Thursday, April 28, 2011

Great Closing Voice-Over Narration - Part 2

"And that's the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."

Screenplay by Nicolas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese

“After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I realized what a terrific person she was, and - and how much fun it was just knowing her. And I - I thought of that old joke, you know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy - he thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs.”

Annie Hall
Screenplay by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman

“Now I've justified this to myself in all sorts of ways. It wasn't a big deal, just a minor betrayal. Or we'd outgrown each other, you know, that sort of thing. But let's face it, I ripped them off - my so called mates. But Begbie, I couldn't give a sh!t about him. And Sick Boy, well he'd done the same to me, if he'd only thought of it first. And Spud, well, OK, I felt sorry for Spud - he never hurt anybody. So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers - all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person. But, that's gonna change - I'm going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the f@cking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.”

Screenplay by John Hodge (Irvine Welsh, novel)

“For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning that all glory is fleeting.”

Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North

"The Mercury program was over. Four years later, astronaut Gus Grissom was killed, along with astronauts White and Chaffee, when fire swept through their Apollo capsule. But on that glorious day in May 1963, Gordo Cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American - 22 complete orbits around the world. He was the last American ever to go into space alone. And for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen."

The Right Stuff
Screenplay by Philip Kaufman (Tom Wolfe, novel)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DVD and Blu-ray Releases - 4/26/11

Blood Out - #
Human Planet - #
Knockout - #
Sacrifice - #
Sniper: Reloaded - #
South Park - 14th Season - #
Upstairs Downstairs

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases

Blow Out - (Criterion) - *
Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back - *
Dementia 13
The Dorm that Dripped Blood
El Topo
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - (Criterion)
Gangs of New York - *
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
The Holy Mountain
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan - *
Poor Pretty Eddie
The Queen - *
Scary Movie
Sin City
The Terror

# - Also on Blu-ray
* - Doctor approved

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Another Genius Onion Video

Today Now! Interviews The 5-Year-Old Screenwriter Of "Fast Five"

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One of the All-time Greats

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekend Box Office: 4/22/11-4/24/11


1. Rio: 26.8 mil / -32% / 81 mil
2. Madea's Big Happy Family: 25.8 mil/NEW
3. Water for Elephants: 17.5 mil / NEW
4. Hop: 12.5 mil / +16% / 101 mil
5. Scream 4: 7.2 mil / -62% / 31 mil
6. African Cats: 6.4 mil / NEW
7. Soul Surfer: 5.6 mil / -23% / 29 mil
8. Insidious: 5.4 mil / -20% / 44 mil
9. Hanna: 5.3 mil / -28% / 32 mil
10. Source Code: 5 mil / -19% / 45 mil
11. Arthur: 4.1 mil / -39% / 29 mil
12. Limitless: 2.6 mil / -28% / 74 mil
13. The Conspirator: 2.3 mil / -35% / 7 mil
14. Lincoln Lawyer: 1.9 mil / -36% / 53 mil

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Great Opening Voice-Over Narration - Part 2

“People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden.”

Fight Club
Screenplay by Jim Uhls (Chuck Palahniuk, novel)

“In the New York Herald, November 26, year 1911, there is an account of the hanging of three men. They died for the murder of Sir Edmund William Godfrey; Husband, Father, Pharmacist and all around gentle-man resident of: Greenberry Hill, London. He was murdered by three vagrants whose motive was simple robbery. They were identified as: Joseph Green, Stanley Berry, and Daniel Hill. Green, Berry, Hill. And I Would Like To Think This was Only A Matter Of Chance. As reported in the Reno Gazette, June of 1983 there is the story of a fire, the water that it took to contain the fire, and a scuba diver named Delmer Darion. Employee of the Nugget Hotel and Casino, Reno, Nevada; engaged as a blackjack dealer. Well liked and well regarded as a physical, recreational and sporting sort, Delmer's true passion was for the lake. As reported by the coroner, Delmer died of a heart attack somewhere between the lake and the tree. A most curious side note is the suicide the next day of Craig Hansen. Volunteer firefighter, estranged father of four and a poor tendency to drink. Mr. Hansen was the pilot of the plane that quite accidentally lifted Delmer Darion out of the water. Added to this, Mr. Hansen's tortured life met before with Delmer Darion just two nights previous. The weight of the guilt and the measure of coincidence so large, Craig Hansen took his life. And I Am Trying To Think This Was All Only A Matter Of Chance. The tale told at a 1961 awards dinner for the American Association Of Forensic Science by Dr. John Harper, president of the association, began with a simple suicide attempt. 17 year-old Sydney Barringer, city of Los Angeles, March 23, 1958. The coroner ruled that the unsuccessful suicide had suddenly become a successful homicide. To explain: The suicide was confirmed by a note in the right hip pocket of Sydney Barringer. At the same time young Sydney stood on the ledge of this nine-story building, an argument swelled three stories below. The neighbors heard, as they usually did, the arguing of the tenants and it was not uncommon for them to threaten each other with a shotgun, or one of the many handguns kept in the house. And when the shotgun accidentally went off, Sydney just happened to pass. Added to this, the two tenants turned out to be: Faye and Arthur Barringer. Sydney's mother and Sydney's father. When confronted with the charge, which took some figuring out for the officers on the scene of the crime, Faye Barringer swore that she did not know that the gun was loaded. A young boy who lived in the building, sometimes a visitor and friend to Sydney Barringer, said that he had seen, six days prior, the loading of the shotgun. It seems that all the arguing and the fighting and all of the violence was far too much for Sydney Barringer, and knowing his mother and father's tendency to fight, he decided to do something. Sydney Barringer jumps from the ninth floor rooftop. His parents argue three stories below. Her accidental shotgun blast hits Sydney in the stomach as he passes the arguing sixth-floor window. He is killed instantly but continues to fall, only to find, 5 stories below, a safety net installed three days prior for a set of window washers that would have broken his fall and saved his life if not for the hole in his stomach. So Faye Barringer was charged with the murder of her son, and Sydney Barringer noted as an accomplice in his own death. And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that this is not just "Something That Happened." This cannot be "One of Those Things... " This, please, cannot be that. And for what I would like to say, I can't. This Was Not Just A Matter Of Chance. Ohhhh. These strange things happen all the time."

Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson

“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f@cking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of f@cking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f@ck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, and stuffing f@cking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f@cked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?”

Screenplay by John Hodge (Irvine Welsh, novel)

“Way out west there was this fella, a fella I wanna tell ya about. A fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. This Lebowski, he called himself 'The Dude.' Now, 'Dude'—that's a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But, then there was a lot about the Dude that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that's why I found the place so durned interesting. They call Los Angeles the 'City Of Angels' but I didn't find it to be that, exactly. But I'll allow that there are some nice folks there. 'Course I can't say I've ever seen London, and I never been to France. And I ain't never seen no queen in her damned undies, as the fella says. But I'll tell you what—after seeing Los Angeles, and this a-here story I'm about to unfold, well, I guess I seen somethin' every bit as stupefyin' as you'd seen in any of them other places. And in English, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin' like the good Lord gypped me. Now this a-here story I'm about to unfold took place in the early '90s—just about the time of our conflict with Saddam and the Iraqis. I only mention it because sometimes there's a man . . . I won't say a hero, 'cause, what's a hero? Sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talkin' about the Dude here. Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude. In Los Angeles. And even if he's a lazy man—and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in all of Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide. But sometimes there's a man, sometimes, there's a man. Well, I lost my train of thought here. But . . . aw, hell. I've done introduced it enough.”

The Big Lebowski
Screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen

“Saigon... sh!t; I'm still only in Saigon. Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said 'Yes' to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I'm here a week now - waiting for a mission - getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter. Everyone gets everything they want. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. They brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission. And when it was over, I'd never want another.”

Apocalypse Now
Screenplay by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases - 4/19/11

Born to Raise Hell - #
Glee: Encore - #
Goemon - #
Gulliver's Travels - #
Ip Man 2 - #
The King's Speech - #
Rabbit Hole - #
Somewhere - #
Street Kings 2: Motor City - #
The Way Back - #

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases

Kes - (Criterion)
The Last Legion
Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Short Circuit 2
Sweetie - (Criterion)

# - also on Blu-ray

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

5 Great Movie Speeches

“Oh, Marcus. What are you trying to do, scare me? You sound like my mother. We've known each other for a long time. I don't believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus. I'm going after a find of incredible historical significance. You're talking about the boogie man. Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am. “

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan

“Great moments... are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it. “

Miracle (2004)
Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks
Screenplay by Eric Guggenheim

“Life goes on. A man becomes preeminent, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms... What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Baseball! A man – a man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field - what? Part of a team. Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. If his team don't field - what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I'm goin' out there for myself. But... I get nowhere unless the team wins.”

The Untouchables
Robert De Niro as Al Capone
Screenplay by David Mamet

“I'm gonna tell you something. Somebody messes with me - I'm gonna mess with with him. Somebody steals from me, I'm gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spittin' on the sidewalk. You understand? Now, I have done nothing to hurt these people. But they are angered at me, so what do they do? Doctor up some income tax - for which they got no case. To annoy me. To speak to me like men? No. To harass a peaceful man. I pray to God that if I ever had a grievance, I'd have a just a little more self respect. And I'll tell you one more thing - you have an all out prize fight - you wait until the fight is over. One guy is left standing. And that's how you know who won.”

The Untouchables
Robert De Niro as Al Capone
Screenplay by David Mamet

“Look at it this way. A man takes a job, you know? And that job - I mean, like that - That becomes what he is. You know, like - You do a thing and that's what you are. Like I've been a cabbie for 17 years. 10 years at night. I still don't own my own cab. You know why? Because I don't want to. That must be what I want. To be on the night shift - drivin' somebody else's cab. You understand? I mean, you become - You get a job, you become the job. One guy lives in Brooklyn. One guy lives in Sutton Place. You got a lawyer. Another guy's a doctor. Another guy dies. Another guy gets well. People are born, you know? I envy you - your youth. Go on, get laid, get drunk. Do anything. Because you got no choice, anyway. I mean, we're all f@cked. More or less, you know.”

Taxi Driver
Peter Boyle as The Wizard
Screenplay by Paul Schrader

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Weekend Box Office: 4/15/11-4/17/11


1. Rio: 40 mil / NEW
2. Scream 4: 19.3 mil / NEW
3. Hop: 11.2 mil / -48% / 82.6 mil
4. Soul Surfer: 7.4 mil / -30% / 20 mil
5. Hanna: 7.3 mil / -41% / 23.3 mil
6. Arthur: 6.9 mil / -43% / 22.3 mil
7. Insidious: 6.9 mil / -27% / 36 mil
8. Source Code: 6.3 mil / -27% / 37 mil
9. The Conspirator: 3.9 mil / NEW
10. Your Highness: 3.9 mil / -58% / 16 mil
11. Limitless: 3.8 mil / -31% / 70 mil
12. Lincoln Lawyer: 3 mil / -30% / 51 mil

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hereafter - B-

A famous French newswoman (Cecile de France) is on vacation when the quiet port town is hit by a tsunami. She has a near-death experience which challenges her to change life paths. Meanwhile, identical twin boys in London survive a terrible home life (with an absentee, drunken mother). But when one dies in an accident, the other is left rudderless, searching for any meaning at all. Last, a San Francisco factory worker (Matt Damon) has psychic abilities that he suppresses since they prevent him from a normal life. His brother (Jay Mohr) keeps trying to exploit his talent to help people (and make money).

The acting is mostly great save for the young McLaren twins. Directing kids has never been one of Clint Eastwood's specialties. What he is good at is drawing unexpected emotion out of routine scenes. He doesn't have to work too hard here since the movie deals with death and the adult actors bring their "A" game. But at some point (probably in the Swiss hospice building), the film started to feel manipulative with Eastwood milking every ounce of emotion out of the situation and actually throwing in scenes just to pull at the audience's heartstrings. It still worked OK until the 3 stories inevitably (and improbably) converge during the last 20 minutes.

And one has to seriously question the moral compass of George (Damon), whose selfishness won't allow him to help others (even as they beg him). But he seems to have no problem devastating people (like Bryce Dallas Howard) and wasting tens of thousands of dollars of his brother's money. And for a guy who never ever wants to "read" people again, he sure spends a lot of the film doing just that. The film supports atheism more than religion, dismissing millenniums of Islam and Christianity in a scant few seconds. Damon tries to bring some humor to the proceedings, but Eastwood seems to have no idea what to do with it.

The tsunami CGI is some of the worst in years. But the stark, dark cinematography punches up each scene. Eastwood really should find some money for a composer. He's been composing some of his stuff off and on since Unforgiven and while it worked for that sparse Western classic, an epic, multi-continent, multilingual mediation on death and the afterlife needs more than a few broken chords. B-

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Great Opening Voice-Over Narration

“The world is full of complainers. But the fact is, nothing comes with a guarantee. I don't care if you're the Pope of Rome, President of the United States, or Man of the Year – something can all go wrong. And go ahead, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help – and watch him fly. Now in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else – that's the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas. And down here, you're on your own.”

Blood Simple
Screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen

“He was growing into middle age, and was living then in a bungalow on Woodland Avenue. He installed himself in a rocking chair and smoked a cigar down in the evenings as his wife wiped her pink hands on an apron and reported happily on their two children. His children knew his legs, the sting of his mustache against their cheeks. They didn't know how their father made his living, or why they so often moved. They didn't even know their father's name. He was listed in the city directory as Thomas Howard. And he went everywhere unrecognized and lunched with Kansas City shopkeepers and merchants, calling himself a cattleman or a commodities investor, someone rich and leisured who had the common touch. He had two incompletely healed bullet holes in his chest and another in his thigh. He was missing the nub of his left middle finger and was cautious, lest that mutilation be seen. He also had a condition that was referred to as "granulated eyelids" and it caused him to blink more than usual as if he found creation slightly more than he could accept. Rooms seemed hotter when he was in them. Rains fell straighter. Clocks slowed. Sounds were amplified. He considered himself a Southern loyalist and guerrilla in a Civil War that never ended. He regretted neither his robberies, nor the 17 murders that he laid claim to. He had seen another summer under in Kansas City, Missouri and on September 5th in the year 1881, he was 34 years-old.”

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Screenplay by Andrew Dominik

"Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier my hair wouldn't be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I'm way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat, I would be happier. I wouldn't have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time - like that's fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more and prove myself. What if I learned Russian or something, or took up an instrument. I could speak Chinese. I would be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn't that what women are attracted to? Men don't have to be attractive. But that's not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it's my brain chemistry. Maybe that's what's wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I'll still be ugly though. Nothing's gonna change that."

Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman

"'Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion.' Uh, no, make that: 'He-he romanticized it all out of proportion.' Yeah. 'To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.' Uh, now let me start this over. 'Chapter One. He was too romantic about Manhattan as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle-bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street smart guys who seemed to know all the angles.' Ah, too corny. Too corny for my taste. Lemme, let me try to make it more profound. 'Chapter One. He adored New York City. To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams...' It's gonna be too preachy. I mean, let's face it, I want to sell some books here. 'Chapter One. He adored New York City. Although to him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage.' Too angry. I don't want to be angry. 'Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.' - I love this! - 'New York was his town. And it always would be.'"

Screenplay by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman

“I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me. Years ago we had the church. That was only a way of saying - we had each other. The Knights of Columbus were real head-breakers - true guineas. They took over their piece of the city. Twenty years after an Irishman couldn't get a f@cking job, we had the presidency. May he rest in peace. That's what the n!&&ers don't realize. If I got one thing against the black chappies, it's this - no one gives it to you. You have to take it.”

The Departed
Screenplay by William Monahan

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tree of Life Website

Most anticipated film since There Will Be Blood. Great website just came out.

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Great Closing Voice-Over Narration

“Where is it that we were together? Who were you that I lived with? Walked with? The brother. The friend. Darkness, light, strife, and love. Are they the workings of one mind? The features of the same face? O my soul. Let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining.”

The Thin Red Line
Screenplay by Terrence Malick

“He was ashamed of his boasting, his pretensions of courage and ruthlessness; he was sorry about his cold-bloodedness, his dispassion, his inability to express what he now believed was the case: that he truly regretted killing Jesse, that he missed the man as much as anybody and wished his murder hadn't been necessary. Even as he circulated his saloon he knew that the smiles disappeared when he passed by. He received so many menacing letters that he could read them without any reaction except curiosity. He kept to his apartment all day, flipping over playing cards, looking at his destiny in every king and jack. Edward O'Kelly came up from Bachelor at 1 P.M. on the 8th. He had no grand scheme. No strategy. No agreement with higher authorities. Nothing beyond a vague longing for glory, and a generalized wish for revenge against Robert Ford. Edward O'Kelly would be ordered to serve a life sentence in the Colorado Penitentiary for second degree murder. Over seven thousand signatures would eventually be gathered in a petition asking for O'Kelly's release, and in 1902, Governor James B. Orman would pardon the man. There would be no eulogies for Bob, no photographs of his body would be sold in sundries stores, no people would crowd the streets in the rain to see his funeral cortege, no biographies would be written about him, no children named after him, no one would ever pay twenty-five cents to stand in the rooms he grew up in. The shotgun would ignite, and Ella Mae would scream, but Robert Ford would only lay on the floor and look at the ceiling, the light going out of his eyes before he could find the right words.”

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Screenplay by Andrew Dominik

"'Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.' That's goddamn right. For the second time in my life, I am guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Of course, I doubt they'll toss up any roadblocks for that. Not for an old crook like me. I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel; a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope."

The Shawshank Redemption
Screenplay by Frank Darabont

"But still I hadn't dreamt nothin' about me'n Ed. Until the end... And this was cloudier 'cause it was years, years away. But I saw an old couple bein' visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. And the old couple wasn't screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don't know, you tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleein' reality, like I know I'm liable to do? But me'n Ed, we can be good, too... And it seemed real. It seemed like us. And it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land, not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I dunno, maybe it was Utah."

Raising Arizona
Screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen

"The town will never be the same. After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today, it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior's college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it's like checkin' into an airport. And if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it's all gone. You get a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some 25 year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number. After the Teamsters got knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old casinos. And where did the money come from to rebuild the pyramids? Junk bonds. But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still make money for all kinds of people back home. And why mess up a good thing? And that's that."

Screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi

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It's Kind of a Funny Story - C

On DVD and Blu-ray

No, it's not. 16 year old Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is depressed and fakes some suicidal ideation to get admitted to a mental hospital. After some brief interactions with the "real" patients, he quickly changes his mind and want to go back to his parents (Jim Gaffigan, Lauren Graham) and sister. But the shortest length of every admission is 5 days, and Craig is stuck. Can you imagine all the life lessons he'll learn? Of course you can!

The other patients include Emma Roberts (as Craig's developing love interest) and Zach Galifianakis (as a pseudo-mentor). Galifianakis plays a lower-key version of himself - which is fine - but he's borderline overexposed as an actor. In effect, Galifiankis has the Jack Nicholson role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (animated, smart, and only pretend crazy) which means Craig has the Brad Dourif role (suicidal teen). And can you imagine how boring that classic film would be if it focused on Billy rather than McMurphy? Now you can!

The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the duo responsible for Half Nelson and Sugar. Those films were delightfully unpredictable and made quiet observations about human nature and desire. In their latest, you know exactly what will happen to Craig and can probably call each scene like an expert pool player calls his shots. Gilchrist is fine, but not dynamic or charismatic enough to break out of his self-pitying role. C

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Song of the Day - Rubberband Man

By The Spinners

I hadn't seen Stripes in over a decade and had forgotten this funky R&B classic was in it. It's at the bar with the mudwrestling. And you really can't beat Bill Murray's deadpan line delivery of "This might be fun."

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases - week of 4/12/11

Country Strong - #
Farewell - #
Goodnight for Justice
Harry Potter 7, Part 1 - #
Highwater - #
The Inheritance - #
Marwencol - #
Summer in Genoa
White Material - #

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases

Cars - *
The Incredibles - *
Le Cercle Rouge

# - also on Blu-ray
* - Doctor approved

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Weekend Box Office: 4/8/11-4/10/11


1. Hop: 21.3 mil / -43% / 67.8 mil
2. Hanna: 12.4 mil / NEW
3. Arthur: 12.2 mil / NEW
4. Soul Surfer: 10.6 mil / NEW
5. Insidious: 9.4 mil / -29% / 26.7 mil
6. Your Highness: 9.4 mil / NEW
7. Source Code: 8.7 mil / -42% / 28 mil
8. Limitless: 5.5 mil / -41% / 64 mil
9. Wimpy Kid 2: 4.8 mil / -53% / 45.4 mil
10. Lincoln Lawyer: 4.3 mil / -38% / 46 mil

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kickspit Easter

Dozens of quotable lines and laugh out loud moments. "Give Jesus Nightmares" "DJ Vlade Divac" "methed out coyotes"

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DVD and Blu-ray Releases 4/5/11

Casino Jack - #
Chronicles of Narnia 3 - #
Friday Night Lights - 5th Season - #
I Love You Philip Morris - #
Little Fockers - #
Tron Legacy - #

Click below for this week's Blu-ray releases

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence - *
… And Justice for All
Arthur/Arthur 2: On the Rocks
Babe - *
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Benny & Joon
The Cove - *
Fiddler on the Roof
Kung Fu Panda
Lars and the Real Girl
Miss Potter
Much Ado About Nothing - *
Mystic Pizza
Night of the Generals
The People vs. Larry Flynt
Peter Pan
The Rules of Attraction
Taxi Driver - *
Tron (1982)

#- also on Blu-ray
* - Doctor approved

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend Box Office: 4/1/11-4/3/11


1. Hop: 38 mil / NEW
2. Source Code: 15 mil / NEW
3. Insidious: 13.5 mil / NEW
4. Wimpy Kid 2: 10.2 mil / -57% / 38.4 mil
5. Limitless: 9.4 mil / -38% / 55.6 mil
6. Lincoln Lawyer: 7 mil / -35% / 39.5 mil
7. Sucker Punch: 6 mil / -69% / 29.8 mil
8. Rango: 4.5 mil / -54% / 113.8 mil
9. Paul: 4.3 mil / -45% / 31.9 mil
10. Battle: LA: 3.5 mil / -54% / 78.5 mil
11. Adjustment Bureau: 2.2 mil /-49%/ 59 mil
12. Red Riding Hood: 1.8 mil / -58% / 35.6 mil

That sucking sound you hear is Zach Snyder's fizzling, shallow career. The only thing that The King's Speech had on The Social Network was that it had the guts to be R-rated. That changed this week when Harvey Weinstein sliced out some F-words to get a PG-13 rating. But there was not a whole lot of money left on the table (1.2 million to be exact). Now if they released the R-rated version of The Social Network, that's something I would fork over 10 bucks for.

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Delayed Movie Titles - 5 Examples

The pretty great 127 Hours (B+) revealed its title at 16 minutes and 45 seconds which awoke a long-gestating project post about pre-title sequences. In 1987, in only their second film, the Coen Brothers had the guts to open a film with a sharply edited, quick-witted, fast paced sequence showing how ex-con H.I. McDonough and his wife Ed came to the decision to kidnap a baby. When the actual movie starts, the title is shown at 11 minutes and 11 seconds.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's title is uncovered at 19 minutes and 6 seconds. The first part of the film shows Joel and Clementine meeting (for the second time as it turns out). Frequently in movies, a nonlinear narrative serves no purpose, but this timeline juggling helps depict the complex, waking dream, stream of consciousness of everyone's brains. Plus, our protagonist Joel is disoriented and our confusion helps the connection with him.
Like Raising Arizona, The Departed has a long pre-title sequence that shows how Billy Costigan became an undercover cop. And how Colin Sullivan became a mole for Frank Costello. Then, at 19 minutes and 44 seconds, the title is uncovered.
During some early screenings, there was no credit sequence before or after Apocalypse Now. Francis Ford Coppola had a pamphlet of the credits handed out to audience members - like a stage play. Initially, he didn't want the title in the film either but was forced to include it. In my favorite title reveal, "Our Motto: Apocalypse Now" is graffiti at the Kurtz compound and is seen between 1 hour and 46 minutes and 1 hour and 48 minutes.
In recent years, it's more common for titles to be shown at the very end of the movie. David Mamet frequently does this. But the most effective one is Batman Begins. It's like Raising Arizona and The Departed in that the whole origin-story film is prologue to the real story. Christopher Nolan did the same thing with its successor - to a diminished effect. At 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 56 seconds:

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Song of the Day - U R A Fever

By The Kills

Crazy video link from a short song that's been featured in 2 recent movies. Overproduced and pointless, but infectious all the same.

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Welcome to the Rileys - B

Rated R for language

Doug and Lois Riley (James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo) have been quite miserable since the death of their daughter. Lois no longer leaves the house and Doug has found comfort with a waffle house waitress. When he attends a plumbing supply convention in New Orleans, he meets Mallory (Kristen Stewart), a stripper who reminds him of his daughter. Doug fixes her place up and starts paying rent. Lois goes on a solo road trip from Indianapolis to find him and the 3 briefly form a highly dysfunctional family . . .

Leo is quietly brilliant, subdued but with emotion brimming - a 180 degree turn from The Fighter. Gandolfini is fine as the miserable but moral man who finds a reason to stay alive. Stewart's vulgar dialogue distracts from an otherwise good performance - she actually channels Jodie Foster's Iris from Taxi Driver in a short scene at a restaurant (the white sunglasses are a huge help). Director Jake Scott seems more interested in character than his father Ridley. While Jake's visuals aren't up to his old man (very few are), he takes the time and finds the editing beats and rhythms to make it emotionally satisfying. B

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