Inspirational Review

MTV Unplugged in New York [DGC, 1994]

Not only did Kurt Cobain transcend alt-rock by rocking so hard, he transcended alt-rock by feeling so deep. On this accidental testament, intended merely to altify the MTV mindset by showcasing the Meat Puppets and covering the Vaselines, Cobain outsensitives Lou Barlow and Eddie Vedder in passing. His secret is sincerity, boring though that may be–he cares less than Barlow without boasting a bit about it, tries harder than Vedder without busting a gut about it. The vocal performance he evokes is John Lennon’s on Plastic Ono Band. And he did it in one take. A (Robert Christgau)

Channeling R. Waters

“You know that I care…
what happens to you.
And I know that you care…
for me too.
So I, don’t feel alone
On the way to the stone
Now that I’ve found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows, a dog needs a home
A shelter…
From pigs on the wing.”

Extreme Measures (1996)

Starring Hugh Grant (When he was a star) and Gene Hackman (Who always is one), and with good, solid supporting performances, this is a feature-length Morality Play.  Where it goes is fine, but the ending seems to choose a side…perhaps the correct side, perhaps the side you agree with (perhaps not), but a side nonetheless.  It therefore loses its power as a work of art to be “puzzled over” and becomes a good movie with a nice message.  Needless to say, that’s a bit of a let-down.

Grant plays a doctor (Guy Luthan) who has to make a choice, in the beginning of the movie, between helping a cop whose wife is at the hospital crying and a psycho on drugs that shot said cop before being shot himself.  The decision seems obvious, as does Luthan’s father’s background, as foreshadowing the eventual conclusion.  Luthan is conflicted from the start, but you (at least, I) never really get the sense that the internal struggle will end up going anywhere but where it does go.

So what’s left?  I mean, if a thriller has a fairly predictable ending, how thrilling can it be?

Well, it’s not particularly thrilling.  But it is well-crafted, well-executed, well-acted, and so forth.

The questions raised in this movie could have been made more challenging by a more objective approach…most people will probably agree with the final “decision”, and it probably won’t take that much thought to reach that agreement.  The extra sugar-coating in the epilogue doesn’t help matters much, either.

All that aside, if you can suspend assumption for a while, this is a very enjoyable movie.  Nothing special, nothing revelatory…it will disturb you, yes, but it won’t particularly surprise you, I don’t think.  Sort of like an Agatha Christie novel in which the killer is given away on page 10.

Inspirational Quote: “Anything.”

Grade: B-

2012: Grade: B

Sad…

“And the crowd was subdued in a lackluster first half and behaved most of the time as if the Jets were just another opponent.” – AP Sports Reporter Howard Ulman

It’s really very hard to hate a team when you’re too busy feeling pity for them.

Yankees fans regarding pre-2004 Red Sox teams…you know what I’m saying.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

New York Vs. Boston – Sports, Updated Analysis – 10/09/11

Sporting Events: New York Vs. Boston, A Realistic Analysis

Championships in what most Americans consider the four “major” sports…Football (NFL), Baseball (MLB), Basketball (NBA), and Hockey (NHL).

Football:
New York Giants/New York Jets: 4
New England Patriots: 3

Since New York has two teams and Boston only one, this would
indicate a virtual tie. Although New York does win the “If you
predict a Super Bowl EVERY year eventually it’s bound to happen”
Rx Ryan positivism approach.

Baseball:
New York Yankees/New York Giants/New York Mets/Brooklyn Dodgers: 35
Boston Americans/Boston Braves/Boston Red Sox: 8

Utter domination by New York.

Basketball:
Rochester Royals/New York Knicks: 3
Boston Celtics: 17

Utter domination by Boston. In fact, the ratio against New York here is even more than the ratio for them in baseball.

Hockey:
New York Rangers/New York Islanders: 8
Boston Bruins: 6

Since New York has two teams and Boston only one, this would
indicate a virtual tie…actually, it would indicate Boston as
doing slightly better, but hey, who’s counting?

So basically, what we have is a draw. So all stupid, ignorant,
obnoxious (as opposed to real) New York sports fans should really
get their story straight…is it who’s better NOW, or in the past?
When the Yankees win, it’s who’s better now. When they lose, it’s
who WAS better. When the Knicks lose, it’s…ummm…wait til next
year. When the Jets lose, it’s…ummm…well…wait til next year.

In fact, statistically, Boston has won more championships per
team on the average than New York.

New York Total: 10 Teams, 50 Championships.  That’s 5 per team.

Boston Total: 6 Teams, 34 Championships.  That’s 5.66 per team.

Oh wait! Anticipating the “New England isn’t just Boston!” comments…

That means Boston has 5 teams, 31 Championships. That’s over 6 per team.

UPDATE: You can include Buffalo teams, too…if you want to see even more of an edge for Boston. I mean, it’s just sad that some people base their own lives and self-confidence on a false belief of sports “Supremacy”.

– Puppy >.< Yip!

10/16/16: Edited for consistency. (housekeeping)

Perhaps

“X is the image of the arrested adolescent.  Entirely self-oriented.  Still intimidated by the people around them and attempting to prove themself superior to them.  Through sexual conquest they can, for a time, quell their constant feelings of inferiority and failure.  Indeed the idea of a non-sexual relationship is completely foreign to them.  As the years pass, and their physical attractiveness diminishes, they’ll be doomed to a life of loneliness, and despair, unable to give or receive Love.”

– Adapted from D. Chambers.

12/21/11: Update:

“Am I insinuatin?”  “No, just dancin”

– Adapted from M. Howard and C. Howard

-Puppy >.< Yip!

Honest Statement

I appreciate people coming to my website.

But I wish I could get a comment now and again about any of my posts, or a suggestion (what to review, how to be less annoying, etc) on what to post, or just random feedback.

Thank you to the people that have commented already, but to everyone else – If you feel like saying something, say it.  I don’t care if you agree or not, as long as you don’t get nasty

-Puppy >.< Yip!

8MM (1999)

Yet another film almost destroyed by Nic Cage’s horrendous acting.  I mean…it just seems SO wooden, even when he displays emotion it seems as if he’s just reliving acting classes that describe how you SHOULD appear when angry/upset/etc…and he’s great at faking it, I suppose…but to me his appearances are more camp than anything else.  I mean, when someone gets more angry over the alphabet than a homicide, you know there’s something amiss.

So Cage is consistently cr@ppy with occasional moments of believable mediocrity.  FORTUNATELY, Joaquin Phoenix is consistently good, and the rest of the supporting cast makes the film enjoyable…although perhaps they’re just so good when compared to Cage?

Sort of a guilty pleasure, I suppose…partly because it tackles a subject that very few films would, and partly because the bad guys are so convincing in their nastiness.

The story concerns a supposed “snuff” film, but that’s really just an excuse to introduce some majorly fcked-up characters into Cage’s life, to show how Evil evil can be, to make money off of sensationalism, and so on.  The moral “questions” (I already knew the answers before I saw the film) are obvious, at least to me.

Very few films that are this disturbing conceptually are this marketable in reality…think of ‘Dead Alive’, which intentionally does everything possible to offend/disgust, but succeeds only in the second way…it’s hard to be offended by something so campy and predictable.

Inspirational Quote: “He’s SAYING…that *name removed for spoiler reasons* fcked us…which is so totally completely bi-zarre…”

Grade: C+

2012: Phoenix, Gandolfini, and especially Stormare save this from the plague that is Nic Cage.  Grade: B-

Seven (1995)

Yes, I know some people put the number seven in place of the v.  I don’t.  Who gives a sh1t?

Rather than bore you with a blow-by-blow recital of things you already know/can guess, here is a comment on each “Deadly Sin”, in alphabetical order.

Envy:  Don’t know if I buy the explanation for this one, seems a bit too wrap-up-ish and less real…but deserved?  Oh, absolutely.  Merciful, even.

Gluttony: Ok now this one is just obviously plain wrong.  I mean, if death awaits you for eating too much spaghetti, then perhaps the Crusading Atheists/Antitheists have a point. 

It doesn’t, of course…and neither do they.

Greed: Defense lawyers are not, by definition, scumbags.  Plenty of members of each side lie, cheat, and steal.  But this is a good way to make people uncomfortable…”He didn’t deserve that!  Well…he was sort of nasty…ummm…”

Lust: Just record it and give it to his wife, you sick b@stard.  And why is it HER fault, too?  You sexist pig, JD.

Pride: He almost descends to Jigsaw-level with this one…(that’s an insult).  Although Morgan Freeman’s description of what happened is more interesting than anything after ‘Saw (Part One)’

Sloth: How can the laziest person he can find be a drug dealer?  That takes some movement, I would think…and his other activities, while heinous, have nothing to do with Sloth.

Wrath: Now this is where there is a REAL choice…it’s a clear moral dilemna (dilemma, too), accomplishing in one scene what Saw 1 through 187 (haha) fail to in their entirety.

Oh…great movie, too.  Just cut the boring easily-solved-in-Brady-Bunch-time diner scene.

Inspirational Quote: “Honestly…have you EVER seen anything like this?”

Grade: A

Fight Club (1999)

Guest Review:
“It’s macho porn — the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush…
Is Tyler Durden in fact a leader of men with a useful philosophy? “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything,” he says, sounding like a man who tripped over the Nietzsche display on his way to the coffee bar in Borders. In my opinion, he has no useful truths. He’s a bully–Werner Erhard plus S&M, a leather club operator without the decor.” – Roger Ebert

The most cheerfully vaguely pro-organized-Anarchy piece of ultra-soft-core homosexual porn ever filmed.

Grade: C

The Mummy (1999)

Brendan Fraser (Fray-Zir) is no Harrison Ford.

This movie is akin to ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ in the same sense that ten dollars is akin to ten thousand dollars.  Sure, they’re both worth SOMETHING…they both have value, it’d be nice to have both of them, and so forth.  But there are VERY few people that would rather have the ten.  Not that they wouldn’t WANT it…but it would seem paltry in comparison.

This is a poor (hu)man’s ‘Raiders’.  Less intelligent, less well-acted, less well-written, less funny, less romantic, less…everything.  The cliches aren’t intended and if you’re looking for any sort of meaning or message, you’ll be looking the entire movie.  It’s escapist fantasy, nothing more.

Now, given all of that, why do I still think it’s a pretty good movie?

Everyone enjoys escapist fantasy now and again…and it does the job for just over two hours.  That it’s not ‘Raiders’ isn’t so much an insult to THIS movie, but an homage to THAT movie…’Raiders of the Lost Ark’ is a GREAT movie, and so this, despite lacking in every category by comparison, is a GOOD movie.  Pretty good, at least.

Inspirational Quote: “Someday I might…”

IQ2: “*I*…am a *Li-BRARIAN.*”

Grade: B

7/19/12: “Shut up you silly *deleted* it’s only a bit of fun” – Mr. Brian Equator  Grade: B+

6/22/13: The benefits of character research.  Grade: B

One Eight Seven (1997)

Take ‘To Sir, With Love’.
Remove the unruly but basically decent kiddies.
Add a bunch of violent HS gangsters.
Hire one (and only one) real name actor (John Heard doesn’t count).
Insert gratuitous menace and go for shock value.
Finish strong, with an inventive and incredibly morbid lecture/duel.
Try not to think of ‘Snakes On A Plane’

Not bad.

Grade: B-