More Inglourious Basterds Footage from ET

 

I fucking hate BJ Novak, but  I will stand by Quentin in whomever he chooses to cast. I hope Brad Pitt’s very doesn’t get annoying, but otherwise, the footage looks great. I can’t wait to see Eli Roth clubbing Nazis with a baseball bat. Oh, America’s pastime. 

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Actor Spotlight for Feb. 9th-15th: Melora Walters

melorawalters

Ah, Melora Walters, how I love you. A career as varied as yours has been is certainly something to admire. Walters have carved out a niche in Hollywood as a character actor, using playing weak, crazy or unhinged women. No one can play desperation quite like Melora Walters. 

In the early 90s, Walters struggled like any actress to find a part in any movie. Usually, that entailed background roles in cheaply made movies. She plays the “Pet Shop Owner” in Beethoven (1992) and Secretary # 2 in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. Argueably, her biggest break in the early 90s (pre P.T Anderson) was her role of Trina, the saucy swimmer love interest of Chris Elliot in the 1994 film, Cabin Boy. They all have to start somewhere.

In 1996, Walters started what would be a promising and continuing professional relationship with legendary director, P.T Anderson. She started as a small role in his first feature film, Hard Eight, later retitled Sydney playing Jimmy’s (played by Samuel L. Jackson) girlfriend. In Anderson’s 1997 film, Boogie Nights, she played a porn star named  Jessica St. Vincent. While not a major character in that particular ensemble, Walters held her own against powerful actors like William H. Macy, Burt Renoylds and Julianne Moore. Her most notable role in a P.T film would be that of Claudia Gator in the 2001 film, Magnolia. 

Walters in Magnolia

Claudia Wilson is one of the most damaged characters ever to grace the silver screen. That’s a bold statement but I’m prepared to make it. It is a crime that she was not nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of a lost and lonely addict, still suffering after the years of sexual abuse she went through as a child. Her only hope is a cop named Jim (played by the amazing John C. Reilly), who falls for her when he receives a complaint from her neighbor about her loud noise. I believe their interactions are the highlights of the film, especially their date. 

After her stunning turn in Magnolia, Walters went on to have small, but important roles in films like Cold Mountain (2003) and The Butterfly Effect (2004). Recently, she has turned her attention to television. While Walters is continuing  playing the unhinged, but lovable Wanda Henrickson on HBO’s mormon drama, “Big Love” , she jumped networks for a brief guest stint on “Desperate Housewives”, playing Sylvia Greene. Her character travels to Wisteria Lane during a tornado to confront the married Adam (played by my love, Nathan Fillion), whom she once had an affair with. Even though she is sucked up into the tornado, Walters is the catalyst of major changes in both the characters of Adam as well as his wife, Katherine (Dana Delaney). 

However, one of my favorite Walters role would be that of Kate in the 2002 movie, Wise Girls. Yes, this was marketed as a Mariah Carey movie and while she is in it, Mira Sorvino is the main character, Meg. Carey, who played Raychel,  actually is fine in the movie because she doesn’t really have to emote real emotion, just be real sassy and bitchy. Anyways, Walters, Sorvino and Carey play waitresses at an Italian restaurant, which of course, is a front for the mob. While Raychel willingly participates, carrying out drug filled tin foil swan leftovers, Meg and Kate are more hesitant. When Meg saves the life of a wounded mobster, thanks to her nurse’s training, she gets in deeper than she ever thought possible, even witnessing a murder.

Walters is exceptional in this movie, which I think was just directly released to television. She plays Kate, a seemingly complacent, insecure former aspiring actress turned waitress, but SURPRISE, she is really an undercover cop and is getting evidence for a big trail against the mobsters. When Meg witnesses the murder, Kate sees her opportunity to get her to testify and reveals her true identity, really pissing Meg off. Walters is brillant in this role, finally playing some one calculating on the inside as well as tough on the outside. She is able to be relatable, but tough and genuinely compassionate towards the damaged Sorvino character. All in all, Wisegirls is a super, fun movie and Walters really gives it her all.

So here’s a collection of clips from Magnolia, but it’s missing the main scene in the restaurant with Claudia and Jim.

The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)

So Quad Cinema started playing some classic Mickey Rourke movies this month in honor of one of the greatest actors ever to grace the silver screen. So I decided, along with my friend, Caitlin, to go see the 5:30 show of The Pope of Greenwich Village. Let me tell you, it was a wise decision. 

Rourke stars as Charlie, a guy whose girlfriend, Diane (played by a nubile Daryl Hannah) gets pregnant, while he is dealing with a divorce. His crazy wife keeps their son from him as well as racks up 2,000 dollars in parking tickets on his car. So when Charlie’s fuck up cousin, Paulie (scenery chewing Eric Roberts) comes up with a plot to see 150,000 dollars from a mob boss with his irish partner, Barney (Kenneth McMillian), Charlie is forced to go in on it with them, despite Diane’s objections. Needless to say, things go horribly awry and all must pay for their involvement.

I am always stunned by Mickey’s ability to emote on screen. When Paulie comes him *SPOILER* after his thumb was cut off, Rourke’s reaction as Charlie is astounding. As he watches Paulie fall apart, Rourke starts to cry, but a manly crying scene. Also, Rourke’s rage is full on display when he finds out he is betrayed when Paulie squeals on him.  Trashcans go flying, people quake in fear, it is truly tour de force. Eric Roberts is also great in this movie, walking that fine line between truly becoming his character and straight out over acting. Plus, Daryl Hannah is smoking hot as Rourke’s dancer girlfriend. It’s a cool movie, none the less.

New York Comic Con Wrap Up

This weekend, I attended the New York Comic Con. It was amazing. Instead of writing some long entry about it, I decided just to post the highlights.

NYCC

Best Panel Attended: The Warner Brothers Presentation 

The studio brought three movies to the NYCC: Watchmen, Friday the 13th and Terminator: Salvation. We were treated to the first 18 minutes of Watchmen, including a bonus prison scene, presented by Dave Gibbons. Watchmen looks so fucking amazing that I bought a poster of The Comedian. Friday the 13th looks like your typical remake of a genre classic. The producers were there, along with hottie Jared Padalecki, and they seemed pretty pumped for the movie. I’ll see it, though I’ll hate myself for it. Finally, McG came with some advance footage of Terminator Salvation and honestly, it doesn’t look that bad. In fact, it could be good, especially with the promise of some inclusion of Sarah Conner. I’m not jumping for joy or anything, but it will be a passable entry into the Terminator series. Although, I don’t think it will produce another kickass female characters that movies sorely need.

Best Icon sighting: Joss Whedon and his Dollhouse Panel

Dollhouse

Joss Whedon was charming and everything I hoped he would be. He was just so humble and down to earth. It’s refreshing to hear a genius speak who is so appreciative of  his fans. It didn’t even matter that he wasn’t there to talk about Firefly or Buffy. We waited in line for 2 hours to get good seats and it was totally worth it.

The only bad part was that the footage, honestly, didn’t really look all that great. I mean, there was a nice homage to the Buffy series because the clip we saw featured Eliza dancing, much like she did at the beloved Bronze. I think Dollhouse will be a great show, but like Whedon’s other series, it needs a couple episodes to start out before it will get good. Plus, Helo from Bstar G was there and I think once we met his character, all my doubts will be gone. He wasn’t in any of the clips shown at the panel but he certainly teased us with upcoming details about the show.

Best Celebrity Sighting:

Besides Brandi C. and Megan from “Rock of Love”, I saw Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos walking around on the floor after his “Life on Mars” panel. He was shorter than I imagined and had long flowing hair.  Oh and Kirk Avecedo on the “Fringe” panel because he was Miguel Alvarez on “Oz”. The greatest show of all time.

Best Surprise of Comic Con:  Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation

This documentary looks back on the time in Australian cinema (70s- early 80s) where sex,nudity,  wackiness, mayhem, violence dominated the screen. While some may look on it as trash cinema, Ozploitation movies inspired directors like Quentin Tarantino and other grindhouse fanatics to make their own movies. My Netflix queue grew a bit after watching this.

 

Best Purchase Made: Showgirls “V.I.P Edition” DVD

 I bought the V.I.P edition of one of the greatest, campiest movies of all times, Showgirls. A vendor, that I’m sure stole his entire merchandise he brought comic con, allowed me to talk down the price of the DVD. I came home with the movie, along with two shotglasses and Showgirls themed drinking games. Ah Comic Con.

 

Showgirls VIP

List of Panels I attended: 

Marvel: X-Men

Superjail

Not Quite Hollywood: THe Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation

Emissary

Who Is The Greatest Badass Of All Time? Presented By MTV News

Wonder Woman

Watchmen, Terminator Salvation, and Friday the 13th (Warner)

Disney Presents Up and Surrogates

Summit Entertainment Presents Knowing and The Hurt Locker

Dollhouse

Fringe

All in all, a great weekend spent with great friends. Except for the Saturday morning I had to wait in line.

NYCC Line

      

   NYCC line 2

 

Savage Streets (1984)

Continuing on my Vigilante/ Exploitation kick, I rented Savage Streets (1987) starring Linda Blair and John Vernon. This movie was absolutely incredible. Linda Blair was at the height of her cult appeal. Basically, Linda plays Brenda, who along with her band of slutty, ethnic gal pals and her deaf sister, Heather, decide to teach this dangerous gang full of creepy guys a lesson after they almost hit them with their car. Bad idea Brenda. To get back at Brenda and Co., they raped the deaf Heather and kill her pregnant and  enganged best friend. 

Naturally, these gang of psychos drive Brenda to her breaking point and she snaps. FUCKING SNAPS. 

Along with a great supporting turn from John Vernon as Brenda’s high school principal, Savage Streets is a fine addition to the exploitation genre that reach its hey day from the 70s to the late 80s. With the camp factor high, Savage Streets has all the ingredients for a perfect B-movie: low budget, rouge justice, nudity, extreme violence and plenty of fun one-liners.  Check this out.

Movie Monologue of the Week: Knockaround Guys (2001)

Every week I will be posting a great and memorable movie monologue. To start it off, I figure I’ll go with one of my favorite monologues of all times in an incredibly underrated film. While some may scoff at Vin Diesel, he used to be a creditable actor. And still is, in my opinion. However, at the height of his dramatic acting abilities, he was a member of a powerful enesmble featuring Barry Pepper, Seth Green, John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper in the 2001 film, Knockaround Guys.

Diesel plays Taylor Reese, a thug with a heart of gold (my favorite kind), willingly to do anything to help his best buddy, Matty Demerat (Barry Pepper), the son of a powerful mob boss, get back his father’s money which was stolen from them during a layover in a small mid-western town. When deciding on a way to get information about the money’s whereabouts, Reese suggests they beat up the toughest guy in town, who then in turn, will find out where the money is, so things can go back to normal. The gang of wanna be Mobsters go to the ultimate shitkicker bar, which leads us up to the following monologue, which happens about 47 seconds into the clip.

I think this is a great fucking movie and Diesel is absolutely perfect. Judge for yourselves…

 

 

500 fights, that’s the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that’s what you are. 

–Taylor Reese (Vin Diesel) in Knockaround Guys (2001)

Barfly (1987)

Mickey Rourke in Barfly (1987)

 

Ah, there is nothing better than watching a bootleg DVD of a famous Mickey Rourke movie. Continuing on my Mickey Rourke streak, I bought Barfly (1987), directed by Barbet Schroeder and written by the famous Charles Bukowski. This is one of the greatest movie about alcoholism I have ever seen.  Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, a talented writer (much like Bukowski) who drinks in order to feel alive. Rourke is incredible, totally committing to the character with every slurring word and drunken stumble. The movie spans over a four day period, where Chinaski meets another drunk, Wanda (played to boozey perfection by Faye Dunaway), and the two seemingly have found their soul mates. However, it is unknown how long the two can hold their affair together since monogamy isn’t their strong point, especially while drinking.

Chinaski is given the opportunity to leave his drunk and poverty stricken lifestyle, because he  is, in fact, a talented writer. When Tully (Alice Krige), the editor of a literary magazine offers her love and the chance to introduce him to society, Chinaski refuses and chooses to spend his days in a drunken haze, with the equally damaged Wanda, and writing the truth, which he wouldn’t be able to do if he was living in luxury. 

Rourke is absolutely perfect in this movie as a drunk with unbelievable talent and intelligence. He consciously chooses this lifestyle because he feels it is more real and rewarding than using his skills to live as a rich author. Honestly, I believe this is Rourke at his most raw. He changes his speech pattern to embody the character of Henry, gained weight and  sports a chipped front tooth to really lose his good looks. The fight scenes are very realistic, especially when Wanda smashes him on the back of the head. 

This movie is a must see for all Rourke fans.