Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

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Maybe he should have ridden into that sunset a little earlier: “McQ”

October 14, 2015

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So, here’s an obscure little artifact: a gritty ‘70s urban thriller called McQ starring John Wayne. Never heard of it? Well, don’t fret. You don’t exactly having a gaping chasm in your cinematic knowledge base. I mean, there’s a reason why when you think of John Wayne’s iconic roles, the irascible Seattle PD Lieutenant Lon McQ doesn’t exactly leap to mind. A big part of that is because this movie sunk without a trace from the cultural landscape. And a big part of that is because when I say “irascible” what I mean is “seemingly irritated to be there.”
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From the Mists of Time: “Fire Birds”

September 14, 2015

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Believe it or not, there was a time when we, the movie going public, did not yet realize that Nicolas Cage was nuts. Nope, it’s true. Hindsight being 20/20, the signs were there—I give you Zandalee—but 25 years ago, most of us were perfectly willing to accept Nic Cage as a hotshot gunship pilot. Well, movie studios were willing to believe that we were willing to accept Nicolas Cage as a hotshot gunship pilot. Look, it was a different time. The Internet hadn’t been invented yet–we had to take our entertainment where it came. 
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Brain-damaged and violent (and kinda gross-looking): “Bellflower”

December 27, 2013

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As the studios continue to smother us with crappy sequels, crappy remakes, crappy Adam Sandler movies, and inevitable Transformers sequels, it’s only natural to want to root for the scrappy independent filmmaker who meticulously crafts his little film out of tin foil and crazy glue, on a shoestring budget. It’s exciting to see singular vision that’s not been corrupted by studio interference and focus-grouped into oatmeal. Evan Glodell’s 2011 movie Bellflower has just such a pedigree attached to it. In addition to writing, directing, and starring in it, Glodell also modified his own cameras and built the film’s central effect—a battle wagon for an apocalyptic wasteland. Now that is talent to spare. Alas, it gives me no joy to say that Bellflower is no Primer. It’s grim, ugly, and tedious—a mumblecore Taxi Driver that leaves you hoping against hope that the next scene will feature an LAPD SWAT team blowing the door and ending the film in a merciful hail of gunfire.
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A lot of ill-advised choices: “The Counselor”

December 8, 2013

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The Counselor has earned a level of infamy for one particular scene—the one in which Cameron Diaz does the splits on Javier Bardem’s Ferrari and rubs her cooch against the windshield—and that’s really too bad, because, that scene aside, the movie is actually pretty dull. Yet still, there is that scene, and I guess it tells us something about the film. An award-winning novelist wrote a scene in which a woman has sex with a car (“sure, that happens,” he obviously thought), an Academy Award-nominated director filmed a woman having sex with a car (“yeah, I can shoot that,” he obviously thought), and one of the most famous actresses working agreed to simulate (I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt) having sex with a car (“yeah, that’ll bolster my career,” she obviously thought). This particular scene tells us a lot about The Counselor: namely, that this movie exists because very talented people can have very bad judgment.
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Tripping Balls: “Shrooms”

October 14, 2013

Ah, ‘Shrooms, the movie that teaches us two important things: 1) the Irish are as capable of making an inane horror movie as us Americans, and 2) psychedelic mushrooms can be fatal if you’re dumb enough. How dumb do you have to be? We’re going to explore that in this review, and just to make things more interactive, I’m going to be quizzing you to see if you are dumb enough to be a character from ‘Shrooms.

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Criminally Overlooked: “The Last Stand”

September 23, 2013

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In hindsight it’s not hard to understand why The Last Stand tanked early in 2013. Headlined by Arnold Schwarzenegger—who is heavily played up in the trailers—it was a part of the failed “1980s action-star renaissance” Hollywood producers seemed to be trying to will into existence out of whole cloth. This mini-trend included The Expendables 2 and Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head (which had the added nostalgia bonus of being directed by ‘80s action mainstay Walter Hill). All these films pretty much crashed and burned at the box office (domestically, anyway–Expendables did well enough overseas to justify a third installment), and that’s too bad in the case of The Last Stand, because it’s a light, fun action movie that steadfastly refuses to take itself seriously.
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Deado on arrival: “R.I.P.D”

September 17, 2013

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Poor Ryan Reynolds. He’s a capable enough actor with solid comedic chops and a ‘40s matinee-idol face and hair. He’s already famous, yet can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to movies. And with RIPD, he, um, he still hasn’t caught one. As a matter of fact, he’s managed to find himself in the center of a gigantic suck to rival that of Green Lantern. I’m beginning to think that Ryan Reynolds is to massive flops what trailer parks are to tornadoes—they don’t cause them, but they sure as hell manage to be in the same proximity of them an awful lot.
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