Monday, March 10, 2014

POST-MORTEM: WAS THE DETECTIVE TRUE?


The True Detective wrap-up I'd been planning is rendered completely irrelevant by this one by Matt Zoller Seitz. Co-sign damn near down to the syllable.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

THAT WITHOUT WHICH THERE IS NO HEAT

Waingro, about to fuck everything up, as is his custom

The time has come to speak of Heat. One of the most towering feats in the history of ownage, Michael Mann's 1995 heist picture is beloved by both hardcore cinephile and civilian alike. It's full of memorable dialogue, two fantastic late-career performances by Pacino and De Niro, a couple iconic heist sequences, what might be the definitive collection of ownage movie supporting actors (Danny Trejo's character is just named “Trejo” because fuck a character name, he's Danny Trejo), and Michael Mann's uniquely magical ability to make soundtrack tracklists that look fucking horrifying on paper—in this case, the U2 side project Passengers and a fucking Moby cover of Joy Division's “Where Will It End”—into cinematic moments of ferociously transcendent beauty (seriously, the half minute or so of that Moby track? In the freeway scene where Pacino's driving 120 trying to catch up with De Niro? That shit's tight). These things, along with with the central contrast—Pacino's an obsessive, brilliant cop, De Niro's an ascetic, brilliant thief—are what we think of first when we think of Heat. What we rarely consider, and what I didn't realize until quite recently, is that if you delete one character from Heat, nothing ever happens. That character? The new recruit, Waingro.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

BONUS MCCONAUGHEY



Fuckin' love that guy. Leo's reactions are amazing.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

C'MON OSCAR, LET'S GO FOR A RIDE VOL. V: 2013-14 PREDICTIONS

What's that? I might win? Naahh....

This has been kind of a goofy Oscar season. I've been keeping up with the less-frothingly-insane bloggers, and they've all been saying shit like “man, this is the tightest Oscar race in years” and going on and on about how competitive it is, and yet, they all have almost exactly the same predictions for everything. Like Socrates once said, “Man, no one knows shit about shit and I'm smarter than all y'all because I know I don't know shit about shit.” (from the ancient Greek via Google Translate.) So, for the fifth year in a row, that's my motto. I don't know a goddamn thing about any of this, I'm just here to to make some jokes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

R.I.P. HAROLD RAMIS


“I can’t tell you how many people have told me, 'When I go to the movies, I don't want to think.' Why wouldn't you want to think? What does that mean? Why not just shoot yourself in the fucking head?”

Harold Ramis was one of the funniest people to ever exist. He made being smart look awesome. He made being funny seem effortless. He was versatile; could write, direct, act. The proof of his greatness was the simplest there is: no one who tried to do what he did could do it as well. May he always be remembered.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A BRIEF NOTE ABOUT REALITY BITES UPON THE OCCASION OF ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY


I saw Reality Bites in the lounge of my freshman dorm, at the insistence of a number of girls: “OMG how can you be like 'into movies' and not have seen Reality Bites? It's like a classic.” (Note, this was two years after it came out.) So I watched it with them and, being eighteen, fell for it like a ton of bricks.

Shortly thereafter was pay day for all the work-study kids so we went into town to shop. I was out of cigarettes so I went into a store with great affect and asked the clerk for “a pack of Camel straights,” because that's what Ethan Hawke smoked in Reality Bites. With what must have been superhuman restraint to not say “oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuck you,” the clerk handed me a pack of Camel unfiltereds. I didn't want to say anything (remember, I was being “cool”) but distinctly remembered Ethan Hawke's “Camel straights” as being plain old Camel filters, albeit in a soft pack so they'd look old-time-y. (I paid a lot of attention to Ethan Hawke in that movie.) I paid up and left the store.

I made a big display of tapping the pack against my wrist a whole bunch of times and then unwrapped the pack and fired one up. This was, without question—and I smoked Pall Mall unfiltereds for several months at one point—the nastiest fucking cigarette I'd ever smoked in my entire fucking life. How was I to be “cool,” though? I tried not pulling as hard on it, which only meant I could taste exactly how shitty a cigarette it was. Eventually, with about half the damn thing left, I just killed it.

Later, on the steps of my dorm, I tried again; I had spent about three dollars on the pack and didn't want to just waste it. But the second “Camel straight” was just as shitty as the first. My downstairs neighbor All-American Mike walked up and laughed at the pained expression on my face. Because All-American Mike was a gentleman who inspired honesty, I candidly explained the thought process that had led me to this distasteful end. “Ah, man, Reality Bites? That movie sucks, dude,” said Mike with a laugh, shaking his head.

“Seriously,” I concurred, crumpling up the pack and throwing it away. “Fuck Ethan Hawke.”