Archive for the G Category

Gran Torino

Posted in G with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2009 by Schuyler

Schuyler says:

This has the potential to be my favorite movie of all time. Clint Eastwood writes and directs this movie, in which he is a sour old gt2Korean-War Vet. He lives in a “mixed” lower-middle class suburb. The story begins at Walt Kowalski’s wife’s funeral. Walt stands there as the priest rambles on about life and death, all while growling at his two sons and their respective families. One of his grandson’s is wearing a Detroit Lions football jersey to this funeral. As I watch in the audience, I begin to growl angrily in a manner similar to Kowalski’s. His granddaughter shows up with multiple piercings, wearing some whore dress she bought at limited too, playing with her sidekick cell phone. At this point, my growling has increased, sounding comparable to an angry dog. Kowalski’s family is utter crap, and at the reception after the funeral, they clearly want to leave, but not before trying to approach Kowalski about inheritance plans. How friggin rude?! “I was wondering, when you die, could I have your pristeen ‘1972 Gran Torino…and also that cool retro couch would like great in my dorm at State next year. I have like totally no furniture!” Kowalski growls and lumbers into the next room.

That’s your introduction to his character.

Next door lives a Mong family (they’re from China or Thailand or something). The teenaged children, Su and Tao are both picked on by a mong gang led by their cousin. The gang tries to get physical with Su and Tao, accidentally moving their rumble to the neighbor’s lawn. Enter Walt Kowalski. He shows up and puts his gun right in a gangmember’s face. “Get off my lawn…”

The gang retreats, but not before promising retribution. Su is greatful but Kowalski repeats the same mantra to her: “Get off my lawn.”

I won’t ruin the rest of the story, but Walt Kowalski is racist, and excessively so. If you’re a nationality, he’s got 6 dirty words designed especially for you. For PC college girls who think Free Speech is a myth, Kowalski has one request: “Fuck yourself”. Amen.

Despite being racist, especially towards Asians, he observes that he has more in common with these strange neighbors than he does his gtown ingrate family. His heart slowly warms to them, and he takes the family’s children under his wing.

I can’t say much more about this movie other than this: Eastwood scored the trifecta: excellent writing, excellent directing, and of course excellent acting in a role that was made for Clint and Clint alone. The characters are for the most part realistic (with Walt being a bit too huge of a character, but with the audience accepting it), and the super secret surpise ending leaves anyone who came in pessimistically expecting a “typical Clint Eastwood movie” pleasantly flabbergasted.

A lot of “lol” moments, and quite a few heart touching ones.

We’ll see how I feel in a year or so, but this film has usurped The Crow (for now) as my favorite film.

In case you’re wondering, this is how my favorite films stack up:

Gran Torino
The Crow
Step Brothers
Seven Pounds

Grade: 94


Goal: The Dream Begins

Posted in G with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2008 by Schuyler

Schuyler says:

“Shoot Santiago! Shoot!” Allen is sitting on the couch watching calmly, but I am basically climbing up the wall with excitement.goal.jpg
This soccer “Rudy” is cheesy, and entirely formulaic, but I can’t help but like it.

Kuno Becker comes off as a rookie actor, but I can’t help but like him.

The “appearances” of real EPL players and the likes of Beckham, Zidane, and Raul (and even Beckham’s lines) are incredibly forced, meant as a treat for true soccer enthusiasts. But I can’t help but like it.

Kuno Becker is Santiago Munez, a Mexican guy living with his evil father, wonderfully loving grandmother, and little brother. He loves playing soccer for his local club, and is a virtuoso. He gets spotted by ex-player and scout Glenn Foy. Foy tries to convince Munez to come to England so he can get tryout for Newcastle United.

He goes, despite his father stealing his life-savings to buy a truck for their “beez-neez”, because Grandma buys him a bus/plane ticket with all her money. He shows up in the pouring rain of the ‘Toon, and stays with Foy in his flat.

To summarize the rest, he tries out, isn’t used to a muddy pitch, sucks, begs for another chance, gets it, does alright, has asthma issues, does poorly, almost goes home, asks for another chance, gets it, does great, plays with the first team, helps them win the last game of the season.

Evil daddy, a few days after watching his soon play for the first time (a demonstration of a chance of heart), dies.

….This movie isn’t very fun to write about.

I’m getting kind of bored.

Okay, fuck it, this is my goddamn website.goal2.jpg

Here are some funny things about Mexicans: They are dirty, smell bad, lazy, and as soccer players they cheat and lie all while caring more about how their tricks look than the overall team effort.

Here are some funny things about Mexicans in Goal: They are a hard-working people, shower a lot, work incredibly hard to achieve their dreams, and are a bastion of soccer integrity.

Despite loving the feeling of this movie, I think that the perception of Mexican soccer players is a farce.
As someone who played MORE than a few club games in Clifton, NJ or Orange, NJ or Paterson, NJ…I would know. I would know a hell of a lot better than writer Mike Jeffries (Jesus! With a name like that he must have been born in a WASP nest).

In a stark contrast to some of my other writing compatriots (Cough cough James cough cough Jason cough cough) I like to remove “my enjoyment of a film” from it’s final score. I’m really sorry, but Boogie Nights is not a fucking 93. Nor is Ghostbusters a 100. You may have enjoyed it that much, but c’mon, don’t be a deuce.

I enjoyed Goal an 89/90, but it’s really not anything special. I just got off on a the soccer topic, because I related so much to it. Shown to any other audience, you have an experience closer to Allen’s: it’s cool, but I didn’t love it.

Somewhere in between those two ideas is the grade for this film.

Grade: 80


Posted in G with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2008 by jharoldson13


[Editor’s note: This review is really long, and is just a clever guise for James and Dan to verbally fellate one another’s taste in films]

James says:

In the interest of journalistic integrity, I’d like to make it clear that there is NO WAY for me to be unbiased in this review. This movie is justghostbusters.jpg way too awesome and hilarious, and almost entirely without fault if you ask me. Everyone in this movie is perfect WITHOUT EXCEPTION, playing their roles perfectly and hilariously. Even Slimer, that over-merchandised translucent puppet, is great, and even drives a bus in the sequel! So the basic idea is that a bunch of crazy doctors working at Columbia get kicked out because all their research is paranormal, so they open up their own ghost hunting company. And lo, The Ghostbusters were born! They catch all sorts of evil ghosts and put them in their containment chamber, eventually hiring Ernie Hudson when they get too overloaded with work. Then the evil EPA agent makes them shut down the containment thing, and all the ghosts escape. Meanwhile, Sigourney Weaver’s apartment is being haunted by the servant of an ancient Sumerian god named Zuul, who wants to bring his master, Gozer, into the world. Hijinx ensue, and it’s up to the good guys to save the day from evil Gozer.

Fucking classic. This movie is superb, and anyone who argues with me is clearly impaired in some way, and should not be listened to. Theghostbusters.png only thing keeping me from giving this movie some sort of ridiculously inflated score is the knowledge that I can’t really defend it to Schuyler with words, and I don’t want to have to try dancing my opinion or something stupid like that. Suffice to say that this movie is more than worth your time. It’s a true comedy classic that deserves every bit of respect and prestige that it gets. Also, Bill Murray is great and I love him.

Grade: 93

Dan says:

20 years ago, the nation was blessed with a film of epic proportions. It had it all. Science fiction. Comedy. Special effects. Scares. Romance. Religion. Action. Stars. I live in a world inspired this movie, the sequel, the cartoon, the comics, the action figures and the song. I live the lifestyle. Driving fast through city streets in a ridiculous and boxy car. Nuclear science condensed into backpacks that shoot particle beams. Ain’t being afraid of no ghost. I’ve been a fan of the movie Ghostbusters for as long as I can remember. Story goes, my mom saw the movie in theaters in 1984, when I was in the womb. As fate would have it, baby-me started kicking when the researchers-turned-ghost

-janitors gave their first shot at capturing a spook at the New York Public Library. Since that day, busting has made me feel good.And I’m in good company. The most prominent people associated with Ghostbusters are GB’s themselves. People don’t getghostbusters.jpeg much funnier or critically acclaimed than Saturday Night Live alums Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray. After them there’s Rick Moranis, of Spaceballs fame and Sigourney Weaver, bringing her Alien stardom right along stride. Now that’s a woman. What Ghostbusters has done with its combination of star power and special effects has not only amazed audiences for two decades on end, but has also caused the movie to currently hold the record as the 52nd highest grossing film of all time, beating out both Top Gun and Back to the Future. I didn’t look these things up. I just know them.Ghostbusters was released 23 years ago, yet I can’t get that damn Ray Parker Jr. song out of my head. I now know who I’m going to call. I’ve been conditioned to call them for the better part of my life, after chanting the refrain for years on end. And would it have killed them to include a phone number in that song? 411 has blocked my number after I’ve repeatedly inquired about finding a local chapter of the GB’s for paranormal investigation and elimination services. Now I’ll never be able to locate a Dominos without digging the phonebook out from my trunk of Ghostbuster guns.You know, I should blame those big-wig type studio guys and their franchises for getting me so hooked on the idea of bustin’ ghosts. They couldn’t stop with the movie, nooooooo, soon they were invading my life with lunchboxes, T-Shirts, and video games. I could probably buy myself one of those flat screen plasma TVs that hang from the ceiling with all the money I’ve spent on the notion of capturing ghosts. What am I kidding. If I had one of those I would probably use it to watch Ghostbusters in bed while laying flat on my back.But back to my point. Those guys have made me dish out the dough for ages now. I have no idea why I own a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man Bobble Head doll, a Ghostbusters II poster, and several dozen books on the undead. My hands shake and reach for the wallet every time I come across a collector’s item. I don’t need another button, trading card, or matchbox car but I’m going to buy doubles just incase I lose the first sets.Meanwhile, the people at Columbia Pictures have given me so much to buy, but so little to base my imaginary adventures upon. What I’m really talking about is the lack of a little movie called Ghostbusters 3. What jerk refused to green-light this project when we get such winners as Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed or Dumb and Dumberer each year? How could this sequel not be a good idea? The movie was written and everything, but the studio just wouldn’t let it happen, they called it a dead property. The plan was for New York City to be sucked into the 10th circle of hell and the Ghostbusters would have to take on the Devil. I’m talking freakin’ Satan vs. Ray Stanz. Beelzebub vs. Peter Venkman. The King of Evil vs. Egon Spengler. Black Sabbath vs. that Black Ghostbuster.

Oh don’t worry, I know that the black Ghostbuster’s name is Winston Zeddemore, he’s a religious type and he grew up in Queens after spending some time in the army. I just called him such because it’s the way most non-Ghostheads refer to him.
People like you.

Of course, I know these things for a reason. A Trekkie is to Star Trek, a Parrothead is to Jimmy Buffet, and a Nerd is to Star Wars as a Ghosthead is to Ghostbusters. I guess that would make me a Ghosthead. Being a Ghosthead has many perks, whether it be the mad fresh skillz it takes to rap along with Run D.M.C. on the GBII soundtrack or the ability to custom make any one of your friends a Ghostbusters suit for Halloween. Just follow my patented step-by-step instructions.

-Obtain a flight suit at a local army/navy storeghostdude.jpg
-Iron on a no-ghost-patch
-Purchase a Super Soaker (XP if possible) and paint it black
-Wrap your Jansport book bag in duct tape to look “industrial”
-Seach E-Bay a pair of night vision goggles for your head. A merely 230 dollars,and worth every cent.
-Suck in the guts. You are now a Ghostbuster.

Most people don’t know about the videogame coming up next year. This is an extremely exciting development. The boys are too old to crank out a third movie anyways, so why not let an XBOX 360 recreate New York City in the year 1991, put the guys all back in shape again, and allow us to bust some giant scary ghosts? To me, this idea is better than Ghostbusters 3 could ever be, because the new Ghostbuster on the team… is YOU. Why is it that I am the only one constantly talking about this stuff? Don’t you all get the urge to strap a particle accelerator to your back and find an abandoned mental hospital that must be teaming with demons, then blasting them to bits and sucking them into small metal traps? Let’s all get slimed and cook eggs on our countertop and find ancient Sumerian gods in our refrigerators!

Of course, you shouldn’t be watching in February… you should be seeing this movie in the month of October, which makes it all the better. This is the month where it is socially acceptable to have the theme song on repeat in your stereo for the majority of the weekend. This is the month where you can watch either of the movies for no reason at all except that “its around Halloween”. This is the month when you can find the best ways to quote the movie and have people laugh along with you instead of give you queer looks. This is the month you can put the jump suit on and wander around in public and actually get high fives. This is the month when you can put up a sign on your house containing a big red Ø with a trapped white ghost and hand out cards telling people to call you in case of emergency.

I find myself strangely attracted to station wagons and hearses, and I fear I might buy one and paint it white, putting a lot of flashing lights up on top. I can’t be sure if my kids will want the Ecto-Mobile dropping them off at school every morning, but I do know that I’ll get a kick out of it. I can see it now…

I slap my hand on a large button to sound a giant ringing bell and yell “We got lunch!” up to the second floor of our apartment turned firehouse. They’ll wake up and look down at me, begging me not to drive because of terrible traffic, but I’ll shush them quickly, forcing them to the first floor by making the little boogers slide down the fire pole which I had installed in place of stairs. Then I’ll usher little Egon and little Jeanine into the backseat and crank up the siren on the car to full blast, light up the lights on top as we prepare to rocket out of the garage and into the driveway where we recklessly take a shortcut to the street narrowly missing any passersby.

As for the movie being completely out of date by the time I’m popping out little spuds, I can make sure they’re fullyghost2.jpg familiar with the boys in grey as soon as I acquire the complete The REAL Ghostbusters cartoon series DVD. It may take some duct tape and a few gallons of Hi-C’s Ecto-Cooler to subdue them into total GB submission, but I’m up to the challenge. Then my little Gatekeeper and Daddy’s little Keymaster can start growing up right.

I can pretty much see it now. Showing this stuff to my kids will have all the disappointment my mom shared when she sat me down to watch The Sound of Music in 4th grade. It just didn’t have the same impact on me as her. Musical extravaganzas held her attention, blue screen explosions held mine, and computer generated characters will hold generation Z’s.

Still, I have hope. Perhaps this movie will be one of the few that stands the test of time and becomes beloved by those of all ages for all my days to come. How timeless is a 100 story man made of Marshmallow? The Statue of Liberty springing to life and walking down First Avenue? An 18th century Carpathian magician named Vigo?

About as timeless as the year 1984.

Grade: 100

Final Grade: 193/2 = 96.5