This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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Saturday, 01 September 2007 |
Bless the Brothers Coen. Every couple of years, they turn up with an
original, distinctive movie, blending much of the best of both
independent filmmaking and big studio productions. Their stories are
quirky and unusual, whether they're as serious as "Miller's Crossing"
or as funny as "Raising Arizona" or as fanciful/peculiar as “O Brother
Where Art Thou.” Because their movies are so entertaining, and please
audiences and critics alike, they lure in major acting talent with no
"The Big Lebowski" is as amiable and ingratiating as The Dude (Jeff
Bridges), the movie's central character, though it's a heck of a lot
more organized. In fact, because of the kind of movie it is, it's
tightly-plotted, beautifully structured. Joel & Ethan Coen's first
movie was "Blood Simple," a terrific latter-day film noir with a strong
sense of character and place, and a sure knowledge of how place shapes
character. Firmly set in 1991 ...
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 |
The National Lampoon movies sort of reached their downtrodden peak of
funniness by the time the 1990s spurred around. Almost a decade into
the 2000s and National Lampoon has become nothing more than a name tag
on a never-ending list of direct-to-video abominations. In all
fairness, at least its unique brand of twisted satire and bad taste had
created some sweet moments of cinematic glory (need I say Vacation and
Animal House?). Which goes above and beyond what comedy troupe Broken
Lizard has managed to make since 2002 with the theatrical release of
their first flick Super Troopers. Headed by actor-director Jay
Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, and Paul
Soter, the Broken Lizard guys seemed to have a better time making
movies than the audiences did watching it. Club Dread and now Beerfest
are no different.
Jan Wolfhouse (Paul Soter) and Todd Wolfhouse (Erik Stolhanske) are
brothers whose grandfather (Donald Sutherland) ...
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 |
“Dazed and Confused,” Richard Linklater’s follow-up to his loose,
improvisatory Austin roundabout, “Slacker” follows more than a dozen
characters for one night, immediately after school has closed for the
summer. Set in 1976, it’s a natural bridge between the fragmentary,
plotless “Slacker” and his later films with tighter narratives. As the
last day of school ends, the film catalogues the adventures of high
school students in different grades through the evening and early
morning, while their personal stories and tiny character arcs collide.
Randall “Pink” Floyd (Jeremy London) is the football team’s quarterback
and will be entering his Senior year in the fall, but he’s starting to
rebel and is conflicted about hypocritically signing a conduct pledge
given to him by his coach. Junior high student, Mitch Kramer (Wiley
Wiggins) is beset by a gang of about-to-be Seniors going around
walloping all the incoming freshmen. The downtrodden Tony (Anthony
Rapp) and Mike (Adam ...
Sunday, 01 April 2007 |
“Happy” Gilmore (Adam Sandler) is a hockey lover nursing a childhood
dream of making it on a professional-league team. The problem is that
while he can hit the puck, he’s a klutz on skates and has a violent
temper. Happy’s guardian is his beloved grandmother (Frances Bay),
who’s being thrown out of her house—she hasn’t paid her taxes. While
supervising the state repossession agents who are emptying grandma’s
house, Happy accidentally discovers that thanks to his hockey training,
he has a particular talent for golf, especially the “long drive.”
Encouraged by ex-golf pro Chubbs (Carl Weathers) and supportive Pro
Tour publicist Virginia (Julie Bowen), Happy endeavors to win enough
prize money on the golf circuit to save his grandmother’s home from the
auction block. Organizers are initially appalled by Happy’s crude,
uncouth game antics, but leave him be when his charismatic earthiness
begins to gain him a large audience of rowdy supporters. As ...
Thursday, 01 March 2007 |
“Saturday Night Live” superstar John Belushi stepped onto the silver
screen with this National Lampoon produced opus of college days, a
perennial favorite. The movie was actually an ensemble piece, but
Belushi he stole the show so successfully that most people who have
seen the movie remember him and the things he did better than they do
the movie overall.
First released in 1978 to an unsuspecting audience, “National Lampoon’s
Animal House” quickly became the battle cry for a nation of
rabble-rousers and introduced the idea of toga parties to the public at
large. The movie set the style for most of the college films made
since’ generally they all feature at least some of the same kinds of
characters, problems, and situations. Without this film, we wouldn’t
have “Van Wilder”; “Accepted”, or any of the “American Pie” movies. It
opened up a whole new world to the moviegoing audience.
“National Lampoon’s Animal House” ...