Follywood - As usual, it's never too early to get started in on this sort of soon to be year end still soaking in it (Thanks, Madge!) this & that-a-thon gone so very wrong. Hence the right about now (and how) of where oh where some of us - well, at least one of us anyway - not paid to think so feel like going for the hi-ho-what goes to show-like had to be there hell, don't ask/do tell, fun of it.
In other words, don't look now - but, if you can, please do - cause here goes nothing otherwise disguised as something else entirely.
In still other words, who knew?
Well, as far as the best of the worst that this gang of film world retread artists currently doing time in this way out west where America ends burg are once and for all concerned, now you do.
Or, will. Eventually. If indeed you make it that far, and, somehow don't feel the need to send the authorities out after me before the pumpkin arrives.
In still other other words......
Letter From An Unknown Non-Specific Gender Person - All things considered, pretty much an absolutely positively perfect way to (as required) not offend, scare, entirely dismiss, remain negatively divisive about, and/or, of course, with any luck in an altogether non-negative manner, still find room enough to promote whatever overly sensitive point of view one might feel the need to fully express at a time like this, either over, under, above, and/or, (hopefully) not too far inside anyone with a pulse, and/or an up to emotional speed sleeve to pin it on. Yet still, in a somewhat long, seemingly never ending process - when not indirectly directly getting hip to the trip right from the get-go, you know, in an altogether upfront sort of way - also completely bore the now and forever living fill-in-the-blank as far as you know what is concerned out of anyone unlucky enough to have sat uncomfortably through the full-tilt course of this no hummer (wanna bet?) cinematic bum rush went that-a-way at any point during its brief run at the Sundances With Wolves Film Festival in Smark City, Utah to qualify for exclusion at next year's Oscar sit down/stand up taffy pull, of sorts. Or, something like that, as otherwise non-specifically unspooled accordingly like, yeah, this. Thanks, in no small part - just a lot a big ones that don't fit together at all - to the collective drip & drab directorial efforts (without a sweat) from, surprise, surprise, the Coen brothers. And, needless to say, the star-breaking on-scream, I mean, screen, participation of Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi - in a frankly never really explained (except via the constant back and forth switching around of Kaye Ballard and Moe Howard hair styles) necessity for them both to play the same he/she/it lead character who spends the bulk of their poor quality here to there, next stop wherever, life swooning away for totally heartless (and, for some reason, more often than not, ceremoniously pantless) Adrien Brody, while somewhat dramatically improving their flowery penmanship, and, oh yeah, almost but not quite always running out of what ultimately turns out to be a helluva lot of stamps - may have seemed like a good idea at the time. But, then again, from what I remember, a bunch of those paid big bucks to be in the once upon another time know said the same thing about New Coke. And, well, how'd that turn out, huh? Yeah, right. Check, please!
Ben-Him - Seriously, do we as a once proud nation of used to be frequent moviegoers really need something as thoroughly gag inducing as this cinematic turkey in the nearest available drawstring oriented Biblical era cargo shorts? Well, for almost but not quite a day and a half last April, apparently somebody did. In other words, at least based on the way, way under the radar opening weekend box office total of 17 ½ (a guy in Johnstown, Pennsylvania killed himself and left no forwarding address about half way through the initial screening) down in front movie house patrons in the U.S. alone (although word has it that things did pick up a bit, final tally-wise, once Homeland Security reports came dripping in that a have to go there assortment of rag tag disenchanted Al-Qaeda groups reportedly held their pre-weekend cell meetings in two of the ninety-seven theaters at a semi-bustling Cineplex in Dearborn, Michigan where "Ben-Him" was otherwise unraveling itself before packed houses of noisy crickets, swirling tumble weed, and, an otherwise extensive supply of stuck open "Over 50" magazines, while (allegedly) "Death to U. of S.A.!!" and "Who wants another Mountain Dew?" were endlessly chanted by all those in attendance - but that's another story, or will be as soon a someone (I'm not saying who) figures out that, even in this new and improved new order age of rage without a pause, goat parking is still not validated without an in-store purchase of $9.95, or over.) Okay, so where was I? Oh yeah, well, what else can you expect from a would-be not epic that carefully follows Gore Vidal's original boy oh boy, oh boy, cinematic wide load of this and yeah, that battle plan? And, well, as long as we's going that way at long last, features Boston chums on the run, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck doing their best to make audiences everywhere forget about Chuck Heston and Stephen Boyd, and/or, better yet (with any luck) they themselves parading around in assless chaps right before the big chariot race through the uneven streets of beautiful downtown Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Start The Evolution Without Me - Sure, technically this ain't supposed to be a "2001: A Space Odyssey" reset. But, try telling that to the overworked team of occasional Shakespeare trained thespians sprinkled among a stormy sea of disgruntled extras - who reportedly pulled a mutiny due to the lack of close-up face time, reasonably edible Craft Service munchies, and, apparently anything other than 30 seconds or less facilty breaks while on set (but that's another story) - all dolled up in ape suits for the balance of the summer of 2012 at a poorly ventilated studio/Jiffy Lube auto parts warehouse in Valencia, California. And, while you're at it, if at all possible, do your best to locate director Sofia Coppola and tell her how much you enjoyed her way hip take - dig those groovy Nike sneakers in constant product placement mode - on primitive man's ever-so glorious discovery of not only a new age of personal weaponry, but, somewhere along the line, the quickest and most efficient way for a sound stage full of mostly minimum wage earners to collectively relieve themselves in between takes while a crack team of multi-tasking P.A.'s repeatedly attempt to make sure the King, Queen and ultra-Irritating dimwitted Brother-In-Law monkeys (Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Paul Giamatti) don't trip over each other's tails.
Loves and Other Strangers (Who You Don't Mind Not Screwing, Even If They Continually Ask You Out Semi-Nicely Via A Text, Then Feel The Need To Sit Back With Their Feet Up On Their Office Cubicle Desk While Someone Else Brings You Candy, Flowers, And, Oh Yeah, Cake) - Sorry, but ever since the beginning of, well, not quite time, but close, I've never known myself to care for any film featuring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Tobey Maguire, and/or, Ben Stiller. And, since all four are here in abundance with plenty of time to kill in between off-putting moments where each is showcased being bold, daring, adventurous, and, otherwise annoyingly intellectually unstimulating when it comes time to either solve problems, pretend they respect women, and/or, act like weasel prone spoiled children when co-stars Julianne Moore, Vera Farmiga, Anne Heche, Catherine Keener, Jada Fire, and Faye Dunaway (hell bent on channeling the nearest available Alla Nazimova groove) tell the boys to go for a walk, take a hike, or, just hit the road, please, until further notice, and/or, they, the free to be fun gal pals in question, get done having way cool happy times together via a new old fashioned way that will only confuse the sulk along dud studs if they insist on hanging around looking all glum and determined and full of nothing to say but look at me.
What's The Zabriskie Point Of It All About, Alfie? - Talk about a must sort of but not really see cinematic hybrid. Who woulda ever thunk that over-extended Antonioni would match up exceedingly well with a cool cat guy and a bevy of eager to squeeze birds in super swingin' London of the mid-1960s? Well, if you must know, I think that would have to be Michelangelo Antonioni himself. In other words, when he delivered the legendary out of somewhere instant classic "Blow-Up" in 1966 to an otherwise unsuspecting wacky world of James Bond honks, "Sound of Music" clones, and, cutting edge comedy dramas from what was then Czechoslovakia, and, later on a repositioned nation in exile, and/or, under the booted geo-political sore thumb of the Soviet Union. But still, that was then and - according to the clock on the wall (and for a second, or two, the mobile device you just accidentally dropped inside the toilet of a coffee shop restroom - again, another story) - that makes this, I guess, right about now (and how). And thus, for the most part anyway, in no real mood to be anything other than every other person somewhere out there who failed to understand (and appreciate) the what's up up and yup going on once it's oh no go time for blow hard (I'll say) director Quentin Tarantino during a down and out in between time prior to next year's full speed ahead mind the gap (alright, but you first!) start-up re-tooling of "Inglorious Mofo's" featuring Will Ferrell, Bradley Cooper, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, and Larry Storch.
Cries and Whispers 2 (Mets Nothing) - What's that sound, you ask? Well, based on what's gotta get up to get down, herein/therein, and/or, all around the whereverin of a cold, foreboding country estate on the jagged, icy Ontario shores of Lake St. Clair while a brooding household of ultra-chilly groan, I mean, grown, up sisters gather around long enough to try desperately amongst their bitchy self-serving selves to enjoy the anguished dying of one of their own, while nearby the downstairs/out-of-doors hired help listen to (while wagering extra heavily on) a seemingly never ending spring training baseball game between the New York Mets and the Detroit Tigers, the best guess as to what that sound is, and/or was, if only just because, is famed multi-Oscar winning Swedish God-like director/writer genius, Ingmar Bergman, spinning in his grave back home safe and sound proof in the old country inside an island of his own choosing. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. And, with Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Amy Poehler, Marcia Gay Harden, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Billy Bob Thornton, Jay Mohr, Andy Dick, and Pam Grier all along for the here to there oh no slide that there nothing but fun (yeah, right) clocks in at just under 3 ½ hours. So, bring an extra coat or at least a heavy duty winter sweater. And, if at all possible, a thermos of soup with your own special brand of store bought hooch tagging along as an altogether necessary soon to go-to/drink up fast chaser.
Pat Garrett & Silly The Kid - Who knew that the dawning of tragically hip, ironic-driven, inappropriately inclined slapstick happy comedy clubs within the ever-so grand (sure, if you say so) U.S. of A. unofficially date back to once upon another way, way out west-like cowboy & Native American times. Well, if you were lucky enough to be among the few, the proud, and, oh who are we kiddin', the only one who didn't fall asleep (Yes, Danny "Carrot Tip" Lieberman of Roselle, New Jersey, that would be you!) during a special preview screening of this particular gosh dang gut buster from the high flying mind over it doesn't really matter of Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp and Sacha Baron Cohen as He's Pat, I'm Silly, the flippinest WTF comedy team this side of the picket wire, word is out that you enjoyed this one unlike any other. Really. As in, literally, figuratively, and, not just because you got in on a half priced coupon otherwise gleaned from a specially marked carton of Trojan "Slip A Canoe and Tyler 2 For 1" condoms. But, what they hey, you gotta start the you know what rolling somehow. And, subsequently, for whatever reason - maybe the ever present toxic scent of glue and paint thinner fumes back at your cold water five story walk-up/garret/truly disgusting soon to be filled with chalk body outlines hovel (but that's another story) at the dead end of Frontotheback Street who knows (only your therapist/weekend ballroom dance partner, Dr. Geeta Patel knows for sure) - felt the need to sit though it twice, with, of course, a full stomach of red licorice, Mr. Pibb (no, not the real one, he stayed home for a change to, I think, watch either a rerun of "Sons of Anarchy" or a very special episode of "So You Think You Can Dance"), and, by the end of the evening, a bushel of Snow-Caps.
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice & Melvin & Howard & Bonnie & Clyde & Hillary & Jackie & Jules & Jim & Thelma & Louise & Willie & Phil & Sacco & Vinzetti & Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid & David & Lisa & Buster & Billie & Romeo & Juliet & Rocco & His Brothers & Sonny & Cher and, Oh Yeah, My Fair Lady Meet Not Only Frankenstein But Mario Cantone During A Wild And Wacky, Yet Decidedly Scary, Summer Night Somewhere Way The Hell Out On Long Island - Not too sure what's going on here. And, from the looks of it, neither does director Steven Spielberg. Unless, of course, what he was ever-so recklessly aiming at was, more or less (accent on way, way, less, and then some) "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World" meets "1941" meets a super-sized side order of whatever the hell it was everyone was eating (most likely the fish) in "Airport", "Airplane," "Air Bud", "Air America", and/or, on Air India - that is, the last time I went to London (but that's another story). All of which is why everyone's favorite feel good uber auteur probably got multi-Oscared for your inspection go-to guy Daniel Day Lewis to play each and every part in the film except for Mario Cantone, who, for whatever reason, is done up to the hilt (and then some) by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in what many are already championing as a soon to be stepped in shoe-in for this year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar hose down door prize/parting gift, of sorts.
Casablanca 2 - Proving once and for all - at least semi-definitively speaking - that the fine art of incoming/ongoing feminization of the guy cause why kind has seeped it's all along the which way into every here to there corner of our once proud existence as somewhere out there/in here guys (and gals, too) in search of nothing more than an occasional fun time in between repeated requests to either turn our heads and cough, and/or, pretend we really do enjoy an otherwise continual down there sense-driven state of increasingly more frequent untidy dampness. Huh? Well, not in so many words, but you gotta start the end of it all somewhere. And, here's as good a place as any, I suppose. Thanks to director provocateur Steven Soderbergh rejiggering the casting of this much beloved Warner Bros. classic to fit a more up to the minute brand of switcheroo-based choices sure to infuriate everyone. Especially if that includes the nearly 90% of emotionally overought walk-outs that occurred during its now legendary bite the bullet (sure, if that's what you're calling it this week) Labor Day opening weekend. Most of whom had more than the usual somewhere out in the dark reason to hit the bricks as a result of seeing former porn queen Sasha Grey in the Bogie part (hey, that musta hurt) as Priq Blame, George Clooney parking it where Ingrid Bergman once did shine as the centerpiece attraction for all concerned, Catherine Zeta-Jones being all noble and down right uptight (but in good way, especially in two tacked on dance numbers) in the Paul Henried role, Mario Cantone blazing it up accordingly in the fits just right snug-proof shoes of Dooley Wilson as Sam the Piano Man, and, last but certainly least, Lady Gaga lurking around as Peter Lorre once did while in search of those damn letters of transit.
I Now Pronounce You Idiot and Moron - All in all, a totally strange but untrue cinematic vision of non-stop squirm in your seat weirdness. Most of which was somewhat miraculously brought to the on-set table by director Roman Polanski, via Skype, from his windowless corridor penthouse high atop a hotel in Switzerland while under house arrest by local authorities. And, we've come to now understand, one week a month pitch in chores by Jon Favreau because of a bet he lost with Universal head honcho Ron Meyer concerning the original hair coloring of Sony Co-Chairperson Amy Pascal. Needless to say, the on-screen high wire, knuckle dragging mouth breathing act of the film's only live and in person cast members, Adam Sandler and Kevin James as the last two guys left on Earth following a zombie holocaust (partially blamed on Rob Schneider being honored at the Cannes Film festival) still determined to wait in line at a theater in Mingo Junction, Ohio for a midnight premier screening of "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry 2" is kooky beyond belief. So the less said about it the better. And, oh yeah, in the meantime, in between time, may the spoiler alert be with you.