Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

20/20Proof At The Movies: Be Kind Rewind

February 24, 2008

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You most likely already know the general plot of Be Kind Rewind. No? Ok, here it is real quick: Jack Black’s character gets magnetized, goes to the video store that his friend Mos Def works at and erases all the tapes. Oh shit, son! The two then scramble to record a version of these films to appease the customers. What starts as something done to cover their ass turns into a massive success. The process is dubbed “sweded” due to the fact they tell their customers the tapes are imported from Sweden.

What makes Be Kind Rewind work is its heart. The film depicts adults enjoying themselves and being creative in a childlike manner. It may not be Oscar caliber stuff, but it is extremely endearing. Gondry has spoken in the past about wanting raw emotion and  that he doesn’t believe in having 100 takes for one line. After viewing this film, I can say that he accomplished his goal.

Where Juno fails with its contrived dialogue and depiction of teenage characters who talk in a language that apparently only exists in Diablo Cody’s head, Be Kind Rewind does the exact opposite. A scene with Melonie Diaz and Mos Def as she displays her insecurity is simply perfect. Jack Black doesn’t ham it up too much, Mos Def plays a low key and kind guy, while Melonie Diaz steals the show as the glue that holds the group together.

Besides the heart, the movie also has some seriously funny moments. Try not laughing when Jack Black recreates the them to Ghostbusters, or Mos Def is asked to swede Driving Miss Daisy. I truly hope that the DVD release of this film has some 20 minute versions of these sweded films and goes overboard on the special features. If you go into this film understanding what you are going to get, you will walk away satisfied.

Coming soon: 20 Films I Want To Swede

Q: What’s Beef? A: The King Of Kong

February 6, 2008

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The King of Kong just came out on DVD and gets an easy thumbs up/ must buy stamp. The documentary examines the quest of Steve Wiebe, an extremely kind and talented high school teacher who consistently comes up short in everything he attempts to accomplish. Homie’s life is one big letdown. Wiebe’s sets his mind on trying to take down Billy Mitchell‘s high score in King Kong, which has stood for mad years. Mitchell is the ultimate gamer, a holder of a perfect game in Pac Man, and the face of Twin Galaxies. He is also a major asshole.

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When Wiebe accomplishes his goal of setting the King Kong record by playing in his garage, it sets in motion a chain of events that is beyond bizarre. Scores are questioned, dudes run up in his house, and Billy Mitchell talks trash despite ducking a live showdown with Wiebe. At the same time, Wiebe puts his pursuit of a video game record in front of everything else in his life. Peep his kid daughter checkin’ him on a trip to break the record in an attempt to get his name in Guinness.

The King Of Kong actually doesn’t depict a beef, because you really need two participants. Mitchell plays 2pac to Wiebe’s Biggie. Despite being dogged and treated like an outcast, Wiebe never gives a real response or freaks out. He just keeps going about his business. Mitchell’s personality on the other hand makes me think of KRS One , as even a challenge to his throne seems to draw his ire. Just as KRS-One believes he is hip-hop, Billy Mitchell believes he is gaming. That shit is not very endearing to say the least. Eventually, Wiebe’s focus and honesty actually make a believer and ally out of Mitchell’s long time best friend, much to Billy’s chagrin. Watching him discuss Wiebe in glowing terms in front of Mitchell is another amazing moment from the film.

The DVD features a couple commentaries, bonus scenes and extended interviews. Sure, you may be thinking that watching two nerds battle it out over something as silly as a video game which can’t be played on your PS3 is a waste of your time, but you are wrong. This is a David and Goliath tale, and is something for the people who feel they have come up short in life at one time or another. If this film doesn’t find a way into your top 10 list of 07, please let me know what is on your list.

20/20Proof At The Movies: Rescue Dawn

July 30, 2007

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Christian Bale is one of the few actors (Ed Norton, Daniel Day Lewis) around that I will lay down my hard earned cash for. The man can simply do no wrong. Hell, he brought Batman back from the grave, repped to the fullest in the Prestige, and now gives you his John Rambo performance of a lifetime. I went with my lady today to see his new flick, Rescue Dawn, which is directed by Werner Herzog. Herzog had previously done a documentary on the subject of Rescue Dawn’s protagonist, Dieter Dengler, and decided to revisit the subject in a drama format with Bale portraying Dengler.

The story of Rescue Dawn is quite simple- Dengler is a pilot who gets shot down and crashes over Laos only to become a prisoner of war. What follows after his crash is where shit gets interesting. You have some crazy torture sequences, delusional POW’s, worm eating, and dudes shitting their drawers. Throughout the film you also get Dengler and company attempting to cope with a crazy ass backflipping guard, a midget guard who reminded me of that dude from Swamp Thing and a guard they refer to as Little Hitler.

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No homo, Steve.
No homo, Christian.

Apparently there has been some criticism over events in the film that were changed or left out. Peep this site for the details on that. Obviously, this is a film and not a documentary so I took what was presented with a grain of salt. Based on always means the shit ain’t word for word. The key word is based. Whatever the truth may be, I give this film the 20/20Proof stamp of approval due to overall strong acting performances, dope material, and great pacing.

Fantastic Four 2- Rise Of The RZA

June 13, 2007

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Remember back after 9/11 and RZA’s crazy ass was taking colloidal silver? He was trying to say that it would protect ya neck from anthrax attacks and that the real reason rich folks wouldn’t become sick during the days of the plague was because they ate off of silver. Yes, totally ridiculous off the wall shit like that. Forget the fact that rich individuals didn’t have to eat rat shit for dinner, but hey, I ain’t a Shaolin monk.

Little did we know that the RZA pulled a fast one. He knew all along that colloidal silver would not save you from a package of that Arab white. Colloidal silver allegedly has no real health benefits whatsoever and is dangerous because it can turn your ass a grayish color, making you resemble the Silver Surfer a la Stan Jones. Unfortunately, the look does not work for good ol’ Stan.

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The RZA may have tried to drop some crazy ol mumbo jumbo science back in the day but the fact is he was really preparing himself for the role of a lifetime, which he was unable to land due to his lack of dedication towards making himself look like a piece of jewelry wearing jewelry. So when you go to see Fantastic Four 2 (I won’t be) and see the Silver Surfer gazing at Alba’s ass and bringing cosmic ruckus, think about what could have been.

Spiderman 3 Thoughts

May 4, 2007

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Well, I just got out of Spiderman 3 and it was the bomb. Got to see that shit one minute after my birthday ended in a not so packed theatre (I guess people have things to do tomorrow) and it was def worthy of the ticket price despite being a bit too lengthy and a bit overboard on the cheese factor at times.

  • Bryce Howard should never go back to being a ginger. She looks unbelievable as a blonde and I wouldn’t doubt that Ron Howard had a DNA test performed to make sure he is actually her father.
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  • The NYPD lit the Sandman up like he was Sean Bell and that ish passed right through him. When all of their shots went through him I realized it was only a movie because in real life only 3 or 4 of those 100 shots unloaded would have hit their target.
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  •  Was Death Row Records Tupac’s  Venom ?
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  • They should have exploited the whole “Peter Parker is mean” thing  just a little more. When Dunst tried to get all whiny and bitch at Peter cause he didn’t know how she felt, he should have simply dismissed her as a snaggletooth hack and kicked her to the curb. The whole snapping the fingers down the street/Travolta shit I really could have done without. I can deal with dark subject matter for 2 1/2 hours, fuck the kids who can’t.
  • Sam Raimi needs to do Evil Dead 4. Bruce Campbell stole his scenes and showed he is ready to return to leading man status, baby.

Ya Livin’ Backwards Phife

May 2, 2007

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Phife Dawg still has some stuff in the basement. XXL recently reported that Phife Dawg wants A Tribe Called Quest to reunite and create a new record.  Is this the hip-hop Rocky Balboa? Does Phife go on yearly tours to all the spots that Tribe rocked or recorded back in the day and reminisce about when people cared? Does he scroll the blogs and read the recent top 25 lists of which nearly every one has a place for ATCQ? In Rocky Balboa, Paulie breaks down during their Adrien throwback tour 06 and tells good ol Rock that he is “living backwards.” In essence, that he needs to stop focusing on the past, let it go, and move on with his life. Is this what is left for aging rappers? Dropping half ass efforts or trying to create reunions that only 30 something hip-hop fans will care about yet likely be disappointed with and criticize when it actually drops?

Back when ATCQ broke up, Phife agreed with Q-Tip that they had nothing left to say and had accomplished their mission.  Suddenly, like Game’s woman, he has a change of heart and wants to get the group back together to create an album that will re-establish their legacy. Unfortunately, Phife has not listened to Beats, Rhymes & Life or The Love Movement because if he had, he would have realized that ATCQ fell off something fierce after Midnight Marauders. While groups such as Outkast have been able to pump out album after album and constantly evolve, A Tribe Called Quest simply had nothing left worth saying and quite possibly had lost their “eye of the tiger” after recording their masterpiece after a masterpiece, Midnight Marauders. The tank was empty. Big time.

If this is a financially motivated idea on Phife’s part because he recently hit up Foot Locker and couldn’t afford that throwback jersey that he had his eye on, then more power to him. That isn’t quite as sad, especially since we all know the record would be downloaded like crazy and tank on the charts. However, if he wants to have a trip down memory lane and  further damage ATCQ’s legacy, I think he really needs to sit down and be honest in regards to his rhyme skills and what he has to offer.

Best Movie Poster Ever? Black Snake Moan

February 21, 2007

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The best movie poster I have ever seen could be for Craig Brewer’s new film “Black Snake Moan,” or as I call it- “White Trash On A Chain.” You know people are just lovin’ it. When I went to the theatre recently I noticed that the poster displayed above that I had initially seen depicting Samuel L. Jackson standing above a chained Christina Ricci was now simply Sam standing with a chain. Who wants to bet a bunch of old white people lost their fucking minds and decided to complain? What I would do to have a Polaroid or recording of the film execs’ reaction when they saw what Brewer proposed.

Perhaps the conversation went like this-

Brewer- So there is the poster. I am really proud of it, it has that comic book vibe.

Rich White Film Guy- Ummmm, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. How can I say this?

Brewer- Say what?

RWFG- Well, the thing is that you have Samuel L. Jackson standing above Christina Ricci in chains. And she doesn’t look that upset about being chained up. People could get the wrong idea…

Brewer- You do know that the movie does involve him chaining her up, right? He attempts to cure her of her wickedness. You have seen the trailer?

RWFG- No, I never read the script or saw the trailer. Heard the name Samuel L. Jackson, and remembered classics like The Negotiator and Deep Blue Sea. You know the one where is yelling and then gets eaten? Classic. The stuff you did with the Terrance Howard was great. He pimped that white girl, but didn’t chain her up. Couldn’t you just have Sam standing next to her? How about we just have her on her own in chains?

Brewer-What?

RWFG- Better yet, why don’t you put Justin Timberlake on the poster? Maybe in a pose like he is going to sing, a profile or something. It’s only 2007 and I don’t think that people are ready to see Sam chaining up Christina Ricci when they take the kids to see Harry Potter.

Despite Peter Traver’s bitchass hating on the film- “Offensive on multiple levels — if only the plot had any levels at all — Black Snake Moan leaves no Tobacco Road cliche unsmoked,” I have already set aside twenty dollars so I can enjoy a cherry Icee and popcorn as I watch Sam try to cure the white trash of her wickedness. I think that “offensive on multiple levels” is whitespeak for “I don’t like to see a black man having any sort of control over a white woman, even if her character in the film is severely fucked up.”  I hope that Sam castrates Justin Timberlake in the film.

Below are the other two versions of the poster:

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