Caffeinated Clint – 13/04/07


On the “Decaf” again

Folks, things have been madder than Mel Gibson on a drinking binge here, hence the no “Caffeinated” columns this week – and the shorter one this week – but stick with me. For fucks sake, what are you doing read this anyway? Go out and see “Grindhouse”! It needs your money! (And so does Michael Biehn).

Caffeinated Clint on…. Grindhouse

Update : We’ve been informed that “Grindhouse” has now been pulled from its May release date in Australia… and will now be released as two ‘separate’ films “later in the year”. Yes, that’s steam coming out of my ears.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I think its fucking disgraceful – its times like these I wonder whether I’m in the right industry! – that one of the best-looking films of the year “Grindhouse” has failed at the box office…. Especially considering the Ice Cube turd “Are We Done Yet?” has opened bigger. It seriously doesn’t make sense. A couple of peers have pointed out that “Grindhouse” may have bellyflopped at the box office because The Weinstein Company didn’t seek the support of the net – unlike Warner and “300” – to help promote it. I’ll admit it, yeah; they could’ve done a hell of a lot more. We hardly heard from anyone at TWC in terms of helping promote the film – no new stills; no new trailer announcements; no interview opportunities. So that could be the case. I dunno. But last week I asked you all just how powerful you think the net is – and whether you actually take notice of it? Your responses might then answer our aforesaid question of whether TWC should have utilised the web more to market the film.

Dear Clint,
I don’t even read the newspapers anymore – they’re all biased/sell-out pricks; I only read the reviews on the net. If you guys – or Aint it Cool or Dark Horizons or CHUD – say its good, then as far as I’m concerned, it must be. So yeah, you guys have all the power –
Tony, Seattle

Hey Clint,
Is the net influential you ask? Hell yeah! What happened to “Batman & Robin”? What happened to “The Hulk”? What happened to “Rollerball”? All films that were slammed pre-release by websites… doing us the favour of saving us money… but ruining the films chances at the box office.
Steven, Wagga

Whats up Clint!
Whilst I’ll trust the net over a magazine or newspaper any time, I will say, however, that not everyone does – for instance, how many bad reviews have the websites published on “Ghost Rider”, “Wild Hogs” and “Night at the Museum”? Yet, people are flocking to those films in their droves! So, whilst I think you guys are slowly becoming the place to read about movies, I think the net has a long way to go before it convinces EVERYONE to listen to them… and not public opinion or print media.

I totally think the net has power. Look at how much money “300” has made! The mainstream critics savaged the film.. but the net jumped on it… and has promoted the heck out of it – assumingly with the support of the studio. If more studios did that, got the net involved, there might be more “300” size successes.
Trevor, Bristol

I don’t know that I’d consider the “all mighty” powerful medium that I bow to… but I do agree with most of your reviews man. There’s other sites that seem to “suck up” to certain films too much… you guys usually say it like it is. I actually appreciate that someone ‘didn’t like “300” that much. It needed to be said. Granted, nobody took any notice… because it’s still selling out sessions everywhere!
The Incredible Sulk

hey clint
in regards to the web, I don’t think I’ve read a film review in a newspaper in the last 3 years. If I ever want to check out a review I always read it up online. But my mind is usually made up on if I”m going to check out a film by the trailer and/or cast long before I read a review. I read reviews out of interest on the individuals take on it.
I think the net is 50/50 fluff/fact. But then again, most of the fluff gets people talking anyway so it isn’t all bad. And didn’t those upcoming Futurama telemovies originate from fluff?
hasta luego

G’day Clint,
I figured seeing you seem to spend a lot of your time providing interesting
and relevant info to me (and millions of others I am sure) that I would
take some time to give you some feedback on your query about how much
notice I take of the web. Hopefully you don’t get a gazillion replies so
you won’t have the shits by the time you read mine.
I personally hold a lot of value in what people have to say on websites, in
particular sites about movies, dvd’s and technology. Anytime I or my
family or friends are in the market for something (could be a TV, fridge,
camera etc) I pretty much do all the research on the web, there’s obviously
an unlimited amount of crap to weed out but there is also a lot of useful
information that can affect my purchasing habits. As far as dvd’s go,
unless it’s a blockbuster movie, I always look for reviews etc of the dvd
to help me decide whether or not I should be forking out my cash for the
flick, especially over the last couple of years with re-releases of dvd’s,
it’s nice to know whether or not it is worth upgrading. I’m glad I
upgraded my original Terminator 2 and Fifth Element dvd’s as the
re-releases had kick-ass audio improvements but I don’t think I would have
done it had I not read the rave reviews about them on the web.
My feeling is that people are less likely to be ‘obligated’ to say
something on the internet than they perhaps are in a newspaper, as the
printed word seems to go through a lot of “you can’t say this and you can’t
offend these people and by the way 1 of our biggest advertisers would
rather you do it this way”. I have a friend who is an editor of a paper
and he is about 3rd in line for reviewing anything, sometimes this is a
good thing, but when it comes to people’s opinions, should they really be
edited or manipulated ? A year or so ago I wrote reviews for a dvd site
(never having done anything creative in my life) and I was happily
surprised that at no time was I ever asked to slant a review one way or the
other nor did I have anything I wrote changed by the runner of the site. I
guess that is what appeals to me about the web, a lot of the time it’s full
of crap but its generally someones honest crap and its easy to find out
what you want.
Anyway I am at my limit of crapping on, hopefully you got something out of
it and as always, I enjoy your site, visit it everyday to read the latest.
Cheers mate.
Colin Ratjens

We’ll miss Caffeinated Clint this week. It’s a good read. I can’t believe how much you rip into some people. Its funny. Anyway, YEP the net is a powerful bitch… I trust ONLY the reviews on the net. Gone are the days when I go straight to the L.A Times Entertainment section to read reviews. I simply log onto Aint it Cool… or Moviehole… or whoever… to read whats good.

My point? Too annoyed to make one.

Caffeinated Clint on…. Old Shit Re-Fried.

I gotta say, all these remakes; all these restarts; all these comeback sequels – the Rambo’s, the Die Hard’s – they’re shitting me. Its not because they’re all terrible – granted, most of them are – but mainly it’s the fact that they’re doing nothing to help our weakening movie industry. The art of the whole game has been swept out to sea with Harold Holt.

I knew the idea well was dry in Hollywood, but for Christs sakes, where’s the originality? If someone dares responds “Wild Hogs!” I’ll spit toothpaste at you through the monitor – at least I’ll say its toothpaste. In all seriousness, if the original films of today are “Wild Hogs”; “Night at the Museum” and “Stomp the Yard” then it’s probably no wonder studios have got such a woody for milking franchises right now… or going through the archives to see what else they can dust off…. But seriously, you know it’s going too far when Michael Bay announces he’s producing a fuckin’ remake of Hitchcock’s “The Birds”! – That sounds like a friggin’ April Fools Day joke from the early 90s. Matt and Ben will be canoodling in a frickin’ “Gone with the Wind” sequel soon. Tom Cruise will be dusting the Lulu track off for a “To Siir with Love” sequel. And you know I can’t be too far off the mark.

I’m much fonder of say “Rocky” and “Rambo” making a comeback than I am say a remake of “The Texas Chainsaw” or “Black Christmas” because at least the earlier films will “try” and do something different (try). These sloppy horror remakes – of which there’s plenty – are simply tricking unsuspecting teens (too young to remember the originals) into believing they’re freshly baked goods. I find it a bit of a cheat. Studios seem to be looking after themselves, not necessarily the audience. If they were, they’d be trying to make original movies, and simply pointing punters who want to see films like “Near Dark”, “The Hitcher”, “The Birds” and “The Blob” in the direction of their local video store – where all those films are available on DVD.

But if that’s the way it’s going to be, then that’s the way it going to be… lets take a swig of Johnny… and give the studios their next production slate…

20 ideas.
1. Remake “Grindhouse”. This time cast Gerard Butler in the Kurt Russell role; have Michael Bay produce it; give MySpace 50 million bucks of advertising money and get Mary Elizabeth Winstead to go topless in the trailer… that’ll work.
2. Remake “Soul Man”. Amanda Bynes would do it. (Fuck even buying the rights to theme song…. Just I-Tune it).
3. Remake “Superman Returns”… but re-title it “Superman Lives”. Get Tim Burton to direct. Nicolas Cage to play Superman. Give him a black suit.
4. Remake the 1992 ‘Vid-buster’ “Kuffs” – as a starring vehicle for Ashton Kutcher.
5. Cast the “Laguna Beach” guys in a remake of “The Breakfast Club”. MTVs likely to get on the promotional bandwagon; if not co-finance.
6. Justin Timberlake. “Staying Alive” remake. Say no more.
7. Pay Paul Hogan kindly to do “Crocodile Dundee goes to Afghanistan”.
8. Robert Zemeckis could do a CGI version of “Back to the Future” – with Kathleen Turner as the voice of Doc Brown!
9. Tom Hanks could star in Ron Howard’s “Electric Dreams” remake – with original star Virginia Madsen! (after all, she’s big again!)
10. That shitty “Ben Stiller to star in Ghostbusters 3” rumour (that was rubbish) could turn reality!
11. Dane Cook buys the rights to comedy classic “My Stepmother is an Alien” as a vehicle for himself and Jessica Simpson.
12. The Wayans brothers retool their script for “Little Man 2” for a film version of the classic TV sitcom “Webster”!
13. “Spider-Hamm”. Brad Bird to direct.
14. Tim Allen to remake “Flubber” (now tell me that isn’t possible?!!)
15. Rob Marshall directs a remake of the musical extravaganza “Xanadu”!
16. Lucasfilm’s “Bobba Fett Christmas Special”! (bound to be hot on the black market!)
17. Remake “Police Academy”. Get David Zucker to direct. Leslie Nielsen to play Lassard.
18. Remake “Snakes on a Plane”. Nobody even remembers the first one – and the advertising materials are still fresh!
19. Gerard Butler to star in a remake of “Big Trouble in Little China”. Sarah Jessica Parker to take on the role originated by Kim Cattrall.
20. “Fucked-Up Movie” – David Zucker/The Weinstein Company’s latest spoof film; stringing bits from every movie made of the last two years into 90 mins!

The Fun Stuff

Critically-slammed Pics I like :

What : “Twin Peaks : Fire Walk with Me”
Released : 1992
Stars : Sheryl Lee, James Marshall, Dana Ashbrook, Kyle MacLachlan
One critic said : “An absurd study of debauchery” –
Another critic said : “It has its moments, but not many, and generally speaking it runs neck and neck with Dune as the least successful and interesting Lynch feature.”. – Chicago Reader
Clint says : “an even more perplexing freak show encircling a small town’s consignment of oddities and inhabitants, and as equally visually transcendent and thematically stunning”

What : “Young Guns II”
Released : 1990
Stars : Emilio Estevez, Christian Slater, Lou Diamond Philips, Kiefer Sutherland
One critic said : “Can you resist a movie with a Jon Bon Jovi theme song? You can? But this was before he turned into a total wuss!” – New Times.
Another critic said : “Lacks the grit and intensity of its predecessor” –
Clint says : “Not as fresh or character-driven as the first film but still a hoot, “Young Guns II” is probably one of the better films of Estevez, Sutherland et al’s career.”

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 : “Robocop 2”
What : The still-good-but-not-as-good-as-the-first “Robocop” movie that had Tom Noonan in it.
When : On a Saturday afternoon in Country NSW.
Details : Rode my bike – yes, a bike! I was only about 15 – into town, which from memory was quite a ride, to see the highly-anticipated [in my book] sequel to the first splatterfest. I think I treated myself to a double feature that afternoon and stuck around for “Flatliners”.
Movie any good? : Kinda.
Night any good? : It was Day.

Forgotten actors I like
Who : C.Thomas Howell
What did you like him/her in? : All 500 films he did in the 80s – “The Hitcher”, “The Outsiders”, “Soul Man”, even “Side-Out”!
What’s so good about him/her? : Had a likeable ‘normal guy’ presence
Where the heck are they now? : Doing low-budget movies. His latest ‘major’ role was as Kim’s doctor on a couple of episodes of “24”.
Show me them in action : OK… here’s “Tommy”! (in his highly-unseen “Hitcher” sequel!)

5 Things that Shitted the Clint – This Week
1. Nobody saw “Grindhouse”… as a result, they’re splitting it in two.
2. My new workload. I don’t know where to start!
3. The Anne Nicole Father Stories…. Who gives a shit?!
4. Paris Hilton. Just Cos.
5. The lack of sugar-free ice-creams in Australia.

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

1. Reno 911! : Miami – I wouldn’t have been so worried about not ‘getting it’ – having not seen the series – if someone had simply told me it was a remake of “Police Academy 5 : Assignment Miami Beach”.

2. Death of a President – Some have called it tasteless – others tacky, disgusting, despicable and unnecessary. I don’t know what to call it… I’m too busy scratching my head. The British-directed “Death of a President” is an excellently filmed and totally engrossing documentary on the assassination of president George W. Bush. Yep. You got it. George W.Bush. Nup, you didn’t sleep through that moment in history – the guy is still alive. But for some reason – the filmmakers have explained themselves plenty of times but there’s really no good reason to do a film like this – he’s dead, for the sake of this film. And therein lies the main – maybe the only – problem with this captivating film : it’s complete bullshit. No matter how real it plays… all of it’s fake. Aren’t historic documentaries supposed to educate us on real-life moments in history? What’s the point, otherwise?

3. The Woo Woo Kid – Phil Alden Robinson’s film doesn’t really belong in the same category as say “Can’t Buy Me Love” or “Loverboy” if only because it’s set in the 50s and is actually a ‘true’ story. As far as the tone is concerned, it’s the same bag, but the storyline’s as different to Dempsey’s previous films as could be – mainly because the almost ‘history lesson’ approach to this one places it in a different box. Patrick Dempsey is his warm and naive best as Carver, whilst Beverly D’Angelo and Talia Balsam offer weighty support as his ‘cradle snatching’ wives. The only person that really let the film down was Robinson (he recently did “The Sum of All Fears”) who seems determined to play the film as more ‘fluff’ than ‘fact’. A nice combination of both – possibly weighing more on the ‘real life’ facts of the case – might’ve seen it work better.

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).

“I was thinking I may crush up some fishy in it to change the smell or something” – Mrs Morris on how she plans to get her cat to eat the “new” food

Contact Clint at his MySpace