Caffeinated Clint – 2/3/07


Now with 7% more nonsense

To celebrate the revamped “Caffeinated Clint”, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are giving 5 lucky Australian readers the chance to win a copy of The Rock’s new movie “Gridiron Gang”. It may have bypassed cinemas here, but don’t let that put you off – it’s actually a pretty damn good movie. To win a copy of the DVD, just email me Here and tell me your name, address and most embarrassing cinema-going experience you’ve ever had.

Caffeinated Clint on…. His favourite films

Recently, a couple of folks have written in and asked me what some of my favourite films are. Seriously, do you really care? I mean, by Milly Motherboard giving the thumbs up to say, “The Hunt for Red October”, does that make it a great film – or spur you to run out and rent it [again]? Probably not, right? But, hell, I’m all about pleasing the readers – and, ya know, the laddddddies – so for the next couple of weeks, I’ll tell you what some of my favourite films are. Maybe we should break them up into categories. I wanna stress first that none of the films are in any type of order – they’re just ‘ten favourites’ from that ‘particular genre’. And you watch, some fuckwit will write in with “Hey, How could you not put Ghostbusters top of your Top Ten… it only number five… I hate you. I hate Internet. I hate Green Vegetables”. I swear. That’ll happen.

OK, lets start with…. Ten of my favourite dramas.

Ten of Clint’s Favourite Dramas:

St. Elmo’s Fire
What? : Probably the ‘least successful’ of the Brat Pack movies – ya know, the films that all the young spunks of the time, like Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez, teamed up for on a regular basis – but one that’s built up a reputation as somewhat of a ‘cult’ classic. Directed by Joel Schumacher (say what you will, be he’s one of my favourite filmmakers), it tells of a group of college graduates all trying to work out what to do next with their lives.
Why? : Because it features John Parr’s cooler-than-cool song… “I can feel St. Elmo’s Fire” burning in me…. Burning in me”. Nah, um, because it spoke to me. It’s daggy in parts, sure, but the storyline speaks volumes to anyone that’s ever asked the question “now that we’ve finished school, what the fuck do we do now?”. The performances are also quite good… though near outdone by the hairstyles.
When? : Don’t think I saw it theatrically (probably wouldn’t have appealed to me at that stage)… no, I think I hired it out on video in its early days.
Favourite bit? : The moment where Kirby (Estevez) lays one on the object of his affection (Andie MacDowell), whilst her fiancée stands nearby.
Favourite performance in it? : Everyone is pretty darn good, but this was a bit of a tour-de-force for Rob Lowe.

Say Anything
What? : Some will consider it a ‘comedy’ – and in parts, it is very funny – but for most of its duration, Cameron Crowe’s “Say Anything” is actually a rather serious film. It starts out as your typical ‘boys meet girl, boy loses girl’ rom-com, but then transforms into a heavy character drama about a daughter who suddenly discovers that her pop’s a crook.
Why? : The writing. Cameron Crowe worked his arse of on making sure this spoke to the young audience – he had the lingo down, the make-up of the lovelorn teenager, and anything else that helps set the tone. The chemistry between John Cusack and Ione Skye was undeniably hot, too – – – later, upon discovering that Skye bats for the other team, I went back and paused the video to see if anyone was standing behind Skye giving her a poke with a stick whenever she had to ‘kiss’ her leading man. Nope, didn’t see. Great faking!
When? : I remember watching it with a few friends, on video, and none of them enjoyed it half as much as me.
Favourite bit? : C’mon?! It’s gotta be the bit where Cusack stands outside the beauties’ window with his boom-box playing Peter Gabriel. Magic!
Favourite performance in it? : I fell head over heels for Ione Skye in it, but Cusack probably showed the most emotion in it…

Endless Love
What? : A critically-bashed early 80s film – yes, the one with the Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross song – that starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt as young lovers who are torn apart by, well, her overprotective family.
Why? : Because if you can overlook how damn cheesy it is, it’s actually a very sweet movie. The romance seemed real – there wasn’t a moment there that you didn’t believe that Martin Hewitt generally wanted to wrestle Brooke Shields whenever a door was closed. It got a bit loopy towards the end, but as fluff, it was pretty captivating.
When? : Saw it on video as a youngster. Don’t ask me when.
Favourite bit? : It has a nice finale – and yes, the song plays over the top of the scene – I must say; but the scene at the Planetarium is also quite well done.
Favourite performance in it? : Brooke Shields is by-and-far the best in this. Martin Hewitt isn’t bad either… I can’t understand how he fucked himself over so bad after this.

Stand By Me
What? : Only one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King story – in this case, ‘The Body’ – ever. This one, starring Corey Feldman, River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton & Jerry O’Connell, tells of a group of kids who journey into the woods to find a body that’s apparently laying there… somewhere.
Why? : It’s sweet. It’s funny. It’s moving. It’s thrilling. It’s just a beautiful fuckin’ movie. The kids in it are all terrific. In fact, the only thing doesn’t hold up well with this movie is the train sequence…. Because visual effects look worse than anything in “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace”.
When? : On Video. On Loop.
Favourite bit? : Really hard to say…. There’s too many treasured moments here.
Favourite performance in it? : River Phoenix is damn great in it. Terrific. This is probably one of his best turns. And shower me with tomatoes, but Corey Feldman is actually pretty good in this, too.

Boyz N’The Hood
What? : John Singleton’s controversial drama about growing up in South Central, L.A.
Why? : Its just fuckin’ brilliant. The performances are as solid as any floater in your loo, the script is as detailed as it is intriguing, and the direction is flawless. This is a movie you just can’t find fault with.
When? : I remember I was actually going to go and see it at the old Hoyts Midcity in the early 90s, but at the same time, “Freddy’s Dead” was showing, so I decided to go that instead – and leave “Boyz” for video. Stupid. Stupid. Boy.
Favourite bit? : Any scene with Cuba Gooding Jr and Laurence Fishburne in it. Broad, but true.
Favourite performance in it? : Gooding Jr, Morris Chesnut and Ice Cube were all fantastic in this (Cube probably the best of the youngsters), but the movie belongs to Laurence Fishburne.

About Last Night
What? : Now everyone’s going to be thinking I’m a sucker for Brat Packer movies…. But it ain’t like that, OK? It just so happened that some of those Brat Packer movies were damn good. This one, starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, was one of the best films of 2006. Based on a play, it tells of a young couple who experience the ups-and-downs of trying to maintain a relationship.
Why? : It’s a spot-on recreation of what happens in a relationship… especially when you’re both young. The writing is also rather grand… and the performances…. Just sweet as pineapple (as were Demi’s bits).
When? : On Video I believe… which is strange, because I remember seeing the trailer at the theatre and saying too myself that it was a movie I was definitely going to go and see at the cinema. Hmm. Must have been a ‘Freddy’ movie out that month.
Favourite bit? : I’ve got to say that any moment with James Belushi in it, giving advice to Lowe, is priceless.
Favourite performance in it? : Obviously I think Belushi is great in it, but Rob Lowe is pretty terrific in it, too. Actually, Moore is too. Hmm. I dunno. You Pick. They’re both good.

What? : Another movie that audiences and critics didn’t really go for…. But I did. I’m like a rebel of fuckin’ early 90s cinema. The Peter Weir-directed film tells of a man (Jeff Bridges) who survives a pretty destructive plane crash, and is convinced he’s immortal as a consequence.
Why? : Just a very original screenplay, and Jeff Bridges’ poignant performance. Its also littered with heaps of messages… like making the most of your life, and not living your whole life in fear.
When? : At the Cinema. I recall it was fairly empty.
Favourite bit? : The moment where Bridges helps his friend [and fellow crash survivor] Rosie Perez conquer her fear and sadness by driving her into a brick wall. Sounds far-fetched, but it works.
Favourite performance in it? : Bridges. Perez got the kudos, but Bridges owned this film.

Wall Street
What? : Oliver Stone’s expose on what really goes on on ‘Wall Street’. Michael Douglas played the Trump-ish Gordon Gecko, a wealthy magnate who takes young stockbroker Bud (Charlie Sheen) under his wing.
Why? : The performances. The storyline. The direction. Basically, apply everything you loved at “The Departed” to this – and you get the picture of how damn good it is. Michael Douglas absolutely ruled the earth that year.
When? : On Video. I remember I wasn’t at school, because I was sick, so spent the day watching movies and eating KFC (or ‘Kentucky’ as we use to refer to it as back in the good ol’ days).
Favourite bit? : Gecko’s “Greed is Good” Speech.
Favourite performance in it? : Douglas. Or Sean Young. No, that’s a joke – – -one that only fans of the film will get.

Quiz Show
What? : A Robert Redford-directed film about the great Quiz Show scandal of the 50s. Yep, can you believe they actually rigged the shows back then? Just absurd. Heh.
Why? : Just a very original screenplay, and Jeff Bridges’ poignant performance. Its also littered with heaps of messages… like making the most of your life, and not living your whole life in fear.
When? : At the Cinema. I recall it was fairly empty.
Favourite bit? : The moment where Bridges helps his friend [and fellow crash survivor] Rosie Perez conquer her fear and sadness by driving her into a brick wall. Sounds far-fetched, but it works.
Favourite performance in it? : Bridges. Perez got the kudos, but Bridges owned this film.

The Godfather 1/2
What? : Not quite sure where to slot this one…. Is it a thriller? Action? Gangster?… let’s just say drama…. Because, well, it’s got a lot of in it (fuckin’ dumbest thing I’ve said all week).
Why? : You need to ask?
When? : Well, unless it was inside my mother’s gut…. Not at the theatre.
Favourite bit? : Nothing like a good horse’s head in your bed to start your day.
Favourite performance in it? : Hard one. Probably Brando, but then again Pacino is pretty great, and De Niro is superb in “II” ….. nearly as good as Sofia Coppola’s performance in “The Godfather III” (snigger)…. Can I say ‘everyone’?

Caffeinated Clint on…. Living in the Past

Times sure have a-changed since the days of going to the cinema on a Saturday afternoon to see a film with your friends. Does anyone actually remember going to see a bad movie, or having a miserable experience? Nah, me either. I can hardly think of a time that I didn’t enjoy going to the movies in the 80s – even the early 90s – because, well, everything was better back then. Hollywood put more into their movies. It was less about the marketing – more about the movie itself. The “Star Wars” trilogy, the “Indiana Jones” series, “The Goonies”, “Gremlins”, the “Terminator” movie, all the John Hughes’ movies, the “Rocky” series, the “Rambo” series, “Witness”, “Platoon”, “Major League”, “Back to the Future”, “Explorers”, “Die Hard”, “Big”… I could go on. Even the stuff that we call ‘mindless fluff’ these days was better back then – – I mean, how enjoyable was “License to Drive” (1988) for its time! And what about films like “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Adventures in Babysitting”, “Skin Deep”, “Hiding Out”, “Mannequin”, “Young Guns”, “Red Heat”… even the “Police Academy” movies. Yep, even yesterday’s crap was better than today’s crap.
I bring it up because I don’t think I’ve really enjoyed too many movies lately – and when I say lately, I mean the past couple of years – and it hit me like a ton of bricks to the head – whilst watching “Music & Lyrics”, no less, last night – that a ‘good’ film is a rare thing now. Should it be the way? God no. We shouldn’t have to sit through fifty bad films to get to one good film. But that’s exactly what’s happening… and that’s exactly why critics do rave about films like “Crash”, “Shakespeare in Love”, and “Venus” – because they’re ‘good films’ (not great films), and compared to the likes of everything else out there, they satisfy. When something like say, “The Departed” or “Little Children” comes alone – – -we’re stuck for words, because a ‘very good’ movie is the rarest of things.
It’s an overused phrase, but it’s true, “They don’t make them like they use to”. And they wonder why I live in the past. Sheesh.
(Speaking of how films are all about marketing now…. They can’t even get the marketing right. Kris, among other readers, has told us just how misleading those ads for the new movie “Black Snake Moan” are. Says Kris, “Man, I’m getting friggin sick of seeing those ads for Black Snake Moan. It must be one of the most intentionally misleading marketing campaigns ever, and worst of all the decadent bastards at Paramount are preying on racial tensions in US to sell their film”. Yep, whatever sells a movie. I’m still surprised they didn’t just a put a pale cock on the poster for “Color of Night” when they were trying to sell that).

Caffeinated Clint on…. Tom Cruise [Again].

OK, enough with the Tom Cruise bashing. Get over it. The reason I bring it up, is because it’s just started up again. Today, CHUD talked to “Watchmen” director Zack Snyder who revealed that they were considering Cruise for a role in that baby for a while. Naturally, fanboys have pissed their spider-man underoos upon hearing such a revelation. Now whilst I’m not familiar with the “Watchmen” book – I’ll probably pick it up and read it before the movie comes out – I just wanna remind those few that Cruise has made some of the Best Movies of Our Time. It’s true. Think of how entertained you were by “Risky Business” back in the day? And how cool were “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder”? I bet you’ve revisited “The Color of Money” a couple of times, too, right? Oh, and remember how good Cruise was in “Rainman”?
Dare I mention, “Jerry Maguire”, “Born on the Fourth of July”, “Mission : Impossible” and “The Last Samurai”? All solid movies. Each and every time, Cruise delivers. He gives us entertaining movies. Why should that change now – what? Just because the media decide to tarnish his off-set image a bit? Sheesh. C’mon. Time to put that aside. I’m all for Cruise doing “Watchmen”… and I tell ya, “Lions for Lambs”, the movie he’s doing at the moment with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, is right atop of my must-see list.

The Fun Stuff

Critically-slammed Pics I like :

What : “The House of the Spirits”
Released : 1993
Stars : Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas
One critic said : “”The House of the Spirits” seems like a road production – like a French “Guys and Dolls,” an Italian “Three Sisters,” a British “Streetcar Named Desire.”” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun Times.
Another critic said : “A total misfire, from conception to execution to casting. With the exception of Banderas, all the leads are played by American and British actors. – Emanuel Levy,
Clint says : “Its flawed, and endlessly cheesy, but it’s also a beautiful-looking picture with one of the finest ensembles this side of a Godfather film”

What : Mannequin
Released : 1987
Stars : Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Meshach Taylor, James Spader, G.W Bailey, Estelle Getty
One critic said : “”Mannequin” is a movie made by, for and about dummies” – Rita Kempley, The Washington Post.
Another critic said : “A lot of bad movies are fairly throbbing with life. “Mannequin” is dead. The wake lasts 1 1/2 hours, and then we can leave the theatre” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago-Sun Times.
Clint says : “Yes it’s a dumb as hell, but it was also darn amusing – and tell me Kim Cattrall didn’t look damn foxy in that pink number?”

The Movie Going-Experience
This next new feature is a bit where I recall some of my ‘cinema going experiences’ – i.e it may be a date-gone-wrong to “Weird Science” (actually happened); it may be falling asleep in “Super Mario Bros” (actually happened); or maybe the time two people decided to have sex in the back row behind me (actually happened, in a screening for Van Damme ‘classic’ “Double Impact” at the old Hoyts Midcity).

The Movie-Going Experience : “Drop Zone”
What : Fluffy John Badham-directed skydiving thriller starring Wesley Snipes and Gary Busey. Yep, classy indeed.
When : On a Saturday afternoon in Melbourne.
Details : Hitched a ride with a friend to Melbourne. Thought I’d catch a movie before heading out to the place I planned to stay at (a friends). Little did I know that that friend wouldn’t be there that weekend (don’t ask me why I didn’t find that out earlier) and that I’d be spending the night, essentially, on the streets of Melbourne with the drunks. But yes, I did get to see a Wesley Snipes movie – it was brimming with so much action that it kept me warm all night (or was that the homeless drunk babe?).
Movie any good? : Nup.
Night any good? : The moon was out. A few moons were out, actually.

Forgotten actors I like
Who : Andrew McCarthy
What did you like him/her in? : The John Hughes films, “St Elmo’s Fire”, “Class”… everything up until “Weekend at Bernies”.
What’s so good about him/her? : Just a likeable, reasonably talented young moppet.
Where the heck are they now? : Still doing small roles in big movies, or big roles in small movies.
Show me them in action : OK… here’s a bit of everything, courtesy a crazed fan.

5 Things that Shitted the Clint – This Week
1. People that don’t return your email until they’re good and ready – if ever. OK, lets play that game bee-yatch… just had my wife add you to her ‘spam’ list of people she sends ‘funny cat’ videos too. How ya like ‘dem apples? Here comes three 2.1 MB Siamese cat MPEGs.
2. Rip-off lawnmower services.
3. Shitty romantic-comedies that make a mint at the box office.
4. Coffee. So good, yet so bad.
5. The one cordless phone at the house that seems to be on the blink… for some reason. Damn… down to 5!

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

1. Music & Lyrics – What was that I saying about crappy romantic comedies? Look, I like Hugh Grant; I like Drew Barrymore and I even like romantic comedies… but this is just a waste of everyone’s time… not the least, the actors involved. What ever happened to the good romantic comedy? Did John Hughes have the patent on those?

2. American Pie 2 – Even the sequel was pretty average. From the moment it opens, you know that it’s in a far different galaxy than the witty original. The writing seems lazy; the characters don’t seem the same, and the performances are all rather flat. It’s entertaining, in parts, but it’s a reminder that the “American Pie” series shouldn’t have been… a series.

3. Lethal Weapon 3 – God, the “Lethal Weapon” movies were great. Gibson. Glover. Donner. It was a match made in heaven. The first is still probably the best one, but “Lethal Weapon 2” comes damn close. There are so many priceless moments in here… and never a dull moment. Though, I have to admit, there’s a couple of times here and there that you’d rather Joe Pesci weren’t in the movie.

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).

“If it were in English, I’d see it – but darls, I don’t go to the movies to read” – Mrs Morris on why she won’t be going to see “Pan’s Labyrinth”.

Contact Clint at his MySpace