Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The RW Quarterly, Vol. II - Issue 1

One year ago today, I started this little bookkeeping post as a way to inform you of all the films I see. I managed three quarterly updates in 2008; my fourth-quarter update being stifled by the condition my condition was in.

I've started off 2009 a little slow, seeing only 37 films, two less than this time last year. I don't feel too bad; my pace was stunted due partly to my recovery and mostly to my addiction to the final season of Battlestar Galactica. But I won't have these excuses next quarter.

Just to refresh your memory, every review I've posted is linked. The films italicized in blue will be reviewed in the near future so be sure to check back for those. If you see a film below that deserves a whore-treatment but isn't slated to receive it, let me know.

The Reel Whore's Movies Watched
January 1 to March 31, 2009

01. Doubt
02. Sukiyaki Western Django
03. Meet The Browns
04. Quarantine
05. Diary of the Dead
06. Righteous Kill
07. Gran Torino
08. Slumdog Millionaire
09. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
10. Changeling
11. Role Models
12. My Bloody Valentine 3-D
13. Taken
14. Appaloosa
15. Friday the 13th
16. The Wrestler
17. Revolutionary Road
18. Lakeview Terrace
19. Friday the 13th
20. A Fish Called Wanda
21. Live Free or Die Hard
22. Watchmen
23. Wonder Woman
24. The Last House on the Left
25. Race to Witch Mountain
26. Gojira
27. Escape from New York
28. Unborn
29. The Uninvited
30. Duplicity
31. I Love You, Man
32. Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans
33. FLOW: For Love of Water
34. Milk
35. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li
36. Let the Right One In
37. Miss March

* Movies in Blue are currently in my review queue.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 30, 2009

MMM: I Saw a Man, I Saw a Man...

Just shy of a year ago, the Swell Season came to my fair city. They are better known as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the duo who won an Oscar for their song Falling Slowly from the film Once. I really loved that song and one day I will have to include it as a selection for the Monday Mood Music...but not today.

Today I want to feature Dawn Landes, the artist who opened for the Swell Season. After her set, I immediately bounced into the lobby and scooped up her latest cd, Fireproof. It's a great little album. As I listened to it for the umpteenth time this weekend, I wondered why I haven't snatched up her previous two albums. I need to get on that.

By far, my favorite song on Fireproof is Twilight; no relation to the incredibly fictional story of a vamp and girl in love. However, I was thinking I'd like something a bit peppier to jump start the week. That's why I chose another great tune, Bodyguard, which just so happens to have a spanky little video to go with it. Check it out:

Dawn Landes - Bodyguard

For you dedicated Showtime subscribers, the show United States of Tara apparently featured Landes's tune Straight Lines on an episode. Who knew? Have a good one.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, March 27, 2009

Grumpy Old Spies

Release: 03.20.09
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 5 minutes

Second-Run Seats

CEO Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton) and CEO Richard Garsik (Paul Giamatti, The Illusionist) spare no expense to one-up each other in the battle to be the #1 multinational. Rival spies, Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts, The Mexican) and Ray Koval (Clive Owens, Inside Man), escape the drudgery of government work to the fast-paced world of corporate espionage. Claire and Ray plan to take advantage of the Tully-Garsik personal vendetta, assuming their own suspicious natures don't lead them astray.

Evidently the Gray Panthers Convention allowed some time between seminars to catch a movie. As I sat next to my friend, the only other non-retiree in the audience, I wondered where were the younger fans of Roberts and Owen. Then again, I was there for Tom Wilkinson as much as I was for Owen. It was disappointing to discover Wilkinson's role amounted to a glorified cameo, though the opening scene (pictured above) was a satisfying morsel of screentime.

Writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) focused on Claire and Ray's complicated relationship amidst the whirlwind of corporate cloak and dagger. The film isn't a death-at-the-door nail biter, yet Gilroy infuses every conversation with a riveting quality. About every fifteen minutes, Gilroy reveals another piece of the larger plot puzzle via a flashback. The four-way splitscreen transitions for the flashbacks are more tedious than impressive, especially as the romantic complications (and the lack of chemistry between the leads) dragged down the momentum.

Dirty Undies
It's funny that Duplicity's PG-13 rating really didn't open the doors to younger fans. Gilroy could have gone a lot further than having Clive Owen sport a low-dangling towel without affecting the box office. Outside of a couple of mild "sexual situations," Duplicity is a film you can watch with your grandparents...if they didn't already see it without you.

The Money Shot
All in all, Duplicity is a fun, twist-filled romantic thriller. It's too complex to relate the details to friends. Though I saw it only a few days back, it's already mostly forgotten. It will find a nice home in the TBS rotation before long where can watch it time and time again.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Move Over Matt and Ben!

I Love You, Man

Release: 03.20.09
Rated R
1 hour, 50 minutes

See It, Take a Friend, Buy the DVD!

It's the happiest day of Peter Klaven's (Paul Rudd, The Oh in Ohio) life. His girlfriend Zooey (Rashida Jones) just accepted his marriage proposal. Sadly, outside of his mom and the ladies in the office, Pete really doesn't have any buds to tell. Worried he may grow too clingy, Peter starts searching for a best friend. He inadvertently meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and that's when the real fun begins.

O-M-G! Rudd and Rashida make the cutest couple on the planet! Rudd and Segel make a hilarious pairing. The supporting cast runs deep in comedy from Reno 911!'s finest, Thomas Lennon (Balls of Fury), to SNL cast members Andy Samberg (Hot Rod)and the underused Jane Curtin (Coneheads). J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) has maybe three lines total, but knocks 'em all out of the park. Don't even get me started on Jaime "Kinston Represent" Pressly (Not Another Teen Movie), Jon Favreau (Made) and Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk)! Suffice it to say, the film is only as funny as its cast and this one's damned funny.

I Love You, Man clocks in just shy of two hours, but never loses its comic momentum. The story flows smoothly from Peter's friendless failing to a montage of man-dates to a montage of daily comraderie between Pistol Pete and Magoosh, um...let's just stick with Sydney. In a short time, the duo have more fun than B.F.F.s with a lifetime of history. Writer-director John Hamburg (Along Came Polly), using a story by Larry Levin (Doctor Dolittle), crafted a comedy that has its own life - amazing coming from the guy who unleashed Meet the Parents on the world.

Dirty Undies
I Love You, Man slips in some vomit gags and dog poo jokes, but nothing too egregious. There's a little violence and the rude and crude talk you might expect when guys get together but the R rating is barely deserving.

The Money Shot
Despite popularizing the most overused, cutesy catch-phrase of the hour (one I refuse to use), I Love You, Man is as hilarious as Nick Cannon. I'm a huge fan of Rudd and he delivers in every scene. I'm not a huge fan of Rush, but for those who are, the film delivers their great tunes, too. I like a good comedy. I love this great one, man.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 23, 2009

MMM: I Like Big Butts...

I'm not a fan of The Idol. Snippets I've caught of this season seem even more painful than previous years. That said, I own a surprising number of Idol cds. I could blame this on my wife for forcing The Idol on me, but she only did so in seasons 5, 6 and 7. This doesn't explain why I own so many damned albums by the season 1 winner, Kelly Clarkson.

It's not that Kelly is ultra-hot. To me, she has cutesy troll doll features; the opposite of the Olsens' creepy under-the-bridge dwelling look. No offensive KC, but I wasn't whipping out the hand lotion. I do like big butts and Ms. Clarkson, despite her small stature, packs some junk in the trunk. However, recent appearances on The Idol and SNL to promote her latest album show KC is packing a bit more padding than before. I got much love for you Kelly dear, but leggings and form-fitted tops are not working; think flowy.

No, what awakened me to this little woman was her huge sound on the title track of her second album Breakaway. Kelly followed Breakaway with Since U Been Gone, my favorite song off the album. The accompanying video was also the best look Kelly has had over the years. The pop-rock sound she acquired was working for her, and me.

Kelly's new album All I Ever Wanted has a somewhat poppy dance vibe and folks are saying it's much better than her last album. Pfft! My December is easily her best. The album fell victim to a lot of negative press since Kelly and Clive Davis had a falling out. I don't know what he was smoking, but songs like Be Still and Sober showed talent and growth. To celebrate her understated achievement amid all the new album's hype, I've dug up a live performance of Sober. It's a mellow counterbalance to the peppy My Life Would Suck Without You.

Kelly Clarkson - Sober

Kelly don't forget: Flowy, not fitted. Flowy.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, March 20, 2009

Run, Dwayne! Run!

Race to Witch Mountain

Release: 03.13.09
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 38 minutes

A Netflix Night

It's not a good time to be Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson, Be Cool). He's a cabbie in Vegas scratching out an honest living while the geeks arriving en masse to the UFO Expo irritate the piss out of him. To make matters worse, he's accosted by his old boss’s henchman and finds a fare, two kids, waiting in his cab. The kids, Sara (AnnaSophia Robb, Bridge to Terabithia) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig), are actually alien children who have landed on Earth to retrieve a data storage device that holds the key to saving both their world and ours. As government agents and an alien assassin track them, Bruno enlists the help of a UFO expert, Dr. Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino, Night at the Museum), to help return the kids to their ship.

Kudos to the actors, I think they all worked hard to pull off this thin story. The only things working harder than them were the two buttons on Gugino's blouse that barely held back the twins. While drooling during that brief scene, I could almost hear director Andy Fickman (She's the Man) reminding wardrobe that this is a kid-friendly film. Bring on the zip-up jacket! Gugino lights up in geeky glee and spouts astro-jargon like a pro in any attire. Johnson is charismatic, manly with just enough scruff to prove he's down on his luck. Robb excels as the empathetic alien while Ludwig delivers what I assume is a deliberately wooden performance.

Witch Mountain screws the pooch by taking the race concept to the extreme. Amazingly efficient government agents chase the kids at every turn yet repeatedly fumble the apprehension. The
uber-powered alien assassin stalks the kids through a flame-engulfed underground cavern, but the bright yellow cab on the lonely desert highway somehow eludes detection. Bruno's totally unnecessary sidestory rears its ugly head as the henchmen return to add yet another level of chase complexity to the story. It's a dizzying onslaught of explosions, crashes and fights that feels like you're in a theme-park simulator ride that doesn't move. I wanted all the flurry and bustle to stop so I could get off and vomit.

Dirty Undies
Being able to ogle Johnson and Gugino was the only thing that kept my absolute disgust and disinterest in check. Fickman did pass up a couple golden opportunities to have Dwayne go shirtless, but maybe covering up his tattoos would have been too costly. Johnson flexes his guns, throws a few good punches, and fires that winning smile. It's almost enough to make us forget how weak the film is…almost.

The Money Shot
The cool effects and whirlwind pace of Race to Witch Mountain will mesmerize kiddies high on the salty-sugar infusion of popcorn and soda. However, we more seasoned viewers will notice the plotholes are larger than the Nevada desert. Sometimes a pretty face is all it takes. This time, there needed to be a lot more.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I couldn't call myself a fan of the man if I didn't take a moment to celebrate this special day...

That's right. Bruno, Mr. Box Office, John McClane, The Tripod (Color Of Night audiences understand), The Hudson Hawk, Korben Dallas, David Addison...Bruce 'Bruised' Willis turns 54 today, and he's still as fine and funny as ever!

"You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic motherfuckers. Motherfuckers who thought their ass would age like wine..."

In Bruce's case, he does just get better with age. If you haven't gotten your Willis fix for the day, here's a nice little montage I ran across:


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Last House on the Left Veers Far to the Right

The Last House on the Left

Release: 03.013.09
Rated R
1 hour, 50 minutes


Meet John (Tony Goldwyn, Abandon), Emma (Monica Potter, Saw) and Mary (Sara Paxton, Soldier); the Collingwood Family. They've left behind their daily drudgery for their annual summer vacation at the lake. Mary bounces into town to visit her friend, Paige (Martha MacIsaac, Superbad). The two teens finds themselves in the midst of a clan of miscreants, led by recently escaped convict Krug (Garret Dillahunt, No Country for Old Men). The Family Krug and the Family Collingwood are on a collision course with destiny. The sign post up ahead reads "Lake Ends in the Road." Your next stop: the last house on the left.

I really dug Last House. Granted, it's a far cry from the insanity of the original, but it's a well structured tale of terror. So I keep asking myself, why am I hung up on this damned house!? Let me explain. John's a doctor and Emma seems to do important work, too. Obviously well-to-do, it seems only natural that they own a summer home. But the family owns a two-story home at the lake, with a boat house, a massive tool shed AND a two-story guest house!?! Both domiciles are loaded with furniture, linens and even the medicine cabinets are fully stocked. The main house even has a cabinet full of wine, enough to carry the family through Indian summer. Is it just me or does this seem a bit excessive? And the kicker; they own a 10,000 watt, faux-wood veneer, approved-for-nuclear-testing microwave you'd find in your gram-gram's kitchen. Really?! You couldn't spring for a portable funcooker like normal people!! But I digress.

Dillahunt is my man. I've enjoyed his roles on Deadwood as well as Sarah Connor Chronicles and his twinge of devilishness works well here. However, he and his compatriots aren't nearly as crazy and drug-addled as the original's gang...except, maybe, Sadie (Riki Lindhome, Million Dollar Baby). Potter and Goldwyn, too, make you feel the anguish and anger over the evening's events. By the way, what's up with Monica Potter's career? It's like she's been on the Sandra Bullock short bus for her entire career. I don't think Paxton will suffer the same fate. She gives a top-notch performance and her Aquamarine training probably helped, too.

Dirty Undies
Last House isn't for the timid or faint of heart. The Family Krug are introduced in an explosion of blood-spatter, but their deviant ways settle into a very cautious and calculated routine that's surprisingly weak in comparison to the meek Collingwoods who wreck shit once their ire's agitated. The film does feature scenes of graphic rape and torture, but its conservative nature keeps it from attaining Firefly-family infamy.

The Money Shot
The Last House on the Left pulls off a decent amount of tension and dread, but it could have been truly nail-biting had they trimmed off a solid fifteen minutes. Still, horror films with a fairly realistic, well-explained story are a rarity these days, so you should catch the good ones whenever possible.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Call me Snake...

Last week I was minding my own business, working on my post when out of the blue a comment pops into my inbox. Piper of Lazy Eye Theater left a message that ended in those ominous words, "you've been tagged." Seems that Piper was watching Rhona Mitra in Doomsday and her eye patch got him to thinking about Snake Plissken. Piper wanted an answer to the burning question, "How did Snake Plissken get that eye-patch?" I promptly put the meme logo in my sidebar and began to work, scouring the world for an answer. It ain't a pretty one folks, but it's the God's honest truth!

"You look thirsty, Shelby! Hahaha!" It was the last thing Shelby Dwayne Plissken heard before the whoosh of the swirling toilet water flooded his ears. Every day it was the same. He was ridiculed, bullied and beaten by the bigger kids in his class. It didn't faze him much. His pops, Big D, dished out a pummeling worse than all these kids combined at least once a week, twice if his overtime pay afforded him an extra case of PBR. Besides, he could suffer one more swirlie...he'd have a two-week break from them soon, thanks to Christmas. Proof there is a God.

Even with the two bully-free weeks before him, he was still unhappy. He was sick of walking home with his soaked shirt freezing to his skin. It's not like his tattered jacket provided any actual warmth. The only warmth in his miserable life was the bright smile of fellow outcast, Star. Star was a wisp of a girl who had it even less together than Shelby. That didn't bother her. Star only cared about three things: searching for insects and rodents in the park, watching the Lone Ranger with her buddy Shelby, and her dingy rubber snake that she clung to like most girls cling to their baby dolls. Teachers and counselors had tried to pry the springy yellow toy from her time and again without luck. The snake was a gift from her mom and it reminded Star of the family's pet python; the one her mother occasionally used at her night job...at the late-night pet shop.

The toy snake's body swung wildly from Star's mittened hand as the duo shuffled home to get warm by the TV. Suddenly Star let out a piercing scream as Shelby's gaze, and nose, quickly met the pavement. The world erupted in laughter as Donnie and his boys encircled the odd couple. "We couldn't just let you head home for Christmas without giving you our present, Shelby," Donnie bellowed. Shelby rolled to his side and he saw Donnie standing before him. Two of his boys held a kicking and clawing Star. The weaselly looking one, Walter, twirled the toy snake in circles. Shelby felt the frozen shirt crack from his skin as Donnie dragged him to the curb. Shelby's distorted reflection stared up at him. A puddle full of of oil, crushed slush and cigarette butts taunted Shelby as much as the boys did.

Crack! Shelby's head spun as Donnie slammed his face beneath the pothole's icy surface. The cold forced a gasp from Shelby. He couldn't tell if the burning sensation was a shard of ice or a piece of glass he accidentally swallowed. Just as the light dimmed, the cold afternoon air crystallized his face into a grimace of pain. His eyes were frozen shut, but his ears could hear Star yelling the most profane things at Donnie. "A girl shouldn't say such things. Hand me her toy, Walt. Let's see if we can't choke the meanness out of her." Star's screams were replaced by a gurgling noise.

At that moment, Shelby could only see red. He dragged himself to his feet, scraping the ice from his lids. Through blurred vision he found Donnie, back turned, chuckling and leaning over Star. With all his might, Shelby slammed into the bully. The momentum stumbled Donnie, freed Star, and sent two of the boys sprawling to the ground. "Ssshhhtop it you asssshh!" The combination of the cold and his jagged throat made Shelby's words ragged.

"Ooh, we've made him mad by messin' with his sweetie," Donnie taunted. Shelby charged. Then there was Donnie's arm swinging, a blur of yellow, and the vision in Shelby's left eye went from red to black with the sharp pop from the rubber. He spun to the ground from the pain. Shelby could never remember what happened next. He remembered only a broken piece of curb near his hand. He heard the agonizing moans of Walt as Star landed a kick to his family jewels. He wiped a lot of blood onto the front of his tattered jacket before heading home.

He got a beating from Big D for ruining the holidays. It apparently costs a lot of money to lose an eye. His pops reminded him that his eye-patch was his only present. Shelby knew it wasn't. When he went back to school after the break, he didn't receive another swirlie and he didn't get belittled for his patch. This was the Christmas he got respect.


Now the toughest part. Even though this is the ONLY verified account of Plissken's patchin', Piper wants to hear the yarns other folks are a-spinnin'. He said specifically:

Here's the assignment:

1. Explain to the world The Impossible Truth Behind Snake Plissken's Eye-Patch. Could be a one word sentence (pussy) or could be a seven page novella (boring). Whatever you choose, but tell us all why Snake got the eye-patch.

2. Tag five bloggers asking them to create their own stories about the eye-patch.

3. Of course link back to Lazy Eye Theatre so that people know where this originated. And to those of you who got tagged by someone other than me, post your link in the comments section, I would love to read what you came up with.

I pass the torch to the following bloggers:

Blake at Bitchin' Film Reivews
Fox at Tractor Facts
Karl Hungus at karlhungus
Nayana at The Center Seat
Reel Ninja at The Reel Ninja

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 16, 2009

MMM: The Sweetest Cream Puff

From time to time, my wife and I swing by our old college campus theater to enjoy a little culture at the alumni rate. While doing so in late February, we received an exceptional bang for our buck thanks to jazz pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara.

We were told she was a bundle of energy that practically leaps from her bench mid-song without any warning, but still we were not prepared. She strolled onto the stage quietly and politely; then proceeded to burn up the ivories with some of the fastest keystrokes possible. A wide grin spread across her face as she grooved to the melodies flowing from her mind to the piano via her fingertips. At times she would literally spring from her bench, and then reach into the guts of the piano and pluck the wires directly. It was an exhilarating show start to finish.

As much energy as Hiromi exerts, it's no surprise that she has songs dedicated to her favorite foods; cream puffs and Cape Cod chips. I hoped to capture that feeling with my mood music selection. Ultimately I chose Sakura, Sakura; a song she did not perform at NCSU's Center Stage. It's a great video because it captures some great close-ups of her playing and her exultation while playing:

Hiromi - Sakura, Sakura

Now that's good stuff! FYI, Hiromi's birthday is next week (March 26th) so get those bags of Cape Cod chips packed up and shipped. I'd hate for her to receive them late!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, March 13, 2009

Squidward Never Gets Invited to the Party


Release: 03.06.09
Rated R
2 hours, 43 minutes

See It, Take a Friend, Buy the DVD!

In the city, a Comedian laughs one final time as he is murdered. In a research lab, an irradiated scientist worries that the Russians may begin a nuclear holocaust to end all humanity, not realizing that he is slowly losing his own. A retired hero pines for a return to his former glory and past friendships. A brilliant entrepreneur works to end man's reliance on fossil fuels in the hope of ushering in a new era of peace. A lover's patience is pushed to the limits while her heart is pulled to another man. All the while, one man in a mask stalks the streets exacting justice and searching for answers to a conspiracy only he imagines. These are the Watchmen. They watch over us. The question remains:

Who Watches the Watchmen?

The answer:

Audiences who...

...are fans of comic books.

...enjoy serious, thought-provoking superhero films; the antithesis of The Fantastic Four.

...can tolerate the somewhat stunted acting of Malin Ackerman (27 Dresses).

...can forgive the haphazardly applied aging makeup.

...drool uncontrollably over astounding special effects.

...can vibe along with a phenomenal soundtrack.

...miss the eighties, and watching Max Headroom (Matt Frewer, Dawn of the Dead).

...always felt Nixon got a bum rap.

...enjoy seeing men and women in form-fitting latex suits.

...love watching violent and deviant acts perpetrated on their fellow man.

...try to see every film Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) ever released.

...have bladders and tailbones that can withstand the pressure from three hours of sitting.

...can stomach bones snapping and people popping like overinflated luftballoons.

...want to know what Patrick Wilson's (Lakeview Terrace) ass would look like after ten years of marriage.

...want to see what kind of pipe the Blue Man Group swings under their turtlenecks.

...like a little softcore action mixed into their R-rated movies.

...don't care that Hitler's pissed they deviated from the original ending. (Spoiler Link!)

The Money Shot
The original graphic novel illustrates how superheroes in all their virtue, would realistically act when accounting for their accompanying vices. Zack Snyder's (300) theatrical version may not follow every detail to the letter, but the spirit is ever-present. The few corners cut in making the film keep it from being the best superhero movie ever, but they weren't terrible enough for me to knock it down to a Full Price rating.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'd Like To Thank...

I feel like an ungrateful cur. On March 2, blake over at Bitchin' Film Reviews bestowed upon me the Dardos Award because, and I quote, "your blog makes me pee my pants a little bit when I read it." How cool is that!? It was so cool that it's taken me a week to acknowledge it (there's the lameness on my part). The only other award this site has ever gotten was last year from the LAMB for my swanky-spanky banner. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Here's a little background about the award for those who don't know:

The Dardos Award is given for cultural, literary, and personal values in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

In accepting the award, which I gratefully do, I must do two things:

  1. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.
  2. Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.

Like blake, I found #2 to be the most difficult as I follow a helluva lot of bloggers every week and the number doesn't get any smaller. That just shows what a wonderful world the Interspace-Hyperwebs really is. However, to properly accept the award, I had to bestow the Dardos Award to a mere five bloggers. My nominees are:

Friend Mouse Speaks: She works hard for no money, da-dum da-dum! So hard honey, honey. Every week she delivers up a site full of television recaps, book reviews, film reviews and bacony goodness.

Invisible Woman.....Black Cinema At Large: Keeping us up to date with the best, and sometimes worst, occurrences surrounding black cinema. She's been busy with a move of late, but hopefully she'll get her eye back on the King of Foolishness, Terrence Howard.

Film Book Dot Com: He is the Alec Guinness to my Mark Hamill, except I hope I don't come off nearly as douchey as the young Skywalker. There, I learn of entertaining things to come, swoon over lovely ladies like Kitty Lea and am guided to expand my mind, and website, to newfangled realms like Twitter.

The Movie Whore: Us whores gotta stick together, you know? Every time I stop by I am reminded of some forgotten gem of a film, discover a film to add to my never-ending NFQ, and get reminded that I need to blog less and work on my screenplays more!

The Large Association of Movie Blogs: That's if you're not into the whole brevity thing. It's better known as the LAMB and without it, I would have never encountered all these great folks, nor they me. Fletch has amassed an army of cinephiles that will shake the very foundations of the world!

I'd also like to thank...(the orchestra erupts, fade to commercial).

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 9, 2009

MMM: I Can't Get No Relief...

But in this case, I don't need any relief. This song's awesomenicity has forced itself back into my life.

In fact, this Monday Mood Music has it's tentacles embedded deep within my brainpan. How crazy is this? This song was recorded on my birth date, November 6 (albeit eight years before I was born). It was originally written and performed by Bob Dylan then covered by Jimi Hendrix less than a year later. Since it was a cover and not an original song by Hendrix was all that kept me from choosing it two weeks ago for that mood music.

Composer Bear McCreary arranged same said song for one of my favorite shows, Battlestar Galactica. In another weird coincidence, McCreary also composes music for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, another favorite of mine...and not only because of my adoration of Summer Glau (there's the Lena Headey and ass-kicking factors, too).

This weekend was the clincher. As part of my new 'Watchman' commitment I made last week, I went to see Watchmen. Amid the film's great soundtrack selections, which song stands out to me most? All Along the Watchtower as performed by the aforementioned Jimi Hendrix!!! Not surprising since Alan Moore used the lyrics in the graphic novel, Watchmen, but still, that's some kind of freaky! If you could see my face, you'd see the same frakking expression Colonel Saul Tigh has every time a new revelation unfolds on Battlestar!

Maybe it is coincidence, or maybe this song holds the key to some fateful destiny for the Reel Whore. Most likely, it's just a kick-ass tune that draws my attention like a moth to a flame. At any rate, thanks to it's greatness, and in honor of Battlestar's impending series finale, here's McCreary's arrangement:

Bear McCreary - All Along the Watchtower

FYI: Just to add another level of freaky, I've been tinkering with a Battlestar post these past few weeks but wasn't sure it was worth posting. Guess I need to get on it!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, March 6, 2009

Trailer Trash: The March-09 Gang Bang

As I sit here speculating on the March movie prospects, I can't help but think just how hard February's film offerings sucked! I managed to see only one new release last month, Friday the 13th...and I saw that twice.

For fear of turning into a snob or maybe just in sheer desperation to spend more time in theaters, I have decided to do something rash. In honor of this month's first release, Watchmen, I will become the Watchman (Da-duh-duh-Dah!). I intend to affirm my Reel Whore title by watching and reviewing all eleven major March releases listed below! That includes the really shitty-looking ones, too. Starting today I will spread the folds of my wallet wide, reach in deep and soak in every ounce of the cinematic experience being offered.

For those not quite hardened enough to join me in my task, here are IMDB's March releases, sorted by relative worthiness.

Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Miss March (03.13) You can rearrange the letters in Miss March to create "Ass Chrimm." Ass chrimm is what I call the debris one cleans off an elephantine rectal thermometer. That is something I'd prefer doing in lieu of paying to see this.

Monsters vs. Aliens (03.27) To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, set the terrible level to Code Brown 'cuz I smell a steaming pile. The best part? Dreamworks made it possible to view this massive turd in stunningly disappointing 3D!

The Haunting in Connecticut (03.27) Seances, a morgue in the basement and creepy piano music don't scare me. However, the words "based on a true story" are terrifying. When did Virginia Madsen stop making good horror flicks? Scratch that, good flicks period.

12 Rounds (03.27) 12 Rounds looks like The Punisher with a Die Hard With a Vengeance style. Sadly, the WWE film starring John Cena will have me tapping out before the first round ends.

It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Knowing (03.20) Knowing that the director of The Crow and Dark City Alex Proyas is in charge gives me hope. Knowing Next's follically-challenged Nicolas Cage is the star gives me pause. Can Proyas reign in the ego of Cage in time? The fate of the film depends on it.

"Hello? Is there anyone in the theater...Popcorn's on me if you'll stay."

Duplicity (03.20) He spy, she spy, I spy... Tom Wilkinson! Oh yeah, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite, too. I enjoyed Closer but I couldn't be farther from interested in seeing the two of them in this lovey-dovey, twisty-thrilly.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

Watchmen (03.06) "Hrrrm." The question is; Who won't watch the Watchmen?! With all the production problems, pre- and post-, this film has been a long time coming. All the slo-mo effects better not make for a long time sitting!

Race to Witch Mountain (03.13) That's right. Mountain makes me moist. Specifically, Carla Gugino makes me moist, Dwayne Johnson is just yummy, and AnnaSophia Robb is an ass-hair away from being the next big thing. What is this about, anyway?

The Last House on the Left (03.13) Garret "The Cuntlip" Dillahunt can play one sleazy, surly villain. The remaining cast should provide collateral damage for him as this remake attempts to out mind-fuck the Craven original.

I Love You, Man (03.20) No! I Love You, Paul Rudd. Who doesn't love those dimples and dreamy eyes? Sprinkle in a little Rashida Jones, Jason Segel and Jaime "Kinston Repesent!" Pressley and you could laugh it up for days!

Adventureland (03.27) There's a good chance this will be about as much fun as going to the run-down Adventureland, but the supporting cast keeps me exceptionally optimistic. Just so you know, I base my belief firmly in the way, way better redband trailer.


Boy, oh boy, is March ever going to be the fun ride! I'll see you in the dark.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 2, 2009

MMM: Butterfly in the Sky!

Welcome stargazers. It's time for another installment of the Monday Mood Music. This week I decided to accomplish two tasks at once by also announcing the results of my LeVar Burton poll.

I asked everyone, Where does your LeVar Burton love originate? Luckily, no one admitted to not knowing who LeVar Burton was, but I was disappointed no readers selected the Cameo Word Up music video as the beginning of their infatuation with this man.

A single reader knew him all the way back to Roots and 2 readers chose Star Trek: The Next Generation as their LeVar Burton jumping on point.

The hands down winning selection, with a total of five votes, is the children's show Reading Rainbow. In honor of this show and the mass appeal it gave LeVar Burton, this week's selection is the undeniably infectious theme songs for Reading Rainbow.

The original theme song was used from 1983 through 1999 according to Wikipedia. It was written by Steve Horelick, Dennis Neil Kleinman and Janet Weir. The Broadway performer, Tina Fabrique sang the original theme. This is the version from my childhood memories.

Tina Fabrique - Reading Rainbow
(Original Theme Song)

In the later years of the show, the cartoon introduction was replaced with a computer animated introduction. The theme song was upgraded and sang by R&B singer Chaka Khan. Until today, I never knew this version existed. The video does have some promotional consideration prologue but the theme is on it, I promise.

Chaka Khan - Reading Rainbow
(Theme Song Redux)

No offense to Chaka Khan, but I prefer the Fabrique-Cartoon butterfly version. I'm thinking nostalgia does play a significant part in that. Which version, if any, do you prefer?

Large Association of Movie Blogs