Caffeinated Clint – 22/10/06


Win Tickets to Suburban Mayhem this week

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

FIRST UP : ICON Wants to give some “Caffeinated Clint” readers the chance to see the acclaimed new Aussie movie “Suburban Mayhem”. Now, naturally, you have to be based down under (because it isn’t showing stateside) and also, you must know how to send email. If you can do that, and can also tell me the former “Secret Life of Us” star that appears in the movie – – – drop me a line. We have a pile of tickets here on the desk, and we can’t wait to send them your way…

“But Officer, I see Pig People” – Haley Joel Osment to Officer Blow-Me, on the night of his drink driving arrest.
Howdy folks, Clint back for the column that the girls in the forums say “is just plain wrong”.

Quarter way through coffee

Just walked out of “Crank” – which just commenced its run here in Australia – and I gotta say, even without beer, it’s a bit of fun.
He may need a bit to keep him going – everything from a wrestle on the mattress with his girlfriend to a case of Red Bull – in the movie, but anyone watching “Crank” won’t need any further supplements to see them through. Nope, based on talent and template alone – this thing’s got more go in it than a hyena injected with Amphetamine.
Cycling faster than Lance Armstrong on a final stretch – which is probably just as good, because the film has more plot holes than Paris has had partners – the energized actioner is part MTV audition-tape part-highly imaginative blockbuster. Don’t be fooled though; it may look a million bucks – but it clearly cost nowhere near it. More power to it.
The ultimate noughtie’s action hero, Jason Statham – his best flick still remains “The Transporter”, as far as I’m concerned – plays a chap who is injected with a ‘Beijing Cocktail’ – a lethal drug that’ll work it’s way into his system and kill him within about an hour… unless, of course, he stays on the go, keeps his heart-level up, and goes on a mad rampage across the city like a crack-whore after rent money.
It’s one of the silliest films you’ll ever see, but it’s also a heap of fun. It’s not quite as good as “The Transporter” – as far as slick action films go, that’s hard to beat – but it still has quite a bit of kick. Any film that features a sequence where our gung-ho hero ‘gives it’ to his woman (Amy Smart) in the middle of a public place – audience and all – deserves at least a little of your attention. Yup?

Half-way through coffee

“Die Hard”. What a film. Did it get any better? Nope – not for my money. The film – hard to believe it was originally conceived as a “Commando” sequel for Schwarzenegger, who fortunately passed on the project – just had something that many action films before, and after, didn’t embody. Mainly, it had character. Bruce Willis’s John McClane was not only a well-written character, he was a real character, a guy you just couldn’t help but like and consequently root for – as he took down the film’s central villains. The villains themselves though were well drawn; Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber would have to be one of the most memorable rogues of the 20th Century. He’s a wicked son of a bitch that you just loved to hate. In another actor’s hands though; it could’ve backfired – the villain may have been played too over the top, or frankly, flat. Not so, with Rickman at the helm.
For work purposes, I revisited the “Die Hard” series this week. God, the first film was made in 1988 and yet it looks just gold. As good as it ever did. Holds up brilliantly. And it doesn’t matter that I’ve seen it 45 times before; it still works. I also loved – actually, I still do, and I hope he shakes the feds off long enough to make another good film one of these days – John McTiernan’s work at the time. “Predator” was as fun as a threesome on a cold winters day, and “The Hunt For Red October” – which followed “Die Hard” – was on a permanent loop on my VCR as a teen. But “Die Hard” was it. It’s the perfect action thriller. I think a big part of the film is the look of it, too – Jan de Bont did the cinematography – I’ve never anamorphic work quite as effectively as it did here.
Now “Die Hard with a Vengeance” on the other hand, while entertaining, just didn’t have the grit or spit of the first film. It looked OK, and Willis was as good as usual as McClane, but it was way too obvious that the script – originally entitled ‘Simon Says’ – was never written as ‘Die Hard’ but merely re-tooled as that, when John McTiernan – returning as director, fancied a second shot at the series. It also didn’t have much in the way of thrills, suspense or any great motivation to it. It was, by all accounts, a pretty paint-by-numbers action movie. Standard stuff. And as much as I love Sam Jackson, the film just didn’t need him. “Die Hard” shouldn’t be “Lethal Weapon” – it didn’t need to be no fuckin’ two-hander – and the buddy aspect of the film places it in a different world to the first film. McClane – besides an odd cop on the phone now and then – seems to work (for the audience, too) better when he’s alone. The lone cop. For Christs sake, I hope this Justin Long character in the next ‘Die Hard’ film – “Live Free or Die Hard”, due out next year – isn’t McClane’s new lil’ buddy. I really do.
Anyway, if you’re simply interested in watching a good movie tonight, even one you’ve seen time and time before, pop the disc for “Die Hard” out of the sleeve and into the player.

Three quarters the way through coffee
Had a few emails asking me what I thought of ‘The Departed’. Quite simply… I thought it fucking rocked. Rocked more than Tommy and Pam’s bed on their honeymoon. Granted, I never expected it to be so good… I really didn’t.
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 acclaimed 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.
The veteran director returns to trying to please an audience again, rather than ‘Academy Members’, and the result is a scrumptiously thrilling epic the likes of which we haven’t seen since De Niro sold his soul to comedy and DePalma stopped making gangster pictures.
Costello (Jack Nicholson) is the mob boss. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a member of the crook’s pack who has infiltrated the FBI. And Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is a tortured young police officer whose been persuaded to go undercover as a member of Costello’s homicidal herd. Naturally, both Sullivan and Costigan discover that their respective troupes are housing a rat – and both seek an I.D.
There’s a reason the film isn’t being advertised as a remake of Hong Kong hit “Infernal Affairs” and that’s because, it isn’t – well, it is, but they’re about as close as second cousins twice removed. Scorsese has merely taken the blueprint for acclaimed film of the same name, and extracted its detail with his own – resulting in a film that plays as fresh as any – if not more so – original piece.
This thing has got more guts than John Goodman I tell ya – it’s gritty, it’s compelling, it’s powerful, it’s surprising, it’s mesmerising, it’s Gold! Gold! Gold! You’re arse is usually asking for an ice-pack after sitting through a two-and-a-half hour movie, but in this case, it’s as cosy as the actors are on screen – and by golly you wish it would just prolong.
Scorsese has crafted some of the most interesting and compelling characters to grace a vanilla screen in quite some, and coupled with the amazing performances of the actors, Nicholson’s smug mob boss, DiCaprio’s flustered hero, Damon’s morally-conflicted crook, Martin Sheen’s benevolent captain, Alec Baldwin’s decadent lunatic fed and Mark Wahlberg’s indifferent gung-ho agent will be remembered for awards shows to come – as the movie hopefully will be too.
“The Departed” isn’t just a return to form for Scorsese – let’s admit it, his recent efforts have been good, but not this good – it’s one of the finest films of his career, and one of the best movies of the year… if not the decade.
Definitely 5 stars for this bitch.

One sip to go

Word from inside the walls of the stationery closet is that this “Dallas” film is going nowhere fast. Like Mel Gibson, no one wants to touch it. Gurinder Chadha – with reportedly a little help from John Travolta – decided she didn’t like the cast assembled for the thing (which included Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson) so kindly asked they all be removed from the project, but now that they’re all off, New Regency Pics are balking at handing over the promised $65 million movie to her to make the movie. Ideally, they’ll attract another big-name cast, but I don’t think that’s going to happen – nobody likes someone else’s sloppy seconds; unless of course your Kurt Russell and you’re guaranteed a nice three-picture deal with the Weinstein Company if you do do it.
It’s a rather fucking stupid idea anyway – the show was a product of its time, and though we’ve seen plenty of old shows turned movies, they’ve all turned to box-office charcoal – you wouldn’t believe how many jobs were lost over “Bewitched” or how many whippings Eddie Murphy took from transvestite hookers over “I Spy” – ultimately proving that nobody is much interested in paying $15 for a film version of an old TV show that they could watch for free some twenty five years ago.
Prediction? Chada walks. I mean, they’ve already lost Robert Luketic. Chada’s bound to walk too. It’s obviously a cursed production. But here’s a tip to the guys planning to make a film version of “I Dream of Jeannie” – apparently Keira Knightley’s someone they’ve been trying to get attached to that – and Eli Roth’s “Baywatch” movie; do it NOW. Why? Because after fuckin’ “Dallas” happens, ain’t nobody going to be bankrolling no TV shows cum films ; because this is going to sting the financers at New Regency like a bee bite to the balls (as if they’re not feeling the financial pinch enough; having made ‘pay or play’ deals with the likes of Wilson) and hopefully, other studios will take note.

The Weekly Rap Sheet

Movie of the Week :
The Departed (yeah, still – and not just because everything else that is out is as brown as mud)

DVD of the Week
: An Evening with Kevin Smart 2 : Evening Harder

Watched the following 5 films this week… :
1) Predator 2 ) Die Hard : With a Vengeance 3 ) Where The Truth Lies 2 4) Glory Road 2 5) Crank

Favourite Tim Burton movie :
Big Fish

Clint’s least Favourite Tim Burton movie :
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

been listening to…. :
The Killers – Sam’s Town

Happy that…. :
Clive Barker is writing the “Hellraiser” remake

Not Happy that… :
”Hellraiser” is getting remade

Predicting… :
A remake of “Child’s Play”

Retro Pick of the Week :
: Die Hard

Thinking that…. :
Bonnie Bedelia should have a role – if even a small one – in “Live Free or Die Hard”

Star Nut of the week :
: See here

Confession of the week… :
I like Joel Schumacher movies.

This Week’s Useless bit of Advice
If you’re on the run for Tax Fraud, hide out as a movie star in Africa.

This Week We Salute :

Who? : Sonny Landham
What do I know him/her from? : Remember Sonny Landham? He was the gun-toting Billy in John McTiernan’s “Predator” (1987)? Of course you do, he rocked in that film – and then made a mess of everything else..
What would you say is their best film? : “Predator”. Granted, he did have an OK part in “Action Jackson” (1988) – a film that reunited him with his “Predator” co-star Carl Weathers – and was quite likeable in the Sylvester Stallone movie “Lock Up”, but the 90s weren’t too kind for the man. When your best movie in a decade is something ‘starring Eric Roberts’ you know all ain’t plugged in right
What did you see him/her first in? “Predator”.
What have they been in lately? : He’s in a film called “Disintegration” next; which centres on a chap who “…tries to stabilize his deteriorating life after the death of his Grand Dad, who funded his graduate work in religious studies. His major professor, Dr. Robert Lee Nelson, tries to secure a grant from the little-known Scholars Foundation. Incredibly, Wilcox’s research on the Nephilim turns out be deadly accurate. They exist, and have lived quietly among countless generations of mortals since before the Great Flood. The Nephilim have a mission and a mysterious connection with the Scholars Foundation – and Charles unknowingly has a double dose of trouble. He has the blood of the Nephilim in his veins and he threatens a soul they are bound to protect. The Scholars Foundation has more than a passing interest in Charles, an interest that proves dangerous for Charles and Dr. Nelson alike.” Doesn’t sound like a ‘Sonny Landham’ movie – not that it mightn’t be OK – which is pretty sad, because it would be nice to see him doing some gritty action stuff again. Maybe a “Predator” prequel, isn’t a bad idea?
They done anything dire? : Most definitely.
They like anyone else? : A bit Danny Trejo, a bit Frank Stallone, a tad Jesse Ventura…. But mostly, inimitable.
They still in work? : Yes.
Is their career freezing, cold, lukewarm, warm, hot or sizzling at the moment? : Cold.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…….

“Die Hard 2 : Die Harder” (2000)

1. The General is from “Valverde”, the fictitious Latin-American country used in the Schwarzenegger pic “Commando”. Ironically, “Die Hard” (1988) was originally written as a sequel to “Commando”.
2. Some of the interior shots of the airport were filmed at LAX.
3. John McTiernan planned to direct the film, but was too busy doing “The Hunt for Red October”
4. This film was shipped to theatres as “wet prints” – an industry term meaning that it was just barely completed before its release date.
5. Dennis Franz – pre-“NYPD Blue” – played the role of Capt. Carmine Lorenzo in the film. You’ll also spot “T2” villain Robert Patrick, briefly, playing a villain.
Movie Rating :

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