These summer months are quite harried and hurried. I've been in constant motion sense June 13th, only slowing down to Boo! the bums shitting outside my house. Those poor plants, and my garbage can is stinking like an old tabby cat that's been eaten from the inside out by a gang of Rampart maggots. Despite all that, the Whoop-Doo! Nation keeps rolling on. Cool shit has passed me by, and I haven't even gotten a chance to stop and say, "Hi!" Not yet, anyhow...
First, I would like to address an issue that someone had with my Comic-Con 2008 Whoop-Doo! Red Alert from last week. I wouldn't normally comment on a commenter, but I haven't really said anything about this particular project yet. And I sort of want to. Is that a crime? Depends on your own personal take, I guess. Let's spit some Boos! and Whoop-doos!, shall we?
Guy Gets His Groove Back? Whoop-doo!
RocknRolla? Whoop-doo! Guess what? I really liked Swept Away. Not the original 1974 Lina Wertmuller version. I haven't seen that one. I'm talking about the Guy Ritchie directed abomination starring his wife Madonna Louise Cicconi-Ritchie. It was a change of scenery for the crime caper perfectionist. And though it was horribly acted, and paced like a nubby chump on a broken crutch, I found it to have a certain cult-like charm that isn't often intended to carry such a weight on its shoulders. Basically, its dumb fun that bobs at the surface of illiteracy. That atypical sort of horrible movie you can't help but stare at like a car crash. As a matter of fact, I like all of Guy Ritchie's films. At least the four I've seen anyway, and that one BMW car commercial. The guy has a stated style and energy that seems stamped on his work like a watermark. Even though there isn't a bank robbery to be seen in it, you automatically know you are watching a Guy Ritchie movie when you look at the vast impressions sewn into his Swept Away. This Virgo has a masterful hand, and a tediousness that lends itself to an effervescing, constantly flowing current. Last year's Revolver appeared to be the second coming of Snatch. At first glance. But it was really a meditation on the Id, and a bunk dive into Kabala 101 (even though the director has wrongfully denied that fact). For what it is, it's an interesting character study. Now, with RocknRolla, Ritchie really does seem to be returning to his Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels way of visually thinking out loud. And it's sort of exciting. It's like watching 50 Cent return from his time spent recording two Country Albums. You just know in your heart that it will be good. Though, there is a major problem with the narrative, and it's one that will slow this sucker down, making it a blight on some poor soul's lonesome DVD shelf. That singular problem is: Art. The film is about stolen paintings. The art world. And museums. Despite it looking like a rollicking good time, this dusty McMuffin will surely turn people away. Just look at the history of the art film. The subject is prone to boring even the classiest of people. Hold the phone. I'm not talking about you, Mr. Movie Snob. I'm talking about Joe Average sitting in his doublewide, waiting for that frozen pizza to cool. He'll take one look at this and say, "Cool, guns!" Then, a minute later, he'll say, "Art? Museums? What the flidget?" And he will turn it off. The problem with this idealism is that Joe Average is the person that makes up the general audiences of America. And (s)he's the one that will make or break a film like RocknRolla. I have no doubt that it is going to shake the piss out of a petrified baby. But a big hit? It ain't going to be. Just look at John Larroquette's Hot Paint. Though funny, it was delegated to Sunday Night at the Movies on CBS. Why? Because people hate seeing the film world and the art world collide. It's as easy as that. Good luck, Guy Ritchie. I wish you the best.
Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy? Whoop-doo!
Meet Dave? Whoop-doo! I'd start a Save Dave! campaign, but it's too late. The film has already left most theaters. Though, that doesn't mean you can't catch it on DVD when the disc hits. Huh? What the hell am I talking about? Yeah, that Eddie Murphy sci-fi comedy that came out last month. The one that barely got noticed. Well, I know you're not going to believe me, but it is the most consistently funny film I've seen this summer. For sheer laughs per volume, this one has Step Brothers, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, and The Love Guru all beat. (I'm not really counting Tropic Thunder or Pineapple Express into the mix, because both of those films rely on their action aspects as much as they do their jokes.) Trust me, I was skeptical about Meet Dave at first, too. The Adventures Of Pluto Nash has done a lot to damage, and pretty much evaporated, the erstwhile good will we once showered upon Murphy's seemingly deserving head. Since that time, Murphy has been in a steady decline. His out of control shit-spiral has dropped some awfully ugly films on our doorstep. Dreamgirls sort of reversed the Murphy hate cycle, and he continued to win over some (but not all) of his lost audience with last year's amusing Norbit. Some guessed they were witnessing a rejuvenated Eddie Murphy riding out some sort of resurgence wave. Then came Meet Dave, and it looked as though Murphy had once again dived head first into a pile of green fly-covered bum dunkle. I'm happy to report, here (sadly) a month too late: Not true at all! If anything, Meet Dave is the most playful Murphy has been in years. Every second he is on screen is hilarious, and his once trademarked smile is an infectious laugh getter every time it is whipped across the screen. Not only does Eddie create one of his funniest creations in years with Starship Dave Ming Cheng, he also creates a very funny captain that falls in love for the first time. His duel role work here is certainly on par with his double turn as Kit Ramsey and Jefferson 'Jiff' Ramsey in the Frank Oz directed neo-classic Bowfinger. If you thought Eddie had lost his magic touch, you need to seek this little gem out and revel in its magnetic awesomeness. Sure, it could be considered a kid's movie. But, really, it has something to offer everyone. At this point, I know you probably don't believe me. Heck, I wouldn't have believed me either. I saw Meet Dave as a bomb worthy of its poor box office take. Then I read positive reviews in both Variety and Entertainment Weekly. I'm not easily swayed by Industry print publications. But the idea that this film might be good did peek my interest in it. Still, I never would have sought it out on my own. I screener arrived here at the house, and out of curiosity and a lack of anything better to watch, I popped it into my DVD player. God, I'm glad I did. Over the course of its quick paced ninety minutes, it turned me into a Meet Dave fan. Heck, at this point, it might even make it onto my ten whoop-dooingest films of the year list. It will get some sort of honorable mention at year's end, at the very least. I implore you. Seek out Meet Dave. You'll be glad you did. On a side note, Entertainment Weekly recently ran a piece about the interracial love relationship warfare going on inside studio movies, sighting the relationship between Will Smith and Charlize Theron in Hancock as a prime example. They claimed that whenever a black idol has a love affair on screen, it's with a woman of a different color. And that is often true. We see it way too much, because those pulling the strings are afraid a black on black relationship will turn away key members of their intended audience. Of course that is hogwash. And sad in this day and age. But it would have been nice for EW to mention Meet Dave as a film bucking that odd trend, as it has quite the sweet romance between Murphy and co-star Gabriel Union. Seriously, where was the shout out? Huh, EW? At least you gave the film a B. (I give it an A-.)
Feldman as a Nazi Killing Jewish Soldier? Whoop-doo!
Corey Feldman joins the cast of Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds? Whoop-doo! Unbelievable! Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eli Roth, B.J. Novak, and...Corey Feldman? These are all names that have been dropped in the last month on behalf of Quentin Tarantino's upcoming World War II epic. If this particular last bit is true, Tarantino's next film is going to be an absolute gore-filled classic. Actually, it will probably still be that without Corey Feldman's participation. But how great would it be to see this guy in such a high profile film? Feldman proved that he can rock it as a super soldier with his reemergence as Edgar Frog in Lost Boys: The Tribe. I personally think he'd make a great addition to Tarantino's cast. Especially as one of the secondary Jewish field soldiers with a penchant for killing Nazi scum. Feldman has always schemed and shined in his cameo appearances, and he makes for a great supporting character. I like the fact that Quentin is actually going after Jewish actors. Some were afraid he wouldn't. But the sad fact is, this is just a rumor until the cast is actually announced. Tarantino has already ditched his plan to use DiCaprio. Where does that leave this lone Frog Brother? Who knows. Everyone is being extremely mum about it at the moment, with little hints trickling in every second. There's also a lot of casting news popping up surrounding Quentin's other project Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Tera Patrick and Britney Spears are both said to be headlining that trashy remake. Which could prove to be really cool, or really awful. Tarantino, with the exception of his The Man From Hollywood segment from Four Rooms and his appearance in Destiny Turns on the Radio, seems to know what he is doing. Hopefully he will make the right choice and actually cast Feldman. Seeing how he seems to be thinking in those terms, I can't wait to see whom else he has lined up for this highly anticipated film. Judging from the bootlegged script, it should be a doozy.
Tobey Keith? Boo!
Beer For My Horses? Boo! I can't believe I was submitted to this spleen torture. I don't really want to start talking about it, because it will sound way cooler than it actually is. Is this what Tobey Keith sees in his head every time he gets up on stage and starts singing this much beloved country favorite? I don't know. The few times I've heard the song, I've always imagined a bleak blood and guts Western. Not some left of field screwball comedy that is unintentionally offensive. For starters, there is a shocking lack of inebriated equestrians in Beer For My Horses. Luckily, all the stereotypical dancing negroes and bad guy Mexicans make up for it. This is a white trash empowerment project that is strapped on the exact opposite side of the rap-a-ninny genre. It's a cheapie exploitation flick in the same vein as all those "Hey, look at me, I'm a Negro and I'm having a Barbeque" backyard flicks that have enveloped the local Blockbuster. In that regard, it seems like Tobey Keith is stretching to be the white Brian Hooks. And what sort of debts have Claire Forlani and Gina Gershon accumulated that they're stuck in this shocking bit of garbage? The plot, written by stars Keith and Rodney Carrington, finds their two local Sheriffs heading off into Mexico in a medium sized monster truck to save a kidnapped girlfriend. Along the way, they run into Willie Nelson, who just happens to be the proprietor of a Circus Freak Show. The entire gang gets screwed silly on a jug full of Circus Jolly, and the next thing you know, Carrington is doing a rousing rendition of "Shout" in a men's room. Complete with a background dancing minstrel show the likes of which you haven't seen since the 1900s. There's plenty of talk about Chulupas, and a gunfight or two. And what would this film be without a gratuitous shot of the gang bass fishing? Oh, Christ. I almost forgot to mention Ted Nugent. He plays a character called Skunk. He throws on war paint, plays with a knife, gets to show off his bow and arrow, and never says a word until that last frame of film. Best part, every time he does some actiony bit of heroics, they play a couple of licks from one of his more famous songs. Then there is the part where a woman goes to flash the fast moving gang on their way into Mexico, and Rodney Carrington's song "Show Them To Me" comes on the soundtrack. Yeah, I told you it would sound awesome. Or at the very least, watchable in a sort of awe-struck way. It's just too bad that this wannabe action comedy is so belabored and awful. It's on the verge of being the must watch bad movie of 2008. Yet, it's cushioned in so much bland peckery. I guess you'll just have to settle for...Wait, there doesn't seem to be any other contenders yet! Okay, as it stands, this is the must watch bad movie of 2008. (The Happening not withstanding.) At the very least, it's refreshing to see something on par with Clear Channel's unholy abomination Moto X Kids. There's nothing quite like that "film's" scenes between Gary Busey and a monkey, brawling inside The Shack Bar and Restaurant in Santa Monica, California, home of the Shake Burger, in Beer for my Horses. But it is so jaw droppingly awful that you will have to call your priest and apologize after watching.
Susperia Remake? Whoop-doo!
David Gordon Green and Natalie Portman team-up for a Suspiria redo? Whoop-doo! I'm glad this is happening. I've never seen the 1977 original cult masterpiece directed by Dario Argento. If nothing else, this recreation of an untouchable classic will finally force me to sit down and watch what came before it. I haven't seen any of Argento's films (Hold on, I'll save you some time: "And you call yourself a Movieweb employee!?!). I'm not even all that crazy about Portman. No argument here. The girl is looking finer with every tick tock of that second hand. But her last few performances have really brought me down in the dumps when it comes to staring at her glorious face. Maybe she'll come in and kick the shit out of this horribly cool little thriller. Let's hope so. But it's really David Gordon Green that I am interested in here. This guy is nucking futs. And watching him so smoothly transition from Snow Angels into Pineapple Express in the same year has me admiring his aesthetic (look! I spelled it right again!). The guy is probably the most interesting new director I have met all year. And I love that he uses his background scenery as a landscape for his own private in-jokes. He has a very sinister aura about him, and I'm glad to see the guy finally stepping into the horror realm. Monsters, old ladies, and Jennifer Beal-inspired ballet students? This sounds right up his alley. I'm hoping he uses the opportunity to cast Danny McBride in a more serious role. Sure, that guy is hilarious. He all but steals Pineapple Express from its two capable leads. Yet, look deep into those dark eyes, and realize the blacker moments of his not-so-funny comedy The Foot Fist Way. McBride has the chops to be quite scary. And dramatic. Don't listen to me now, but if he curveballs his career slightly to the left, I bet money on the fact that he'll win a best supporting actor Oscar sometime in the near future. He has that sort of off power held within his chest. And Green is the one director that has the ability to render this particular art out of McBride and squeeze it onto the screen in glorious streaks of red goo. Not that a remake of Suspiria would ever win an Oscar. But Portman, as a producer, is certainly headed in the right direction with her choice of Green as piloting captain. We are going to see some mighty interesting films coming out of our homeboy, here. I bet he goes on to be the next Tim Burton. Not that their styles are anything alike. I just suspect that he's going to start exploding wild curiosities all over our Cineplex screens. And we will look back at Pineapple Express as his experimental, fun stage. I can't wait to watch the progression of this particular endeavor. Even if it's bad, you know it's going to be interesting.
Larry Bishop? Boo!
Well, folks, that's what is going on in the Whoop-Doo capital of the United States this week. A couple of other quick B&Ws for you to discuss amongst yourselves: Lethal Weapon 5 and Beverly Hills Cop 4? Whoop-doo!! Let's get these old grandpas back in action and start a new genre. Bruce did it! Harrison did it! Arnold's face is about to do it! Even though they might stink up the joint, I can't wait to see these guys back in action. Hell Ride? Boo! I can't quite believe Quentin Tarantino lent his name to this unintelligible mess. Yet, he also stuck his name on Johnny Knoxville's Daltry Calhoun. So, there you go. And, finally, Comedy Central's Kenny vs. Spenny: Volume One - Uncensored [2 Discs]? Whoop-doo! Sure, this one is kind of old. But it is being released on DVD for the first time in the states on August 12th. And it is some pretty funny shit! A must buy. I watched the entire set in one setting. I never do that. Anyway...
The keys to this rental car are now in my hand. I am off to Tennessee and Arkansas. Hopefully, God willing, I will see all you chumps later. If I ever make it back!
Eat food! Kill Grandma! Revoke Larry Bishop's directing license! Whoop-doo!