Caffeinated Clint – 25/3/08


Shite Cinema

Every time I walk out of a media screening for something that absolutely sucks balls, I can’t help but feel sorry for the unsuspecting innocent punter that’s about to hand over their hard-earned cash – or pocket money – to see whatever I’ve just suffered through. I feel like, if even just because I do get to see films for free (it’s the one perk of being an entertainment journalist – the other is you get to , er, interview Corey Feldman) and should give something back, I should be offering up my services as a cinematic lollipop man – ya know? Placing a stop sign in front of anything that’s not worthy of your fifteen bucks. So, this is the best I can do…. Here’s a list of some of the absolute rubbish playing at a theater near you. By advising you against it, I consider my job done.

Before we get started though, let me just say – yes, there are films that won’t appeal to me (say something like “Hannah Montana 3D”) but will appeal to another age bracket. Those films aren’t included here. What I’m listing here is those films currently showing that won’t appeal to any audience…. Shit is shit, it’s no less browner on a five-year-old’s behind.

Step Up 2 : The Streets
I still can’t work out why this thing didn’t go direct-to-DVD!? They release a “Lost Boys” sequel direct to video, but they put an unnecessary follow-up to a moderate hit like “Step Up” into theaters? It makes about as much sense as a fourth season of “Prison Break”. If I was a studio exec, I can tell you which one I would’ve put into theaters. I think even the target audience for “Step Up 2”, say the 14 to 15 year-old girls, know better. They’ve seen it all before too, by now. The biggest tip-off that this stinks? Channing Tatum, the young star of the original, enters the picture about five minutes in and then conveniently exits about five minutes later. “My job is done here”, he utters.

Vantage Point
Remember when big movie stars, like Dennis Quaid and Forest Whitaker, actually used to read scripts before signing onto something? Clearly, no one associated with this tired and clichéd political thriller bothered to ask for any more information about the job than what it’s paying. When you can catch something similar to this, but done so much better, on Television week-after-week (“24” being the obvious example), there really is no reason to open up Mr. Wallet for something lesser – and more expensive, is there? It shits me to see big studios throwing away boat loads of money on star-driven drivel this like, if only because there’s dozens of talented young independent filmmakers out there who have to door knock to get even a fifth of this film’s budget.

Meet the Spartans
If one person can honestly come up to me and say, “This movie rocks! I laughed so hard I shat my pants!”, I’ll be as shocked as Liz Hurley the morning she opened the newspaper to see her boyfriend had just received a rim-job from Tim Meadows in drag. This is straight-up robbery, this one – I can’t believe people would actually be sucked into see this shit!. An absolute shambles. The spoof film has turned into – excuse the pun – a real joke thanks to the last couple of “Scary Movie” sequels, and they’re getting worse with each one. There isn’t a single amusing moment in this film. It is absolute shit. I can pick the peanuts out in it’s so boggy. I wasn’t a big fan of “300”, but next to the film that’s satirizing it, it’s the best film of the fuckin’ century!
Enjoy your 60 minutes of being pissed on, punters!

Drillbit Taylor
Did Owen Wilson just return from a staff screening of “Drillbit Taylor” the morning of you-know-what? Because I tell ya, if so, I totally understand – I wanted to hang myself half-way through this friggin’ abortion, too!
I love Judd Apatow’s movies, and I even like Seth Rogen, but they’ve both slipped down the ladder a couple of notches after contributing to this unfunny, uninspired piece of shite. Sure, it’s a film aimed at twelve-year-olds, but when they’re not even laughing, you know your film’s about as useful as a blunt pocket knife, don’t ya? This thing belongs to be sent back in a delorean to 1982 and placed at the bottom of a video shelf – right next to whatever Don Knotts had out that month. Its that exciting.
When Leslie Mann is the only thing watching in a film, you know someone didn’t re-write the script like they were ordered to. Avoid this like an STD.

Hayden Christensen can act – I know, I’ve seen him give reasonable turns in a couple of films now (like “Shattered Glass” and “Factory Girl”), but I doubt anyone else is convinced. The “Star Wars” star is not doing himself any favours by doing “Jumper”; it proves he can realistically play a spec on a green screen – and that’s about it. The biggest task of this role? “Don’t look directly into the camera, Hayden”.
Still, I can understand Christensen accepting the lead role in Doug Liman’s sci-fi film “Jumper” – after all, it’s Doug ‘The Bourne Identity’ Liman! And not only that, Sam ‘The Man’ Jackson is co-starring! I’d put my hand up to be in that puppy, too. But if I was Christensen’s manager, I’d have demanded the script writers add some depth, some intrigue and tidy up the plot before they locked script. In its current state, “Jumper” resembles one of those cheap, ridiculously inane after-school shows. The sad part? It’s done so well, you’ll probably see a sequel in a year or two’s time. For the power of Greyskull Hayden, jump ship whilst you can!

Michael Caine should be ordered to give back his fuckin’ Oscar after this travesty!
Heck, he should give it back just for agreeing to star in a remake of one of his own films – deep down he had to know coming in that it’d never be half as good! It’d like Tom Cruise agreeing to play Michael Ironside’s role in a Uwe Boll-directed remake of “Top Gun”! Shameful!
When is Hollywood going to learn – hell! When’s Jude Law going to learn! – that remaking old Michael Caine movies doesn’t work. They’re like full-cream milk – tasty and ripe initially, but if you return to it a few weeks later, it’s curdled and unappealing.
First there was the ill-fated “Get Carter” remake – with Sylvester Stallone in the lead, and Caine in a supporting role – then there was the little-seen “Alfie” remake featuring Jude Law. A glutton for punishment, Law returns to play homage to Caine again in the Kenneth Branagh-directed redo of “Sleuth”….. the worst of the bunch.
The whole middle act is like a scene from “Charlie’s Angels” – only that film was more believable!

So there ya go, that should keep you out of trouble for a while…..

Is the good buzz on “Superhero Movie”, er, real?

…. or is it someone at Fox spamming websites with fake reviews?. Anyway, Craig Mazin, whose had his hand in a couple of the “Scary” flicks, did an interview with Movies Online for his new film “Superhero Movie” this week, and I loved something he said. He essentially spat on “Meet the Spartans”, and in a matter of words claimed it didn’t deserve to be called a “spoof” movie. If you could shake hands through a computer, I’d extend my arm in the direction of his monitor.

MoviesOnline: Do you think the genre has gotten too much to the point where ”Meet the Spartans” comes out less than a year after ”300”?
CRAIG MAZIN: What can I say? As a fan of the genre I think yes, things have gotten bad out there and there’s always a pressure. I think studios feel that what makes spoof movies good is the amount of movies you can make fun of within 70 minutes, or in the case of Meet the Spartans, about 40 minutes. Not that our movie is an epic. Yeah, I think that something’s gone weird. Meet the Spartans, those guys make movies that I don’t think are really spoof movies. They’re more of a pop culture reference movie thing. It’s like a compendium of the year. Some of it’s movie, some of it’s television, some of it’s music, some of it’s news stories. We always would throw in a little thing, like in this movie a little piece of Tom Cruise. And how great is that guy, Miles Fisher, that guy is a magician. I’m more of a fan of traditional spoof. The genre is more driven by a younger audience and I think part of the fun for them is seeing the familiarity. So, I don’t know, I may be quickly growing out of date with spoof. I think the genre needs help.

Is “Superhero Movie” – despite its title; needless to say, the studio added the ‘Movie’ onto the end of it so all the knobs that rushed out to see “Epic Movie” and “Date Movie” would consider this in the same ball park – the movie all those other stink-fests (“Epic Movie, “Date Movie”, “Meet the Spartans”) should have been? It sounds like it. The reviews have been quite positive, and I know the test screenings have been scoring well. I won’t be surprised if isn’t as good as a “Naked Gun” or an “Airplane”, but I’ll be rapt if it’s not far off it.
Dawn of the Drivel

Speaking of things that should be floating in my toilet waters, “Day of the Dead”, the remake, hits DVD in the states in a few days time. A couple of new posters – unused ones, mind you – have shown up for it online; they look good, pity they didn’t go with them for the DVD sleeves.

An inside rumour suggests that if you pay Ving Rhames enough money, and offer him a pay-or-play deal, he will do your movie – without even reading the script.

I don’t think it’s a rumour anymore.

But Rhames definitely isn’t the only other player in town to favour money over merit.

“Day of the Dead”, a remake of the classic zombie film by the genre’s master George A.Romero, is undoubtedly a film made-up of pay-or-play deals. You’ve got Ving Rhames – in his second zombie movie in five years; the other was the superior “Dawn of the Dead” remake, Mena Suvari – who a few short years ago was nominated for an Oscar (in “American Beauty”), and you’ve got filmmaker Steve Miner – director of entertaining horror efforts like “Lake Placid” and “Halloween H20”. None of them obviously read the script before signing on – if they had have they’d have realised they’re ALL too good for this shit! – they just asked for to see their money in an Escrow account a week before shooting. They might also have asked what the film’s budget was going to be (this looks like it cost about as much as a hot-air balloon ride!) and where it was filming – they’d have been informed they were about to help pretend that Bulgaria was Colorado.

The army – led by Ving Rhames; Mena Suvari playing the lone female war-child – have arrived in Colorado with instructions to not let anyone out. Seems this killer “flu” everyone is coming down with is of great interest – and possible threat. Within the day, those affected by the bug will turn into flesh-eating zombies and it’ll be up to a couple of the town’s residents, and their new friends from the Army, to stop them before they eat all the good limbs for themselves.

Playing like something that should feature Clint Howard or Ted Raimi, this C-grade monster movie – complete with terrible editing, shocking looking monsters and woeful performances …. Largely by Rhames! – undoes all the good that’s been done in the zombie movies of late – the cleverness of “Shaun of the Dead”, the hipness and tension of the “Dawn of the Dead” remake, the grittiness and solidness of Romero’s “Land of the Dead”. Instead, “Day” has a bunch of extras get their faces painted and then instructs them to “chase the guys in the army suits” – and just as a zombie bites into one of the soldiers, someone from the side-lines is instructed throw a couple of raw sausages or plastic steak into frame. Yes, it’s that tacky – an absolute shambles. By contrast, Romero’s original was very well done – even contentious; the deconstruction was so methodical and encircling.

The investors are gonna be pissed.

Send us your good energy…

Finally, my daughter has been quite ill for the past few days – soaring temperatures, the works – and it’s been quite hard on the wife and I. We’ve been in-and-out of doctor’s surgeries, and as we speak, the little one is there again – having tests. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but as you can assume, we’re still both quite concerned – It’s heartbreaking to see my little darling in so much pain and distress. Wish her a speedy recovery, if you will! On a better note, she got her first tooth last week! Hooray! Now she can bite some people for me! (We’ll stand out the front of cinemas showing “Meet the Spartans” and have her bite people as they walk out).