Month: August 2012

August 18, 2012

Rescue Dawn…And Inexplicably Behind Enemy Lines

Hey, remember that horrid dreck of a film Behind Enemy Linesstarring a more annoying than funny Owen Wilson and a completely phoning it in at this point Gene Hackman?  Yeah?  Well, Rescue Dawn is exactly like that.  Wait….no…no, no, no.  Rescue Dawn is nothing like that.  Rescue Dawn is practically the opposite of that.  Despite both films being about a pilot trying to survive while trapped in enemy territory, Rescue Dawn sets itself apart by being a HARROWING tale of desperation, will, and faith.  While, Behind Enemy Lines simply presents a cheap, clichéd, cash grab that only manages to make me want to gouge out my eyes with a dull spoon and/or puke uncontrollably.   But I’m not here to insult Behind Enemy Lines.  I’m here to talk about Rescue Dawn….and insult Behind Enemy Lines.
Rescue Dawn earns its spot with great survival films like Cast Away, The Road, and my personal favorite The Adventures Of Milo and Otis…uh…I mean The Edge.  Dawn has the advantage over those 4…um…3 by being a true story.  A situation that gains a whole new respect from its viewers by being filmed starkly, without pulling any punches.  Director Werner Herzog, oddly famous for actually eating his own shoe,  greatly delivers on the unflinching realism of being in a P.O.W. camp.  The effects of starvation and malnutrition, the desperation to escape, the fear of capture and the loneliness of isolation.  Its all there in spades. 
Usually, survival films provide great opportunities for some terrific performances.  Rescue Dawn is no different.  Christian Bale is always at his best when he gets to totally go method and manipulate his body, as he does here. (Lost 55 pounds for the role.)  However, Steve Zahn (Lost 40 pounds for the role.) and the vastly underrated Jeremy Davies (Lost 33 pounds for the role.) give him a run for his money.
If you want to see a quality drama with good acting, good direction, and good storytelling, then watch Rescue Dawn.  If you want to see a film that takes a similar situation and reduces it to a mindless, banal, poorly shot action film, then watch the vomit inducing dumpster fire that is Behind Enemy Lines.  Hell, watch them both…then tell me I’m wrong.  Sweet Lord, I hate Behind Enemy Lines.
August 17, 2012

Freddy Got Fingered

Freddy Got Fingered – Surreal
In the magical land of Canada there is a man who sucks cows’ nipples, torments complete strangers, and treats his friends like winners.  That man is Tom Green.  Back in the late 90s, MTV took a liking to this strange young man and gave him his own weekly show and soon enough old Greeny went Hollywood and birthed from his loins came “Freddy Got Fingered.”
A lot has been said about “Fingered” over the years; how awful, vile, deplorable, sick, the accolades can go on and on, but I have to say, without Tom Green and this oft-kilter comedy (I say it’s more performance art then actual comedy) you wouldn’t have your “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job” or “Workaholics” comedies that really pushes the limits of taste, and what we can take.

Aside from skateboarding and other post-adolescent hijinks, this comic gem includes deer carcass wearing, horse penis wiggling, compound leg fracture licking, a sadomasochist wheelchair bound rocket scientist, and of course my favorite, baby umbilical cord swinging.  If that isn’t performance art, I really don’t know what you’d call it.

Outside of all the wacky antics, there is one performance that really stands out, and that is Rip Torn’s.  With all the fucked up stuff going on in “Fingered” you forget its really the story of a son just trying to gain his father’s trust by spraying him with elephant cum.

Heartwarming, and definitely fun for the entire family, “finger” it out and go check out “Freddy Got Fingered” you won’t regret what you’ll see.

Fun Fact:  The scene where Freddy is watching TV in his house are actual scenes from Tom Green’s surgery for Testicular Cancer

August 14, 2012

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult: Solid

Is the third and final film in a comedy classic trilogy…

“Well… We shot a lot of people together. It’s been great. But today I retire, so if I do any shooting now, it’ll have to be within the confines of my own home. Hopefully, an intruder and not an in-law, like at my bachelor party.” 

The Last Time we saw Frank Drebin?

After foiling the Evil energy companies plain to use a Dr. Mainheimer decoy and disarming a bomb. Frank got Jane back and decided he will retire from the police force and spend his time with Jane.

“Rocco could tell from my little escapade in the shower that I was well endowed… with courage.”

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (Trailer)After retiring last time we saw him, Frank comes out of retirement to help Police Squad. This time he goes deep undercover to infiltrate terrorists who plan on using the Academy Awards to detonate a bomb. During this time Frank and Jane try to start a family as well as getting help with some problems this has brought up. Can Frank save the day, as well as produce a child for Jane? Let’s watch and find out! 

“Hey! You call this slop? Real slop has got chunks in it! This is more like gruel! And this Château le Blanc ’68 is supposed to be served slightly chilled! This is room temperature! What do you think we are, animals?” 

Sure, Naked Gun 33 1/3 is a bit weaker then what we come to aspect from a Naked Gun film, but it’s still funny. It seems to be a very underrated film online when people talk about. I feel its better then people give it. It has it’s issues and could never really be as good as the first one, that’s a given. This film was Directed by Peter Segal and not David Zucker, so we have that going on. But it is still written by David and still has those great lines we all come to love with the Naked Gun trilogy. The issue with this film is the story. The weak “Bad guys” really felt like they just threw something together just so they could get the film made. The strongest part is just like every other time is the performance of Leslie Nielsen. But unlike films of today they did stop making these films and didn’t keep trying. They simply stopped rehashing Frank and I give them credit for that. I won’t lie, I would of like to seen a fourth one, but do to the passing of the comedy legend Leslie Nielsen I hope they never try to remake or create a sequel to this fantastic Naked Gun trilogy. And if someone tries too, trust me, they will have to go through me first…and the shit will hit the fan!

“They’re going to blow that place sky high. It’ll be a tragedy. Unless it’s during a dance number.”
Favorite scene in this film is a classic!

Nurse: “Do you need any help?”
Drebin: “Do you have Spartacus?”

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you…
What’s your favorite scene?
“Look, baby. I am what I am, and I do what I do. A few guys make shoelaces, some lay sod, others make a very good living neutering animals. I’m a cop!”

And that’s it! Every Naked Gun film, Do you agree they are all good, thou get weaker with each one?

Do you have a favorite?
August 13, 2012

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear: Hilarious

Is the second film in a comedy classic trilogy…

“Well, send him plane fare and a new pair of pants.” 
The Last Time we saw Frank Drebin?
his best friend and partner, played by O.J. Simpson was in a coma after being shot 6 times. As he was investigate the shooting he stumbled onto a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II by Vincent Ludwig, played by Ricardo Montalban. 
“Thank you. But, in all honesty, the last three I backed over with my car. Luckily, they turned out to be drug-dealers.”
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (Trailer)
Lt. Frank Drebbin is back! A new evil has popped up and its up to Frank to save the day! Both Frank and Jane are no longer together and a Scientist named Dr. Mainheimer is publishing a report on the future of energy. Evil energy companies like nuclear and oil decided to save their industries by replacing Dr. Mainheimer with a decoy who has his own report that will keep nuclear and oil at the front of the future of energy. 
“There, there. You had no way of knowing the man you were dating was a vicious, murdering sociopath.”
The smell of fear is a very good sequel to really a perfect comedy. It’s tough to make another film when the first is a comedy masterpiece. But all said and done 2 1/2 is a funny film. It’s a solid sequel that has great quotes, more O.J. and more action. I highly enjoy this film and highly suggests you watch this film especially if you haven’t before it’s that good. And let’s hope you seen the first one since it’s such a perfect film.
They really don’t make funny films like this anymore!
“I’m single! I love being single! I haven’t had this much sex since I was a boy scout leader!” 
My favorite scene from The Final Insult is the Lion scene. I remember seeing this for the first time and when the lion comes out of nowhere and attacks, I fell to the ground out of my chair. The link of when Frank letting loose of all the animals at the zoo to the attack was so perfect it made me cry with laughter. Like the pee scene from the first film, this scene gets me every damn time!

“Oh, that would be me. I’ve been swimming in raw sewage. I love it!”

Stay tuned for tomorrow as we look at

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
August 12, 2012

Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!: Hysterical

Is the first film in a comedy classic trilogy…
Like The Godfather Trilogy, Back to the Future and The Man with No Name Trilogy, The Naked Gun Trilogy

stands with that group as one of the greatest trilogies of all-time!
“It’s fourth and fifteen and you’re looking at a full-court press” In 1982 the television comedy series, Police Squad! premiered. It was the beginning of one of the greatest comedy franchises ever created. Sadly it only lasted six episodes, but it spawned the great Naked Gun trilogy.
“I’ve finally found someone I can love – a good, clean love… without utensils.” 

Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (Trailer)

is about a cop named Frank Drebin who comes back after his best friend and partner, played by O.J. Simpson is shot 6 times (missing ever vital organ) is now in a coma. Once he begins to investigate the shooting he stumbles on a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II by Vincent Ludwig, played by Ricardo Motalban. This film is one of the GREATEST COMEDIES of all time! Airplane is up on the list as well but like Airplane, Leslie Nielsen is the highlight of the film and in Naked Gun we get more of that. Leslie Nielsen is a comedy Legend and Naked Gun is the film that did it for me. Never has a film come as close.
“Yes. Well, when I see 5 weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards. That’s *my* policy.” When you watch this film you will laugh and laugh! The whole time you watch this film you will have a smile on your face. It’s that good! In fact this form of comedy has been copied so many times I.E. the stupid Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie and Disaster Movie (can’t believe I had to write those titles on this site, but I’m making a point) and they all failed at it. This franchise is one of a kind and yet it stands up today! It’s still one of the best comedies of all time!
“Yes, he’s in the intensive care ward at Our Lady of the Worthless Miracle.”

I have so many favorite scenes in this film, but if I had to pick just one (which is tough)…

I’d pick the Press Conference Scene it gets me everytime!

What’s your favorite scene in the Naked Gun?

Stay tuned for tomorrow as we look at
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
August 11, 2012

Simplistic TV: White Collar


In 2002, Steven Spielberg directed the film Catch Me If You Can starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio.  It centered around the true story of a brilliant con artist gallivanting around the country and the relentless FBI agent tasked with capturing him.  It is one of Spielberg’s better, yet, forgotten films.  Hanks is great, Leo is great, and Christopher Walken steals every scene he’s in.  The film itself ends…(SPOILER ALERT) with Leo, the criminal, beginning to help Hanks, the FBI agent, solve some of the white collar crimes in order to commute his sentence.  This is where the USA Network show White Collar picks up.

White Collar is a procedural dramedy…or…comedrama…wait…that sounds stupid…lets stick with dramedy….about a master thief/con artist helping the FBI capture criminals while trying to stay on the straight and narrow himself.  A concept that serves as a great foundation and a smart jump off for some very original ideas rarely seen on a typical procedural cop show.  As with most USA Network shows, White Collar doesn’t shine when it sticks to the monster of the week procedural formula.  It shines when they focus on their character’s chemistry and ONE all encompassing story arc.  If there is one thing you can say about USA, most of their shows have casts and characters WITH CHEMISTRY.  Whether that be Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, and the LEGENDARY Bruce Campbell on Burn Notice….Gabrielle Macht and Patrick J. Adams on Suits…or here with Tim DeKay, Matt Bomer and Willie Garson on White Collar.  You like these characters and you like to see them have conversations with each other, no matter what they’re talking about.  This serves White Collar very well.

Where White Collar draws some critique is in its occasional tone shifts.  Where Catch Me If You Can is more drama than comedy, White Collar is more of the latter.  It feels more at home in the CUTE, light-hearted format.  For example, the tone of film The Sting, is where White Collar might want to stay.  However, there are instances where the show tries to get serious and dark.  However, it doesn’t ring very believable because its such a departure from the tone it has originally set.  Burn Notice is a show that can be fun then turn dark and it works because of the nature of the hero. (A Burned Spy)  A white collar criminal or con artist isn’t usually confrontational.  Danny Ocean isn’t ever going to beat the sh*t out of someone or kill anyone.  Neither should Neal Caffrey.

Now, I can’t blame the show runner Jeff Eastin too much for something that happens occasionally.  I’m willing to bet they’ve been knudged into shifting tone by USA during finales or sweeps.   Mainly because there is nothing that television networks love more than running an ad with somber music and a gravely voiced narrator whispering “On A Special Episode Of….Fill In The Blank” with text flashing across the screen that reads “ALL…BETS…ARE…OFF!”  And for the most part, Eastin’s show stays true to it’s better nature.

White Collar benefits from its concept, its cast, (Which includes KELLY F*#KING KAPOWSKI) and its cleverness.  Its good fun when it remembers it is supposed to be fun.  Watch it…then tell me I’m wrong.

August 11, 2012

Source Code


Director Duncan Jones(Son Of David Bowie By The Way…Yes That David Bowie) originally impressed me with his 2009 film Moon starring Sam Rockwell.  On the surface Moon looked like a typical indie sci-fi picture.  However, Moon, to me, was actually about knowing yourself and the questions of what makes us who we are.  A movie that appears to be one thing but turns out to really be about something else entirely.  Two years later, Jones directed a film that fell again under the design of an EXISTENTIAL question hidden behind a sci-fi genre.  That film was Source Code.

Source Code was promoted as another “unique” a sci-fi concept thriller.  Its probably why it took me so long to see it.  But as you watch it, you start to realize that its not the stated terrorist plot that is important to this story at all.  Its not even the, not so well hidden, twist (Which I won’t spoil) that reveals itself 45 minutes in.  Its the questions of fate and destiny and whether its worth it to even fight to change something that is inevitable and ultimately irrelevant.

Concepts like these by themselves could make for an interesting film…but not in this day and age.  Hollywood is under the belief that these questions as the subject of a film are not good for business. They think it is too much work to market EXISTENTIALISM to the mass populous.  So filmmakers try and hide their EXISTENTIAL films inside films that Hollywood knows how to promote.  Most times they’re done poorly.  Sometimes they’re done well.  Sometimes they’re done so well, that they entertain the intellectual and…um…how do I put this….the people who like stuff that blow up real good.  Source Code is one of the films that has done it well.

No, it is not a flawless film.  Its overly sentimental at times and the final scene ends rather abruptly.  However, Source Code is still a solid film with solid performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright.  For those of you over 29 that remember a little TV Show called Quantum Leap, there is a very cool nod to the similarities between it and Source Code.  There will be no doubt in your mind that it entertained you after you’ve seen it.  Don’t believe me?  Charge the drivers….go back 8 minutes….think about it…then tell me I’m wrong. (That joke will makes sense after viewing…but probably still won’t be funny.)

August 10, 2012

Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment: Classic

I enjoy this film a lot. One reasons is they don’t make these kind of films anymore. So it’s a rare gem. Acting is top notch, Jack Nicholson is great and the directing of James L. Brooks works fantastic.

A great film for a movie lover, Mother and Daughter or a fan of comedy in general.

Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma’s marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora’s interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways. (from IMDB)

August 8, 2012

Killer Klowns From Outer Space

 Killer Klowns From Outer Space – Memories

I remember as a kid waking up early one morning before anyone in the house and taking advantage of the one TV that we had with HBO.  I turn the TV and one movie was just ending and the credits were just closing out.  I decided to wait and see what was coming up next and the next thing I hear is some faint circus music with what it seemed people laughing.  Next thing I know the credits flash on the screen, the guitars kick in and I see ‘Killer Klowns From Outer Space.”  With that, what I thought of b-movies would never be the same.

Most people have fears of clowns, personally I don’t get it, but yes, its real.  In “Killer Klowns” the plot is simple, and creepily effective.  A group of jolly klowns have come from some undisclosed planet to bring the citizens of Crescent Cove the chuckles, and promptly kill them in some quite humorous ways, ranging from killer popcorn to corrosive pies.

A lot of b-movies hold special places in my heart from “The Toxic Avenger” (which I will cover in another review) to “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama” (which I will cover in yet another review down the road).  I remember watching many of these fine films on either “Monstervision” with Joe Bob Briggs, “USA’s ‘Up All Night‘” with either Gilbert Gottfried or Rhonda Shear, and to a lesser degree, “Night Flight.”  Whenever I think about “Klowns” it takes me back to a simpler time when I wasn’t so worried about what I might be getting out of a movie, and instead just enjoying myself.

Fun Fact:  Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns with the prefix, -coulro, meaning “stilt walker” derived from Ancient Greek.

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