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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Windy City Heat



Available now on DVD is probably one of the funniest movies of the decade.

Windy City Heat is an elaborate practical joke played on Perry Caravelo by his two "friends", Don Barris and Tony Barbieri.

The set up of the film is that Perry Caravelo believes that his chance of a lifetime has arrived by landing the part of Stone Fury in the huge, action film Windy City Heat. He lives out his fantasy with the bonus of cameras rolling at all times to document the suppossed behind the scenes events for the spectacular DVD.

In reality, the filming is just an opportunity to witness his two friends humiliate, ridicule, and embarrass Perry Caravelo at every turn.

I know it sounds mean.

That's because it is.

But after watching Perry in his element for a few minutes, one figures out pretty quickly that this guy deserves all that's coming to him.

He's homophobic, rude, crude, ignorant, and extremely, extremely arrogant.

At one point he remarks, with all sincerity, that he's the new Marlon Brando.

Seriously.

Without spoiling the humor, some of the bits include, a hilarious audition situation, stunt work involving shit, a red baseball bat, mistaken costume fittings, toilet humor (literally), and an accident involving a craft services table.

The only slight problem with the movie is that it's pretty unbelievable that Perry is so ignorant.

Seriously the guy has to be retarded to fall for some of the set-ups.

For example Bobcat Goldthwait is directing this supposed action film.

But somehow it's believable because the guy is such a ignorant, and terrible, yet arrogant actor.

The audience ends up hoping for all it's worth that it is real, and that he isn't in on the joke.

Just to see him suffer.

Which brings up a point that if Perry is in on the joke, Perry Caravelo is a comic genius.

In the mold of Andy Kaufman, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Which is a scenario which is even harder to believe.

In any case, I highly, highly recommend watching this film.

There are some huge, tears inducing, stomach hurting laughs, that will have one giggling for weeks after just thinking about it.



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Friday, October 27, 2006

The Departed



Not much more can be said about how great this movie is.

Which is why I held off on writing my review.

Honestly, what's left to be said?

Besides that, the truth is in my heart, I believe Mr. Scorsese is not capable of making a bad movie.

Even if he tried.

Seriously.

Even his stuff that people considered uneven.....I think is pretty freakin' brilliant.

I thought Gangs of New York and The Aviator were epic.

I liked Age of Innocence, Kundun, Color of Money....even Bringing out the Dead.

Well...... maybe not Bringing out the Dead.

But I recognize that movie is still better than 95% of the stuff that is out there today.

So, as one can see, in my eyes the guy can do no wrong.

I guess I'm not in the minority in my beliefs. Any dumb ass off the street will admit that the guy is a genius.

Which is why it's so strange that he's been unable to win the film industry's most prestigious award.

I think if there's any complaints about his most recent work, it's that they all seemed like they were geared toward trying to win him the Oscar.

Which of course isn't true.

But the way his films were marketed definitely made it seem that way.

So it's refreshing that The Departed at least looks like something more closer to his indie sensibility.

It feels like a movie with no obvious award season ambition.

It feels like Scorsese..... having some fun.

Like he did in Goodfellas, and Casino.

Indeed, the story is not even an original idea. It's based on a rather exceptional chinese film called Infernal Affairs.

I read in an article that one of the reasons Scorsese made the movie was to give back to the chinese film community, which has been so influenced by Scorsese's work.

The Departed is a superior film....but in all honestly not by much.

Andy Lau's movie is stylistic fun, and Andy Lau and Tony Leung's performances are pretty amazing.

Stunning work really.

Especially when watched with a fresh perspective.

Which is a big weakness for the remake.

The film is a faithful interpretation of Infernal Affairs.... almost to a fault.

Many of the plot points are ripped straight from the original.

To the point that I think that, if given a choice, viewers should not watch the original before watching this film.

It will spoil all the fun.

But even if one has seen the original, this movie is still a pretty fun and amazing ride.

Perhaps not surprising, I felt the differences in the two films were what I enjoyed most.

This time around I felt the stand out performances in the film were by the supporting actors.

In particular Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, who happen to be characters who aren't in the original.

The truth is that they steal this film from Leo and Damon.

Like bandits.

Mark Wahlberg in particular has never been better.

Also getting notable attention is Vera Farmiga, who's character is tweaked so that she's romantically involved with both Leo and Damon's character. It's a nice tweak in the story, and gives the movie even more depth and heart.

Let's not forget Jack...who's great in his role. It's a wild, almost, out of control performance but it's entertaining, enjoyable and pretty damn great.

Perhaps turning in the most intimidating performance of them all is Ray Winstone's Mr. French. Who's a cold blooded, loyal, calculated killer, and second in command to Nicholson's Frank Costello. It fantastic, understated, work that hopefully won't be forgotten come awards season.

So basically it's a great film.... good source material, great adaptation, good performances, great direction, it's a can't miss.....maybe it's the best movie of the year.

What more needs to be said?



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Sunday, October 15, 2006

A son of many talents!

American Idol watch out.

My wife took some pictures of our little cub the other day, and I was scanning through them on the computer, catching up with his exploits that I miss while I am at work, and to my surprise, I noticed that she captured him displaying some unusual supernatural abilities.....especially for his age.

He's only 7 months, but he's obviously a musical genius.

If one needs proof.......take a look at these pictures.



Yeah, that's right he sings......but unfortunately when I'm not around.

I coyly pressed my wife for some details, but she refused to report any unusual abilities. Perhaps she's afraid that his talents may draw the attention of Julliard who may force her to enroll him in a preschool program to hone his obvious vocal talents so that he may share them with the world.

When I told her it was okay....that I wouldn't share the secret with anyone. She merely looked at me like I was insane....which unfortunately is a look she gives me a lot.

Just when I was ready to give in, and admit that..... maybe..... she may have just caught a moment of unusual coincidence.... I saw this next picture.



Check out that finger placement.

I saw Anchorman.

We all did.

It's obvious what he's doing here.

He's obviously playing the jazz flute.

I'm now in the process of examining ALL his pictures, which is considerable,.....to maybe catch other remarkable moments that my wife is afraid to share with me.

Imagine....here I was thinking that I was just missing diaper changes, and mid-day naps while I'm at work.

When it's obvious there's a prodigy in my midst.



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