Archive for March, 2002
In the transient life of a military family, young Jimmy Morris found stability in baseball. His self-cultivated passion and talent for the game carried Jimmy through tough transitions as a child, right up until the point the Army transferred his father to Central Texas, where football was king and baseball had dried up like a dew drop on the surface of the bleachers in left field.
Now a grown up, Jimmy (Dennis Quaid) teaches high school science and shares his love of the game as the coach of a ragtag group passing for the Varsity team. His shot at the majors, we learn, came and went when a nagging pain crippled the shoulder of his pitching arm. The soreness, however, doesn
Danny DeVito’s “”Death to Smoochy”” inhabits a city resembling Manhattan, though everything’s a bit different. Call it a parallel universe, one where Nazis invite plush animal mascots to their top secret meetings, and a bribery scandal involving kid’s show host “”Rainbow”” Randolph Smiley (Robin Williams) is front-page news.
But what else would you expect from DeVito, the sarcastic actor and occasional director whose ventures behind the camera have resulted in the genre-testing “”Matilda”” and black-as-night comedy, “”Throw Momma From the Train””?The list of potential Rainbow replacements reads like a who’s who of cell block C. Only Smoochy the rhino (Ed Norton), a bottom feeder in the kid show talent pool described by network execs as a “”fabric stuffer,”” possesses the harmless persona and (more importantly) requisite clean record the corporate suits seek. They pitch, and Smoochy, a.k.a. Sheldon Mopes, feverishly accepts. One minute he’s dazzling the denizens of a methadone clinic, the next his mug is smiling down on Times Square.The problem is that used to be Randolph’s mug, and he wants the spotlight back. Cooking up schemes involving risque cookies and hired assassins, Randolph strives to besmirch Mopes’ spotless reputation, only damaging his own with each failed attempt.When not tailing Randolph and his jealous pursuits, “”Smoochy”” actually dances a familiar dance, taking potshots at the backstage soap opera that is television production, with some fresh touches. The controlling presence of an Irish mafia (as an O’Connell, I’ve been sworn to silence) provides some needed humor, while a corrupt charity foundation, run by Harvey Fierstein, establishes unnecessary subplots that make more sense as the film plays out.Regrettably, the film’s title gag involving Randolph’s vendetta also turns out the be the death of “”Smoochy,”” punctuated by Williams’ incessant screeching and Wily E. Coyote-esque antics. Despite the film’s intended premise, I found myself bravely tolerating Williams’ grandstanding, all the while waiting for DeVito to return to Norton’s struggles with his newfound fame.Adam Resnick’s script and DeVito’s inventive direction provide some dry asides, though they’re almost eclipsed by Catherine Keener’s wayward performance. The actress mistakenly begins her stint with a truly unoriginal portrayal of a brittle, frigid TV producer, only to make an unlikely 180-degree turn to become Mopes’ love-interest. It’s poor execution for the character by a director who should know better.Still, there’s something seriously funny about Smoochy wrapped in the American flag, fortifying his patriotism and disdain for the Third Reich. In these instances, DeVito’s warped sense of humor peeks through and stays long enough to hold your attention. The director enough mines chuckles from the industry jabs, even if the humor is hit-and-miss. The rest is, as Norton’s Mopes would say, simply bells and whistles and ricketa-racketa.Grade: C-By Sean O’ConnellMarch 29, 2002
So I changed the design again. Let me know what you think. The one thing I need to do is increase the font size in the next few days.
While i officialy hate every single person who got to see Kissing on Feb. 7th and got to chat w/ the stars/writers, might as well put my anger aside 😉
of those who saw it, what are ur opinions on it? is it as fresh and as invigorating as i’ve heard it to be? anyone else pining to see it when it finally hits wider distribution?
Ok, I realize I’ve done a 180 degree turn on Spiderman. When I saw the original teaser trailer that featured the Twin Towers months ago, I was disgusted by how absolutely cheesy this “”mystery movie”” looked. But when I saw the web catch the helicopter between the towers at the end of the clip, I was like yeah, cool Spiderman. Then came the full trailer and on my initial viewing I completely hated it.
I posted one of my patented rants about it – which you can read [url=http://www.eclipsemagazine.com/modules/news/index.php?storytopic=122]Here.[/url]. Then I watched it about 20 times and now I love it.After seeing this new one, I’m officially part of the geek chorus and into the hype machine that is Spiderman. 😮 [url=http://a1568.g.akamai.net/5/1568/51/fdbdfdb3f5c3c3/1a1a1aaa2198c627970773d80669d84574a8d80d3cb12453c02589f25382f668c9329e0375e8177ae955ca37990263920575de42a71946b31482b1168ef15dd245ae2489/spiderman_tr3_320.mov]Click here to check it out and left me know what ya think.[/url]
Ok everyone, with all the traffic the site has been getting lately. I was thinking about letting anonymous people post here for the next month or so, just to get some of these “moochers” to participate more. What do you guys think? Should I continue to force people to register to use the forums? The main reason for making people register is, I think it discourages the anonymous “flamers”.
I can open it up for awhile and just monitor it and see how it goes.
This was sent to me and I figured I would start “a new post.”
Subject: Please read & think while you do!
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often? When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.
Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play
golf with tomorrow.
Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he’d never seen in uniform.
“Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this.”
“Hello, Jack.” No smile.
“Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
“I’ve seen some long days at the office lately. I’m afraid I bent the rules a bit -just this once.” Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. “Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?”
“I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct.” Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.
“What’d you clock me at?”
“Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?”
“Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65.” The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.
“Please, Jack, in the car.”
Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn’t he asked for a driver’s license?
Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.
“Thanks.” Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.
Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:
Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it — a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had one, and I’m going to have to wait
until Heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left.”
Jack turned around in time to see Bob’s car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he
Life is precious. Handle with care. Drive safely and carefully. Remember, cars are not the only things recalled by their maker.
Ok, I think there should be a new thread for the results and after thoughts. Jennifer Connolly won, what a shock. But she gave one of the worst speeches I’ve seen. She was reading from a f’ing SCRIPT!!!!!! And she was totally emotionness (sp) as though, she expected it, and it was no big deal. YULCH…!
Until director Irwin Winkler decides what he wants his latest drama “”Life as a House”” to be, I don’t think it’s quite fair to judge it. But by that rationale, it also might not be fair for him to release it, as its bound to motivate, sadden and perplex anyone who sits through it, quite possibly achieving all these emotions at the same time.
As it stands now, on a shaky foundation of mixed metaphors and powerful symbolism, “”House”” resembles a line of Hallmark cards penned by goth rocker Marilyn Manson. Because Mark Andrus’ screenplay desperately wants to be edgy in an “”American Beauty”” kind of way, it mistakenly forces teen angst, divorce, gay prostitution and adultery into an underlying “”movie of the week”” story of terminal illness and father/son bonding. It doesn’t work because it fails to commit to either track fully, so few of the emotions it illicits feel genuine.The father in question is George (Kevin Kline), a long-time divorcee and unsatisfied model builder for a successful architecture firm who learns (in the same day, no less) that he’s losing his job of 20 years and suffering from cancer. Given months to live, George commits to not one project, but two: He’s going to renovate his ramshackle waterfront home, and connect with his alienated teenage son, Sam (Hayden Christiansen), in the process.Of course, absentee father George has no grasp of Sam’s problems. An outcast both at school and at home, Sam balances a steady diet of anguish and prescription drugs and is attempting to raise some extra cash by pimping himself out to male clients, one of the film’s most uncomfortable sequences. Shame on Winkler for believing some tender moments with dear old dad set against the backdrop of a dazzling California sunset can correct such problems in a wayward teen, but House goes so far as to make that assumption.On the rare occasion that “”House”” does connect, it’s because of Kline’s tender performance. His George puts up a brave front, hiding an illness from his ex-wife (Kristen Scott Thomas), his son and himself, for that matter. But Kline can only endure so much, and he eventually buckles under the weight of the ludicrous devices Winkler tosses at him. There’s enough dysfunction here for a series of films, and too much for just one. Common knowledge suggests that any house built on an unstable surface such as this can only come crumbling down.Grade: D+THE EXTRASThe “”House”” DVD doesn’t stray too far from the established path, offering fans four quick deleted scenes (with optional commentary), a trailer and a digital press kit. There are two independent featurettes included here, one entitled “”Character Building”” and one entitled “”From The Ground Up.”” Each sits the stars and creators of the “”House”” down for surface-skimming interviews, while “”Ground”” actually gets into the construction of the house in the film, and the various metaphors thrown at us … just in case you weren’t paying attention when the film bashed you over the head with them.However, the film’s screen-specific audio commentary bears mention. Conducted by Winkler, producer Rob Cowan and Andrus, the commentary feels warm, provides a fresh outlook and demonstrates their compassion and committment to the material. Why this emotion didn’t carry over completely onto the film is uncertain, and never addressed.Grade: BOVERALL GRADE: C“”Life”” lacks, shackled by a truly sappy premise and overbearing execution. But the DVD shows promise, even if New Line deemed it unworthy of the fantastic Infinifilm treatment (what, and “”15 Minutes”” was good enough for it?). Fans of the film will enjoy, while the rest will be bored stiff. By Sean O’ConnellMarch 26, 2002