Caffeinated Clint – 28/8/06


The One with “Zapped!” in it

Caffeinated Clint
A weekly editorial Grande with a double shot
With Clint Morris

As I type, I’m watching a preview disc of a film called “Edmond”, starring William H.Macy. This guy amazes me. Now, this film isn’t that much, in fact, it’s pretty shitty, but I’m still watching it – albeit, typing at the same time – because Macy is good in it. Obviously, Bill doesn’t know he’s swimming in a pile of shit, and he’s swimming like a champion all the same. He always is though….
But you know what I love more about the guy? You know what I really respect? You know what’s really earned him a place on my poster wall? THIS:

Macy Slams Lohan for Lateness
Veteran actor William H. Macy has blasted co-star Lindsay Lohan for her behavior while filming the movie Bobby, insisting she “should have her a** kicked.” The star shared scenes with the 20-year-old actress in the film and admires her talent, but not her manners. He said, “You can’t show up late. It’s very, very disrespectful.” Lohan was blasted in a letter last month from the Ceo of Morgan Creek Productions for her absences on set of her new film Georgia Rule, who called her behavior that of “a spoiled child.” Lohan appears in the film alongside Macy’s wife, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman. He explains, “I think what an actor has to realize (is that) when you show up an hour late, 150 people have been scrambling to cover for you. It’s nothing but disrespect. And Lindsay Lohan is not the only one. A lot of actors show up late as if they’re God’s gift to the film. It’s inexcusable, and they should have their a**es kicked.” (source : WENN)

Tie that “Fully Loaded” slackarse to a lightpole and beat her with a chrome dildo I say. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! SQUEAL.

Quarter way through coffee

I don’t know what it is about direct-to-video movies…. But I seem to want to watch every darn one of them, knowing too well that I’ll be turning them off within five minutes after the cheap opening credits roll. They’re like drugs, I guess – know they’re bad, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t wanna sniff ‘em out.

Granted, some DTV sequels are actually OK – take “American Pie: Band Camp”. I think it was probably a better – and funnier – film than the “Pie” before it, the theatrically released “American Wedding”. But then, Producer Mike Elliot, who has actually done a few DTV sequels – like “Turbulence 2” and “The Prince of Me 2” – never fails. He’s a guy that takes what little money he’s been given to make the follow-up, and wrings every last drop of it, making sure a little goes a long way. Dimension, pre-Disney split, also did a few good ones. I especially liked the “Dracula 2000” sequels – “Dracula Ascension” and “Dracula legacy” – because they put story first, and – unlike the original film that they were based on – stars and special effects second. Granted, a lot of the time the filmmaker has no choice but to concentrate on the story – because there is no money for special effects or big stars. Makes you wonder whether the studios should start stripping the budgets of some of the blockbusters – maybe the special effects won’t be as good, but at least they’ll be more entertaining! I mean, can you imagine “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” with a good storyline? Shit, I’d pay $16.50 for that. $16 fuckin 50.

Some other good DTV sequels include “The Skulls 2” and “Cruel Intentions 2”. Both starring a guy named Robin Dunne – he’s a bit of a ‘sequel go-to guy’ – who ironically, stars in one of the WORST direct to video sequels….

Yep, as good as say, 20% of the DTV sequel titles are, on the other hand, there’s a swarm of DTV sequels that never make it past the second chapter on the Morris family DVD Player – things like “Species 3”, “Doctor Dolittle 2”, “8MM 2”. Movies like these just don’t deserve to be made. No imagination at all has gone into them – I wonder whether they’ve even got a script, or are they riding on a logline? – There’s never any sign of a performance in there – only a B grader looking for that weekends meal – and well, nothing to keep you interested.

Sure, all these movies are about making money, but they really need to friggin’ give us something in return if we’re going to keep bankrolling these bitches.

Warner announced last week that they’re going to do about 15 direct-to-video sequels a year from here on out (granted, Disney said that at one stage – starting with “George of the Jungle 2” and “Inspector Gagdet 2” and pissed off the idea quicker than you can say ‘oops’), starting with the not-so-long-awaited “Dukes of Hazzard 2”. Now whoever is running the division knows what they’re doing – judging by this first release, anyway. From what I’ve seen, “Dukes 2” looks as if it’s what the first movie should’ve been. Not only have they cast appropriately this time (a brunette Daisy! Yay!), but the storyline’s actually a little more enthused and amusing, so they say.

Not so confident about another of the titles that they’re about to announce – confirmed by a contact at the studio this week – “Scooby Doo 3”. Also DTV. None of the original cast are involved, nor is the original writer, James Gunn. But – disregarding the fact that Gunn isn’t returning, because he’s actually pretty good at these things – the fact that Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr etc returning is a good sign, if you think about? Much like “Dukes 2”, they’ll be casting actors that ‘look like’ their cartoon counterparts now. That’s what shouldn’t happened from the get-go, don’t you agree?

Be interested to hear what else Warners DTV department have in the works – heard rumblings of a new “Caddyshack” sequel and another one of those “Shiloh” movies, but nothing concrete – and whether Robin Dunne’s dance card has just gotten a little fuller.

Some DTV Sequels on the way, include :

“War Games II : The Deadliest Key” – a.k.a Ferris ain’t online. Apparently postponed.

“The Prince & Me III” – Julia Stiles still isn’t answering her phone.

“Save the Last Dance II” – As I said….

“Return to House on Haunted Hill” – Liked the first one, not that that means anything

“Pumpkinhead 3 & 4” – Lance Henriksen must be starving!

“The Butterfly Effect 2” – I’d rather watch Erica Durance through the steamy window of a lingerie shop change room, but this’ll do just fine

“Species 4” – Another coaster for the coffee table

“Into the Blue 2” – But will anyone fill that bikini as well as Alba did?

“Wrong Turn 2” – Eliza Dushku now has a GPS system.

“Bachelor Party 2” – I bet they went to Colin Hanks. I bet.

“Behind Enemy Lines 2” – Could be cool. The first was. Doubt there will be Oscar action, though.

“The Sandlot 3” – they ditched the original director/writer/narrator David M.Evans, there’s no way I’m gonna watch this. Bring him back, then we’ll talk.

“Undisputed 2” – Is apparently so good that NewLine are considering a theatrical release. Nice.

“American Pie : The Naked Mile” – If it’s half as good as the last one, I’m calling the boys up!

“Starship Troopers 3” – Unlike the first one, the cast of the ‘original’ movie are actually returning! Bodes well.

Half-way through coffee

I tell ya one film that is bound to get the remake treatment – though I hear the original creators are also trying to convince the powers that be to let them make a second sequel to the original; and as much as I’d love to see it, I don’t think the studio will be going there unless Number 5 has been created from an I-mac program – “Short Circuit”. It was too good of a family film – and featured one helluva appealing character – not to make a return, one day – as sad as it’ll be to see a friggin CGI robot (either that, or CGI Steve Guttenberg). The first film really stands up well – and, to an extent, that lacklustre sequel does too – and [the first] is still as easy, and entertaining, a watch as it was back in 1985. Still remember sitting in my seat at the Village theatre, popcorn on lap, excited about the prospect of meeting the talking, dancing robot – No.5. Disappointed I was not.

Anyway, was over at the Stampede Entertainment website today, they’re the guys that made the “Short Circuit” (and “Tremors”) films, and noticed something really interested. No, no news on a new “Short Circuit” film – yet – but footage of what could be ‘Johnny 5’s father’…. Check this out. (And what the fuck is James Franco doing hosting that thing? You see the resemblance, too?) But anyway, enough “Short Curcuit” talk – – – – – it’s too depressing remembering the ‘fonder’ years of the great John Badham’s career – dude, “Drop Zone” why?! Fuckin’ why?!!! – so tragic. Come on back to us Bad-man.

Time-for-a-sing-a-long me thinks…..
There she goes and knows I’m dying when she says “Who is Johnny?”
Games with names that girl is playing, all she says is “Who is Johnny?”
I tried to understand because I’m people too
And playing games is part of human nature
My heart’s in overdrive, it’s great to be alive

“Who’s Johnny?” she said and smiled in her special way
“Johnny,” she said, “you know I love you”
“Who’s Johnny” she said and tried to look the other way
Her eyes gave her away
Alright, oh yeah

She makes sure I see her teasing, hear her say “Who is Johnny?”
There’s no way today is easy, hear her say “Who is Johnny?”
I really couldn’t help but fall in love with her
Her being there has made my life worth living
I knew it from the start, that I would lose my heart

“Who’s Johnny?” She said and smiled in her special way
“Johnny,” she said, “you know I love you”
“Who’s Johnny” she said and tried to look the other way
still pretending

Three quarters the way through coffee
On John Badham….
John. Touch base. We need to talk. I love “Saturday Night Fever”, adore “War Games”, like “Blue Thunder”, thought “Point of No Return” was one of the biggest guilty pleasures of ’93, and don’t even get me started on “Stakeout” – I’ve seen that movie like 120 times. Whenever I wanna watch something just for the hell of ‘watching’ something, or to be entertained, it’s usually always “Stakeout” (or “A Woman Scorned” starring Shannon Tweed. Doesn’t get any better).
Anyway, I wanna know what’s happened – is it management? Is it the studios? Is it the lack of good scripts coming your way? When one of the best filmmakers of the 80s is suddenly making fluffy TV stuff – and whatever the hell comes his way –something has obviously gone awry. Dude, you’re not the directing equivalent of Rick Rossovich – you don’t need to just turn up to wherever you’re asked. You really don’t. You’re better than that. You’re gold. Feel free to drop on by the ‘Hole some time, and we’ll talk about Chris, Bill, how cool the score was for ‘Point of No Return’, how the effects in “War Games” still look – albeit cheesy – quite good, and how great of a double-act James Woods and Michael J.Fox were in “The Hard Way” (not to mention Mel and Goldie in “Bird on a Wire”).

One sip to go

If you ever wanna good feed – I should mention, it’d be easier if you live in the states – you can’t go pass NORM’S DINERS. They rock. Cheap. Satisfying. Hungry Man Dinners. What more could you want? A bunch of actors and I went along to a Norm – a couple of times actually – and we still say that they gave us a better feed than some of the classier, more notable joins in town. Heck, I walked out HUNGRY from Musso & Franks. Nice meals, sure, and beautiful old-time atmosphere, but not nearly enough on the plate (considering the price). Granted, at NORM’s, you’ll probably have the real-life equivalent of (from TVs “Felicity”) serving you, but at Norms – you always walk out full, satisfied, and, well, if you’ve a nice campy waiter, more drunk than broke. This one here is my favourite, tell ‘em that troupe of inebriated actors and producers recommended it :
LOS ANGELES – La Cienega Blvd. S. of Melrose
Hopefully we’ll find some advertising placed, from NORMS, by the end of the year. (And guys, if you feel like it, free eggs for a year?)

Just before I toss this foam cup in the bin….

Looking through this week’s mound of giveaway entries reminds me of something rather amusing and well, proof that discourteous power-broads still exist in this country.
I recall applying for a job as a writer – for those that don’t know, I’m actually a writer by day, just a hooker by night – at a popular Internet magazine. Just a general writer position.
Had written this nice, personal application to the woman editor. Even enclosed a swarm of samples. Had mentioned in the application that I run Moviehole.
5 minutes later, I got a reply from that email address – Great, I thought, she’s already getting back to me!
What I didn’t instantaneously notice was that the email actually arrived in the ‘Giveaways’ inbox, not in my personal inbox.
What?! Yep, this editor had read my resume. Decided not to reply. Yet, went straight to Moviehole to enter a competition. How frickin’ disrespectful is that?
It was amusing at the same time – the sheer cheek of it – but my god, I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t. If she had actually won that competition – she didn’t, the competition was a day or so away from finishing, so someone else had gotten in before her – it would’ve stung even more. Where did she get off? (or maybe, she didn’t …..ok, tsk tsk).
What’s the lesson here? There really isn’t one, I just thought like bringing it up. Meantime, happy to speak to any editors or publisher not interested in winning tickets or DVDs. You know where to reach me.

DVD of the week
Slither – Anyone that has the balls to use Air Supply music in a B-monster movie gets the seal of approval to me. Not a lot here that’s super special, but it’s still a fun film. Nathan Fillion proves quite the headline act, too. Check it out.

Theatrical release of the week
Snakes on a Plane – There are films to stir the senses. There are films to warm the heart. There are films to document history. There are films to scare you senseless. There are films to sell toys. And then, there are films to convene giggle fits whenever a Massasauga Rattlesnake crawls out of a air-loo and suctions onto the closest crotch.
Yep, try as they might, – and they did, with not one territory allowing reviewers to see the film, not even by way of an in-season pass on its first day! – Nobody could keep this reviewer away from “Snakes on a Plane”. Like slowing down to watch a car crash, you just wanna know what the brouhaha is about. And this is some brouhaha.
The question then – and its a question the studio themselves have us reviewers asking, because they’ve banned us from seeing the film in advance, right? – Is just how ‘ssssssssucky’ is this thing?
In short, and surprisingly, it ain’t. Not at all. It’s exactly the film the title promises. No tomato was hurtled towards mesh screen during one during the film. Promise.
Its worth, though, will depend largely on your age, income, drink of choice and whether or not you’ve an annual membership to the state gallery – If you do, chances are you’re not going to be slapping the hands together – no, not like that, Julianna Margulies keeps her gear on throughout the film, sadly – at the end of this one.
Remember Joe Dante’s “Gremlins” (1984)? Well leave in all the scares, jumps, bursts of humour and warped scenarios and replace the titular critters with swarms of venomous snakes and you’ve got “Snakes on a Plane”. Simple as strawberries.
Bottom Line: Jackson knew what he signed up for – and to an extent, anyone that’s purchased a boarding pass to the finished thing does too. Enjoy the ride. I did.

This Week’s Useless bit of Advice
Before you decide to marry the girl, check whether her dad is Joe Simpson.

Missing Career Alert
Gary Daniels – British born actor Gary Daniels looked like he was on his way to snagging Van Damme’s crown – as the king of martial arts moviedom – there for a while. He starred in a series of successful chop-suey classics – and some other more traditional faves, like “Fist of the North Star” – but sometime around the millennium must’ve dropped off his agents books, because when he did work after 2000, and it wasn’t much, it was always playing fifth or sixth fiddle to a star like Steven Seagal (the star of “Submerged”). Daniels is better than that, he really is. He’s got talent. Charisma. And most importantly, bona-fide martial arts skills. How about pushing some of these other guys to the side and going for someone a little thinner, faster and more appealing, Mr.producer? Daniels next appears in the vampire film, “Immortally Yours”.

5 things you didn’t know about…… “Zapped!” (1982)
1. On the first take of the sweater-popping scene, Heather Thomas was pulled to the ground!
2. Artist Michael Backus was paid $5,000 to draw the movie poster
3. The movie ad received complaints from Los Angeles Times readers, not because of what the readers could see but because the illustrated boy characters could see up the skirt of the illustrated girl character. The ad was later tweaked for the paper.
4. Scott Baio and Willie Aames also starred on TVs “Charles In Charge”, together.
5. There was a 1990 sequel titled “Zapped Again”.