Monday, May 31, 2010

MMM: Seemingly Appropriate, But Is it?

Afternoon, stargazers! For those who celebrate Memorial Day, I hope it has been a great day. For those who do not observe the holiday, I hope this Monday hasn't been as bad as many Mondays can be.

Many folks have spent their holiday grilling. There won't be any grilling around the Whore house today, but good things will be a-cookin'. Though we won't be fixing that good 'ol American fare of hamburgers and hot dogs, here's a tune that every person should add to their grillin' mix.

Or is it? American singer-songwriter Meiko wrote this little tune called the Hot Dog Song a.k.a. You and Onions Make Me Cry. As she mentions in the video below, the song was inspired by a friend's film project. It's a short, infectious song. And even if it isn't really about scarfing down tasty hot dogs, it's still worth the listen.

Meiko - The Hot Dog Song

To all you grillers out there, enjoy an extra dog for me.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Can Leave Your Crown On...

My fellow LAMBs, I thank you! I owe you for not one, but two 2010 LAMMY nominations! If by chance you don't know which awards I am in the running for, they are:

Best Blog Name

Best Random LAMB Banner

I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to regain my crown for my banner and recognition for blog name would just be icing on the cake. To make my dreams, and yours, a reality, I thought I'd provide a little incentive:

What are you waiting for? Go vote now! You've only got until June 7th.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Hump: No. 4

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, May 24, 2010

MMM: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Faithful Monday Mood Music readers may recall a post I did a little over six months ago about a fellow NC State alum, Kyler England. Today's post once again features Ms. England, well, kinda sorta.

Kyler, along with Gabriel Mann, Adrianne Gonzalez and Rob Giles, will be playing together this Thursday at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, under their indie supergroup moniker, the Rescues. I don't know a whole lot about the band, except that the folks at Grey's Anatomy really like them. Five of their songs have been used on the show. Who knew I'd ever have anything in common with that show except an appreciation of Sandra Oh.

I'm excited the Rescues will be in town, but I'm not sure if I'm up for the show. Just two weeks ago I was in Chapel Hill for a Tuesday show. I didn't make it home until after 1am; that's a great evening, but the next day at work was a bitch! While I decide if I want to drag into work, musically satisfied though sleep deprived, why don't you check out the live and studio versions of my favorite Rescues tune.

The Rescues - Can't Stand the Rain

The Rescues - Can't Stand the Rain (Live)

Decisions, decisions.
What do you think I should do?


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bangin' Out the Jizt:: One-Man Wolf Pack Edition

In this fast-paced world of blogging, tweeting and fly-by-night film voyeurism, sometimes one doesn't have the time to give a film proper treatment. More importantly, others do not always have the time to read it. Sometimes you just have to take it around back and squeeze one out in 1-2-3 quick licks.

Think of
The Jizt as the wham, bam, thank you ma'am of reviews.


The Ghost Writer

Release: 02.19.10 limited
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 8 minutes

Full Price

Ewan McGregor (Stay), Pierce Brosnan (The Matador), Olivia Williams (An Education)

The Build-up: Contracted to polish the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, the Ghost becomes fixated on the circumstances surrounding his predecessor's death.

The Blurt-out: I'm not sure Eli Wallach was cast or, by complete coincidence, owned the beach house used on location, but it worked either way.

The Jizt: This tautly directed and excellently performed mystery keeps the cat in the bag and audiences on the edges of their seats until the very end.

"I don't need a ghost writer to help me with the Jizt, so bugger off!"


Terribly Happy (Frygtelig lykkelig)

Release: 02.05.10 limited
Rated UR
1 hour, 30 minutes

Full Price

Jakob Cedergren, Lene Maria Christensen, Kim Bodnia

The Build-up: After marshal Robert Hansen goes a little crazy in Copenhagen, he is relocated to the insular farming town of Skarrild where he appears to be the only sane one.

The Blurt-out: If you've been feening for a movie where folks smack children, commit adultery and play cards on the regular, this should be the must-see event of your year!

The Jizt: The dreariness of the bog pales in comparison to the desperate situations the marshal mires himself in, yet you'll be the one glued to the spot as the story unfolds.

"Just one moment more, sir. I've nearly got the Jizt."



Release: 03.26.10 limited
Rated R
1 hour, 47 minutes

Full Price

Ben Stiller (The Royal Tenenbaums), Greta Gerwig (Baghead), Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill)

The Build-up: Emotionally fragile Roger Greenberg returns to Los Angeles to house-sit for his brother, but secretly hopes to mend the broken connections in his life.

The Blurt-out: Had Greenberg seen Florence in her pre-hospital duds, I wonder if his attraction would have remained as strong.

The Jizt: Look beyond the unlikeable facade of these characters to discover the latest disturbingly funny and emotionally poignant coming-of-age story from the mind of writer-director Noah Baumbach.

"When subjected to the Jizt, I always wear adequate eye protection."


Release: 01.08.10
Rated R
1 hour, 30 minutes

Group Rental

Cast: Michael Cera (Paper Heart), Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart (Garden State)

The Build-up: As an outcast in both his family and high school circles, Nick Twisp finds ascension to coolness by following the advice of his lusty, devil-may-care alter ego, Francois Dillinger.

The Blurt-out: I'm fairly certain Zach Galifiankis's brief appearance was because he jumped this shit-ship the moment The Hangover opened at number one at the box office.

The Jizt: It takes some amazingly disjointed filmmaking to effectively neutralize, nay degrade, the movie-redeeming charms of Michael Cera.

"I'm impressed you managed to get the Jizt stuck to your forehead."

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Hump: No. 17

Stargazers! You've asked for a new feature, and those who ask shall receive.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Huh, Huh, You Said "Poll"

My latest poll has closed and what a turnout! If you're just tuning in and missed it, I asked the question:

Which Reel Whore specialties do it for you?

In an effort to return to my former, variety-rich content, I wanted to know which of my feature posts have you missed most. Turns out, you miss all of them; even some you don't even know!

Of the 14 votes cast:

1 vote just wants more reviews!

3 votes say gimme something new!

4 votes need The Face Punch

4 votes want to know Who's That Lady?

and landing appropriately on top...

6 votes demand more Spank Bank!

Seeing all the love for so many of my features, I will do my best to breathe new life into each and every one over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.


As always, once we've had our fill of one poll, it's time to move onto the next one. As a LAMB I am participating in the March to Box Office Madness; the game where we movie buffs try to predict the big summer winners.

The Madness has been underway for over six weeks. Of the 64 films in contention, eight have already opened in theaters. Of those, three releases are from the top, i.e. #1 and #2 positions, of each grouping. Two films are from the bottom, #7 and #8, of each grouping.

What I've noticed is that, with the exception of Iron Man 2, all the contenders currently in play have kind of sucked. The questions that give the Reel Whore that familiar, burning sensation are:

Which huge opener makes you all tingly?

Five Films with Really Big... Expectations:
Prince of Persia
Twilight: Eclipse

Toy Story 3

The A-Team
Sex & the City 2

and question numero dos;

Which bottom feeder sucks hardest?

Six Films with Little... Impact:
The Expendables

Despicable Me


Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

Dinner for Schmucks

Choices are limited to films yet to be released from the top and bottom seeds. Enough chatter, get to voting!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, May 17, 2010

MMM: You Know You Gotta Have Hope

Good morning stargazers! It's hard to believe May is half over already. Since the remaining May movie releases hold little of interest to me, I am looking to June, hoping for the best. What do I see so far? The first week holds the same sub-par entertainment. I'll spare you from my full-length diatribe until next month's Trailer Trash. There is, however, one movie that makes me want to hold my head in my hands and cry.

Marmaduke. You'd have thunk the fate of the Garfield franchise would have saved us from future live-action adaptations of pet-centric comic strips. Obviously not. I'd like to support Who's That Lady? inductee Judy Greer or even rising star Emma Stone because fans like me need to spread the love so they can move beyond movies like these. But that's the other side to this coin; doing so prompts Hollywood to push more talking animal movies, ultimately forcing well-respected performers, like Marmaduke co-star William H. Macy, to make movies like these because that's where the money is.

I remember Macy showing up in The Last Dragon. In the early 90's, he established a bit of 'That Guy' status before performances in movies like the Coen Brothers' Fargo and Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights took his career to a whole new level.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with the Monday Mood Music. Well, this week's selection was central to William H. Macy's character Donnie Smith in the movie Magnolia. It's also a song I've loved since it was first released by British singer Gabrielle in 1993.

The debut of this song topped the UK singles charts. You may vaguely remember Gabrielle as the chick who wore an eye patch. The patch, by the way, was not a gimmick. She has ptosis which she frequently hides with the patch, sunglasses, or her bangs. After her quick rise to fame, she suffered a few bad years before making a comeback in 2000. She's currently working on her sixth studio album.

It just goes to show you shouldn't let the bad in your life overrun the good. I hope Macy takes a cue from Gabrielle and returns to the movie projects that will keep him great. This one's for you, Bill.

Gabrielle - Dreams

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, May 14, 2010

Double Team'd: Jackie vs. Robert

Those who know me, knew this was coming. After watching the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, the itch to revisit the original was one that had to be scratched...and only four finger knives could reach that sweet spot. With both versions etched in my mind, let's do a little compare and contrast.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Release: 11.16.84
DVD Release: 08.21.01
Rated R
1 hour, 31 minutes


Tina (Amanda Wyss, Better off Dead...) is having horrible dreams; a man with a melted face and long fingernails keeps chasing her. Her friend, Nancy (Heather Lagenkamp, TV: Just the Ten of Us ), is having similar nightmares. Although their respective boyfriends, Rod (Jsu Garcia, Predator 2) and Glen (Johnny Depp, Secret Window), won't admit it, they too are haunted by this disfigured boogeyman. When Nancy explains the phenomenon to her folks, they clam up. Nancy tries desperately to uncover the truth, keep herself awake, and stay clear of the grizzly knives.

This movie was the shit back in the day! Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund, TV: V) caused nightmares for millions of kids for days on end. Over twenty-five years later, a few choice images remain as frightening as ever, while the age and silliness of other moments are glaring. Written and directed by Wes Craven (The Last House on the Left), Freddy is an excellent spin on the boogeyman. A child murderer, long thought dead returns, not to life, but as a nightmare in the minds of the neighborhood's surviving, now teen-aged children. Occasionally Craven blurred the lines between the dreamworld and reality for the sake of a good scare, but the scare was worthy enough for him to be forgiven.

Like many horror flicks, Nigthtmare surrounds one or two solid performances with, well, not-so great actors. Everyone plays second fiddle to Englund's Freddy. Sure, he runs goofily and only pops in briefly, but that get-up was hot as hell back then. John Saxon (Enter the Dragon) makes a brief, but solid appearance as the no-nonsense police lieutenant and Nancy's dad. In his first film role, Depp's potential is obvious.

Dirty Undies
I was seriously crushin' on Lagenkamp as a youth, and there's still something about that frizzy hair and overbite that stirs my loins. It may also be that her sweater puppies were more like full-grown sweater poms. Watching it again, I was still disappointed when she showed nothing more than some shadowy side-bump. I'm not being a dirty old man; in true horror fashion, these fifteen-year olds were all twenty and up at the time.

As slow and tedious as Nightmare can be, Craven makes up for it with some gruesome murders. Geysers of blood spew the last ounce of life from these poor kids. Craven even smacks one kid with another; that shit is just wrong - but oh, so funny.

The Money Shot
Like many horror franchises, the first installment isn't necessarily the greatest, but it's great for introducing the world to an iconic character. Nightmare on Elm Street is slow and rough around the edges, but it left audiences clamoring for more. In the end, that's all a horror fan really wants.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Release: 04.30.10
Rated R
1 hour, 35 minutes

A Netflix Night

Kris (Katie Cassidy, Black Christmas), worried about her boyfriend Dean's (Kellan Lutz, Twilight) erratic behavior of late, finds him at the Springwood Diner tossing back the coffee as fast as his waitress and fellow classmate, Nancy (Rooney Mara, Youth in Revolt), can pour it. A short time later, Kris, Nancy, Quentin (Kyle Gallner, Jennifer's Body) and Jesse (Thomas Dekker, Village of the Damned) are at Dean's funeral andtheir mention of the burnt man in their nightmares makes their parents quickly drag them home. Kyle and Nancy try desperately to uncover the truth, keep themselves awake, and stay clear of the grizzly knives.

After an effectively gruesome opening, Nightmare quickly degraded into the longest, dullest ninety minutes of my life. From the onset, seeds of doubt are planted that the five teens in peril are more closely connected than their occasional passing in the high school's halls. Watching their parent's squirm when questions about Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen) arise is initially intriguing, but as the mystery unravels, the resolution grows exponentially ridiculous.

Music video director Samuel Bayer and writers Wesley Strick (Wolf) and Eric Heisserer construct their remake from a highlights reel of Wes Craven's (The Hills Have Eyes) iconic creation. Key frightening sequences from the original are improved only in the quality of the effects, and abbreviated to the point of being ineffectual. Bayer also blurs the dream world/real world line, but the pay off isn't worth the inconsistency.

Stepping into the shoes of an iconic role is no small task, but Haley's portrayal is creepy and fear-inspiring. The shick-shick-shick sound of his finger knives as he fluttered them by his side was an especially nice touch. It got old watching him drag his nails along one rusty piece of metal to another, but I blame the director for uninspired film-making and not the actor wearing the glove. I wasn't as thrilled by the ashy look of the new Freddy either, but I grew up with the image of wrinkled, pocked flesh seared in my mind.

Dirty Undies
Nightmare's opening sequence is unnerving and sets the bar high for the kills that follow. Unfortunately, the others pale in comparison. A few genuine jump-out-of-your-seat moments occur, but mostly it's a bunch of flash with little bang.

The Money Shot
As the Wonder Twins, Nancy and Quentin, crisscross the town searching for clues, you just wish they'd fall asleep so we can get this exercise in tedium over. I'm not usually in favor of a frame-for-frame remake, but that would have been preferable to the nightmare these revisions created.

Original Recipe or Extra Crispy? (Spoilers)
Remakes are the nature of the business. I long ago accepted that fact and try to quash the bile that rises from my throat when I hear about one of my beloved films being revisited. I want to point out a few key elements the new Nightmare crew changed which ultimately screwed the pooch. My first issue is minor. The original gang were all friends; the new batch, obviously not. It may not seem like a huge deal, but it's important as a tool to relate their experiences with the boogeyman.

The biggest letdown in Nightmare is it never puts a face to the monster. In the original, Freddy has murdered twenty children, but he's set free due to improper evidence collection by the local police (I've watched enough Dexter to know the FBI would have been called in on a serial killer case of that magnitude). Point is, Craven made Freddy a vile, despicable person. The remake pussy-foots around Freddy's crimes, merely insinuating he's a child molester. Dammit you film-making morons, this is an R-rated movie! We're all adults here; there's no need to sugarcoat what Freddy is.

That brings me to another crucial flaw in the re-imagining. In the original, Nancy's dad covered up the evidence of Freddy's murder because he had the police know-how to do so. In the remake, Quentin's dad, a high school principal, masterminds the cover-up. How in fuck-all hell does that happen? I don't care how intimidating Clancy Brown (Highlander) is, there's still going to be questions when the nice gardener disappears.

Lastly, as I get older I remember less and less from my childhood. You know what I do remember? The really awesome times like finding Castle Greyskull under the Christmas tree, or the really terrible times like when my dad held me up by the arm and beat me like a piñata for misbehaving. I'm thinking that if a creepy gardener lured me and my friends to his sex hole to cut us and touch our pee-pees, that sort of thing would stick with me. Just saying.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, May 10, 2010

MMM: Wizard of Ass!

This week's Monday Mood Music choice was a difficult one.  Every show on my DVR had some musical interlude worthy of inclusion. So before we get to my official selection, let's talk TV. 

If by some chance you didn't know, this weekend's Saturday Night Live host was Betty White. It's been a much anticipated episode, and if you missed it, you need to get off your ass and watch it now! It was a phenomenal episode, easily the best of the season - unless Alec Baldwin can top it with next Saturday's finale. Betty White brought the house down and a handful of SNL comedy moms stopped by to help. It was a treat to see those funny ladies, but I missed the new gals. Abby Elliott, Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate barely scored screen-time with the old guard in the house.

If you're wondering how Betty White came to host SNL, you can thank Facebook. As THE spot to connect with friends, aside from a bar, restaurant, house, etc., it was also the platform that folks campaigned to bring this funny lady back into the spotlight. BTW, It is also where the Reel Whore finally has a Page.

Insert shameless promotional ad here: 

 Just to prove the power of promotion, here's some much appreciated advertising from a buddy of mine via Facebook:

You can't ask for better advertising than that. Just ask Betty White.
Concerning Betty's SNL appearance, I've heard several comments saying the episode was filthy, vulgar, etc. Obviously, this is the first time folk have tuned into SNL in quite a while. The show is a little raucous; it is late night television after all. I think too many people are remembering St. Olaf native, Rose Nylund, and not the lady who burnt William Shatner's ass during his Comedy Central roast. It's that misconception that made the SNL Digital Short so ridiculously funny. 

In the video, the SNL cast sing Thank You for Being a Friend to Betty White. The song was covered by Cindy Fee when used as the theme song for The Golden Girls, but hit-maker Andrew Gold deserves credit for the song's creation back in the seventies. 

For Betty White, Facebook and friends, I present this week's Monday Mood Music selection:

Golden Girls Theme Song:
Thank You for Being a Friend - Cindy Fee

Thank You for Being a Friend
Andrew Gold

 (I'll update this post with the official video once available.)

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 LAMMYs: For Your Consideration

Fellow LAMBs, did you know the 2010 LAMMYs are in full swing?

If you haven't headed to the polls yet, I would like you to seriously consider Reel Whore for six of the fifteen categories. For one category, Best Overall Post, I took the liberty of recommending my own specific post, Who's That Lady? - It's Mary Lynn Rajskub! since it received a significant number of positive responses, including a tweet from Mary Lynn herself (that made me feel oh so awesome!).

Without further adieu, the Reel Whore humbly presents itself for voting in the following LAMMY categories:

Don't forget, polls close May 12th! Thank you for your consideration.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Trailer Trash: The May Gang Bang

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Viva La Lance!

Hey, hey stargazers! I could not let today pass without mentioning the birthday of an iconic actor. From today through May 4th of 2011, Bishop, a.k.a. Emil Fouchon, a.k.a The Father, a.k.a Frank Black, a.k.a Ace Hanlon, a.k.a. Ed Harley, a.k.a Passing Motorist, a.k.a too many friggin' more to name is 70!

If none of those names ring a bell, well, shame on you! Even a passing movie and TV viewer should have recognized one of these characters. If not, maybe putting a name and a face will help:

Happy 70th Birthday
Lance Henriksen!
You are a fucking buffalo!

He's racked up a total of 166 credits over at IMDB, with 3 more in development. So, if by chance you run into Mr. Henriksen today, pass along warm birthday wishes. Oh, if you haven't seen Lance's work, get over to Netflix and correct your grievous error!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Why Didn't the Losers Win?

The Losers

Release: 04.23.10
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 38 minutes


Five CIA black ops agents, framed for a crime they didn't commit, help the innocent while on the run from...wait, sorry. Let's try that again.

The Losers, a US Special Forces unit led by Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen) are on a mission in Bolivia to stop a vile drug runner. The op goes south when the mysterious and maniacal Max (Jason Patric, Sleepers) turns the op on its head and leaves the Losers for dead. Clay and his men hide out in South America until Clay is approached by Aisha (Zoe Saldana, Star Trek), who offers them the means necessary to kill Max and reclaim their lives.

The premise is solid, the trailers exciting; so why, on opening weekend, did the Losers come in fourth? A month-old animated dragon flick, J-Lo's big, but juicy booty romp, and an NBC Must See TV gimmick edged them out of the top spot. In the second week, they continued their losing streak. The iconic horror slasher topped the weekend, no surprise, but again, those flicks from last week kept the Losers down. Hell, even Brendan Fraser beat them with that God-awful-looking, CGI save-the-forest pukefest.

Roque (Idris Elba, RocknRolla), Jensen (Chris Evans, Cellular), Pooch (Columbus Short, Armored) and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) make up the rest of Clay's unit. Roque is the most confrontational while Pooch mostly stares at his wedding ring. Jensen always tries a little too hard to be lovable, and Cougar is as cool as Danny Trejo under a shade tree sipping lemonade from a stripper's belly button. They get the job done, but they bicker and bitch, especially after Aisha becomes part of the group.

Patric is exceptional as the unpredictable Max. He's like a boy, gleeful at the thought of scorching ants with a magnifying glass. His henchman, Wade (rising 'That Guy' Holt McCallany, Vantage Point), is s proper right hand man. The Losers, by comparison, are largely forgettable, although their destructive missions are impressive.

Dirty Undies
The explosive missions, shoot-outs, fighting all rock even if a scene or two is unnecessary. I can't even recall how many things the Losers blew to hell. I would have liked to see more blood and guts. Not to spoil things, but explain to me how there was not at LEAST a stray finger or elbow strewn about the crash site during their establishing story?!

Max surrounds himself with a ton of lovely women in one scene you'll wish would last longer. But the Losers are the real hotness; courtesy of Cougar, Jensen and Aisha. Zoe Saldana is a lovely woman, and director Sylvain White gives the audience lots of hip-swinging, hair-bouncing, slow-motion shots. It'd be nicer if Saldana actually had some thickness to jiggle in those scenes. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but Zoe's scrawny frame makes Nicole Kidman look like she's got back.

The Money Shot
The Losers has substance, action, decent performances but suffers from a bit too much style. It wasn't so much style as it was timing and the lack of big names that hurt the Losers at the box office. Only the big actors draw audiences in. I like Morgan, but what's he done aside from the being the dead guy in Watchmen? Patric has a solid resume, but who except Lost Boys fans recognizes him? Maybe the 2010 box office only has room for an A-Team, not the B-Team.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, May 3, 2010

MMM: Stuck in Second Gear

Good Monday to you all. I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was good, but infinitely busy. I had a to-do list a mile long, and most things I did get to-done. I had hoped to complete everything, but wifey likes to point out that my list is ALWAYS daunting and never get finished, so why fret? True. The difference between my old, long-ass lists and these new ones is that, instead of rooting myself to the couch for days on end lamenting about where to start, I've gone into the past few weekends ready to chew bubblegum and kick ass...

Since I've been all out of bubblegum, I've scratched off dozens of items. Yay for me - except for every task I vanquish, two pop up in its place. I will not let this phase me.

For this week's Monday Mood Music I decided to go with a little local-ish flavor to keep my mind limber while tackling this perpetual list issue. The Mountain Goats, formed in 1991, have resided in Durham, NC since 2006. They are quite prolific; I dare say I don't know even one-third of their catalog. Of those I do know, I quite enjoy.

This Year from their 2005 album Sunset Tree is this Monday's selection. It's an autobiographical song by founding member John Darnielle concerning his childhood with an abusive stepfather. It's proof positive you can overcome any oppressive situation. Granted, a massive to-do list is trivial compared to suffering from abuse, but sometimes, whatever your dilemma, you need to know this too shall pass.

Mountain Goats - This Year

Get out there and show this week who's the boss!!!

Large Association of Movie Blogs