Archive for the 'Cinema Chat' Category

A Prophet

From Jacques Audiard, the director of “The Beat That My Heart Skipped.” If you haven’t seen it, go check it out before it leaves the theaters.

It’s a masterpiece, easily of the best films I’m seen in the last decade and I’m a couple of thumbs short on being able to give this a proper review. Yes, it’s that good.

“The Road/Collapse” Post-Thanksgiving/Pre-Post Apocalyptic Double Feature

As usual I went into this Thanksgiving weekend feeling not super thankful, but instead majorly annoyed by a series of minor everyday tragedies, like the fact that my favorite shoes are now a ½ size too small, that I keep losing pens, that everything in my room is constantly covered in this crazy magic black soot no matter how many times I dust or vacuum, that my back hurts and I fucked my mustache up shaving, that my head is getting bigger and my lips are getting smaller, that Dubai is broke and micro-pigs cost $3,000, that Andy Kaufman’s dead, and that nobody lost their life this year while bargain hunting on “Black Friday.”

An “ungrateful whiny pansy” one might have called me if one would’ve seen me early Saturday fretting over the temperature of my Intelligentsia latte, and one would’ve been right.

Because that was before I went to see “The Road” and “Collapse” back-to-back and the truth of how spectacular my life really is came into view. I honestly haven’t felt this thankful since the swine flu came back with a vengeance and forced all the filthy beasts who called me paranoid back in April to wash their hands.

Don’t believe me? Let me tell you futureless fuckers what I’m thankful for after seeing these two doom fests last weekend.

I’m thankful for gas, fresh water, electricity, shoes, the sun, wind and solar energy and what oil we have left, my bed, sheets, pillows, blankets, soap, pants, and legs to put in them, teeth, food, the fact that I’ve never been raped, had to birth a child naturally or been hunted by the CIA, that I know how to shoot a gun, build a fire, fight, and am willing to kill, butcher and eat another person if need be.

What are you thankful for? Not sure? Do your sorry self a favor and trade some of that gold your hoarding in for a couple of movie tickets this week.

“The Road” I give an A- even though it looks much like what the inside of my head looks like on a good day, bleak, bloody and terrifying.

The child lead is awesome. Much better than the “Where The Wild Things Are” kid. If that snore would’ve been cast in the Road, I’m guessing Viggo Mortensen would’ve just let him get eaten by those cannibal hillbilly’s you see in the trailer.

Everything else is awesome too, except for the last two minutes. Don’t ask me why or you’ll get a spoiler, but let’s just say it really reads, after suffering through 112 minutes of glorious desperation and brutality, like bean-counter Hollywood tack-on saccharine bullshit. (And no, I didn’t read the book. I was too busy writing my own.)

Next up I saw “Collapse” at the cheap theater and nearly asked for my five lousy dollars back. And not because it was bad, I give that one a solid B, but because I felt like I was just watching a fat, ex-cop, mustache-wearing, chain-smoking version of me yap for 88 minutes about shit I already know is, for the most part, true.

Spoiler Alert: We’re running out of resources and we’re totally fucked. The only thing you can do to survive is evolve and unfortunately for you the I-Phone doesn’t have an app for that.

Michael C. Ruppert, it’s safe to say, is a passionate person and passionate people often get misread by lame lifeless-types as crazy, but it’s passionate people who shape the fucking world, not head down, follow-the-leader, head-up-their-ass assholes, whose only concern is whether or not to ask for extra ketchup on their weekly trip to In N’ Out (I always do).

Passionless people throughout history have been consistently responsible for nothing. Unless that is, you consider wasting precious oxygen an achievement.

Columbus didn’t discover America while he was poking people on Facebook.

Einstein didn’t come up with his theory of relativity in while waiting for the next level of “Halo” to load.

Barack Obama didn’t become the first black president in U.S. history because he was just hanging out having a smoke or whatever for the last decade. They guy wanted it. Bad.

He wanted it like Tiger Woods wants strange vagina. Like Alec Baldwin wants to retire. Like whomever left this for me on the kitchen counter this morning…

Wanted me to have a crude drawing of a dick and hairy balls.

Barack truly believed, in his heart and soul, that he was so much more brilliant and qualified than anybody else on this dying planet to be the leader of the free world that that he sacrificed pretty much everything but his dong for the chance to run for president, his smokes, his sleep, his privacy, his safety, and any semblance of a normal life for his children, so that he could eventually be elected President of the United States of America. But you didn’t call him crazy. No.

You voted for him.

But they call this Ruppert crazy because he’s absolutely sure that the future of our planet is pretty much fucked, that the entire financial system is a pyramid scheme, that we’ll soon be out of resources and trading seeds as currency.

Nobody wants to hear that shit, not even from a guy who’s broken “major scandals” including “discovering an extensive drug trafficking operation run by the Central Intelligence Agency” and was the only person on the planet to predict the collapse of world financial system years before it happened.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I feel for the guy. I know first hand what it’s like for have my inspiration misread as insanity or have some douchebag thinknothing at a party harsh my mellow for bumming his slutty sorority girl girlfriend out, after shaking her hand and Purelling mine, with a lecture about drug-resistant tuberculosis.

And apparently the director, Chris Smith (American Movie) did too, because even though he made a very subjective decision to bite Errol Morris’ style and stage the entire interview to look like an interrogation, and cut in enough paranoia cliché shots of Ruppert’s chain smoking for the viewer to die of second hand smoke, and questioned Ruppert’s credentials, and made sure to contrast the ex-LAPD officers views with the ironic truths of his everyday off-screen life, he did give the not-so-crazy bastard the floor for a good hour twenty to speak his mind.

And for that I give him two guns up.

man is the future of man,


“The Road” Trailer

“Collapse” Trailer

*Man “falling or dancing?” photo courtesy of Mark “Nutty Bars N’ Beer” Verbos. Balls and dick by Nick Damski.

“William S. Burroughs: A Man Within” Trailer

This flick about the beat genius features interviews with John Waters, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, David Cronenberg, Laurie Anderson, (world’s largest poisonous snake collector) Dean Ripa and a soundtrack by Sonic Youth. I’m in. Just hope they don’t spend two hours on junk and guns.

For more about the movie check out the site.

Dear Mr. Tarantino

The one hundred and fifty fucking three minutes of my life I wasted over the weekend watching your latest bloated whatever was one hundred and fifty fucking three minutes too many, so I will make this brief.

After seeing your epic snooze fest, I have to assume that you are surrounded by yes men and/or women (Sally Menke?). They aren’t doing you any favors.

You set us up for one hell of the ride and then the wheels came flying off.

I came to laugh and cheer, but instead I nodded off three times. You can thank Christopher Waltz for keeping me awake in the theater long enough to form an educated opinion about your demise as a storyteller.

We know you love movies but if the homage doesn’t fit, don’t force it. The only empire you will eventually take down with your pro-Quentin/anti-audience propaganda is your own.

Good luck next time. And I’m sure there will be a next time.

Lucky us.


Man in the “Moon”

It’s always refreshing to see a kid, bred from the loins of rock royalty, not grow up to be a drug-addled waste of life, or a poor man’s version of their famous parent. I can only imagine how hard it must’ve been for Zowie Bowie to make a name for himself as a man in the glittery shadow of his father.

An easy way to do this would be to change your name from Zowie Bowie to Duncan Jones, while the much more challenging move would be to find your own passion, cultivate your talent and display that talent in an undeniable way.

If it’s nearly impossible to review a movie without spoiling it, that’s a good thing. So I won’t tell you much.

What I will tell you that “Moon” is a simple story that weaves together, brilliantly, very complex themes. That it pays a charming homage to sci-fi greats without being weighed down by nostalgia. That the production design and effects weren’t revolutionary, but sexy enough for me to willingly suspend my disbelief, and that Sam Rockwell is one of the greatest living actors today.

Yeah, I know I’m a little late on this one, but go see it before it leaves the theater.

For more on Helium-3 check CLICK HERE and check out this Popular Mechanics article on “MINING THE MOON.

Rock-A-Fire Explosion: Reviews and Report Cards

A- / B+. “While I was expecting the history of an animatronic sensation from this movie, I had no idea I was in for such a treat. I don’t know what part I enjoyed the most - the roller rink love story, the chicken dancing neighbors, the creepy as shit time capsule of a warehouse / robotanimal birthplace, or the sincere love and pure happiness found within the fans. You want to mock them but you find yourself just wanting to hear more from them.” Erin Comerford, Echo Park

A! “So much fun, it will make you instantly forget that you spent 27 hideous minutes looking for a parking spot, as you cursed the dreaded hipster neighborhood that spawned its “non-readily available parkingness”, and then when you finally did land a spot, realized you were still nowhere near the theatre and so you walked briskly, but didn’t quite run, wondering if you were, in fact, missing the movie, and if you were, would you still want to see it and wait, what was i saying?…This movie will make you smile big and bright.” - Dustin Rubin/Echo Park

A-. “An affectionate poignant reminder that nothing ever truly dies. Somewhere in America right now, there is a grown man in parachute pants playing ColecoVision and eating Fruit Brute cereal. And his name is Gary. Gary, this one’s for you.” - Dan Tice, West Hollywood

A. “What they said.” - Chris K., Earth

The Rock-A-Fire Explosion Premieres Tomorrow Night!

The Rock-afire Explosion Movie Trailer from The Rock-afire Explosion on Vimeo.

One night only. Tomorrow night at Los Feliz 3. Get tickets HERE.

“Anvil! The Story of Anvil” Forges Place in Sleep Never’s Heart

If you’re down with the metal, go see this movie.

If you’re an artist currently questioning whether to follow your heart or to quit your dream and do the right thing, go sit at a desk, make money, save and invest it, only to have it go up in flames when the stock market tanks again, go see this movie.

If you are not an artist, but somebody in your family is an artist or you have a friend that is one and are worried about their life path, go see this movie.

If you’re thinking about dropping out of school to join a band, go see this movie.

If you’ve already dropped out of school to join a band and are thinking of quitting the band and going back to school, go see this movie.

If you’ve ever had a friend, if you’ve ever had a passion for anything in life, if you’re afraid of dying with regrets, go see this movie.

If you’ve never had a passion for anything life, have no life or need some inspiration, go see this movie.

If you’re thinking about going to see “Crank: High Voltage,” JUST DON’T DO IT.

If you want to laugh, if you want to cry…

You know what to do.

“Kick My Heart’s Ass: Short Films About Love” Gets 5 Stars From Time Out New York

And my short “The Lovebirds” gets a sweet little mention. CHECK IT OUT.

“Scott Walker: 30 Century Man” Murders Mystery (in a good way).

Much of the success of “Scott Walker 30 Century Man’” lies in its simple production and form.

After spending a good hour last night futiley attempting to explain Scott Walker, both the man and his music, to people in person, over the phone and through a battery of poorly worded text messages, I finally broke down and began replying with the only obvious answer, “Go listen.”

In a sense, director Stephen Kijak does the same. He keeps his production clean and restrained, using archival footage, brief animated musical interludes and interviews juxtaposing the blown minds of collaborators and musical luminaries as David Bowie, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Sting, Jarvis Cocker with candid chats with Walker himself that demystify the man, leaving the mystery to exist in his music alone.

A ray of light in times rife with tabloid music documentaries spawned in the vain of their cliché-ridden “Behind The Music” melodrama archetypes, “30 Century Man” keeps Scott Walker’s personal life personal.

I won’t lie. I’m not going to say I wasn’t expecting a sort of Syd Barrettesque portrait of a whacked out genius old man half-crippled by acid flashbacks, holed up in a dusty makeshift basement recording studio somewhere, crooning tales of “Anthrax Jesus” and punching “donkeys in the streets of Galway” into an unplugged microphone. But gone are the tales of sex and drugs and rock n’ roll excess, fucked up family life and the prototypical plunge into despair.

Instead of dredging up any dirty business, the movie unfolds tastefully to tell the tail of a humble, honest, sane musician with a firm grasp on his limitations as an artist and as a man.

In removing the shackles of Walker’s mythos, Kijak has done all Walker’s fans a favor. The justice will come the next time we listen to our favorite Walker track or album from beginning to end and are left with only the sound.