Sex, drugs, and obscure pop culture references.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The original action hero... for a new generation
Lancelot: "There are a lot of lonely men out there"
Guinevere: "Don't worry, I won't let them rape you."

And so goes the greatest line of King Arthur, a "re-imagining" of the classic legend, minus the magic and all round cool shit of the original. In it's place, we have a disillusioned Arthur, super-cliche'd Saxons, an indictment of Catholocism, and a tough talking Guinevere.

Ah, Guinevere.

Mmm... Keira Knightley *drool...*

It's just such a pity that King Arthur is one hell of a fucking sexist movie. Yes, Guinevere likes to talk tough, and the movie drums in to the audience that she's just as tough as the men. But when it comes to the crunch, in the film's climax, Guinevere doesn't do shit. Yes, she takes out a few Saxons here and there, but she doesn't fight as well as her male compatriots.

In fact, it takes a man to save her. Cue the damsel in distress.

Director Antione Fuqua, director of Training Day and The Replacement Killers set out to create a more "realistic" take on the Knights of the Round Table. The name "Fuqua" reads like "Fuck ya", and this seems to be his own personal message to fans of the Arthurian legend. This "realistic" version takes the magic out of Merlin, decides that Marion is now a Pict warrior woman.

Mr "Fuck Ya" obviously doesn't have much appreciation of reality, and while this movie makes the bold step of declaring that this film is the historically accurate depiction of Arthur, it isn't. General consensus surrounding him is that if he was real, he was the king of a small district, and never became the king of Britain.

And he Picts apparently fought naked. Naked. And I hate to report, that Keira Knightley did not fight naked (hell, the tribal designs are supposed to be tattoos, but not paint - but that'd cut down on the "hot" factor, wouldn't it?). But, while clothed, there's something about Keira Knightley in the Pict paint that's kind of a turn-on.

Surprising was the films' apparent indictment of Catholocism. Arthur is a Catholic, but soon sees atrocities committed by Catholics in "God's name". A fairly bold step for a mainstream action flick.

And that's what this is...

Far more than it should have had to be.



King Arthur was originally intended to be an R-rated film (with the US classification system, MA here in Australia), but in post production was cu down to PG-13 (M here in Aus) in order to sell more tickets. While I have no problem with films not having a hard edge, when one is created with that in mind, and edited later, it's going to suffer.

Not that being a Jerry "Hack" Bruckheimer production isn't enough to make any movie that isn't Pirates of the Carribean suffer, but the action sequences really lost a lot. The ice scene was great, yet it was one of the few scenes to actually show blood. The result - particularly prevalent in the climax - is battles that look like play fighting. This goes even further when during the major battle against the Saxons, we go fro full on war to our heroes having inexplicably won. Now I just wanna see a directors cut to see how these battles would have turned out.

Most of the performances did the job. Clive Owen as the titular Arthur was the weakest link in the Knights, however reminded me of a British Nicholas Cage. Keira Knightley was great, however underused, and as such, you can't really see the love she has for Arthur.

Full of cliches, the film fails to gel. The realism angle got lost in what a great hero, and all 'round upstanding guy Arthur is, and in particular, what one-note single dimensional villains the Saxons were portrayed as.

By no stretch of the imagination, is King Arthur a great movie. Hell, it isn't even a very good one. If only the lovely Ms Knightley fought naked, I would have loved it. Hell, she can hold my Excalibur any day...
posted by Batmite 11:56 pm   0 comments
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Jay and Silent Bob Free Zone


Chasing Amy


Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Kevin Smith's five part New Jersey Trilogy came to a close, leaving cinemagoers divided. Is Kevin Smith one of the greatest auters of our generation, or is he just a potty mouth?

Smith followed these up with a film which promised to be his most personal yet (and after 'Amy, not one of - but my all time - favourite movie, quite a mean feat). And does it succeed? According to Smith, yeah. And not just personal for Ben Affleck, who conned Smith into chucking then-girlfriend Jennifer "Big fucking arse" Lopez into the movie - personal for Smith. Ya see, Jersey Girl is all about growing up, and becoming a dad - something this director knows all about.

After waiting almost 5 months for it to get a release here in Aus (again, I'm on about it - late movies: the bane of the Aussie existance), I wasn't sure what to expect. Kevin Smith, almighty master of the dick and fart gag, doing what in essence, is a family film/chick flick. Much to my relief (and amusement), Smith managed to fit in hiring porn flicks, discussions on masturbation, and the obligatory Star Wars reference. So yes, this still feels like a Kevin Smith movie - even with no Jay and Silent Bob.

Does it work? Yes it does. And mightily.

And yet most audiences didn't take to it.

After giving it some thought (and yes - it did hurt), I think it's finally occured to me why this is.

It wasn't "Kevin Smith" enough for Kevin Smith fans.

And yet, it was "too Kevin Smith" for non-fans.

But Jersey Girl is not Smith's worst film. Don't let the Internet Movie Database fool you. How Jersey Girl can score a 6.4 from viewers while Mallrats can get a 7.1 is beyond me. Sure, it's a fun film, but there's no way it can be considered at the level of any of Smith's other flicks.

The script was nothing short of brilliant. The cast was great - Affleck continues to do his best work under Smith (though they insist they're just friends); Liv Tyler continues to show she's more than a pretty face; George Carlin can actually take on board a semi-serious role; Raquel Castro shows in her first role that she's not just a cute little kid (and therefore should not die a slow and painful death like Dakota Fanning); Jason Biggs proves he can do more than fuck an apple pie; and Jennifer Lopez... well, she dies.

The direction is an improvement on Smith's prior efforts, however he's more of a writer and less of a director. This shows, as behind his brilliant writing, the direction doesn't seem confident enough, and in occasion, the film falls into the depths of cliche.

So yes, Jersey Girl is a good movie. Even a great one. Not the "greatest Kevin fucking Smith movie in the whole entire big fucking universe", but great. Fun, with heart.

And it leaves me wondering where to for Kevin Smith from here. Between Green Hornet (which Smith is hesitant to direct after Jersey Girl's box office failure) and Fletch Won, we should see some interesting stuff. Let's hope that we get to see some more personal stuff from this dude, too.

"Can I ask you a question? If you were Steven Tyler from Aerosmith for one night, and you could pretty much any woman alive, who would you pick? "
"Oh, Caitlin."
"Her? See me, I'd pick Liv Tyler!"

- Clerks: The Animated Series

posted by Batmite 12:31 am   0 comments
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Tuesday, August 24, 2004
To Hell and Back...
Sunday night at the movies... A good night, because finally - finally - I was able to catch Hellboy. Released the day after April Fools' Stateside, it took no less than four months - four FUCKING months - to get a release in this fair sunburned land.

And was it worth the wait?

Nah, not really.

Hellboy's a cool movie. Enjoyable, sure. But not brilliant. More of a fun diversion. The plot is simple. Nazi's condure up a demon from Hell. But instead of a big fucking demon, it turns out to be a cute widdle baby demon. Said baby is rescued from the Nazis, grows up (now a pretty big fucking demon) and goes about kicking demon and Nazi arse.

And it stars Ron Perlman and Selma Blair - always a funky thing.

Not such a funky thing is the director - Guillermo del Toro. Prior to Hellboy, I had previously seen two movies of his - Mimic, an okay sci fi flick, and Blade II, which wasn't quite the travesty of the original Blade. Not exactly the filmography of champions.

Hellboy is definately better than these.

Funky action? Check.

Great dialogue? Check.

A whole ton of heart to show that Spidey isn't the only comic character on screen who can do it? Check.

An arse kicking finale that makes you want more? Um, not really...

Which, when it's all said and done is probably the disappointment behind this film. The film's full of action, and the climax just fails to up it. I sat through this thinking yeah, this's pretty cool and then the movie ended. Yay.

The movie had potential, and a great deal of it. But just as that potential looks to be fulfilled, the movie flitters away, feeling empty. Which left me feeling cheated. I wanted to love this movie, and just kinda liked it.

Everyone did their job, but at the end of the day, they only really met the audience's expectations - not surpassed them.

Ah well, what can you do? Aside from buy the DVD and wait for the sequel, that is...
posted by Batmite 11:54 pm   0 comments
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004
I am not alone!

Yesterday, I made a post.

Nothing special.

Hell, I'm making another one right now.

Funny thing is, yesterday I dropped Joss Whedon's name as a funky choice to direct X-Men 3. While online today, I popped by
Cinescape (film & TV news), and they had the results to an online poll they conducted and Mr Whedon was the top fan-choice to direct the new film.

Which inspired me to type out another piece of shit on something that nobody really gives a damn about!


2% - Rob Bowman
Has spent the majority of his career directing for TV. One such series was a little known sci-fi saga named The X-Files. Bowman adapted this show for the big screen, and followed it up with big fucking dragons in Reign of Fire. Bowman is currently working on Elektra with the tasty Jennifer Garner, spinning her off from previous superhero/fetishist flick Daredevil.

5% - David Goyer
There is one word that can aptly describe Mr Goyer: Hack. Goyer has written crap comic adaptations The Crow: City of Angels, a made for TV Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD, and ofcourse the Blade trilogy, the third of which he will direct. Let's hope his script for Batman Begins actually has some worth to it (
Dark City and various comics have proven he can do it... albeit occasionally).

7% - Alex Proyas
Repeat after me: "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!" This Aussie director is responsible for classic cinema including the aforementioned Dark City, as well as the original (though in all honesty, most people know it as "that movie where Bruce Lee's son got killed"). More recently Proyas has directed Aussie flick Garage Days, and Isaac Asimov adaptation I, Robot.

9% - The Wachowski brothers
The Matrix was overrated. Period. The Matrix Reloaded was worse, but had some nice (if over-fucking-long) set pieces. The Matrix Revolutions was the best of the three, because it didn't try to do much more than blow shit up. Atleast Larry and Andy wrote some very cool Animatrix shorts.

10% - Ridley Scott
- cool. Legend - cool. Blade Runner - cool. Thelma & Louise - cool. Gladiator - cool.
Hannibal - underrated. Black Hawk Down - overrated. GI Jane - so fucking incredibly bad I wanted to fire an automatic weapon in the cinema just to save everyone from enduring this piece of shit, truly a fate worse than death. But all in all, he doesn't have a bad hit/miss ratio.

14% - James Cameron
Yeah, like this self-proclaimed "King of the World" will ever make another movie again. Hell, if Titanic was the height of my career, I'd throw in the towel too. Why didn't Aliens, his Terminator flicks, True Lies or The Abyss sweep the Oscars? Because the Academy is fucked up, that's why.

15% - Guillermo del Toro
Apparently Hellboy's pretty damn awesome. Haven't seen it yet, must wait 'til August 19 (stupid Australian release schedules). Which is good... because Mimic and Blade II both sucket monkey balls.

35% - Joss Whedon
Sure, his screenplays for the original Buffy flick and Alien Resurrection were pretty crap. But he made up for Buffy by giving us an awesome 144 episodes plus an additional awesome 110 episodes of Angel. With three sweet issues of Astonishing X-Men already out, this could be cool (if he's willing after his original X-Men rewrites weren't included). Oh, Firefly also rocked - forever will I sing these praises... Bring on Serenity!

Next Blog: Hopefully something worth reading, as opposed to sheer boredom.

posted by Batmite 10:31 pm   0 comments
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Monday, August 09, 2004
The following is an excerpt of an open letter from Wolverine to Superman in regard to stealing his director:
"Dear Superman,

I thought we were friends. Or at least professional colleagues with a healthy respect of each other's powers--and boundaries.

Imagine my shock then when I cracked opened the Hollywood trades Monday morning here at Xavier Mansion, and read that my director--my director--had become your director.

"Supe's on with 'X' Man," Variety said. "Singer Gives Superman 'X'-Ray Vision," the Hollywood Reporter countered.

So, you've stolen Bryan Singer. You know at least when Mystique tries to stab me in the back she jumps up in the air first and does a couple of fancy somersaults so I have time to prepare my claws.

But you--you conniving Kryptonian--you pretend you're all about truth, justice and the American way, when all you're really about is getting back on the big screen anyway, anyhow...."

Click here for the rest

This letter brings me to the point of exactly what we can expect from the second X-Men sequel.

Bryan Singer is off the project. Terrible shame this. While I'm one of the biggest fucking fanboys on the face of the Earth, I was never a fan of the X-Men. When news started filtering that there would be a film adaptation, there weren't enough laxatives on the face of the Earth to make me give a shit. Quite frankly, I didn't care.

Then something amazing happened. Bryan Singer signed on to direct this film. Suddenly I was keen, and a shit was given - laxative free. A quality director on a superhero film? Okay, it's happened before - I've just been forever scarred by Joel Shumacher's bastardisation of the Bat-mythos in The Films That Can't Be Named - but Bryan Singer is a favourite of mine. Ladies and gentleman, this is the dude who gave us The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil. Low and behold, I wanted to see this film - not for Wolverine and his mutant buddies, but because it is a Bryan "The Fucking Man" Singer movie.

The Fucking Man

Singer assembled an eclectic collection of actors to bring these characters to life. Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. Oscar winner Anna Paquin. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos became every 14 year-old's bright blue wetdream. And Halle Berry, who has since won an Oscar for getting down with Billy Bob Thornton.

Ah, Halle.

Halle fucking Berry.

What's new pussycat?

She's hot. She has more than a modicum of acting talent. But since she won an Oscar, she seems determined to destroy her career. Why? Halle's decided that she only wants to focus on lead roles, and as such is done with the whole X-Men deal.

I'm not saying that that turning down X3 will kill her career. I'm saying that the crap that this Oscar winner is churning out will. One word can attest to this: Catwoman. The venerable Ms Berry is selling herself short of quality for the big roles (and big money, one would assume).

Without Berry and Singer, it looks like the X-Men's third outing will be a shade different. Sure, we can expect Hugh Jackman to reappear as Wolverine, Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler, Patrick Stewart as Professor X (hey, would you send your kids to a "secret school" run by a dude named Professor X??? Didn't think so...), and no doubt Ian McKellan as Magneto. We won't expect Storm to be recast (everyone involved in the picture says they'd rather not have a character than recast - admirable), nor Bryan Singer's brilliant touch.

With the "cliffhanger" left by X2, fans left cinemas wanting a third movie RIGHT NOW.

But in the wrong hands, the movie could very well suck.

Let's hope not. Bring in Joss Whedon (he took a pass on the original X-Men script, writes Astonishing X-Men each month, is currently directing Serenity - based on his awesome Firefly -, and redefined pop culture with Buffy and Angel.

A geek like the rest of us.

And yes, I do read Astonishing X-Men. A non-X-Men fan bitching about the status of the next movie, and enjoying an X-Men comic...? Fucked up, eh?

Before I end this rant (well, more of a rambling), I'd just like to wish this movie the best. I'd hate for this series to go the route of the last two Batman movies - though, Anna Paquin with rubber nipples does sound intriguing.
posted by Batmite 11:15 pm   0 comments
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Imagine it- A good friend calls, and invites you on a trip to Melbourne. Sure, you haven't been given much notice, and it'll cost any money that isn't already allocated to the necessities (you know: food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers), but the kicker is his girlfriend is moving to Tasmania, and he has to put her on the boat. So what does this mean for me? He needs someone to go along, and help him drown his sorrows (read: food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers - but in Melbourne!).

Ah, the Melbourne trip. Not the "greatest trip ever", but rather "pretty fucking awesome". There weren't any Bowie concerts or sex shows, instead, me, my mate, clubs, pubs, and no itinerary whatsoever. Sweet.

The trip to Melbourne was interesting. I met a crazy dude on the bus to the airport who wanted to be best friends. Those 15 minutes were amusing, but as soon as we arrived, I dodged him and ran for the terminal. I checked in, explored my surroundings, and headed for the lounge (hoping for some food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers), where off in the distance I saw the crazy dude causing a ruckus before getting arrested (hey, crazy dude - Hi, I hope nobody made you their butt-monkey).

Shortly thereafter, I boarded the plane, checked out the lovely Virgin hostesses, and sat down. Comfortable seating, lovely hostesses, just one minor snafu - I was surrounded by Christians who had just been at a conference about the joys of marriage (disclaimer time: don't get me wrong - I don't have any problems with religion, God, or anything like that -I just don't like hearing about in non-stop - especially when jumping out the window of an jet mid-flight is frowned upon). So I bought a Crownie, drank it, and began to think about food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers.

The plane arrived, I deboarded and headed towards the hotel, courtesy of a shuttle bus into the city (no crazy dude here - just a cute Canadian chick).

Let me just say this now: Melbourne is like, you know, cool. Fucking cool.

I got to the hotel, killed a bit of time, watched TV, and waited for my mate to arrive. Finally he shows up (he doesn't have a great conception of time at the very least), oin the phone to his girlie (now on her boat) already whinging about not wanting to go to Tasmania. Lets get this straight - she decided to go to Tasmania. She got him to take her to Melbourne and put her on the boat. And now, she doesn't want to go? I dunno, it escapes me. While they were having this chat, I chucked the TV on to SBS and watched a couple of girls go at it (ain't SBS grand? If porn's foreign, it's no longer porn - it's art).

So, we went and drank at a couple of funky bars, and played Galaga at one of them. Nice night.

Day two, we headed out and did some window shopping. It would have been real shopping, except for the lack of funds. I found to brilliantly awesome shops to get a rise out of my geekiness - Minotaur and Warner Bros Studio Store). We also popped into three sex shops - one that actually looked classy, one that looked a little too seedy (would still, even if it was in Kings Cross), and the third, which was an accident - we went into a store that sells a lot of DVDs (including imports), and it just had this little black room rull of porn... and customers - you know who you are!

That night, we went to more bars, and played Frog at one of them (not as in a kinky sex act, more as in a take on Frogger). The second place we drank at was a sweet bowling bar. Had a few drinks from a nicely endowed barmaid (if you're reading this - Call me), and went bowling. I won.

The third day we wandered for a bit, tried to find a bar that no longer exists, and went back to the hotel to meet another mate, who recently moved down that way. Figuring he's one of those nice guys that you hear about occasionally, I figured that night should be time to corrupt him with food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers.

Shortly after he arrived, we figure it's time to go looking for food. Which we did, for what seemed like 12 years. During that point, Mate #1 receives a call from his girlfriend that she's coming back to Canberra. After two days (not three years as attended), she misses her boyfriend and is coming back. Kinda sweet in that FUCKING OBSESSIVE STALKER way, isn't it? I dunno, but wouldn't you think of that like, before you spend your money on the trip? Anyhoo, my mate's gotta figure out where he's staying for an extra night so he can drive her back to Canberra.

After eating at 11:30ish that night, we head to the casino (between the tables and a pokie, I have a huge windfall of $63 from $20), and figuring my mate a good night out before his girlie arrives back in town, the three of us are ready of a night full of food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers.

The closest we get to food, beer, gambling, smokes, hookers is a lovely little strip club by the name of Spearmint Rhino - quite a classy establishment (before heading here I always figured that "classy strip club" was an oxymoron), where we watched many girls dance infront of us, put "Rhino Dollars" down their G-strings, and got a lapdance each (lapdance only, the city looks like it has plenty of dives where the girls will go that extra mile for the low price of 37c).

Great night.

Awesome night.

Expensive night.

But well fucking worth it.

The following day was predominantly spent sleeping in from my night of vice. After that, we checked out, wandered the shops and markets for a bit, bid adieu to my mate, and hopped on the Skybus headed directly for the airport.

The flight back was awesome. So awesome that I didn't mind helping a little old lady who speaks very little English find her seat and store her luggage.

Why? I hear you ask. You sound like a self centered son of a bitch to me.

Because, a hot blonde air hostess appreciated my good samaratism, gave me (literally) a pat on the back and thanked me. Sweet. Seriously sweet. I chatted to her a bit on the flight, and when we landed (quite a rough landing to say the least), I helped the little old lady off the flight.

My airhostess friend must have appreciated that. Instead of a pat on the back, while heading back to the terminal I'm greeted with a loud "DAMN IT'S COLD!" (not a Canberra gal), we chat, say goodbye, and swap numbers.

And to that: I. ROCK.

Over and out 'til my next post...
posted by Batmite 1:40 am   0 comments
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Sunday, August 08, 2004
George Dubya
Hey all...

My first post... Yay!

Now, I'm not one to get into the political arena (the only arena you'll catch me in is one where I'm under the influence of various alcoholic beverages and dancing naked), but America's grand poobah just came out with another classic...

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful and so are we. They never stop thinking of new ways to harm our country or our people and neither do we"

Nuff said, methinks.

posted by Batmite 9:15 pm   0 comments
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