October 31, 2005
The Weather Man, building shots, and Chicken Little
A clothes trying on montage. This movie straight up, unapologetically and unironically, has a clothes trying on montage. Flipping through the channels this weekend, I discovered that Fat Albert had one too. Congratulations, Weather Man, you're in good company.
While I'm at it, another way you can tell a movie's bad is if it's got helicopter shots of a city to segue in between scenes. This is basically the director saying, I couldn't think of a way to put these scenes together, so here's some stock footage, enjoy. I'm sure it wouldn't take much work to find a good movie that uses this, although I'm pretty sure that the majority of them are bad. The recent Sam Jackson picture, The Man, even put the shot in the trailer ("These two guys are going to show this city...").
And speaking bad shots in trailers, have you noticed the Chicken Little trailer pretty much forgets about the movie halfway through and just has the chicken dancing on a white background for the rest of it? That can't bode well.
Coming soon: Pictures of my Halloween costume based on a character from a movie that pretty much no one saw.
October 22, 2005
I've seen twenty video game movies
and I wrote an article for Slate about it.
Writing for Slate is a lot like writing for diogenes club except that somebody pays me for it and people read it.
My favorite part of the experience was going to a press screening of Doom and sitting in a big theatre with twenty old men in glasses, presumably with some graduate degree in film, waiting for a movie based on a game they had probably played or even heard of, starring a professional wrestler.
October 20, 2005
Being interviewed is fun
The good people at NYC Midnight posted an interview with me and Cas about False Alarm. I want to say something funny about it, but I'll just point you to the interview and hope I said something funny there.
October 17, 2005
Ashlee Simpson's new album is called "I am me"
Which is good because for a second I thought she was Noam Chomsky.
October 10, 2005
Your daily dose of Insane Clown Posse message board postings
truejuggatlous1717 is concerned that there aren't any true juggalos anymore.
Fuck Your Broken Heart then ponders if there is such a thing as a true juggalo. Gh0st Tahmer then accuses Ill Pee In Your Butt of being a juggalo (a true one, presumably) and Nosferatu feels one or more of them at one point. And there's an animated dick kicking around in there that I don't understand.
You can continue the discussion there or at my Insane Clown Posse Fans Yahoo Group
Update: For some reason, they took it off their site. This is my own cache of the google cache.
Update 2: Sadly, truejuggatlous1717's thoughts on the lack of true juggalos are lost into the ether forever.
October 4, 2005
I talk to dead people
The new version of The Warriors isn't a director's cut, per se. Walter Hill has filmed a short "introduction" explaining his ideas behind the changes. Since he'd always thought of this movie as being based in a comic-book world, he added comic-book-style transitions between the scenes.
*Double take - spit take*
By chance, The Warriors (the unchanged release) had just recently made the six or so month journey up to the top of my Netflix queue, and I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it. I'm also shocked at how dumb an idea that comic book thing is. There should be some kind of time limit on directors fucking with their old stuff. There were apparently a few scenes that got cut out of the original American Graffiti release. When it became a hit, they put the scenes back in. That's fine. I'm not going to bore you with a rant about the many re-releases of you-know-what-by-the-same-director, but suffice it to say, from now on, you get five years to dick around with your movie as much as you want. After that, put it in the vault. Huxley wrote a forward to Brave New World a decade or two after he wrote the book basically saying, "Man, there's some stuff in here I wouldn't do anymore. But whatever, that was then, this is now. Fucking with it would be stupid." Do artists have a right to change their stuff after the fact? Yes. Should they? No. If people thought your stuff was good to begin with, whatever lame tweaks you think of twenty years later aren't going to make it any better. They'll make it worse.
And you're lucky The Warriors isn't based on a comic book, or you'd have to sit through my "Just because it's based on a comic, doesn't mean it should look like a comic" spiel. I'll save that for when I see Doom and I'll combine it with my "Just because it's based on a video game, doesn't mean it should look like a video game" spiel.
Now for the original point of this post - Ways you can tell a movie is bad #4 continued - a scene with a dead person. I've talked about this before, but whatever, I'm still mad about it. I saw the by-the-numbers Oscar bait Proof this weekend. It starts off with Gwyneth talking to her father until he reveals... he's dead! How many times have I seen someone talking to a dead person in a movie like it ain't no thing? Too many. Proof almost gets off the hook by implying that Gwyneth is mentally unstable, but since that's the only scene that does more than imply it (being weepy and whiny doesn't count), no dice. Beyond the grave chats always suck. Cut any of them out of a movie and you have just as good (or more likely, bad) a movie. I welcome anyone to come up with evidence to the contrary in the comments.
Oh, and by the way, you may have heard I was a math minor in college. I can say without a doubt that math geeks look neither like Gwyneth nor Jake Gyllenhaal. I know it's Hollywood, but come on. Help a brother suspend a little disbelief here.