Sunday, July 26, 2009
Apologies for the extended pause in broadcast, ladies and gentlemen.
I entered a T-Shirt design competition and had the bulk of my free time consumed by that task.
I have submitted my entry though, so now I can resume my regular onslaught of film-flavoured text.
And any other flavour of text that happens to suit my mood, really. Let's keep things loose.
For today, the main course is going to be deliciously Lynchian, if you will, for I watched Wild At Heart http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100935/ again the other night.
It had been far too long since last I saw it and, frankly, my mind was unprepared.
I remembered it being an awesome film (one of my favourite Lynch works), yet my recollection of just how unsettling it can be was less than crystalline.
Allow me to remove the cobwebs from the minds of those of you out there who have forgotten the brilliance of this particular tale or simply tantalise readers out there who have yet to see it. Perhaps I can persuade you to hop in the convertible and ride along with Sailor and Lula on this bizarre, Wizard of Oz-stained jaunt...
- Sailor Ripley.
Some people always want to play the “I Hate Nicolas Cage” card when they speak to me.
This baffles me.
Then it angers me.
Then things usually get blurry and I don't regain consciousness until I hear the sobering melody of police sirens mixed with the terrified shrieks of onlookers.
Confusion and out-of-body violent experiences need not be the only course one must choose when confronted by some vapid schmuck who is blind to The Cage's obvious levels of awesome.
Nowadays, thanks to a mixture of maturity and colourful medication, I've found that I can nullify all Nicolas Cage negativity by simply saying the name “Sailor Ripley”.
This is possibly my favourite Cage performance of all time. The character is amazing and his personality, visual style and general screen presence just oozes an aura of cool so badass that should you lick the screen while watching Sailor (and I recommend doing so), the transferred coolness properties would make you instantly irresistible to any and all women and you would be envied by God.
(That jacket's not enough, Red.)
I wish I was Sailor Ripley.
If not, then I wish he was my friend.
Hell, I'd even accept having him as an enemy, merely in the hope that one day he'd feel the urge to punch me in the face and I'd get the chance to smell the rich, intoxicating scent of his snakeskin jacket.
- Ahhhh, the snakeskin jacket.
Sailor Ripley will confidently say that “this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.”
Yes it does, Sailor. It does, indeed.
Everything is better in life when you're wearing a snakeskin jacket.
Hitler, Gargamel, Edward Cullen, Michael Cera, the ghosts in Pac-Man and various other great losers in history; you know what they all have in common?
Correct. They don't have a snakeskin jacket.
I'm not saying that said jacket would eradicate their loser-based shortcomings, but it would have at least momentarily distracted people from their unpleasantness as they stood for a few moments and uttered, “That is one fine-looking jacket.”
I'm not speaking nonsense, y'all. Such a powerful garment would improve your life in such a way that you'll claim it was fabricated by enchanted elves.
Enchanted elves on crack.
Try it yourself. (The jacket, not crack. NOBODY should do crack. That's only for losers and...elves.)
But seriously; try it. Next time you go to apply for a bank loan, wear a snakeskin jacket and punctuate the ensemble with a few well-placed high kicks in tight pants.
I guarantee you'll walk out of there with a massive wad of cash and the bank manager's daughter's phone number.
If not, then the bank manager is a bitter fool who just WISHES HE had a snakeskin jacket.
...Or he's an elf.
Try another bank.
(If the bank manager is William Fichtner, do not mess with him. He's pure awesome.)
- During the film, Sailor Ripley has a tendency to unleash a maelstrom of impromptu high kicks in tight pants with a powerful level of enthusiasm. This can even take place alongside a lonely stretch of highway and he is usually spurred on by speed metal accompanied by the encouraging shouts and seductive dancing by his loyal gal, Lula.
Personally, I approve of these kicks, and I feel that some other weaker films could have been improved considerably had their directors been so inclined. For example; Transformers 2 was toxic garbage not fit for inbred mountain folk. But throw in some high kicks and speed metal with Megan Fox and who knows how many Oscars it could have taken home.
- David Patrick Kelly has a small part in this movie and he was in COMMANDO as Sully. Excellent.
(I couldn't find a good Sully picture, so here's Matrix feeding a deer.)
Speaking of COMMANDO http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088944/...you should go and watch it. I'll wait.
- Lula Fortune is a quality broad. That's the kind of loyal girlfriend that you want at your side when the going gets tough, stringy and difficult to chew. She's a gal who will give you “rockin' good news” and claims that she's hotter than Georgia asphalt. Now, I've never visited Georgia, therefore I cannot claim any first-hand knowledge regarding the temperature of its street surfaces. Nonetheless, I'm guessing it can get pretty warm and any dame that thus describes her libido with such colourful, albeit geographically-specific, language is worthy of thumbs upward in my book. Besides, she's more than happy to eat a candy necklace in a seedy motel room. That's a classy date. None of this diamonds and pearls nonsense.
- Lula may be a straight up quality lady...but her mother is very different beast. This hag is an absolute nightmare. She's the kind of classy wench that will get liquored up good and proper during a high-school dance and try to slur her way through the shaky steps required to seduce her OWN DAUGHTER'S BOYFRIEND. Nice one, Ma. When things don't go her way; in order to save some face, mother dearest undertakes the only sane and mature course of action available to her...she pays a sleazy knife-wielding gent to gut Sailor in front of her own daughter. Never being one to shy away from prom night violence, Sailor logically defends himself and ends this pleasant evenings affairs by caving in the skull of Sleazy McKnife while grinning maniacally and accompanied by yet more speed metal.
Now, who's prom night WASN'T like that?
Cherish those memories, kids.
- The violin and spotlight lady. She comes out of nowhere like the creepy homeless guy from Mulholland Drive http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166924/. I don't want to continue typing about her. I don't even want to think about her any longer. She will become a greasy stain upon your mind. You've been warned.
- Mr Reindeer. What...the...hell? This guy organises hits while strippers strip and is partial to enjoying a hard drink while taking a shit. I wish I made that following sequence of events up...but I did not.
- Poor George McFly. I cannot watch the Back To The Future series now without imagining that there is a deleted scene where Marty travels back in time and catches his own father placing cockroaches on his anus.
Sure, you think I'm making this up.
Too much Slurpee and peyote the jury would say.
But I speak the truth, damn it. Crispin Glover's unsettling performance as Dell will leave quite an impression, believe me. Whether filling his undergarments with insects or simply making his lunch, this character will infect your mind for weeks to follow.
“Great Scott, Marty! What is your father doing?”
- Some small children claim that the Boogeyman is going to get them, while some adults fear the arrival of the Grim Reaper and even a select few of savvy individuals remain concerned that one evening Krang will enter their homes and make an egg-filled nest in their refrigerator.
(What a horrible creature.)
While these are all rational fears, there is one phobia which must take the throne and look down upon the others below like soiled, festering wretches.
The name of that fear...is Bobby Peru.
(I cannot caption. I'm paralyzed by fear.)
Gaze upon his potent visage. Allow this infectious image of terror to nest deep within your mind.
There is no help for any of us now.
Once you have seen Bobby, there is no salvation.
Booze only makes him multiply...like a bank-robbing, stocking-covered Gremlin.
Drugs only make him stronger. Bobby laughs at your pathetic prescriptions.
Religion only amuses Lord Peru. The sound of your prayers will be drowned out by the sick laughter that echoes off the walls of your mind in which he dwells.
Therapy is a fool's last refuge. Mention the name Bobby Peru in your first session and your therapist will calmly inform their secretary to cancel any remaining sessions...before proceeding to burn the office down and take their own life with the simple aim of preserving their own Bobby-free consciousness.
Trust me. I've tried. You have to learn to live with Bobby in your mind. Good luck.
That's all for now. I feel dirty after writing this, actually. This film has that certain after-taste. It's one of those cinematic experiences that leaves you feeling grimy. It's an awesome film, believe me...it just makes you want a long shower afterwards. That way the soothing water can wash away the sticky residue of memories involving angry chicks with leg-braces, fathers burning alive, uncles with boundary issues and Bobby Peru.
...Actually, I apologise. That last comment gives you a sense of false hope.
You will NEVER forget Bobby Peru.
I'm really sorry.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This trailer does things to me.
It triggered a chemical reaction deep within the nucleus of every cell within my being that led to a sense of pleasure that; should that euphoric data be recorded, the lab technician responsible would be found slumped over his console in a catatonic state, for he would've witnessed nothing short of pure, unrefined AWESOME.
Back when I saw Blomkamp's trailer on YouTube, I was impressed.
Then I saw some bite-sized pieces of his short films, and my respect grew greater.
So, ever since I heard about District 9, I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival.
Now thanks to this trailer, I'm actually beginning to salivate.
I pray to Crom, The Four Winds, Charlton Heston and any other god-like beings to hear my cry and allow some Hollywood studio suit/exec to read this blog.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE somebody organise it so that Neill Blomkamp is given the honour of making a Half-Life 2 movie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-Life_2
Now I'm going to go and keep watching the trailer over and over until I pass into a happy-coma.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Allow me to say now, that if you are definitely against animated films because you consider them “just for kids” and beneath you, and you wish to remain staunchly opposed to any contrary viewpoints; then so be it.
To each his own, and all that.
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.
And here comes mine...
If your mind is foolishly calibrated as such, regarding animated films, then I can only hope that in the near future a hobo lunges from the darkness and stabs you in an alley that has been marinated in urine and various juices of other unfortunates. Then later on when another 'lonely' transient discovers and eagerly examines your body, the only reason they will NOT violate your corpse sexually is because they will have found that you have explosively soiled yourself in your pre-death panic.
If that series of events does not happen to befall you, then congrats. Lucky you. Cup the nearest leprechaun, or whatever.
One fact shall remain; you're still a moron and you're still missing out on many brilliant animated films.
One such brilliant film is Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Yes, it is a hybrid of live-action and animation, but I have still been unfortunate enough to hear savages grunt that they'd not watch it because it's “just a cartoon.”
Understandably, such savages would have stopped (slowly) reading my blog quite some time ago, but for those of you out there who are interested, behold the following compilation of reasons why this film is worth not only your time, but a place amongst your film collection.
- Doing animation at university taught me two valuable lessons:
1. No hot chicks study animation.
2. If I was an animator, I'd probably kill myself...or be stabbed by a hobo.
Animating is uber-annoying, yo. It's just not for me.
I hated 'doing' it...but I definitely respect it. And it is that respect, and understanding of the tedious nature of the craft, that allows me to heap praise upon this achievement.
An achievement which I am going to heavily credit to a man named Richard Williams. He was the animation director on this film and what he managed to do was flat-out genius, all during a time that was pre-fancy CGI trickery.
I cannot praise his work enough. The guy basically turned water into wine and then animated the wine and made it look freaking awesome. If Jesus was around, he'd say, “Fuck, this might be the wine talking, but that is some sweet animation, mang.”
(This is the only Jesus I believe in)
If Roger Rabbit doesn't make you put Richard Williams on your Xmas card list, then definitely check out his film, The Princess and the Cobbler http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112389/
Oh, and after that, watch Aladdin again. It'll open your eyes, ladies and gents.
We all see what you did, Disney. Bad form.
- The score alone is remarkable. Solid double-bass that bounces along and lends atmosphere and a strange blend of both playfulness and mystery. I wouldn't say that it is my favourite Alan Silvestri score, (PREDATOR wears that crown, yo) but it most definitely deserves recognition.
- Bob Hoskins' performance as Eddie Valiant. This was the first film in which I saw Hoskins and for years I thought he was American due to this flawless display and perfect accent. The guy is amazing. Sure, the animation alone is an absolutely mind-blowing achievement for its time, but Hoskins was one of the main reasons why it was so effective and convincing. Keep in mind that NONE of those animated 'co-stars' were actually there. Yes, there were place-holder maquettes so that eye-lines and blocking could be maintained, but a rubber dummy is not going to give you live feedback and reactions from which Hoskins could play off, and or, react to.
He basically mimed the entire film, people. That's impressive.
Constantly think about that when next you watch it. It feels like Roger is physically present alongside Eddie every step of the way. All thanks to Hoskins' work. He reels from impact, convincingly struggles and generally interacts with Roger as if he were absolutely tangible. He manages to convey a sense of weight and presence for a fictional rabbit sidekick that most actors these days (with the help of MILLIONS of dollars worth of CGI effects) never even come close to.
Every time I watch Eddie Valiant and Roger, I am reminded of how lazy most CGI-assisted performances are these days and how the story of an alcoholic private eye and a wacky, cuckold rabbit is infinitely more convincing with its classy 2D animation techniques than nearly every mega-budget CGI circus that rolls in and infects our towns every week.
I understand that, for its time, Roger Rabbit would have been considered a “mega-budget”, effects-heavy film, similar to those I have recently criticized. That being said; what separates this excellent film from the bulk of absolutely horrid, expensive cinematic abominations is the simple fact that despite having impressive effects work, Who Framed Roger Rabbit did not ignore that vital ingredient known as 'acting' or 'performance'.
Oh yeah, and after such an impressive piece of work, Bob Hoskins didn't even get nominated for an Oscar.
(Bob Hoskins + 2 more reasons why this film is excellent)
- Jessica Rabbit is a marvelous cinematic creation. She is portrayed as a highly sexualized, adulterous, homicidal nympho who likes to play heavy-breathing 'patty cake' with balding men in bad suits and professes her innocence with the golden line, “I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.”
Oh, she's also married to a rabbit and from that I can only hypothesize that she's either open-minded enough to be giving bestiality a big thumbs-up or she simply has rabbit-like stamina and enthusiasm in the bedroom.
Either way, folks, she's a classy gal and I've always been impressed by the fact that such a busty and risque character, that was almost dripping in mature themes was allowed to seductively bounce across the screen in...a Disney film.
I can only imagine what a Jessica Rabbit ride would be like at Disneyland. Long queues of men would fill those winding lines, yo.
It was nice back in the day when movies had some balls and every film didn't feel like the writer was wearing some politically-correct handcuffs.
- If somebody told you that they recommended a film which heavily featured weasels, you'd probably just increase the volume on your iPod and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the bus, thus providing you with some means of escape from this rodent-loving, station freak.
Fear not, though, when I now inform you that Who Framed Roger Rabbit stars a group of sleazy, animated, mercenary-deputy weasels who wear zoot suits, spats (Hell yes) and eagerly serve a master who relishes in the murder of cute cartoon creatures. One of these weasels is even garbed in a straight-jacket and carries a straight razor, as he and his cohorts slither throughout their scenes and cackle like coked-up hyenas in strip club. (NOTE TO SELF: Write film that includes coke-head hyenas in a titty bar. Nice)
Strangely, I have never found a cute Disney plush-toy of any of these psychotic weasels. Hmmm.
Merchandising oversights aside, these weasels are great characters. I've always been especially fond of the scene where the leader interrogates Eddie while he does his dirty laundry in the sink. The animated weasel manages to carry a real revolver and threatens Valiant by splashing the sink water just before he leaves...and it all looks like the weasel is actually in the apartment. Brilliant.
- Christopher Lloyd is one of those actors who is criminally underused in films these days. Just watch his performance here as Judge Doom and you'll see what I mean. Most people would say that his Doc Brown from Back to the Future is his best character...and I would be inclined to agree. However, Judge Doom is more than worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as that memorably wild-eyed, time travelling scientist. His cold, unflinching presence lends a sense of unease to every scene he creeps into and from the first moment he appears, you feel as if something is just not right with this gent who employs the aforementioned weasel police force and takes a quiet pleasure in every aspect of his daily job...which happens to include watching a cute, little animated shoe as he murders it on screen by dipping it into a vat of toxic chemicals specifically designed to kill toons.
That's right, kids, we get to witness as this harmless creature begs and pleads through puppy-like whimpers and desperate eyes as it is melted, painfully, into oblivion.
Thanks, Disney. Release a special edition that includes a gift voucher for child therapy sessions next, please.
Robert Zemeckis has also mentioned recently that he's thought about doing a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Would I like to see this? Yes and no.
Yes, because I'd love to revisit this world and so forth...but also no, because it isn't really necessary and in this day and age, it would probably be drowned by CGI and the cinema police would never allow animated characters to be this mature and involved in such adult affairs.
Cause, cartoons are just for kids, right?
Ugh. I'm going for a walk. I hope a hobo stabs me.