Sunday, May 14, 2006
by Clint Fletcher
Poor Poseidon. It had so much going for it. It had a talented cast, a powerhouse director and a huge budget (over $160 million) to work with. So what the hell went wrong? After viewing this flick, I now realize why the first three letters of the title are P-O-S.
At this point I could go on and on about why the movie blows. But truthfully, when it comes down to it the picture only had one terrible flaw- a shitty script. The action and special effects were great to look at and none of us really had any doubt with Wolfgang Petersen sinking the ship, seeing as how he did it quite skillfully in Das Boot and The Perfect Storm. With this said, Poseidon would’ve been a huge hit if it weren’t for those damn cheesy lines and even cheesier character development. In “Poseidon World”, all the survivors know each other by first name although none of them have ever met before. Each character is established with a background, but none of these aspects are put to use in regards to plot. Take for instance the fact that Kurt Russell’s character used to be a fireman, and yet whenever a fire emerges he looks as clueless as Tara Reid at a kindergarten Spelling Bee. Or perhaps you notice the annoying Hispanic chick Elena who was found lost, wandering about the cruise liner at the beginning of the picture, and yet hours later when she’s in peril she blurts lines like “I know this ship. Follow me.” Did Corky from Life Goes On write this script? What’s the fucking deal here, guys? Can’t you remember what you wrote five pages ago? There are plot holes bigger than Paris Hilton’s plot holes in this movie. And apparently Josh Lucas has super human strength, can fly, and is completely immune to fire. If I wanted to see a Superman movie I would wait until the actual damn Superman movie comes out next month. And I will. Bitch.
Just about every supposed “emotional” moment in this cheese-fest is ruined by dreadful writing that makes the writers of Days of Our Lives look Oscar-worthy. This gets my vote for the biggest waste of talent for the year. I’m a huge fan of Kurt Russell, but he’s absolutely lifeless here. I’m also a fan of Josh Lucas and I’m glad he still manages to find work, but pick some better scripts, dude. Stealth, The Hulk and Poseidon will get you nowhere in this lifetime except straight to B-movie hell. And I also must give props to the most cliché, Hollywood ending ever. If you’ve seen Armageddon (and everyone has), then you’ve seen this ending before. And what was with Richard Dreyfuss? He was supposed to be playing a gay old man but he wasn’t funny, he wasn’t all that gay, and for an old fart like him he somehow manages to survive situations that the younger people couldn’t even get out of. Whatever. He lost his opus a long time ago and hasn’t made a decent flick since. Okay okay, so a couple GOOD things about the movie. Emmy Rossum (The Day After Tomorrow, Phantom of the Opera) is absolutely adorable and so is the cute kid with gigantic teeth. All actors do a decent job, but they just didn’t have any good lines to work with. And the effects were incredible. Again, WP knows how to sink a boat. But perhaps my favorite guilty pleasure out of this puppy is actor Kevin Dillon (aka Johnny Drama from Entourage) who basically plays a drunken Johnny Drama here too. I love this dude and I hated to see that he wasn’t in the movie much. But when he was, it was a real treat. You rock, Drama!
In the end, Poseidon certainly wasn’t a terrible movie, but it wasn’t a good one either. This bland remake lands right in the middle-ground as many remakes do. I typically never say anything this cliché in my reviews but I just can’t resist- if you want real entertainment, go rent the original Poseidon Adventure. But if you enjoyed the second half of Titanic without all the lovey dovey stuff, Poseidon just may be what floats your boat. HAHAHAHA!!!
Saturday, May 06, 2006
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III
by Clint Fletcher
Say hello to the first kickass action flick of 2006. Not only is M:I-3 the best of the franchise, it may quite possibly be one of the greatest action pictures ever made.
First, I must give the screenwriters props for the hook in the beginning. This film should be shown in film schools around the world on how to hook an audience in the opening of your movie. The first bit, which features one of the last scenes in the movie, only lasts about 2 minutes. But boy did it grab the audience like nothing we’ve ever seen. It was chilling, merciless and sets the tone for what’s to come with maybe one page of dialogue. Secondly, I bow before whoever made the decision to pick J.J Abrams to helm this puppy. Was it Cruiser who picked him? Can’t remember. But thanks to Mr. Abrams, instead of sending the franchise spiraling downward after the success of M:I-2, this man actually INCREASES the level of energy in the series. M:I-3 is like a breath of fresh air, and it is a far different film than the first two.
On top of this, it doesn’t have an unoriginal frame in its two-hour plus running time. Every single scene just oozes with originality, whether it’s a romantic scene or another mind-blowing action sequence. And thirdly, I’d like to give props to the cast. Cruiser does what needs to be done as always, backed with a terrific ensemble cast of Laurence Fishburne, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and the great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Instead of having our hero bounce all over the place meeting all new people as he did in the first two flicks, a team is established in the beginning of this film and it stays that way through the end. While the previous installments felt more like a Cruise vehicle, this one felt much more like a very talented ensemble with tons of chemistry to boot. Everyone breezes through their parts respectively, but I must give very special kudos to two performers.
The first is Hoffman. I can’t remember the last time I was actually terrified of a villain on screen. But man did this guy make me shit my pants… twice! I really believed he was going to kill my family, all of my friends and all of their friends and all of their pets right in front of me before feeding me to sharks with laser beams on their heads in a tub full of battery acid. I loved every frame this guy was in, which sadly wasn’t much. He’s only in the flick about 15 minutes, sporadically throughout. The second performer is the adorable Michelle Monaghan, who played Hunt’s love interest. Where did this girl come from and why haven’t I heard of her until now? Anyway, it takes a strong actress to overcome the damsel-in-distress cliché and Monaghan escapes this with stripes. She actually turns out to be one tough cookie in the closing ten minutes.
On top of everything mentioned above, this third installment is a mass improvement over the first two flicks. The original had to much spy stuff and not enough action, while the second one had too much action and not enough spy stuff. The third one is a perfect blend of both, with tons of new high tech gadgetry to play around with. But M:I-3 succeeds as an action flick far more than anything else. It’s been years since a film has ever made my heart pound this much, with breath-taking stunts (mostly by the actors themselves), some killer sound effects and creative fight choreography. Once this baby gets going, there's nothing stopping it for the remainder of its running time. Its got great pace and moves a hundred miles a minute.
Also, this film is the first ever to really dive into Ethan Hunt’s personal life, which I thought was a great decision to make. We actually get to see the IMF offices for the first time. We get to meet his bosses, we get to meet his girlfriend, we get to meet his friends. We get to see how being a secret agent badass affects his personal life, as he is attempting to retire for good to marry the woman he loves. This brings me to my next point, the love story. There is a love angle this time and it actually has a purpose to the plot. It is handled very gracefully and quickly, but the Cruiser and Monaghan are so effective in their roles that we feel their love for each other almost immediately (how about that non-verbal roof scene, awesome), which severely raises the stakes in the third act. This was something the first two installments were lacking, as M:I-2 attempted a love story but failed miserably as it came off pointless and cheesy.
And speaking of cheesy, the second installment was filled with TONS of “Cruise has to be gay” moments as he was flying around in slow motion with his girly haircut. Sure, I bought that Hunt was a smart guy with many talents from the first flick, but I just didn’t buy him as an action badass in the second one. Well, thank God he cut his friggin hair and they gave us a backstory on his training in this one, because I thoroughly believed Hunt was a killing machine badass in every frame of M:I-3. And thank God there are no more “Cruise is gay” moments which are all long gone.
Mission: Impossible III will likely be remembered as the best action flick of 2006. And as far as myself goes, it has beat out United 93 for best movie of the year thus far. Everyone should see it on the big screen while they have a chance and you will NOT be disappointed. Kudos to Cruise and Co. for delivering one of the best trilogies in movie history with each flick having its own unique look, feel, story and voice. M:I-3… the movie so good you’ll need to take a morning-after pill.
Friday, May 05, 2006
THE RANT: LAY OFF SLY!
by Clint Fletcher
This is for all you Stallone haters out there. Lay the fuck off! So what if he wants to do Rocky 6 or Rambo 4? Sure, he’s old as shit, but does he really deserve all the bad press he’s been getting over the past six months? I mean, this is Judge fucking Dredd we’re talking about here! Sylvester Stallone was once the highest paid actor in Hollywood, and some of you bitches need to remember that and show the dude some respect.
About a month ago, a recent poll was taken on a popular website (so popular I forget the name). The poll question was this- which Stallone sequel are you most looking forward to? Sixty percent of people said “neither, Stallone is too old for either film and is embarrassing himself.” This infuriates me. Has anyone seen Stallone lately? Okay, so he’s pushing past sixty years old. But the man’s got the body of a 35 year-old. And many of you may say “but what about his face?” What about it? His face always looked like it got bashed in with a tire iron on one side, but it hasn’t changed since the first time we saw him. Matter of fact, he’s had that droopy face ever since he was born. In high school he was voted most likely to kill his classmates because he got teased so much. And the fun didn’t stop afterwards when he attended Forest Whitaker University. Because of this, Sly saw no choice but to cast himself as a stupid boxer in his own script. That way everyone would just think his character had previously gotten his face bashed in during a match. Plus Rocky is retarded, so others would think “well, he looks pretty normal for a retard.” But the point is this- against all ugly odds and terrible looks, Sly worked his way to the top and had a lot to show for it- just like Rocky. But sadly, as all action heroes do, Stallone has fallen hard in the past decade. He can now be found in the straight-to-DVD section next to Wesley Snipes. Wesley fucking Snipes, man! Sly doesn’t deserve to fall that low. Nobody does. Somebody catch him. I’ve felt his pain over the years and the man deserves a comeback.
For those of you that argue Sly is too old for a Rocky 6, I’d like to invite you to kiss my white ass. Even the man himself has a good argument- George Foreman came back past the age of sixty and regained the Heavyweight Championship Title. The fictional Rocky is younger than George Foreman. Plus Stallone is in great shape, so why couldn’t he come back? He can and he IS! And this time he has a new manager- Yours Truly. Check out the picture above for proof. In addition, there are more Rambo 4 protestors out there than anyone else and I ask you… why? Do you think its because Stallone would look ridiculous at his age sporting the Rambo costume, or lack there of? Of course he will! Rambo 4 will be the funniest comedy this side of Wedding Crashers, and it should be 100% made! It will almost be as funny as Indiana Jones 4! And when both films come out I’m sure someone will sell them both together for the “Grandpa Adventure Pack”.
In case I didn’t get my point across, Sly is the man and people need to shut the fuck up about his comeback. Let the man do his thing. I mean geez, he’s the creator of such classics as Demolition Man and Tango and Cash. And let’s not forget the greatest movie ever made- Over the Top. Stallone is a fucking legend and should be treated as such. For anyone that disagrees, feel free to line up and suck John J. Rambo’s big, long shlong because it will be the last thing you will ever choke on.
SHORT TAKES- MAY 2006
by Clint Fletcher
The producers of ER have finally lost their minds. After years of making terrible casting decisions, this one takes the cake. John Stamos, who did a brief stint as a boring paramedic on the show, will be joining the cast as a regular next season. So let me get this straight. Stamos appears for two episodes and no one notices. But John Leguizamo has appeared in numerous episodes all season, boosting the ratings and bringing ER out of its tired coma. According to reports, Leguizamo would love to join as a regular. So the producers say no to him and yes to fucking Uncle Jesse??? No wonder everyone watches Grey’s Anatomy now.
The WB’s 7th Heaven has their series finale episode this week which shows the Camdens joining a church of devil worshipers. What a way to go, guys. Speaking of the Camdens, actor Barry Watson’s new ABC show What About Brian is getting picked up for a season 2 due to fair ratings. But after it gets cancelled next fall (I’m sure it will) what will Barry do then since there’s no 7th Heaven to fall back on? Boogeyman 2?
Two main characters were shot and killed on Lost Wednesday night. Coincidentally, these are the same two actresses that got arrested for drunk driving a couple months back- Cynthia Watros and notorious drunken bitch Michelle Rodriguez. Could it be possible that ABC is sending a message? Could ABC possibly stand for Alcoholic Beverage Commission? Speaking of alcoholics, Kiefer Sutherland just signed a deal upwards of $40 million to appear in the next three seasons of 24. This new deal not only gives Sutherland his own production company at Fox to produce new pilots, but it also makes him the highest paid actor in dramatic television today.
Besides the Lost stars, those damn dirty italians are at it again. Actors John Ventimiglia and Louis Gross were arrested earlier this week for separate reasons- Ventimiglia for drug possession and Gross for attempted robbery. Its official. Every star of the Sopranos has now been arrested. Now onto our juicy rumor mill. Joey star Matt LeBlanc officially filed for divorce a few weeks ago from his supermodel wife of two years. Officially, it was noted that the break-up was due to stress of a brain condition his daughter has, and his show not being funny. Unofficially, people have been spotting him smooching with actress and Joey co-star Andrea Anders (Alex). Sounds like Matt could use some “friends” right about now. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Nick Lachey is a singer? Oh yeah, I forgot. I guess after mooching off your wife for five years you forget the dude actually had a job once. This will be brought up again and more extensively in the movie section, but I’m getting really sick and tired of these douchebag stars spouting off at the mouth as if we care about their lives. Ever since Nick’s album got released at the beginning of the month, I can’t go a week without him releasing some sort of statement saying “my heart is broken, but my music isn’t about Jessica” or “I hope to find true love again and I promise I’m not gay.” Dude, how about committing suicide like the rest of 98 Degrees because we’re fresh out of “give a shit” passes here.
On a happier note, I got to meet Kiefer Sutherland in person this past weekend. Why am I mentioning this in the music section, you may ask? Sutherland was recently in Nashville promoting a documentary about the band he manages called Rocco Deluca and the Burden. This band kicks ass and anyone who enjoys rock should check out their brand new album “I Trust You To Kill Me.” On a personal note, Kiefer is a really cool dude in person. Very polite and well mannered. I wish his band the best of luck.
Canadian singer Celine Dion has returned to performing in Las Vegas, Nevada, after suffering from labyrinthitis - an inflammation of the inner ear which causes dizziness, loss of balance and a nails-on-a-chalkboard voice. She is said to be doing well with her grandfather husband, bitchy attitude and big-nosed face. Her contract is up in 2007 and she will then be replaced by an even uglier Cher. In other news, I want everyone to know that I try desperately hard to take a month off of reporting news about Britney Spears. But by God, she keeps getting knocked up. It was announced yesterday that Spears will be having a little girl. It was also announced that the little girl will have a deadbeat douchebag for a father. Shocking news, indeed.
The following is a list of people who need to shut the holy fuck up this month about their problems because NO ONE CARES. Here we go… Denise Richards, Macaulay Culkin, Nick Lachey, Heather Locklear, Paris Hilton, P Diddy, Kevin Federline, Ryan Seacrest, Teri Hatcher and every other cast member of Desperate Housewives. If your name is on the list, you’ve been talking too much this past month and frankly, no one gives a rat’s ass. You’re speaking to dead ears because you’re not talented enough for us to listen. Stop talking and try to sound intelligent through silence.
Perhaps the news that’s been getting more coverage than anything else is the birth of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s baby- Suri. Cruise has been out promoting M:I-3 lately and so far he’s behaved himself. This is probably due to the fact that he fired his Scientologist sister as his publicist. Even Cruise himself realized he needed to be less crazy and more restrained. Meanwhile M:I-3 is getting great reviews while United 93 bombed big time. Only in America does a movie called RV starring Robin Williams make more money than a film about one of the biggest terrorist attacks in history. I guess people just weren’t ready for a 9-11 movie, and I doubt they’ll be ready for the big budget World Trade Center this Summer either. May certainly hasn’t brought a hit at the box office as Ice Age 2 is still the only film to pass the $100 million mark so far this year. Things are heating up though with M:I-3, The Da Vinci Code, Poseidon and X3 on the way.
In future movie news, a prequel to Halloween has been greenlit. This script will follow the story of Michael Myers as a young man before he got sent to the looney bin. It will more than likely star Jamie Lee Curtis and they will use CGI to make her look 50 years younger. Just a hunch. Comic book fans, rejoice. An Iron Man movie is definitely on the way. A script review is out on the internet and received decent markings at best. And Fox seems like they’re coming to their senses with this latest idea. Instead of green-lighting a Silver Surfer movie, they are now thinking of integrating that character in to Fantastic Four 2. This is a great idea, because I ask you- does anyone really care about the Silver Surfer stand-alone comics? I mean, he kicked ass when he did crossovers but by himself it was just boring. Plus, FF2 could use a good villain after the dreadful Dr. Doom was ruined by cheesy acting and a Power Rangers-looking costume. Now if only they could replace the actor playing Mr. Fantastic himself… Until next time, kids.
by Clint Fletcher
First off, I would like to address the obvious issue that is going on with this movie. The question on everyone’s mind is- is the Nation ready for a 9-11 movie? Or more importantly, am I ready for a 9-11 movie? The answers to these questions will probably determine whether you will go see United 93 or not. Personally I believe that there will never be a good time for a 9-11 movie, so no better time like the present then, right?
As a filmmaker, it is hard to make films covering emotional events such as this. You will get a lot of flack for it and people will accuse you of many things that may or may not be true. I’ve experienced this on a small scale with one of my own films a few years back. Backlash for whatever reason is no fun. So I must give kudos to director Paul Greengrass for having the courage to stand up against half a nation of backlash to get this flick made. With that said, you may not want to see United 93, but you should. It is a very earnest and respectful film that got the approval of every single family member of the victims of the doomed flight. That was enough for me and it should be enough for you. It is not blown up for cinematic effect and it is not exaggerated in any way, shape or form. It is very blunt, raw, and at times, very gruesome to watch. But everyone should see it. Everyone should see what these people went through. Nobody on God’s green Earth WANTS to see anything this horrible, but sometimes it is necessary. Even if you think you know the story of United 93, chances are there are still details in the story that you have not yet heard of. I thought I knew the story as well as anyone, but it turns out I didn’t know shit.
To my surprise, while the movie is difficult to watch, it wasn’t near as difficult as I imagined beforehand. As a matter of fact, the first 45 minutes of the film barely focuses on flight 93, but instead brings attention to the numerous air traffic control stations dealing with the mass confusion of planes being hijacked. The negative energy, the raw paranoia, the unspoken dread and angst in the air is expressed well as Greengrass decides once again to go handheld (like the annoying Bourne Supremacy) but this time with a purpose. He wants to put you on the level with these people as if you were right there with him, and he succeeds greatly. Then after the two planes hit the towers and the traffic controllers scramble to find out which other planes have been hijacked, the film switches its attention back on to flight 93. The last 45 minutes play out in real time as the hijackers take over the plane and the passengers band together and attempt to take down the hijackers. This is where it gets difficult to watch. But again, I feel that its necessary. Although we all know how this story ends, the ending to this movie will still haunt you for days, and with good purpose.
This film does not ruin the memories of these lives lost, it honors them with great dignity and respect. Think of it as a video memorial. But it is definitely a story that I feel 1) needs to be told and 2) needs to be seen and heard by everyone. Now of course if you just know you don’t have the stomach for it, then by all means, don’t torture yourself by sitting through it. But there will come a time where every American will have to look back on this horrible day at some point or another. I’m glad my day came while watching United 93. This is the best film of the year, and is likely to stay that way through the remainder of 2006.