Hey kids! Since Steve's "browser" supposedly ate his reviews (suuuuuuuuure...), I thought I'd pick up some slack and entertain y'all with some more GROOVY GUEST REVIEWS! And LOOK....LOOK....I linked the movies to IMDB!! All by myself. Where's my prize, dammit? Yeah..yeah. What else is there to do when it's 10 degrees out and a hellacious winter storm is headed our way? I've actually seen a wide array of movies in the past few weeks, so let's get this party started....YO. (I'll probably run out of steam after 3 or 4 reviews....LIKE YOU DO.. Oh yeah, amusing entertainment news of the day (especially for Steve-O): Mick Jagger's 18 year-old daughter, Elizabeth, is dating 44 year-old actor, Michael "The Crow" Wincott! WHOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO.....that's some deliciously ironic turnabout for an aging British hound-dog rock star, eh?? OK, on with the reviews:
Three words: Naked Will Ferrell. Hey, *I* was hysterical for a good portion of this movie, and so was the rest of the crowd at the sneak preview I was at. And for all you FEEEELM critics, please don't overanalyze this movie. It's good, dumb fun. Probably one of the most amusing "dumb" comedies I've seen since Outside Providence. OK, not nearly a raunchy as those Farrelly Brothers, but it doesn't purport to be, nor does it aspire to anything more than to make people laugh their asses off. Vince Vaughn is his usual sarcastic, dead-pan self, and how can ANYONE not laugh at Will Ferrell's antics? Luke Wilson is a good straight man (who ends up with the nickname - The Godfather - C'MON...how could I NOT LOVE THAT??) for Vaughn and Ferrell, and they work well as a trio of 30+ something year old guys who decide to start a fraternity in a convoluted attempt to recapture their irresponsible youth. My only gripe is the casting of Jeremy Piven as an uptight, nerdy, preppie college dean who will do anything to shut the fraternity down. He seems like the lone fish out of water here, which is a shame, because I'm rather fond of Piven. But, Dean Wermer of Animal House, he's not. So, if you want a break from the serious (and droll) Oscar fare, take your serious hat off and see this flick. I INSIST. And if you're not amused by this movie, I will cut you.
Speaking of serious, droll and just a tad frustrating, ladies and gentleman, I give you: The Hours. OK, don't get me wrong, this movie has some outstanding performances, or should I say, some outstanding "moments". Nicole Kidman has one particularly impressive scene as the schizophrenic writer, Virginia Woolf. IF she should win the Oscar for Best Actress, it will be because of said scene at the trainstation, where she delivers an extraordinarily subdued diatribe to her overprotective, overly patient, long -suffering husband, who realizes the futility of his role in Virginia's life, yet continues to love her unconditionally. Kidman's performance stands out for me because you really are given a sense (through her dialogue and writing) of the helplessness and inability to make herself better. I was underwhelmed in comparison to Kidman's character, by Julianne Moore's 1950's manic-depressive wife and mother, for whom domesticity is unbearable and completely overwhelming, much to the trauma of her young son, who is keenly perceptive to his mother's diminished mental state. Nor did I find Meryl Streep's "formidable" overwraught, frustrated modern woman of the 2002, to be very compelling. All 3 women's characters are interwoven with each other via Virginia Woolf's book "Mrs. Dalloway". Kidman writes it, Moore reads it like the Bible and Streep is nicknamed "Mrs. Dalloway" by her former lover, Ed Harris, who's gaunt, sickly, AIDS-stricken character is both poignant and strong. I love Ed Harris, the man is without a doubt, one of the most talented actors around. And there is a rather interesting twist involving his character, which I was not expecting. I'm just not feeling the Oscar-vibe about the overall movie (save for the outstanding editing...). And as much as it pains me to say this: John C. Reilly needs to take a break....can you say OVEREXPOSED? I love Reilly, but he's showing up everywhere lately, and if you want to see him in a much more satisfying performance as a husband who doesn't have a clue.....see The Good Girl. Having said all this, I feel somewhat guilty for having the "audacity" to judge the performances of 3 of cinema's most talented actresses. Their acting is top-notch as always, I just feel that Streep's and Moore's characters are not as satisfyingly fleshed out as Kidman's role, and in my opinion, the film suffers because of it. And what exactly was the point of Kidman, Moore and Streep each liplocking passionately with another woman? OK, Streep's character IS gay? bisexual?, although you don't see one moment of physical interaction between her and her partner, Alison Janney, save for the kiss, which comes at the end of Streep's storyline (and NO, that's not a spoiler). My very bored and eventually twitching movie partner (Ray) summed up the movie in his own succinct and amusing manner: "Frustrated lesbians". Oversimplification? Absolutely. But a witty observation, nonetheless.
WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Aghhhhhhhhhhhh. Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. My visual and auditory senses have been permanently damaged! For the love of all that is holy, who the HELL wrote this mess and worse, what powers that be gave the greenlight to Vin Diesel to star as an action hero star? In brief: Diesel plays Xander Cage, an extreme-sports athlete recruited by National Security Agency biggie Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) to infiltrate a Russian gang in Prague. No need to further explain plot or characters, trust me. The movie contains the cheesiest, most embarrasing dialogue in the history of action flicks, and that's saying something. Just when I thought Diesel uttering the stupid "I live my life a quarter mile at time" was horrifyingly embarrassing in the Fast and the Furious (which looks like a Shakespearean play by comparison)....Diesel proceeds to deliver not one horrendous line, but GOBS of excrutiatingly horrible dialogue that just left me slackjawed. Apparently, Vin Diesel fancies himself as an amusing, take-no-prisoners, ball-busting hero. His dialogue is delivered with such smarm and cockiness, you'd think the movie was called "Dude, I'm Vin Diesel - Bow To Me". Diesel is SO narcissistic that you're inclined to believe that the entire cast and crew had instructions to tell him repeatedly how awesomely cool he is. I know HE thinks he is. Did I mention...his "acting" is atrocious? Message to Vin Diesel: As an actor, you're a GREAT bouncer. PLEASE GO BACK TO NEW YORK AND RETURN TO YOUR OLD JOB. Holy shit, this movie SUCKED. And with all due respect to Steve, Asia Argento didn't help matters. I will give her bonus nacho points for looking hot, but WHAT A MESS this freaking movie was. Oh yeah, like you're surprised. Obviously I'm NOT in the "Xander Zone". PLEASE MAKE IT STOPPPPP. And Vin Diesel's MAKING AN 'XXX" SEQUEL! NOOOOOO. Come rescue me, Paul Walker.......
Grade: Are you SHITTING ME? How about TRIPLE "F". PS: Roger Ebert LIKED this movie??? What the hell?
Saturday Night Fever
Hahaaaaaaaa. I can hear Steve screeching in sheer agony. I've beschmirched your website, DUDE!! Deal with it, cuz you know what? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie, cheesy dialogue, polyester suits and gold chains coming out the wazoooooooo. All that aside, Saturday Night Fever remains one of my (and the late critic, Gene Siskel's) favorite coming-of-age stories. If you're wondering why, I'll tell you in 3 words: JOHN TRAVOLTA, BABY. Yeah, that's right. From the infamous opening pan of Travolta's feet strutting along to "Staying Alive", 23 year-old Travolta delivers an incrediby heartfelt, realistic performance as the brash, cocky, sexy, misogynistic, Brooklyn-bred, 19 year-old Tony Manero: paint-store clerk by day who LIVES to tear up the disco dance floor on the weekend. And tear it up he does. He is the undisputed king of the dance floor. All men should remember this unspoken rule: Woman LOVE men who can dance. It's a fact. Only problem is that there's really no long-term future in being a disco-dance king. The journey on which Tony Manero discovers this painful reality makes for a powerful, provocative and tremendously poignant (can you tell I like that word...) story, which is as relevant today as it was in 1977. Although the movie is defined through it's late's 70's style and music, Saturday Night Fever remains first and foremost, a story about dreams, disillusionment and heartbreak. I remember when this movie premiered, I was 17 years old and I sat there in awe watching Travolta own the screen for the entire movie (OK, I confess....he looked damn HOT in those black bikini briefs....which at the time, didn't exactly hurt the appeal of his character...hot damn indeed..) This is one of the first "non-musicals" where the music was integral to the essence of every single frame. The interesting aspect of watching this movie 25 years later is that Travolta's soulful performance (his eyes are incredibly expressive...) emerges to the forefront, and you can truly appreciate his non-dancing screentime (in case you missed his dead-on performance the first time out...). While the dancing and the record-breaking soundtrack will be what people ultimately remember about this movie, Travolta's acting performance is nothing short of legendary. As an interesting side note, during the first two weeks of filming Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta's long-time girlfriend, 41 year-old actress, Diana Hyland, succumbed to breast cancer. There are a couple of key scenes in which John Travolta's eyes well with real tears, which reflect his real-life heartbreak, and it's a revelation and moving to observe. Some potent stuff from the actor formerly known as Vinnie Barbarino. Way to go, Johnny. I will forever be enamored with the tour-de-force called Saturday Night Fever and your balls-to-the-walls performance. OK, this isn't really a review - it's a love letter to Travolta and a belated thank you to John Badham. So be it. Gene Siskel would understand.
DUDE...this writing gig is exhausting. :-)