Thursday, December 27, 2007

Week 28: Sin City

Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like watching Sin City, does it? Welcome to another blasphemous holiday with the Motley Queue. What can I say, I love this movie. It is simply the coolest thing ever put on film, and that’s saying a lot considering the cast includes Brittany “I used to be a cool chick but then I got skinny and blonde and now you can’t tell me apart from all the other Hollywood blondettes” Murphy, as well as Josh “I’m a handsomer, squintier version of Ben Affleck” Hartnett.

Also, Michael Clarke Duncan somehow made it into this movie, and it's a real shame. I won't even link him to IMDB here, because I DON'T CONSIDER HIM AN ACTOR. He is large. I will give him that. Tractors and Kodiak bears are also large. And are also not actors.

But enough about who's bad in this movie. Let's talk about who's good. Clive Owen is so heroically cool that it should be criminal. Benicio Del Toro is a terrific oily, oozy bad guy. And Mickey Rourke is just astounding as Marv. I never thought we'd see Rourke's deformed mug again, but he absolutely steals the show in Sin City. Watch the movie for his performance alone and you won't be dissapointed.

Sin City's style is straight from the Frank Miller graphic novels on which it's based. It's over-the-top, comic and thrilling. Elijah Wood's performance as the freaky cannibal was terrifying. That's right, I was TERRIFIED BY ELIJAH WOOD. Don't judge me.

I haven't been this disturbed since his homoerotic bed-jumping hobbit scene. And that's saying a lot.

Bruce Willis rounds out the cast of leading men in Sin City and he plays my favorite Bruce Willis role: the one in which he pretends not to know he's a total bad ass. He's like, "I'm just a down-on-his luck guy who happens to have Navy Seal training that I'm sure I'll never have to use. Look! I'm wearing a shapeless trench coat. There's no way I'm tremendously muscled with the reflexes of a cougar under a shapeless coat like this. Gosh golly gee. Wait, what's this in my pocket? Oh, it's a can of WHOOP-ASS!"

His performance was, shall we say, very Bruce Willisnian, but in the spirit of Sin City, it was okay by me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Week 28: The Sopranos, Season Six, Part 2, Disc 3

Holy cow! [spoiler coming up: tune away if you haven't seen this disc]
...Tony killed Christopher! I can't believe it. Finally, what we've been waiting for this entire season: a true knockout surprise. I never saw it coming. And it was so shockingly serene and cruel at the same time. This was Tony at his psychopathic best.

And then AJ tries the world's clumsiest suicide attempt in the swimming pool with a concrete block tied to his leg and a ziploc bag over his head. I swear I saw this same scenario once between the Roadrunner and Wylie Coyote.

The disc ends with an escalation of conflict between Tony and Phil Leotardo. They're fighting over money until one of Leotardo's men harasses Tony's daughter and Tony returns the favor by nearly killing the guy in a particularly gruesome fight (if you remember the guy's mouth on the curb in American History X, it's nearly identical and still just as chilling). I love Phil Leotardo, mostly because his name makes me giggle, but also because he's so Rat-Pack cool.

This promises to be a great match-up and I hope the writers will deliver on it. Only one disc left in the entire series. Here's hoping it arrives in time for Christmas because nothing says holiday cheer like a psychopathic mob boss bent on murder. Ho, ho, ho!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Week 27: Reign Over Me

Well, well, well. Karma, you owe me big time for what I'm about to say here:

Adam Sandler, you're not half bad.

Sure, it took me ten minutes to figure out that you were you (and not a homeless version of Bob Dylan). And there were plenty of times during this movie when you slipped into your annoying 'Adam Sandler plays a little boy on SNL' voice. But otherwise, you actually did a pretty good job. You...and this pains me greatly to admit this...moved me to tears.

Karma, if you are listening, surely that statement alone should turn up some unknown rich uncle willing to bequeath his fortune to me. Or, at the very least, maybe a free coffee at Starbucks?

I'll do you one better, Karma. I think Adam Sandler was better than Don Cheadle in this movie! Zing! I think I just felt a tear in the space-time continuum. But I swear to you, it's true. I'm not exactly blaming Don Cheadle. His role was pretty thinly written, but still. He's Don Cheadle. Being shown up by Adam Sandler.

I don't like to play the race card, but I gotta be honest. Were I Don Cheadle, I might be considering a new agent who isn't out to get me. Just a thought, Chea-Chea. (In my imaginary world in which Don Cheadle and I are friends, he's asked me to call him Chea-Chea.)

In the end, we both liked Reign Over Me, although the first half of the movie feels a little interminable as we all know we're just waiting for Adam Sandler to melt down. The writers try to break up the monotony with some Liv Tyler and Jada Pinkett Smith interludes, which, although nicer on the eyes than Adam Sandler, are lackluster diversions.

That being said, it's a decent movie that beats out 99% of the popcorn fare out there now. And it tugs at the old ticker without making a sloppy plea for your emotions. Oh yes, and Adam Sandler does not play hockey, golf or a retard, which is good enough for me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Week 27: The Sopranos Season Six Part 2, Disc 2

Sorry for the lack of movies recently. Holiday parties and family get-togethers abound this time of year, which is a lame excuse, I know. Forgive me. January will be a virtual wasteland of movie-viewing.

Anyway, we finished the second disc of the second half of Sopranos last night (could they make this more confusing?). I hope they're ramping up to something more exciting as the series draws to a close because these episodes were pretty lame. They spent way more time than was necessary on Tony's gambling. I think by this point in the series, we're no longer shocked to discover that Tony has compulsively bad habits.

Maybe if they'd exposed him as a cross-dresser, a kitten breeder or a lover of cross-stitch, we'd be a little more riveted.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Week 26: The Sopranos Season 6 Part 2, Disc 1

I know, I know. Everyone in the free world knows how the Sopranos ends with the exception of me and Grant. All I know is that they play a Journey song at the end and that makes me endlessly happy given my stalkerish preoccupation with Steve Perry. The man has pipes, right?

Anyway, the home stretch of the Sopranos is as good as ever. We just watched Tony and Bobby get into a fistfight; AJ has lost an alarming amount of weight; and Carmella is both sympathetic and loathsome as she continues to overlook Tony's demons. Janice is making some more appearances, which I enjoy. She's like watching the cap teeter on a bottle of shaken-up Coke.

Oh yes...and Christopher made a piece-of-crap movie starring one of the lesser Baldwins. It could have been Daniel but might have been Billy -- who can tell them apart anymore? They're all so jowly and drunkish.

Speaking of jowls...check out the season recaps and look at the difference in Tony's appearance from Season 1 to Season 6. I'd say the difference is approximately 37 veal parms, 48 pans of ziti and 82 sausages.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Week 26: The Last King of Scotland


WILL SMITH: Sigh. Agent, we need to talk.

AGENT: Oh, I’m guessing you saw The Last King of Scotland.


AGENT: Indeed. And you’re probably wondering why Forest Whitaker got the part instead of you?

BLACK PERSON. Seriously, even white women like me.

AGENT: Not like that Kanye West fellow.

WILL SMITH: He terrifies white women.

AGENT: Me too.

WILL SMITH: Why didn’t I get this part? This should have been me! Where is my butler? Jazzy Jeff! Bring me some Perrier, a Cornish game hen, a pair of rhinestone-studded slippers and three African artifacts.

JAZZY JEFF: As you wish, sire.


JAZZY JEFF: Sorry, sire. ‘As you wish, Fresh Prince.’

WILL SMITH: That’s better.

AGENT: Will, if you remember, you were offered the part for Last King of Scotland but you didn’t have time to do it.

I was? I didn’t?

AGENT: I believe you were busy talking to the news media about how happy you and your wife are and all the ‘relations’ you constantly have.

WILL SMITH: That does sound like me. Where is my little wife? Jada? Are you hiding under my armpit? Yep, there she is. Hi, honey. Ready to have relations?

AGENT: Should I leave?

No, no. You can stay. How am I going to recover from this film, Agent? I need a hit.

AGENT: Luckily, I just received a script for O Robot, the hilarious sequel to I Robot in which the robot becomes your klutzy roommate. Every time the robot breaks a lamp you say, “Oh, Robot.”

WILL SMITH: I can really picture that saying on the side of a Burger King bag.

AGENT: Me thinks you could perhaps pen a hit rap song of the same title?

WILL SMITH: Fresh! And I’ll sing it with Oprah when Jada and I visit her show. Right after we make love on her couch, we’ll sing it to the audience.

AGENT: …an audience of white women!

WILL SMITH: I can’t wait to not threaten them. Oh, darn, I stepped on Jada. You okay down there, honey? I swear, she’s like owning a Chihuahua. A Chihuahua that I make sweet, sweet love to on a daily basis.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Week 25: Entourage, Season 3, Part 2

Hey, could somebody wake me up when the writers return to Entourage? I don't mean the "faux" writers who wrote Season 3, but the actual "real" writers who will hopefully be returning for Season 4 to inject some much-needed punch into this series.

The first half of this season was pretty good. Vince made Aquaman, it was a big hit, he got a lot of tail and a nice paycheck. Then this nonsense about the Pablo Escobar script, Medellin, starts coming back up...over and over and over again. I'll be honest here, if Pablo Escobar wasn't already dead, I'd kill him just to shut these people up about this "awesome" script.

The second half of this season seems to be an attempt to work the word 'Medellin' into every single sentence. Make the movie or don't make it; I'm over it. Can't you guys come up with something more exciting than this? And all the drama about Ari getting fired; like we really thought Ari wasn't going to be an integral part of the show. As much as it pains my Jeremy Piven-hating heart to say it: he IS the show.

Much like an overgrown plant, I think Entourage is getting a little leggy and it's time for the show's writers to trim it back. Too many interweaving subplots. Too many dead-end detours. Too much Hollywood. Let's get back to what made this show good to begin with...regular guys on the road to greatness.