The “Caffeinated Clint” Awards
Clint’s Top 5 Films of the Year
1.The Departed – If heads is ‘guts’ and tails is ‘glory’, then Martin Scorsese has obviously been dealt a dud coin in recent years, because he’s been flipping nothing but bottoms. Now, after all the bank and acclaim that he generated with “Gangs of New York” and “The Aviator”, the one-time cinematic rebel returns to shovel some steaming hot coals back into the cinematic fire. And how “The Departed” burns bright.
2. Little Miss Sunshine – There are films that make you cry. There are films that make you laugh. There are films that keep you on the edge of your seat. And, there are films that make you think. Usually, it’d cost you about the equivalent of renting a Tux to give every one of those emotions a workout, but thanks to “Little Miss Sunshine” there’s now an easier, equally satisfying, alternative to seeing back-to-back movies at your local AMC on opening day. You get a little bit of everything with this new comedy/drama, so much so that theatres are going to be asking Fox Searchlight for remuneration.
3. Children of Men – Clive Owen is 2006’s Tom Cruise, in that anything with his name on it you can pretty much guarantee will be a good movie. He featured in the terrific “Inside Man”, co-starred in the enjoyable popcorn thriller “Derailed”, and most notably stole the show in this – a truly original and absolutely breathtaking forewarning of a bleak future. If you haven’t seen it yet, get you refund on that “Unaccompanied Minors” ticket and swap it for one to this.
4. Mission : Impossible III – : It’s a ride you can’t help but feel comfortable on. With J.J Abrams as it’s driver, “Mission: Impossible 3” is the smoothest and most enjoyable jaunt in eons. It’s also one of the best films of Tom Cruise’s career – runs circles around that over bloated mess, “War of the Worlds”, for a start – and speaking of which, he is a marvel in this, if you’re not truly under his spell again by film’s end…. you’re related to the Kidmans.
5. Casino Royale – The real stars of “Casino Royale” though are screenwriters Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Paul Haggis, and director Martin Campbell. The screenplay is sensational – its funny (lines like “What I understand, double-ohs have a very short life expectancy” are priceless), its romantic, its dramatic, its action, it’s very in-jokey (you learn how Bond discovered his drink of choice, for instance), but most of all, it keeps you interested. And if you’re ever going to try and re-invent Bond, you get the guy that did “Goldeneye” (1995), Martin Campbell. Campbell knows how to breathe life into a struggling franchise, and does it again here with flying colours. He’s inserted the exhilaration back into the series. The guy knows what makes a good Bond movie. He really does.
Clint’s Top 5 most-hated films of the year
1. The Grudge 2 – If a horror film is deemed effective by how many yawns the spectator can evoke in the one sitting, then consider my boxers soaked to the tag. If “The Grudge” (2004) – another of those bloody American remakes of better Hong Kong horror films – was only half-cooked, then the inevitable sequel is as unthawed as frozen potato wedges. Glutton-for-punishment Takashi Shimizu – the director of the original ‘Ju-On’ films – returns for a second time to pit pretty young American girls against repugnantly eerie Asian ghosts. The result? Not so much a nail-biting thriller as a film that’s entertainment value is surpassed by well, biting one’s nails.
2. Material Girls – Considering the studio hired three writers to pen this thing, you’d think they could’ve come up with something that wasn’t a blatant insult and excruciating waste of time for the teenage market its aimed at. In the 80s they were able to make good girly flicks with loads of topping – like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Fame” – so why are they suddenly serving up nothing more than margarita – as in, its that plain – now?
3. The Covenant – Bubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble… Me thinks Renny Harlin’s career is on the bubble. After his much maligned “Exorcist: The Beginning”, Finish director Renny Harlin (with each film he does, the less proficient he becomes) returns to the world of unseen evil with a film that’s as equally as supernatural as it is well, sloppy.
4. Basic Instinct 2 – The Joe Eszterhas-written original wasn’t a fantastic film, but it was an enjoyable one – it had a gorgeous look to it, some really well choreographed sex scenes, and for the most part, quite an engaging storyline. This, on the other hand, couldn’t even get the sex bit right, and admittedly, that’s what quite a few will be coming to see. The few bits of rumpy-pumpy that the movie has are about as hot as walking on cement bare feet on a winter’s morning – yep, not at all
5. The Fog – If it’s pretty young things that you want though – you’ll be in primetime heaven. Tom Welling – shirtless for a good part of it – will keep the girls armpit’s awash, and Maggie Grace – who gets about in skimpy shorts for a large part of the film, despite the chilly weather – will distract most guys from the frightless scares and the film’s indiscernible purpose, with her smouldering supermodel looks. Throw in Selma Blair, and you’ve got quite a tasty sandwich. Of course, no sandwich is complete without some meat – and there’s none on offer here. This is unexciting, unsavoury, derivative and effectively another exercise in paint-by-numbers cinema.
Clint’s top 5 TV Shows of the year
1. Prison Break – More addictive than Crack. I still can’t believe Brett Ratner’s name is attached to something so damn entertaining?! Time for Dr. Sarah to get her gear off, though.
2. Rescue Me : Firefighting, fucking, fornication, fiascos…. And Denis ‘asshole’ Leary. It gets no better.
3. Entourage : The only show that Hollywood religiously tunes in to watch every week. And with good reason… it’s great!
4. Big Love : Bill Paxton’s best turn since “Aliens” in a religious ménage-a-trio treat.
5. Veronica Mars : Still one of the hippest, best-written and most fun shows on the air (lets hope it stays on the air).
10 Things I want for Christmas :
1. For Santa to flush out the dicks and dragons of the film industry. It’ll be out with the unhelpful bitches, egotistical BMW-driving bastards, and dim former tax-accountants turned film executives and in with some fresh, knowledgeable blood with a passion for film (whether that be in terms of making/developing films, or promoting them).
2. For someone to ram a stake through the remake trend. I’m serious when I say this: We’re only a couple of years away from a remake of “The Godfather”, “Apocalypse Now” and “Star Wars”. Now, who wants to see that? So in all seriousness, who about we stop the shit… take some gambles again… and pour what money you were going to put into a remake of say “Prom Night” or “The Blob” and do something NEW. (Don’t think you’re excluded either, Bay).
3. For event films to be event films : I mean., could the sequels of 2006 be any more disappointing? Could the adaptations of literary classics like “The Da Vinci Code” be any more middling? Seriously, I still can’t fathom how a studio can botch something so badly like “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” or “X-Men 3”, when the previous instalments in both respective franchises were so gold. At least Sony got it right with “Casino Royale”.
4. For a Mel Gibson comeback : OK, he said some stupid shit. But we all say stupid shit when we’re drunk (heck, we do stupid shit when we’re drunk). What Mel said was pretty rough, but then, don’t blame it on him – blame it on his parents; they’re the ones who have been ramming that crap down his throat since the day he popped out of Mrs Gibson’s exit hole. Gibson’s one of the most entertaining actors out there…. It’d be a shame not to see him continue on as an actor because of how unforgiving Hollywood is.
5. For Indiana Jones 4 to get a start date : I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing that it’s “coming soon”. To think that we’ve still got to sit through half-a-dozen more Harrison Ford blunders before he finally makes a return to form, it’s just exasperating. Give off ya ass George, Stop playing with ya model train set Steve, get back to the Gym Harry…. Because before you know it, we won’t much give a damn soon.
6. For Michael J.Fox to get well : Sounds syrupy, but I miss the guy. He could never play anyone too far from himself, but he was always a likeable screen presence – and it’s been too long since we’ve seen him in something. Its wishful thinking that he’ll get better – because, well, there’s no real cure for Parkinson’s – but hopefully god sprinkles some goodness down on the Fox/Pollan household this Christmas and Fox starts 2007 with stamina and a smile.
7. For some actors to get smart : We know what some actors need to do in order to get back on top, but why can’t they see it? Few examples: Jean Claude Van Damme needs to take a gamble and play a supporting role – possibly as a villain – in something like a “Rush Hour 3” instead of keeping on pouring out the starring slop, Steven Seagal needs to get back into the good books at Warner Bros and agree to doing an “Under Siege 3”, John Travolta needs to sign up for a [good, not “Be Cool”-esque crap] sequel to one of his earlier hits like “Pulp Fiction” or “The General’s Daughter”, Wesley Snipes needs to clean up his fuckin’ act and start befriending Hollywood again – maybe then he’ll get this “New Jack City” prequel off the ground; maybe even have Spike Lee wanting to work with him again, and – I’ve gotta say it – Bruce Campbell really needs to cave in and accept that he’s “Ash, and he’ll always be Ash” and start hounding Sam Raimi to do this “Evil Dead 4” he’s been talking about since I was in diapers (about 21 or 22, I stopped wearing them).
8. For Hollywood to rediscover the oldies, but goodies : I know they’ve been doing lousy for the last decade or so, but there’s a heap of good well-experienced actors out there that are just being totally under-utilised. How about giving folks like Eric Roberts, C.Thomas Howell, Emilio Estevez (acting-wise), Ally Sheedy, something good to do? They’ve still got it, you just don’t know it.
9. For Jennifer Aniston to take a year off : Seriously, I don’t think I can sit through another one of her movies.. she’s killing me… I’m at ‘stabbing myself in the eye with a pen’ desperation. I hear the reason she split up with Vince Vaughn is that she couldn’t stand it that he had “more than one expression” and was “unpredictable”. Fuck woman… you should’ve took notes.
10. For the internet to have the last laugh : A studio publicist – yep, there’s still 1 in 10 that don’t believe that the internet has merit – told me recently that “you watch, in a couple of years the internet will be dead and newspapers and magazines will be back in fashion”. I want to prove her wrong – which, lets face it, the bee-yatch already is – so lets make the internet the only damn place to get your news, views and information on anything and everything. In my opinion, it has always been…. but someone didn’t tell the dinosaurs.
The Caffeinated Clint Awards 2006 :
Best Performances of the Year : Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica”, Everyone in “The Departed”, Abigail Breslin (in particular) from “Little Miss Sunshine”, Everyone in “United 93”, Nora Zehetner in “Brick”, and Pierce Brosnan in “The Matador” (a movie that should’ve done a shit load better than it did). Michael Caine in ANYTHING he did (particularly, “Children of Men”), Meryl Streep (“The Devil Wears Prada”), Barry Pepper (“The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”), George Clooney in “Syriana”, and Australia’s Steve LeMarquand in “Last Train to Freo”.
Worst Performances of the Year : That wobbly little dead fuck in “The Grudge 2”, Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx sleepwalking through “Miami Vice”, Chicken Little in “Chicken Little”, Everyone in “The Sentinel”, Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man’s Chest” (what was he fuckin’ smokin’?!), Keanu Reeves in “The Lake House”, the Duff girls in “Material Girls” and Harrison Ford (snooze) in “Firewall”. The gang in “X-Men 3” could’ve also have done with a little more enthuse – that includes you too, Hugh.
Guilty Pleasures of 2006 – yep, at least I can own up to ‘em! : “Just Friends”, “Rent”, “Dreamer”, “When a Stranger Calls”, “Eight Below”, “Fast and the Furious : Tokyo Drift”, “16 Blocks”, “She’s the Man”, “Goal”, “The Producers”.
Best Newcomers of 2006 : Channing Tatum (“She’s the Man”, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”), Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”), Vera Farmiga (“The Departed”), Emily Barclay (“Suburban Mayhem”), Teresa Palmer (“2:37”), Victoria Hill (“Macbeth”), Joel Edgerton (“Kinky Boots”), Kuno Becker (“Goal”)
Films that I just couldn’t have given any less of a shit about : “The Santa Clause 3”, “The Shaggy Dog”, “Last Holiday”, “Separate Lies”, “The Omen 666”, “The Break Up”, “Just My Luck”, “Material Girls”, “Oliver Twist”, “Footy Legends”, “Hoot”, “Garfield 2”, “The Nightmare before Christmas 3D”…* Note : Ended up seeing them all anyway. Some were OK; some were smellier than week-old dirty kitty litter.
Hottest On-screen babes of the Year : Blake Lively (“Accepted”), Eva Green (“Casino Royale”), Rosario Dawson (“Rent”), Camilla Belle (“When A Stranger Calls”), Anne Hathaway (“The Devil Wears Parada”), Kristen Bell (“Pulse”), and those two hot naked chicks from “Hostel”. Vroom… Vroom…
Worst thing about 2006 in film : Crap Trends. Same old Shit.
Best On-Screen Couples : Lois and Richard (“Superman Returns”), Matt Damon, Leonardo Di Caprio and Verga Farmiga (“The Departed”), Daniel Craig and Eva Green (“Casino Royale”), Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher (“Open Season”),
Worst On-Screen Couples : Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou (“The Da Vinci Code”), Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock (“The Lake House”), Sharon Stone and David Morrissey (“Basic Instinct 2”), Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore (“American Dreamz”), Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey (“Failure to Launch”).
Films I walked out of in 2006 : “The Grudge 2”, “Stay Alive”. And nearly… “Pirates”.
Best Movie Premiere of 2006 : “Boytown” – I don’t remember much about it, so I presume it was great.
Best Movie Event of 2006 : Comic-Con. Always great to catch up with the fellow webbies – and have a few sherbets – at San Diego’s big one.
Best Interviewees of 2006 : Amanda Bynes, Hilary Swank, Blake Lively, J.J Abrams and Michelle Monaghan, Kirsten Dunst, Nicolas Cage, Chris Klein, Amber Tamblyn, Michelle Williams, Samuel L.Jackson. All as lovely as fresh peaches.
Worst Online rumours of 2006 : That Natalie Portman is set to play Indy’s daughter in “Indiana Jones 4” (not true, folks), That David Lynch is planning to return to “Twin Peaks”, That Jean Claude Van Damme was going to play a role in “Rush Hour 3”, Joss Whedon directing film version of “Sailor Moon”, That Hugh Jackman had a cameo as Superman’s father in “Superman Returns”, That Mr.T makes a cameo in “Rocky Balboa”, Hilary Duff set to play Carol Anne in “Poltergeist” sequel, That Bill Murray has a cameo in “Basic Instinct 2”, That Jason Behr was set to replace Ben Affleck for a “Daredevil” sequel, David Duchovny would be starring as “The Hulk”, and, though some of us would like to see it, that a sequel to Joss Whedon’s “Serenity” is in the works. Not true, I’m afraid – and either is the one about Hilary Duff and the Oscar.
Best direct-to-video sequel of 2006 : “The Net 2.0”. (desperate for a choice, as you can see…)
Worst direct-to-video sequel of 2006 : “American Pie Presents The Naked Mile” (Now an Egg Nog coaster).
Biggest dickhead of 2006 : Michael Richards. “It’s a has been! Look! It’s a has-been!”
Studio with the best movies in 2006 : Roadshow Film Distributors (Warner/New Line/Weinstein etc)
Studio with the worst movies in 2006 : Buena Vista International (Disney).
Best Coffee in Melbourne : Jamaica Blue. How about a 10% discount, at least, folks?
Moviehole reader of the year : For his maximum consistency in the area of the Mailbag, and keeping my outlook express alive…. Lenny Luthor, um, I mean….Holden! (or Reese Witherspoon… for sharing the love when she won the big gold statue!. She was as giddy as hell!).
Pet Coffee Hate : Putting CHOCOLATE Sprinkles on a LATTE!
Five of Clint’s rants that got your attention in 2006 (and got the most feedback) :
1. Read Ya Job Description Love : “As a former film publicist myself, I think I have an idea of how to deal with the media. I use to believe – still do – that the better terms you’re on, the better deal you’re going to get with the media. You help them out; they’ll help you out. It always seemed to me that we needed each other. And honesty I find, also goes a long way too. If I didn’t like a film, I would tell that person (should they ask). The media can see right through you. You’re better to be up-front with them. They’ll help a loyal, straight-forward publicist, believe me – – it worked all the time. I can’t tell you how many feature articles for a Leslie Nielsen shitpiece I got out of merely ‘being nice to the media I worked with’.
To those wonderful studio publicists who I deal with day in – day out, thankyou! Well done! You’ll be looked after here…. Those others, well, they can continue having twenties flung into their knickers night after night.”
2. Fuck You to the pigs who crushed the Browncoats! : “Ya see, as soon as FOX cancelled Whedon’s sensational “Firefly”, these fans did whatever they could to make sure that the TV/film world didn’t forget about the passengers of the Firefly vessel, and as good as forced Universal into greenlighting a film version of the thing. Now as much marketing (ahem) as Universal did for “Serenity’, they didn’t do half as much as the fans did for it. Whatever money this thing made was because of the fans flying the banner and getting the word out. Sure, Universal put up a couple of snazzy new forum websites – – -but it was the fans, with their 24-7 back and forward postings, and referrals, that made the sites popular. They were essentially the ‘unpaid marketing team’”.
3.Embargoes on film reviews : “Good PR is Good PR – regardless of whether the word leaks five days before you want it too. And if a film is supposedly as slipshod as the wheels on a 1982 Cortina; and someone wants to run an early positive review of the film – let them! Don’t you know it ‘hurts’ to shoot yourself in the foot?
If it was a scathing – because there’s no other kind when it comes to the two films I’m about to mention – review of a turd like “Cursed” or “Exorcist : The Beginning” they were trying to block, then that’s fair enough – they’re covering their own ground. But some free publicity, the likes of which you might NEVER get after the embargo date?”
4.Give Tom Cruise A Break : “Pretty silly when you think about it. The guy has been giving us entertaining movie after entertaining movie for years – even if some did resemble little more than two hours of MTV taped in HD, like the one I re-watched on the weekend, “Days of Thunder” (hell, Kidman is dreadful in that, isn’t she?!) – and as soon as he acts a little silly, we go cold on him. I’ll admit, I did too. Suddenly, he was no longer ‘all-round nice guy and superstar’ Tom Cruise, he was ‘that narcissistic idiot’. And why? Because he jumped on a couch. Yep, you read right. He jumped on a couch. A couch. “
5.Pineapple-Fan sells Clint a computer : “Something I just realised : you can never find that sharp-leafy end of a pineapple when you need to. Had to take my ibook G4 to a fix-it-man (the guy can’t even fix his hair for a customer, how on earth did I think he could mend the keyboard on this notebook?) a couple of weeks back. It gets the red goo inside my frame pumping whenever someone says ‘I’ll be with you in a minute’ and then they return fifteen minutes later – or you stand in line at a sandwich store only to have everyone that enters after you served first, or how about sales people that refuse to apologise after discovering that the drivers licence they refused to accept as a form of I.D to buy a cell phone was actually still valid and that September 2006 is actually this year”.
In 2006, I was bummed that….
1. “Deadwood” was axed.
2. “Havoc” didn’t get a DVD release sooner.
3. Paul Gleason died and nobody much noticed.
4. I didn’t get to do a set visit on “Ghost Rider” – despite living in the same town it was being filmed!
5. There was nothing much good on at the movies.
Editor’s Can be Kind : Hey, I can’t believe you guys actually enjoy reading my rants?! I tell ya, whenever I start up at home…. The wife goes on an instant hunt for her MP3 player. You guys have tolerance, real tolerance, not to mention, taste, real taste. Thanks for jumping on board the Caffeinated wagon this year. I’m amazed at who reads this column… from filmmakers, to actors, agents and has-been TV legends that I’ve taken the piss out of, I’ve heard from ‘em all (either in a “very funny, mate” or “fuck you mother fucker!” retort)…. In 2007, I’ve got an “Earl” list of people to cheese off one-by-one, again…. Meanwhile, I got a hot cup of coffee to down. Keep it FROTHY.
P.S – One lot we’d like to see get some stinky presents this year is Virgin.Net – a site that takes pride in pinching others stories, writing them up in their own words, and then, flat-out passing them off as their own. If they do attribute it to someone else…. it’s usually the wrong site. I.E – Our John Cena/”Predator 3″ story, which they re-printed here, has been attributed to Variety (!), whilst you’ve just gotta read stories like this – they’ve taken it from our site and got it ALL wrong. You dicks! Home Media Retailing is the site you should be attributing the article to, NOT the distributor of the film!. Hacks.
– CLINT MORRIS