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Showing posts from July, 2005

I loved The Devil's Rejects. God help me.

After seeing director Rob Zombie's second feature film, The Devil's Rejects , I felt like I'd been smacked upside the face as I left the theater. Some of the acts depicted in the movie are so horrific that I'm astonished it got past the MPAA with an R rating, and it showcases characters engaging in behavior so vile that some part of me is embarassed to admit I even watched the thing. So why can't I just dismiss it as exploitive filth? Because The Devil's Rejects also happens to be a stunningly well-engineered movie, an uncompromising, riveting, smart, well-acted, and darkly funny cinematic valentine to old-school grindhouse excess. Just don't tell anyone I said so; I'll plead the fifth if you do. It picks up right where its predecessor (Zombie's feature directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses ) left off, with members of the homicidal Firefly clan escaping a bloody police standoff and heading across the arrid South. Unlike House 's Grand Guign

Linkapalooza!!! Summer division

When in doubt, link it out. Enclosed please find links to a few of the nifty sites and blogs amiably cluttering my computer. The Frantic Flicker touts itself as "the movie magazine that isn't". Sitemeister Eric Henderson takes a one-joke premise (you'll understand when you go to the archives and start reading the stories) and drapes some extremely witty fiction over the framework. Even if you're not a big ol' movie geek, you'll chuckle. A lot. Email him and pester him to write some more. If you ARE a big ol' movie geek, on the other claw, get thee to williamgirdler.com post-haste. Even in a world full of great websites devoted to cult filmmakers, Patty Breen's online homage to the director of such Drive-In classics as Grizzly and The Manitou stands out. WG.com's exhaustively detailed interviews, appealing and professional layout, and funny yet lovingly affectionate tone just might make this site the Citizen Kane of online cult director t

What You Don't Need--Rock Star: INXS

Network TV broadcasts seldom cross my TV set, but I did catch the premiere episode of Rock Star: INXS , the latest reality presentation from Mark Burnett (brain trust behind the Reality TV megahit, Survivor ) Monday. Bald-faced sentiment made me watch the premiere, but no force of God, nature, or fate could make me continue on. Rock Star is essentially a redux of American Idol , with fifteen fresh-faced wannabe's competing in sing-offs to become frontperson for Australian pop group INXS (singer Michael Hutchence committed suicide in 1997). The five surviving members of INXS help determine who gets eliminated. The winner will go on to front the band, record a CD, and go on tour with them. Big surprise, the show's horrible. First, there's the inherent ghoulishness of the premise to consider. And even by the low standards of the reality TV genre, Rock Star 's pilot episode was pure hackwork, with a rushed, half-arsed directorial style that made Fear Factor look like

Petri Dish 101: Tom Cruise films that I've seen

All actors parlay artifice for a living, so on some level all film actors are full of crap. Good film actors make you forget that they're full of crap, at least for an hour or two. At no point in his career has Tom Cruise convinced me that he's not full of crap. This is not to say that Cruise is incompetent; far from it. He hits his marks, delivers his lines with a modicum of professionalism most of the time, and has impersonated a feeling entity efficiently enough that he's hoodwinked a staggering amount of people that I respect (filmmakers, critics, and fans alike). He's never given a performance as hilariously inept as Brad Pitt in, well, 85% of Brad Pitt movies. The void in Tom Cruise's work goes deeper; bluntly put, the guy's got no soul. Picking on Tom Cruise at the moment is as fashionable as a trip to Sak's 5th Avenue and as easy as Lindsay Lohan after three beers. But I've been riding the Tom Cruise Un-fan Wagon for a lot of years, kids, so I