ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER

What They Left Out Of The History Books

Director
Timur Bekmambetov

Starring
Benjamin Walker
Dominic Cooper
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Anthony Mackie



Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter chronicles the life of former United States President and prolific vampire destroyer, Abraham Lincoln [Walker]. As a young boy, Lincoln soon learns the meaning of justice and morality when his father is fired for preventing a man from beating Lincoln and friend, Will, for interfering in the transport of slaves. From the very outset it’s kind of obvious that Thomas Lincoln’s former employer, Jack Barts [Marton Csokas], is a vampire, largely due to his ridiculous anachronistic look and stupid sunglasses. While feigning sleep, Lincoln witnesses his mother’s death at the hands of Barts and waits nine years until his father dies to exact his revenge. It’s around this time that the drunken Lincoln makes acquaintance with the eccentric Henry Sturgess [Cooper]… there’s no sense in trying to hide anything, he’s a vampire. It’s not a spoiler or anything because he has the same stupid anachronistic look as the other vampires. Sturgess saves Lincoln’s life after his attack on Barts fails and promises to teach Lincoln how to eradicate vampires from the face of the Earth. Somewhere along the way, Lincoln gets delusions of grandeur and enters politics to abolish slavery.. because the vampires have been happily feasting on slaves.. in the south.. unnoticed. Never mind that the US civil war was about cessation or that the southern states are some of the hottest and sunniest in the US. Anyway, Lincoln becomes President, starts his war, then the Confederates conscript vampires to fight at Gettysburg and WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK! SERIOUSLY! There’s suspension of disbelief and fun silly premises but Jesus Christ this is just fucking bat-shit crazy!

The teaser posters for 2004’s Van Helsing greatly intrigued me. The concept of bringing back Universal’s classic monsters under one contemporary release sounded entertaining. What we ended up with was a complete disaster littered with mediocre CGI, cringe-worthy performances and an incomprehensible ‘story’. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is no different; childish, moronic, difficult to follow, stylised pap, not even superficially entertaining, just laughably stupid. The greatest mystery is how Bekmambetov managed to fall so far in producing this ridiculous romp.

Benjamin Walker does a surprisingly good impersonation of Liam Neeson (largely due to his appearance in Kinsey) but as Lincoln, the concept of his character is far too absurd; so, as accurate as he may have appeared, sounded or behaved it was beyond plausible. Part of my frustration and confusion with the main character was that there was nothing particular special about Lincoln, nothing specified anyway. You have this burly, agile guy who can run, jump and fight with the same ferocity of the ‘immortals’ but his only real training, other than twiddling an axe for days on end, takes place in one scene. Henry escorts Abe to a forest and instructs him to cut down a tree with a single blow. Lincoln rejects this as folly but proceeds nevertheless. As he hacks into the bark, Henry asks a series of questions that enrage and fuel Lincoln, demonstrating how helpless he is. At the height of his rage, Lincoln decimates the tree, launching it into the air before sending it crashing down. So.. essentially, Lincoln got pissed and axed the shit out of a tree. I don’t know if he called on some inner strength or a supernatural ability within (the script didn’t feel the need to expand) but from hereon he was gifted with abilities above and beyond that of an average human being.

Acting and character plausibility aside, the film is a technical nightmare. The editing and pacing are absolutely atrocious, leaving the entire narrative without solid structure, often jumping ahead days, weeks or decades. Even in one scene, the erratic camera movements and messy cutting leave one feeling that great spooling sections of material are either missing or were never filmed in the first place. Then there are the mercurial visual effects, ranging from downright impressive to utterly appalling. You could argue the cinematography is nice in places but even that seems to have been sloppily executed, as if in post-production someone added a filter and simply assumed it would do for the entire film. On top of all that, rather than playing it tongue-in-cheek, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter conducts itself with the seriousness of a big budget drama, probably under the delusion that it would be of equal appeal to the Sherlock Holmes crowd, clearly missing the appeal of Guy Ritchie’s series.

Even the central concept grows tiresome after a while. Much like the recently popular series of books that combine a period novel and zombies or vampires of Cthulhu or what-the-fuck-ever, the wink-nudge joke becomes incredibly tenuous very quickly. The whole thing feels like a children’s puppet that swears profusely – unless there’s a story or satirical reason for it, the gimmick loses its novelty. One of the only things that keep everything ticking along, other than the brief moments where you’re duped into believing that it will improve, is the score. Henry Jackman delivers accompanying music that is actually extremely impressive and very fitting for whatever the hell this film could have been.

To summate, I have a quote from an IMDb user who thoroughly enjoyed this release and couldn’t possibly fathom why critics were panning it: “I just don’t understand why this movie is being critically tortured. This is a prime example of modern cinema being underrated by people who have no skill other than to sit behind a keyboard and type big words to describe why THEY didn’t like the movie.” He then goes on to describe how the effects were amazing, the vampires were scary looking and the inclusion of historical figures made it interesting. He concluded that were this film released ten years ago, critics would be singing a different tune. Well, funnily enough, this film was released nearly ten years ago in the form of Wild Wild West and that was shit too. You can’t take a period setting, extreme amounts of CGI and a preposterous concept and simply expect it to work without a decent story! I’m not saying it cannot be done but this film is way off the mark.


Release Date:
20th June 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
Whilst confronting the vampire that killed his mother, Lincoln finds himself caught up in a stampede of horses. As the vampire races off, gleefully dancing atop the animals, Lincoln unsheathes his trusty axe and tries to give chase – it looks as ridiculous as it sounds, both the concept and use of CGI are bloody disgraceful. If anything, one should take from this scene, it’s the obvious statement that if you throw a horse at Abraham Lincoln, he will catch the beast and then ride it. RIDE THE FUCKING HORSE! RIDE IT BEFORE LEAPING FROM STALLION TO MARE! DODGING STEEDS AND THROWING PUNCHES! FUCK YEAH! GO ABE! END SLAVERY AND UNITE THE NATION! WHOO! A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND.. ON VAMPIRE BLOOD, MOTHER FUCKER! I FUCKIN’ LOVE HISTORY! …idiots

Notable Characters:
Curiously enough, no one seemed to inform Mary Elizabeth Winstead that she was in a daft, nonsensical film. Subsequently, the straight-faced earnestness she brought to her role only added to the ridiculousness of the entire ordeal.

Highlighted Quote:
“I find common-looking men to be the best of men. Isn’t that why God made so many of them?”

In A Few Words:
“Going far beyond silly action and cheesy entertainment, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter happily strides into Van Helsing territory”

Total Score:

1/5

COSMOPOLIS

Time. Money. Luxury. It’s All Coming Down

Director
David Cronenberg

Starring
Robert Pattinson



Robert Pattinson portrays young billionaire, Eric Packer, a Patrick Bateman for the Lehman economic age and the central focus of this incredibly self-indulgent yet utterly engrossing flick. New York is a hive of activity at the quietest of times but during a presidential visit, a rap artist’s funeral procession and a fiscal protest march, Mr. Packer decides he wants to take his convoy of white stretch limousines across town to get a haircut. Traffic is naturally at a standstill but having converted his limo into a portable office, he continues to conduct meetings and operate with business as usual. This allows the plot to roll on at a steady pace with Packer receiving ‘guests’, arrogantly oblivious to the outside world. As news slowly filters in that his financial holdings are weakening, he begins to descend into a maddening voyage of masochistic destruction.

The suffocating self contained structure ensures that each supporting performance offers something different, while bringing us ever closer to the truth that is Eric Packer. What that means, is the audience is treated to a series of very vibrant one-on-one discussions, much in the same style as a theatrical production. Curiously enough, despite the talent involved, these seem to range a little. We have the likes of Jay Baruchel, Mathieu Amalric and Sarah Gadon offering subtle vignettes that expose the inner workings of the lead while retaining something unique and believable.. something human. But on the other hand, we have almost disorientating appearances by Samantha Morton and most notably Juliette Binoche. I have nothing against either actor and even highlighted Morton’s scene toward the base of this review but I genuinely didn’t get the point of Binoche’s character, who engages in awkward and uncomfortable sex (at least, for the audience) with Packer and then writhes on the floor spewing nonsense before suddenly disappearing. But I digress, no matter how good the minor portrayals are, they are all surpassed by Pattinson in his finest work to date. The only time he nearly sinks into the background is when working alongside Paul Giamatti, but that man is an acting god, so that’s hardly an insult.

At its core, Cosmopolis is a very well-executed release, with unique un-Cronenberg cinematography and direction throughout, that ranges from the safe confines of a pristine neon cell before spiralling into a dark, dilapidated, rotting living room. Much in the same way, the brilliantly tense score by Howard Shore and Metric, builds from absolute silence to a sawing (yes, sawing not soaring) climax. But the visuals, jarring though they may be, aren’t the shining peak of this film; the real resonance stems from the analytical element – for you could say that the entire plot is an analysis of society’s ignorance and self absorbed destruction through the personification of a psychological breakdown. This is why the narrative structure is less important than the actor’s delivery – profound statements recited with an automaton disconnection that serves to add to the poignancy of the remarks. Yet underneath everything, the main character’s sole drive appears to be eating and fucking – the very base and primal ‘wants’ of an imploding individual. The concepts, ideas and performances are all captivating and should have created a strong film with a subtly powerful message.. only they didn’t. Something felt absent, less from the finale and more from the opening two acts. An absence of soul that was requisite for the character and story to work but somehow ended up detrimental to the entire movie.

As with most, if not all, Cronenberg releases, this isn’t for the mainstream. The story is above and beyond what the average cinemagoer can comprehend (harsh but true) and as such they will label it ‘boring, dull and stupid’. In actual fact, it’s an incredibly meaningful piece told through elegant prose and brutally blunt visuals. Having said that, it also mimics its lead to the degree of its arrogant, pretentious and vainglorious opinion of self-worth. You could argue that these problems stem with the book and despite the massive changes from the source material, DeLillo’s novel is not exactly the easiest of reads and far from the heights of his stellar works such as White Noise. In all honesty, you have to be in the right mood /mindset for a film of this nature and as most people are never in the mood to watch this kind of high-brow societal probing, it will falter at the box office and either seduce or irritate critics/snobs. But that’s not to imply that either party is right because despite the cunning wordplay and theatrically emotive acting, Cosmopolis is remarkably hollow. This is clearly Cronenberg’s most niche film in years and whereas Spider onward has been a flush run with audiences and reviewers, Cosmopolis is a stumbling point, a mark of elitism that actively strives to lose those watching. Like the book, the execution of this release is an exercise in frustration; take an incredibly discerning and enlightened central concept, add an uncommon narrative element that misdirects, introduce passing performances, each as riveting as the last bolstered by an extremely enigmatic lead and lace each and every scene with diverse angles, lighting and set dressing. What you should end up with is an unparalleled narrative, rife with career-making portrayals, building to a phenomenal final piece witnessed through the gritted teeth of anticipation. I’d say Inception was the last film to execute that effect so fully. What we have here, however, is a very interesting study that falls short of brilliance.. and it’s a damn shame. In a sentence, Cosmopolis is too fucking clever for its own good and needed Ethan and Joel Coen to interpret it properly.


Release Date:
20th June 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
As Kinsky [Morton] enters the limo and begins to discuss the nature of time and economic principle, a riot takes place outside. Packer, seemingly oblivious, simply pours a drink and slowly sips as his wheeled impregnable fortress sways. With the damage done and the protesters quelled, Kinsky and Packer then move on to discuss the obsolescence of computers, or more aptly the idea and image of a computer; even how the word ‘computer’ sounds stupid and dated. It’s probably one of the highlights of the first half demonstrating how disgustingly clever and comical the movie is, before being royally upstaged by the final scene.

Notable Characters:
Pattinson rises above every single on-screen counterpart and even above the subject matter. This is a real proving ground for the young actor and in my opinion, he will come out with an exceptional amount of integrity in several critic’s/filmmaker’s eyes. Setting aside his teen heart-throb origin and stepping away from typecast roles like Water For Elephants, his future as a respectable thespian is his to ruin or build on from here on out. Much in the same way that Di Caprio turned everything around in the early 2000’s.

Highlighted Quote:
“A person rises on a word and falls on a syllable”

In A Few Words:
“Ultimately Cosmopolis is a high art character study and like all high art pieces the look is grand, the performances are intense but the overall impact is a tad lost. Personally, I blame DeLillo”

Total Score:

3/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #73

[17 June 2012]


Winning Team:
Mum Likes It Hot

Genre – Raunchy comedy

Runners Up:
Brother Bare
Genre – If you go down to the woods today-centric horror. Music by Phil Collins
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Fly, Kiss Your Sister, Maker Her Cry
Genre – Sexy six legged spy caper
Metamorphasister
Genre – Kafka penned disaster epic
James And His Shy Aunt’s Peach
Genre – A children’s adventure where James succumbs to his aunt’s peach and goes on a magical adventure with insects
Incest: A Game For All The Family
Genre – Fly on the wall documentary


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What type of creature infests the town of Canaima in Arachnophobia?
SPIDERS
2. Mamma Mia features songs by which band?
ABBA
3. What is Patch Adams’ occupation in the film of the same name?
DOCTOR
4. What type of car is famously used in The Italian Job?
MINI
5. Who does Leonardo DiCaprio portray in The Aviator?
HOWARD HUGHES
6. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid is a parody of which genre?
FILM NOIR
7. What was Ang Lee’s mainstream breakthrough release?
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
8. Serve the public, protect the innocent and uphold the law were the prime directives of which science fiction character?
ROBOCOP
9. When introducing himself to the main character, what does Tyler Durden explain he makes for a living, in Fight Club?
SOAP
10. Name all 5 villains that Spider-Man faces in Raimi’s trilogy. (one point per correct answer)
GREEN GOBLIN / DOCTOR OCTOPUS / SANDMAN / VENOM / HARRY OSBORNE (or Green Goblin II or New Goblin or Baby Goblin Jnr)

ROUND II: Filming [Insects/Incest Special Round]
1. Antz was the first CGI animated film to be released on which format? 3D Blu-Ray? VHS? DVD?
DVD
2. Which type of bug is the central focus in Joe’s Apartment? Spider? Cockroach? Mosquito?
COCKROACH
3. What is the name of the lead character in A Bug’s Life? Flick? Zee? Chip?
FLICK
4. How many words make up the full title for Borat? 19? 8? 12?
TWELVE
5. What colour is the egg that spawned Mothra? Red and Green? Blue and Yellow? Orange and White?
BLUE AND YELLOW
6. Which character in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre tells the group of kids, “My family’s always been in meat”? The Hitchhiker? Leatherface? Grandpa? [bonus point for naming the family surname]
HITCHHIKER [Sawyer]
7. Which song was omitted from the US release of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for being too depressing? I’m Going Home? Floor Show? Super Heroes?
SUPER HEROES
8. What is the gift Oh Dae-su bought for his daughter at the start of Oldboy? Umbrella? Wings? Frying pan?
WINGS
9. Who was the cinematographer on Back To The Future? Dean Cundey? Roger Deakins? Laszlo Kovacs?
DEAN CUNDEY
10. In Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic, there is a scene in which F. Murray Abraham is listening to the music of Salieri – the composer he portrayed in Amadeus. True or False?
FALSE (it’s Rondeau)

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. What did David Lynch direct in 1990?
WILD AT HEART
2. The Deer Hunter was released by which production company?
UNIVERSAL
3. The following is a quote from which John Candy film, “Here’s a quarter. Why don’t you take a bus downtown and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face”?
UNCLE BUCK
4. Jimmy Markum, Sean Devine and Dave Boyle are the three main characters in which Clint Eastwood film?
MYSTIC RIVER
5. Which 80’s rock star makes a cameo in The Wedding Singer?
BILLY IDOL
6. From Here To Eternity, The Rainmaker and Elmer Gantry all starred which actor?
BURT LANCASTER
7. Which film won the Oscar for best picture in 2002?
CHICAGO
8. According to Malone in The Untouchables, what’s the first rule of law enforcement?
MAKE SURE WHEN YOUR SHIFT IS OVER, YOU GO HOME ALIVE
9. What type of animal does Sy keep as a pet, in One Hour Photo?
HAMSTER
10. What is the name of Russell Crowe’s character in Romper Stomper?
HANDO

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre’s iconic quote, “We ain’t got no badges, we don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges” was said by a member of which group? Bandits? Rebeldes? Federales?
BANDITS
2. How is Mary Lenox’s parents killed at the start of The Secret Garden? Tiger attack? Earthquake? Skiing accident?
EARTHQUAKE
3. Which of the following films was described by critics as an inept, tacky, 100 minute long commercial for Nintendo? The Last Starfighter? WarGames? The Wizard?
THE WIZARD
4. In Gone Baby Gone, Helene McCready explains her missing daughter’s favourite doll is called Mirabelle. What is the doll’s actual name? Annabelle? Miranda? Dolly?
ANNABELLE
5. Anthony Hopkins portrayed which US president in Amistad? James Monroe? John Quincy Adams? Andrew Jackson?
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
6. What is the alias of the child kidnapper in Man On Fire? El Commando Sombre? Jack Frost? The Voice?
THE VOICE
7. Which of the following is not one of The Little Rascals? Bucky? Spanky? Froggy?
BUCKY
8. How many times did James Cagney and Pat O’Brien star alongside one another? Six? Nine? Twelve?
NINE
9. Which of the following was not released in 1952? Ivanhoe? The Quiet Man? Rio Bravo? [bonus point for naming the actual release year]
RIO BRAVO [1959]
10. Whilst filming Gunfight At The OK Corral, Kirk Douglas grew a moustache solely to irritate Burt Lancaster, who was told to shave his off for the role of Wyatt Earp. True or False?
FALSE

ROCK OF AGES

Nothin’ But A Good Time

Director
Adam Shankman

Starring
Diego Boneta
Julianne Hough
Tom Cruise
Alec Baldwin
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Paul Giamatti
Russell Brand



Rock Of Ages opens in 1987 Los Angeles, introducing us to a young country girl, Sherrie [Hough], who details her desire to ‘make it’ in the big city. At the same time, we’re introduced to Drew [Boneta], a bar hand working at the grungy rock club, The Bourbon Room. The two meet after Sherrie is mugged and Drew persuades his manager to hire her as a waitress. The Bourbon Room, run by ageing rock fanatic Dennis Dupree [Baldwin] and his ridiculous brummie right-hand man, Lonny Barnett [Brand], is in a bit of a bind owing to reneging on a year’s worth of tax payments – but all that is about to change as legendary rock group, Arsenal, are set to play their final gig in Dupree’s establishment. All of which hinges on the actual appearance of Arsenal’s lead singer, the eccentric, unpredictable but clearly talented Stacee Jaxx [Cruise]. Jaxx lives the ultimate rock life, stumbling around in a constant alcoholic stupor with his entourage of skanky girls and a baboon named Hey Man, nursed and protected by his unscrupulous manager, Paul Gill [Giamatti]. The only individual who sees Jaxx for what he is, is Rolling Stone journalist, Constance Sacks [Malin Akerman]. Working as a sub-plot, the mayor of LA and his wife, Patricia Whitman [Zeta-Jones] are determined to clean up Hollywood’s Sunset strip and protest against the filth and corruption that rock ‘n roll represents. On the night of the big performance, when the support act pulls out, Sherrie recommends Drew’s band open. The audience greatly enjoy Drew’s performance and Gill approaches him with a record deal. The plot spills on illustrating Drew selling out, Sherrie becoming a stripper and Jaxx being Jaxx.

Of course, all of that is irrelevant as the story is second rate – it’s rare that a musical adaptation will have a solid narrative but this is such a massive departure from the source material (in which Dennis dies and Stacee is charged with statutory rape) but I’m not here to analyse the differences, so we’ll just ignore those. First of all, the songs are performed well and no matter how much or how little singing is actually done, everyone does a decent job; sometimes the harmonies veer into karaoke territory but it’s largely entertaining. I especially enjoyed the Jukebox Hero/I Love Rock ‘n Roll medley at the start of the film, which blended the actors’ various singing abilities with two well matched tracks. Visually, the film is vibrant and manages to breathe life into several small scenes. To explain, most musicals tend to organise an entire musical number in one room, arranging the performance as if it were on-stage and rather than ending up with a formulaic use of sound stages, the locations feel curiously believable. Although a lot of the humour falls to the side of the road, there’s plenty on-screen to amuse and entertain from start to finish.

That aside, the film is far from perfect. The portrayal of 1987 is horrific; essentially it’s the 80s as remembered by people who were too young to really experience it or clearly grew up in a bubble of delusion – to give you an idea for comparison, The Lost Boys was released in ’87, good luck finding one scene that remotely felt like that time capsule piece. And as much as this is a problem with the source material, the songs used are not the ‘golden tracks’ of 80’s rock. What Rock Of Ages should have been was a combination of the This Is Spinal Tap attitude and the soundtrack for School Of Rock. What we end up with instead are a bunch of safe tracks and a deplorably predictable narrative – like a Dad’s Drive Time Hits version of Glee. Even the use of decent cinematography is almost completely overshadowed by the abysmal direction and awful choreography (this isn’t contradictory to what I said earlier). Point in case, Catherine Zeta-Jones is rallying a cackle of mothers in a church hall when she bursts into song, performing Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot. The dance sequence is embarrassing, the singing is fair enough but the performance is beyond laughable. By extension, the lead performances are absolutely shitty, especially when compared to the likes of Cruise, Giamatti and Baldwin. It’s atypical and almost expected when you use singers instead of actors, sort of like the actors’ singing ability.. it’ll do but it’s not as good as it could be. Speaking of casting, if you’re employing a little guy like Dustin Hoffman or Tom Cruise, you don’t film him alongside a monkey.. it instantly highlights how tiny he is. Incidentally, if you’d like to know, Tom Cruise is two monkeys tall.

In all honesty, the mediocre elements are all completely forgivable and would happily fade into the background due to the overall energy of the film. That is, if it weren’t for the film’s biggest.. issue. This movie rides very heavily on the interpretation of the hair metal/glam rock scene in the 80s: the drinking, the women, the music and most importantly the drugs. This film has been rated 12a/PG-13 and subsequently they can’t show smoking, let alone drug use. What they can show is Tom Cruise finishing off bottles of whiskey and lots and lots of risqué sexual content. In fact, the sheer sexual content is not only off putting but excruciatingly uncomfortable. I realise this may sound quite prudish but for a film with no actual nudity there is a massive amount of vagina and lippage on display here. Rather than list the amount of heaving cleavages, grinding, writhing and dry humping going on, I’ll just describe two scenes for you. The first is Stacee Jaxx’s introduction. At one of his concerts, the crowd are cheering for Arsenal’s lead to appear on-stage; frantic, Gill enters Jaxx’s dressing room only to be greeted by a bed of barely clad women, all of whom are coiled and covering the rocker. As Jaxx rises like a zombie from his fleshy female grave, the camera starts on his crotch and works up to his face, before cutting to his arse, then back to the crotch. And all he’s wearing is arseless chaps and a jewel encrusted speedo/banana hammock thing. The second scene takes place after Jaxx’s interview with Constance and he begins to seduce her with his lonely cowboy, troubled artist routine, throughout which Cruise and Akerman sing I Want To Know What Love Is. I.. I don’t know where to start with this one, at one point Cruise appears to be singing directly into Akerman’s arsehole. See, the problem isn’t so much the sexual content, it’s the lack of sexual content and the ‘how much can we get away with’ mentality. If you’re going to make the film about rutting, crank up the rating and do whatever you need to do, if the film is a 12a teen friendly hop-skip-and-a-jump away from a Disney release, then maybe pull the reins on the vast sprawling frontier of arse that the cast flaunt. Otherwise, it’s a bit creepy.

Rock Of Ages should have been a loud, fun, colourful extravaganza with vivacious performances and anthemic music, instead the entire experience was sullied by an extremely oily overtone and sleazy direction. There are a great deal of redeeming qualities but all you’ll probably remember is the excessive amount of gyrating and posturing from the most unlikely individuals.


Release Date:
15th June 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
About midway through the film, seemingly out of nowhere, Dupree and Barnett engage in a duet to the tune of I Can’t Fight This Feeling. It shouldn’t be funny but it really is and it’s worth the admission price for that scene alone. Either that or Stacee Jaxx commanding Constance Sacks to “Open your mouth”.. that was a fucking terrifying image that will probably haunt me for years to come.

Notable Characters:
For all his ridiculousness, people forget that Tom Cruise is actually a good actor, he just happens to be a mental person. As such his performance here is actually quite expected; he saunters around the sets, sings quite well and embodies the fictional rock legend with ease. Outside of Cruise’s obvious hijacking of this film (because the character is such a completely different individual from the one in the original musical), the only other stand out individual is the ever-phenomenal Paul Giamatti. I can’t imagine a film in which he doesn’t give an extraordinary performance with what he’s been given, even if the film itself is sub par.

Highlighted Quote:
“I’m just messing with you man.. you can’t trap a fire phoenix”

In A Few Words:
“The whole experience is like a very uncomfortable lap dance, with flecks of sweat hitting you in the face and you’re not sure where to look and it just keeps going and going.. but the music’s good, so you just go with it and desperately try not to make eye contact with Tom Cruise”

Total Score:

3/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #72

[03 June 2012]


Winning Team:
Tony Hart Of Darkness

Genre – Beloved kids TV artist voyages to Vietnam to kill Colonel Morph

Runners Up:
War Whores
Genre – Tested for infection, bound by warts – British attack the German fronts one vagina at a time (poster was also made)
Poometheus
Genre – Like constipation, it’s a lot of effort for a little pay-off
Jubi-leaving Las Vegas
Genre – Sick of celebrating, the Queen drinks herself to death
Monetball
Genre – Neo-realism
Harry Jotter & The Half Done Prints
Genre – Harry gets obsessed with Tony Hart


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What is the name of the beauty pageant in Little Miss Sunshine?
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
2. Hook was a unofficial sequel to which story?
PETER PAN
3. What was the subtitle to the sequel to Hot Shots!?
PART DEUX
4. How many angels adorn the top of the ark of the covenant, in Raiders Of The Lost Ark?
TWO
5. Moonraker, Star Trek and Alien were all released in which year?
1979
6. Who directed Memento?
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
7. Which sport is the main focus of 1976’s Bad News Bears? [bonus point for naming the actor who plays the coach]
BASEBALL [Walter Matthau]
8. Which Scorsese film opens with the quote, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”?
GOODFELLAS
9. Which animal is Friar Tuck supposed to be in Disney’s Robin Hood?
BADGER
10. Which animal co-starred with Clint Eastwood in Every Which Way But Loose?
ORANG-UTAN

ROUND II: Filming [Drawing Round]
1. How many candles were on the cake at the end of Sixteen Candles?
2. Draw Kermit the Frog.
3. Draw a xenomorph from the Alien franchise.
4. Iron Man: Draw Tony Stark’s beard.
5. Draw the Enterprise (NCC 1601 A) from Star Trek.
6. Complete the poster: A Clockwork Orange.
7. Draw Malone’s weapon of choice in Untouchables. Tommy gun? Shotgun? Rifle?
8. Draw the Jurassic Park logo.
9. Complete the poster: Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
10. Draw Alfred Hitchcock.

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. According to Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, what have the Romans ever given us? (one point per correct answer)
AQUEDUCT / SANITATION / ROADS / IRRIGATION / MEDICINE / EDUCATION
2. Coolio’s Gansta’s Paradise was released to promote which Michelle Pfeifer film?
DANGEROUS MINDS
3. Which two actors played Norman Bates in the 1960 and 1998 versions of Psycho? (one point per correct answer)
ANTHONY PERKINS / VINCE VAUGHN
4. She’s All That was an adaptation of which George Bernard Shaw play?
PYGMALION
5. Peter’s Friends starred several British actors, such as Kenneth Branagh, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Stephen Fry. Who played Peter?
STEPHEN FRY
6. Who directed 1984’s Repo Man?
ALEX COX
7. Hitchcock directed two films entitled The Man Who Knew Too Much. What years were they both released? (one point per correct answer)
1934 / 1956
8. What is the name given to the nocturnal aliens in Pitch Black?
BIORAPTORS
9. The comatose scientist in 1966’s Fantastic Voyage was defecting from which country?
USSR
10. Before joining the army, what does John Winger do for a living in Stripes?
CAB DRIVER

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Which Werner Herzog film is about a Jewish strongman and a cabaret mystic in Weimar Germany? Invincible? Lessons Of Darkness? My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
INVINCIBLE
2. Which of the following is not a quote from a Daniel Day Lewis film? “There is no land of tolerance, no peace. Not here or anywhere else”? “I’ve built my hatreds up over the years, little by little”? “That’s what preserves the order of things; fear”? [bonus point for naming the film it comes from]
THERE IS NO LAND OF TOLERANCE, NO PEACE. NOT HERE, OR ANYWHERE ELSE [X-Men]
3. What year was Straw Dogs released? 1970? 1971? 1972?
1971
4. What is the name of the presidential train in Wild Wild West? The Loveless? The Wanderer? The Intrepid?
THE WANDERER
5. In Eagle Vs Shark what animal does Jarrod attend the fancy dress party as? Shark? Crocodile? Eagle?
EAGLE
6. What is the title of the only film to star Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier and Steve Guttenberg? The Bedroom Window? P.S. Your Cat Is Dead? The Boys From Brazil?
THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL
7. In which country is Ken Russell’s The Devils set? France? Germany? Scotland? [bonus points for naming the lead actors]
FRANCE [Oliver Reed / Vanessa Redgrave]
8. Which arm did Max (John Cusack) lose in World War I in the 2002 film, Max? Left? Right? Both?
RIGHT
9. Cary Grant often claimed that the character he played in which film was the closest to his own personality? Walk, Don’t Run? Father Goose? Charade?
FATHER GOOSE
10. According to Clint Eastwood, whilst working on Joe Kidd, Elmore Leonard would turn up every day, watch everything that was going on, drink a bottle of whiskey and go home without saying a word. True or False?
FALSE