This Steven Spielberg picture is based on the real-life terrorist killings of Israeli atheletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. An unfortunately appropriately-themed film given current events, this project has already amassed massive buzz and hype as a Best Picture contender. Given the director, and a usually strong Eric Bana in the lead role (despite his involvement in atrocities such as The Hulk, he was the highlight in the unfairly panned Troy), hopefully this movie will not disappoint.
Boondock II: All Saints Day
The sequel to Boondock Saints. One of my favorite movies, the original is simply bad ass. With several memorable scenes (the escape from the Russians post bar fight, taking out the Russian syndicate, the "firefight" sequence), a cool story, lots of violence and swearing, and a funny performace in his only on-screen role to date from David de la Rocco, it's a nice addition to the violent gangster genre that, while Saints is not in the same league, Pulp Fiction and Goodfellas tower over. Willem Dafoe is great as a high-strung FBI agent.
I get a kick out of the Irish Catholic vigilantes go on a morally paradoxical killing spree angle, given my own affinity for Catholicism. I'm also a fan of the fact both brothers have the Blessed Mother tattoed on their necks, but I might be the only person you'll ever hear say that. I hold Mary in the highest regard; the reasons for that I'll save for another post.
Either way, considering the original didn't get a full release because of the Columbine shootings AND the fact director Troy Duffy got blacklisted by Mirimax before it's release - it was only shown in 5 theaters across the country - it's impressive that the film was so enthusiastically received and was re-released on DVD solely on strong word-of-mouth. All for a film that basically went straight to video.
Duffy again is writing/directing the sequel, and, although there's no Dafoe, the two main characters are back, with the addition of what looks like a blonde Irish hottie. Sounds good to me!
This promising film boasts a sick cast and director. Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson, and Martin Sheen are directed by Martin Scorsese in a story about an Irish gang member and a police cadet who respectively infiltrate the other side as moles. A remake of the Hong Kong original Infernal Affairs, which was fairly well-done, one can see why Scorsese might have been excited to re-interpret a movie that came out only a few years ago. Scorsese is responsible for some of my favorite films - Goodfellas, The Last Waltz, and Gangs of New York - and classics such as Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, among others.
DiCaprio, Damon, and Wahlberg have also appeared in some of my favorite movies; these guys are talented and, for the most part, they turn up in more good films than your average successful actor. The Departed is allegedly going to be violent and suspenseful, with Damon mentioning that a sequel would be hard to do given the bloodshed in it. This is one of those projects where it would be quite difficult to not at least entertain and feature high-quality filmmaking and production. This is a lot like when I first heard about a comedy starring Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson back in 2002 - I remember looking forward to Old School as comedic gold well before it was released theatrically. Different genres, but same principle at work.
Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny
The first time I watched a Tenacious D episode was several years ago during college, and I could tell right away that I was seeing something outrageous and funny. At the same time, knowing I have a quirky sense of humor, and knowing that the series was out of left field even for HBO, I didn't think it would catch on. I was sort of right, but mostly wrong on that. The Tenacious D series did in fact die out, but luckily Jack Black is as resourceful and stubborn as his band name suggests. Never ashamed to call themselves the greatest band in the world, the D managed to record an album. The first time I heard their ballad "Fuck Her Gently" was on the internet, I rejoiced inside for I knew JB and KG had overcome the odds and triumphed; the D was a force, and it was here to stay.
Ben Stiller and John C. Reilly show up in the Pick of Destiny, along with Tim Robbins. On a sidenote, I have a love/hate relationship with Robbins (about 90% hate). I have always liked him because he played Andy Dufresne, a well-acted role in my all-time favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption. He's a good actor (despite his appearance in one of the worst movies ever: Mission to Mars), but I absolutely hate his political viewpoints on just about everything. I think he's a Communist ass, but at least he had a funny cameo in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, so hopefully he'll follow up with another one here. You also have to like the cheesy yet grandiose pun of a title. One of the few red flags associated with this movie is the unproven director attached to it, Liam Lynch. Either way, expect some funny songs, some wierd adventures, and some lofty claims from the D.
check out some Tenacious D videos, including "Fuck Her Gently", here
The Passion of the Clerks
Kevin Smith is a good writer-director, even though his work has been a little uneven and inconsistent over the years. Watching Clerks and Mallrats for the first time were memorable movie experiences. This sequel has a lot to live up to, as the first film came out of nowhere with virtually no budget to be an indie classic. Dante and Randal are classic characters despite obvious shortcomings in the script, most of the humor is scathing and crude (in the best way), and you can find some classic conversational dialogue between the novel characters. Jay and Silent Bob launched their recurring characters here, even though I'm still wondering why Jeff Anderson's career didn't pick up considering his performance as Randal was the funniest - he's been relegated to almost exclusively Smith projects. Maybe his style was perfectly suited for this type of movie only, or maybe he caught lightning in a bottle and was never a good comedic actor, who knows. Rosario Dawson just signed on to the project, and even though I'm not too big a fan of hers, she's still a hottie. Check out Kevin Smith's own website for the best updates on this flick.
The Bourne Ultimatum
Matt Damon will be back to reprise his role as Jason Bourne in the third of this series. The first two were quality espionage thrillers, and there's no reason to think this one will disappoint as long as the same people are involved. I've already mentioned that Damon is a favorite actor of mine (his turn as Will Hunting standing as my favorite character of his), and the Bourne series illustrates some of his range as an actor - it doesn't require too much in the area of thespianism to play Bourne, but he's still a good in a straightforward action role, and it's a departure from most of his more involving characters (excluding, of course, his wonderfully ridiculous cameo in Euro Trip).
more to come...