Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mr. 3000

You pick this DVD off of the shelf and see Bernie Mac doing the baseball thing and you get to thinking "a poor man's Bull Durham". The thought could be any more off base. Instead, we a given a touching look at all too familiar modern sports figure, the "me first-all ego all of the time" self absorbed asshole and his journey to humbleness and self discovery. Considering it is being marketed as a comedy I would be tempted to pan it as I was let down in the laughter department, however, I simply can't do it. Bernie Mac gives such an honest and endearing performance here the studio should have let it stand on it's on two legs and been put out as a straight drama. Angela Bassett weighs her lovely self in as the female lead here with some fine support from Chris Noth (I wonder if he isn't just a Baldwin in hiding?)and Paul Sorvino, who really must play Yankees manager Joe Torre sometime even if it's only on Saturday Night Live. He is bang on for it! Bottom of the ninth here is if you are a fan of the baseball film genre you are in for an unexpected shock at how well Bernie Mac pulls this off. Damned if I wouldn't say he's pully a Barry Bonds here but I've met George Bell. Something tells me so has Bernie!

Hide and Seek

Here is another classic example of a motion picture simply falling under the weight of expectation. Robert DeNiro puts in a fine performance, the script is fairly solid, some great creep out moments and still, the film just falls flat. That old sense of been there, seen that, got the proverbial t-shirt, pass me the popcorn please. I'll tip my hat to Dakota Fanning for turning in an amazing Wednesday Adams and I do pray she does not go the way of so many childhood actors. She has chops, let us hope she has the brains and spine to go with them. As it is, the film is a fine little suspense thriller....just don't double feature it with The Sixth Sense.

The Perfect Man

I was quite prepared to put a serious trash compactorial on this piece of fluff but truth be told....there ain't a damn thing wrong with the flik at all! Hilary Duff, love her or hate her, more than holds her own alongside Heather Locklear and Chris Noth in this fine fast paced romantic mother/daughter comedy. Also, one of those obnoxious dudes from QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY (at least I think he is from there) damn near steals the show as a gay (surprise oh fucking surprise)waiter. For those of you who will never bother with this jobby, let me share this great zinger with you.

Big ass New York Italiano construction worker: Are you a Jet's fan?
Gay waiter: Oh sure, I loved WEST SIDE STORY

Don't know how it will hit you but with the way this guys delivers it I damn near pissed my pants!

It is also worth noting Heather LOcklear has an especially poignant scene towards the end guaranteed to pull a tear or two from even those most cynical of hearts.
Your call.

Ying Xiong (Hero)

It is very easy to see why the Academy gave this Oscar nod to this production for to say it is truly visually stunning would be a gross understatement. What Yimou Zhang does here is not so much direct as much as paint this film with the results being an amazing feast for the eyes. Even if you are not a fan of the martial arts genre I strongly reccomend giving Hero a look....with one warning...the wire work here is presented in such a way as to resemble ballet rather than the fast paced style we are accustomed to in North America. The version I watched was in the original Mandarin without subtitles which, for me, only added to the enjoyment as the scenery and architecture in China mixed with the language gave me the impression of watching something shot on another planet. A wonderful treat from Jet Li and a great departure from how the American audiences are used to seeing him.


This is one of those little babies in which you find yourself asking "where the hell did this come from?" and with good reason. A relatively B-film lead (Cole Hauser) surrounded by veterans such as Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore and Daniel Baldwin (is there an action film made in the last twenty years that DOESN'T have a Baldwin in it?!?!?!?) and cameos from Vince Vaughn, Matthew McConaughey, Chris Rock and Mel Gibson, all directed by Paul Abascal. Paul who?!?!?!?!?!?!
Appears this Abascal feller is the hair stylist to the stars and must be a personal friend of Mel's because Gibson is a producer on this one. Having cut his directorial teeth on plenty of tv shows PAPARAZZI is nothing to be ashamed of. Won;t win an Oscar mind you but it will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. Think TBS movie of the night on Sunday mornings. Worth it just to see Sizemore get his sleazy creep on or if nothing else the Gibson cameo.

Smart Kitchen Tip #6

One should not try to make ice-cubes in the oven.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Eagle and the Deer Head-Laugh or Cry?

Honestly, I don't know if I should laugh or cry when I hear a story like this. 10,000 or so residents of Juneau, Alaska were briefly without power after a bald eagle carrying a severed deer head wiped out in to some transmission lines. Seems the eagle found this deer head in a landfill site and workers found it again not far from the remains of the well cooked eagle. Think about it. Bad enough to lose an eagle period but for the poor bastard to go out from the just won the lottery-heart attack syndrom just kills me!

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Cookout

The thing I find irksome about films like these is somewhere somebody thought this was a good idea and then proceeded to spend a shit load of cash so I could waste a couple of hours of my life being bored senseless. Bot even Queen Latifa and Danny Glover can save this laughless piece of junk and one should always be wary these days of anything Farah Fawcett shows up in. Like any tedious family gathering this cookout should definately be skipped.

Angel of Death

I often wonder if the Sorvino family has ties or a debt to the mob because why Mira and Paul keep showing up in films like this is a total mystery to me. While visually appealing this film fails from a horrible script with lines as wooden as Noah's ark. Mind you, I could watch Mira doing soap commercials for hours on end but as she is such a fine actress is simply breaks my heart to see her in films like this. Avoid this angel of death as if it were the real one!

The Interpreter

One would think with the likes of Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman starring this would be an instant hit. Instead, what we have is a long, plodding and just plain boring bit of angst which is best reserved for Sunday morning hang over viewing.


I always like a pleasant surprise and this is exactly what I got from this funny little gem. This always seems to happen to me with Ben Stiller, I never expect much then end up laughing my fool head off at what he's doing. Along with Vince Vaughn, he strings together some mighty fine slapstick nonsense to easily entertain you for the night. Rip Torn turns in a great support role and William Shatner shows up for a non-event cameo. One of the few comedic films I'd actually like to see a sequel to!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bedroom Eyes

Well now, I'd like to write something bad about this film but seeing as it is a Robert Lantos co-production and I don't want him sending somebody over to break my legs I won't! So, let us focus on the positives here shall we. Let's start with the hype on the box........
Never jog in strange neighborhoods.
Never look in open windows.
Never take candy from a redhead.

All good advice I would have to say. This offering from director William Fruet who also did SPASMS, tons of fantastic television work and co-wrote the truly Cnadian classic GOING DOWN THE ROAD comes off as a simple make work project. Leave it at that. The flik starts with our lead guy (in a powder blue jogging suit) running through dog shit. Need I write anymore.

Paper Soldiers

Like a book, any video or DVD showing up in my lab will be watched no matter how bad it looks, hence why I was sad to see this little ditty (no doubt purchased by my daughter who is in to all of that "hood" shit) on the top of my viewing pile. So imagine my surprise when being confronted with a fine little nugget of entertainment. Mind you, I could watch Stacey Dash sell doughnuts and still enjoy myself but what we have here is some of the finest cussing put to film since SCARFACE.
I'd almost go as far as to say I'd rent something else just to hear Kevin Hart curse, this guy strings the insults and F-bombs with the best of them and damn if I don't enjoy a good smack fest. Really odd too to see a tip of the hat to Clockwork Orange in a production like this. Jay-Z also happens to be in there somewhere as well but did I mention Stacey Dash is in it? Well worth the hour and a half if for nothing else but to see Hart command the Bond style car.

Star Trek-The Motion Picture

Since Christian and I have procured a little piece of V'Ger, I felt a rewatch of this old "classic" was in order. Like many of the films I've been blogging about there is very little I can add to what is already out there. I will mention I always forget the title theme was reused for the Next Generation and it throws me off everytime I hear it in this context now.
I also failed to remember Isaac Asimov was the senior science consultant for this project and while slightly dated, the ideas presented in this film hold up remarkably well. One is tempted to ask if the merging of Voyager probe with the Machine Planet mechanism isn;t our first hint of the Borg. Now I'm very well aware some basement dweller will jump all over me for mentioning this as no doubt there are thousands of pages in some forum devoted to this very concept. I am quite proud to say I've not encountered them nor do I wish to. I would love to see a follow up story to the Collins/Khambatta morph someday though I trust it is unlikely or has already happened in a novel or comic. In my Trek universe, if it ain;t on the tv or in a film it hasn't happened!
I remeber skipping school to see the first showing of this when it first came out and while grossly unhappy with it then I was pleasantly surprised how enjoyable I find it today. One last note....while this copy I viewed was on video, one must check out the extras on the dvd.....a great scene which aired on television in the extended version shows Kirk in the jetpack leaving the the camera pans back the entire soundstage is fully visable. I've never been sure some editor didn't stick that in there on purpose just to give the geek squad something to howl about!
Live long and perspire!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Alan Scarfe

OK OK! The Bitter Ash was NOT Alan's first feature film but it was an early one. Weird seeing Canadian money in the busker's pot back then, the old one dollar bills look eerie to say the least in glorious black and white.

The Bitter Ash

Just caught this 1963 BW so called Canadian classic this afternoon on Bravo. Odd to see a beatnik film set here in the great white north, this slow and plodding entry is notable mostly for being Alan Scarfe's first feature film. We'll be seeing him in the Babylon 5 Lost Tales later (hopefully) this year. Worth a vieiwing is you like maple syrup with your pot!

Ghost Rider-Believe the Hype!

Don't even try to tell me Nic Cage won't rock as Johnny Blaze, from the looks of the previews it seems Cage the fan-boy is in his element and having the time of his life. I can't wait.

Pan's Labyrinth

I had to view this film twice to even begin to understand what I felt about it. The word masterpiece is well overused these days but when applied to Del Toro's latest offering it is bang on. Hard for me to write anything about it without ruining the magic so let me leave you with this, we are introduced to one of the most disturbing villians ever put on screen and it is a must see!

Smart Kitchen Tip #5

When making haggis always be sure to use stale oatmeal and barley. Heaven forbid it should taste good! A happy Robbie Burns day to all.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Smart Kitchen Tip #4

One should never use gasoline as a cooking oil.


Had the chance to watch this little gem of depravity again the other night and I'm pretty sure this isn't much I can add to what has already been written except perhaps one of the finest pair of silicon art are amply on display throughout the flik! Always worth a look.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thrill of the Vampires

I'd love to be able to say something nice about this oldie but I just can't wrap my head around it. A follow up to Caged Virgins, this 1970 French film is most famous for the once banned nipple torture dungeon scene. If anything, it should be remebered for achieving the dubious feat of making lesbian vampire orgies boring! I honestly didn't think it possible but by god old Jean Rollin did it. The Cramps like rockabilly score is worth noting and a few blocked shots in a dinner scene, otherwise, this film should be avoided like trans fats!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Smart Kitchen Tip #3

When storing a jar of pickles of the side of the fridge door, one should always ensure the lid is properly secured.

Question of the Day

Why is it sound waves seem to travel down more than up?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Absolute Power

Another fine Clint Eastwood time waster in which we are to believe he is an aspiring artist who also happens to be a crack thief who sees something he shouldn't. One of E.G. Marshall's last films, this alone makes it perfect viewing on a hung over Sunday afternoon. ED Harris, Gene Hackman and Scott Glenn round out the cast.
3 skulls!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Question of the Day

Why is it so hard to find a good deli pickle thes days?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Smart Kitchen Tip #2

One should never put sushi in the microwave.

Slater Rocks!

I am mystified as to why Christian Slater never received an Oscar nod for his work in ALONE IN THE amazing film with a solid script, top drawer scripting and SFX to rival the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Yes, Hollywood does boggle my mind sometimes........

Friday, January 05, 2007

Smart Kitchen Tip #1

One should never try to boil orange juice......ever!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Can Samuel L. Jackson Get Any Cooler?

Just caught the debut of AFRO SAMURAI on the Spike network tonight and the question does have to be asked....can Samuel L. Jackson get any cooler? Of all of the bad ass muthafuckers he's portrayed, voicing a joint puffing fro'd killing machine has got to be the best. I think the question has been answered...NO WAY he can get any cooler!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bring On the Angels

Bringing this New Year in with style by kicking out the old dial-up and upgrading to high speed fun. The cobwebs have cleared from the big eve and I await the adventures ahead! I promise to keep you informed...really...I do!