Academy Awards, Nicolas Cage, Reunions, Rambo III
A bit of a shorter version this week, if only because I’m drowning in work, but I’ll be back next week with a much thicker one (and a good column, too).
You won’t believe this…. I’ve been on DeCaf for a whole week. I swear, DeCaf. I feel like I’ve swapped sides. Problem was, I wasn’t sleeping – I work at night anyway, but with coffee – I was pulling all-nighters like they were giving away free peep shows with ‘em. So, for better or worse, I’m on the coffee with ‘no kick’ for a bit… let’s see how long it lasts.
Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…
Reunions. Ah. Sweet. I love a good reunion – I’m not talking sequels, I’m talking a reunion of two actors, playing new characters, in a new film or series. I loved seeing John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John back together (in “Two of a Kind”); Julia Roberts & Richard Gere (in “Runaway Bride”); Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell in that episode of “Enterprise” from a couple of years back; and recently, Laura San Giacomo and Enrico whats-his-face re-teaming for a couple of eps of “Veronica Mars”. I could go on, too.
Oh, OK, I will… It was great to see James Spader and Andrew McCarthy (both from “Pretty in Pink”) re-teaming for both “Mannequin” and “Less than Zero”; it’s always great to see Bruce Willis and Samuel L.Jackson doing some together (they’ve made like four movies together now); Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson doing “Money Train” (after their terrific teaming on “White Men Can’t Jump”); and I remember how giddy I was to see “Romancing the Stone” trio Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner & Danny DeVito in “War of the Roses” (despite being in hospital at the time, from memory).
Oh, and yep, I also look forward to seeing those ‘TV Reunion’ things… like those endless “Growing Pains” telemovies. But I don’t usually admit to such.
But wait, I didn’t say I actually enjoyed any of these reunion shows… or films…
I could count on one hand the amount of times that I have actually ‘enjoyed’ the reunions though. Ya see, on-screen reunions are a bit like sex…. The lead-up is exciting; but once you get into it, you realise it was better the time before. Most of the time, second time around is a bitch. In fact, I think the only time I recall a reunion being better than the duo’s first on-screen venture was Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “Sleepless in Seattle” – a couple of years prior to that they had shared the screen in the abysmally unsuccessful mixed bag that was “Joe Versus the Volcano”.
The next reunion I/we can look forward to is that of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” heroine/killer Jennifer Love Hewitt & Muse Watson in an episode of “Ghost Whisperer”.
My producing partner, Watson, was asked personally by Ms Hewitt – who I must say, has got to be one of the most loveliest and down-to-earth actresses I have ever met – to do an episode of her hit series. Here’s how it went down:
I arrived at Universal Studios today and was walking from my truck to
the set. The guard had told me to walk thru the back-lot to the first dead end and that would be New York street where my trailer would be.
So I am walking down this deserted downtown street of empty banks and office buildings feeling like I was the only one left on the planet when a couple of blocks away a white car sped by. With-in seconds it was coming back and heading right for me. As it approached I noticed the passenger in the car was a stunningly beautiful young lady with a smile that was bringing life back to the deserted streets. As they stopped beside me I realized it was Love. She jumped out of the car and gave me a hug asking how I was. Her male companion said, “she saw you and told me to turn around right then”. Then she said that he was a VERY special friend. We both had to get into hair and make-up so we headed that way after a greeting that made me feel like her favourite uncle who she hadn’t seen in years. Nice way to start your day!
Call me bias, because I know the two people in topic, but I dare say – since “Ghost Whisperer” is a pretty well written show – that this reunion isn’t going to whiff of stale seconds. Just a pity there’s no ‘hook’…
Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
The Oscars. OK, time to predict the Oscars…. Nah, fuck that, everyone does that… and seriously, is anyone really interested in whether I think the friggin’ “Babel” is going to win over “The Departed” (it better bloody not, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion) or if Eddie Murphy’s going to be kissing a microphone? OK, I see one guy at the back there is interested. Bad luck, I wanna do something different… here’s my ‘Oscars’ Predictions… Caffeinated Clint style.
Clint Predicts the Oscars :
Prediction 1 : Ellen DeGeneris will take the Mickey out of Jack Nicholson – a couple of times. He sits in the fuckin’ front row every year… and has ‘tease me’ written on his forehead, it’s written into the show.
Prediction 2 : Renee Zellweger’s seat-warmer is going to notice some of her ‘powder’ still under the tip of her nose when she returns to her seat. As a retort, she’ll screw up her face…. If she isn’t already.
Prediction 3 : Bronson Pinchot will try to shake Eddie Murphy’s hand as they walk in through the doors. Murphy won’t remember who he is. Later, Pinchot will yell out “Look everyone! It’s Norbit!”
Prediction 4 : John Travolta and Nicolas Cage will have their hair-pieces mixed up backstage. The preceding battle? A “Hair-Off”.
Prediction 5 : In the middle of her opening, Isaiah Washington will walk on the stage and swear that he never called Ellen DeGeneris ‘a f%#^*t’.
Prediction 6 : Johnny Knoxville, Steve-0, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton will be holed up in a hotel room somewhere playing ‘Crack Twister’ – unaware that the Oscars is even on.
Prediction 7 : Emilio Estevez, pissed that “Bobby” was so dreadfully overlooked, will be standing atop of the old Hollywood School Book Depository Building ready to put holes into the Weinstein Co’ marketing team.
Prediction 8 : Sharon Stone – and her lopsided breasts – will turn up to the Oscars thinking she’s been nominated for a Best actress there. Michael Douglas will be the one to tell her ‘You’re at the wrong ceremony, Sharon – - the Razzies was yesterday’.
Prediction 9 : The head of Disney will announce to the room that Tim Allen will be sworn in as the president of the company as soon as “Wild Hogs” passes the $50 million mark.
Prediction 10 : Many will head over to ask Robin Williams’ Where he has been lately – unaware that he’s actually been in about three films over the past twelve months.
Prediction 11 : Samuel L.Jackson, presenting this year, will have to be edited out of the telecast. “Look at all these mother fuckin snakes, in this mother fuckin’ room!”.
Prediction 12 : Voting members will look to the ground as Barbara Streisand walks onto the stage to give out an award.
Prediction 13 : Colin Farrell will be drinking, swearing, flirting and later, dancing on Elton John’s piano.
Prediction 14 : Wesley Snipes’ picture will be inadvertently mixed in with the ‘In Memoriam’ reel.
Prediction 15 : Bruce Willis spotted cracking onto Dakota Fanning.
Prediction 16 : Tom Sizemore will be doing a commentary of the telecast, in a camcorder, live from his Super8 motel room nearby.
Prediction 17 : Presenters will find in-season passes to ‘Ghost Rider’ in their goodies bag, courtesy the show’s producer. “If we can offload a few hundred more of these in-season passes, and people use them, we might score ourselves another second week in a row!”.
Prediction 18 : Kevin Costner is spotted sneaking in through the back entrance. Sean Connery escorts him out. “And shtay out, Dragannfliy!’
Prediction 19 : Portia DeRossi will be squabbling with staff outside of the green room, because one of them asked “Mandy, would you like a drink?” before asking her whether that would be ‘Cash, check or Card’.
Prediction 20 : Tom Cruise will be pulling double-duty : Everyone that signs up to his newly-reformed United Artists on the night gets the first week free at L.Ron Hubbard’s school of scienceygook.
Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
Nicolas Cage. What the FUCK are you doing? Dude, did you even READ the script for “The Wicker Man” when it was sent to you? Look, number one, you don’t remake “The Wicker Man”, number two, you don’t remake a film if you can’t improve it… number three, get a new rug!
Fuck dude. It was the most mind-numbingly awful experience of the year. And what do you follow it up with? “Ghost Rider” – a superhero adventure that’s essentially “The Crow : Salvation” with better cleavage. There’s two reasons people went and saw the film on its opening weekend – and it ain’t because of your tits, Nic.
Seriously, someone needs to remind Nic Cage just how great he was… and could be again. He seems to be travelling backwards. He rocked in the action films “Face/Off”, “Con Air” and “The Rock”, and was terrific in his more serious turns in films like “Moonstruck”, “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Adaptation”… but lately, it’s as if, well, he’s being managed by Jonathan Krane. I mean, even when Cage was a little off – - -he was still good. “Peggy Sue got Married”, “Snake Eyes”, “Red Rock West” and “Wild at Heart” – not brilliant movies, but still good movies. Lately, Cage seems to be accepting any script stamped in SHIT.
Next, he’s in, well, “Next”. Haven’t seen the trailer yet… so what about we all watch it together now?
Whatcha think? Yeah… well…. It’ll probably be OK. But still, this dude needs to get a make-over. Lose the wig, Lose the Manager, Lose the woody he’s got with comic book movies… go have a chat with DePalma at the Oscars (I hear he’s considering you for Al Capone in the new “Untouchables” prequel) and then pop on over to Martin Scorsese’s table (He’s looking for more top actors for his “Departed” sequel).
Caffeinated Clint’s knobhead of the week : Ralph Fiennes and his Snake on the Plane. He was heard to have said afterwards “Now THAT’S a Red Dragon!”.
Caffeinated Clint smiled when…. : He saw his unborn child in the second lot of scans. True. I do have a heart. It thumps.
5 movies Caffeinated Clint sat through [possibly again] this week :
1. Rambo III – Hadn’t seen this for a while, and so had forgotten how damn cheesy it was. “First Blood” was similar to the first “Rocky” – just a great character film; and in its case, one hell of a tight suspenseful thriller. The two “Rambo” sequels were cheesier than a Parma though. Still, love that moment in “Rambo III” where the big guy is asked what the ‘blue light’ does in his suitcase of weaponry. “It turns blue”, he responds. Now that’s classic. Maybe.
2. The Good Shepherd – A really complex movie (try keeping up with it, I dare you) but also a damn interesting one, too. The performances are terrific – especially Damon, who reminds us what a versatile actor he is – and the screenplay, though it does waver off here and there, is pretty damn solid. Obviously influenced by “The Godfather” films, DeNiro has come up with a memorable and intriguing drama that’ll make you think twice about accepting that invitation into ‘The Skulls’.
3. Norbit – “Norbit”, for better or worse, is the blacksheep sister of “The Nutty Professor” films – just not as good. It’s essentially – besides the character names and whatever thin script there is – the same film. For an hour and a half, Murphy gets to either wear a fat suit or wear tons of make-up to play several different characters. Granted, the make-up job that Rick Baker has done here, and in the previous films he has worked with Murphy on, are outstanding. I can’t tell you how many people in the audience I saw the film with didn’t spot Murphy as the old Chinese man at the start of the film – he was truly unrecognisable. But the make-up job is the only redeeming quality of the film.
4. Hot Fuzz – Much like “Shaun”, which was part comedy-part horror, “Hot Fuzz” isn’t just a straight-up comedy – it’s also swimming in the genre that you presuppose it to be spoofing; in this case, the action movie. A fair whack of the movie plays fairly [never significantly] serious, with the comedy playing somewhat of a support role to well, a plot. It’s hard to say whether taking the plot out and just playing the film strictly for laughs would’ve worked better (they tried that in the early 90s with National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 – - – and nobody likes to be reminded of that), or whether there’s just not a lot of satirising to be done of action movies that we haven’t seen already. Whatever the case, they’ve given it a good shot – and the last half hour or so of the film is an absolute goldmine of fun.
5. The H.P Lovecraft Collection : Out of Mind – Absolute classics – and now all available on DVD from Lurker films. Lovecraft was the master of early 20th century horror, and ‘Out of Mind’ is one of the most compelling of his efforts. In this one, Lovecraft himself is the star, as he’s pitted against some of the cosmic horror he’s been writing about. Better than the movie though, are the special features: there’s an audio commentary by the director, interviews, trailers from some of the other Lovecraft films, and a collectible booklet. Also, check out the short films – one by John Strysik, and two by Aaron Vanek – on the disc; they’re pretty darn impressive.
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).
“I just think she’s a tart” – Mrs Morris sums up Angelina Jolie’s performance in – well, maybe everything but – “The Good Shepherd”.
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