This week there’s a Best Picture Oscar nominee, a film by David Cronenberg, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, and the latest in the Alvin And The Chipmunks saga. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got some Franco, Christian farm animals, the latest from the Asylum, and as always, Danny Trejo.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
A Dangerous Method
Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
In The Land Of Blood And Honey
The Broken Tower
Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel
The Lion Of Judah
The Kate Logan Affair
The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch
Good For Nothing
The Gruesome Death Of Tommy Pistol
For some alternatives streaming from Netflix click Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Did you know that the wiener kid at the center of this scientifically engineered Oscar bait won on Jeopardy? Did you know that he speaks fluent Croatian? I don’t know what any of this has to do with his acting ability, but it explains the air of exquisite punchability he gives off in the trailer. I couldn’t care less about the 9/11 exploitation, but I refuse to believe viewers are supposed to find that kid charming.
David Cronenberg directs this drama about Freud, Jung, and the early days of psychoanalysis. The trailer makes it look potentially bland until Keira Knightley reveals her character’s kinky side. I thought A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises were fine films, and I expect to like this one as well, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I miss the old-school “body horror” films from Cronenberg. Maybe Jung has an eyeball on the tip of his giant penis? A boy can hope…
I’m personally convinced that the people behind this movie used the age-old Hollywood trick of coming up with the title first, and basing everything else on that choice. After all, director Mike Mitchell is also responsible for Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. What will the title of the next one be? Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chip Off The Old Block, in which Alvin discovers he has a son, or AatC: Chip Monks, where the gang travels to Tibet? A golf movie perhaps, AatC: Chip Shot? I could go on, but I’d hate to actually guess correctly.
Although critically underwhelming and largely ignored by audiences, I give Angelina Jolie credit for making this her writing and directing debut. The movie looks boring and way too preachy, but at least it looks like Jolie took her work seriously. She was born into Hollywood luxury and could’ve phoned it in and still had her ass kissed for her efforts, but she tried to actually make a film. In contrast, Gwyneth Paltrow’s co-writing/co-directing debut, the 2005 short Dealbreaker, was about ‘the dating adventures of Fran, a 30-year-old New Yorker.’ You can get Blood And Honey in a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. I don’t think you can get Dealbreaker at all.
Speaking of actors who try to write and direct, James Franco does just that (and stars) in this biopic about American poet Hart Crane. The cast includes the always-interesting Michael Shannon, Betsy Franco (James’ mom) and Dave Franco as ‘Young Hart Crane’. Holy sh*t, casting your own brother to play the younger version of your character in a movie you’ve also written and directed might be the Francoiest, dick-nosiest thing he’s done yet. Think about it, he’s certainly young enough himself to play the part; it’s as if he wants to re-create his brother in his own image.
The king of B-movies, Roger Corman gave some of the most successful actors and directors in film history their starts. Many of these icons participate in this documentary celebrating Corman and his career. The man is credited as producing 401 titles going back to 1954, and directing 56 films going back to 1955. Odds are you’ve seen something he’s created, and even if you haven’t you’ve certainly seen the work of his protégés.
Produced by Roger Corman, this movie is indicative of why his students tend to out-class their mentor. Simply put, most movies from Roger Corman just aren’t very good. A now middle-aged C. Thomas Howell stars in this low-budget horror flick. The one review I read for this claimed it was Roger Corman’s worst movie, and while that probably can’t be true, it doesn’t look good. Not that it matters to Corman or Howell; Corman’s already in post on three new movies and Howell finished appearing in seven (including the new Spider-Man) since Camel Spiders wrapped. Quantity over quality, I guess.
The Lion Of Judah
Actual IMDb synopsis: “Follow the adventures of a bold lamb (Judah) and his stable friends as they try to avoid the sacrificial alter the week preceding the crucifixion of Christ.” That’s pretty disturbing, actually. What’s more, it stars Michael “I don’t beat my son” Madsen. Also, if you wanted to see cartoon people getting crucified in 3-D, just buy the blu-ray. The people who buy this are the same people who won’t let their kids see Disney or Dreamworks movies because they are inappropriate. Crackerjack parenting, that.
[Vince’s note: Michael Madsen doesn’t write poetry, either. Nope, he’s never written poetry, nor published it publicly on his own website, and if you try to quote said poetry in a post, YOU ARE A LIAR and I will sue you unless you take it down.]
Chow Yun-Fat stars as the famous Chinese philosopher in this action flick. I won’t pretend that I’ve bothered to check the facts, but I don’t think Confucius led any armies into battle. This seems like the Asian equivalent to The Raven or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Accurate or not, Chow Yun-Fat had better start each line of dialogue with “Confucius say…” or I am going to be very disappointed.
Nothing says quality like the clever use of homonyms! See, it’s about people forced to confront death in a manner decided by a dice roll. Get it? ‘Die’ as in the singular form of the word ‘dice’, and ‘die’ as in dead! Holy hell, that’s deep. Plus it’s got Casey Jones from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, which are readily available on both DVD and blu-ray, so I don’t understand why people care what Michael Bay’s doing in the reboot. It’s not as if he will made a good movie, regardless of their status as being mutants or aliens or teenagers.
Alexis Bledel stars in this movie about the most incompetent lady-cop ever, or so it would seem. As the trailer progresses, it turns out she’s not incompetent, but corrupt and psychotic. There’s a good message: a woman in a position of power is either stupid or crazy, and either way ill-suited to the job. Seriously though, this movie looks horrible. The plot is so stupid and the title sounds so generically fake, I wonder if they got it from Stanley Kubrick’s list.
Speaking of horrible titles, this French film is evidently based on a Belgian comic book. For a foreign film trailer with mostly English dialogue, I find it very difficult to figure out what the plot is supposed to be. Some orphaned dude ends up being the rich head of some company and beats everyone up to avenge the death of a father he never knew? Every time I try to re-watch the trailer and figure it out, I get sucked into a vortex of pondering how lame a name ‘Largo Winch’ is.
Yes it’s another Twilight spoof, and yes it looks awful, but you should still watch this red-band trailer because this pile of crap has Danny Trejo in it. He must have enjoyed this experience too, because he is starring in the director’s next film. It’s called Bad Ass and it’s about the Epic Beard Man, with Trejo as the lead. From Breaking Wind to Bad Ass; there’s a joke there, but I just can’t seem to sniff it out.
What do members of the New Zealand film industry do when they can’t find work on The Hobbit? They make a western about a gunslinger who tries to rape a woman, but can’t get it up so he goes on a quest to get his boner back, dragging her along so he can finally rape her. For real. I guess it’s a comedy. Get it? The title refers to his dick, or as the Kiwis say, his Uncle MacGulliver.
The only thing you really need to know about this flick from The Asylum is that it stars Reginald ‘Carl Winslow’ VelJohnson. He’s basically reprising his Die Hard character, playing the dude who talks on the phone/walkie talkie/etc. to the real action hero. Given how lazy and shameless The Asylum is, I’m betting this character also shot a kid.
Remember that post from last month about the Pee Wee Herman porn parody? Well the dude who played Pee Wee, Tommy Pistol, wrote, directed, and stars in this flick. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be horror or comedy, or that new sexless porn I’ve been hearing so much about, but it is packed with the over-acting and poor production values we’ve come to expect from the porn industry. This is what it looks like when porn actors try to act with their heads instead of their genitals.
Once again, absolutely none of the new DVDs are also streaming on Netflix. While there are some new choices (Sarah’s Key, The Music Never Stopped, and Janie Jones), I decided to give you some alternatives to the DVDs you can’t stream.
Instead of Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, watch this classic that truly typifies what ‘Cronenbergian’ means. Besides being simply excellent and creepy, this film also kind of predicts the current culture of communicating through technology while hiding behind online alter egos.
Instead of watching Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, check him out as the iconic Father Merrin in this horror staple. I know, I know. A FilmDrunkard who hasn’t seen this is as unlikely as one who has never seen Star Wars, but it happens. If you haven’t seen this, now’s a good a time as any.
Death Race 2000
Camel Spiders may not be a worthwhile Roger Corman production, but this certainly is. David Carradine plays the hero, Frankenstein, and Sylvester Stallone plays the villain, Machine Gun Joe Viterbo. I haven’t seen the remake with The Stath, so I can’t say which is the better film. Actually, you know what? F*ck it, I can. This one is better.
Instead of watching James Franco as a suicidal poet in The Broken Tower, check this crazy sh*t out. He plays a dude who joins the family business. As a gigolo. That’s not even the best part. This film is directed by Nicolas Cage. I honestly don’t know why more people haven’t seen this.