Posts Tagged ‘Grindhouse’

Quantum of Solace

The Plot: James Bond is pissed off. Seriously, why’d you have to go and piss off James Bond?

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Most probably. In what is surely the most puzzling film title since Synecdoche, New York (and by the way Sunshine Theater, please don’t correct my pronunciation, especially when you’re wrong), Daniel Craig resumes his role as Britain’s ultimate super spy. Casino Royale was an incredible reinvention of the Bond franchise, comparable to the way Batman Begins reinvented the caped crusader. Unfortunately Quantum of Solace is not getting as much praise as Dark Knight received. All the same, critics seem to be agreeing that it is a worthy installment. The film also has a new director. Marc Forster, director of quirky comedies like Stranger than Fiction, wrist-slitting dramas like Monster’s Ball and flaming shit-piles like Finding Neverland, has taken over for Royale (and Goldeneye) director Martin Campbell. The writing team of Robert Wade, Neil Purvis and Paul Haggis remains the same. I just said “Purvis” and “Haggis” in the same sentence. Gross. 

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: Park Slope Pavilion, United Artists on Court Street, Regal at Union Square.

Paul Haggis.

Paul Haggis.

Slumdog Millionaire

The Plot: A kid tells his life story after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Definitely. This is already getting some of the best reviews of the year. The screenplay was adapted from the novel Q and A by screenwriter Simon Beaufroy, who most recently scripted Ms. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The director, Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) is one of the most criminally underrated directors working today. Seriously, name a bad movie he’s made. If you named The Beach or A Life Less Ordinary, then I guess you’re right. But two out of ten isn’t bad, right?

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The Angelika.

A Christmas Tale

The Plot: A family comes together when their mother is diagnosed with cancer. So it’s a lot like Royal Tenenbaums. Only it’s at Christmas. And it’s French.

Is It Worth Eleven Dollars?: Yes. Wow! This is a good week. Brooklyn Skeptic came back just in time. This film stars the amazing (and still incredibly good looking) Catherine Deneuve, as well as Mathieu Amalric (who is also playing the creepy villain in Quantum of Solace). This is being marketed in the United States with a trailer featuring goofy Christmas music that probably belongs in something like Love Actually (sorry Reckles). I somehow don’t think this is the holiday romp that people will expect, but something slightly more somber and interesting. In any case, definitely worth seeing.

Where is it Playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: The IFC Center.


The Plot: A documentary about America’s addiction to oil.

Is it Worth Eleven Dollars?: Again I would say yes. The film won the audience award for best documentary at Sundance, and director Josh Tickell seems like a less annoying version of Michael Moore. Plus, if you watch the trailer, Luke Perry is in the movie! It must be said though, Luke Perry most likely contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer a lot during the 90’s with his hair products alone.

I brought this out from under my pillow, just for you.

I brought this out from under my pillow, just for you.

Where is this playing in Brooklyn/Manhattan?: I can’t seem to figure that out, but I’ll get back to you.

Otherwise, the incredible Rachel Getting Married is at Cobble Hill Cinemas (as well as BAM). Also, JCVD, the film about Jean Claude Van Damme has just started at Brooklyn Heights Cinema (they’re finally getting a new-ish movie!). In Manhattan, there’s a midnight showing of Grindhouse tonight at the Sunshine, and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome is playing at midnight at the IFC Center.

And finally, We Are Wizards, which is a documentary about the creative drive that has been inspired by Harry Potter, is playing at Cinema Village on 12th Street. It features BS faves Harry and the Potters.

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Last night at around 8:15pm, I, along with a few other Brooklyn Skeptics, decided that it was time for our weekly Sunday evening booze binge. We’re drunks. Except that in fact, I did not drink anything so I suppose I’m not a drunk. Only the days I choose to drink vodka out of my 32oz polycarbonate water bottle, do I consider myself a quasi alcoholic.

Just kidding. I can get *Liza Minelli’d from simply sniffing an open bottle of liquor. Unlike many of my fellow Brooklyn Skeptics, my alcohol tolerance does not equate to an entire keg of Keystone Light. But it’s good. It means I’m a cheap date.

Anyway, after a brief pow-wow we, the Team, decided to make our way over to Bar Reis. It’s nice at Bar Reis. A pretty tight upper level (by tight I don’t mean “off the hook,” but rather, “claustrophobic”), however the basement provides ample space (for a less than huge crowd), a pool table, jukebox, board games, couches, and an outdoor garden. Very pleasant.

Bar Reis is interesting though. There is no set standard as for the type of patronage Reises Pieces brings in. A pretty eclectic mix of people, I’d say. Here, I’ll explain: In one corner was the single guy hoarding two sets of couches as he watched a basketball game on tv, I hated him. In another corner were some hipsters celebrating a birthday, or something (whatever). In the third corner was me, and some other (Brooklyn Skeptic) people. And in the last open space, taking up both the pool table and jukebox were a group of European ladies. These ladies, these ladies were loud. And weird. While dodging their pool ques, and discotheque ready outfits (they hurt my eyes), we concluded that suddenly, we were swimming in a sea of about 10 au pairs. We surmised they were all employed through the same agency and decided to go wild on this Sunday evening, their day off. Also discussed were the prerequisites for attaining an au pair position:

1. Willingness to sleep with Hedge fund investor father.

We realized that’s probably the only prereq. But it’s a good one.

Shortly after the European invasion, we gathered our belongings and made our way over to the outdoor patio. It was nice from that point on.

In the end, I enjoy Bar Reis. Sure some of its customers aren’t familiar with American customs and blast The Pussycat Dolls from the jukebox, but I’d take loud European women over loud American hipsters any day.

*Liza Minelli’d: A term used to illustrate an incredibly drunk, well sung woman.

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Grindhouse + BAM = Very Hot.

Last Friday evening, 4/6/07, Team Brooklyn Skeptic & Friends screened the Rodriguez/Tarantino double feature “Grindhouse” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, aka BAM. Aka, the best joint stage/movie theater in town. BAM’s presented stadium seating is fit for a King. Or I guess a more suitable comparison would be, it is fit for a really short person. Like, really short. Like a baby.

I would suggest going to BAM for your movie viewing pleasures, not just for the stadium seating but because watching films at a performing arts arena makes one seem/feel more cultured. This is true. Do not deny. And if you’re anything like me, you could use all the culture points you can get. Which, judging by the fact that you’re reading this right now, you probably do….need those culture points.

Moving along, let’s discuss “Grindhouse” and its awesomeness, shall we? We shall. Both Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” are total achievements in the art of Grindhouse filmmaking. Good fun, good gore, great casting. Now, it’s not to say Rose McGowan, who acts in both “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof,” is the best actress, or even a really decent actress for that matter, but boy does she play her “Planet Terror” role well. I believe the whole point of Grindhouse films is their lack of “quality,” meaning the film itself isn’t supposed to be A-material. Or so that’s what I hear. So McGowan’s questionable acting skills work in her favor here. Like Piper Perabo in “Coyote Ugly.” However Freddy Rogriguez, the lead in “Planet Terror” is, in my opinion, actually talented. Who knew the little guy from “Six Feet Under” could pull off such a heroic badass role? Way to go Federico Diaz.

Now, I do not want to give any details away, so my review will end here. But take it from me, “Grindhouse” is….the shit.

PS I heard Rose McGowan was the impetus behind Robert Rodriguez and his now estranged wife’s separation. Therefore all theories of McGowan being somewhat of a home wrecker have been confirmed. Although, in everyone (except for Rodriguez’s ex-wife’s) defense, McGowan is insanely hot. I reckon that in the past year or two, the former “Charmed” cast mate has had a few nips and/or tucks performed, if you get my drift.

(I think she’s had some plastic surgery done.)

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