Hey, Paulington! Is a Cinephile advice column that looks at life, love, and the movies. Anyone can send in a question, and Paulington will answer it. Sure, it's a really cryptic, cliched concept that has been around since the dawn of time. But we're spicing it up a little bit. Topics can range from anything: Sex, violence, haints and taints, your favorite movie! Paulington doesn't care. He's basically doing it for a paycheck. He's not really an expert on anything. But he sure does know a lot about movies and human nature. You can send your questions to (as in, click on the giant red letters and you will automatically be sent to his email):
And he will be sure to answer all of them in a very timely manner. Here are this week's letters. Enjoy!
Am i weird for thinking Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was by far the worst movie ever made? Signed - "Giant Robot Balls"
Dear Balls. This is the beauty of America. You can love or hate just about anything you choose, including various ethnic foods and entire races of people. You have the freedom to think that Transformers 2 is in fact the worst movie ever made. Just as Michael Bay has the right to hide radically offensive stereotypes in his seemingly harmless transforming robots. Express your opinion; tell people how you truly feel. They won't think any different of you. Heck, our entire film-going community was built on this principle. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a great sounding board. It's a polarizing force that has audiences torn evenly down the middle. Some people loathe it with every ounce of their soul. Others love the sheer filmmaking bravado on display. It's a film that can be looked at from many different angles. If you want pure spectacle, here it is in spades. If you want a fresh and exciting story, characters and ideas that make sense, and a feeling of human honesty, you best look elsewhere. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen could be looked at as the greatest movie ever made. Or the worst piece of trash ever flushed down the runway. There's no right or wrong answer here. Film was invented as a doorway into worlds we'd never get to visit otherwise. Michael Bay definitely takes us on a fantastical, eye-swelling, acid-laced trip. At the same time, he's failed to offer us a truthful guiding hand. There is no heart, here. Only a couple of movie stars refusing to whisper, "I love you!" to each other. Its wish fulfillment taken to an absurdist level. It's also quite devoid of anything resembling reality. It's the great Libra of the Cineplex. A carefully balanced act of palliation. Go on. Hate it with all of your guts. And your lower intestines, too. Just don't get riled up when a friend or stranger claims adoration for this blazing piece of trashy art. Because it's all things to all people; a piece of peer pressure cinema. I know you've felt forced to see this by both the media and your peers. You gave into that pull and lost fifteen dollars. Now you can rebel against its nasty ways. Scream it from the rooftops: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sucks giant Constructicon balls! Are you weird for thinking Transformers 2 is the worst movie ever? No. You are completely normal. And people will continue to perceive you in this light. (Well, until they find that box of bestiality porn under your bed, anyway. You sick pervert. No wonder you didn't like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. You're not American at all! You lisping commie!)
I watched Terror at Blood Fart Lake over the weekend and wanted to know: Why did it never get a theatrical release? It was amazing. Signed - "The Human Tampon"
Dear HT. Come on. Really? This movie looks like it was recorded on an old inner tube. Blown up and transferred to 35mm film, it would be the ugliest, unsightliest mess ever seen on screen. It's an aborted armadillo fetus stomped out of the womb and shot across the wet lawn at five in the morning. It's a disgusting mix of blood and semen that belongs only on the small screen. That's the medium for which it was conceived. Director Chris "The Seavage" Seaver has been making these tiny little bursts of gore since 1991, and he's never gone beyond the joys of VHS tape. He loves his Dad's old tube camera too death, and hasn't grown at all as a filmmaker. Despite his home movies being wildly entertaining pieces of trash, its become slightly disturbing how unmotivated this grown mental patient has remained. He doesn't seem to have any further aspirations than what he is doing. I believe that his film company LBP (Low Budget Pictures) is making money. He's the Roger Corman of the Aughts. I guess he likes it that way. Heck, Teen Ape is pretty darn funny when it comes right down to it. But that rotgut material has never been brought up, out of the gutter. A funny title does not make a good movie. But it sells movies on the video store shelf. Seaver and LBP have adhered to the Troma aesthetic, and they've made a name form themselves amongst z-grade basement fodder enthusiasts. We'll never see LBP on the big screen, simply because it couldn't sustain itself there. Having bought two of Seaver's films at retail price, and never having made it all the way through either one of them, I can tell you that this refuse would be "Booed!" off screen before it even got a chance to live there. Distributors aren't willing to lose that much money. That's why TABFL didn't get a theatrical release. That said, Blood Fart Lake is my favorite new thing to say, and I must thank Chris for putting this magical mystical place out there for the world to see. Even though I haven't made it through the entire movie yet, I'll probably tell people to see it. Just because it's a hilarious suggestion. And it will piss more than a couple of people off when they finally do get around to putting it in their Netflix cue.
What do you think it would take for Hollywood to not make a remake/reboot/comic book/video game adaptation or a sequel? I would love to see an original flick one of these times. Are there any films coming out in the next year that's a completely original idea? Signed - "Squiggles"
Dear Squiggles. This is a hot topic amongst my readers, as I am asked about sequels, remakes, and reboots on a constant basis. The fact is: Hollywood won't make anything that doesn't already have some name recognition attached to it. People need a name brand. They need to know what they are getting. American audiences don't like new. They complain about sequels and remakes, but it's the truth, They want security blanket cinema. And a fresh, untried idea isn't able to give them that. You don't see McDonald's reinventing the Cheeseburger every weekend. As far as big budget Hollywood films go, there are no completely original ideas left. Everything has been used up, repackaged, regurgitated, and resold. Sure, you could claim that Pixar's UP was original. But really, it's just another Pixar movie. You know the name, so you trust the product. They can pretty much give you any story they see fit; that's because people are familiar with the brand. They know, without a doubt, what they are going to get. The Hangover is original in that we've never seen this cast together before, doing these particular things. But its four crazy white dudes in Vegas. Not an original idea by any stretch of the imagination. Our thematic horizon is chicken pocked with old, worn out staples. Producers are struggling, searching for anything to make a movie out of. The fact that there's a Bazooka Joe film on the way is hilarious. It sounds like a bad joke. They're adapting Where's Waldo. Are you going to be standing in line for that? Yeah, probably. I could say, "What Next? A movie about Singer Sewing Machines?" It wouldn't be an aside. It's the kind of statement that has a screenwriter screaming, "I could make that work." Next thing you know, you'll be opening the trades to find a biopic about Isaac Merritt Singer has been greenlit. There are no new movies on the foreseeable horizon. It's a hard fact. Especially in this economy. Soon, we will be seeing remakes of Dude, Where's My Car and Cast/Away. Don't fret too loudly, though. We'll always have Independent and Asian cinema. The arthouse circuit is alive with ripe narrative. If you are looking for something new, look for something small and out of the way. You shall be pleasantly surprised. Trust me on this one.
I am quite broken up about MJ. I heard there was a scene involving Michael Jackson cut out of Bruno. Do you know what that scene consisted of? Was MJ in the movie? If so, why did they cut it out? Signed, "Soda Boy"
Dear Soda Boy. Don't worry. You aren't missing much. Michael Jackson wasn't actually in the film. The set-up finds Bruno looking for celebrity guests to interview for a new television show he is putting together. After Paula Abdul abruptly leaves during an awkward interview, the only other person Bruno can find that is willing to go in front of the camera is Latoya Jackson. Bruno asks if she can get Michael to come on the show with them. She says this isn't possible. He then proceeds to act like she is Michael Jackson, alluding to the fact that their reconstructed faces are very similar. During the interview, they eat Sushi off a naked Mexican day laborer while using other laborers as furniture. Bruno tells Latoya that it's "Swartzberry Time!" She takes her Blackberry out of her purse and hands it over to the fashion maven. He proceeds to scroll through the phone numbers, finds Michael's, and then reads it to his assistant in German. She doesn't quite catch on. End of scene. It is amusing, not at all salacious or derogatory towards Michael. It isn't scandalous in any way. And it neither adds or subtracts from the film itself. It was more than likely cut out because it makes no sense to have Bruno calling Michael Jackson now that he's moved on up to the East side in that deluxe apartment in the sky. You'll probably see it on the deleted scenes of the DVD. If not, don't fret. It's not worth much more than a small giggle.
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Hope you have a great week! See you next time. (If you click on the big red letters, you will be taken to an email address where you will be able to leave your questions.)