Caffeinated Clint – 7/06/07

Coming to you live from New Orleans, Queensland



Sore yet Paris?
Yes, Um, Hi everyone. Welcome to another page or so of the not-that-bloody-interesting-but-I’ll-read-it-cos-Sky-News-hasn’t-updated today column, “Caffeinated Clint”.

First things first, Our last big special, ‘The Worst Sequels EVER made’, voted by you, was so popular that we’re going to do it again. Yep, again. I’m a sucker for having 2000 emails clog my outlook express account.

This time, we’re asking YOU – yeah you, with the joystick and the cup of cocoa! – to tell us what you believe is the BEST direct-to-video sequel or prequel. It’s a hard one, but I tell ya, there are some good ones out there – some straight to video sequels I’ve enjoyed even more than their big screen predecessor – and I’m sure you’ve seen at least a couple of them. I know a lot of producers, directors and writers of these direct-to-video sequels read this column… so I’m sure they’d be keen to see what You Like and what you DON’T LIKE about the DVD Premieres they’re dishing out. Who knows… we may even make them work harder!

Here’s a list of direct-to-video sequels…. It’s just a few, you’re welcome to choose anyone you like…. Any that you especially liked?

Dukes of Hazzard : The Beginning
Half Past Dead 2
Dracula 2 : The Ascension
Hellraiser : Hellworld
The Prophecy : Forsaken
Trekkies 2
Dracula 3 : The Ascension
Time Cop : The Berlin Decision
Leroy and Stitch
The Lion King II : Simba’s Pride
George of the Jungle 2
Inspector Gadget 2
K-9 911
The Return of Jafar
Stewie Griffin : The Untold Story
American Pie : Band Camp
American Pie : The Naked Mile
Turbulence 2
Turbulence 3
The Prince and Me 2
The Cutting Edge : Going for Gold
Revenge of the Nerds III : The Next Generation
Another Midnight Run
The Net 2.0
8MM 2
The Hidden 2
Cruel Intentions 2
I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer
Cinderella 2
Wild Things 2
Cube 2 : Hypercube
The Mangler : Reborn
Bring it On Again
The Skulls 2
The Crow : Salvation
The Crow : Wicked Prayer
The Butterfly Effect 2
Kickboxer 2 : The Road Back
Leprechaun Back 2 Da Hood
Critters 4
Dr Dolittle 2
The Sandlot 2
Sniper 2
The Substitute 2
Walking Tall 2
Bloodsport 2
Tremors II
Roadhouse II
Starship Troopers 2 : Hero of the Federation
Slap Shot 2

Go to it. Email me your pick for Best Direct-to-Video Sequel.

Caffeinated Clint on…. Harry Potter’s newie

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Harry Potter movies – there, I said it. I’m not a fan. I doubt I’ll even be rushing out to se the next one, Order of the Peacock or whatever the fuck its called – and I assumed Daniel Radcliffe was cast because he could balance a pair of glasses on his nose.

Seems I was wrong.

Aside from those that caught his guest stint on Ricky Gervais’s amusing sitcom “Extras”, in which he played an over-sexed and narcissistic version of himself, most probably assume Daniel Radcliffe’s range stops with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone” and ends with (he’ll be 40 by the time he does it, but he’ll be in it) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

Prepare to be surprised. Seems the young British face behind cinemas most popular teenage character has a few more tricks in his shimmering sack.

Radcliffe’s harbouring a chamber of secrets ya see, because in the new Aussie film “December Boys” – yep, he’d be the investment; the marketing angle and so on – he pulls a mighty big rabbit out of his hat. He’s so good here in fact he could probably stop taking orders from the ‘Phoenix’ now and send Potter back home on the loco.

I was lucky enough to catch a screening of the film this week, and though the performances definitely outshine the film itself, it’s going to do well.

In the Rod Hardy directed drama, Radliffe plays the oldest of four boys, all orphans, who are shipped off – they were picked over the other orphans because this month, December, is their birthday – to stay in a beautiful seaside retreat. The only houses on the shore belong to the couple (Jack Thompson and Kris McQuaide) taking care of the boys whilst they’re there; a genuinely nice young couple (Victoria Hill and Sullivan Stapleton) who’ve got some issues, and a grizzled-old fisherman (Ralph Cotterill) who spends his days trying to catch the ocean’s biggest fish.

The boys, not surprisingly, have such a great time there, that they begin to ‘put on a show’ for the young couple (Maps, played by Radcliffe, seems less keen on impressing them and more interested in romancing the local girlie, played by Theresa Palmer), hoping one of them will be offered a permanent home. Not unexpectedly, tensions arise and the boys clash as they vie for the title of ‘newly adopted child’.

Though it’s not of the same ilk as some of Australia’s grand dramas – it’s a cliché, but it’s true, they don’t make them like they used to! – “December Boys” is still a very enjoyable picture with much of the credit due to its young performers.

But Radcliffe really impressed me here. I liked his Aussie accent, I liked his performance and I also thought he had great chemistry with Theresa Palmer. I’ll talk more upon the film closer to its release in September.



Caffeinated Clint on…. Texas, Queensland

I’m so glad Radcliffe’s accent didn’t sound like, well, Meryl Streep in friggin’ “Evil Angels” (‘That Dinga’s God Meee Bay-bee!”), in “December Boys”, because there’s nothing else I hate more than seeing British or American actors trying to do Australian accents… and vice versa. Some Aussies can do a great American accent – Peter O’Brien in “The Return”, Heath Ledger, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett etc – and some are just plain shocking. It’s usually the older actors – Jack Thompson’s one, did anyone else see “Man-Thing”? – that aren’t so successful at doing the American accent. But, anyway, where am I…. Oh yeah… I wanted to bring up American films being shot in Australia (or anywhere other than the place they’re set).

Look, I’m all for money coming into our country… I’m all for our local talent and crews being employed… and I’m all for it helping tourism… but shit, besides “The Matrix” has any good come of making a Hollywood film that’s set in America, in Australia? Most of them are fuckin’ tragic!

I refer to “Ghost Rider” – Melbourne’s not Texas. Far from it. That was the biggest blunder. Secondly, there’s several great Aussie actors in that – that chap that use to be on “Law of the Land” for a start – that are just wasted. They’re forced to wear terrible American accents. Same with the last couple of “Star Wars” movies…. Half the cast of “Home and Away” as aliens? Shhiiiiit.

Biggest culprit though is the recent film, “The Marine”. Oh. My. God. This is shocking. Just shocking. It’s supposed to be New Orleans or somewhere but it’s pretty clear – even to those outside of Australia, I assume? – that this I sunny Queensland. I don’t know where to start with it…

Here’s the trailer…



I guess what I’m saying is, do it like Greg McLean – if you want to film a movie in Australia, set it in Australia. You can still use a big-name American actor – Michael Vartan is in Greg McLean’s new film, “Rogue” for instance – but don’t try and pull one over the audience; let them know up front that the American is an American and he’s ‘in Australia’ on business or pleasure or catching a giant croc… or whatever it may be. Ray Lawrence knows what I’m talking about… he applied that rule to both “Lantana” and “Jindabyne”. And, to an extent, David Caesar took it on with “Dirty Deeds”, too.

So c’mon, lets give ‘Australia’ the credit it deserves.

(There’s probably one film of the past twelve months that I’m glad to say didn’t shame Australia… and that was “Superman Returns”. Mostly, its because it was set in the fictional Metropolis…. So it didn’t much matter where ti was filmed. But what helped was that it was pretty much a straight studio shoot… so we didn’t have the Sydney Harbour bridges standing in for the Golden Gate or whatever…)

Steven Marshall from efilmcritic.com writes, “Sure, its an exciting development to have so many Hollywood films being made so close to us little Australians, but in reality is it any more than a location only, and does it bring Australians the opportunity to be part of the Hollywood hype? In my opinion, it makes it only harder for Australians to make their own films, not easier at all.”

To further illustrate my point that these American movies should be ‘acknowledging that their setting is Australia and not some hick American town’ here’s a list of recent – and a few classic – films that have been made here… grouped into ‘acknowledged that they were set in Australia, despite the fact they had American actors involved’ and ‘American movies, filmed in Australia, that tried to fool you into thinking they were in America”.

Filmed in Australia but SET in America. Features both AMERICAN and AUSTRALIAN actors.
Inspector Gadget 2
Charlotte’s Web
The Matrix
Ghost Ship
House of Wax
The Marine
The Condemned
Ghost Rider
Star Wars Episode II : Attack of the Clones
Salem’s Lot
Queen of the Damned
Man-Thing
The Phantom
Scooby Doo
The Thin Red Line
The Great Raid

Filmed in Australia AND set in Australia. Features both AMERICAN and AUSTRALIAN actors.
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Lantana
Rogue
Jindabyne
Mission: Impossible 2
Wind
The Man from Snowy River

In 2003, Geoff Brown from the Australian Screen Producers Association said that whilst its great that these big American movies can save money by doing films here if our dollar ever got to “70-75 cents, my view is it becomes problematic.”

Indeed. That’s exactly what’s happened. So More “Lantana”, less “Ghost Rider”, OK?



The Fun Stuff

Critically-slammed Pics I like :

What : “Dune”
Released : 1984
Stars : Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Brad Dourif
One critic said : “This movie is a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time..” – Roger Ebert
Another critic said : “Several of the characters in Dune are psychic, which puts them in the unique position of being able to understand what goes on in the movie..” – The New York Times
Clint says : “Its like Empire Strikes Back on acid…. and in small doses, taking acid can be fun!”.

What : “Top Gun”
Released : 1986
Stars : Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis
One critic said : “The dogfights are absolutely the best since Clint Eastwood’s electrifying aerial scenes in Firefox. But look out for the scenes where the people talk to one another.” – Roger Ebert
Another critic said : “Everything wrong with 80s movies in one film.” – Mountain Express
Clint says : “You may feel the need, the need for speed…. but even without drugs, its fun!”


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 : “Mission : Impossible 3”
What : The best of the “Mission” movies…. yet nobody was much interested in seeing it because of Tom Cruise’s recent off-screen behavior.
When : On a weeknight at a Drive-In theatre in Melbourne.
Details : It was pissing down rain but I was so keen to see the film that I decided to grin and bear it. Besides the fact that I was watching it with the windscreen wipers on high… it really delivered.
Movie any good? : Great.
Night any good? : It was a wet one.


Forgotten actors I like
Who : Lea Thompson
What did you like him/her in? : “Back to the Future” primarily, but also “Some Kind of Wonderful”.
What’s so good about him/her? : She was just so sweet… and she had a great knack for comedy, as evidenced by her role as Lorraine in the “Future” trilogy.
Where the heck are they now? : Making babies with filmmaker Howard Deutch (“Some Kind of Wonderful) and doing the odd telemovie.
Show me them in action : OK… here’s Marty’s mum….





5 Things that Shitted the Clint – This Week
1. Cold Weather.
2. Pilot lights on wall heaters.
3. The line for coffee.
4. Slow computers.
5. Television Entertainment Reporters referring to Bruce Willis’s character name in the “Die Hard” movies as “John McClare”. Yeah, McClare. Huh?

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

1. Nancy Drew – The scripts for Veronica Mars are always intriguing, imaginative, funny and, predominantly, universally enchanting. Whether you’re twelve or thirty-five, you’ll enjoy it. Warners has neglected to take into consideration that older demographic here – with “Veronica Mars” now on the way out there could have been a real opportunity here – and skewed the film to the Casper and Lizzie McGuire crowd. In short, if you’re commonly told you’re ‘too small to take go on this ride’ you’ll enjoy it. Not to say the film’s a complete waste of time, it isn’t, it’s reasonably well done – the performances (Emma Roberts and particularly, newcomer Josh Flitter as the chubby clown, Corky) are quite good); the locations (they’ve made good use of some of Hollywood’s landmarks) look good; the music is toe-tapping good and there’s been a reasonable attempt to make things ‘hip’ and ‘cool’; it’s well, just not funky or fun enough. My only question: Nobody watched a teenage sleuth on TV for free! – will they want to pay to see one?

2. Pan’s Labyrinth – Man this is a cool movie. At first, you don’t quite know what to make of it… but it really grows on you. Its visually stunning; absolutely engaging and brilliantly performed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood tries to entice del Toro to make an English-language version of it sometime.

3. Highlander – With “Highlander II” voted our ‘Worst Sequel of All Time’ last week I thought I’d check out the original again. You’re right guys, the sequel sucked – but this one is great. The mythology that was created here was superb. The music, the performances, the direction, the cinematography… its one of the best of the cheesy 80s blockbusters around. Pity there couldn’t ‘be only one’.

And second last…

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).

“Did you see spot the gay undertone in that? Were they a little ‘too’ chummy?” – Mrs Morris on Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in “Hot Fuzz”

Mini Mailbag
Here’s a few letters we’ve received this week… thought I might as well answer some of them here… to save paper… or, um, whatever.

Q. hey clint i thought of some thing really funny if collier and co if that movie make,s hit they 2 more sequel,s out of it john schinder 2 more story,s for the sequel,s and john and tom wopat can write the story for the dukes of hazzard a big screen version of it and martin campbell to dircet it and make it good and clean dukes of hazzard movie more action and just clean fun and make it pg any way that be really cool – holden
A. Sounds like someone was offended by the titties in the “Dukes of Hazzard” prequel.

Q. hey clint when do you think they will do a big screen version of swat cats and knight rider and hope pull it off some how the speed racer movie look,s really cool any way what about mad max 4 have they pined a story for it yet who will be the new mad max any way let,s hope they get some one for any way pull it off some how { any way – holden
A. What the heck is ‘Swat Cats’? New Mad Max, Um, think it’s John Schneider.

Q. hey clint i had idea for teen titans movie any way michelle tracthberg as star fire and natlie portman as raven and shaun ashmore as beast boy and lee thompson young as cyborg and haden christan as robin and chrstian slater as the evil slate} that would be a good cast any way holden – holden
A. Warner Bros appreciates your comments and will respond to your query as soon as possible.

Q. Clint Morris – Cinderella Man dances into Inferno. Quote: so there ya go fans, Crowe gets the lead story of the day? Happy? Nah, of course not. WRONG! Clint, you done good. Loved your article, especially since you didnt mention the phone throwing incident which loser columnists feel they have to do to get attention. Have to say that you have us Crowe fans pegged. Dissing Russell unfairly is like throwing gas on a flame but your prose is great…cheers – Crowelady
A. Phew! I was hoping I wouldn’t have to be tied up and forced to watch “No Way Back” on loop again.

Q.. Hey Clint, you rock. Best movie site on the web these days. How do you manage to update everyday?
A. : You know those kids that put the NIKE’s together in the factories?

Q.. Hey Clint, Do you think Michael J.Fox will ever return to movies?
A.: It’s hard to say. I know he finds it difficult to work. I’d say there’s a chance he might do a ‘small’ appearance in something – but probably TV, as he did with ‘Boston Legal’.

Q. Hey Clint, what’s the new Abigail Breslin film, “No Reservations”, like?
A. : It’s not as good as ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ but I thought it was entertaining enough. Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart are pretty good in it.

Q. :Clint, can’t prize win just know question want to mail me it?
A. : Um, you probably haven’t won anything… because I can’t understand your answers. Just a guess. But yes, if you do win something, I will mail it to you – gave up on personally delivering them a while ago. It scared people.