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Caffeinated Clint – 5/2/08

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A Look Back at 2007

2007 was a good year for movies – OK, yes, I said it, it was a GOOD year for movies – and 2008 looks to be no exception…. or does it?

Looking at the films I’m keen to see this year, I just realized that over half-of-them are blockbusters – and we all know what happened to last year’s blockbusters, don’t we? Yep, pre-release someone wiped a cherry-tainted women’s pad on them resulting in offerings that smelt like yesterday’s cat litter and, well, looked like it too (apologies for the ‘woman’s pad’ reference, I know that’s going too far, but until I can think of something more intelligent to write in there it stays).

Heck, the last thing we want to be saying at the end of the year is “Man, how disappointing was the new Indiana Jones movie!? But thank god for the Judd Apatow comedy”. It happened last year.

I remember going into 2007 – and I bet you did too – thinking “Spider-Man 3” is going to be as radical as screwing one of Hef’s Girls’ Next Door. So much for that. We came out of of the year feeling as if I’d just been butt-fucked by Carson from “Queer Eye” – it no doubt hurt just as much as it would too. Make no mistake, “Spider-Man 3” was a blunder of astronomical proportions… and so was “Shrek the Third”… and “Fantastic Four : Rise of the Silver Surfer”…. and, for many, “Die Hard with a Virgin”, er, “Die Hard 4.0”, er, “Live Free or Die Hard”. It was truly the year that the studio’s raped us – and Judd Apatow made sweet love to us.

Now I’m not saying I hope Judd Apatow’s next films – “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “The Pineapple Express” are due out this year – choke like Lindsay Lohan in the backseat of a car-park, I don’t, I just think there’s more at stake with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. I’m pretty sure it will be good – if only because Steven Spielberg is there to spit at the crap suggestions handed to him by his partner – but lets remember, George Lucas is involved in this film…. and most of us still haven’t forgiven him for releasing three films that somehow managed to call themselves “Star Wars” prequels (I don’t know about you, but I’d consider “Caravan of Courage” more part of “Star Wars” canon than I would “Phantom Menace”).

From what we’ve seen so far – the pictures of Harrison in the outfit; the spoilerish pictures of the props; the few story details that have been released (notably, the ties to “Raiders”)- this should be the shit. It should be. But then, as I said, it could go either way and five minutes after the Lucasfilm logo appears on the screen a ‘Mattel’ watermark is suddenly spotted in the corner of the screen and a CGI fish is introduced to the audience as Indiana’s replacement at the school whilst the teach goes hunting for the Crystal Skull – which, we ultimately discover, isn’t so much a “thing” as a “her”…. the daughter of a cosmetics Tycoon, missing since World War II. But I’m just jumping the gun, and realistically, Steven Spielberg should be able to give us what we want – – – even if George Lucas pressed him not to.

“Indiana Jones” is definitely on that ‘must-see’ list.

As is “The Dark Knight”. It’s going to be a weird experience watching it now, what with Heath Ledger’s passing and all, but I’m sure, thanks to his reportedly bravura performance, and of course the fact that it is bound to be a good movie (funny how I’m not even the less bit scared of this one stinking) that within the first five minutes of the film we’ll forget all about Ledger – in a good way, in a good way! – and see ‘The Joker’. That’s how Heath would want it. You know it’s true. He wouldn’t want us sitting there for two hours in our seats dropping tears into our oversized buckets of lard, er, popcorn. He’d want us enjoying ourselves; relishing in his performance as the Batman’s no.1 adversary; forgetting about Chris O’Donnell and Coolio’s big moment from “Batman & Robin”… having a good fuckin’ time. If I had to bank on any film being one of the year’s highlights it’s “The Dark Knight” – I’m predicting it’ll use “The Incredible Hulk” to wipe it’s ass and have “Iron Man” blow it off in the auditorium after the show – if only because it’s predecessor was a 5-star masterpiece (according to everyone but Joel Schumacher’s boyfriend).

Not to say both “Hulk” and “Iron-Man” won’t be good, I bet they will (did anyone ever expect to be excited over another “Hulk” movie?!) – especially “Iron Man”, whose cast would have to be the finest group of actors that have ever been assembled for a comic book movie (sans 1991’s “Captain America”, of course, which featured the likes of Matt Salinger and Ronny Cox). Robert Downey Jr wouldn’t do the film – just – for the bucks… it must have some substance (or Marvel rolled a wheelbarrow of coke up to his front door… but I believe he’s clean, so no) and there’s got to be a reason he forced himself to take up a membership at Gold’s Gym and, god forbid, made an appearance at Comic Con (nobody likes to be stalked by a sweaty gorilla in a I Heart Tony Stark T-Shirt at the end of a hot day). Same with “Hulk” – why the fuck would Edward Norton do that? unless there was some heavy shit in the movie? There’s no way Edward Norton would pick up Eric Bana’s sloppy seconds – not even John Travolta would do that; or maybe he would – unless he saw some possibility here (Granted, Norton did re-write the script so it’s essentially an “Edward Norton movie, the way he intends it to be”).

Can’t say I’m as excited about the new “Punisher” movie as I am the other superhero flicks … and it’s not because there are too many darn comic-book movies out – which, of course, there are – but more so because I think it’s going to suffer from the ‘unknown dude replaces Thomas Jane’ factor. The first film wasn’t that hot, but Jane was good as Frank Castle, and I personally would’ve loved to have seen him in a sequel – albeit, something better than the first. But when Jane came out and essentially said “This script sucks more than anything in that shitty Christina Applegate movie I did, so I’m not doing it” that’s when I gave up all hope for a superior sequel. Go on, Prove me wrong.

If there’s any blockbuster of 2008 that I’m surprisingly ecstatic to see – well, besides,um, Howard Stern’s “Porky’s” (I doubt that’s even got it’s financing) – it’s J.J Abrams’ “Star Trek” prequel. I think it’s going to be terrific. I’m not a huge fan of “Trek”, and if you asked me whether Spock’s got a penis I wouldn’t know (does he?), but I’ve enjoyed all the previous “Trek” films and truly support the prequel idea – it’s something we haven’t really seen before with “Trek”… and that’s saying something considering they’ve done everything from save Whales, had Spock romance the whore from “Sex and the City”, and cast David Warner ‘twice’ as two different characters in two different films. Its a terrific cast, but mainly, Abrams is a talented son-of-a-bitch – nobody went and saw it, but I swear if you’d spent ten bucks on “Mission : Impossible III” you too would agree that the man definitely knows how to breathe new life into struggling franchises. Oh, and I hope we get to see Winona Ryder’s pointy-ones (oh that’s right, Spock’s mum was human, not a Vulcan – sad that I remember that).

Sequel-wise, there’s a few on my radar : “Quantum of Solace” (retarded title, but sure to be good) with Daniel Craig back as Jimmy B; “The X-Files 2” (I still can’t believe they actually got around to making it – – I was convinced it’d stay a rumour); “The Mummy 3” (yes I know it has a longer title but I’ve got to type quick, I’m at an Internet cafe!) and “Harold and Kumar 2” (so much for my snooty critic reputation). More so, there’s a bunch of “original” flicks that will get my money first – “Be Kind Rewind”, where Jack Black channels Peter Weller; “Tropic Thunder” where Ben Stiller channels Tom Cruise; “Nights in Rodanthe” where Diane Lane and Richard Gere channel Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling; “I Know What Boy’s Like” in which Anna Faris channels those big-titted airheads from the Playboy reality show; and…. “Death Race”….. just fuckin’ with ya, I avoid Paul W.S Anderson like I do the cracks in the side-walk (yes, I’m a freak). Oh, but just to complete what we’re doing here it’s : The one where Jason Statham Channels the nuts stuck in a floater.

“Death Race” isn’t the only film likely to have me looking at my watch for an hour-and-a-half, there’s a bunch of films I couldn’t give two hoots about – though I’m sure the publicists will attempt to change my mind by giving me a collectible pencil-case tin or something bearing the movie’s title – like whatever-the-fuck-that-”Narnia”-sequel-is-called; The Wachowski’s “Speed Racer” (cheaper to get some dud crack); “Fool’s Gold” (the poster should read “This Year’s ‘Two if By Sea’!); “Angels & Demons” (hasn’t Hanks got anything better to do – – fuck, a “Money Pit” sequel would be more exciting!); and, of course, the next “Harry Potter”… how many left of those? Surely not many, right?
Oh, and count me out of “Saw 5” too – – – Jigsaw does about as much for me now as that Italian chick I used to date – when I was about 20 – did for me at the tail end of an evening. Jack shit.
(I’m not even going to mention “Sex and the City : The Movie” – it only becomes real if I type it. Shit. Just did. Fuck, the Apple page is replaying the trailer again! Help!)

I’ve seen a boatload of movies over the last few days, and when I get a chance I’ll type them up for you (using my ‘pretty’ new ibook keyboard! – – the other one was as dirty as Bob Saget’s last book), but for the meantime check out my DVD Drivel Dome…. or don’t. I don’t much care. But please, at least use protection the next time you go site jumping like you’re about to do right…. now.

Party on squids!

P.S – Check out my interview with Oscar Nominee Marco Beltrami right here

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