Monday, June 25, 2007
**** new release list no. 121
A bunch of eclectic stuff this week. First off I must give props to Justin Timberlake (BLACK SNAKE MOAN). I was never a big fan of his dancing, but the guy can act! I guess every generation sees one member of a boy band make the switch to matinee idol. This week we feature a film with the last such successful transition: Mark Wahlberg (SHOOTER), otherwise known as Marky-Mark.
Speaking of boy bands, my band, The Dont's, was on tour this weekend in LA and Santa Barbara and we had funny movie experiences both nights. It is some sort of amazingly singular cultural experience sitting in a motel late at night watching movies...and it seems like more frequently than not you end up seeing something you may have heard of, but never saw (and maybe never wanted to see). In LA, we got back to our hotel around 2am after driving all day and playing a show and we desperately needed sleep. Not happening. Instead, we got hooked on some Hugh Grant/Gene Hackman vehicle from 1996 called EXTREME MEASURES. Gene is his most creepy as a doctor doing research on mostly poor people (in fact, who live underground in NYC and won't be missed). His hope is to cure paralysis by regenerating nerves, but his methodology is a bit barbaric. Hugh to the rescue! That movie lasted forever, but lying there in our beds (not unlike the paralyzed patients in the movie) we were riveted.
Night two saw us in Santa Barbara, again quite late and this time, with the disturbing reality of having to get up at 5:45am the next day to drive back to our great city in time for one of us to go to a baseball game (ok, fine it was me). We should have gone to sleep, we needed to sleep. Yet...THE FIFTH ELEMENT sucked us in. Ah, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich along with a really strange role for Chris Tucker. Space battles, aliens, ancient knowledge, dumb luck and a hot model in tights and some weird futuristic duct tape outfit (see photo above) - was this a hit or what? I don't know if it was, but it kept us up til the bitter end. Well, not so bitter at the very end there.
Anyhow, enjoy the films this week. Drop us a line and say hey.
Oh, and go over to this website and vote for all your favorite things about San Francisco for the SF Bay Guardian's Best of Bay issue.
BLACK SNAKE MOAN.
Christina Ricci/Samuel L. Jackson/Justin Timberlake.
Directed by Craig Brewer.
* There’s some Cain/Abel in here, a bit of the Adam and Eve story, some serious Southern Blue, kinda mixed in with a bit of Three’s Company? No? Well, anyway, it’s not a “funny” movie, but I did laugh a few times. In a nutshell, what happens when a black farmer going through a painful divorce chains a white nympho abuse victim to his radiator? That is the question this film will answer for you.
Afsaneh Bayegan/Pejman Bazeghi/Hamed Behdad.
Directed by Saman Moghaddam.
* This film examines the lives of three women living in Tehran and the challenges they face.
Ryan Kwanten/Amber Valleta/Donnie Wahlberg.
Directed by James Wan.
* It’s quiet…too quiet. Actually, maybe it’s very loud. I’m not sure. What I do know is that a main character in this film is the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist. There’s a joke in here somewhere, but I can’t quite catch it.
Nick Nolte/Amy Smart/Scott Mechlowicz
Directed by Victor Salva.
* I am happy to report that Nick Nolte plays a character named Socrates! That alone is almost enough to make me psyched to see this film. Nick’s character meets Dan (Mechlowicz), a talented and vain athlete and helps him change his path. A serious feel-good movie.
Terrence Howard/Tom Arnold/Bernie Mac.
Directed by Sunu Gonera.
* A story about Philadelphia’s first African-American swim team and the challenges it faces from the ground up.
Mark Wahlberg/Danny Glover/Rhona Mitra.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
* Marky-Mark’s character is named Bob Lee Swagger! Swagger is a former marine sniper who tries to get out, but is pressed back into action. Amidst double crossers and assassination attempts, Swagger retains his swagger as he tries to clear his name.
Harvey Keitel/F. Murray Abraham, Jane March.
Directed by Renzo Martinelli.
* Keitel plays a stone merchant who is really a terrorist looking to bring the Western World to its knees with a horrific attack. The action involves a married couple who are set to become palms in the stone merchants’ deadly game.
MONK – SEASON 5.
Created by Andy Breckman.
* Season 5 of the quirky cult fave about the obsessive/compulsive private investigator Adrian Monk of San Francisco.
RENO 911: SEASON 4.
Created by Ben Garant/Kerri Kenney/Thomas Lennon.
* Season 4 of the very zany Comedy Central comedy about a bunch of pathetic cops from Reno.
ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT.
Directed by Daniel Ivanick.