(jp) wrote: This movie excels at being exactly what you would expect it to be: a humorous, over-the-top horror film about beavers who happen to also be zombies. And that is just the beginning, as the film takes it to the next level (and you have to see it to believe it).Some of it is cheesy. The hair and mustache on the truck driver look awful, but this is more than likely part of the joke. The gore effects are really good, and you have to respect those who put this film together, as many of them are relatively unknown, and nobody involve is a big horror name. Yet, this might be the horror comedy of 2014.
(es) wrote: Also Featuring Uncertainty About a Parental Figure Movies about the making of movies are complicated things. You have to be careful with them. The "triumphing over adversity" can come across as praising your own filmmaking skills--"look what I overcame, too!" Downplaying your film's subject can look like building up yourself--"I'm better than he was; look how good this film was compared to the one this character is making!" And so forth. I mean, we're leaving out the issue of making a movie about your father's making a movie. It's too easy to get into a "putting on a show in the barn" mindset. Now, there's a place for that. If you have the strength and determination to make a movie against all the odds, that's a great thing. However, if you're trying to emphasize the revolutionary nature of your film, that's not the mood you want. Mario Van Peebles is playing his father, Melvin, who is just breaking into "real" filmmaking. He's trying to decide what he's going to do for his next project, and the one he comes up with is about as far from the commercial product the studio wants as possible. We covered the movie yesterday, so I won't much get into it here, especially because this film doesn't worry all that much about the plot. It's more about behind the scenes, the struggle to get the thing made. What it is doesn't entirely matter. Melvin is having a hard time getting funding, especially because of his determination that half the crew be "Third World." (This is a way of phrasing it that bothers me, but whatever.) The whole crew gets arrested one fine weekend because the cops can't believe a black guy and a Hispanic guy could possibly have all that equipment legally. The most disturbing thing for most people about the original [i]Sweet Sweetback[/i] is Mario's own performance there. Here, he is played by Khleo Thomas, and while his acting wasn't deep in [i]Holes[/i], where I first saw him, he captures the ambivalence Mario must surely have felt about the treatment he received at his father's hands. There's a long list of problems raised on the set with how Melvin uses Mario in the film--the scene where he and his sister, Megan (Penny Bae Bridges), offer to wash someone's car is one thing. But when Melvin wants Mario as young, poor, dirty Sweetback in the shocking first scene, the only person who doesn't see why it's a problem is Melvin. The way the scenes are filmed do tend to indicate that Mario himself is still uncomfortable with the whole thing. Honestly, for all the flaws of the Melvin character (I cannot speak to the man himself), this film strikes me as being more empowering than the movie it's about. After all, Melvin has a goal. He's really serious working toward something, and while he cuts corners and engages in some shady dealings, there is a strength and dignity in what he's trying to do. Yes, he tries to fake out all sorts of people into thinking he's making a porn flick so that he can dodge the unions, but it's the only way he can afford to get it made at all. Besides, the unions are white, and Melvin is pretty determined to have the crew he wants. (My problem with the "Third World" reference, incidentally, starts with the fact that none of his crew seems to actually be from the countries; even the Hispanic guy is Puerto Rican, albeit played by a Mexican.) There's something admirable there. Mario does a pretty good job at reproducing the era. There are those exciting hairdos, those astonishing clothes. (In one of the making-ofs, Bridges talks about how weird it is that the clothes don't match and aren't supposed to.) There's a scene showing, basically, the aftermath of an orgy, and all the participants are covered in body paint. One of the odder issues with Mario's famous nude scene is that his father wants him to cut his hair including shaving patches so they can fake ringworm. (Fortunately, makeup prevailed.) It does help that Mario so closely resembles his father, of course, which is more than can be said about T. K. Carter, who plays Bill Cosby and resembles him not at all.
(ca) wrote: I went to see this last night. I think Jay-Z is just alright, and I wasn't really interested in seeing this, but I was on a date and the movie we wanted to see was sold out. Dude that I was out with loved it, but I found it really boring and I almost fell asleep. This movie seems to be copying off of Tupac Resurrection, except 2Pac's movie was like fifty times better to me. If you are not a die hard Jay-Z fan then save your money...wait for it to come out on HBO or something. There were some funny parts but all together they were like 5 minutes out of the whole movie and they are just really goofy, like people dancing funny and making weird faces. I am NOT feeling this movie...I give it a 2 out of 10 :rotten: :rotten: Jay-Z is overrated
(jp) wrote: Intense, serial drama adaptation. Quite a bizarre, twisted story which has lots of hidden depths and meaning. The story revolves around a psychiatrist who tries to determine the mind of a very disturbed young stable boy after he blinds 6 horses. In the process of trying to heal this boy the psychiatrist starts to question his own life and worth. There is not doubting why Richard Burton was nominated for an Academy award for best actor for his portrayal of Dr. Dysert. Quite an outstanding performance by all the cast.