Friday, May 13, 2011


Hopefully you guys have been checking out my reviews for the flud watches website in addition to this blog (links for recent flud reviews are on the right, or click the "flud reviews tag" on the right as well). The content from the old flud website is gone, but thankfully i saved everything, so here's the first installment of older reviews that aren't up anymore. And make sure to check out the new flud site if you havent already...
Oh, i had a good blog entry lined up for today about weather or not mumblecore films are maturing or not, with a focus on the films; 'Cyrus' and 'Cold Weather'. Thanks to that FUCKING hiccup that had recently, i lost it (even though i saved it numerous times, which pretty much makes the "saving" feature pretty fucking pointless doesnt it?). Anyway, here you go...

First off, lemme say that Tarantino is incapable of making an un-entertaining film. He has an understanding of movies that a lot of American directors don’t have, and I appreciate that. Now, with all that nice shit outta the way, I have some MAJOR issues with his most recent film; “Inglorious Bastards”. Just like all of Quentin Tarantino’s other films, Inglorious Bastards is a “movie mix tape” of a specific drama. In this case, it’s the “men on a mission” war movie genre (“dirty dozen”, “the great escape”, “ice station zebra”, “inglorious basterds” (1978), etc). Tarantino (kinda) stays true to the formula of those movies. For example, a ragtag group of WW2 soldiers are sent off to do a special side mission, which usually includes killing Nazi’s. In fact, the final Mission in Inglorious Bastards is a direct homage to the final mission in; “Dirty Dozen” & “Inglorious Basterds” (1978). The first major problem with the film is that it’s called “Inglorious Bastards”, but the “bastards” are only in about 1/3 of the film. Yes, the trailer is quite deceiving. One of the key elements of the of the old WW2 action movies that the film was paying homage to, is that they always give a back story on each member in the group of solders sent off to do the mission. In Tarantino’s film, they only do this with one of the “Bastards” at random (which is one of the best parts of the movie, but still…). The next problem I have with the movie is the same problem I’ve had with Tarantino since the last half of Kill Bill 2. And that is; the unnecessary, sometimes forced, wordy dialogue. Sometimes Tarantino gets so caught up in trying to write “cool” sounding dialogue that it just goes on and on, and it eventually takes you out of the movie. For example, at the beginning of the film, the main villain asks someone if it’s ok for them to continue their conversation in English and not German. This would be fine, but it took about a page & a half of the script for him to get to the simple point of asking if they could continue their conversation in English. Sometimes the script in Inglorious Bastards is quite similar to the pointless talk between the female characters in “Death Proof”, you find yourself wanting to scream; “GOD, GET TO THE FUCKING POINT ALREADY!” My last issue with the film is that I couldn’t help but imagine how much better the movie would’ve been with the originally intended cast, including Tarantino regulars; Michael Madsen and Tim Roth (they were officially signed on at one point), and rumors of Samuel Jackson (who ended up narrating the film) and Sylvester Stallone making appearances in the movie as well. Now, don’t get me wrong there are some Great parts in the film, mainly by actors; Til Schwiger, Michael Fassbender and the main villain character played by Christoph Waltz. Plus Tarantino doesn’t hold back on the violence (which is something new, because in the past most of the violence in his past films are shot just off camera). Plus, I’m aware that this is a Tarantino movie, and just like the Coen Brothers, you’re still probably going to see it no matter what. But just be aware, you might find yourself day dreaming off from time to time, and the TITLE CHARACTERS aren’t in the movie as much as the trailer would have you think.

Normally, most sketch comedy troupes don’t have the best luck when it comes to film. “Run Ronnie Run” (Mr. Show) was quite bad, Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show) hasn’t had the greatest luck as a movie director (”lets go to prison” and “the bothers solomon”) and the majority of the SNL movies aren’t that funny. What’s even worse is that when a lot of sketch comedy “greats” aren't acting in their own films, they end up in really bad ones. For example, Amy Sedaris (exit 57 & Strangers With Candy) and Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall) both made appearances in the UN-funny; ”my baby daddy”. Rob Cordry (ucb & daily show) and The Kids In The Hall were in “un-accompanied minors” and just about any movie David Cross (Mr. Show) is cast in ain't that great either. In fact, the few great sketch comedy-based films out there are either misunderstood upon release (”Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy” & “Neighbors”) or they’re not that known by general public (”Martin and Orloff” and “Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story”). Luckily the Derrick Comedy troupe (Donald Glover, DC Pierson & Dominic Dierkes) didn’t follow the same doomed path as so many sketch comedy-based films before them. In “Mystery Team”, 3 delusional high school seniors with a love for crime solving and chocolate milk get in over their heads when they end up investigating a murder (which is something WAY out of their normal league of missing kittens and pie-stealing capers). Imagine a warped/dark comedic version of a Hardy Boys episode. The acting in the movie is damn funny. Right out the gate Donald Glover steals the show. Along with Glover, Bobby Moynihan (famous for his role in the popular internet sketch; ”Bro-Rape”) gives one of the funniest performances as the strange, unstable, ice cream sandwich throwing convenience store clerk, who doubles as an informant for the Mystery Team. There are also a lot of cameos from Upright Citizens Brigade Alums, most notably original UCB member Matt Walsh in a great cameo. I honestly can’t remember that many quiet moments in the theater, because everyone there was laughing their ass off through most of the movie. As a testament to how funny this movie was, I’m going to see it again tomorrow. Definitely check this out if it’s playing in a theater near you. It’s a great movie to see with a group of friends, and would also make an excellent midnight movie.

One of the many perks of having an IFC membership (and being a nerd) is that you get to see movies before they hit theaters. So last night i got to take a sneak peak at the political comedy; ”In the Loop”, which opens at the IFC Center this weekend. It’s too bad this movie wasn’t released earlier, because it would’ve definitely made the “Top 5″ in my mid-season movie review.
After making a series of stupid comments to different journalists, the British Secretary of State; Simon Foster is perceived to be backing the idea of a war, which many people believe is just around the corner. The only problem is, Simon doesn’t actually want to back a war. So now, with the help of his new young political Aid; Toby, Simon has to dig himself out of a ditch, and stop a potential war. Unfortunately, every time he opens his mouth, he just digs himself further and further. The relationship on film between the UK and US hits very close to home (i.e. Tony Blair and George Bush), which makes the story relevant to all demographics, and not just UK audiences. The amazingly graphic dialogue alone, delivered mostly by the scene stealing character; “Malcolm Tucker” (assistant to the Prime Minister), should be enough to make anyone wanna see this. In fact, trying to quote some of the lines wouldn’t do this movie justice.
“In The Loop” is probably the best comedy of the year so far (YES, it’s funnier than “The Hangover”). It channels everything from the pseudo documentary style of the T.V. show its based off of (”The Thick of It”) as well as “The Office” (both UK and US versions). It even has the spirit of vintage Robert Altman & Christopher Guest movies. I gotta be honest; I’d like to see more writing like this in American comedies, and less Apatow/Kevin Smith-influenced writing, which in my opinion has overstayed its welcome. So yeah, Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill aren’t in the movie, but hopefully the familiar face of co-star; James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini will make American audiences take note, and check this movie out.


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