sorry for the irregularity of this column.  It is similar to my movie watching habits, being very sporadic.  It’s been a week or so since my last one and I have a new batch of reviews for your entertainment.  I’m gonna put the smack down on six movies today and I’m already two films into my next column.  

The Air I Breathe

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I’m only going to be able to recommend half of this movie.  It plays out in four little vignettes, all loosely connected, that are bloated with so much self importance and message that it’s impossible for it to succeed.  The first, starring Forrest Whitaker as a man who fucks himself over in a gambling scheme who then decides to rob a bank, is pretty terrific.  The second, with Emile Hirsch as a wannabe gangster being shown the ropes by Brendan Frasers’ veteran hitman, is also pretty great.  Next, you have a boring and insipid tale of a pop star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in debt to Andy Garcias’ mob boss.  Finally, an absolutely unbelievable and laughably pretentious bit with Gellar and Kevin Bacon.  I had high hopes at the beginning but by the end I pretty much hated this movie.  There’s a good cast and some good performances, but I’d only recommend it if you catch it on tv or something and can skip the last half.  Definitely don’t pay for it.

Teeth

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I’ve looked forward to Teeth for quite a while now.  A film based on the “vagina dentata” legend about a girl with teeth (dentata) in the vagina (vagina)-see, Latin is easy!  Based on that, you probably already know if you want to see this or not.  The obvious thing that you would expect to happen in a movie with that description does indeed happen.  It’s not that great a movie and in parts it does come off as kinda silly, but seriously, DUDES GET THEIR CHUBS BIT OFF BY A VICIOUS VAG.  What the hell else do you need to know?  Get it now.

Kung Fu Panda

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Kung Fu Panda is really one of the best animated movies I’ve seen in a while.  Coming from Dreamworks I didn’t really expect much, since I’m not really a fan of the Shrek movies.  Most of their stuff comes off as over-caffeinated tripe littered with pop culture references that are only funny as long as the issue is prominent.  That is not the case here.  First off, this is a real authentic old school kung fu movie.  It’s also an old school inspirational ‘follow your dreams’ movie.  It’s also an old school ‘geek makes good’ movie with a spot on perfect vocal performance by Jack Black.  Plus, David Cross is in it.  I loved this.  It is a perfect kids’ movie, the kind that adults can enjoy equally but usually for completely different reasons.  Basically, like a Pixar movie.  I definitely recommend this one.

Grizzly Park

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If you are familiar with the typical quality of direct to video (DTV) releases then you’ll be much more forgiving of this flick.  It is a creature feature in that there is a bear that attacks a group of people stationed in the woods.  The saving grace is that this is more a character based movie that a simple slasher type.  Albeit, the characters are acted badly and are very generic which is why I made the DTV comment earlier.  By “great movie” standards, of course it’s crap.  I don’t think anyone involved with the movie would disagree with you there, but judging on a DTV scale, it’s pretty damn good.  Beats the hell out of all that SciFi channel crap.  As far as plot, there’s not a lot to go into, so I won’t.  This is the kind of thing where you know already if it’s your cup of joe.

Inside

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This is one of the most extreme and brutal films I have ever seen.  Plot, quickly, is a pregnant woman is giving birth the following day.  She is terrorized at home the night before by a woman who wants to cut the baby out of her and take is for herself.  This is a French movie originally titled A L’Interieur (as you can see by the poster), Inside is the English version name.  If you like horror and violent movies you will love this.  You will be pushed to your limits, but you will love it because it does not leave you with a feeling of “wow, that was so fuckin cool and hardcore.”  No, it’s more like, “I cannot believe how intense and disturbing that shit was.  That was a truly scary movie, the likes of which I have not seen in many a year.  Now, not only do I have to be scared of long black haired Asian women, I must fear long black haired French women with gaps in their teeth.”  All jokes aside, I pretty much didn’t know how to talk about this after watching it.  It’s one of those where if you know someone else whose seen it, you can mention it to them and say something about how crazy it is and they’ll simply nod, a bit wide eyed, and come back with something like a “yup” or “ohh, yeah.”  I haven’t had that experience yet, as I’m the only person I’ve spoken to whose seen it, but I can imagine.  I heard several years ago that Stephen King didn’t like Kubricks’ version of The Shining because he said he felt like Kubrick was trying to hurt people with the movie.  I always thought that was stupid and didn’t make sense, but I kinda get it now.

One more thing, do not rent this from Blockbuster, because their version has 7 minutes cut which I hear makes a big difference.  I believe it too, judging by some of the shit you see in this.  Make sure your cut is 83 minutes and not 75.  I downloaded mine, to make sure I had the right thing. 

Funny Games

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I’m going to start this out with a direct quote from my better half, Mrs. Ree’ Kincheloe.  “You can’t really say it’s a good movie, because nothing good happens in it.”  (She dug the hell outta the movie, by the way)  Very, very true.  While this is a masterfully shot film, and incredibly effective, it just feels wrong to call it “good.”  Michael Haneke knows his craft.  He creates a very fun, playful mood for the film to take place.  Then bad shit happens.  More bad shit happens.  Most of the shit happens offscreen and you’re left to your imagination to fill in the blanks.  It’s all going fine and well and you’re watching comfortably like most horror movies, knowing that eventually it’ll all turn around because the good guys always win, right?  Or, at least, the villians are meant to be the ‘heroes’ in a darkly comedic way and you just laugh when the good guys lose.  Same here, the villains are funny, charming even though they’re disgustingly preppy rich kids who are harassing people out of boredom.  The victims seem like decent enough folks and you feel bad for them.  You’re definitely on their side in this movie since the baddies are such pricks.  Then, something happens.  You, the audience, are shot a look by one of the villains.  A smirk, that seemingly says, “Yeah, I know you’re enjoying this.  It’s funny, right?”  This happens a few times.  To me, this is to make you feel a kinship with these bastards instead of the victims.  As things get increasingly bad, and you find yourself no longer being able to enjoy their “Games”, your mind has been officially fucked.  Damned if it doesn’t work, too.  Definitely check this out, it’s well worth it and it will stick with you for days. 

So, dear faithful readers, I’d like a little feedback from you.  Do you prefer that I type out long multi-film reviews like this, or would you prefer only one or two at a time.  The difference is that in this format I won’t write as much, whereas with only one or two to a column I might go on for days on the same movie.   

Comment here or just shoot me an email at evilreeves@gmail.com about this or any of my other blogs.   

See you later, kids!!!!! 

Steve

American Gothic V.6

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

American Gothic V.5

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

American Gothic At Its Finest V.4

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Joe Buck. I love this man and some of his music but I hate 95% of the people that dig his shit. Like the dude that yelps out, ”just an old chunk of joel” in this clip. Yuck.

American Gothic At Its Finest

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Anyone who knows me at all has likely heard me spread the gospel of  Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers. If not, enjoy this video.  Great song and video by a bunch of dudes who could probably kick yer ass.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man of genius is privileged only as far as he is genius. His dullness is as insupportable as any other dullness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Psycho Killer

Monday, May 19th, 2008

No explanation needed.

UP SYNDROME - PART 1

Thursday, May 15th, 2008


UP SYNDROME won the Grand Prize at director Kevin “Clerks” Smith’s Movies Askew contest in 2006 and screened at the Slamdance Film Festival 2001.

A True Man of Genius

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Time Lapse - One Day At Fenway

Monday, May 5th, 2008


One Day At Fenway - Letus Extreme Film - Time Lapse - HDTV from Tom Guilmette on Vimeo.

Time Lapse - New York City

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Time Lapse - Building A New Home

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008


Builder Of New Homes - Time Lapse - Shea Homes - For more funny videos, click here

Power-Tripping Cop

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Time Lapse: Clouds Over The Mayan Temple

Sunday, January 27th, 2008


Time-lapse Of Clouds Over The Mayan Temple Of Caana - Watch the best video clips here

Swimsuit For Muslim Women

Thursday, January 24th, 2008


Swimsuit For Muslim Women - Funny video clips are a click away

Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Enter your age and see what accomplishments other people had when they were you age.

It seems I am behind a bit.