MonaVie Releases New Crack Drink!
August 17, 2009

Greetings from Shmarker!  It’s been awhile, fellow followers of all feats fagulous, since my last post.  I’m sorry for such a long delay (though I know I don’t have quite the following my fellow NPBiaH posters have), but I must blame my studies for such.  No, seriously. I had to sprint a session of marathon reading in order to finish Gravity’s Rainbow by my self-imposed deadline for my directed reading, followed by a fantastic trip to Washington, DC, where I took pictures in front of rockets (see, that was educational as well!) when not drinking at Brickskeller, house of 1,000 beers, followed by a brief visit with Mrs. Dalloway, who insisted on buying the flowers herself (that’s what servants are for!), then a pit stop for Three Cups of Tea with Greg Mortensen (a somewhat delightful read, but I’ll let you know more after I attend a speech he is giving my school and place of employment on Sunday), only to begin my whale watching expedition to locate Moby Dick.  So, yes, I’m a tad stressed.

And, apparently, the Diet Coke of nerd, as Shmathan so nicely called me in a comment on my last post.

But anyway, in an attempt to procrastinate on my reading, I felt compelled to tell you about the most amazing product out there: MonaVie’s energy drink.


Isn’t that gorgeous looking?  And, if you look closely enough, it’s HEALTHY, too!  I mean, 170 calories in 8.4 ounces!  But, it’s made of Brazilian super fruits, and every Brazilian I’ve seen is super skinny, so it must be healthy!  Delicious, too.  It tastes like a drink my bar makes, which uses regular MonaVie and is marketed as “the world’s healthiest cocktail.”  I like to fashion myself as a connoisseur of energy drinks, as I usually consume at least three or free sugar free Red Bulls, Monsters, Rockstars, or Venoms a week.  A neighbor who sells the stuff brought these MonaVies to me.  It has replaced all other energy drinks as my favorite.  It is Just. Plain. Amazing.  As I live only a two-minute walk away from a movie theatre, I drank one before seeing Julie and Julia last night, and this is where my diatribe about the wonders of this drink really kicks off.


Oh Noes! I’ve Got a Bad Case of the Pre-Half-Blood Prince Jitters!
July 14, 2009

(It’s okay; it’s not lethal.  The one symptom to look out for, however, is prolific blog writing and subsequent abuse of your best friend’s offer to guest write for his blog.  That can be deadly!)

Hello fellow Hornerites! Welcome to my first guest column for “NPBiaH.”  I’m Parker, and I could tell you a bit about myself, but I’d rather just jump right into the proverbial fire.

In the summer of 2005, when George Lucas was wrapping up his Star Wars hot mess and four teen girls were sharing a pair of pants on the big screen, the biggest blockbuster was not in theatres across the country but rather in bookshops across the world.  No, this is not hyperbole.  This was, at the time, the largest release of a book, ever, brought to the world courtesy of one J.K. Rowling.  The penultimate book in her Harry Potter series benefited from a six-month pre-release hype, with bookstores promising to remain open until after midnight so that they could meet fans’ demand of devouring the book before anyone could possibly spoil it.  The enigmatic title (Who, or what, is the Half-Blood Prince?  What will this mean for Harry?) met speculation, along with the perennial unanswered questions that run throughout the book (Will Hermione finally snog Ron?  Will there be more Quidditch?  When will the final battle occur?  Will there be another large death in this book?  From, you know, an actual MAIN character this time?  Will Hedwig remain my favorite character, despite my hatred of birds?  Will Oliver Wood finally pop off the page and profess his love for me?).  From this point on in my review, put on your SPOILER glasses (AKA, don’t read anything after the jump if you have not read Half Blood Prince!)



Let’s All Guess Esther’s Secret
March 19, 2009

While I was perusing the interweb this afternoon, I stumbled upon the trailer for an upcoming horror movie called Orphan.  It stars Peter Sarsgaard (yum) and Fiona Apple Vera Farmiga (who incidentally was also Joshua, another evil kid movie), and it looks like a riot.  I mean, this is the trailer:

Roh-no!  There’s something wrong with Esther, a secret that you’ll NEVER GUESS.  If that’s a challenge, then I accept, trailer.  Let’s all take a guess at what Esther’s secret is (be sure to leave yours in the comments section).  I’ll go first.  I think Esther’s possibly:

  1. A vampire.  That choker on her neck has me totally suspicious.
  2. The antichrist.  They never have birth records and are pure, unmitigated evil.  Just go watch The Omen (not the remake, the original, le duh).  
  3. An Eastern European demon/ghost/monster disguised as a girl.  Seriously, her accent is ridiculous.
  4. A robot girl that got switched to “Kill” mode.  

This movie may look like an uninspired rip-off of every Bad Seed-esque movie ever made, but I really want to see it now.  I have to know her secret.  That tag line is like a cruel taunt.  At least there’s plenty of juicy moments of hysteria (everybody is just freaking out in this movie!  EVERYBODY!) and evil kid cliches to keep the camp factor at (the very least) a solid 7.5.  Excellent.

Also, I think we can all agree: that one girl totally had that shove from the playground coming.  Jokes that are that cliched are inappropriate at any age.

UPDATE (7/8/09): Esther’s secret seems to have spoiled its way onto the internet.  Thoughts on its validity can be found here; the alleged twist in its its original comment form can be found here.

Funny People Is the Least Plausible Comedy. Ever.
March 19, 2009

Lots of people like to get all cranky about Judd Apatow’s movies because the formula is pretty standard.  They’re all unrealistic male fantasies in which men always get women way out of their league by emphasizing the importance of personality over looks while simultaneously not adhering to that same standard with its female characters.  Fair enough, but I’ve frankly found the Apatow leads to be an attractive crew.  Seth Rogen’s good looking, and Jason Segal’s flat out attractive.  Throw in their sharp sense of humor, and I’m sold.  Added to that, I can’t call shenanigans on the gender politics of a group of movies that still cares to actually respect its women by making them characters as opposed to caricatures. 

But I must call shenanigans on Funny People:

This movie is so far from being grounded in reality that it’s entered the far reaches of outer space.  In what world would any sane person leave Eric Bana, particularly when it’s Eric Bana that’s also smart enough to be FLUENT IN CHINESE?  That the chief issue in an otherwise perfect is his going to a massage parlor, possibly to be finished with a “happy ending,” and that’s enough to drive you into the arms of ADAM SANDLER???  

Shenanigans, y’all.

I’ll admit that I’m not a huge Adam Sandler fan, whereas I’d gladly watch Eric Bana make sandwiches for two hours.  Preferably shirtless.  So perhaps I’m a bit biased.  But seriously:


I Just Don’t Know What to Make of Away We Go
March 18, 2009

While Kate Winslet was out and about winning every possible acting award known to man, poor Sam Mendes was not winning any; he was, however, apparently being quite the busy body.  His new movie, Away We Go, hits this theaters this summer.  If a trailer can give you a disease, though, this one’s giving me a serious case of the whatevers:

This movie really looks to be beyond vanilla in its blandness.  It’s like ice cream without sugar or any flavoring.   Just cold, whipped, skim milk.  I just cannot form an opinion on something with so little flavor or texture.

I mean, I love Allison Janney in everything (she really is the best), and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s hippie-mom line about her stance against strollers is pretty great.  Added to that, Chris Messina is in the movie.  He played Lauren Ambrose’s  dreamy boyfriend in Six Feet Under and Rebecca Hall’s dreamy fiancee in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.  In short, he’s kinda dreamy.  But, in spite of these factors, the best that strums up in me is shoulder-shrug and a mental note to add it to my Netflix queue when it comes out on dvd.  

I think my big hesitation is that, even from this trailer, you can tell that Sam Mendes’s style doesn’t seem to be gelling with the assault-by-quirk script by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.  This just looks like Mendes is doing a Fox Searchlight movie, one of the unending stream of quasi-indie movies marketed as safe for mass consumption (Garden State, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, etc.).  

Added to that, I couldn’t be less of the target audience for this narrative journey if I tried.  I’m not of the age to where this movie would feel like my life right now, nor am I old enough to be able to view it as a sentimental piece of nostalgia through which I can remember what my life was like back then.  I prefer to let the anxieties of each stage in my life arrive on time; I don’t need a head-start on the worry race.

Plus, there are an alarming number of shots in that trailer involving people EUPHORICALLY EMBRACING LIFE (IN STROLLERS!  SINGING IN CARS!).  I don’t trust that.  Not at all.

So, yeah.  The trailer for Away We Go, y’all.  


Against All Odds, I Think I Might Tolerate a West Side Story Remake
March 18, 2009

There’s no denying that this little lady is pretty damn near flawless:

So, when you’re dealing with such perfection, of course somebody has to go screw it up.  It’s a Hollywood rule.  Thankfully, the closest West Side Story is to a remake green light is a Broadway revival and this Vanity Fair photo spread.  Looks like we’re safe.  For today.

Still, that Vanity Fair spread does raise the specter of a possibility, and–as much as it startles me to admit to it–I wouldn’t be completely opposed.  


When Life Gives You Last Night’s Gossip Girl, Make Dancing-Lady-ade
March 17, 2009

To wash the bile-tastic taste of last night’s Gossip Girl, my friend Brynn and I decided to turn to someone we knew we can always trust to entertain and delight, even in our darkest of ours.  That special someone is Joan Crawford, and last night, she was our Dancing Lady.  

We watched the ending because I’d completely passed out the previous time we attempted to watch it late one night (a belly full of pot roast and a few Joan Crawfords will do that to you, so don’t judge me!).

Dancing Lady is a 1933 musical starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable (who, by the by, is ridicu-handsome in his youth).  I’d bother and try to explain the plot, but the plot is paper-thin, and Dancing Lady is really just an excuse to let the sparks fly between Crawford and Gable (their scene at the gym is a hysterical and sexy in the same breath) while uber-producer of the era, David O. Selznick, tries his best to recreate the magic of the Busby Berkeley musicals.  Oh, and the Three Stooges are in it.  And Fred Astaire makes his screen debut in it.  Here’s just a taste of the singing, dancing madness:

They dance on a magic carpet before landing in Bavaria to sing the joys of German beer?  It’s both obvious and logical to ask, “What in the hell?”, but I prefer to simply ask, “Why the hell not?”  Trust me, it’ll ease you into the total explosion of insanity that is the finale:


Looks Like BAM’s Giving us a Danish Delight
March 16, 2009

No, not the pastry, though that’d be perfectly acceptable as well.  They’re doing a retrospective on Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, so they’re feeding our minds instead of our tummies.  Pastries would certainly make this retrospective complete, but still, let’s get excited!  There’s live piano accompaniment for the silent films (!), a movie about homo things (!!!), and Vampyr (squeee!!!).

Vampyr can’t really be described as a movie in the traditional sense; it’s more like a 75-minute version of the video from The Ring.  Or a really bad, Gothic-themed shroom trip in black and white.  Trust me, those are compliments.  Here’s a clip to illustrate what I’m talking about:

Amazing.  I recognize this’ll probably come off as the most ludicrous statement of the day as it lands somewhere between being totally nerdy and totally pretentious, and YouTube is a poor substitute for seeing a movie on the big screen (or even on DVD), but how Dreyer moves his camera through space is really something else.  And that something else is totally brilliant.

There’s absolutely no excuse to not get yourself to BAM at some point for at least one of the screenings, unless you’re not in NYC.  Or you have a deathly allergy to good things.  Then it’s acceptable.  Otherwise, go to a bakery, buy some danishes, and get your butt over to BAM.  You can make it a Danish-and-Danish-Film Extravaganza.  

Now wouldn’t that just be delicious?

Sweet Mercy, I’m Beyond Excited for Drag Me to Hell
March 13, 2009

I essentially know Sam Raimi, as a director, by his Spider-Man movies.  The first is a delightful pop experience.  The second is, behind The Dark Knight, probably the best comic book movie we’ve ever gotten.  The third is a genre-bending hot mess, a movie as intriguing as it is muddled.  I regretfully fell asleep the one time I tried to watch The Evil Dead (in my defense, it was very late when I started the movie), but what little I saw did manage to sufficiently freak me out, so there’s actually no regret as I avoided giving my subconscious further nightmare fodder. 

But I’m also a masochist who enjoys making bad decisions, so color me giddy to see the trailer for Raimi’s return to horror, Drag Me to Hell:

I’m flabbergasted at how utterly incredible this movie looks.  Obviously Sam Raimi is just going for it, and I suspect, when all is said and done, American horror will (briefly) be the better for it.

Normally, when a trailer makes some bold proclamation like “THE RETURN OF TRUE HORROR” or “VISIONARY DIRECTOR OF 300,” you chalk this up to the studios just trying to sell their product.  With lies.  Standard issue Hollywood protocol, really.

But I don’t think Universal is obeying that time-honored advertising protocol.  I think they may be telling the truth.  Zoinks!

Perhaps this is just the shock of seeing a horror movie that not a remake of an American horror movie, a remake of an Asian movie, derivative of either subset of the genre, or part of the Saw franchise.  Sure, there’s a touch of Thinner with the gypsy-curse plot, but at least this movie doesn’t look to reek like a stale, uninspired fart.  

Added to that, it’s rather brilliant counter-programming for the summer release schedule.  Here’s a movie that doesn’t involve robots in a post-apocalyptic future, robots that transform, or boy wizards.  Instead we get seances and Alison Lohman being tossed around her kitchen like a rag doll.  

And one creepy looking gypsy. 

Sign me up, please.

The Haunting in Connecticut Can’t Hit Theaters Soon Enough
March 12, 2009

Some time ago at work, I stumbled upon the trailer The Haunting in Connecticut:

That shower curtain just tried to eat her!  That’s ridiculous!  And fabulous!

Admittedly, the movie looks kinda derivative, but I’m not about to start complaining.  Everything from the The Exorcist  to Kubrick’s The Shining appears to be crammed into this movie like a Thanksgiving turkey.  I should be worried that the movie will play out like a greatest hits of supernatural horror, but instead I just can’t to see it.  On opening weekend.  It doesn’t hurt that they’ve cast the sexy beast that is Elias Koteas as a preacher, and I’ve always had a soft-spot for haunted house movies, but I’m mostly excited for one reason:


Looks Like David Hayter Will Not Be Invited to Take Back the Night
March 11, 2009


As Videogum noted, one of Watchmen‘s scribes, David Hayter, has posted an open letter on the internet imploring fans to see the movie again this weekend to keep box office up and therefore make studio heads feel confident in green lighting future Watchmen-esque projects.  Much of Hayter’s argument requires him to indulge in a little self-congratulatory ego masturbation, because that’s how you make a convincing argument.  For example:

I’ve seen it twice now, and despite having run the movie in my head thousands of times, my two viewings still don’t’ allow me to view the film with the proper distance or objectivity. Is it Apocalypse Now? Is it Blade Runner? Is it Kubrick, or Starship Troopers? I don’t know yet.

I’m gonna go for d) none of the above.  And also, Mr. Hayter: Kubrick is a filmmaker, so he probably shouldn’t be in a list that consists of movie titles.  But maybe that’s a stylistic choice irksome only to me, so I won’t dwell.

I certainly agree with his sentiment that, particularly when it comes to the film industry, you cast a vote every time you purchase a ticket.  It’s rather tacky that he has to be the one to make this plea for audiences to see Watchmen again; the movie’s as much his (ridicu)baby as it is Snyder’s, so Hayter’s essentially one of those parents with those awful bumper stickers on their vans about how their child’s on honor roll or Mensa.  Except whenever he has you come over and babysit, he makes you pay him.  He’s wrapped the ugliest sales-pitch sweater in a box with lovely pity-party ribbons and glossy sophisticated-taste paper as if that makes what he’s giving you any better.  Thanks, but no thanks.

But when Hayter gets to his climax, in which he uses a particular scene from Watchmen to articulate how the movie’s supposed to be dark and challenging yet ultimately rewarding as entertainment, he completely shits his (crazy) pants:


S. Darko Will Be the Showgirls of Donnie Darko Sequels. Literally.
March 10, 2009

Ruh-roh!  Someone in Hollywood put on on their best Armani bad idea suit, had it dry cleaned and pressed at Train Wreck Washers, then walked into an office and pitched this hot mess:

I’m left with so many questions, such as:

  • Is that Chuck Bass?  Why is Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass in the sequel to Donnie Darko?
  • Why is that one guy dressed like an extra from Mad Max?
  • Who thought this was a good idea?
  • Wait, there’s a meteor shower?
  • And a firebird???
  • And dancing in said meteor shower?!?!?

UGH.  This is such a colossal assortment of bad ideas gathered under one straight-to-dvd roof that I…


Having Now Seen Watchmen I Can Attest That I’ve No Idea What I’ve Seen
March 10, 2009

Well, Watchmen came out this weekend, and so we can now safely say that Billy Crudup’s CGI-enhanced blue full monty and Malin Akerman’s inimitable understanding of “acting” (apparently a mixture of reciting lines like English is your second language and posing like a crime-fighting tranny robot) have safely entered the pop-culture vernacular.  I’m not entirely certain either, particularly the latter, opens any useful conversations in our cultural discourse, but at least we’ve expanded our vocabulary, y’all!  And to paraphrase the great beacon of 20th century philosophical genius, Nomi Malone, Watchmen doesn’t suck, so I’ll freely admit it:


Let’s clarify, though, in that I said “not too bad.”  I neglected to use words like “exceptional” or “awesome” or even (most disappointingly to me) “campalicious.”  I’ve also neglected to utilize phrases like “tonally consistent” or “narratively coherent in any way that resembles a movie” because Watchmen is completely lacking in any of those qualities.  Hell, Watchmen doesn’t even qualify as a movie so much as an explosion of adolescent id and existential angst moving on screen at 24-frames-per-second.

Yes, there are scenes, and when taken in the order presented in the film, these scenes seem to resemble a plot.  The problem, though, is that each scene is so hyperbolically extreme in style and, when compared to scenes before and afterward, contradictory in terms of emotion and feel, that the resulting product feels schizophrenic and unhinged.  Snyder dials the violence up to 11 (arms are graphically sawn off with hacksaws and punches are capable of causing compound fractures) and the sex up to ridiculous (the howlingly bad sex scene between Ackerman and Patrick Wilson is Cinemax-grade soft-core porn with a Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” providing the soundtrack and a firing of the flame-thrower on Night Owl’s jet to signal their climax; all parties involved should be thoroughly shamed for that one), yet there are also unexpected moments of beauty in this behemoth.    


Let’s Let Train Wreck Carla Gugino Ease Us Into The Work Week
March 8, 2009

While I’d love to be an intrepidly productive fellow and drop a full Watchmen review right now, another week of work is quickly encroaching upon us, which mean this lil’ lady needs some rest.  Also, there really is simply so much to say about that movie.  It’s quite possibly even more ridiculous than I’d imagined.  In the mean time, though, I’ll let the saucy, sauced words of Carla Gugino take  us into the next week.  Take it away, Ms. Crazy Pants:


Seriously, that is one fierce bitch, and her terrible old-lady make-up and ridicu-hairdo can only be fully appreciated on the big screen.  I’m also not sure that anybody told her, but Watchmen is a comic book movie, not Dynasty: The Movie.

Don’t  think I’m complaining, though.  If Hollywood expanded that one scene into the basis for a sitcom, I’d be their number one fan.  So get to it, Hollywood!  I demand more boozy Carla Gugino in fright-lady make-up.  MORE!!!

Don’t Watch the New Harry Potter Trailer Unless You’ve Got Some Depends Handy
March 6, 2009

Are you all diapered up?  Okay then, let’s go:

Gah!  GAH!

Yeah, I’ve already watched this several times, but still: GAH!!!

I find it particularly dazzling that virtually any hint of the actual plot to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is completely absent from this trailer; it almost plays like a teaser in terms of revealing any details about the narrative (memories, blah blah blah, Tom Riddle, blah blah blah, ask too much of Harry, blah blah FIN).  Instead, we get a whole bunch of visual flash to show off how hard they’ve been working on the effects for when Harry and Dumbledore use the Pensieve to view Voldemort’s old memories and when Death Eaters are attacking London, the latter which I don’t recall happening in the book, but I’m not about to start complaining, because that sequence looks AMAZING.

I love how this doesn’t even seem to be anything more than an overly glorified teaser trailer; it’s so light on narrative and heavy on effects that you have to wonder if this is Warner Brothers silently answering to the question of whether Half-Blood Prince‘s theatrical release was really pushed back from last November to this summer to work on effects and not the internet nerd speculation that execs were afraid the movie would be trounced by Twilight; if that’s the case, then well played, Warner Brothers.  

I’m glad you’ve genuinely used your additional EIGHT MONTHS (but I”m not counting) of post-production to ensure entire audiences can collectively crap their pants in awe from the totally glorious sensory overload.  Hopefully seeing this in IMAX 3D won’t cause your colon to literally fall out, though; that’d be terrible.

And who would’ve thought that David Yates, who primarily directed BBC shows before landing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, would end up being such a total visual genius?  As the narrative of the series from the light-hearted fantastic of the early books to the darker anxieties and treacherous and violent gloom of the later books, Yates seems to be up to the task of crafting visuals that can be at once thrilling and threatening.  Seriously, Warner Brothers, so well played you deserve a golf clap.

Admittedly, it feels a bit strange to consider seeing a new Harry Potter movie two years after the release of the final book, as if we’re out of the zeitgeist and now in a time capsule.  Whatever.  I’m going back to watching that trailer now in anticipation of July 17th, y’all.  ‘Til then, I think we should all stock up on our adult-sized diapers.  Goodness knows we’ll need them.

Get Hollywood a Bailout, People, ‘Cos It’s Bankrupt on Ideas!
March 5, 2009

When I was a young, Freddy Krueger scared the living bejeezus out of me so much so that I’d refuse to go into movie theaters until my parents could confirm that there were no posters for a new Nightmare on Elm Street movie in the lobby, and if there happened to be one, I’d have a fit.  That my parents would put up with such absurdity is an impressive testament to their patience and love because I can’t even imagine how insufferable I must’ve been.   Were I in their shoes, I suspect I would’ve screeched, “You won’t step in the theater?  Then we’re going back home, and you’ll just have to watch Land Before Time!  AGAIN!!!”  But I’m writing about movies, not parenting styles, so I digress.

Anyways, my fear eventually turned to love, and I now regard A Nightmare  on Elm Street as one of my all-time favorite horror movies.  This scene pretty much sums up why [oh, and it’s NSFM (Not Safe For Mom)]:

 Wes Craven, you are brilliant.  Totally insane, but brilliant.   Between the Freddy tongue coming out of the phone, the crazy drunk mom, and Johnny Depp being dragged into his bed and spit out as a geyser of blood, well, you don’t get much better than that.  But that doesn’t mean Hollywood’s not gonna give it a shot.

And totally fail at it in the process.

In fact, according to, Platinum Dunes just recently announced the new A Nightmare on Elm Street remake will drop on April 16, 2010.  I think their poster should be a simple homage to the original, something like this:


Knowing Looks to Accelerate Nicolas Cage’s Career Swan Dive Into Awful
March 5, 2009

Over the past week, posters for the new Nicolas Cage film, Knowing, have been cropping up all over the subway likes it’s the advertisement equivalent of kudzu.  Are you confused about what Knowing is?  Don’t worry, I’ll show you:

I can’t explain it, but I really like it when Nicolas Cage claps in the classroom because it’s just such a classic Nicolas Cage “I’m ACTING!” sort of tic.  I’m not saying he’s a bad actor.  He’s totally great in Adaptation and the 20-odd minutes of Matchstick Men that I’ve seen, so there’s no doubt the man has talent.  Taste, however, might be another question.

Ever since The Wicker Man, he’s made increasingly poor career choices.  Can someone honestly defend movies (or the hairstylists hired for said movies) like Ghost Rider or Next or Bangkok Dangerous?  Not to get too Meryl Streep up in here, but I have my doubts, y’all.  The trailer for Knowing only appears to further confirm that Mr. Cage has taken a bungee jump off Career-Suicide Bridge without properly attaching the cord.  Ruh-roh.

I also want to know who greenlit this nonsense?  It’s like Next, Joel Schumacher’s abominable The Number 23, an episode of Lost focused on the Others, and Cage’s Wicker Man acting sensibilities all hopped into a telepod to make a Brundle-movie, and poor Alex Proyas is the one at the controls!  He once did the brilliant Dark City, and now he’s directing this schizophrenic mess?  YIKES!

But would I be lying if I said I wasn’t going to see it, possibly opening weekend at that?  Of course I would!

I’ve had a weakness for disaster movies ever since I rode the Earthquake ride at Universal Studios.  Epic destruction always yields a promise of over-the-top cinematic spectacle (usually ever greater as character development declines).  Besides, I’ve a weakness for movies that have “train wreck” stamped all over them, and Knowing has that stamp in big-bold letters.  When you add in the shredded cheese of a Nicolas Cage performance to it, you’ve  got a great recipe.

For unintentional laughs.

And, of course, then there’s this little online tidbit.  Someone at Summit Entertainment decided that a literal train wreck is the best way to whet you appetite:


Why Should Anybody Be Watching Watchmen This Weekend When There’s Technicolor Gene Tierney Goodness to Be Had?
March 4, 2009

So last night I ran into my friend Brynn at Film Forum on my way to see Lola Montès–the crazy-brilliant cinematic extravaganza by Max Ophüls (more on that later)–and, while I was standing in line, she asked me, “So you know what comes out on Friday, right?”

My instantaneous reaction, given the inescapable barrage subway ads, movie trailers, and blue-johnson internet chatter, was obvious: Watchmen.

Oh, silly me!  She was speaking in particular to Film Forum’s release schedule, and trust me when I say that the movie she had in mind doesn’t need any blue genitals to be twice the cinematic doozy that Watchmen will be.  

Ladies and gentleman, all me to present to you the Technicolor fabulosity that is Leave Her to Heaven, back on the big screen for one week only (!):

Oh, snap, y’all!  Having seen Leave Her to Heaven on a mere television, I can absolutely  testify to how incredible it is as a movie, and I can guarantee that, on the big screen, it will positively MELT.  YOUR.  FACE.  (Academically speaking.)

I think we all know what this means…


Terminator Salvation Has a New Trailer, Still Looks Incomprehensible
March 3, 2009

The new trailer for McG’s Terminator Salvation dropped yesterday, y’all.  Get excited:

Wait, do we have to?  

I’ll certainly admit that, coming from the man who gave us the most fabulous slow-motion hair tosses of all time, this movie appears to have the explosions-and-killer-robot equivalent of said hair tosses, so Terminator Salvation certainly holds the possibility of being totally ridiculous fun; furthermore, snaps to McG for actually devising a relatively interesting aesthetic for his apocalyptic-dystopia.  I’m glad he’s not just simply trying to capture the perpetual night from the James Cameron installments.    

Added to that, I thoroughly enjoyed Terminator 3, in which the director’s bravely unique vision was clearly, “Let’s go and blow tons of shit up!”; as such, I’m obviously not stepping into this installment franchise with any preconceived expectations or standards.  I’ve come to accept that Hollywood will at some point or another pillage and repackage every central cinematic moment of my youth, so I figure I should stop fooling myself into hoping for quality and simply cross my fingers for the buttered-popcorn deliciousness of another brainless summer action movie.


Holy Moses, Rena Riffel is the Truffaut of Actresses-Who-Play-Strippers/Hookers-Turned-Directors!
February 25, 2009

So yesterday, while I was searching for clips from Showgirls to include in my post about Slumdog Millionaire (isn’t that just always the case?), I stumbled upon this:

Sweet mercy!  What sort of batshit insanity is this?

In case you didn’t know, Rena Riffel has a small role in Showgirls as Penny/Hope, the new girl at the Cheetah.  She’s rather amazing in her own right, but Trasharella looks as though it’ll totally take the amazing cake.   

I normally tend to avoid deliberate camp because it always lacks the unaware charms of unintentional camp.  From Plan 9 from Outer Space to I Know Who Killed Me, great camp comes entirely from its sincerity in trying to be something other than terrible; anybody can intentionally make a bad movie, but only a certain crazed brand of genius still finds beauty in the cinematic train wrecks they’re masterminding.  Judging from the trailer, Trasharella appears to be channeling that genius in spades.

This is, after all, a movie that contains musical numbers, magic lipstick, and a vampire being killed by a woman brandishing a Barbie crucifix.  Awful or astounding?  

I’m going with astounding.  Simply astounding. 

I think we all know what has to be done.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.

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