Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Doom Generation (1995)

Title: The Doom Generation (1995)

Director: Gregg Araki

Cast: Rose McGowan, James Duval, Johnathon Schaech


The Doom Generation is a film with characters that exist on the basis of two basic primal human needs: food and sex, that’s all these kids think about, that’s all these kids need. At one point, Amy, one of the main characters in the film tells one of the boys “You’re like a support system for a cock!” Referencing the guys none stop sexual advances. The story for The Doom Generation is all about these two teenagers, Jordan White (James Duval) and Amy Blue (Rose McGowan), both of whom feel like they don’t belong in society, like they don’t fit. They are the traditional outcasts. Jordan is kind of innocent in a way, with a look of naiveté on his face while Amy is imposing, intimidating and strong. It kind of feels like Amy has got the ‘cojones’ in the relationship. Everything changes when they decide to go to a convenience store to buy munchies and cigarettes and for no apparent reason; the scene quickly escalates into a full fledged massacre, complete with decapitation and all. Joining the gruesome twosome is a guy named Xavier Red (Johnathon Schaech) whom they decide to call ‘X’ for short. So Amy, Jordan and X decide to go on a cross country trip, running from the law and surviving as best they can by holding up convenience stores along the way, Natural Born Killers (1994) style.

And speaking of Natural Born Killers, this is the film that The Doom Generation mostly resembles, and it makes sense that it should be influenced by it, Natural Born Killers made a huge impact in the world when it was first released in 1994 because of its relentless levels of violence. The Doom Generation is like a low rent version of Natural Born Killers. It’s got the violence and it’s got the sex too, but there are various differences between the two films. For example, Natural Born Killers is about two lovers on a murder spree through America, but the film is a comment on the way the media influences people, how they distort the truth, how they’ll make heroes out of villains. The Doom Generation plays with the same premise of murderous lovers (all three of them) but it takes the opportunity to comment on human sexuality, namely: threesomes, bisexuality and homosexuality. So in a very palpable way, The Doom Generation is also an entirely different film than Natural Born Killers. But of course, this being a Gregg Araki film, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it touches upon human sexuality in one form or another, this seems to be one of his favorite themes. Or rather, what distinguishes him as a director, it’s his staple. The opening credits say that this is "A Heterosexual Movie by Gregg Araki" which couldn't be further from the truth! 

The Doom Generation is part of Araki’s “Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy” a series of films that focuses on the lives of troubled teenagers in America. This trilogy is composed of the films Totally Fucked Up (1993), The Doom Generation and Nowhere (1997). All three are about bisexual/gay teenagers. In The Doom Generation Jordan and Amy are heterosexuals, but Jordan has bisexual tendencies, so when ‘X’, the loose cannon of the group makes some advances towards Jordan, suddenly we’re talking about a threesome. Throughout the whole movie there’s this sexual tension between all three characters to the point where you just know that at some point something’s gonna happen between the three, so if you’re not comfortable with these type of scenarios, don’t bother with The Doom Generation. Gregg Araki, the director of this film had identified himself first as a homosexual, then as a bisexual. They guy even married actress Kathleen Robertson who starred in Nowhere, so the guy plays on both teams. This is probably why many of his films have such a strong bisexual element to them. On The Doom Generation, the three main characters want to live to the beat of their own drum, they don’t care about society’s rules, they want to do whatever the hell they want to do, but how will the world react to their behavior?

Totally Fucked Up also deals with that issue of how the world perceives gays. In The Doom Generation we meet a group of true blue Americans who find homosexuality repulsive, and so suddenly Jordan, Amy and X find themselves in the clutches of these people who don’t accept the trios’ sexual exploits. This is a theme that’s prevails in many of Araki’s movies, the fear of gay bashers. Those individuals who hate gay people so much that they are willing to incur in violent acts against them. Similar characters were also displayed in Brokeback Mountain (2005), a film in which a group of gay bashers kick the living shit out of two gay lovers, even going as far as killing. One of the saddest things in the world is not being able to accept others for being who they are. I mean, you don’t have to agree with another person’s lifestyle, but to incur in violent acts against people who are not like you is something I’ve never agreed with, and neither does Araki. In The Doom Generation, a group of gay bashers are represented as being 100% American, even going as far as singing the national anthem as they are bashing the skulls of gay people, as if saying, this is the kind of people America is producing. Araki also displays them with a Nazi swastika on their chests; so to Araki, gay bashers are on the same level of evil as Nazi’s. I understand the allusion, because Nazi’s where basically individuals who wanted everyone to be like them, they didn’t want blacks, or Jews, or people who weren’t Catholics, so that comparison is completely valid in my book.

At the same time, Jordan, Amy and X also represent America, if we put their three last names together, they are Red, White and Blue, so these three murderous, sexually adventurous individuals are also a product of the U.S. of A. Araki is probably wanting to say we are all products of the same messed up society. This is also a theme that is a constant in the movie. “This world is fucked up” “I sometimes feel the city is sucking away at my soul” and “Ever feel that reality is more twisted than dreams?” are just some of the many lines of dialog on this film that accentuate the status quo of society. Also, throughout the entire movie, you’ll see these big signs that display messages like “Prepare for the Apocalypse” and “Welcome to Hell”. When these kids buy something at a convenience store, and they do visit a few of them, the total for their purchase is always 6.66, no matter where they go! As if pointing to the fact that these kids are cursed somehow, or as the title suggests ‘doomed’. All these elements add up to a not so subtle way of establishing the films pessimistic (or truthful?) outlook on the world and the way the young people of the 90’s perceived it, funny how things don’t change much from decade to decade, though I think this is something normal, everybody, no matter what generation they are from think the world is ending.

Ultimately, this trio of knuckleheads might not come off as the most likable of characters, in fact, they do some downright despicable things, but I don’t think Araki was trying to portray wholesome, goody little two shoes on this movie. In fact, he was going for the polar opposite of that. He was going for the most messed up teens he could think of, it feels as if Araki was trying to point a finger at the kind of people that are emerging from the society we live in; people with no morals, no rules and no fidelity to each other.  Amy, Jordan and X function without a conscience. “Guilt is for married old people!“  They are in many ways like animals, existing on primal needs. And this strong sexual need isn’t displayed in the film as something that comes only from men, though Amy criticizes X for only thinking of sex, she herself has been with a large number of people, most of which she doesn’t even remember! So it’s like everyone on this movie is a sex maniac! So my friends, this is one of those movies that explores a side of sexuality that because of its controversial nature is addressed in films only sporadically, last time I saw a film about a threesome was Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and on that one too things go down the drain, I guess the point these type of films are trying to make is that threesomes just don’t work. At one point or another jealousy will show its ugly head and things will just get sour.

Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Naked Lunch (1991)

Title: Naked Lunch (1991)

Director: David Cronenberg

Writer: David Cronenberg (script) and William S. Burroughs (novel)

Cast: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Joseph Scoren, Monique Mercure


Naked Lunch is a film that many consider to be incomprehensible, the kind of film that some will watch and inevitably reach a point where they’ll think “what the hell is going on here?” I can understand anyone who ends up feeling this way while watching Naked Lunch because it certainly has various levels of bizarreness going for it, but in my opinion the film is not the unintelligible mess that some make it out to be. Personally I think you can watch Naked Lunch as a comment on drug addiction and nothing more and you’ll be fine, but you’d understand the movie on a whole other level if you go in knowing and understanding the films background, where it’s coming from and how it came to be. So with this review my dear readers I offer you a small glimpse of the tale that comes before the movie, so it’ll help you understand it just a little better. But going into Naked Lunch what you must first keep in mind is that it’s a film about writers and writing. It’s a film that explores that whole world of literary guys and gals who live, breath and die for writing. As one of the characters says in the film: "It's a literary high, a Kafka high" 

Naked Lunch the film, is based on William S. Burroughs novel of the same name. Now Naked Lunch isn’t any old novel, it was written by Burroughs in 1959 and it is based on Burroughs own experiences with various forms of drug addiction. Upon it’s first release the book was considered highly controversial, it was banned in many states and countries because it was considered too vulgar.  Burroughs was a Junkie in the worst sense of the word. He was not only addicted to Heroin, he also dabbled in all sorts of drugs. He got into all sorts of legal troubles throughout his life because of his drug addiction, he even did some jail time. In a way, I’d compare him with Hunter S. Thompson; both of their writings where based on their own personal experiences with drugs. It’s like they went into this crazy drug addled trip and then came back and reported everything they saw in their hallucinatory states. This is why in the film; the main character takes a drug that takes him to an “alternate universe” called ‘Interzone’. Being “in the zone” is a term often times used to refer to being under the influence, so in the film, whenever the main character says he’s in Interzone, he’s in a drug trip. In the same way that Dorothy visited the magical Land of Oz when she got hit in the head, William Lee, the films main character visits Interzone when he takes the drug called ‘Black Meat’. So you have to pay attention to the moments when we are in Interzone, and the moments when we are in the real world.

I saw Interzone as Burroughs own literary fantasy land, where everyone is a writer, everyone has their own living typewriters; that’s right, on Interzone typewriters are alive (actually they resemble giant insects!) and they also speak. The typewriters in Interzone are sexually excited when they like what you type into them. Of course, this is a metaphor for a writers own desire to write things that are worth a damn. In Interzone, if your writing is good, maybe your typewriter will have an orgasm. The theme of writing and the things that writers care about permeates the whole film. In this film characters talk about things like the validity of stream of consciousness writing vs. a more coherent form of writing. They talk about writing what comes out of your brain, vs. constant rewriting and so forth. So if you’re not into writing, then don’t bother with this film! If on the other hand you like to explore the nature of writing, and the crazy world of writers, then indulge, this movie was made for you.

Now something that we need to keep in mind when watching Naked Lunch is that it’s more of a Cronenberg film then an actual adaptation of William Burrough’s novel, so don’t expect a literal translation of the book. Cronenberg himself has gone down as saying that this film functions more as an amalgamation of many of Burroughs novels, including Junkie, which is also one of his most famous ones. Cronenberg explains that Naked Lunch the film, captures a lot of who Burrough’s was as a human being, it tries to capture the kind of life he lived, which is probably why the film dives deep into the life of a man who struggles with his own homosexual desires. Other similarities with Burroughs life include, same as the main character in the film, working as an exterminator, being addicted to various drugs and accidentally killing his wife, an event that marked Burrough’s life and writing till the end of his days. In fact, he said on one occasion that it was her death that pushed him to become an accomplished writer. So do not expect an exact literal translation of the book, rather, expect a mix up of events and elements from Burroughs life, elements from various Burroughs novels and Cronenberg’s own visual perks as a director and storyteller, for example, the insect typewriters are all Cronenberg, who admits to having something of an obsession with insects, what can you expect from the guy who directed The Fly (1986)? In my opinion, this melding of two genius minds makes for an extremely interesting and unique film, one that you won’t soon forget.

Naked Lunch cost something from 16 to 18 million dollars, but only made about 2.6 in theaters, something to be expected from a film that’s so offbeat. I sometimes wonder how David Cronenberg continues to make movies! Sure he has a hit every now and then, like The Fly (1986) and A History of Violence (2005), but a lot of his films don’t make their budget back or don’t make enough to be considered a success, so how does he do it? He makes flops yet always finds someone to finance his next one. Take for example Cosmopolis (2012), a film that cost 20 million to make yet only made 6! It flopped because it was so dense, so stale, 90% of the film takes place inside of a limo! I’m not saying I didn’t like Cosmopolis (I actually enjoyed the themes) but I will say that it’s not an easy film to see on one sitting because everything happens inside of a car and there comes a point where you can’t avoid thinking it’s monotonous; a fact that ensured its failure even though it starred current ‘it’ boy Robert Pattinson. And yet there’s Cronenberg, slated to direct yet another film called Maps to the Stars (2014). But who cares if they make money or not as long as he keeps making his movies. I’ve always admired Cronenberg as a director, in my opinion, he has never sold out. He refuses to make stupid cinema, and for that I respect the guy immensely. Cronenberg caters to those that like brainy films, films with meat to them, this of course does not sit well with the masses who love only explosions and special effects. Cronenberg aims to feed your mind, his films always have a philosophical angle to them, which is what attracts me to them.

Cronenberg (right) next to Burroughs
Naked Lunch is a film that speaks in symbolisms, so when you see something terribly strange like a person who kills bugs with his breath, well, you just gotta ask yourself what the filmmakers are trying to say with these visuals. Same goes for all the bizarre things you’ll see in this movie which range from giant half caterpillar, half human creatures, to alien like beings known as ‘Mugwumps’. But when we look at it from a Cronenberg perspective, and the kind of films that Cronenberg makes, all this weirdness fits in perfectly, after all, we’re talking here about the guy who made films like Videodrome (1983) and eXistenZ (1999)! Bottom line with this movie is that you must strap yourself tight for one bizarre trip. It’s not a film for everyone. This is a film for those who have a resistance to the bizarre, the dark, the depressive, if you can take a trip to the dark side of the moon, then go for it. Otherwise you’ll just be weirded out.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Friday, June 21, 2013


Some films define the time they were made in. A film that defines a decade is that film that encapsulates the mentality of the era, the music, the clothes, or just the way society was at the time. A good example of a film that marks an era is Mike Nichol’s The Graduate (1967); that film is pure 60’s all the way, from the soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel to the red 1967 Alfa Romeo that Dustin Hoffman drives throughout the movie . So, considering its 90’s month here on The Film Connoisseur, I decided to do a list of films that best captures what the 90’s were all about. I tried putting films on here that were about that grungy, angry, angst ridden youth. That angry mentality towards the proverbial system, and films that featured lots of alternative music! That’s one thing I loved the most about the 90’s, they were so very Rock and Roll, I mean, it was a lifestyle! Hell, the band CAKE even did a song describing it called “Rock and Roll Lifestyle”. Most films that capture an era have a strong soundtrack that’s representative of the time, so I took that in consideration as well. So, without further ado, I leave you guys with my Quintessential Films of the 90’s list, hope you like it. And if you enjoy this article, don’t forget to come back for Part II, which should be up at some point during the next couple of days, there are more Quintessentially 90’s movies where these came from.

Title: CONEHEADS (1993)

Comments: Coneheads is such a fun movie for me because not only is it a comedy, it’s a science fiction comedy, and a damn good one at that. On this film we meet Beldar and Prymatt two cone headed aliens who have crash landed on earth. Their original plan was to conquer earth, but their ship malfunctioned and the invasion was cancelled, so they were abandoned here on earth. Now they must learn to live amongst the “blunt skulls” until the time to overtake earth returns. In the mean time, Beldar gets a job as a taxi driver while Prymatt becomes a mother and a house wife. Little by little they begin to grow roots here on earth, but what happens when Connie their daughter becomes friends with the humans and doesn’t want her parents to conquer earth? Beldar and Prymatt must decide between obeying the ‘Remulak’ authorities or pleasing their daughter! This movie has many great things going for it, first, it was directed by Steve Barron, a director whose done a couple of films I like, for example he directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and Merlin (1998), a television mini-series that rocked the house, highly recommend checking it out. Also Coneheads is an interesting film because it unites Saturday Night Live cast members from the 70’s and  90’s which makes for an explosion of comedic talent. So you’ll get Dan Aykroyd, who by the way is positively hilarious as Beldar but you’ll also get Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chris Farley, like I said, a comedic explosion! There’s tons of cameos on this one, keep your eyes peeled! Most fun of all are all the visual gags, you haven’t lived until you seen a Conehead eating a foot long from Subway! Also, the way that the Coneheads talk will have you cracking up.

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes: Red Hot Chili Peppers,  R.E.M., Barenaked Ladies, Slash

Quote: “It’s as if you have grabbed me by the base of my snarglies!”

Title: WAYNES WORLD (1992) AND WAYNES WORLD 2 (1993)

Comments: This is like the apex of 90’s movies. If I had to choose a movie out of all of the ones on this list, these two would be the best quintessentially 90’s movies. I mean, they really do capture everything from the era, the clothes, that grungy love for all things rock and roll, that awesome soundtrack! Back then it was all about having long hair, wearing a t-shirt with the logo of your favorite band on it and wearing torn jeans. The 90’s were very, very rock and roll and this film captures what it means to live the proverbial rock and roll lifestyle, going to concerts, listening to cd’s on your car, having a favorite rock and roll dj, rocking out to a tune with your best buds and wanting that expensive guitar! Aside from being oh so very 90’s, the films have these two very endearing characters in the form of Wayne and Garth. They aren’t exactly losers (they have their own cable television show after all) but they haven’t quite “made it”. They want to really make it, big time. But are they willing to sell out in order to do it? Wayne’s World was one of the most popular SNL sketches from the 90’s and the best thing about both of these movies is how they fleshed out and brought these characters to life, unlike other unsuccessful SNL film adaptations which never could achieve this. Of course, a large part of success behind these films can be attributed to the genius of Dana Carvey and Mike Myers. You gotta admit when Mike Myers is on all cylinders, he really hits it out of the ballpark, as he did with both of these films. Both films are filled with cameos galore! Aerosmith! Alice Cooper! Even Christopher Walken is in one of these!   

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes: Ugly Kid Joe, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Temple of the Dog, 4 None Blondes, Aerosmith, Dinosaur Jr.  
Quote: “I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours. But if you spew and she bolts, it was never meant to be.”

Title: PUMP UP THE VOLUME (1990)

Comments:   As a result of inheriting the world they live in, the youth of the 90’s were angry and depressed and it’s an attitude that reflected itself in the music and films of that decade, for example, in Pump Up the Volume we meet ‘Hard Harry’ (Christian Slater) a hard hitting, no filters type of dj who runs an underground radio station where he tells things like they are! On Hard Harry’s show there’s no holding back, no censors, no lies, he is the angry voice of an angry generation. But nobody in school knows who he is! Where does he run the show from? Where is he located? Who knows, but some people would like to shut him up because he is criticizing everything and everyone! My favorite part of the film is when teenagers call in with their problems, and Harry’s trying to analyze them. What I love about this aspect of the film is the sincerity in the voice of these teens, the realism of the situations they complain about. Teenagers are often times completely ignored, so it’s cool to see a film where they are given a voice. This movie says teenagers have a lot to say, and they should be heard! Pump Up the Volume is a film where youth tells the old what is wrong with the world! What I enjoyed about this movie the most was Slater’s performance, the character of Hard Harry. He’s what you wish the media was really like. Hard Harry is truthful, honest and not interested in misdirecting the attention of the public, but actually giving importance and time to things that matter. In many ways he is the polar opposite of what we get in the media today, which is a bunch of bull. And this is yet another film of the 90’s with a rocking soundtrack that captures the times it was made in.

Rockin’ 90’s Sountrack Includes: Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Beasty Boys, Ice-T, Soundgarden, Concrete Blonde, Bad Brains

Quote: “Feeling screwed up at a screwed time in a screwed up place does not necessarily make you screwed up”

Title: ENCINO MAN (1992)

Comments: In Encino Man, Sean Astin plays a high school senior whose all anxious about pulling of a  graduation party that everyone will remember, but mostly, he wants to pull off this party to impress the girl of his dreams. He’s plan is to have a pool in his backyard by the time graduation comes, so he can have a kickin’ pool party. So he starts digging. He’s so desperate he does it himself! One day, while digging in the mud, he uncovers a frozen caveman! Upon thawing him he realizes he has made an incredibly important discovery, but doesn’t want to tell anyone about it, so he keeps the caveman to himself. He and Stoney (his best friend played by Pauly Shore) decide to call him ‘Link’. They dress him up in 90’s fashion (which means all grungy) and they teach him 90’s lingo like calling girls “babes” and breasts “gozongas” and so forth. By the way, speaking about this films 90’s lingo, Pauly Shore practically created a language for his character, it’s quite entertaining. Encino Man was Pauly Shore’s short lived film career starting to take off, after this one he had a string of films each one made less money then the last. Well, at least he had his 15 minutes of fame. Ultimately, Encino Man’s a fish out of water story, they try and show the caveman how the modern world works, which includes taking him to a amusement parks, playing video games and hanging out at the mall. In many ways, the film has that same mentality seen in films like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) or television shows like Beavis and Butthead. You know, youngsters who grow up hanging out at the 7-eleven all day on a diet of ho-ho’s and slurpees. So if you’re interested in reliving that MTV 90’s generation thing (in my opinion when MTV was worth a damn and was at its peak) this films a good place to start.

Rocking 90’s Soundtrack Includes: Def Leppard, Right Said Fred, Crystal Waters, The Smithereens

Quote: “If you’re edged because I’m weazing on your grindage, just chill!”

Title: AIR HEADS (1994)

Comments: So is it just me, or was the 90’s generation a very musical one, a very rock and roll generation? Right now almost no one dresses up like a rocker trying to live that quintessential “rock and roll lifestyle”, but back in the 90’s? Rock and Roll was a way of life! You dressed like Rock and Roll, you had that Rock and Roll attitude! Nowadays kids have so many musical options with their I-pods that they don’t really adhere so much to one type of music. Not so in the 90’s! On Airheads we meet Chazz (Brendan Fraser) a dude who is dying to make it as a rock and roll legend! He wants’ to give his demo to some big time producers to see if they’ll bite. Unfortunately, he keeps getting rejected, so what’s Chazz and the rest of his band to do in order to garner some attention? Well hijack a radio station and force them to play their demo on the air of course! This is easier said than done; especially when the media gets a whiff of what’s going down, suddenly Chazz and the rest of his band become a media sensation! One of the best things this one has going for it is the amazing comedic cast, the best comedy films are those in which everybody involved is a good comedian, or at the very least understands comedy. Here we get the likes of Steve Buscemi, Brendan Fraser, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Michael McKean, Judd Nelson, Ernie Hudson, Michael Richards, David Arquette, Harold Ramis and Joe Mantegna to liven things up; I just love it when all these funny people come together in one film, the results are often times hilarious. So anyhow, this one has that ‘underdog wins’ type of scenario going for it. It all ends up on a big stage, with fireworks and amplifiers blasting away. You gotta respect this motley crew of musicians for risking it all in order to make it!

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes:  4 Non Blondes, House of Pain, White Zombie, Anthrax, Candlebox, The Replacements, Primal Scream, Aerosmith, Primus

Quote: “Do you know what it’s like to be on the bill and to play for 15 minutes and the only people there to see you are their bands and their friends? Don’t talk to me about Rock and Roll! I’m out there on the clubs and on the streets and I’m living it!”

Title: EMPIRE RECORDS (1995)

Comments: Funny how two of the most 90’s films on this list where directed by the same guy! Director Allan Moyle directed both Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records. Empire Records works kind of like a John Hughes movie, but for the 90’s. John Hughes movies were always populated by a group of teens, each having to deal with their own dilemma, their own drama, I’m talking about films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, the latter is the one that Empire Records resembles the most. True, the characters in Empire Records are not on detention like the kids from The Breakfast Club, but they do have to show up for work at a record store called Empire Records. And it kind of feels as if they were in detention because they can’t go anywhere, they gotta sell some records! This movie feels even more dated now that records stores are all but gone, I feel sad just typing that. Bummer. Thank you internet! So yeah, this movie takes place almost entirely inside of a Record Store, it reminds me of High Fidelity (2000) in that sense, a film that’s centered around a record store and the lives of its employees. On Empire Records, one employee has attempted and is contemplating committing suicide, one feels the pressures of having parents who want her to be successful, another is a thief paying for his crimes (which include stealing Whitney Houston  albums!) another lives his life terribly aloof, another wants to be an artist and so on. By the end of the movie, they all join forces and prove that together they can achieve anything, even the impossible. Damn the man! Save the Empire!

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes: The Cranberries, The Gin Blossoms, Cracker, Billy Idol, Dishwalla, Better Than Ezra, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Throwing Muses, GWAR, Sponge, The The, Suicidal Tendencies amongst others.
Quote: “Let me explain it to you, Mitchell’s the man, I’m the idiot, you’re the screw up and we’re all losers, welcome to music town.”

Title: OFFICE SPACE (1999)

Comments:  This film, much like Fight Club also depicts the angry 90’s generation. It’s the kind of film where the blue collar worker gets angry for what his become. The guys in Office Space work in an office job they hate. Everyday is the same and these guys have just about had it. They hate their boss, they hate the photocopy machine and they hate their co-workers. There’s nothing left to do but go home, get drunk and high. The main character’s a guy named Peter Gibbons and his black hole of a life is sucking his will to go on. One of his co-workers suggests visiting a mystic who can supposedly suck these negative energies out of you. Turns out that Peter has so much pent up negative energy inside of him that the mystic ends up dying! After that event Peter feels like a new person, so he goes back to his job without a care, treating everyone, including his bosses, like crap. Then he plans a scheme to steal money from the company. What this movie does so well is capture that cubicle life style that so many people live; the boring, numbing sameness and then just makes complete fun of it. I mean, you’ll probably find an equivalent of all your co-workers on this movie, especially that hateful boss who asks you to come in and work extra hours on the weekend. Where it starts to gets funny is when the worker starts to lose it. For example when Peter’s boss tells him that they need to have a “little talk”, Peter tells him that he’s got no time to have “a little talk” that it will have to be some other time. Ha! Hilarious.  

Hip-Hopin'  90’s Soundtrack Includes: Ice T, Scarface, Geto Boys

Quote: “The thing is Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I don’t care.”

Title: TANK GIRL (1995)

Comments:  On this one we have Tank Girl (Lori Petty) trying to survive in a world dominated by a ruthless dictator who wants to control all the water supply in the world. Tank Girl forms a part of a gang of rebels that are trying to balance things out again for the world. Oh yeah, some of the rebels are half kangaroo, half humans! Now here’s a film that was in development hell for a long time, at one point even Steven Spielberg and James Cameron were interested in directing! Ultimately, it was Rachel Talalay (Freddys Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)) who ended up directing; in a way, it is fitting that a woman ended up directing a film called Tank Girl. The film is extremely similar to George Orwell’s 1984 because it’s a film in which the government takes the rebel and tries to physically and psychologically make them pay for their rebellion. Unfortunately, Tank Girl and her sidekick Jet Girl have more than one trick up their sleeves, namely Tank Girl has her tank and Jet Girl has her Jet! Most amusing for me was seeing Naomi Watt’s playing Jet Girl. Watt’s has gone on to say that she’s ashamed of this movie, but if you ask me, she shouldn’t be. The film is a cult favorite, and it’s a well directed and produced film, it has cool make up effects, miniature work and lot’s of old school effects. Sure the film is not perfect (those animated scenes stink of an incomplete film) but it’s nothing to be ashamed of in my book. Lori Petty is pitch perfect as Tank Girl! She’s a cool character, her wardrobe is so grungy, a reflection of the styles of 90’s. To round things off, Ice-T plays one of the kangaroos, and Malcolm McDowell plays the dictator! This is a post-apocalyptic comedy, with a chick with an attitude as the lead character. 

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes: Bjork, Veruca Salt, Ice-T, Bush, Hole, Portis Head, Belly  

Quote: “To the Bat-Tank!”

Title: THE CROW (1994)

Comments:  Watching The Crow in theaters back in ’94 was a special experience for me. Here was a movie that I found perfect in every way and form, in my opinion, this film is perfect! Leading the good qualities of this movie was a knock out performance by Brandon Lee. One look at his performance and there’s no doubt that this would’ve been the film to send his career through the roof, sadly, he died while making the film. His legacy, his most memorable role, will forever be this amazing film. The film had that dark, dreadful atmosphere to it, there’s rarely a scene that doesn’t take place during the night. The film is shrouded in darkness for most of its running time. There’s just something really gothic that I love about the movie. Plus, there’s that soundtrack which by the way is composed of music that James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow would listen to as he was drawing the graphic novel. It’s so damn industrial, so serious, so sad, a fitting soundtrack for such a somber film. But of course, at the root of this revenge tale lies Eric Draven’s desire to reunite with the love of his life, so at least all the violence is for a good cause, it’s all for love. Once again, this is a film from the 90’s that truly exudes that Rock and Roll vibe. The main character in the film, Eric Draven, was a member of a rock band when he was alive, so when he returns, he dresses in black trench coats and carries his guitar around with him, like I said, very Rock and Roll. 

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes: Nine Inch Nails, Machines of Loving Grace, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cure, Violent Femmes, Rage Against the Machine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult, Rollins Band, Helmet, Pantera

Quote: “I knew I knew you, I knew I knew you! But you aint you, you can’t be you! We put you through the window! There aint no coming back! We killed you dead, there aint no coming back!”

Title: FIGHT CLUB (1999)

Comments: A fitting film to end the 90’s. David Fincher’s Fight Club gathers all that angst, hatred, depression and dissatisfaction that the 90’s generation was so known for and wallows in it’s in pain. Chuck Palahniuk’s novel truly did gather all the frustrations of a generation and put them in one place, in one story for all to analyze. Here is a story about a guy who hates his redundant, empty life. He lives a lonely life in an apartment filled with things. But where’s the love, where’s what’s real? Where are the things that really make life worth living? I love how the film showcases all these frustrations to make us, the generation it’s reflecting, face them. You don’t want to work in a convenience store? Then go to freaking college! You wan’t to feel alive? Then change the status quo! Do something that will make you feel alive and breathing! In the film the main character finds passion for life by gathering in basements to kick the living daylights out of other dudes! Jack is so numb that it’s only through pain that he can feel truly alive! David Fincher directed a film that defined a generation, much like Mike Nichol’s The Graduate did back in the 60’s. Funny how both films represent youths that are dissatisfied with society the way it is. Both films take a look on society and spit on it. True, there’s no denying that Fight Club is one somber, psychotic affair but there’s no denying its truthfulness.     

Rockin’ 90’s Soundtrack Includes: The Pixies’ ‘Where is my Mind?’

Quote: “I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect. I say let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may. ” 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1994)

Title: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)

Director: Rob Cohen

Cast: Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly


Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a biographical film based on the book written by Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee’s wife. The book was called Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew. It’s good to keep that in mind because the film is told mostly from the point of view of Linda Lee; something I rather enjoyed about this movie. It’s a love story, and a very engaging one. Bruce Lee is idolized by millions across the world, he truly is an example of what we can achieve when we commit our minds to achieve a certain goal; for this I’ve always admired Bruce Lee. He was focused, disciplined and determined, something we should all aspire to be in life. That plus he had such charisma, such a glow, it’s no surprise he became the icon that he became. Did this film do justice to the hero?

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story starts out when Lee was in China, dreaming of coming to America. He gets into a brawl over a girl and ends up having to leave his country in order to escape the authorities, a situation he has no problems with because he loves the American culture, he loves movies and James Dean. After he arrives to America, we see how he goes from dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant to college student, to karate teacher, to becoming a husband and a father and finally, a powerhouse movie star. But one thing is always hounding Bruce Lee and that’s the demon that’s always followed his family. Will he ever confront his own personal demons? Will he always live in fear of them?

The film was directed by Rob Cohen, a director who’s never really wowed me with anything he has done. He’s the guy behind Dragonheart (1996), xXx (2002), Fast and the Furious (2001) and Stealth (2005), not the greatest bunch of films, watchable sure, but good or great, nope. This is why Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a surprise to me; it is without a doubt Cohen’s finest film. Unfortunately, he’s never truly done anything as good as this. But that’s okay, hey, at least he’s got this one great film on his repertoire, and what a beautiful film it is. It’s purely entertaining, while still managing to tell us Bruce Lee’s story and his fantastic rise to fame. I loved how the film ends up being a film about films, we get to see Lee work his way through all the Hollywood backstabbing. We see his devastation when they give the role that was supposed to be his for the television show Kung Fu, to David Caradine. In retrospective this was probably a good thing, had he ended up as a television star, maybe he wouldn’t have gone on to make the great films he made. And speaking of Lee’s films, on Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story we get to see him on the set of The Big Boss (1971) and Enter the Dragon (1973), which is quite fun, I loved how Rob Cohen played around with these familiar images and situations, especially those scenes that take place in the mirror room on Enter the Dragon

The film is told from the point of view of his wife, Linda Lee, the film is after all based on her book. Having Linda Lee give her input to this production is a wonderful asset to the production because she was the closest to him throughout his entire life. She was there through his college years, she was there through the first time he opens his karate schools, she was there when he made his first television show, his first movie. She was always there, so her side of the story is probably the most complete side of the tale. What I also enjoyed was how romantic the whole film is, the way Bruce and Linda fell in love is a beautiful love story that broke through racial barriers, they had to deal with Linda’s parents rejecting Bruce over him being Chinese. I’m so glad that their love for each other was stronger than racism; it was a triumph to humanity. It also helps that Lauren Holly and Jason Scott Lee had wonderful on screen chemistry. 

The role of Bruce Lee was at one point offered to Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son. Unfortunately, Brandon declined to play his father. I wonder how Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story would have turned out had Brandon Lee taken the role because Brandon Lee turned out to be a wonderful actor; he truly blossomed as a performer when he made The Crow (1994), his final film. Not to mention all the input he could have brought to the role, after all, Bruce Lee was his father. It’s interesting to note that had Brandon Lee accepted to play his father, then maybe he wouldn’t have died while making The Crow, since both movies where shot on the same year. Sadly Brandon Lee was accidentally shot while shooting The Crow less than two months before the theatrical release of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. This is a tragic real life story; Brandon Lee’s death only adds fuel to that myth about Bruce Lee’s family being cursed, which is just silly non sense. So instead of Brandon Lee, the production ended up using Jason Scott Lee to play the role of Bruce, which was an excellent choice in my book, Jason Scott Lee not only has the look, he also brought that physicality to the role. He captured to perfection the mannerisms, the intensity and the charismatic persona of Bruce Lee.

The only thing I don’t like about the film is that it takes some artistic liberties with Bruce Lee’s life story. The film has many discrepancies with Lee’s real life story. For example, in the film, they lead you to believe that the Chinese are angry that he is teaching Karate to the Americans, so he fights with these Chinese dudes who end up breaking his back. In real life the story is substantially different, this fighting match did take place, but it was in Lee’s own Karate school and not in some temple like in the film. And even worse, Bruce Lee actually won that fight! In the movie they make you believe that he loses this fight and that one of the fighters purposely injures his back. This was not true either; his back was injured not by an angered fighter, but because of a weight lifting incident, so Lee’s back injury was self inflicted! In the film they make you think he actually managed to see his book ‘Tao of Jeet Kune Do’ published, in real life the book was printed posthumously. And speaking of his death, the film leaves it as something of a mystery, when in fact he died because of an allergic reaction to a muscle relaxant called ‘Equagesic’, which apparently worsened a condition he had been suffering from called, cerebral edema, basically, excess fluid in the brain. For the most part the film tells Lee’s story like it is, but it takes artistic liberties to make things more dramatic or visually interesting, which is to be expected on any biographical film.

In the end, the film ends up being very inspirational. It’s one of those movies that makes you want to do something with your life after seeing it. It makes you want to believe in yourself, it sends out that idea that if you put your mind to it, you truly can accomplish anything. Linda Lee says she’d rather remember her husband for the way he lived his life, than for his death and I have to say I agree, the guy lived an amazing life overcoming racism, personal fears and demons. The whole demon part of the story is where the film kind of dives into the fantastic because we actually get to see him fighting against this giant Samurai demon. This is yet another scene in which the film takes artistic liberties, but I didn’t mind because it is all kinds of cool to see Bruce Lee fighting a giant Samurai demon, plus it’s just so symbolic of all the struggles he went through to get to where he got. I guess life is like that, you always feel like there’s something hounding you, trying to stop you from achieving your goals, but Lee fought those and won in my opinion, the guy went on to become a legend in life and death. Bruce Lee remains one of my personal heroes, he exceled at what he did and always aimed higher, trying to be all that he could be.

Rating: 5 out of 5     


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mars Attacks! (1996)

Title: Mars Attacks! (1996)

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Pam Grier, Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Tom Jones, Jim Brown, Lukas Haas, Natalie Portman, Lisa Marie


Back in 1994, Tim Burton directed Ed Wood, a film that pays loving homage to science fiction and horror film director Edward Wood Jr., a director better known as ‘the worst director who ever lived’. One look at his movies and you’ll agree, Ed Wood wasn’t the best filmmaker in the world. But any film buff will tell ya that all the things that make a film like Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957) a ‘bad movie’ are the very same elements that make it a completely watchable film. I like seeing those strings hanging from the toy flying saucers, I like seeing the set falling apart as the actors walk through it, I like those random scenes of Bela Lugosi doing things that had nothing to do with the story, I liked the unnecessary, yet wildly entertaining voice over. These are the elements that give Plan 9 From Outer Space its charm, because even through all that, at its core, there’s a message, it says something, it’s good intentions cannot be ignored. It’s in that spirit that Tim Burton made Mars Attacks!, a film that Ed Wood would have made himself if he was still alive and had 70 million dollars to spare.

Mars Attacks begins in the dark recesses of space, as we follow an armada of thousands of Martian spaceships headed directly towards earth. We are then presented with the many characters that we’ll follow throughout the movie, characters who will no doubt converge at some point in the story. So we get Louise Williams (Pamela Grier) a bus driver and stern mother of two. We get Byron Williams (Jim Brown) an ex-boxer who is trying to get back with his wife and kids before the Martians attack. We get Jack Nicholson playing two roles, one as the president of the United States, and another as a gambler/empresario whose looking to open up his new hotel and casino, which by the way looks like a giant flying saucer. Basically, we meet a bunch of characters all living different lifestyles, who have to deal with the fact that these Martians do not come in peace, they come to take over! They’ve come to attack! Is humanity doomed to destruction by little green men?

I watched Mars Attacks in theaters way back in ’96 when it was first released and I remember feeling really strange after seeing it. I’d seen it with my parents and I remember them saying something like “I don’t feel like I saw a movie”. My reaction was a bit different. I remember thinking it was undoubtedly a strange movie and I remember leaving the theater with this weird feeling of ‘what did I just watch?’ But I also couldn’t deny I had enjoyed it. I like Tim Burton when he does films like this one, films where he doesn’t give a crap what anybody is going to think, he just does what he finds entertaining, which is often times goofy and offbeat. I mean, can you deny that Beetlejuice (1986) is one of the weirdest movies you ever saw? No you can’t; but you can’t deny that it’s quite entertaining either. Sadly, Burton isn’t making films like these anymore, right now, his films play it safe. Though recently, Frankenweenie (2012) did manage to bring back some of that old Burton weirdness I love so much, I miss the old Tim Burton, the one who would wallow in his weirdness. I haven’t seen a truly risky Tim Burton film in a long while. I wish he’d do it more often; Burton works best when he does his own thing, left to his own devices. Mars Attack has that feeling going for it. It’s a film that isn’t afraid to go all the way bonkers. This is a big budget film that’s purposely showing its b-movie sensibilities, which of course spells awesome for me.

How bonkers is this movie? Well, for starters the movie is based on a series of Topps trading cards composed of 55 trading cards that came out circa 1962. These little cards would show gruesome depictions of Martians eradicating the human race. These might be little trading cards that fit into the palm of your hand, but they sure packed lots of gruesomeness! So much so that Topps had to cancel the trading cards out of public outcry! So these cards had an edge! I don’t think they were entirely aimed at kids, though I’m sure it was the kids that bought them. The film retains some of that gruesomeness without going into ‘R’ territory. This is why we get to see people smashing giant Martian brains, with green ooze slipping out and Martians doing all sorts of weird experiments on humans; like giving Sarah Jessica Parker the body of a Chihuahua, so these Martians have a meanness to them! The cards also had a bit of a sexual vibe going for them which on the film translated to Martians checking out playboy magazine. The film retains the spirit of the cards, sometimes while watching the movie you’ll feel like you’re watching a snapshot coming straight from the Topps card series. 

Another element that makes the movie interesting is that almost everyone is famous in one form of another! This is a star studded cast filled with cameos left and right. Thing is that most of these cameos are extended, they aren’t five minute cameos. Instead, you get to see quite a bit of each of the actors who appear on the film. I liked that about it, we go from Jack Blacks white thrash family, to Michael J. Fox’s stale marriage to Sarah Jessica Parker, to the President of the United States deciding if he should  nuke the Martians or not. It’s one of those movies with a lot of stories going on, but at some point they all come together. Jack Nicholson is absolutely amazing here as a businessman/gangster called Art Land, “I’m not a crook, I’m ambitious, there’s a difference!” He’s this sleazy drunkard who wants to open a new hotel; boy Nicholson really got into that character! He made me laugh on a regular basis, I was surprised to see him so game in a movie of this nature. Even Tom Jones shows up to kick some Martian ass! Natalie Portman plays the president’s daughter in one of her earliest roles, it's always fun to see artists who have become great (like Portman) doing their earliest stuff. Here we also get to see Jack Black taking his first baby steps as an actor. 

Tim Burton’s always displayed an admiration for stop motion animation, his first short ever was a stop motion animated feature called ‘Vincent’. Burton’s also produced and directed various stop animation films like Nightmare Before ChristmasThe Corpse Bride and most recently Frankenweenie, so it didn’t surprise me when I found out that Burton originally wanted to bring the Martians to life through the use of stop motion animation Unfortunately, the studio wanted to cut down the budget of the film so stop motion animation was eliminated from the project, plus, the special effects crew convinced Burton they could pull the effects off with computers, so Burton went with the CGI. Gotta wonder what the film would have been like had Burton used stop motion animation. So anyways, overall, with this kind of film you either get it or you don’t, it’s a love it or hate it movie. If you love 50’s science fiction films, trading cards, comic books, and the plain bizarre side of life, chances are you’ll get this movie. The rest of the world just won’t get it, which is probably why this film underperformed at the box office.  It didn’t lose money, but it didn’t make a significant profit either. But who cares about all that noise, the movie is fun times. At its core is an anti-war message: while fear mongers want to nuke the hell out of the Martians, the humble people of the world want to save the earth by other peaceful means. I highly recommend Mars Attacks! to those who enjoy a good laugh.

Rating: 4 out 5

Monday, June 17, 2013

This Is The End (2013)

Title: This Is The End (2013)

Director: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson


You all know Seth Rogen as the actor behind such films as Knocked Up (2007) and Superbad (2007). He’s currently enjoying a high point in his career working alongside people like Joseph Gordon Levitt, Michelle Williams, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz and even Barbara Streisand. Rogen has also worked with many renowned filmmakers and directors; but one thing you may not know about Rogen is that he himself writes and produces films. He is as active behind the camera as he is in front of it. Often times, Rogen collaborates with his writing buddy Evan Goldberg, with whom he has collaborated in writing films like Superbad (2007). Each of them has branched into the entertainment business in their own way, Rogen in the writing acting department, while Goldberg more on the writing producing department, but they always end up working together again. When they wrote Superbad, a teenage comedy which went on to become a smash hit, they decided their next film was going to be called Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse. This film would be about two friends who end up locked up inside of an apartment as the apocalypse is occurring outside, the two guys end up hating each other. They wrote it, shot a little trailer for it and then put it on You Tube. As of today, it’s been viewed by more than 630,000 people! So anyhow, they shopped their project around, found someone to back it up and voila! We have This Is The End, a film both written and directed by Seth Rogen and his pal Evan Goldberg. It’s obvious this was a dream project of theirs, so, how was it?

The interesting part about This Is The End is that all the actors that appear in it are playing themselves. So Seth Rogen is Seth Rogen, James Franco is James Franco and so forth. This of course isn’t entirely true because these actors are playing exaggerated or even alternate versions of themselves. But still, I gotta say it’s a fun gimmick imagining that Danny McBride is that much of an asshole. So anyways, the idea is that James Franco is putting on this party of the century type of deal where all these famous actors and performers are attending. So you’ll see Michael Cera doing lines of coke and slapping Rihanna’s ass! There’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse! There’s Paul Rudd! There’s Aziz Ansari and so forth. This part of the film is jam packed with cameos, which is fun. Even Jason Segel shows up at one point. So there’s a moment in the night where Rogen and Baruchel decide to go out to buy a pack of cigarettes when suddenly, the end of the world begins. What is triggering the end of the world? Why is blue light sucking people up to the heavens? Why is the earth opening and swallowing people up? Could this be the ‘judgment day’ that the bible talks so much about?

So yeah, the concept is that God has finally brought the end of the world upon humanity, so it’s up to these guys to figure out how they can get into heaven because apparently god didn’t think they were worthy. This is an awesome concept because I’ve always wondered how the biblical end of the world would look like. In my mind it was way more epic then what we see in This Is The End, but that has to do with the fact that This Is The End takes place almost entirely inside of James Franco’s house! This to me is one of the elements that makes this film so much fun because you hear these guys saying things like “Let’s make a sequel to Pineapple Express” and then they go on about what they actually want to do with that sequel, while smoking a joint! “We should make sequels to all our movies!” Funny, funny stuff. I loved how each of the characters takes on a persona, McBride is the hateful asshole, James Franco hates McBride, but loves Rogen. Jay Baruchel is the anti-social dude, Michael Cera is the out of line coke head. So it’s fun having all these guys partying their brains out, and then having to deal with surviving the apocalypse. That’s a double dose of funny situations.

Many will find this film extremely offensive, and it’s mostly to do with the fact that the film makes fun of all sorts of Christian beliefs. It’s the kind of film that takes all that mythology from the bible and turns it into one big fat joke, kind of like Paul (2011) did. In my opinion, this serves as a way to show just how ridiculous some of these ideas presented in the bible can get. For example, the film plays with this whole notion of ‘the rapture’. This is the event in which supposedly god takes the good people of the earth up to heaven with him while leaving the sinners down here to rot in a hell on earth. In the film, a blue beam of light sort of beams you up to heaven, kind of the way they beam you up in a Star Trek movie. Watching all this I was thinking how silly and hilarious it all is! But then you realize this isn’t so far from what the bible actually teaches! I mean all of the animals in the world fit into one boat? So you go up to heaven and you get a halo on top of your head? Come on! Eve actually talks to a snake! What? And let’s not forget the dragons with seven heads! If all these ideas sound fantastic to you, then you should know they all come out of the bible! Rogen and Goldberg take these ideas and put them in their movie and make you realize damn, this stuff’s actually funny! When James Franco is being beamed up to heaven is one of the most hilarious things in the movie, you gotta see it, I dare you not to laugh. While watching This Is The End I got a Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1990) vibe from it because same as that movie, the main characters go both to heaven and hell and they both offer us hilarious versions of these mythical places. In This Is The End heaven is one big ass party, but I ain’t gonna spoil it for you.

Aside from having fun with Christian beliefs, the film is also extremely graphic in nature. Not just with its jokes, but with its depiction of gore. For example, there’s only one porno mag in the whole house, and these five dudes have to survive the apocalypse with it, so I guess they take turns using it? Point is at one point a fight breaks out between Franco and McBride because McBride jizzed all over the magazine! This is just an example of how crazy the jokes can get, if you like your comedy cute and cuddly don’t go see this movie. If on the other hand you like your comedy raunchy, then you’re in for a treat. I read that while making this film, almost every actor (except James Franco) at one point said they wouldn’t do something because it was too crazy. I mean, Emma Watson herself stepped out of the movie half way because she thought the ideas were too crazy. She was actually supposed to be in the movie a lot more, but bowed out because she couldn’t take it. Hey, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! So that lets you know this one will test your limits of good taste. And then there’s the gore, which is plentiful and hilarious! Ever wanted to see someone play football with some dudes decapitated head? Then this is the movie for you!

How cool was it to have all these funny guys together on the same film? I mean, this is the kind of comedy I love, where they put a bunch of funny dudes together in one movie and see what happens. Obviously there was a lot of improvisation on this film, its part of what I love about movies like this one. I mean, you can tell these were really just a bunch of friends getting together having fun making a movie. I’m sure it must have been pretty difficult to keep a straight face while shooting some of these scenes. One idea did pop into my head; maybe it should be this team of comedians that takes a stab at a Ghostbusters reboot? It would be hilarious to seethese dudes playing Peter, Eagon, Ray and Winston, but alas, that’s just me pipe dreaming. But you gotta admit it would be cool wouldn’t it?

So yeah my friends, this movie is all over the place! It’s extreme, it’s funny, it’s gory, and these characters curse like sailors even when in heaven! “Welcome to heaven motherfuckers!” Yes, this film is rated ‘R’ and don’t you forget it! I was surprised there weren’t any topless girls in this movie; it was all that was missing really. When I went to see this one, half of the theater was laughing, the other half was sitting uncomfortable in their chairs, so it’s a divisive movie. My guess is that the conservative half, the half that goes to church every Sunday was about ready to leave the theater, while the other half were laughing their asses off, I was of course laughing my ass off. After all, if there is a God, he’s gotta have a sense of humor right? I mean, he created George W. Bush didn’t he? So my advice is just go see this one with an open mind, ready to be offended, you just might find yourself having a good time.

Rating: 4 out of 5 


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