Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Subtle Observations from Pacino

Istanbul Not Constantine

When I heard the voices of the damned rise up out of the abyss, their cries of eternal suffering pained my soul.

I'm, of course, referring to the hordes of cursed souls weeping upon the jagged rock of internet movie message boards about the altering of Hellblazer for it's film...ahem...Adaptation. I've thumbed through Hellblazer in my formative years. Working in a comic shoppe it was difficult to separate the various annoying idolators from their respective pulp deities. Vertigo attracted the Goth kids ('cept we didn't call them that...we called 'em "freaks") and apart from their morally casual women...I had no use for them.

I was perfectly happy to enjoy Wolverine or Batman and their quasi-fascist/full-fledged homo exploits.

Then I met a girl...

Long story short, she turned me on to Sandman, Transmetropolitan, Swamp Thing, and the occasional Hellblazer. Reminder: Women will always lead you astray. All I have to show for this relationship is an embarrassing Sandman tattoo.


The central character of Hellblazer is one John Constantine. A crumpled bloke from the working class stacks of England. He's part noir dick, part magic-user. It's a super neat concept.

The big Hollywood adaptation trades in Ol' Blighty for the crumbling 'hoods of L.A. The rusty lofts above bowling alleys, the baroque churches, the crowded but lonely city streets are the backdrop for this catholic mythology tinted noir. The movie, to it's credit, makes no bones about it's intentions. It's a handsomely budgeted horror actioner with a splash of film noir.

The demons are scary and gory. The movie is beautifully photographed by the awesome Philippe Rousselot. The wrongfully maligned Keanu is great in this. As touch and go as his acting might go he's got confused and suffering down pat. It might not be the greatest praise for an actor but I consider him a calming presence in most movies and I generally just like the guy. Great supporting cast, especially Djimon Hunsou as Papa Midnight, a former witch doctor who runs a club for angels and demons to kick back. Rachel Weisz is so gorgeous that I was willing to overlook the rote romantic elements.

Keep in mind that the movie has a fairly weak plot. Some shit about a spear and Satans Son wanting to take over Earth. I dunno. I was sold on Constantine by the sheer atmosphere.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Tuesday Money Suck

Yikes...expensive week for just two movies. The special edition of Heat and the two-disc set of I <3 Huckabees.

The Huckabees was $30. Hefty by todays rock-bottom standards. Worth every peso, though.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Walk down the right back alley in Sin City, and you can find anything... "

The wind rises electric. She's soft and warm and almost weightless. Her perfume is sweet promise that brings tears to my eyes. I tell her that everything will be alright; that I'll save her from whatever she's scared of and take her far far away. I tell her that I love her.

[silenced gunshot]

The silencer makes a whisper of the gunshot. I hold her close until she's gone. I'll never know what she was running from. I'll cash her check in the morning.


Last Life in the Universe

Ordered this yesterday. I LOVE the coverart. Tadanobu Asano is one gifted motherfucker. check out the synopsis:

A mysterious, obsessive-compulsive, suicidal Japanese man living in Bangkok, Thailand, is thrown together with a Thai woman through a tragic chain of events. The woman is everything he is not. He is a neat freak who keeps his dishes washed and his books neatly stacked and categorized. She dresses like a slob, smokes pot and never picks anything up. It's a match that somehow works, though. Slowly and entertainingly, more is revealed about the Japanese man and why he's suicidal and living in Bangkok.


I am without a projector for a few days. So movies aren't happeneing at the moment.

We will return you to my regularly scheduled waste of fucking time as soon as it's humanly possible.

Thank You,

-The Mgmt.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

Look whats coming.

I'm very torn here. My inner nerd is salivating at seeing the cross-pollination of two cherished mediums. Not only that but the Watchmen is that comic that you can lay on the people that scoff at comics. It's pure and literate. It's also got more subtext than text! Now my inner (some say outer, but fuck them) critic/cynic thinks that all the reasons that make it truly great preclude it from being translated to cinema. Effectively.

I hope I'm terribly wrong.

You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!

In lieu of any real, concrete content I will posit that Ghostbusters is a singular example of a perfect in every way imaginable movie. Remember when comedy relied on wit and dexterous phraseology? Thems was the good ole' days.


Monday, February 07, 2005

Tomorrow on DVD

I got my Scorsese Boxed Set Numero Dos on Saturday.

So, what other digital treasures will I not be able to talk myself out of getting?


...and that's it.

Who the FUCK is buying Night Court on DVD? Show me these savvy consumers!

"Is the juice worth the squeeze?"

I got through a couple of flicks and started a sort of primer on Scorsese by watching his A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies: Part 1. I could listen to Scorsese yammer on about movies all the livelong day. The guy is only less chatty than Tarantino on Jolt Cola. But it's a joy to be on the receiving end of his info assault. Off the top of my head, movies I gotta see thanks to this: Duel in the Sun, High Sierra, the original Scarface.

The Girl Next Door: Totally comfortable in the "better-than-it-had-any-right-to-be" department. A riff on Risky Business to be sure, but totally adorable and smart. Above average soundtrack on board as well. Timothy Olyphant's oily porn producer gets the gold star for just about being the best thing about the flick. This dude does young Jack Nicholson better than Christian Slater ever dreamt. Plus I don't think he's trying.

The Aviator: I killed a few hours catching this again. I don't really get a sense of Howard Hughes from this movie at all. It feels stagey and sort of limp in places. But I'll be goddamned if it isn't absorbing as fuck. I think more than the Hughes story you get a real whiff of the flavors coming from Scorsese's kitchen. His devotion to that time period of movies is never off-camera. It's a beautiful, lyrical melodrama that might be elusive due to it's subject matter. Dicaprio gets the "Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison" award. That is, after the flick, Leonardo has supplanted my minds eye image of Hughes. Pretty spectacular.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Diez Directores

Explanation: here

I needed a horror guy. I shoulda picked Cronenberg.

Fucking voodoo magic man!

Spent the latter part of last week with one of my all-time favorite movie monsters. The Predator! I was 12 when I snuck into the original flick. Such a cool, scary monster. I always rooted for the intergalactic safari hunter no matter who he opposed. Stan Winston earned his stripes. I picked up both Predator 2: SE and the much maligned Aliens vs Predator (I'll be goddamned if I call it AvP).

PREDATOR 2: I still love it. It's so lo-fi. It's got this late-80's "I don't give a fuck if this is a b-movie" vibe that's totally endearing to me. The setup is perfect. A scorching summer in L.A., a violent drug war, raggedy ass cops (MURTAUGH, no less!) and the beast drawn to heat and conflict for a little sport. The single weak link in the story is Gary Busey's secretive and then all of a sudden exposition-gushing CIA man, Keyes, and his team of goons. One of which used to protect Chris Makepeace from Matt Dillion. This character should have been Dutch, Arnold from the first flick, as a driven to the point of crazed obsession hunter of the hunter. Woulda been neat symmetry to have this down-n-dirty merc, who in the first flick was completely disdainful of his pal Dillon for his CIA connection, sporting black tie in the city as he used Harrigan as bait. Excuse my toe-dipping into the chilly pool of fanfic.
The last, I dunno, half-hour really move at a nice clip. From the slaughterhouse sequence up until Harrigan faces off against the monster in the bowels of his spacecraft, it's pretty unrelenting and terrific.

Of course, my unabashed love could have been the result of what I watched directly before watching Predator. Which was:

ALIENS VS PREDATOR: I'm not going to regurgitate every pound of flaming hatred that Paul W.S. Anderson seems to elicit from the hordes of internet movie hounds. There are some really solid ideas here. The whole set, the shifting ziggurat, was excellent. I loved the relationship of the Predators to our history and culture. In fact, that probably would have been far superior grist for a flick. Every second the Predators are on-screen doing their thing, I'm enjoying the flick. It's the fact it takes an hour of horribly obvious exposition and some of the worst acting, even by my admittedly low standards. What galls me (not Gauled, Pierre) is the half-assed job of even including human characters. I hold the Alien franchise to a way higher standard than I do Predator. I don't for one minute believe the stars of Alien, Aliens, or hell Alien3 are the xenomorphs. I, myself, was way more into Ripley and whoever was unlucky enough to be on a spaceship with her. I find Aliens to be really touching, affecting film. In spite of the sci-fi monsters.

Predator and Predator 2 are b-movies and AvP (I lied) is more suited to the Predator films in the world of restrained expectations. My nerd lust was definitely sated when the Predator swung the Alien by his tail and smashed up some shit. Coulda been more, coulda been better, coulda been a direct adaptation of the original crossover comic...coulda coulda coulda.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ignore the previous entry.

I'm getting a new DLP that will have God and George Lucas pissing their robes/corduroys with envious wrath.

In other news: I watched The Neverending Story
with my spawn. We were all criminally bored. Funniest part was my 2-year old was adamant that Atreyu was a chick. I was hard-pressed to argue otherwise. On the plus side: Another fine performance from Deep Roy as "Hilariously-Dubbed-Snail-Riding-Gentleman.

Debating whether to purchase Ray. I can't see why not. HAR HAR!!!