October 22, 2007

Just When I Thought I Was Out...


Coming this Christmas. What can I say, Walter made an awfully convincing case for it. ("Let's do it.") Start saving your pennies!

84 comments:

jacksommersby said...

Not that the covers for the previous two books weren't good, Bill, but this one has the kind of minimalist pizazz of some of the Turkish movie posters I own that I just adore.

And just a suggestion: I would think there'd be a market for a DVD guide book from y'all. The DVD reviews here are better than the ones at DVD Talk and DVD Verdict and the like. I actually learn a LOT from these reviews, to where I can pretend to be a know-it-all on the subject when gabbing about DVDs with comrades.

jacksommersby said...

Oh, I forgot: Is there going to be a foreward by anybody?

Vikram said...

Sweet. I'm there. Love the cover.

Bill C said...

I hope I'm not lowering anyone's estimation of the cover by revealing that it's a Saul Bass parody. I think you've really hit something on the head there, Jack, with regards to where those wacky Turks get their inspiration.

A DVD guide is not out of the question, but with so many permutations of single titles available these days, I fear it'd be hard to publish one without a built-in Best Before date.

Justin said...

AWESOME. I usually get a Barnes & Noble card once a Christmas and I'll be getting an annual with it for the third year in a row. And that's the best cover yet.

Love Gorilla said...

Would signed copies be out of the question? I'm still shaking with excitement over my signed copy of John Dies At The End by the esteemed David Wong.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, not that I'm fishing for cool points here, but I immediately recognized that as the cover of the Preminger classic, Anatomy of Your Mother (a personal favorite!).

Love Gorilla said...

O/T, just saw Saw IV. It's Saw III, only with that guy from Gilmore Girls in it. This is a good or bad thing depending upon your perspective/sanity.

Dave G said...

Kewl cover y'all.

In other year end updates, think it's OK to pick on Ebert again?

A quick search reveals that Ebe likes 3/4 of everything he's seen this year. Looks like a banner year for milquetoast--Rendition, Lions for Lambs, Michael Clayton, In the Valley of Elah--which limousine lib-flick will get the Oscar props this year?!!!

Preview of Ebe's 2007 annual: The Fountain?--why bother when you can see Lars and the Real Girl, Hot Rod, Sleuth and Mr. Woodcock?

Bill C said...

To answer an earlier question: we do have someone special writing the foreword again but we're keeping the name under wraps for the time being. Another director, FYI. I'm way thrilled by this particular development.

Anon: ANATOMY OF YOUR MOTHER? Qu'est-ce-que c'est?

Love Gorilla: Is it Rory's chipmunk-voiced, manicured father who's the GG castoff in SAW IV? If that's the case, count me out. That guy makes my skin crawl.

Should Rog retire?

Love Gorilla said...

No, it's Luke!! One of my favourite characters of all time!! You know you love Luke, Bill, despite your hatred for the stupid show!! His relationship with Lorelai was wonderful.

Dave G said...

I'm surprised that Roger hasn't semi-retired yet, not because of his recent health problems--but, because I'd think that someone as wealthy and influential as him (for a film scribe anyways) would bow out from the daily grind of continuing to review much of the weekly releases and just enjoy his emeritus status, rubbing elbows with Charlize and all that--guess I'm projecting here--but, if I had the choice of no longer having to see the latest Dane Cook to keep food on the table, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. Guess Roger loves the gig--nothing wrong with that, it's a good gig--but, I haven't been able to consider him a credible film critic for several years. Given that he was recently bestowed the honour of "Most Powerful Pundit" I suppose he aint gonna give up any of his reins too quickly--especially because he appears to have taken the title seriously, dropping it recently in his non-feud with Clive Barker--which is kind of lame, especially because most of the other high-profile 'pundits' are ludicrous jackholes. Ebe's writing is often still compulsively readable, but he's definitely stopped engaging with the what's on the screen in anything but the most cursory and superficial manner, entire chunks of his recent reviews read like press release copy. His rave of "Rendition" has nothing to do with the film (which is all kinds of lame) itself.

Rick said...
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Rick said...

Lars and the Real Girl? So people should cater to the impractical needs of the mentally ill, instead of treating them and getting to the root of the problem? Well, at least the first method provides very quirky moments!

Benaiah said...

While I can't defend Ebert as a movie critic, I chafe when I see too much bashing of the man. He keeps reviewing movies because, as amazing as this sounds, HE LOVES MOVIES. Sure, that includes movies that suck, but compared to a soulless huckster like Roeper, the man is practically Goddard (the critic, not the director).

He shouldn't be the most famous movie reviewer in the country (Jonathan Rosenblum maybe?), but the five most famous critics in the country are all mediocre to actually terrible anyway (my list: Peter Travers, Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper, Anthony Lane and... A.O Scott maybe, though he isn't bad). It isn't much of a revelation that most movie critics aren't analyzing a movie, just giving advice about whether or not you should see it.

Seattle Jeff said...

Ouch...I actually like Anthony Lane.

Benaiah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate said...

I actually can't stand Anthony Lane. He seems like a smart fellow, but something about his cynicism makes me think he doesn't truly love movies. A friend of mine bought me "Nobody's Perfect" as a birthday gift and even the title rubs me the wrong way. I like to think that some movies actually are perfect.

O'JohnLandis said...

If I'm going to the movies with a guy, it'd be nice if he loved movies. If I'm going to the movies with a girl, it'd be nice if she loved me. If I'm going to read film criticism, it'd be nice if he can write. I had never read a word of Anthony Lane until just now, but it seems he can write well. Good enough for me.

Maybe after years of therapy, he'll learn to love.

Benaiah said...

I can't remember who said: "Anthony Lane reduces movie criticism to cocktail party quips" but I think that hits the nail on the head. Just because you hate 90% of the movies you watch doesn't mean you have superior taste, if anything it means that you don't like movies very much. He can write, but I wish he wrote about something else.

Dave G said...

I think Hate and Love belong on Robert Mitchum's knuckles and shouldn't play much into a critical approach to film given that they are such inherently subjective emotions, or at the very least, the writer should be reflective and humble enough to consider whether that love is blinding them. I'm thinking of my busting up at the end of "Million Dollar Baby", a film which gave me that emotional catharsis which is a big reason why I love movies too...but was it a good film? Hmmm...Guess that depends on how much I'm expecting--for his entire career Rog has set up a nice hermetically sealed critical approach to films, judging films purely on their "intentions"--meaning if a film aims to be stupid and manipulative, and it is...then it's a film worthy of praise. Love may be blind, but film critics need to keep their eyes wide open. "Hate" is a little too inflammatory--but personally, I'll probably take the 90% hater over the "Films! Each more glorious than the last!" guy any day--as long as he can write.

theoldboy said...

The Rog's Grindhouse review is a hideous fucking abortion. I kind of see Ebert's new non-review phase as being like that of an old man that knows he's on his last legs so every fucking thing anyone says to him will make him tell a lengthy moral story about his life regardless of its relevance. Ebert-lite and general cocksucker Roeper, by comparison, is almost starting to look like a properly functioning human being.

(If anybody's wondering why I'm swearing so fucking much, I just started watching Deadwood after The Chaw's DVD review.)

Seattle Jeff said...

I forget what turned me on to Lane, but I think I actually liked his arrogance...and I like to take in info from different perspectives.

There's some AP critic that I like though I disagree with her half the time or more. She made some funny comment about how "Cars" was "Doc Hollywood".

I like to weigh different opinions from different perspectives.

I give Walter a lot of weight...

Let me express this in mathematical terms...

WC.75 + AL.15 + CL.1 = my perception before seeing a film myself

Richard said...

theoldboy: I sympathize with the Deadwood-related swearing as my girlfriend and I are about halfway through the series and find the words 'cunt', 'fuck', and 'cocksucker' creeping ever more frequently into our vocabularies. Fucking shitty that those cocksuckers at HBO have apparently canceled the two planned movies. Cunts.

Alex Jackson said...

You know, I gotta say this about The Rog-- his "Great Movies" series is a lot more fun to burn through than most of the "great movie" lists out there. I certainly want to see most of these before taking on Slant Magazine's "Alternative" Top 100 or the They Shoot Picture Don't They Top 1000 or god forbid Jonathan Rosenbaum's Top 1000 (really good critic, but man I don't share his taste in movies at all).

In case you haven't heard already, this website is consuming my soul.

Greg said...

This is excellent news! I was sad to hear that there wouldn't be an annual this year, so the news that there will be is a pleasant and very welcome surprise.

I, too, am a fan of the cover - they've only gotten better each year.

Good luck with it, guys!

Love Gorilla said...

Travis,

Say what you like about Disturbia (and I frequently do), it both completely understood and refused to condescend to the power fantasies and frustrated desires of its adolescent audience.

Uh, what?! Disturbia, the film so poorly plotted that every character/stereotype acts exactly as a 13-year-old would have written (the evil school teacher insulting child's dead father, the annoying kids next door with nothing better to do but play practical jokes on him, the ridiculous-hot-girl-next-door-who-sunbathes-where-he-can-watch desperately wanting him, etc etc)? What about our friendly neighborhood psychopath, who begins as a creepy old man next door, and ends up as a modern day Ed Gein, with his house decorated with parts of people? Or the stupid mother character, whose arbitrary rules for Shia (who I honestly believe has knocked out Paul Walker for Worst American Actor of All Time) fluctuate from scene to scene with only the common thread of making no sense (and ultimately placing her in peril so that only Shia and co can rescue her)?

The whole movie is an adolescent power fantasy; Rear Window by a 13-year-old. It gets progressively more absurd as it goes on, culminating in the big realisation that a) Shia was right the whole time, b) Shia can save the day, and c) Shia will get the girl. How is that not condescending to the power fantasies and frustrated desires of its adolescent audience? I'm not saying that Disturbia isn't fun to watch, but if it weren't for Transformers and Saw IV, it'd be the most preposterous film of the year. Even the Hollywood sheen can't hide how thin the characters are and how implausible and moronic the script is.

Anonymous said...

Love Gorilla: I interpreted Travis as saying that Disturbia successfully pandered to that adolescent power fantasy, whereas The Invisible doesn't even reach that far.

That said, the slam against Shia Labeouf is entirely uncalled for. He strikes me as an excellent actor, despite the fact that I have only seen him in bad movies up to this point.

Love Gorilla said...

Successfully pandered, sure. But "refused to condescend"? Am I missing something here?

Re: Shia. Did you see him stumble through Transformers? How about Holes? He couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. He's ugly, stilted and pathetic.

Rick said...

Did you see him stumble through Transformers?

I do not think you can judge if an actor is good or not in a paycheck movie. And I wouldn't go as far as to personally attack the kid. Did you see Project Greenlight's making of The Battle of Shaker Heights? Shia was only 16 then, and seemed to be the most headstrong person on the whole set.

Alex Jackson said...

By successfully pandering to adolescents it refused to condescend to them. The film legitimizes adolescent power fantasies by playing into them.

Anonymous said...

Anyone see Saw IV? I think I've learned to love the Saw movies for what they are, despite hating the first one. The fourth movie is fucking riddled with problems, it's slack as all hell. Too many plot lines, not enough gore, and of course retarded plot twists amok.

But I can't help it -- Jigsaw gets more fascinating to me the more I find about him. He's like the anti-Hannibal Lecter in that regard. They've really invested some thought into this guy.

--Kim

tmhoover said...

For the record: I never said that Disturbia was actually GOOD. Go back and read my review of that if you don't believe me. I did, however, recognize that the reason kids liked it so much was that it sort of identified with the things that make them horny and pissed-off most of the time- it seemed to like the idea of playing into that and that's what I meant by "honouring its audience." The imbecilic characters and plot contrivances are of no concern- teenagers don't care about logic, they care about hating their parents and getting laid. Which the movie got, whatever else can be said against it. That's why it seemed a useful comparison with The Invisible- where I thought both movies were stupid, one seemed like it understood and respected the desires of its audience where the other was totally clueless and would appeal to nobody. Disturbia is still incredibly dumb, but I got why it might be potent for a certain segment of the audience and that if I were 15, I probably would have loved it. As it turns out, I'm 34, and thus more into things serious, demanding and Romanian, but that's neither here nor there.

Rick said...

And if you thought calling a kid "ugly, stilted and pathetic" was overly aggressive, check out love gorilla's blog page. The October 6th, 2007 entry is boderline disturbing out of context, I am hoping there was more to that story. ( hopefully an inside joke? )

Love Gorilla said...

Yeah, let's hope so.

Travis, could you say the same about Tyler Perry's stupid films not condescending to their stupid black audience?

I'm right there with you, Kim. Except I got a big kick out of the incredibly stupid Saw IV - at the very least, they've amped up the nasty in such a way as to warrant the unfounded "torture porn" label - if the lengthy autopsy doesn't do it for you, how about the limb-ripping eye-gouging sequence later on, which includes flashcuts of rape? Jigsaw is a profoundly ridiculous character, but somehow they've made him interesting, and made him the star of the whole thing - the series is less about the traps, and more about this guy who's just struggling to deal with what he views as the injustices of the world.

tmhoover said...

Re Tyler Perry: No dice. Perry almost certainly DOES condescend to the black audience, treating them like the worst sort of idiots and feeding them moralistic bullshit from a position high above them. The ironic thing is, there are people dying to be condescended to like this- looking for an idiot guru like Perry to dispense dubious wisdom so that they might feel in the presence of a big loving papa. I guess the distinction between him and what I was saying about The Invisible (has it really come to this?) is that Perry at least knows the weak spots of the audience he's fleecing, where Goyer and company have no idea. Disturbia, by contrast, seems to be on the level of the audience and likes the same things it likes.

I would really rather be talking about something Romanian.

Love Gorilla said...

Fair enough, valid point. So, how about that pretty Film Freak Central 2007 Annual cover? Pretty sweet!

Bill C said...

Full disclosure: wrote something dashed-off. Deleted it. Currently re-formulating.

rachel said...

Sorry to shamelessly and perpetually plug my shit (worse: it's not even vaguely related to movies, except in the way that it's been good practice for writing dialogue), but I just put my webcomic up. I'm curious as to what people think. My feedback has been all over the place. I'm fully ready to agree with anyone who thinks it's a failure. It's just a form I'm interested in, and I thought I'd take a crack at it.

Love Gorilla said...

While I respect what you're trying to do, the non-sequitur humor doesn't really work - there's no punchline, nothing that makes it funny. Though, that said, October 17th made me chuckle, because they're so crazy!

Alex Jackson said...

I don't like it either.

Make more movies.

Seattle Jeff said...

Hi Rachel...

Very,very well drawn. AS an aspiring webcomic guy myself, I'm envious of your visual skill. (I can't draw shit...well, I could draw a literal piece of shit, but people, funriture, perspective, etc give me problems.)

I also repsect that you'd open yourself up for constructive criticsm.

But I didn't get the jokes either.

Good luck with it.

Bill C said...

I got the jokes, but they were of the sort that made me say "that's funny" instead of laughing (e.g. "Sir Shacklefun," the line about white privelege). But, y'know, whatever--humour's subjective. I think poo is funny. A bigger issue is that I can't really locate a throughline to the characters/situations; feels a bit too loosey-goosey for its own good, and so it's kinda disengaging. If you're going for a Far Side sorta thing, recurring characters might be counterproductive.

I'm confused, though: are you Raj, Rachel? Is that your pen name?

rachel said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Jeff- Alas, I can’t take credit for the one thing you like. All the art’s recycled Apartment 3-G strips. I never really thought I was doing a parody, although I guess a lot of the aspects of the writing are sort of a response to that strip, which tends to be hyper-banal, archaic, and achingly linear. (Of course, the fact that I ever thought such a project was worthwhile must mean that I’ve got a Mel Brooks-like grip on the zeitgeist.) The irony is that I actually can draw, I just hate drawing and writing for the same project. I get too neurotic. The same thing with filming: I can write a script and hand it off to somebody, or shoot what somebody else wrote. I don’t understand people who’d want to do both.

Mostly I was wondering if any of this would work out of their original contexts. A lot of the comics were responses to specific online discussions, or an extension of curmudgeonism. Once you’re in those bubbles, it’s really difficult to see if what you’re doing can work outside them.

I’m thinking it might be a mistake to retain the size of the original speech-bubbles. The best recycled-art comics—Dinosaur Comics, Get Your War On—are much more freeform and satisfying, just because they’ve given themselves actual space to say what they mean. Although it’s a fun challenge to try to fit all the words in there, I might need to give up on this Dogme 95 silliness.

The other ideas I’ve had is just to be more focused—several strips about the same idea, instead of all this jumping—and to get darker/nastier (I like puns because they’re inherently hostile; puns might be more effective if they’re puns about torture). None of it feels aggressive enough yet. Also, I need to just make more. I haven’t really found a rhythm yet, which means I haven’t given the reader a chance to get into a rhythm, either. People who are fans of things like Get Fuzzy say that a Get Fuzzy is funnier if you read 50 of them in a row; there’s just a groove you get into, where the subliminal stuff pops and the weirdness becomes comfortable.

Bill:

Would something like this be more up your alley? I think I’m so filthy in conversation, by the time I get to a keyboard I’m just tuckered out. But yeah, lots of talk at lunch about dude noodles.

Also, yup I’m Raj. It’s a nickname I go by when it’s helpful. Like, when the speech bubble is really small, or when I’m at Jew camp. (Last time I went, there were like six Rachels just in my bunk, nightmarish.)

rachel said...

I mean, curmudgeonism. Blah.

rachel said...

This was the original version of the Shacklefun strip, I've been told it's funnier.

Now, I swear I'll shut up.

Seattle Jeff said...

Hey Rachel,

Never read Apartment 3-G, so I didn't catche that(though I wondered a little)

But now I have more of a handle of what you're going for (after I have it explicitly explained to me...duh.)

I think you're on the right track (I read more of them after my last post)...remember comedy is hard and ...I'll shut up now.

Love Gorilla said...

Question to the Film Freaks - what's been your best experience in a cinema? Specific movie, good (or bad) audience reaction, etc?

Jefferson said...

Learning how to cuss at the age of 8 while watching Every Which Way But Loose in the theater with my mom.

Anonymous said...

Getting wasted off of bourbon with my buddy during "Grindhouse" or getting head from my girl during the movie "Rat Race" (we were in high school and thus it had nothing to do with the movie; all hormones). I think the former is more authentic to your question as my friend and I love DTV horror and the latter really had nothing to do with the movie except possibly weird some "Rat Race" patrons.

Anonymous said...

weird them out, and it was a midnight screening, dont worry, no kids in the theater

jacksommersby said...

Best experience? Well, there are two, because I just can't give the edge to either one.

One, was watching a back-to-back-to-back movie marathon of [i]The Hitcher[/i], [i]The Delta Force[/i], and [i]Murphy's Romance[/i] when I was 16. Three awesome films in a row.

Two, seeing [i]Die Hard[/i] at a sneak preview at the NorthPark 1 theatre in Dallas. This was the same theatre that George Lucas personally supervised the installation of the THX system in. No one even remotely knew what to expect from an action film starring Bruce Willis, whose previous two films didn't ignite any box-office fire. (By the way, I think Richard Gere an idiot for turning the lead role down.) I tell ya, the best moment was the very first shot of that plane landing. The big screen and kick-butt audio made that a frigging classic moment.

Seattle Jeff said...

Well, it wasn't when my ex-girlfriend was thrilled with "Batman Forever" or when she and I went to see "While You Were Sleeping" during one of her pyschotic episodes.

Anonymous said...

"If the upcoming American Gangster is the finest American New Wave cop procedural since The French Connection/Prince of the City/Serpico..."

Yet no review? Hopefully, Walter's just having trouble doing the movie justice?

Seattle Jeff said...

The worst thing about "Bee Movie" is that my son really wants to see it.

tmhoover said...

I gotta dissent from Walter's view: American Gangster is a movie that wishes it was William Friedkin, but is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Steven Zaillian- and I can't think of two people with less street cred than them. It's got a lot of Stanley Kramerish theeeeeemes, which means it broaches interesting topics only to back away from them when it has to elaborate. And though it wants to ape 70s crime movies that only results in Scott throwing in a sprinkling of prostitutes when he thinks things aren't sordid enough (which they never are). It's a nicely-shot, handsomely mounted movie, and sort of entertaining on that level. But for a real urban drama with perceptive direction and genuine conviction see We Own the Night.

Alex Jackson said...

Even Roger Ebert didn't like Bee Movie or Martian Child. I have gained a little more affection for the guy too now that he added Blade Runner to his Great Movies list. He says something like "I've always held this film at arm's length, but because of it has now reached classic status it is time to add it to the canon", which is kind of obnoxious. But still, as I've mentioned earlier, I've found that his "canon" is a lot more fun to burn through than most others.

dave g said...

Still a little bemused at the volume of praise heaped on "We Own the Night". Good performances and a couple of nifty setpieces (the rain-soaked car chase comes to mind)--but the writing was pretty hacky, and occasionally downright ludicrous (Joaquin must be the most naive bar-manager in the history of mankind, think he was hanging out with Naomi Watts' Eastern Promises character between shifts)

jacksommersby said...

the guy too now that he added Blade Runner to his Great Movies list.

And from a guy who gave it only 3 stars out of 4. The thing reached classic status over a frigging decade or so, mind you, and it doing that should have zero bearing in any reputable critic's book. What's next? Him endorsing Brazil, which he gave 2 stars? I'm losing more and more respect for him; Siskel would never have caved to a film in "classic" status. He gave Unforgiven a thumbs-down and never went back and upped it. Man, I miss that guy.

Pwetz said...

He's done quicker turnarounds: Donnie Darko, for instance.

Bill C said...

Regardless of AMERICAN GANGSTER's individual worth, I'm so, so glad it kicked BEE MOVIE's ass this weekend. So much for that whole R-rating=kiss of death misnomer.

Alex Jackson said...

Siskel would never have caved to a film in "classic" status. He gave Unforgiven a thumbs-down and never went back and upped it. Man, I miss that guy.

Ditto for Silence of the Lambs.

As far as I know, Ebert hasn't yet put a film into Great Movies that he gave thumbs down too. Other three star films that Ebert has included in the series include One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Solaris, and A Christmas Story. I don't have a much of a problem with him rewatching a film he liked and realizing that it's great, but with Blade Runner it's clear that his opinion hasn't improved on it.

Dave G said...

I wonder if Ebe is conscious of the inherent arrogance in suggesting that he is the gate keeper for films clamouring for entrance in the so-called "canon". I too enjoyed this series much more when it was a reflection of his personal taste and sensibilities rather than a half-assed clearing house of "Classic" films. Wonder if he will now add the almost universally praised (arguably to a far greater extent than "Blade Runner") "Blue Velvet" to his list on this basis.

jacksommersby said...

Bill,

What's even more telling is that due to its 2-hour-37-minute running time, Scott's film had one less showing a day than "Bee" did. Haven't looked at the per-screen average, but it has to be pretty damn good.

Ogami Itto said...

RE: Roger Ebert's turnabouts

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070816/REVIEWS/70817008

Apparently he loved "Pierrot Le Fou" 40 years ago but now admires it a lot less.

I think it's interesting for a critic to revisit a film several years later and reassess it from a more distant or different perspective.

Also, I can understand someone giving a negative review to the theatrical version of "Bladerunner" (or "Brazil" for that matter) and then changing his opinion after seeing a later version (the director's cut in the latter example, the final cut in the former).


- Ogami Itto

Dave G said...

I agree that revisiting and reevaluating any work of art is a valuable exercise. My concern with Ebert's "Blade Runner" redux was his decision to frame the reevaluation in the context of his "Great Movies" series. The article reads as reluctant, belated acquiescence to common critical consensus rather than a revised opinion of the film. It's always been a breezy, consistently entertaining series; a subjective peek inside Ebert's mind and a nice cross-section of his taste. Turning it into a canonical clearing house just disappoints me from a critical perspective.

Mention of "Brazil" reminded me that that film would probably have been on my own "Great Movies" list 15 years ago. Now? Not so much. Gotta go with big Ebe on that one.

jacksommersby said...

I tried watching "Brazil" again just this very week, and found I still hold the same negative opinion of it -- that it's too much "on" all the time, like Gilliam's afraid to rely on character and story and overaccentuates it at each and every turn.

James Allen said...

Ian:

Re: The Sarah Silverman Program

Really?

I like Silverman and all, but I think the show is a huge miss for a few reasons: 1) Silverman is not much of an actress, she is so stiff in her manner that she kills most of her supposedly hilarious set-ups, 2) Even with a total misanthrope, you have to give the audience at least a little bit of an in, which she doesn't, 3) the un-PC jokes are stale and are really given no new spin, other than a woman doing them, 4) She is out-acted by her sister, who at least has a commitment to her character that I don't believe Sarah has, 5) I don't mind a good poop joke once in awhile, but she leans on them way too much. (as an aside, South Park logged (pardon the expression) in one of thier weaker efforts a few weeks ago with a whole episode that was a poop joke. I suppose that was the joke itself i.e. "How far we can we take a poop joke?" which unfortunately has, in comedic terms, a blindingly obvious answer: "as far as you like.")

I do think there's a good format for her out there somewhere, but this lame "sitcom parody" format ain't it. I think she needs a venue where she can modulate her performance to suit the subject and also to mix things up a bit. In this show, she's hits the same button over and over again.

I do agree with you about Robot Chicken though.

Sean said...

A bit off topic here, but did anybody happen to catch "Bug"? I just checked it out a few nights ago and I'm dying to shoot the shit about it.

Bill C said...

I did and have been tapping out a twofer on that and CRUISING that keeps getting backburnered. Long and the short is I really liked BUG; not sure why, but I'm a sucker for movies where co-dependent couples basically devour each other alive (see also: DEAD RINGERS). It was also nice to see Ashley Judd hit the reset button on her squandered career, but man does she have some issues. She's more of an auteur than most directors.

Sean said...

Bill,

I agree. Probably because I've been one half of that couple before, but yeah. I also happen to think that the exact moment Judd hits the reset button occurs when she leaps into the air howling "I am the mother bug queen!" or some shit like that. Outstanding.

Alex Jackson said...

Not sure what to make of Bug. I think the whole thing might be rather overwritten though.

"I'm from Beaver".

"Ain't we all from beaver?"

Jeffrey Allen Rydell said...

"I'm from Beaver".

"Ain't we all from beaver?"

Skip it. ;)

Ogami Itto said...

Re: The Sarah Silverman Program

I know humor is subjective and all, but I honestly cannot comprehend the appeal of Silverman. Her shtick -- pretty girl says naughty things, oblivious to their offensiveness -- would have been a funny 5 minute SNL bit once or twice, but I strongly disagree that she sidesteps hipster irony. I think she exemplifies it.

- Itto

Anonymous said...

I hope Walter reviews American Gangster soon. I saw it today and was adequately engaged, but it hardly struck me as an exceptional picture.

brandon curtis said...

All this Judd talk gives me an excuse to say "Come Early Morning" fucking rocks.

Anonymous said...

"Bug" strikes me as less of a movie about insanity and more of an opportunity for actors to show off their crazy-mode acting skills.

--Kim

Alex Jackson said...

"Bug" strikes me as less of a movie about insanity and more of an opportunity for actors to show off their crazy-mode acting skills.

Well, that and an opportunity for Friedkin to show off his crazy-mode directing skills.

What concerns me more is the potential caricaturing of working class Oklahomans. I mean she just had to have an abusive husband right out of prison, right?

Dunno man, I'm really mixed up about this one is all.

Bill C said...

I sorta doubt the sincerity of every Friedkin movie, to be honest; I think he fancies himself an anthropologist but at the same time is kind of a misanthrope. But I guess I appreciated the very theatricality of BUG. As a side note, like a lot of recent movies (PERFECT STRANGER, DAN IN REAL LIFE, MICHAEL CLAYTON), it seems like something left over from the '90s, which I find fascinating in and of itself, especially since no one is responding to these films in a way that's making them stick.

Seattle Jeff said...

I can see it now on Rotten Tomatoes:

No Country for Old Men is a fucking masterpiece.-Walter Chaw

Love Gorilla said...

Damn, I stayed up waiting to hear Walter say those exact words on Bill Press, and he wasn't on! Argh.

Rick said...

When is Walter going to be on?

Seattle Jeff said...

The Coen movie doesn't hit wide release until the 21st....garrgghhhh!!!

Love Gorilla said...

Sheesh, no new blog post for over three weeks - I think you guys should get a message board, that way we could get conversation going about various tidbits between the main blog posts. Like about P2, which I saw tonight, and was an absolute corker - hardly a good film, but I'll be damned if it wasn't a great deal of over-the-top fun.

Why, oh why, does No Country for Old Men have no Australian release date, and a limited US release date? Over on RottenTomatoes, it looks to be the best reviewed 2007 film since Ratatouille.