Thursday, September 18, 2008

7 Lamest Movies With Cult Followings

by De Blenniss

Naturally some films develop a cult following. But the following films fan base has seemed to wear itself thin. Here are the top five films where the audience has started to bury their respected favorites.

7. Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

I found myself in an interesting situation with this movie. I saw a sneak peak of the film, and I had to respect a comedy that didn’t curse or resort to obscene slapstick. However, a week later the high school band started wearing “Vote for Pedro” shirts and the slippery slope began. What respect I had for the film dwindled into an annoyance for anyone who yelled “Gosh!” in my face when suggesting a new idea. The film became inescapable. The Napoleon apex hit its peak when, at Thanksgiving dinner my grandmother turned to me and said, “Hey, you love movies. Have you seen that Napoleon Dynamo? I loved it!”.

6. Fight Club


Like the majority of the public, I saw Fight Club when it was released on DVD. The direction was dark and focused, with a pointed attack at the mainstream. This is very appealing to a rebellious teenager; however, my fellow students began to miss the irony. People started their own fight clubs where they would beat the shit out of each other in their living rooms instead of in a filthy bar like the one in the movie. Over time, vanity took over and black eyes weren't all the rage. School boards began putting in their two cents, which only pushed the clubs even more underground. I was approached by a member one day after lunch. “This Friday we're doing a fight club. You in?". Although I knew my answer, I couldn’t help but think, “Don’t you know the first rule of fight club?”

5. Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

I like the majority of the cast. I think the idea is interesting, as well as the execution. But like Fight Club, this movie shoots to the top of all time favorites lists. The film’s hardcore fan base argues its validity so hard that it takes away from the overall effect of the film. It's a state of mind picture which changes easily influenced viewers perception, and the viewer returns eagerly to regurgitate the message. It’s a good film ruined by the fan base, which tells me it's one of the best films ever. At that point, I suggest that they watch The Godfather.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Claymation is a difficult art form. Compared to digital effects, it's a practice of patience and craft. So why is it so hard for me to watch this film again? I blame marketing. Jack Skellington’s face has been plastered all over sweatshirts, baseball hats, and even cigarette holders. Its the complete immersion into popular culture that has stripped this film of its edge and sense of wonder. What a shame.

3. A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

If there were a director I wish I could meet, it would be Stanley Kubrick, strange OCD habits and all. A Clockwork Orange is savage and unflinching but it falls victim to its own iconoclasm. Kubrick even pulled the film out of England due to copycat crimes that were happening because of the film. Those who like the film can see its detached moral sensibility, but the overwhelming marketing and die-hard fan base introduces an interesting debate. Would Kubrick want the general public to embrace a nightmare of violence, or discuss humanity's potential for the infinite like in 2001?

2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I must admit that I myself am a comedy nerd, and I adore Monty Python’s sketches and feature films. However, there are fans of the troupe that have nothing better to do than obsessively quote films. The film is a wonderful farce on the tales of heroes and knights, but it’s the internet browsing indoor nerds that helped bury this film with a majority of the public. We should be thankful that Python moved on to create other projects with their acidic wit and freeform acting and writing style.

1. Scarface


Scarface is over the top excess. Tony Montana’s rise to the top of the drug world has given would-be gangsters a template for excessive big money spending. The film itself isn’t amazing, but it’s also not horrible. Al Pacino began his “hoo ha!” style of acting with this performance. Its glamorization of the underbelly of the crime world has inspired gangsta rappers and teenagers to make money and take money. Despite Tony Montana ending up dead floating face down in a pool, Scarface’s following is as devoted to the film as Tony was to take over the world, which of course can only end in disaster.

The 11 best film moments of Samuel L. Jackson yelling

Many actors have trademarks in their on-screen performances. Robert DeNiro repeats things, Tom Cruise incredulously smiles and laughs, and Samuel L. Jackson yells. After seeing the trailer for his new movie Lakeview Terrace where he yells about his neighbor planting trees on his property line and then threatening him with a chainsaw, I wonder…what are the best moments of Samuel L. Jackson yelling in film?

Pulp Fiction

This is probably the one that will jump to mind first for most people. The film featured Samuel Jackson’s real breakthrough role and probably his most quotable film of all. In the scene below, Jackson’s Jules Winnfield character is interrogating a man who doesn’t seem to be giving him the answers he wants. Gunshots ensue.

Exclamation Points: !!!!!. The way he goes from calm to a crescendo with a yelling and culminates with the gunshot, clearly this is an epic performance of yellery. This is how you yell at a terrified white man folks, take notes.

Snakes on a Plane
The Line: “Enough! I have had it with these MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES on this MOTHERFUCKING PLANE.”

There’s snakes on a plane. Sam Jackson doesn’t want there to be snakes on the plane. The essence of drama is conflict.

Exclamation Points: !!!. The intensity wasn’t really there; it was totally obvious that he just gave the line for a paycheck. He was however accurate regarding the presence of snakes on said motherfucking plane though.

A Time to Kill

The first of two Kevin Spacey cameos on the list. In the film, Jackson’s character Carl Lee Hailey is feeling just a tad bit disgruntled after his daughter was raped and almost hung. So he opens fire on the two men who committed the crime, killing them both. In this clip below, Spacey interrogates Jackson and, uh, Jackson doesn’t seem too remorseful.

Exclamation Points: !!!! because I can’t support incriminating yourself in a courtroom. You’re already a bit behind the 8 ball being a black man in an extremely racist Southern town. Just a bit.

Coach Carter
The Line: “Look at that bow…LOOK AT THAT BOW! I tied THAT! I TIED THAT SHIT!” (skip to 2:05 in)

Sam Jackson plays Coach Carter. I’m not going to pretend that I actually watched this movie, but needless to say I bet that adversity is overcome and once-brash high school kids learn the value of hard work and discipline. Anyway, at the 2:05 mark, Sam Jackson explains the value of tying one’s shoes as a means of decrying excessive showmanship.

Exclamation points: !!!…It’s harder to enjoy the yelling when it’s teaching a message about sportsmanship and earning respect. Bonus points for yelling about tying his shoes though…it’s a subtle message about unity, determination, and the importance of properly laced athletic wear.

The Negotiator
(yelling commences at 2:17)

Jackson plays a hostage negotiator falsely accused of some nonsense so, like any logical man, his solution is to play a deadly hostage-taking game with his former colleagues. This includes imploring the police to kill him at various points, as in the clip below.

Exclamation Points: !!!!!. You don’t get much cooler than yelling at a police helicopter to strike you down in front of news cameras on a 40 story building. I guess unless the bullets bounce off you and you have sex with Adriana Lima during that. There’s always room for improvement.

The Search for One-eye Jimmy
The Line: “If they hadn’t shot my dick off in ‘Nam, I’d whip it out and piss in your face!”

Haven’t heard of this one? You’re not alone. Some group of douchebags are looking for someone named One-eye Jimmy and Sam Jackson is a “crazy” Vietnam vet. That’s really all you need to know here.

Exclamation Points: !!!…you have to respect the fact that even before he was SAMUEL L. JACKSON, he was still basically playing himself in every movie. That’s what being a star actor is all about: Not really acting.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The Line: “AHHHHH…Jedi blah blah…AHHHHHHHH”

Jackson’s Mace Windu character knows that Senator Palpatine would just get off if he’s taken to trial so he decides that the only solution is a slow-motion lightsaber fight. Unfortunately, Anakin Skywalker didn’t see Pulp Fiction so he totally cockblocks Windu’s attempts at justice.

Exclamation Points: !…this might be the slowest paced fight scene in the history of film and, for the first time, I didn’t totally believe that Sam Jackson enjoyed yelling vigorously. I also think at one point Senator Palpatine got some nachos while they were dueling with the lightsabers. The Force is strong within you, Tostitos.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance
The Line: “Back up! BACK THE FUCK UP NOW!”

Bruce Willis’ unflappable John McClane character is forced to wear a sign reading “I Hate Certain Ethnicities Who Typically Inhabit Harlem” by that bastardly Simon Gruber. Fortunately, level-headed Sam Jackson (in glasses!!!) comes to talk some sense into him…then pull McClane’s gun on the pack of kids who want to treat John McClane like Jackson’s daughter in A Time to Kill.

Exclamation Points: !!!…I’m partial to this one because of the fact he’s wearing glasses with the neck string. It adds a quiet dignity to wielding a gun on a troupe of Harlem youths.

Deep Blue Sea
The Line: “We’re going to PULL TOGETHER and find a way to GET OUT OF HERE!”

Just when you think that Sam Jackson’s about to rally the troops and lead them to glory over the evil superintelligent sharks, well…life is just chock full of surprises.

Exclamation Points: !!! for Jackson, !!!!! for the shark.

School Daze
The Line: “College don’t mean SHIT!”

Black kids from different sides of the tracks learn about being black kids from different sides of the tracks. In this particular scene, Cowboy Curtis and Shaft discuss their different ideologies.

Exclamation Points: !. Here, Jackson is almost uncomfortable with his yelling. “What is this overmodulation coming from my throat,” he wondered. Learn to embrace it, young Samuel, and you will be king.

Jungle Fever
The Line: “I really hate having to resort to knockin’ elderly people in the head FOR THEY MONEY, but I’ll do it…I’ll do it…You know I’ll do it *dances”
(skip to 2:14 for the money shot)

Sam Jackson plays Gator, a crackhead and brother of trying-to-make-it-out-of-the-hood Wesley Snipes. He really loves crack though, so here he is trying to get money for crack without having to get his hands dirty.

Exclamation Points: !!!!…the yelling itself isn’t as pronounced as you’d like but seeing Samuel L. Jackson as an addict dancing around while talking about knocking out old people for money is something worth your attention.

Original here

New conservative movie 'American Carol' tries to show Hollywood who's right

Americancarol_l They meet discreetly once a month at a res­taurant in the Valley. At first, there weren't many--Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper--but now...there still aren't many. Nevertheless, they're a resolute bunch: proud, loud, and a little lonely. They are Hollywood's conservatives. "You sort of feel like you have to hide it," says director David Zucker. "When you meet, you give each other a secret look--'Are you a Republican too?' It's the new gay."

On Oct. 3, Zucker and his lunchmates will out themselves when An American Carol, Hollywood's first unabashedly right-wing comedy, opens in 2,000 theaters. Think Dickens' holiday classic, spun by Pat Buchanan and infused with the gleeful absurd­ism Zucker and his brother Jerry (a Democrat) used in '80s comedy touchstones like Airplane! and Naked Gun. Voight plays the spirit of George Washington, Grammer stars as George Patton's ghost, and Hopper portrays a conservative judge who picks off zombie ACLU lawyers with a shotgun. In the Scrooge role is Kevin Farley (younger brother of late comedian Chris) as a slobby documen­tarian-named Michael Malone, for those who need to be hit over the head--who bah-humbugs the Fourth of July. Until, that is, Washington takes him to the World Trade Center after 9/11 and converts him into a patriot.

"Most political comedies say both sides are bad," says Zucker. "We're saying, F--- it. We're taking a side." Indeed, there is shtick in this flick that would offend even a pig in lipstick. There's a jaw-dropping spoof of suicide-bomber training videos, and a bit about "radical Christians" hijacking planes with weaponized crucifixes. Like Oliver Stone's W., which opens two weeks later, Carol could be an October surprise that ignites huge controversy just before the election--or it could be ignored by moviegoers of both parties.

Zucker's politics are slightly more nuanced than his movie's. He's pro-choice and a Sarah Palin fan; he drives a Prius yet supports a party whose conventioneers chant "drill, baby, drill." Like a few of his lunch buddies--Hopper, for instance--he started on the other side of the aisle. After 9/11, he switched parties due to what he saw as Democratic dithering. So he shot anti-John Kerry spots for the Bush campaign, which is when he hit on the idea for Carol. Not that he bothered pitching it to the studios. "There's no way they would have gone near it," he believes. "You go to meetings and everybody is talking about how Bush is an idiot. It's part of the environment of this town."

Still, even in Hollywood, Republicans are pretty good at raising money, and Zucker got $20 million from Mpower Pictures, which Passion of the Christ producer Stephen McEveety founded last year. Casting was a snap--Zucker's lunch pals filled most major parts, along with tinier ones (look for Gary Coleman as a plantation slave). He wanted Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy) or Wayne Knight (Newman on Seinfeld) to play Malone, but they weren't available. Then Zucker saw Farley on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and set up a meeting--despite knowing nothing about his leanings. "He asked about my politics," Farley recalls. "I said to myself, 'Okay, this is where I lose the job,' and told him that I was a longtime conservative."

Not everybody in Carol is a Republican--"I'm pretty sure David Alan Grier was appalled," says Zucker--but most were clearly energized by the esprit de Goldwater. "When George Washington takes him to the World Trade Center, it made me cry," says Grammer. "A lot of people don't want to admit that a threat to this country exists. We're willing to admit it." And to make outrageously over-the-top jokes about it, including a gag about how Hollywood is renamed "Bin Laden Land" after the terrorists "win." Just how willing moviegoers will be to pay to go see Carol, especially in neighborhoods like Zucker's and Grammer's, remains to be seen. Whatever happens, though, there will always be a place for conservatism in Hollywood--at a restaurant way out in the Valley. --Benjamin Svetkey

Original here

Bruce Willis to make movie in Shreveport

By Alexandyr Kent •

Bruce Willis, Owen Wilson and Kieran Culkin will star in “Three Stories about Joan.”

Willis also will direct the psychological thriller that will shoot in Shreveport from Oct. 2 through Nov. 10, according to the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development.

Willis, an iconic action hero best known for playing John McClane in the “Die Hard” franchise, counts dozens of films among his credits. Enduring titles include “Armageddon,” “The Sixth Sense,” “The Fifth Element” and “Pulp Fiction.”

Wilson has made his mark in contemporary comedy in hits like “Wedding Crashers,” “Meet the Parents” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” for which he shared an Oscar nomination with director Wes Anderson for best original screenplay.

Culkin’s screen credits include “Igby Goes Down” and “The Cider House Rules,” plus the “Home Alone” and “Father of the Bride” franchises. He’s brother of erstwhile child star Macaulay Culkin.

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Coyotes ate two of Paris Hilton's 17 dogs! Tinks, R U OK?

Paris Hilton lost two out of her 17 dogs Wednesday night when they were attacked by wild coyotes. Apparently, the dogs were outside at night in the Celebrity Petting Zoo that is her Hollywood Hills home.

Please, don't let it be Tinkerbell! Please, NO!

Wait, so they were outside, not inside? At night? In the Hollywood Hills?

That's practically like setting the table, lighting candles and inviting the coyotes over for dinner!

Paris reportedly also owns a goat, cats, two ferrets, a chinchilla and arguably a few other exotic pets, possibly not legal in California.

It’s certainly not legal to have more than three dogs in L.A. without a breeder’s permit. After she bragged about having 17 dogs on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the Department of Animal Services visited her home.

But nothing much came of it because she wasn't there and the house was under construction. There weren't even any dogs there. After that, the animal control officer, Captain Wendell Bowers, told The Dish Rag that he wished Paris hadn't said it on national TV because then a buncha animal rights folks heard about it and complained.

Paris was reportedly "devastated" by Wednesday night's tragic loss.

So are we.

UPDATE! People is reporting that NONE of Paris Hilton's have been eaten by coyotes. Thank heavens.

""They were at Paris's house Wednesday in her recording studio, and all the dogs were playing and looked as healthy and happy as can be," a rep for the heiress tells People. "Paris even had a doggie mansion built for them and it is very secured. "

That's nice. Anyone want to go over to her house and count the dogs just to be sure? 'Cause 17 is a lot of dogs.....

Photos: Paris and Tinks at a "Simple Life" press event in 2003.

Original here