Caffeinated Clint – New Year Edition


See in the new year with a Latte!

So it’s over. 2006. Thank friggin god. I tell ya, that year hurt more than buying a beer and packet of chips at the last concert I went too (How are those prices hey? For that price, you’d think you’d get a sucky-fucky in the alley behind the theatre, or something, after the show?), and I’m so pleased to see the back of it. We lost too many greats, we were robbed off too many great movies, and the studio system again proved it’s got about as much imagination as the current owner of the Comedy Store. Despite being smack-bang in the middle of Summer here in Australia – not that that means much; I mean, it gets to about 20 degrees at best here in Melbourne. On Christmas day, for instance, we had the log fire going! – I’m still heading out to my baristas every day to get my fix. So as I rip the lid off this piping hot paper-cup of creamy coffee, and attempt to pour it directly down my throat without scolding the sides, get comfortable, prepare youself, and ask yourself the question ‘Why the fuck am I reading Caffeinated Clint again this year?’. (Um, because Page Six are prudes, and Kristin Veitch isn’t as easy).

Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…
This sucky year we’ve just endured? I mean, could it be any more generically unpleasing? Did anyone actually do anything other than work, work, work, work, sleep, shit and drink away their sorrows every Saturday night? Or was that just Matthew Perry? (In all seriousness, love his new show “Studio 60” – could be the best thing on TV this year; here’s hoping the bastard network execs keep it on).
I could sit here all friggin’ day and list the reasons why 2006 was about as exciting as a Coolio movie, but I’ll give ya 20 :

1. My favourite actor, Harrison Ford, slipped his way down the list after a very unimpressive “Firewall”, but more so, as one of the year’s most dull interviewees.
2. Every fuckin’ movie was a remake, a sequel, a prequel or a spin-off. And the sequels that were thought were going to be good – like “X-Men 3” or “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” – were as lousy as a bruised and battered intoxicated hooker.
3. Not even Tom Hanks could give us a good movie this year. That is saying something.
4. We lost Peter Brock. We lost Steve Irwin. We lost James Brown. We lost Chris Penn. We lost Aaron Spelling. We lost Dana Reeve. We lost Robert Altman. We lost Peter Boyle. Nuff’ said.
5. The fact that “Indiana Jones 4” still hasn’t announced production. Get your hand off it George, and get to work!
6. There was nothing from Joss Whedon on TV or at the theaters.
7. That bananas were too bloody expensive to buy.
8. That news wires and respected newspapers decided to start pinching all of our stories – without credit.
9. That all the good movies – like “Babel”, “The Queen” and “Children of Men” – weren’t released until the end of the year; when most of the critics had retired for the Xmas break.
10. That some studio publicist’s ideas are older than the cobwebs behind their legs – I mean, how’s this one “The internet will be gone in a couple of years, that’s why we don’t take much notice of it. Magazines will be on their way back”.
11. That you can no longer take bottles of drink on board an airplane! (and speaking of which, it takes you longer to get through airport security now than it does to watch the director’s cut of “Dances with Wolves”!)
12. That the biggest stars of the year were people like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, K-Fed, Kimberley Stewart, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, …. People who are more famous for opening their legs, mixing their drinks and being on the VIP list at every club, than doing anything remotely interesting with the arts.
13. That people rushed out to see shit like the girly-gag fest “The Break-Up” or “You, Me & Dupree” but decided to sit, say, “Brick” or “Bobby” out.
14. That because of the pirates, critics are seeing less and less review discs – and being treated like terrorists as they go into an early media screening. Please, for the love of god, put away the camcorders and stay away from the Bleeker St Bag stores!
15. Bush is still in office. Howard is still in Office.
16. “Deadwood” came to an end. Prematurely.
17. My lawnmower boy, ‘Rocket Boy’, who charged the best prices in town, moved interstate.
18. Magazines and Newspapers are still firing freelancers who “ask kindly” to be paid the monies they’re owed.
19. That the best popcorn movie of the year, “Mission : Impossible 3”, flopped – because of everyone’s inability to see beyond ‘Tom Cruise, the personality’ and ‘Ethan Hunt, the character’. Not anyone’s fault, just sad.
20. My cat Louis, got sick, and after about five thousand dollars of medical expenses, there was still nothing they could do. Thankfully, Santa got him some fish treats to cheer him up.

Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
I didn’t think I would ever be as happy to have Sylvester Stallone back on the big screen as I am. Its probably just because he was making shit after shit a few years back – stuck in the studio system, himself, with little options – and with “Rocky Balboa”, finally pushed something through that he personally believed in. With age, he’s got better it seems – more understanding of his audience, more concerned about his screen image, and seemingly aware that he’s been making rubbish for the past few years. I haven’t seen “Balboa” yet, but I hear – based on both critics’ opinions and friends’ – that it’s great. It didn’t cost a lot, but it didn’t need to, it was all story – and all character. A total turnaround for Sly. Here’s hoping the next “Rambo” – which, like “Balboa”, Stallone also wrote and will direct – is as good as early buzz has pegged it, too. A couple of folks I know that have read the script say that its less-cartoonish than the previous installments and much more in line with “First Blood”. That works for me. So what other old Sly characters would you like to see return? Jack Carter? Kit Latura? Ray Quick? Judge Dredd? John Spartan? Hmm. Nah, none of them take my fancy either. How about Gabe Walker? The guy from “Cliffhanger”. Of all of Sly’s 90s actioners, that was one of the better, and the character was one of the more fleshier and likable. You could probably place the guy in any situation. Sure, climbing cliffs was his forte, but what about placing him in Alaska, or having him assist the troops in Afghanistan – or something? There might be something in it. Have a think about it, Sly. Meantime, we’re all waiting for that “Death Race” remake; you’re still on board to play Machine-Gun Joe [again] aren’t you? 2007 is the year of the returning 80s action star, it seems. Bruce Willis is back in the new “Die Hard”, Mickey Rourke’s returning in the “Sin City” sequel, and Roddy Piper’s in “Sin-Jin Smyth”. There’s even rumblings about Steven Seagal and a new “Under Siege” (I’ve seen the outline, and it’s not too shabby – it could work). The only guy who needs a good firecracker under the trousers is Jean Claude Van Damme. No big loss.

Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
“The Holiday”. Have you seen it? Oh my god, there’s a reason I’m getting less and less enthused about this industry, and this could be it right here. This is fuckin’ terrible. It’s a well-cast film that merely takes your money for a no-show – like going to a circus where they forget to open the curtain. I don’t think I had ever looked at my watch more times in a movie – well, not since, “Material Girls” anyway. The title says it all: “The Holiday”. A chance for Hollywood’s finest – yeah OK, Jack Black ain’t that fine, but stay with me on this – to bask in the sun, tell yarns with friends, and generally just party in front of a camera. Yep, we tend to end of the year, or start off a new one, but merely watching footage of A-listers being paid $10 million to, well, wind down. When are we all going to catch on this mega ruse? This is sugar-fairy fairy floss. It looks like it could be a tasty bit of shameful pleasure, but it isn’t. Nope, it’s bland and a real chore to get through. Maybe if the film had had more spark in it, or something along the lines of a script (rather than an outline) had been used to set it up, then those 135 minutes (!) would’ve been a little more tolerable. As it is, you might as well be paying good money to have a sleep in a hard cinema chair. And the worst thing of all? Christmas 2007, you can guarantee there will be a film opening just like it.

Caffeinated Clint’s knobhead of the week : Ben Stiller. Dude, what are you doing? Why the hell are you in “Night of the Museum”!? Yes, I know, you’re going to make a pretty penny out of it – but sheesh, where’s the dignity? Give us something we want to see. Didn’t you start out in this business as a guy wanting to make new, fresh, edgy and genuinely entertaining films? “Reality Bites” seems soooo long ago now, my friend.

Caffeinated Clint smiled when…. : He saw Demi Moore’s performance in “Bobby”. Almost an extension of her character, Jules, from “St.Elmo’s Fire”, the its the best that Moore has been in years. She is truly immerse, and amazing in the [small] part. Hopefully, she gets more work from the part. But then again, nobody has gone to even see the movie… so a cameo in McG’s next popcorn flick will probably be the next on her to-do list. Maybe her and Emilio should get back together? Hmmm.

Fab but [possibly] Forgotten : Chelsea Field. One of the hottest, and most in-demand, actresses of the 80s, Field was the go-to woman whenever you needed a mysterious wife or a complex love interest. She was Bruce Willis’s traitorous Mrs in Shane Black’s “Last Boy Scout” (1991), the love interest in “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man” (1991) and one of John Ritter’s many conquests in the sexy comedy “Skin Deep” (1989). Some may remember her as Teela in the “Masters of the Universe” movie, too. In recent years, she’s done a couple of short films, but mainly guest-starring stints on TV series’ like “N.C.I.S” and “Without a Trace”. She may be on the comeback trailer, judging by her IMDB entry, with a role in a new film called “One Part Sugar” co-starring Dylan McDermott, Jonah Hill, Justin Long and Danny DeVito. At 49, Field is still one-part babe, one-part gifted actress.

Please make this movie… : The Crimson Eagle : Romancing the Stone 3. Yes, I know, “Jewel of the Nile” was horrifying (I still can’t watch those first few minutes, where Jack Colton is taking on the pirates on the ship, because of the abysmal backdrop – it looks bloody terrible) , but “Romancing the Stone” was just soooo damn good, and those characters – Jack and Joan – were fabulous. How about getting “The Crimson Eagle” back up, Mike? You, Kathleen (sans a few pounds) and Danny all back together? It could work; after all, all these other 80s franchises are coming back for one more swipe at glory.

5 movies Caffeinated Clint sat through [possibly again] this week :

1. Babel – Not so much a film about the blurred and misinterpreted lines of communication – though it definitely does focus on that – but the mere fact that every decision you make, ends in a consequence tied directly to that decision, “Babel” serves as a reminder of the human condition, and in other ways, a manual. It’s the decisions we make, that shape our lives – no matter how small – and though a lot of it is out of hands, we’ve – somewhat, anyway – only got ourselves to blame in a lot of situations. You take a walk down the dark windy road – you know you’re asking for trouble. You eat month-old leftovers from the fridge – again, you’re asking for trouble. You travel to a foreign land, immerse in political turmoil, you’re asking for trouble. You take pot shots at buses of American tourists? Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

2. Romancing the Stone : Just picked up the new ‘Special Edition’ version of the disc from Amoeba. What a great show this was… is. Adventure, Romance, Comedy… Diane Thomas’s screenplay really did have it all. Pity about the sequel.

3. Bobby – Estevez has penned a script that’s consequential without being overtly preachy, compelling without having to exaggerate the proceedings, and real, because of the vast array of credible characters. Kennedy touched a lot of lives, and Estevez shows you just how wide his appreciation spanned with characters of all race, religion and predicament.

4. Night at the Museum – This is a strange beast indeed. Devoid of laughs, lacking a workable plot, but with an amazing cast – the fact that Levy has rounded up Van Dyke, Rooney and Cobbs to play pivotal parts in the film is a coup in itself – that seem to be carrying on as if they’re in the next big blockbuster, “A Night at the Museum” is like a wearisome party made tolerable thanks to some old friends that welcomingly turn up at the last minute.

5. The Untouchables – The wife had never seen it, so I forced her to watch it. This is solid, solid, solid stuff – still. Kevin Costner has never been better, and Sean Connery was absolute gold in it. Before you see the upcoming prequel (they want Nicolas Cage for Al Capone, I hear), make sure you revisit the original movie hit.

And finally,

The World According to Mrs Caffeinated Clint
Words of Wisdom from Mrs Caffeinated Clint : A scientist who seems to be able to sum up the world – or a movie – in just a few words, whilst the rest of us feel a page review isn’t even sufficient.
“It’s one those good movies, but you can’t recommend it to everyone” – Mrs Morris on “Babel”.

Contact Clint at his MySpace.