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REVIEW: Coraline (Dir. Henry Selick)

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

It was opening night of Coraline and I was at the 9:45 show. Aside from a set of young parents and their two young children sitting in front of me, the audience for a movie marketed to kids was uncharacteristically full of asshole teenage emo-jock hybrids sitting in a collective guy to girl ratio of 2:1.

While I sat and waited for the movie to start the guys puffed themselves up and let everyone in the theatre know how everything around them was somehow gay. It was obvious why — they had to show the girls that they were men; only half of them would be able to take a girl home and make her cry in a forceful attempt to see a boob. And in the morning the girl gets a Nightmare Before Christmas keychain for her trouble, then it’s off to hockey practice.

The lights dimmed, and the trailers began. Even though I had my suspicions, I wasn’t absolutely convinced that Zach Efron’s new movie, 17 Again, was gay. But then the kids reassured all of us that it was — so thanks guys. As the movie began, we were treated to a credit sequence in which a disturbing set of metal fingers ritualistically gutted and skinned a rag doll. While this was going on I wondered what kind of trouble I would get into if I bought one of those high-pressured rubber pellet guns and started shooting those kids. Nothing hard. Nothing too violent. Just like a little nudge of, “Hey, shut up. Or I’ll fuck you until you like it. Then who’s gay? Huh?” Probably me at that point. But still, lessons learned are hard taught.

And as all of this was running around in my head I realized that there was no more chest-beating coming from the audience. Everyone was quiet and watching the disturbing ballet of imagery on screen. It was at that point everyone realized this might not be as playful of a kids movie as they had thought. And that played out until the end credits rolled. It is, without a doubt, a kids movie; but it does dance the line of morbidity. I can’t think of many other movies geared toward kids where ghost children plead with the main character to, “find our eyes!” so they can go to heaven.

Coraline, directed by Henry Selick and based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book, is about a young girl who moves into the middle floor of an old house with her mother and father — two gardeners/authors who never have time to be parents. One night, after spending the day dealing with her eccentric top and bottom floor neighbours, she finds that a secret door in her living room leads to an alternate reality where her parents have buttons for eyes (referred to as the ‘Other Mother’ and ‘Other Father’) and smother her in love. Although she finds this a little unsettling at first, she does appreciate the attention. Everything seems to be going great for her until the Other Mother tells Coraline if she wants to stay in this alternate world she’ll have to sew buttons into her eyes. And everything gets crazier from there.

Technically, Coraline was the best stop-motion animated film I have ever seen. Maybe not the best stop-motion ever used in a film (Dragon Slayer is still top of the list), but as far as wall-to-wall animation goes, Coraline supersedes its predecessors (some of which Selick might also be paying tribute to in his depictions of Coraline’s old friends — who look like they’ve come straight from Will Vinton’s workshop). As far as animators go, Selick is more theatrical in his movements. Everyone exaggerates their actions and nobody is ever still (unlike animators such as Nick Park or Adam Elliot, who concentrate on the subtlety of facial features and nervous movements), but all of this works perfectly for Coraline. Maybe too perfect. In a world where CGI is looking more and more like traditional and stop-motion animation, I think the perfection of the movement in Coraline might have a lot of people not realizing they’re looking at tangible objects.

The voice talent (from Dakota Fanning, John Hodgman, and Teri Hatcher among others) is surprisingly good. Although a lot of people will tend to compare Coraline with Nightmare Before Christmas, it’s not. Not at all. Coraline doesn’t try to be cute. It doesn’t treat its material as fun. Selick’s characters don’t break out in song (aside from one by John Hodgman’s Other Father — but it’s written and sung by They Might Be Giants, so I’m not holding it against him); they don’t playfully relish the darkness like everyone in TNBC; and they don’t treat the uncanny around them as a cute departure from the everyday.

Near the middle of the movie, as things got darker, the two children in front of me were noticeably scared. They even started whimpering and crying a little. Maybe it was because their parents wouldn’t let them leave. But the kids stuck through it, and by the end they were all smiles. And I felt the same way — I wouldn’t necessarily think of Coraline as a kids movie, but it’s a journey that kids would appreciate more than the rest of us. The emo-jocks thought it was pretty gay.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 33 Comments »

REVIEW: I Am the Heat – The Future Doesn’t Need Us

Posted on January 16, 2009 by

I suppose if you’ve never listened to indie pop before you might find I Am the Heat’s album The Future Doesn’t Need Us a bit interesting. Unfortunately, I have heard indie pop before, so I’m left with nothing.

It’s not a necessarily bad album by any means, I’ve just heard the same let’s-write-a-song-for-the-sake-of-writing-a-song stuff before. Many times before. Anyone out there ever head of ‘Space Bike’? I used to think they were awesome; until I realized my favorite indie-pop bands were only my favorites because I heard them first. It’s like buying a box of Corn Pops, eating one, loving it, and not liking all of the other corn pops because they taste too much like the first one. There’s nothing new going on here.

Once again, it’s not bad; but it’s not great. Should you buy it? No. You probably already own it, but it’s a different album, written by a different band, and you like that one more.

Hits & Misses, Music, Old Stuff | | 1 Comment »

REVIEW: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Dir. David Fincher)

Posted on January 14, 2009 by

It’s been a tradition for the past few years to see a movie on Christmas day instead of spending time with my family.

A lot of people were at the theatre when I got there; A quick scan of the crowd told me most of these people were home for the holidays before returning to school.

The majority of them were boyfriends (who didn’t leave town) accompanied by their girlfriends (who were in their first year of post-secondary school) — it was written all over them. The same girls that were only months ago wearing stripped leggings under an oversized hoodie covered in crazy shit were now draped in pea-coats and scarves, while their trashbag boyfriends still wore their trucker hats (which are still cool in Sault Ste Marie where I live) and Fox Racing jackets. Both seemed clueless to the fact that this would probably be their last date together.

Even for Christmas day the theatre was fairly packed; and for a two-hour movie it was a rather breezy time. But that’s all David Fincher; the guy knows how to make a long movie seem at least half an hour shorter than its actual length: keep it moving and keep giving the audience new information (a tactic used in both Zodiac and Fight Club)

Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt do little with their roles, and fall back on composited CGI versions of themselves to do most of the acting, which is a shame and a waste. Pitt’s role as the title character is especially underrepresented — relying almost entirely on narration rather than interaction to emotionally engage the audience.

The script, by screenwriter Eric Roth, felt too much like his work on Forest Gump. It’s basically Forest Gump, if he was physically handicapped instead of mentally handicapped. And then instead of being physically handicapped, he was magically handicapped.

But the biggest downfall of the movie is the ending. As Benjamin grows younger, it gets to a point where they can’t keep using Brad Pitt CGI mutants, and have to use a younger actor. So, as soon as you see the teenage version of Benjamin, you’re pulled out of the movie. It’s no longer the same character. He doesn’t even really look like how you figure Brad Pitt would look as a teenager. At that point the audience doesn’t care. They’re no longer following the story of Benjamin Button – that was Brad Pitt’s story, not some teenagers.

As the credits rolled, we began walking out; passing the same young couples we came in with. The pea-coated girlfriends, who felt newly enlightened because they were in university, defended the movie to their trucker-cap boyfriends, who thought it was dumb and long. After a short back-and-forth, the girlfriends just stopped arguing. Their boyfriends weren’t going to get it. They’d never understand because they haven’t experienced life yet, not like they had anyway. And later on in the night the larger revelation would hit — not only did their boyfriends not ‘get’ the movie, but they didn’t get them anymore either. They would have to break up. She’s in university, she wants to travel, she wants to grow and live life and settle down when she’s ready. Her and her boyfriend were just different people. We all know those girls (btw those girls, fuck you. Die sad and alone — with guys still not ‘getting’ you.)

And then it hits that Benjamin Button is the perfect guy for these girls. While they’re young and stupid, he’s the older, mature, worldly man they feel they can learn from; And when they get old and their vaginas start to dry out (science), he’ll be the bucking young stud ready to fuck them until they orgasm all of the dead, unused eggs out of their wombs (also science).

That said, I still enjoyed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Although it’s not a movie that I would feel the need to see immediately again, it does have a fairy tale air that appeals to both adults and children. Not one of the best movies of the year, but still a great movie.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 7 Comments »

Open Letter to Steven Spielberg and Will Smith by Chris Nash

Posted on November 21, 2008 by

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RE: this.

Dear Mr. Smith and Mr. Spielberg,

We all love Oldboy. Oldboy is a great film. In an age of fantastic and unique Asian films that are, for lack of a better term, culturally untranslatable for the masses (I couldn’t see an American version of Battle Heater working out), Oldboy stands out as a body of work which has crossed continents and clearly impressed everyone who has seen it. I mean, it’s a Korean film about imprisonment and incestuous revenge with an amazing hammer fight and it’s #116 on the IMDB top 250. That’s tough to pull off.

And all of that tells us one thing: it’s a great film. As redundant as this may sound, it’s the most perfect telling of Oldboy that could possibly be filmed. And it’s cool. It’s a fucking cool movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I think both of you are cool. Mr. Spielberg, you have made incredibly cool movies in the past and are nothing short of awe-inspiring in what you can achieve. Mr. Smith, you gave my generation their own Cosby Show. And Men In Black. But the fact is, you’re not the same kind of cool as Oldboy.

Jimmy Stewart was cool. Humphrey Bogart was cool. But they weren’t cool the same way Richard Widmark was cool. Richard Widmark was FUCKING COOL. And the difference between the two is something both of you need to realize: when it comes to cool, Stewart and Bogart (you two) took a side, whereas Widmark (Oldboy) floated in the middle.

I could easily see Chan-wook Park (Oldboy’s director) making a “Will Smith-like” or “Spielbergesque” movie, because it’s obvious to me that he can easily hop from genre to genre without making an indelible footprint. But you two have cast your footprints. You thrive in your footprints. And we don’t mind – we want to see you do your thing. But Oldboy isn’t your thing. You’ve been standing in the same spot too long. Mud has dried on your boots. And all you’re going to do by leaving your footprints is track dirt all over the house. In all seriousness, Widmark wasn’t afraid to push an old woman down the stairs and laugh at it. When’s the last time either of you considered it?

And before you two start telling yourselves, “don’t worry, even if our version of Oldboy doesn’t work out, it isn’t going to ruin the original,” let me tell you right now: you’re wrong. And Mr. Spielberg, you have proven my very point this summer in one fell swoop titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Whether you’d like to admit it or not, you’ve ruined your entire franchise with that film. I can’t watch any of them the same way knowing that one day Indiana is going on an alien adventure. That film has actually made its predecessors worse by proximity. And to commit that same crime with Oldboy would be an unforgivable defamation of art on par with drawing lipstick marks on the cock of Michelangelo’s David.

Don’t remake Oldboy. Nobody’s going to think you’re cool. Stop drawing on David’s dick. He’s trying to kill a giant.

Sincerely,
JUICEBOXdotcom

Old Stuff | | 7 Comments »

REVIEW: Joan Crawford Collection vol. 2

Posted on November 6, 2008 by

[Ed.’s note: this was received with a note from Chris Nash that read: “Here’s your fucking Joan Crawford. Six typed pages of it. People need to know this stuff.” And now we give it to you, gentle reader.]

I wasn’t a fan of Joan Crawford when I watched this collection. Other than Mildred Peirce, I hadn’t seen any of her movies, and she didn’t strike me as anything special.

So I figured, why not get to know the lady? She seems like a nice old lady; like she’d give me candy just for walking by her house on my way to school. And this is supposed to be a collection of her best movies, right? Well, being vol. 2, I guess it’s her best movies numbers six through ten… but there’s got to be some gems in there. I mean, the sixth best Dolph Lundren movie is Army of One -– and Army of One is pretty great.

This collection contains the films A Woman’s Face, Sadie McKee, Flamingo Road, Strange Cargo, and Torch Song. The set itself is top notch; every movie is on its own disc (no double-sided nonsense, where one side is a movie and the other side is a bunch of scratches with ‘side 2’ printed on it) and each movie comes with a cartoon (which are amazingly restored and colourful as fuck) and either a short documentary about the film, a related newsreel short, and other related odds and ends.

Torch Song
We learn from ‘Tough Baby’–– the bonus feature documentary about Torch Song — that it’s a musical constructed from songs written for (but not good enough to be used in) other musicals of the era. This film is literally garbage. It tells the story of an older actress who is bitter at her aging face and takes it out on everyone. After going through numerous musical directors on her newest film, she finally meets her match in a blind pianist who isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade. In the case of Torch Song, the spade in question occurs when JC and the cast perform the song ‘Two-faced Woman’ while dressed up in black-face. More… »

DVD, Hits & Misses | | 2 Comments »

REVIEW: Pride and Glory

Posted on October 30, 2008 by

It sucks being a cop. That’s what my friend Brendan said to me as we walked out of Pride and Glory with the credits rolling behind us. If I take anything from Pride and Glory with me, that’s going to be it.

Co-written by Joe Carnahan (NARC, Smokin’ Aces), and directed by Gavin O’Connor (Tumbleweeds), Pride and Glory is an intense cop drama that clocks in at just under two and a half hours –- which I didn’t really notice. I’ve got a thing about cop movies. I watch every cop movie that comes out. Street Kings, Max Payne, Lakeview Terrace –- any movie about a cop I watch.

The movie follows a family of cops divided on both sides of a ring of corruption. Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich play sons of Jon Voight, and Colin Farrell plays the son/brother-in-law of the group. At one point in time they’ve all been cops. When a group of police officers and drug dealers are found killed in an cracked-out apartment house, Norton’s character returns from a long leave of absence from the force in order to help solve the murder of his former partner and friends. As he starts to uncover the circumstances surrounding their deaths, it becomes apparent his brothers are involved in the cover-up. Overall I liked Pride and Glory, but it wasn’t flawless.

Noah Emmerich (brother of New Line Cinema head, and producer of Pride and Glory, Toby Emmerich) never feels right in the role to me. I don’t think he’s a bad actor by any means (he’s great in Little Children, and for some reason his role in The Truman Show always sticks out for me), but I feel like his in this movie on his name more than his ability. Jon Voight is FANTASTIC as the drunken father. In fact, I think it’s the best portrayal of a drunk I’ve ever seen committed to film. Hands down. No Joke, he deserves at least an Oscar nomination for this role. HOWEVER, his recent acting history has been so sinister, I always think he’s setting someone up and he’s got the worst intentions in mind. He doesn’t; but I can’t shake the feeling that every time he finishes talking with Edward Norton he’s going to try to kill Tom Cruise.

Aside from that, the shaking hand-held camera got ridiculous at times. I feel like I could have been watching Quarantine or Cloverfield. Some of the most distracting hand-held work I’ve seen.

But Pride and Glory is an intense movie. At one point Norton is trying to get information from a drug dealer’s hysterical crack-mother girlfriend. After he calmly wins her trust and she confesses to him that her boyfriend has been getting information from a cop, he quietly whispers to her, “if you’re lying to me, I’ll take your fuckin’ kid away.” His lack of emotion did nothing but confirm to us all that, yes, he was going to take her fuckin’ kid away and he doesn’t give a shit if it fucking dies on her. Colin Farrell also has a tense moment. I don’t want to spoil it, but it involves a steaming iron, a drug dealer who refuses to talk, and a drug dealers baby.

Although I’m sure the intention was to make a movie about a family of cops, it has nothing to do with family. It’s about being a cop. It’s about temptation, and trying to be straight while getting nothing but disrespect as you risk your life for $60,000 a year in a fruitless pursuit of what’s right.

Brendan was right. It must suck to be a cop. Later that night I was watching Clockers on TV and that’s all I could think about. Their job fucking sucks. I never thought being a cop would be a fun job, but I always thought of being a cop as an honest job. And after watching Pride and Glory I realize one of the hardest parts of the job is keeping it that way.

I hate people who shit on cops. There’s nothing more ignorant to me than calling a cop a pig. If a cop is asking you questions, he’s just doing his job. If he’s being a dick, chances are you’re being a cunt. And those same cunts always hate cops until their house gets robbed; then it’s, “do whatever you need to do to get my stuff back.” I don’t care when I’m questioned by a cop. I know they’re just trying to get someone’s stuff back.

Cops have a shit job. They have to protect the people who hate them. And hundreds die every year doing it. Check out www.odmp.org.

Film, Hits & Misses | | 13 Comments »

REVIEW: Otis

Posted on September 11, 2008 by

If you ever wondered what would happen in Last House on the Left if the parents exacted revenge on the wrong people and replaced the soundtrack with The Spanish Flea, allow me to answer: it becomes a horrible movie called Otis.

Otis is a mess of a movie. It claims to be dark comedy/horror, yet succeeds at neither. The only thing that shines through in this installment of Raw Feed’s indie horror canon is the filmmaker’s utter insincerity toward it’s target audience. Contrary to what they’d like you to believe, they’re not doing anything new. They’re not breaking new ground.

In brief, Otis is about a lonely, overweight pizza delivery man trying to fulfill the fantasy of living his older, popular brother’s highschool life. He does this by kidnapping girls in the neighbourhood and torturing them into participating in a mock prom he’s set up in his basement. The movie follows Otis capturing a girl named Riley, and how her parents and the FBI attempt to find her.

The problem with Otis is it’s just bad. The story is flimsy and incidental rather than being carefully plotted, and the characters are shallow mockeries (unintentional mockeries) of a bad 80’s movie. Daniel Stern plays the angry dad, who’s always frustrated and adds nothing new to any conversation, only yelling, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN (fill in the blank with whatever the last person said)!?” He essentially plays a bad copy of his character in Little Monsters. Illeana Douglas plays the worrisome mother; there’s the inept cops, the bratty younger brother, and Kevin Pollak’s portrayal of Otis’ bullying older brother who does nothing but yell. I’m not exaggerating. He never speaks a line, it’s always yelling. Which could be funny — if it wasn’t in this movie. But don’t blame the actors. We’ve all seen them before. This isn’t poor acting – -it’s bad directing and bad writing. But mainly bad directing.

Another thing I couldn’t get over was the soundtrack (both the actual score, and the soundtrack itself). I’m amazed Warner Brothers shelled out the money to fill this movie with classic 80’s music. Not just the garbage stuff – the stuff that actually costs a bit of money. Unfortunately I guess the filmmakers realized that the soundtrack was a highlight of the film, so Otis is full of montages where Blue Oyster Cult, DEVO, and Flock of Seagulls songs play from beginning to end overtop of nothing special.

As for the musical score? I don’t know why I’m seeing so many movies with BAD guitar rock scores. Ironman anyone? Has guitar hero made so much of an impact it’s actually ruining movies? Hey Hollywood, we don’t like guitar rock as much as we like hitting buttons on a stick while our friends laugh and Highway Star plays in the background. And in the case of Otis, it’s not even good guitar rock. It sounds like it was written by your older cousin’s bar band. But not your cool older cousin, the older cousin you think would probably rape your girlfriend.

When I said there is only one thing that shines through in OTIS, I wasn’t giving credit where credit is due. The second act is actually good. When we see the interaction between Otis and Riley, I don’t feel like turning the movie off. So I guess that part’s a winner (unfortunately it’s bookended with a cinematic jar of piss and a bucket of dead mice).

As well, a few performances rise high above the rest of the cast. Bostin Christopher’s portrayal of the title character is great. One of the only times I actually laughed (or even smiled) during the movie was because of him; and it came from him. HIS performance – not a pratfall or a ‘clever’ situation. Tony Krantz should thank him for providing the only time this film even comes close to hitting the mark. I hope another role comes along for Bostin to showcase his abilities, because it would be a shame if we could only find them here. Two other highlights were from Tracy Scoggins as the television anchorwoman (who is still hot) and Jere Burns as Agent Hotchkiss. They gave more to their roles than the movie deserved.

Other than that, I still hate OTIS.

And the worst part about me hating OTIS is, if – by some far-off – chance the filmmakers ever read this review, they’re going to think they succeeded. They’re going to think the accomplished exactly what they set out to do, patting themselves on the back thinking they’ve struck a nerve and the current climate isn’t ready for something as groundbreaking as OTIS. I know this because they say it in the TWISTED WORLD OF OTIS special feature. They ACTUALLY eat their own bullshit. They think they’re amazing. Some great self-congratulatory quotes are:

Screenwriter Erik Jendresen:
“It’s a comedy about a paedophile, (with a self-congratulatory smirk of how clever he is) which is just universally wrong.”

Daniel Stern on why he likes OTIS:
“I like human beings… what happens to regular folks.”

Director Tony Krantz:
“OTIS is a political film. It’s also metaphoric of our times.”

And lastly:
“We wanted to be the first satire of the torture-porn genre.”

That’s the one that really gets me. Being the first isn’t the same as being the best. Just make a good movie. I’m reminded of something George Romero said that I always fall back on: “Night of the Living Dead has been made 100 times, yet it’s never been made.” Simply put, if you have a unique vision, you’re never telling the same story.

So, makers of OTIS, upon hearing that I hate your movie, please don’t think you’ve won. I don’t hate you because you’re ‘edgy’; I hate you because you’re that loser goth kid nobody liked and I took pity on, only to discover a week later you’re actually just socially retarded, you swore at my sister, and you’ve been stealing my CDs.

You want edgy, funny, revolting, and suspenseful? Watch Chan-wook Park’s segment ‘CUT’ on the release of ‘Three… Extremes.’ He accomplishes what these guys never will, except he does it in half an hour.

DVD, Hits & Misses | | 13 Comments »

REVIEW: Rest Stop (DVD)

Posted on September 2, 2008 by

On the surface, Raw Feed has a lot going for it. It’s an arm of Warner Brothers distribution centered on making straight-to-DVD low-budget horror and it’s headed by half the directing team of The Blair Witch Project and a few writers from The X-Files. Which is why I find myself disappointed with what they have to offer – they should just be better movies. Great, refreshing, stand-alone movies that live up to the reputations of the filmmakers behind them.

Rest Stop was Raw Feed’s first film, written and directed by John Shiban and staring Jamie Alexander. The basic story is Nicole and her boyfriend Jesse are running away from home. While driving in the middle of nowhere in the desert (and after a some quick road sex with a horribly obvious body-double), the two end up at a rest stop so Nicole can go to the washroom while Jesse waits in the car. When Nicole comes back, Jesse and the car are gone. Nicole finds herself alone at the rest stop, with nothing but a locked-up ranger station, a dirty washroom, and a spooky RV in the parking lot. That is, until the mysterious creepy yellow truck appears and forces her into a night of terror. All the while Nicole has to find out where Jesse has been taken, who the truck driver is, and who the weird family are living in the RV.

I never go into a movie wanting to hate it. I always give what I’m watching the benefit of the doubt. But when conventions are shoe-horned into a movie for no reason other than to fill up the horror movie checklist, I’m a little insulted. I’m generally forgiving if the filmmakers are being cheeky with it, but when you’re doing it stone-faced just to do it, don’t treat me like an idiot about it. And the use of a body double only makes it more pathetic.

When they show us a nice medium wide shot of Nicole taking off her bra, and then cut to a screen full of tit just before the bra crosses the nipple, I’m not thinking that’s sexy. There’s no natural momentum. It’s just shot after shot of Nicole and Jesse embracing cut against a giant zoomed-in booby (yes, booby). This isn’t pubescent masturbation material. And when you’re just throwing in tits, you should at least have the pride to ask yourself, “can a 13 year old jerk off to this?” And if the answer is ‘no,’ then keep it out. Directors should all take a lesson from my VHS copy of Total Recall that shows nothing but static where a three-breasted alien once stood.

As for the actors, Jamie Alexander does the best with what she was given (she also plays the hot chick in the underage drinking episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Joey Lawrence appears about halfway through and does an AMAZING Bruce Willis impression, which is worth checking out on it’s own. Everyone else just seems to be doing their jobs and little else.

Overall, Rest Stop is an overly ambitious movie that loses direction within the first act (and this is confirmed with the DVD’s three alternate endings). I know John Shiban is a good writer. With some great television under his belt (remember that awesome ‘Field Trip’ episode of X-Files?), he knows how to carry a story; but the problem with Rest Stop is it needs an answer-man. Rest Stop doesn’t have Agent Mulder from The X-Files or the Winchester boys from Supernatural to let the audience know what’s really happening; so, the audience has no clue what is really going on until the credits start rolling. And I mean that literally — the movie’s big revelation occurs in a small video that runs alongside the credits. And even then I’m still a little sketchy as to who did what to who and why.

I ended Rest Stop remembering the reason Nicole wanted to go to the rest stop in the first place; when Jesse asked her why she doesn’t just pee on the side of the road, she answers, “I’m not going to pee in the dirt.”

And that’s kind of how I feel about Rest Stop. When I watch studio-made straight-to-DVD horror, I know I’m slumming it. So when I’m slumming it, I want to at least do it with a little class.

I’m not going to pee in the dirt.

DVD, Hits & Misses | | 7 Comments »

REVIEW: the Colin Farrell sex tape

Posted on August 19, 2008 by

When Colin Farrell’s star began growing in Hollywood I didn’t care. Not even Hart’s War could make me care.

Then I read a story about “A Home at the End of the World,” from writer Michael Cunningham (Academy Award winner, The Hours) and director Michael Mayer (Kid’s Choice winner, Flicka). The story was about Colin’s cock. There was a scene cut from the original version of the film where Colin’s character is standing full-frontal for everyone to see. The reason it was cut? Women in the test audience were so distracted by his size that they couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the film.

Colin Farrell’s cock is so big it makes women stupid.

So, there was some reputation to live up to when I first saw his sex tape.

Colin’s sex tape was released during the golden age of sex tapes. When it was still scandalous; when stars actually tried to suppress them by any means possible. There were no “mysterious leaks” before the premiere of Star X’s big movie, or publicly announced distribution deals – these were embarrassing videos that could potentially ruin your career. Which is why I think Colin’s tape is so interesting; very little, if any, action was taken to stop it from being released.

It was like he didn’t care at all. You get the impression he heard a tape of him and Nicole Narain having sex was leaked on the internet and he laughed it off. Which, in the long run, worked. The average movie going public doesn’t even know he has a sex tape; and that’s a shame – because it could be the best sex tape ever made.

As far as sex tapes go (in terms of being used as masturbatory aides), the top of the pile has two clear winners: Pam and Tommy, and One Night in Paris. They transcend sex-tape territory and dive straight into pornography while answering, “I wonder what it would be like to fuck (blank).”

However, where Pam and Tommy stake their claim in a great one-off, Paris killed the magic with bad sequel followed by worse sequel. The first installment in the trilogy not only has great sex, it also makes Paris come off as a little shy and approachable; she goes from being a sex symbol to the girl next door with the weird nose. Although nowadays when it gets to the night vision section, it kind of feels like I’m watching one of those creatures from The Descent sucking off Rick Solomon.

Then, the second Paris tape came out. I don’t know, or care, who the guy is – all I know is, while watching a sex tape I expect more than a boob and a half.

As for Paris number three? It’s nothing. Paris has a bath, while the most pathetic man in the world holds a camera on her and for fifteen minutes we hear him beg her for sex. Really. Who is this guy? Have a little self-respect. It’s Paris Hilton – give her half a Smirnoff Ice and go to town.

So where does the Colin Farrell tape stand in all of this? As a stand-alone piece it could be the best celebrity sex tape ever leaked. The video is actually fun to watch. It evokes a sense of nostalgia for teenage sexual awakening. It could be the Stand By Me of sex tapes.

The key to the tape isn’t the sex itself, it’s Colin’s approach to it. He fills you with the wonder and excitement of a 13-year-old reading through his dad’s Penthouse Forum from March 1978. He loves having sex with Nicole and he tells her at every opportunity. Bottom line being – Colin is the star of the show. Not his dick. Not Nicole (who – although attractive – is somewhat underwhelming). The star is Colin and every word that comes out of his mouth. Maybe it’s his accent, but the crudeness of his words have are full of endearment, flattery and masculine playfulness. My favorites are:

“Fuck, you are the sexiest motherfucker I have ever met. Holy shit, I didn’t know they made bastards as sexy as you, man!”

“Whatever princess wants, princess fuckin’ gets – let me tell ya.”

(While Nicole goes down on him)
“It’s like you’re goin’ fishing for fuckin pubes man, you’re just catchin’ every fuckin’ pube I have. By the end of this morning we wont have to fuckin’ shave me.”

(As he goes down on Nicole)
“you know what this is? this is my breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Watching the video draws envy from both men and women. Women want to get fucked by Colin Farrell and men want to fuck like Colin Farrell. Because the Colin Farrell sex tape is the letter I would have written to Penthouse when I was 13. It’s how every teenage boy imagines losing his virginity. And that’s why it’s the Stand by Me of sex tapes: it’s a false nostalgia. He has sex like it’s the first time – but the way the first time is supposed to be, not the way it actually happens. There’s no striking out over and over again until, at 17 years old, one hot summer’s day your girlfriend randomly asks you if you want to do it. There’s no slow cautiousness because you have to be as quiet as possible in case your girlfriend’s dad comes in the house. There’s no girlfriend bursting out in tears five seconds before you come – not out of pain, but because, “something doesn’t feel right.” There’s no sitting in a sweaty lump in the corner of your girlfriend’s dark bedroom because she “just doesn’t want to be touched” while she finishes crying. There’s no throwing out your used condom in a public garbage can because you’re afraid her parents might find it otherwise. And most of all, there’s no guilt from thinking your first time having sex might actually be some kind of date rape.

Colin Farrell isn’t just having sex for Colin Farrell.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 9 Comments »