Caffeinated Clint – 5/4/06


Reflecting on April Fools Day edition

Caffeinated Clint
A weekly editorial Grande with a double shot
Incorporating “This week in TV”

I’ve got to rush my poor lil’ Louis Vutton – that’s a cat! Not a handbag! – to the vet (he’s a bit grumpy…a bit wishy-washy), so let’s get straight to ripping off my check-shirt and seeing what I’ve gotta get off my chest. (Who yelled out ‘leather studded vest’?!)

WIN ‘Billy Connolly – Live in New York’ DVDs!

Speaking of getting things off my chest, or, in this case – off the prize pile, I have 10 copies of the side-splittingly fun “Billy Connolly Live in New York” to giveaway on DVD, thanks to our friends at Universal. It’s sooooo pants-wetting funny, you’ll need a mop when it’s done.

This is Billy Connolly’s first new live DVD in over three years. Taken from his fantastic ‘Too Old to Die Young’ tour in 2005 it features the hilarious New York show. This is the first time one of Billy’s shows has been filmed in the US even though he has been touring there for over 30 years.

To WIN, email here and tell me the name of the recent Jim Carrey movie that Billy Connolly co-starred in.

Get going!

Quarter way through coffee

Here’s a GEM of a story for you. A GEM I tell ya. Did I say GEM? Yeah, GEM.
Less than a week after our commentary about ‘pinchers’ – i.e. sites that cut and paste other peoples news items, sometimes without even changing a word! (You wait, I’m going to slip in a ‘My mamma’s armpit smells like dirty socks’ into an item – watch that get copied!) – I had an email suggesting that someone’s ‘cut and paste’ job had caused ripples on a fan site. It was apparently our ‘April Fools Day’ joke that had been copied. Not surprisingly, we got the censure. (Just as we did when Edward Furlong was fired from “T3” and Natasha Lyonne fell into a drug-induced coma).
Now, the offended emailer wasn’t just the moderator for any fan forum, mind you, but that of award-winning stage of stage, screen and cereal box ….Rue McClanahan.
Yep, seems one of Rue’s “many” fanclub’s posted our ‘April Fools Day’ joke about there being a “Golden Girls” movie in the works. No one bothered to actually come and read the original article after the forum member posted the article into the forum…. so they wouldn’t have seen the ‘link’ that would have directed readers to an image saying ‘April Fools Day’. Apparently after much debate, ‘a few broken friendships’ between forum members and quite a few upset “Golden” fans…someone decided to actually ‘check’ the original source – i.e. us! Wow! – And discovered, heaven forbid, that it was…. an April Fools Joke.
It was then, of course, that we ‘copped it’ (via email). The forum moderator emailed us to let us know that ‘jokes have repercussions’ and how much trouble we had caused (because nobody knew it was a joke).
My response was simple: Maybe if you’d come to the site first, instead of relying on a cut and pasted version, you would have easily had seen it was a joke?!’
I was ready to put the gloves on.
But the story gets wilder…I actually went along and had a look at this so-called fansite, only to discover that it closed in 2004. Hmmm, that’s interesting. And where’s the forum? There is no forum. I was starting to get the feeling that…hey, could it be that we just got duped too? Had we been sharing the same medicine?
Several hours later, the prankster revealed himself. Indeed, the RueMcClanahan fansite didn’t exist….we got PUNKED!
I was seriously laughing my arse off for hours.
So, my hat is off to you! Brilliant!……But that not brilliant, we did, after all, get the email on April 2nd. Had you of emailed yesterday with this doozie, we would have sent you a prize. Because you didn’t, we’re actually sending your advance 14-disc set of “The Superman Movies” Collection to the ‘real’ Rue McClanahan fanclub in Australia. How do ya like ‘dem apples?.

Half-way through coffee

Speaking of April Fools Day gags, the net, typically, was full of them on the weekend. Not everyone gets into the spirit – heck, I usually don’t, because I know there’s some gullible folks out there – some absolute beauties on some of our buddies’ portals. Check these ones out:
Aint it Cool : Harry Knowles to pose in Playboy!
Dark Horizons : Several – “Crash” sequel to be called “Grief”, “Brokeback Mountain” deleted scenes, Two “Harry Potter” films to be shot back-to-back, “V for Vendetta” sequel planned, “Lost” facing economic cutbacks, and a film to be shot at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con starring real-life webmasters post-slab. : Kate Beckinsale cast as “Wonder Woman”, but must have breast enlargement first.
Bloody Disgusting : Uwe Boll to direct an episode of TV’s “Masters of Horror”, titled “Plan 8 From Outer Space”.
One of the best April Fools Day jokes that I recall was at Dark Horizons, a few years back. Garth had an item up about Freddie Prinze Jr being cast as ‘Astro Boy’. You wouldn’t believe how many sites actually started posting the news as fact. Good on Garth, Harry, JoBlo, Brad and everyone else that ran with a bogus one this year, nothing like a good ruse.
Anyway, for those that didn’t get ‘all’ the jokes in that item though, here’s the rest: 1) That legendary comedian that’s going to be the subject of his own movie? That’s Scott ‘Carrot Top’ Thompson? 2) Writer O.Bill Gannon? That’s “Dragnet” fave, Officer Bill Gannon. 3) A mystery movie starring Daphne Blake? “Scooby Doo” fans are well ahead of me. And finally, Uwe Boll directing a “Golden Girls” movie? Yeah…sure.

Three quarters the way through coffee

I love Robert Englund. I really do. I think he created one of the most frightening, and entertaining, characters in cinema. Freddy Krueger is an absolute cinematic legend. And if he (Englund as Krueger) were selling blood ‘and’ bone in a garden store, I’d buy three bags. Heck, I think I paid full price to see every “Elm Street” film at the cinema….some would say I would’ve got better value out of a bag of soil. I didn’t care that most of them were rubbish, I loved Freddy. Who needed a good script when you had the side-splitting serial-slasher to keep you amused.
But anyway, to my point….as good as Englund is as Freddy…..I’m starting to get the feeling that Englund needs Freddy, more than Freddy needs Englund. OK, so, to an extent, he always has (needed Freddy) because he’s been somewhat typecast (OK, so we know him for his role on “V” as well, but many more know him for the Christmas-jumper-ed slaughter, don’t they?), but ostensibly never more so than now.
Whereas most ‘typecast’ actors try to distance themselves from the series/franchises that they’ve been pigeonholed into – Shatner in “Trek”, Cattrall in “Sex and the City”, Ford in “Star Wars”, McGinley in “Revenge of the Nerds” (or not) – Englund seems to have accepted the fact that he doesn’t eat, if he hasn’t got another ‘Freddy’ movie on the go. That’s far enough, and I totally appreciate the predicament. Thing is, he’s playing with the fans heads!
Englund been telling everyone that will listen – and admit it, that’s anyone who has a slight interest in horror films – that a “Freddy Vs. Michael” movie is in the works – a film that’ll also feature Jamie Lee Curtis! – serving somewhat as a sequel to the recent hit, “Freddy Vs. Jason”. Truth is though, there’s nothing really happening there AT ALL. “The only person that has ever mentioned it is Englund”, says an insider for the company that ‘owns’ the character of Michael Myers. “New Line would have to own Michael to do that movie, and they don’t”. So there you have it. It’s not likely to happen. Studio hasn’t even heard anything about it. But…I could’ve told you that.
Heck, a few years back there was talk of a “Pinhead Vs. Michael” movie. It nearly happened too. But, the forces behind each character – Clive Barker and the Akkads, respectively – just couldn’t agree on the film…and these were characters owned by the one company! Do you know how hard it would be to get New Line and TheWeinsteinCo. (formely Dimension) to agree on a film that meshes the leads of their most popular horror franchises? Near impossible. I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m just trying to cool the excited fans….
Yes, I too would love to see a “Freddy Vs.Michael” movie – well, I was looking forward to it, until I read back the words on my own column – I just don’t think there’s a donkey dropping’s chance in hell that it will happen.

One sip to go

I knew it, I just didn’t KNOW IT. Harrison Ford has hit the skids…and then some. Last night I decided to plonk an ‘oldie, but a goodie’ of his, “The Mosquito Coast” (1986), into the DVD machine and give it another watch (had been meaning to rewatch it for months). I enjoyed the film when it was first released, but didn’t remember it being anything stellar, just a ‘good little movie’. I was wrong (probably too young at the time), this is a ripper of a movie. A fantastic movie.
So, why don’t I remember it being as such? Simple : Ford made such a fantastic lot of movies in the 80’s – nearly every one of them was a smash, or at least, a very entertaining picture – that you expected nothing but A+ entertainment from him. When you only got an A or a B+ movie from him – he was slacking off. Something was wrong….He was off.
“The Mosquito Coast” came out between the two Indy sequels, just before the wonderful “Working Girl” and just after the brilliant “Witness”. Compared to those other films, it wasn’t as good – well, for my money anyway. But we’re not talking Silver Vs. Gold, we’re merely talking a ‘smidge’ less entertaining. Because, thing is, I would LOVE to see Ford doing anything just ‘half as good’ as “The Mosquito Coast” now. And I’m guessing he himself would KILL to do anything just as good too. It had been so long since I had watched a good Ford film, that I’d forgotten that he actually got to drown himself in some of these roles…the character he plays in “Mosquito” is as real as a fly at a barbecue. He’s really into it. Now, you tell me that Ford looked like he was ‘into it’ when he was doing “Firewall” or “Hollywood Homicide” or “K-19 : The Widowmaker” or even “Six Days, Seven Nights”? There’s no way. He was simply there to pick up the cheque. He left his passion for his craft behind with the Holy Grail.

Here is Ford’s last 3 movies
1. Firewall
2. Hollywood Homicide
3. K19 : The Widowmaker
They all sucked, didn’t they? Or if you did like one of them, it was only because it wasn’t as bad as the one he’d done before. Right?

So whom do we blame for this disappointing downfall?
1. The studios – because they’re quite happy to have Ford headline their shit
2. Ford’s agent – because any intelligent agent would make their client hold out for ‘quality’ –
3. The man himself – Sadly, the blame may indeed lie significantly with Ford. Not only does he sign up for these dire films, but also he passes on any of the good films that are offered to him. Case in point: “Traffic”. Ford passed on the Michael Douglas role. My god…. what that could have done for his career! It would have been quite a performance too, I’m guessing, and something he could have really sunk his teeth into. But no, Ford instead signs up to do slop like “Hollywood Homicide” – did he even ask to see the script of that before signing? – and “Firewall”, which has got to be the most banal film he has ever appeared in (besides “Jimmy Hollywood”, of course, which he only had a cameo in. At the time though, it was sad to see him even popping up in such a tragic movie). Not only that, but Ford’s the one that lost the Jack Ryan role – the character he played in “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger”. Some assume the studio forced him out of the role, and quickly cast young Ben Affleck in his place (in “The Sum Of All Fears”), in an effort to entice younger viewers to the franchise. Not so. Apparently Ford couldn’t agree on any incarnation of the script….so he walked. Straight into a pile of shit.
When I interviewed Ford last month, he told me he had just left the James Cameron film he was set to do called, “Godspeed”. Now, I don’t know the reason why this didn’t come off….but I can’t help but think that Ford walked because he was being asked to play ‘against character’ or in a film that just didn’t seem like a ‘fit’. Truth is, he needs to play against character, he needs to take a gamble on a different type of film, he needs to hold out for a ‘good part’ again…heck, even if it a small role in an ensemble movie like “Traffic”. At this stage, there’s no place for ego. Please Harry…return to the Temple of Boom.

DVD of the week
The Magician – Australian filmmaker Scott Ryan demonstrates that you don’t need money, famous faces or a pop soundtrack to make a good movie these days. “The Magician”, though tremendously low-budget and at times bordering on ‘porn’ quality, is ten times more gripping than any other ‘hit man’ thriller of the past few years, let alone just as enjoyable as one of the bigger budgeted-Australian thrillers (for instance, “Wolf Creek”) of late. I believe this is a rental title only at the moment.

Theatrical release of the week
She’s the Man – Sometimes you feel like a good no-brainer, especially if they were the films that served as your ‘comfort food’ in your formulative years. Though it’s story is as anachronistic as a fossil (see “Just One of the Guys”, “Tootsie”, “Just One of the Girls”, “Mrs Doubtfire” and so on), “She’s the Man” still proves to be quite a fun teenage comedy, mostly thanks to the enigmatic and self-deprecating style of teen comedienne Amanda Bynes. This girl has a heap of talent. Worth a look.

[Speaking of theatrical releases, checked out the new – that’s the 2ND – “X-Men : The Last Stand” trailer? It’s here. Now, I’m interested. Bretty may have indeed – delivered.]

This Week’s Useless bit of Advice
Never try and dig a deep hole – especially if the ground is hard – with a $5 shovel. Ouch.

Missing Career Alert
Beth Chick. In 1998, she and a chap named Clint Morris started up a small film website called Moviehole. As its pages grew, so did the gaps between Chick’s contributions. Chick was a popular, ahem, Chick – her reviews were honest, her editorials will amusing and her followers came from near and far. Then, if only because this hobby had turned into a monster-small business, or, she couldn’t handle the fact that Emilio Estevez had been reduced to making ‘duck noises’ on film, Chick returned to her pen. Some say Chick used her sudden reign of success to make it big in Hollywood, where some report to have spotted her in such films as ‘Twice Age : The Pindown’, ‘When A Stranger’s on his Back’, ‘Failure to Launch’ and ‘Back to the Futon’. She may be using the name ‘Movii Whole’.

5 things you didn’t know about me (and probably don’t care to know)
1. I originally intended on being an Artist
2. I nearly walked out of the media screening for “Basic Instinct 2” That’s how keen I wasn’t.
3. I had to use a Fake I.D to sneak into the original “Basic Instinct”. That’s how keen I was.
4. I once worked on a film for Eddie Murphy Productions (now dismantled).
5. Once, when I was in America, I tried to pretend I was a local so that I could vote for John Kerry. The ‘G’day cobber’ might have given me away.

[Australia Only]
What’s on this week?

Anchorman : The Legend of Ron Burgundy – Sunday 8:30PM, MOVIE ONE – Definitely not Will Ferrell’s best, but still worth a look, this is the funnyman’s send-up of 70’s news broadcasters – curly moustache, daggy attire, ego and all. Some good cameos.
Prison Break – Wednesday 8:30PM, SEVEN – We’re going to be catching up to the U.S episodes soon… I smell ‘mid-season’ break for the network?
The Last Samurai – Monday 10:55PM, MOVIE ONE – Tom Cruise is the last person you think could pull of playing a golden-age samurai….but he does, and with great results. This action-packed, and also moving, movie is well worth a look. Features a superb supporting performance by Ken Watanabe.
Rescue Me – Monday 9:30PM, FOX8 – We’re getting down to the wire of season two now. Trouble next week when Tommy’s young son is injured. Still one of the best shows on television.
Blue Heelers – Saturday 8:30PM, SEVEN – If only because it’s about to be laid to rest, check out the last few episodes of the series. (And I reckon we should give the Gold Logie to John Wood this year!)

5 things that happened in TV-ville this week
1. FOXTEL announced a television special on Ivan Milat and The Backpacker Murders, which will air on the Crime & Investigation Network on Thursday, May 4 at 7.30pm. The special features exclusive interviews with the parents of five of the murdered backpackers who speak on Australian television for the first time since Milat’s conviction 10 years ago.
2. FOXTEL has negotiated a contract extension for movie supply from major Hollywood studios Paramount, Sony, 20th Century FOX, and Universal. These studios, with Liberty Media, are partners in the Premium Movie Partnership (PMP) which supplies the Showtime, Showtime 2 and Showtime Greats channels.
3. Sean Astin and Stephen Tobolowsky, among others, have signed to star in a new sitcom called “The Guys”, about a group of dads that meet at their children’s playgroup.
4. Auditions for INXS : ROCK STAR start tomorrow in Sydney. Be at The Metro, 624 George Street, Sydney, 9am.
5. The film “Red” – which I was actually unit manager on, in addition to play a filthy cameo – will now be sliced, diced and condensed into TV-size episodes. Air dates shortly.

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