Tag Archives: Movies

KMK’S Random Thoughts

I haven’t updated in a lot time because of grad school stuff and internship tasks. Excuses Excuses Excuses. 

 

Random Thought #1

Saw a great performance this weekend: Clifton Collins Jr. in Sunshine Cleaning. He played a one armed man who enjoys making model airplanes and selling industry cleaning supplies. Will cover him in tomorrow’s Actors’ Spotlight.

Clifton Collins Jr. in Sunshine Cleaning

Random Thought #2

Took in a double feature of Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity and Alex Proyas’ Knowing. Was pleasantly surprised by both movies. I don’t appreciate the aging Julia Roberts from the Ocean movies as much as I do the young Julia Roberts from Flatliners and Mystic Pizza, but she was very good in this. While I’m not sure if the final plot twist makes a whole lotta sense, I recommend Duplicity. Even though Clive Owen looks like a stick figure.

Knowing offers another great Nic Cage performance, this time as a single father who must try to save his son from the whispering people. To explain more about the whisper people would spoil the movie for you. Proyas manages to make a profitable film using some of his most beloved themes. Also, the disaster scenes are baller.

Nic CageeeBrilliant, but Damaged Single Father Cage bids you adieu!

 

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.

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.

Actor Spotlight for Feb. 2nd-8th: Elias Koteas

Elias Koteas

Elias Koteas has the honor of being the first actor chosen to be highlighted in my now to be weekly “Actor Spotlight”. Elias Koteas is a sweet little character actor who bares a strikingly similarity to Christopher Merloni. He brings a certain air of gravitas to any role he takes.

Early in his career, Koteas had to make the most of the parts he was given. From the Skinhead (no, he wasn’t a neo-Nazi) character in Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) to Casey Jones in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Saga (1990s), he manages to stand out among the silliness, breathing life into his kooky characters.

Elias Koteas in Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

 

After the third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie (and my favorite of the

franchise), Koteas began to appear in small parts in more serious films. 


Elias Koteas in Crash (1996)

In 1996, he appeared in David Cronenberg’s Crash, Gattaca (1997), Fallen (1998!) and a substantial role in Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (1998), tackling a variety of different roles. In Crash, he plays a man, who along with James Spader, gets his jollies by watching and being apart of car crashes. Creepy, yes, but a turning point in Koteas’ career.

Since the late 1990s, Koteas is steadily working, even scoring a pivotal guest appearance on “House M.D”, where he plays a character named Moriarty who shoots Dr. House. His path to character actor Hall of Fame has been sealed, especially with his recent bit roles in action movies like Collateral Damage (2002) and Shooter (2007) as well as a police officer in David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007). Koteas usually has several stand out scenes that tend to steal the movie away from the stars of the movie, ahem, Mark Wahlberg. 

One of my favorite Koteas’ role is in the 2006 film, Skinwalkers, where he plays the patriarch to a family of werewolves. Laugh if you must, but it’s a fun, little horror flick that also stars Jason Behr and the too hot for her own good, Rhona Mitra. Koteas, the head of a good werewolf clan, must save Mitra and her young half boy/half werewolf son from the bad werewolf clan, lead by Behr, who are trying to kill them to stop them from fulfilling a prophecy that would turn all werewolves into humans.

Koteas is a sympathetic hero, trying to keep his fellow skinwalkers alive while they are being attacked by the warring werewolf clan. Koteas’ yearning to be like the humans he loves is heartbreaking as he sacrifices everything to see that the werewolf gene, that he sees as a curse, is lifted. Koteas gift as an actor is that he can bring respectability to any role he plays. This coming 2009, he will be playing a priest in The Haunting in Connecticut as well as a roles in James Gray’s Two Lovers and Martin Scorese’s Shutter Island.

 

Koteas is the one bound to the wall by leather straps. Half werewolf mode!!!
Koteas is the one bound to the wall by leather straps. Half werewolf mode!!!

 

Now, for your enjoyment, Koteas as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:



Desperate Hours (1990)

While researching Mickey Rourke for my upcoming paper for an NYU film conference, I have been seeking out every Rourke film I can get my hands in order to prove that he is the true practitioner for  “Down and Out Cinema”.

In Michael Cimino’s remake of Desperate Hours, Rourke plays Michael Bosworth, a guy who bust out of prison and takes a family hostage so in order to wait for his true love, Nancy (played to nasty perfection by Kelly Lynch) to arrive. Oh, did I mention that Anthony Hopkins, Mimi Rodgers and Shawnee Smith are the family? AND that Elias Koteas and David Morse are in Rourke’s gang. Rourke is amazing in this movie, a unhinged mad man who lies as easily as he breathes. This movie is fucking awesome. 

Again, the Rourke character helps bring about his own demise. When he has the chance to go free, he self destructs, seemingly waiting for the bitch Nancy to betray him, which costs his entire crew and himself their lives. Rourke plays such likable villains too. The best scene though is when he comes down to dinner, wearing Hopkins’ tuxedo. After being in jail for so long, Rourke’s crazy Bosworth character preaches proper manners stating, “A man is not a man unless he knows how to mix a proper martini and tie a proper bowtie”. While not the greatest movie in the world, it was really fun to see Rourke go toe to toe with Hopkins. There’s nothing I love better than a crazy, evil Rourke.

Excellent flick.