I had this wild fever dream while locked on a Boeing 747 with a mean case of the flu. Judd Apatow and Chad Allen had teamed up for a "Win My Oscar" contest. The tag line: Your idea. Our Oscar. My script focused on a forty-year-old man that comes to realize he'll never find a mate. Afraid of dinning alone for the rest of his life, he sets of on a journey across New York to find the one restaurant where he can eat in peace, by himself. Along the way, he runs into many foodies and an old grizzled friend that is in much need of companionship. He also learns to live with himself in the process. The film was entitled "The Quesadilla Napkin". It starred Paul Giamatti as the aging loner and George Wendt as his wannabe buddy. Sure enough, it won a Best Picture Oscar for producer Judd and a Best Director nod for Chad Allen who was finally able to accept an award on stage instead of from the audience this time out.
Goofy, I know. Its because I still can't hear out of my left ear due to the cabin pressure I had to sustain. That may be why this week's "Whoop-Doo" Nation report is a little lopsided. There's just one Boo in the whole bunch. Bck-Ett!
A New Joe Friday? Whoop-doo!
David Ayer? Whoop-doo! What the world needs now is a new Jack Webb. And I think we've found him in David Ayer. Ayer certainly knows the naked city like no other director, and his friendship with every crazy person on the strip has offered him plenty of insight and inside information on the inner workings of the LAPD. Plus, he is able to keep it real with on-location shoots in some of the most dangerous parts of the city (just like Jack Webb used to do). If he keeps trudging along with his head down, making kick-ass films like Street Kings, he might just become the West Coast Scorsese. Street Kings is a great, gritty piece of urban cinema. It is definitely the best police drama to come along in some time. Even if you don't like that sort of thing, the massive weight of this behemoth knocker will kick you off your feet and break your ribs without thinking twice about it. Full of smart, funny dialogue (I think you need to wash your mouth out with buck shot) and possibly the best performance of Keanu Reeves' entire career, Street Kings is easily going to be one of the best films of the year. You say Oscar and Keanu in the same breath and 99.9% of American moviegoers scoff. Well, wait until you see him go up against last year's best actor Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. Reeves wipes the floor with this lazy-eyed son of a bitch. It's a bravado performance in what will soon be called a breath taking action extravaganza by some random blurbster from Maxim magazine. If you thought Training Day and Dark Blue were brutal, you ain't seen nothing yet. Crazy as a crack whore wafting on Toilet Duck fumes, Ayer is the real deal. And I can't wait to see what this guy has lined up next. Which, by most indications, is a remake of the Wild Bunch in modern day Mexico. Hmm? That should be scrupulously entertaining and debatable. I'm quite looking forward to it.
Goofy Superheroes? Whoop-doo!
The new Superhero Movie Spoof-A-Thon? Whoop-doo! With the exception of maybe Hot Fuzz, I hate contemporary spoof movies. I seriously hate them with every ounce of fiber in my body. I don't think they are funny. They are pretty much regurgitated moments from each passing year's hit films. How can you satirize the satire that is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan? You can't really. Yet, that hasn't stopped the last three spoofs from including that film in its run of jokes. It isn't a commentary, it's just a wink and nod reference. And it's useless, much like the sum whole of these stink bombs in general. That's why I was so shocked and surprised that Superhero Movie doesn't suck. Sure, it takes a similar arc with its promotional poster. And it keeps the "movie" theme pumping. But this is an entirely different beast than Date Movie and Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans (which, if you didn't already know, is referred to as Epic Movie 2 outside the US). Superhero Movie does something those other films didn't dare attempt. And that is: To be genuinely funny. This isn't a string of past scenes from popular movies all stapled together as some sort of last week nostalgia rush. The film actually builds its own mythology, taking the beat structure from any given superhero flick and making it its own. There are actual jokes built into its DNA. Shocking, I know. Craig Mazin, the guy behind the madness, actually made one of my favorite Superhero Movie's of all time. Yeah, he directed James Gunn's hilariously accurate The Specials. If you've seen that scathing commentary on the superhero genre, than you know that this film is coming from the right place. It could almost be seen as that film's sequel. I wouldn't normally get on a spoof movie bandwagon of any sort, but this thing does its job, and it does it well. It's almost euphoric in nature. And Leslie Nelson, gone from the scene for quite a bit of time, comes in the room and kills it. He gives a speech towards the end of Superhero Movie that is so perfect in emotion and scope, he should be recognized as a natural treasure.
The Hammer? Whoop-doo! Yet another film that completely floored me. This is Adam Corolla for Christ's sake. I wanted to sit and watch his face for two hours almost as much as I wanted to roll around naked in razor wire on the roof of a Jamaican drug lord's New York condo. I thought I would hate this horrible chunk of what I imagined to be rotgut cinema. Looking at the synopsis, I figured it to be another horrible comedy in the same vein as The Comebacks. At best, it could only be as good as Artie Lange's Beer League. I was so wrong. The Hammer is an honest to God boxing movie. One of the best I've seen this decade. Sure, it's easy for me to site that, seeing as how only a handful have been released. The boxing film is a prestigious commodity. You don't see a lot of bad ones being made. Usually, its because those behind the wheel have a vested interest in the sport and their goals are far from lofty. While The Hammer can't quite match the scope or artistic beauty of Rocky Balboa and Million Dollar Baby, it does manage to out entertain both endeavors with a quick one-two punch that left me a little shell-shocked. The film is a unique and touching look at the loss of a dream. While full of unexpected and well-earned laughs, The Hammer actually has a genuine heart. It is about something, and Corolla sells his character's limited ambitions with a strong and steady hand. The guy can actually act, something I wasn't expecting. On top of that, he can actually box, which gives the film a much-needed vibe of authenticity that essentially sells it home. I'd recommend it to any fight enthusiast looking for a good laugh and a great story. No. Seriously. I would. You should definitely check it out if you get the chance.
The Perfect Place? Whoop-doo!
Mike Patton's A Perfect Place? Whoop-doo! It's no secret that Mike Patton is my favorite musician. And when he sings on an album, said disc doesn't usually leave my in-car stereo until the next golden set list is released. This month, Patton has put out the soundtrack to Derrick Scocchera's A Perfect Place. The album is a worthwhile endeavor that I have already extrapolated about on here before. The big news is that the soundtrack is being released with a DVD of Scocchera's short film. These black and white images, combined with Patton's soon-to-be iconic soundscape, prove to be an all-encompassing experience that will slowly destroy your senses. Listen to it on headphones, and you can feel the taste of metallic blood leaking down your throat. The plot follows two bumbling grit-scrapers trying unsuccessfully to dispose of a dead body. For horror aficionados, it must be noted that 30 Days of Night's awesome Mark Boone Junior and The Devil's Rejects' Bill Mosley play the two crooks in question. The experience is well worth the twelve bucks. You can buy it right now at your local Best Buy or independent record store (are there any left?). This tasty treat should hold you Patton fanatics over until Mondo Cane is released later this year.
Americans in Spaced? Boo!
Spaced's American Cousin? Boo! Shameful. The creative team behind the original U.K. sitcom Spaced have been completely tossed aside in favor of this new American remake. Which doesn't make any sense. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Jessica Hynes created one of the funniest, most endearing shows of the early 2000s. Part of its charm came from the fact that it was British, the other came from its core group of talent, down to Katy Carmichael, the actress that played Twist. I know much has been ballyhooed about this American update and remake that Charlie's Angels director McG is attempting. Despite that fact that they have pretty much shat on the face of the original, there is no need to bring this comedy stateside. The show was about the time and place it was made, as well as the people in it. The film references are funny because they are spoken with British accents. Having Zac Efron play the role of Tim Bisley is just going to kill the point of the original. And it will slowly becomes a Three's Company clone. Taking Spaced out of the U.K. isn't the same as taking The Office out of Brittan. It is more akin to taking Star Wars out of space. When you do that, it pretty much jerks the whole point and concept of the enterprise. Fuck McG. Leave Spaced alone. Watch it on DVD if you need a quick Daisy injection. I hear it will be available in the states soon enough. Original Music intact. McSpaced, indeed.
Clint returns to the big screen in Gran Torino? Whoop-doo! Yes! Finally, we have solid confirmation that Million Dollar Baby won't be Clint's last turn at acting on the big screen. I don't know about you, but I didn't want to see him go out like that. Hopefully, Gran Torino is the rumored follow-up to The Dead Pool. It would be awesome to see Eastwood take Dirty Harry around the block one last time. Whatever Gran Torino turns out to be, I'm hoping that it rocks the socks off the old folks' home. Clint is a living legend that deserves to go out in a graceful blaze of cock fire. Hopefully, he is over having pneumonia on-screen (see: In the Line of Fire and Unforgiven). Maybe this film will reteam him with Charlie Sheen, and he can ride that beautiful Gran Torino into the sky on fumes of angel dust snorted off a beautiful hooker's wetsuit-like bosoms. Yeah! Clint! Fuck the Oscar, give us action! Give us grace! Give us you eating pie of a young girl's pretty face! Or give us Any and Every Which Way But Dead. I don't care, as long as you are in it. And you are not crying about strained heart muscles. It should be tits up excellent. A shinning moment to savor on his impending deathbed.
That's it for the "Whoop-Doo" Nation news. I'll see you jive turkeys later.