Caffeinated Clint – 19/01/07


This ‘Posting on Friday’ Thing is catching, isn’t it?

Its raining, Its pouring…. the Golden Globes were boring.

Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…
I just realized I didn’t mention the Golden Globes this week. To be honest, I’m not really concerned either. I mean, I remember the days when these awards nights use to actually be fun to watch – I still remember, as a tyke, being banned from television for the night and consequently missing out on the Oscars telecast; and therefore missing out on seeing Robocop AND Chevy Chase! Oh, sad times indeed – and when there were actually a few surprises. These days, it’s as predictable as Matthew Perry near a liquor stand.
I KNEW Forest Whitaker was going to get the Best Actor gong for “Last King of Scotland”, I also saw Meryl Streep’s win coming from a mile away too, and Jennifer Hudson was a shoe-in for “Dreamgirls”. And yes, I saw Disney winning best-animated film for “Cars” – but not because it was the best of the crop, or the clear-cut favourite either.
In fact, the ONLY reason “Cars” won Best Animated Film is because Disney seduced the voters into it. They not only sent out screeners of the movie – unlike a couple of the other animated films in the category – but T-shirts, dolls, merchandise galore. They were BOUGHT. You were basically inundated with “Cars” materials for the weeks leading up to the Globes. There was only ever going to be one animated film on your mind that night.
So yeah, it all comes down to marketing. If Warner had sent out penguins, a slab of “Ice” cold coke, and some “Happy Feet” soundtracks then maybe it would’ve been the winner. I’m not saying it should’ve been – because I didn’t think the film was ‘all that’ – but “Cars”? C’Mon, the film was as average as my tertiary entrance score. It was a lazy kids movie. It had an all-star cast, it had a script… but Disney didn’t put half as much work into it as they did, say, “Toy Story” or even, “Monster’s Inc”. Nup, all they did was basically ‘animate’ the Michael J.Fox movie “Doc Hollywood”. Its true, go back and watch “Doc Hollywood” – it’s nearly exactly the same storyline.
But anyway, back to the Globes – I did like one moment of it. That’s when Eddie Murphy won for Best Supporting Actor for “Dreamgirls”. It was great to see Murphy win… and even better to see people behind him giving him a standing ovation. It’s a real career turn-around for the guy. A few years ago, he wouldn’t have even hired himself – now he’s writing his own cheques [again]. It’s funny, as much as I’d love to see it, I seriously think he’ll back out on that “Beverly Hills Cop 4” and start looking for meatier projects…. Anyway, that’s the Globes. I didn’t much give a shit. And next year, the only Golden Globes I plan on watching are on a DVD marked ‘Wicked Pictures’.

Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
It happened to Tom Cruise. It happened to Mel Gibson. And it happened to Murali Thurali. Three people in the spotlight who the people turned on. Remember Murali? He’s the Australian guy who made the movie “2:37” last year, and had egg yolk smattered on his face from a section of the media who claimed his story concerning the inspiration for his movie – a friend’s suicide – was bullshit. Now, I don’t know whether it was…. I doubt it, but I don’t know; I couldn’t… and I don’t much care. If it is, good on him – it’s not the first time that someone has come up with a “sales gimmick” to sell a movie, is it? But from what I know, the guy is on the money. He’s a nice guy. He doesn’t need to be lying. And he’s definitely not hiding. He certainly seems determined to defend himself, anyway – and good on him. Over on his blog, Thalluri has been responding to some of the rotten things that have been said about him. I seriously think a couple of people are just out to take a tall poppy down… it’s too common an occurrence. Here’s some of the rants and raves from Thalluri :

Q. You claim that you don’t know when your friend “Kelly” made her suicide note, and therefore don’t know how long before her alleged suicide it took place. This does seem to be back-pedalling from the language that suggests immediacy you used earlier: eg. “watching someone scream, cry, shout and beg as they prepare to carry through with the act of taking their own life”, “she knew as soon as she pressed that stop button she knew she was going to take her own life”.
A. Like I said, when I was doing interviews, I didn’t come across as articulately as I should have. Looking at the above quote, I was being quite dramatic in the language I used to express myself. I wasn’t there on the day my friend did that, and I don’t know the exact reasons, and details as to how and why she did it.

Q. It’s also interesting that you also claim you don’t know who delivered this suicide note to you. You suggest the possibility a friend of “Kelly” delivered it to you. If so, this raises a bunch of questions.
For one, it contradicts what you said in your interview with Richard Fidler:
Fidler: Going back to your friend Kelly, why did she send you the note, did she send it to other people?
Thalluri: Oh, no, we were very close friends, so… (trails off)
Since you now think that a friend could have received the tape and forwarded it on to you, one wonders, if these were indeed her last words in a desperate state, why the friend didn’t try to warn “Kelly’s” family? Have you spoken to any of “Kelly’s” friends? At the funeral or otherwise?

A. Don’t put words into my mouth, I said this COULD have happened. I said it could have been a friend, it could have been her, I have no idea, and quite frankly I don’t want to now, I simply don’t like thinking about it. . Like I Said, I received it in the mail, I have no idea as to who sent it, or why. At the time, trying to get to the bottom of the who/how was the last thing on my mind. From your point of view, it seems the logical thing to do, as your position is the tapes authenticity, however put yourself in my position where I have just received something of that nature, that would be the furthest thing from my mind, I am human, blood runs through my veins, after I watched it, I didn’t turn into Sherlock Holmes. I cried. I realize this isn’t going to put your questions to bed, I suspect nothing but the tape itself will do that, but sir, that is not going to happen.

Check out more of Murali’s rants here.

And while I’m at it… all this stuff about Matthew Newton (he’s an Aussie actor, and son of a TV legend, just in case our American/UK readers don’t recognize the name) bashing up his ex-girlfriend, and consequently killing his career? Fuckin’ terrible if it’s true, but I tell ya know, it’s only going to do more for his career. I mean, Bobby Brown? Mickey Rourke? Mike Tyson? All beat up their women… next thing you know, they’re back in the spotlight… and back in the big leagues. It sucks…. but that’s the truth. We’re all so damn obsessed with celebrities… that we’re adding to their power by wanting to know more about their wrongdoings. We see it in the movies all the time – guy wants to be known, guy kills someone or does something criminal, guy suddenly becomes celebrity. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done… we’ll latch onto them anyway, because they’re now ‘famous’. Absolutely ridiculous, but that’s 2007 for you.

Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
The Influence of the Internet. There are some people… and studios… out there who still don’t think the Internet is very important, and mostly, don’t think it has any kind of influence over the film-going audience. Huh! Come off it. Grow a brain. Do your research. “Batman & Robin” failed because of the early reviews of the net, “Rollerball” was still being edited the night before it was released because of us, and the fact that TVs “Firefly” became a movie! – Dude, that’s the Internets doing! And yes, it still does have the power – more than ever. I mean; why else would Rob Zombie have announced this week that he is delaying his “Halloween” remake? I mean… he’s suddenly decided this after Aint it Cool News posted their negative review of the script? Coincidence? Me think not. I’d say both Zombie and the studio got cold feet after reading a negative script review on one of the globe’s biggest and longest-running movie websites, wouldn’t you?
Whatever the case, Zombie seems pissed. He wrote this on his blog after the AICN review was posted. “I notice that so many people get crazy when someone you don’t even know posts an opinion about what they think HALLOWEEN will or won’t be. This is crazy. Do you really go through life influenced by the thoughts of others that easily? Anyway, things change so much in a movie, from moment to moment, from second to second that all I can say is : see it for yourself and figure out if you like it or not. Really who gives a fuck what someone else thinks? Everybody likes different shit for different reasons. But deciding that you hate or love something that doesn’t even exist yet? Well, that a little ridiculous.”
But yeah, the studios vs. the web debate has gotten better…. But it still exists. (I tell ya, there has been times when I’ve been knocked back an interview because I’m associated with the web – despite the fact that my day job is working as a print journalist. So as much as the Internet can help; it can also hurt your career – kinda sad. Hopefully ALL the studios will embrace the web before Moviehole is snapped up by Google and turned into an Australian search engine.)
Aint it Cool News’ Harry Knowles nailed it on the head in 1999 when he told CNN, “A lot of people would bring up that, you know, (saying) ‘You broke “Batman and Robin.”‘ No, I did not break ‘Batman and Robin.’ The people who made ‘Batman and Robin’ broke ‘Batman and Robin,’ I just told a lot of people that it was a bad movie.”
And that is exactly right. Make better movies. Get better reviews. Get a good return on investment. We’re simply ‘telling it like it is’.

Caffeinated Clint’s knobhead of the week : Matthew Newton. More famous now than ever. But dude, Bert’s gotta be fuckin’ ashamed of you.

Caffeinated Clint smiled when…. : He heard that the new season of “24” was going to air in Australia only a couple of weeks after it airs in the states. Nice. Just as quickly frowned when I heard that “Veronica Mars” will never be released on DVD down under because its too pricey – what with all the music in it – to pick it up.

Fab but [possibly] Forgotten : Damian Chapa. I remember first seeing Damian – he was an attractive young actor with action hero prospects – in “Under Siege” (1992), where he played Tackman, the young soldier who was supposed to be keeping an eye on incarcerated Steven Seagal – locked in the freezer – but couldn’t… because, well, he got killed. Later, he won a lead role as ‘Ken’ in the video game turned movie “Street Fighter” (1994) and in 1997, played Carmine in the Charlie Sheen/Chris Tucker comedy, “Money Talks”. Since then, he has been slumming it in crapsville – starring in the likes of “Facade”, “Hitman’s Run” and “Bad Karma” – well, up until 1997, when he decided to start producing his own movies. Things are starting to get back on track now. He recently wrote, produced, and directed “I.R.A : King of Nothing” co-starring Rachel Hunter. He’s a terrific actor, hopefully we see more of Chapa soon.

Please make this movie… : 32 Candles. They – and when I say ‘they’, I mean Molly Ringwald – have been talking about a “Sixteen Candles” sequel for a few years now. Personally, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. AT one stage, one of the TV networks was apparently interested in doing it… that would be just sad. The only way this would work is if the original cast (Anthony Michael Hall and Michael Schoeffling) returned, and John Hughes (director) agreed to at least produce the film. Surely this would find an audience, right? They might have some trouble convincing Scheoffling to do it – last I heard he had quit acting and had recently been a gubernatorial candidate. Got a wife and two kids, these days, apparently.

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

1. Flushed Away – The script has its problems – just seems to be missing a little something – but its so high-spirited (love the Billy Idol track that opens the movie!) and the animation is so grand that I couldn’t help but like it. I saw a bunch of unfinished scenes from the movie earlier last year, when I visited the Dreamworks compound in California, and it was great to see them finished. It turned out well. Just guessing that the studio wishes it did a bit better at the box office then it did.

2. The Last King of Scotland – I know; it sounds about as tempting as teabagging with a famished razorback – yeah I know, ouch! – but thankfully there’s still such a thing as a disingenuous title. And thank god, there’s – like the abovesaid swine- still film out there with some real teeth. Responsible for much of the film’s tight bite is actor Forest Whitaker who has finally emerged from the world of supporting roles – he’s played second fiddle in everything from “Good Morning Vietnam” (1987), “Species” (1995) and “Panic Room” (2002) – to captain his own ship. But to this title. Like the recent “Little Children” and “Catch a Fire”, “The Last King of Scotland” is another of these films whose title doesn’t fit with its content. At the end of each of respective film, the title starts to make sense – it’s ‘smart’ ya see? – but many (especially those who haven’t got the Apple Quicktime trailers page book marked) will no doubt will be very surprised by what’s on offer here. “Rob Roy 2” this ain’t.

3. Little Children – We had to submit our votes for the Globes and the SAGs recently, and I tell ya, the cast of this will definitely find ticks next to their box. If Oscar were a parent, then Kate Winslet would definitely be one of his ‘Little Children’. Definitely. I mean, she’s prim, proper, proficient and perfect poised to pet a podium; the British Rose is an offspring any half-capable pop would be proud to show of, no? Oscar’s bringing out his favourite to show off again. Like an insubordinate boyfriend that stuck around for a couple of weeks, Oscar will indubitably try and forget about that little yuletide turkey that was “The Holiday” – the best way to catch up on some sleep this Summer – and it should be easy enough to do so, because young Kate more than makes up for her howler, here in “Children”, which is undeniably a vehicle aimed squarely at the Kodak theatre seat warmers, and further, proof that hard work – definitely not something required for the abovementioned “The Holiday” – pays off. Todd ‘In the Bedroom’ Field’s new movie is something that doesn’t just remind us how good Winslet it, it god blimey reaffirms your faith in cinema! It’s imaginative. Meticulous. Compelling. Amazing. Powerful. Joyous. Real. And, oh yeah… the kids up front put on a great show for their ma’s and pop’s, too!

4. Sherry Baby – Movies like this remind me of school plays – you’re there to see a performance (be it your child, or a friend’s child, giving it their all), not necessarily to sit through the story (which is usually impenetrable), but at the end of the night, you’re still very satisfied and look back on it fondly. “Sherry Baby” falls into the same category – though, I’ve got to admit, it’s about twenty times more entertaining than a school play; sorry teach – it’s got a fairly representative storyline (something resembling Nick Cassavettes’ “Gloria” (1980)), but the lead performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal is like Paris Hilton…. Goes down beautifully (and, it has to be said, easily). She may play a character that doesn’t feel she has to work for her credit – whether it is as a mother, or simply an active member of society – but Gyllenhaal most certainly puts it in to get it back, here. She lets it all hang out – yep, even the twins take a central role – here; playing a trashy, over-sexed, rather despicable human being that, well, you can’t just help but like. That’s no easy feat for an actress.

5. The Pursuit of Happyness – In most of his films, Will Smith is usually on a pursuit of well, an intergalactic bug, a drug-dealing Cuban, or some other form of inexplicable rogue – so it’s refreshing to see him on the hunt for something more pure, and a tad easier to snag – or is it? – Happiness. “You gotta trust me, all right?… ‘Cause I’m getting a better job”. That’s a line from the movie – but it could easily be applied to where Will Smith is, career wise, right now. Sure, he’s made a billion bucks by starring in some of cinema’s biggest and baddest hits (like “Men in Black” and “Independence Day”), but besides that ‘Oh yeah, almost forgot’ moment of acclaim he received from playing the title role in “Ali” (1999), he’s not exactly prime fodder for a position on a 21st century of great actors. With “Happiness”, all that may be about to change. Smith is great in this ‘warm and fuzzy’ drama about a terminally shat upon young man who god seems truly against. He carries the film, he really does. And so by the end of the movie, you’ll really be rooting for the guy who’ll, of course, rise above the odds – and finally be able to make ends meet. (But that’s predictable as hell). This isn’t a film without flaws though. In fact, it’s riddled with them. It’s very sweet and it’s really enjoyable, and Smith and his real-life son are terrific in their roles, but it’s another one of these manipulative tearjerkers that pushes the ‘cry now’ button every 15 seconds and snags the easily effected without any trouble. The ‘button pushing’ is a cover-up for the film’s good but not great script…. I mean, this guy is supposed to be a very smart and quite intellectual human being, but boy does he do some stupid things. In addition, many of the film’s small plot points – some which seem to be a bit repetitive – seem to be mere putty and have little use in the movie but to fill the holes. And the main flaw of the film may be the fact that it’s stating that one can truly only be happy with a high-profile job and a wad of cash. Bit sad.
Still, I really enjoyed this movie. The Smith’s are great in it. And if you’re not much of a nitpicker, you’ll probably be talking about it at dinner parties for weeks to come.
Not quite a 4 star movie, maybe a 3 and a half….

And finally,

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).
“Just so not interested in seeing that – she puts me off It. Look at how she screws up her face all the time. It’s as if she thinks she’s playing Bridget Jones in every movie now!” – Mrs Morris on why she won’t be going to see Renee Zellweger’s latest movie, “Miss Potter”.

Contact Clint at his MySpace