31 October 2006

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

Renee Zellweger looks hot in them corrective spectacles and Matt McC steals the show as a hollerin' motorized remote control leg crazyman.

This flick left us in a bit of a bind as it was nowhere near cool enough to justify us hanging up our once-forgotten TCM: The NG poster in our hallowed halls. What's a cinema to do?

30 October 2006

Oz: The Complete Sixth Season

HBO's worst show (well, make that second worst), but the only one we've wanted to watch the whole way through. Oz hooked us a few years ago: it was the dawn of 2003 and the combination of our nascently-undergraduated philosophical leanings and the show's apparent Panopticism, beastly Hobbesian social contracts, and slap slap slap u around brutality made for a perfect fit. How could we ignore the voice-of-God narration, the overwhelming presence of "that guy"s, and those horrible performances from Rick Fox and Evan Seinfeld? How could we look away as the once well-to-do attorney became the bitch of the Aryan Brotherhood? Or when that CO gets his eyeballs stabbed out? Or when Luke Perry gets sealed up Edgar Allen Poe style? Ah yes, so many Oz memories, each more ridiculous and improbable than the last.

We're not entirely sure why we stuck it out all these years, but we suspect it has something to do with Dean Winters, the actor who probably got the job 'cause his brother's a head writer. Winters held his own and somehow lasted through all six seasons as scheming Irish-American thug Ryan O'Reilly, a guy responsible for killing half of the dudes we saw die. Thing is, Winters never broke character and never let the asinine scripts impede his scene-chewing performances, a feat all the more remarkable considering the local dinner theater performance of his real-life brother as his on-screen brain-damaged inmate brother. Yeesh. But it's because of actors like him, that dude who played the wheelchair guy, and that other fella who played the strikingly stupid inmate who hound-dogged the cellblock director that Oz kept us around. Also the guest appearances from Peter Criss and Pepa!

Okay, but in Season Six, you ask, what happened? Beats us, we watched this like three weeks ago. All we can remember is that a bunch of main characters get offed, that old dude falls in love with Patti LuPone, and that other old dude punches out the parole board when they deny him his right to artificially inseminate his children's tv show host wife. We found it way stupid that Beecher got paroled and sent back to the pen on a set up drug bust, but way cool when he got set up to kill Schillinger and then wound up pushing Keller to his death. We'd hoped this season would end with everyone dying, but instead we saw a handful of lifetime characters get shipped to a new prison right before the credits. As long as we never get a reunion episode...

Hey, anyone remember Cos, the hilarious MadTV parody? No? Good.

29 October 2006

My Best Fiend -- Klaus Kinski

The best part about them Herzog films is the director's commentary, and this one's got the commentary built in! We're sending it straight to the top of the charts.

23 October 2006

Return of the Secaucus 7

I already said most everything I want to say about John Sayles way back here. The abbreviated version is the guy's fucking great. Secaucus has been on the back-burner for the past few years -- I can't say I was all that intrigued by a directorial debut, especially one involving a group of post-activist thirty year-olds hanging out and talking. Zzzzzz. But then last week as I finished reading Sayles on Sayles, I figured it was time. And I'm glad I made the decision 'cause I still can't believe how enjoyable and well-done this movie turned out to be. Sayles has gotten better behind the scenes, but he's had that typewritten skill and talent all along -- the flick may start boring, but by the end you "get" (errr..."understand"?) all the characters, even the ones who only show up for ten minutes. The Sayles even turns in a role and somehow manages to out-act the mighty Straithairn!

Okay, so obviously the screenplay and performances are great, but I really couldn't help but find myself in sheer awe of the back-and-forth scene where Mark Arnott's character chops kindling. It's probably the Herzog on Herzog talking, but it is an image more poetic, revealing, and well-placed than anything anyone could have imagined. A true thing of simple cinematic beauty.

15 October 2006


At the end of this movie this dude bones a happening chick, then fears for his bits n pieces, and then watches his lady birth a full-grown man. And that's not even the strangest part of the movie! Seriously, this one's full of weird fuckers, lactating menopausal ladies, dudes who really like "spooning," and lots o' other stuff we'd probably appreciate more if we were Japanese. Or if we had cool Jim Jarmusch hair. Or if we could spell "Jodorowsky" without looking it up in the Wiki. I don't get Gozu. I don't get Takashi Miike. But Ichi the Killer's still in the queue! Hey, I don't know why either!

10 October 2006

Lady Vengeance

Our least favorite Chan-wook Park/Park Chan-wook outing. I'm supposed to have sympathy for Lady Vengeance but I neither cared about her nor her predicament. Not once. And I should've! She was blackmailed into confessing to one of the worst of crimes (child murder). She's out to exact revenge on the sleazebag responsible (schoolteacher). There's women in prison doing things prisons are most famous for. All my favorite stuff. Problem is, there's no passion, no sadness, no bloodlust...no fucking feeling in any of this movie. Seriously, I "whatever'd" it through this whole thing, something made even more lame since crying kindergarteners should ruin my week and sweet ladies turned bad should ruin my pants.

Spoiling either of the preceding revenge flicks this dude put out would've made me feel guilty, but this one? Who cares? I already sorta-spoiled it for you anyway. Finale: serial child kidnapper tortured and killed (mostly offscreen... = ( ...) by abductees' parents. Oh, and Lady V loves her adolescent daughter whom she hasn't seen since infancy. Cue pretend snowfall. Cue credits. Cue the Cinema removing other Park flicks from our acquisitions list.

04 October 2006

Inside Man

The Cinema's first Spike Lee joint and we'll be damned if it ain't the best one since, I dunno, Clockers! Sure, we liked Bamboozled more than the next guy (though we suspect it was the Union Jack talking more than our own gray matter...explanation upon request), but this Inside Man, she is full of the twists and the turns. Such a wonderful Mamet Jr script! Such witty dialogues and exchanges! They are both corny and clever at the same time. And the plot? The stuff of the suspense-building it is. Rest assured you 40 Acres devotees, you're still getting some trademark Spike, but the stuff you expect to see like the often too-loud and nearly distracting score, the heavy-handed scene or two about....racial relations (?!?!?!?!), the brief trolley cam, and the washed-out film stock show up a whole lot less than what Mo' Better accustomed ya to. Inside Man is a neat bank robbery caper if you can you believe it. The kind of flick the studios didn't have to give to Spike but did anyway. Hopefully he made those suits some cash 'cause the world is so desperately waiting for that Girl 6 sequel.

Go Knicks!

01 October 2006

Another Woman

More of the serious from Woody Allen. I had nothing interesting to say when I watched it and that was days ago!