Monday, November 20, 2006

MOVIES: The Best Bond Flicks According to Entertainment Weekly...And Why They Are Wrong - Part 2

Sorry about having to split this up but it's more dramatic this way. So let's continue on to Entertainment Weekly's list of the 20 Best Bond Flicks ever. Seriously folks it gets much more entertaining.

11. Diamonds Are Forever (1971) -

Yes I will admit that Connery was an old man when he decided to come back for one more bout as the famous secret agent. Honestly, he should have fired his agent for this stupid snafu. He balked on one of the best Bonds scripts ever in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and instead chose this film. This had a few things going for it with a Bullitt like car chase and the bright lights of Las Vegas. But it also had those two creepy dudes Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd who were I guess homicidal homosexuals. Yes it's a bad pun and so were they. Annoying and just bizarre. I never read this book so I couldn't tell you if Fleming wrote these characters originally but I have my doubts. Anyway Jill St. John was great as Tiffany Case and come on even though Connery is pushing 50 he still kicks ass, even if the ass that was kicked were two girls named Thumper and Bambi. I rank this one at number 7.

12. Die Another Day (2002) -Okay, Pierce's last go as Bond. The opening was great the torture was definitely different from any I had seen before. Then they went back to the Diamonds are Forever storyline. Satellites run by diamonds. It didn't work in the seventies what makes you think it would work now. The action scenes were fun and I really liked the villain until he destroyed his credibility by donning the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger outfit at the end. Some may disagree with me, my friend Marty thinks it looked more like Captain Power. Either way it looked stupid. On top of that you had ultra hot Halle Berry completely miscast as a super American spy. The producers were so out of touch that they wanted to possibly make a spin off with this character. All I'll say about that is, thank god her character's name is Jinx. The invisible car was lame but Rosamund Pike was hot. Maybe I'll put this one at number 9. Oh, I forgot about the Batman and Robinesqe ice palace. On second thought it will work out fine at number 10.

13. Moonraker (1979) - At least they didn't put this piece of shit in the top ten. In my opinion it's still too high. For some reason the Producers Broccoli thought it would be a brilliant idea to tap into the sci-fi genre and create a space battle worthy of Star Wars. Maybe a space battle worthy of Santa Claus Vs. The Martians. This movie was pure and utter garbage. I've seen this movie all the way through once. Now a days I can't even get through the opening sequence. Recently I read Fleming's novel of the same name and I actually liked it a lot. It's a shame that they couldn't translate anything good from the book. So apparently the Jaws character falls in love in the end. Does that mean he won't be a bad guy anymore? Which means he won't be seen in these movies again. Thank God. If you hadn't already figured out this was the worst of the entire series and has earned it's place at the bottom.

14. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) - There is no way this or any movie we put in from here on in can be worse than Moonraker. That being said, Jonathan Pryce's Rupert Murdoch rip off was pretty damn cheezy. Delicious. He wasn't as bad as Jaws though but he did meet an awesome death at the business end of a sea drill. Pierce admitedly does his best with the bad plot but the action is great and I absolutely loved the Bond score. Michelle Yeoh was fun but I wished they had let her do her thing a bit more like she did in Supercop. They did kill Terri Hatcher early in the movie but her acting wasn't so good in this one so it was probably a blessing in disguise. I guess I would have to rank this one at number 12.

15. A View To A Kill (1985) - This was Roger Moore's last Bond. Nothing in my mind could be better than that. This one did disturb me mostly because Grace Jones disturbs me. The fact that Bond actually got some of that gives me nightmares. What were they thinking. Grace Jones is a model, I know, but she's friggin scary. Christopher Walken was the big baddie and normally I love everything Walken but this was before he found a niche in comedy. The material was pretty bland and Moore was pretty old. I think it's obvious that this one should be just a bit lower at number 17.

16. The Living Daylights (1987) - Timothy Dalton's first Bond flick. The downsides to this one they tried to make a more sympathetic and heroic Bond. No more cigarettes and only one girl. That was pretty lame but I thought the story was interesting it just took too long to tell. I disagree with EW's opinion that Dalton had no charisma. I thought he was good and tough but I think sometimes he wasn't always in on the joke. I guess it balances out: Moore was too goofy and Dalton was too serious. Anyway they kept the gadget quotient down which I like. I'll put this one at number 9.

17. The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) - "De Plane Boss De Plane." Yes folks that little guy from Fantasy Island was a sidekick villain who almost kicked Bond's ass. Although Christopher Lee was a good villain in a so-so script. Again this was one of those where I really liked the book. This was Ian Fleming's last novel and in my opinion the second best of the Roger Moore flicks. Even though that annoying Sheriff from Live and Let Die is in this one I can still tolerate most of this film. Again it strikes at the character of Bond if a dumb hillbilly from Louisiana knows James Bond is a spy then I think Bond really needs to consider a career change. Although Ms. Goodnight was great to look at and like I said I didn't cringe through too many scenes. I'll rank this one at number 13.

18. Octopussy (1983) - Okay this one could really be a tie with Moonraker. It involved circus freaks and clowns as major villains. When James Bond has to shoot a bunch of carnys to save the world then we know we are really in trouble. Again I agree with EW this one deserves it's spot at number 18.

19. Licence to Kill (1989) - This was not a traditional Bond story and people have a real hate on for this one. I actually like it. I think it's strange for Bond to be getting revenge on a drug cartel but if you had read the review for number 18 then you would know that going after a cartel is a step up from clowns. I like it when Bond goes rogue and I always like it when he does it with minimal gadgetry. Like Lazenby I think Dalton was given a bad rep. He's not that terrible and the action in this was pretty good. Sure it's not a real interesting plot, but Bond gets to hash out some mean vengence and that is always good. Plus Wayne Newton is in it. I gotta say this one works well for me at number 14. Wayne says, "Bless your heart."

20. The World Is Not Enough (1999) There is no way in all of creation that this is the worst Bond film ever. It's not a great movie, they try, they really do. They want people to be aware of global oil problems, nice message. Sophie Marceau is smoking hot in this one. They don't allow Robert Carlyle to truly find his inner villain but I thought his little super power was kind of cool for a villain. (He couldn't feel pain.) The storyline really wasn't that bad it just was poorly executed. I really enjoyed the opening sequence, although the boat scene was a bit long and a tad silly. I also agree with EW that Denise Richards should never play a nuclear physicist named Christmas Jones. I mean come on people, I admit that the little joke at the end about having Christmas in Turkey was funny, but they really should have given her a better name. Anyway I think this one fits very snuggly at number 16.

So here it is my list from 1-20:

1. From Russia With Love
2. Dr. No
3. Goldfinger (I think I may put Casino Royale here though, it was that good.)
4. Thunderball
5. GoldenEye
6. You Only Live Twice
7. Diamonds Are Forever
8. For Your Eyes Only
9. The Living Daylights
10. Die Another Day
11. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
12. Tomorrow Never Dies
13. The Man With The Golden Gun
14. License To Kill
15. The Spy Who Loved Me
16. The World Is Not Enough
17. A View To A Kill
18. Octopussy
19. Live And Let Die
20. Moonraker

So that's how I would rank them. If you have a better top twenty let me know.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

MOVIES: The Best Bond Flicks According to Entertainment Weekly...And Why They Are Wrong - Part 1

I was reading my Entertainment Weekly today and they had Daniel Craig and Eva Green on the cover and an article ranking the 20 Bond films. Let me tell you something, maybe it's just me, but the movies they chose as the best Bonds films are frankly some of the worst choices ever. Just on this list alone I have to give a Celebrity Bucket o' Dumb to Entertainment Weekly. Here is what they chose.

1. Goldfinger (1964) - This one I agree, although I would not have put it first. I have discovered there are different types of Bond fans. There are purists for the books and then there are those who enjoy campy crappiness like the Roger Moore films. Guess which one I am. Then there are some who are in between who like the serious but also like the gadgets. Goldfinger was the first to have the major gadgets. It's a great movie but Goldfinger can be a bit over the top. I would probably put Goldfinger in no. 3. You can't beat Pussy Galore and of course one of my favorite scenes where Bond is tied up with a laser pointed between his legs, he asks. "Do you expect me to talk?" Goldfinger responds, "No Mr. Bond I expect you to die." Classic.

2. You Only Live Twice (1967) - Here is where we start to go awry. When I was a little kid I loved this movie. I still enjoy elements of it and of course it still has Sean Connery but this was one of the last from his era and it's starting to show its age. Donald Pleasance was an interesting choice as Blofeld but if you've seen Austin Powers then this movie will always be laughable. Not to mention the dumb gadgets like Little Nelly and the over the top Evil Lair. The scenery is great and the exotic Japanese women are stunning. I would probably place it at number 6.

3. Live and Let Die (1973) - Okay, the guys at Entertainment Weekly are morons. Did they not see the ending to this thing where, the bad guy, played by Yaphet Kotto floats to the ceiling of his "lair" and explodes in the most cartoonish way? If Moonraker was the worst of the series this was by far second to the worst. Not to mention that they don't handle issues of race very well and of course they rely too much on gadgets. This is the first of the many terrible Roger Moore films. These, at least for me, are the most unbearable to watch. They are extremely dated and about as far from the books as you can get. For instance this is the introduction of that stupid red neck sheriff played by Clifton James who they actually invite back for The Man With The Golden Gun. Whoever thought it would be a great idea to put this character in a Bond movie obviously was looking to sabotage the series. The only thing good about this piece of crap was the opening score by Paul McCartney and the very beautiful Jane Seymour. So we'll place this one at 19.

4. Thunderball (1965) - I really enjoyed this one as a kid and as an adult. Again there were a few gadgets that got in the way, but overall this story was fun. Connery matched wits with the number 2 of S.P.E.C.T.R.E, Mr. Largo. Terrorists hold the world hostage by threatening to blow up a nuclear device if they are not paid off. This plot has been way overdone by now but it was one of the first films to do it, so I think we can cut them a break. I loved the scene where Bond is thrown in with the sharks and I really love when Bond harpoons that baddie to a palm tree and asks the girl "Do you think he gets the point." The action in this one is so good and the girl playing Domino is so hot I have to say that this one actually is ranked where it should be.

5. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) - Again I will admit that I actually like this one better now then when I first saw it. I was not willing to give Lazenby a chance and that is a mistake. He certainly holds his own and it is unfortunate that he should precede Connery in the role. I believe strongly that if they had done this one after a few of the Roger Moore flicks, Lazenby would have fared a whole hell of a lot better. The script is solid and I love Diana Rigg as Tracy. It is the closest to the book but sadly the action is not as solid as it should be and there are large gaping plot holes from the last Bond flick to this one. It's nice that they kept true to the book but in the book Bond had never actually met Blofeld until this story. In the movies Bond runs up against Blofeld in You Only Live Twice and Blofeld has seen his picture as early as From Russia With Love. So it makes Bond look stupid to meet with him under an assumed name and no physical disguise. Also Telly Savalas was terribly miscast as Blofeld. Three years ago I would put this one near the bottom of the barrel, but having seen it again recently my opinion has softened some. I would put it at 11.

6. Dr. No (1963) - I'm not quite sure why the first Bond ever is not in the top five, but the opening sequence for this one alone stands out as one of the best introductions ever. Connery is young and dangerous looking as he smokes his cigarette playing Baccarat. Dr. No does have his evil lair but it is fairly modest in regard to future productions. This movie contains one of my all time favorite scenes of any movie. (If you've read my article a few months ago then I apologize for repeating myself. ) Bond tricks an evil Professor to shooting up his unsuspecting pillow as Bond waits in the darkness behind him. Once the Professor has unloaded Bond announces his presence. In his cold dark way Bond allows the Professor to take his weapon once more but points out to the math challenged Doctor--"That's a Smith and Wesson and you've had your six." He caps the Professor and then shoots him one more time for good measure as he coolly sits back down on the couch. Ursulla Andress was hot but this scene alone makes Dr. No number 2 on my list.

7. GoldenEye (1995) - I agree with Entertainment Weekly that this is the best of the Brosnan Bond films. Sean Bean's Trevelyan is one of the best Bond villains and the first that I had ever felt true sympathy for. He is also one of the few with the best motivation for doing evil: His parents were betrayed by England and shot as traitors by the Russians. The GoldenEye weapon was an intriguing one and even though Brosnan was no true tough guy, he was very capable in the role. I would put this one at number 5.

8. From Russia With Love (1963) - You've got to be kidding me. This is the best Bond of all time. It captured the Cold War better than any spy film of its kind. S.P.E.C.T.R.E plays two agencies against each other so they can get their hands on a Russian decoder machine. The British Secret Service on one side and S.M.E.R.S.H on the other. Robert Shaw is a violent and menacing Red Grant. This one had beautiful photography in Istanbul and the even more beautiful Daniela Bianchi as a sexy Russian spy. Entertainment Weekly says the train ride on the Orient Express was boring. I guess this MTV generation demands instant gratification for everything. Sometimes great things take a little more time. So, please just be patient EW stop chugging double espressos and turn on your brain for a few minutes during that train sequence you may learn something. Sometimes it takes a little patience to get to the heart of a good story. This one, at times, was complex and it needed room to breathe. Personally it's one of my favorites and it deserves to be on top at number 1.

9. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Ah the year of my birth. My Dad had me read this one when I was in High School. It was a great book because it was unpredictable and the crazy part was that it was a James Bond novel without James Bond really in it. He shows up in the last ten or twenty pages to save the day. It really is about this beautiful Russian spy who is looking for Bond. The movie, of course, didn't follow that template. They did have a cool skiing scene in the beginning I'll admit but the submarine car was lame. This was also the introduction to one of the worst Bond villains, Jaws (Richard Kiel). I know he has a special place in a lot of Bond fan's hearts but after age 12 this guy really got on my nerves. He wasn't scary he was stupid and it again hit against the credibility of Bond. You know the old adage they say a good hero is best defined by a good villain. Now to be fair, my wife and I danced to Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon at our wedding. It's a great song and the movie wasn't too terrible so I would have to say this one would fall at number 15 for me.

10. For Your Eyes Only (1981) - I'm detecting a pattern here I really do think that the writers at Entertainment Weekly enjoyed the schlocky Bond more than the serious ones. This was certainly one of the best if not the best of the Roger Moore era. It was after the disastrous Moonraker and they realized they had gotten out of control with gadgets. They went back to the old standby the retrieval of a code machine. It did hearken back to From Russia With Love and maybe that's why I liked it. There are some pretty intense action scenes and the dialogue wasn't too unbearable. I think I'll place this one a little higher at number 8.

11-20 Tomorrow. Stay Tuned.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Casino Royale

After the first five minutes Daniel Craig made Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby look like little sissy girls with wet knickers. Yes, people it is official Daniel Craig is the true heir to the Bond franchise, may he rule with distinction and bad assery. It was weird seeing the opening credits with the Columbia logo and not the UA logo of old. It really felt like they were really making changes and trying to get the feel of the books written by Ian Fleming. Bond (Daniel Craig) appears in Black and White confronting a man that will inevitably allow the spy to obtain his 00 status. In order to obtain his license to kill Bond has to make two kills. His first kill is jarring and brutal. His second, as the intended target admits, is considerably easier. This movie was well written, action packed and Daniel Craig's portrayal of Bond as a blunt instrument is dead on accurate to the book.

James Bond is the best poker player in Her Majesty's Secret Service. M (Dame Judy Dench) sends him to Casino Royale in Montenegro to play a high stakes poker game with a French banker named Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) who uses his winnings to fund terrorists. Bond's mission is to clean out the Frenchman in order to apprehend him and break him for questioning. M doesn't trust Bond so she sends an accountant Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) to keep an eye on him and the money.
As I revealed there is no plot to destroy or conquer the world. No crazy underground bunkers or hidden lairs. You have an intelligent, athletic crafty and cold agent in her Majesty's Service who is capable of confounding the enemy in whatever way possible. He is not much of a talker and if you step to him he will kick your ass with an icy blue stare. Daniel Craig has all of the toughness of Connery. He also has an added gift that belonged to another actor of Connery's generation. Steve McQueen. Craig not only looks a hell of a lot like McQueen he has also inherited McQueen's uncanny ability to allow the audience into his head without uttering a single word. It's all in the eyes. Craig has that in spades and it's great to watch as his Bond cases a situation before he steps in to act. You can see it working in his eyes as he figures out his first move. It also plays well into the general theme of this film; which is understanding your opponent, looking for the tell or the bluff, the parallels between the mission and the game and how they impact each other. Let me also say that I have always thought Eva Green was attractive but for some reason in this film she is smoking hot. She is a great actress and really shows her range as she confounds the audience and Bond to her true motives.

The film was fast paced and brilliantly filmed. I loved the contribution from character actors like Jeffrey Wright who played Felix Leiter and Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis. This is the second Bond film directed by Martin Campbell who was at the helm of the very successful Goldeneye starring Pierce Brosnan. It's a solid film with intrigue and action and excellent writing. This Bond is how I believe Fleming imagined him, not a real hero but a serious man who does whatever is necessary to get the job done.

Grade: 5 Buckets

Sunday, November 12, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Stranger Than Fiction

I'm going to be honest with you on Friday I had my sights on seeing the film Babel. Unfortunately it was full so my wife and I had to move to plan B. Plan B of course became Stranger Than Fiction and I have to say it was a very good second choice. This is the most subdued I have ever seen Will Ferrell and he was great. Maggie Gyllenhaal was cute and Emma Thompson was amusing as a writer obsessed with the nature of death and of course how to successfully kill her leading man. I have been impressed with director Marc Forster's path so far. I have not seen his thriller Stay but I have seen Finding Neverland and Monster's Ball and they are both exceptional films.

The film takes a page from writer Charlie Kaufman as it focuses on a very anal IRS agent named Harold Crick (Will Farrell) who begins to hear a woman's voice narrating a novel about him and his actions. At first he is freaked out and then panicked when the voice hints at his possible demise. This of course puts a chink in his future plans, as he has fallen in love with anarchist baker Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal). What's a guy to do.

The film has a very interesting structure that at first I did not notice but as the film continued it began to remind me of Groundhog Day, Adaptation and even Fight Club. I really need to see it again because I feel there was more there than meets the eye. The character of Harold Crick enjoys numbers and solving math equations and throughout the film they have subtlety and not so subtlety thrown in diagrams of equations and problems. To what purpose, I'm not sure but I did enjoy the random pop ups. It is a story about a guy too uptight to really live his life. Through his interaction with the disembodied voice he is allowed to take some control of his boring existence and make it the life he truly wants. This stuff has all been done before but Forster does a good job keeping pace and skewing the story enough that it doesn't feel boring or overused. Emma Thompson as a seemingly suicidal and tormented writer Kay Eiffel is unusually funny. I know she has done comedies in the past but this is the first time I noticed her in that specific category. Her character has writer's block and is having trouble finding a suitable death for her main man Harold. Dustin Hoffman was hilarious as a Literature professor trying to help Harold find the novelist before she kills him. It's hard to really review the film without giving too much away but my wife Tamar put it this way. It's what I heart Huckabees should have been. Dealing with abstract philosophies and throwing in a blend of classic literature for good measure. That might not make sense but when you see the movie you will hopefully understand. Just rest assured that Will Ferrell hearing a narration in his head that ends up annoying him is friggin hilarious and we'll leave it at that.

Grade: 4 Buckets

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Borat - Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

I saw Borat the other day and before I begin I think it is important for everyone to know that Sacha Baron Cohen, who portrays Borat onscreen, is actually Jewish. Now I don't want that fact to ruin the movie for everyone. But having that knowledge going into the movie makes what he does ironic and funny and his seemingly real interactions with Americans across the heartland very frustrating and downright scary. As you may or may not know Sacha Baron Cohen is also Ali G from the HBO show Da Ali G Show where Borat and other strange characters were born. The film was fun and I laughed my ass off through most if not all of the movie. As those that have seen it can attest I, like I am sure, many others were disturbed by the naked wrestling, but we'll get to that.

Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a journalist from the glorious nation of Kazakhstan who is sent by his country to make a documentary about his travels in the United States. He is joined by I think it was a Kazakhstan representative Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitan) who helps Borat film the documentary and has some very amusing scenes as he attempts to produce this very low budget documentary.

Anyway the whole Documentary seems to go awry when Borat becomes obsessed with Pamela Anderson and takes the film crew on the road to literally go and bag the blonde bombshell. Now as I mentioned above Cohen is Jewish and his style of comedy relies on the uncomfortability of others as well as revealing anti-semitic and racist feelings in his subjects. These parts, while funny, were somewhat unsettling at times as Borat asked a gun owner about which gun he should choose to kill Jews. The owner didn't skip a beat in telling him which weapon would be suitable if he, you know, wanted to kill a Jew. There was also a cowboy at a rodeo that thought Borat looked like Saddam Hussein with his mustache and told him he had better shave it off because he, quote, "Looked like a terrorist." Then the cowboy went on a ten minute rant about hanging Muslims and gay people. It was very telling. At first I thought Borat had made it to Texas for the rodeo but when they showed the map later it was really just outside of Washington D.C. Apparently stupid bigoted ass holes are closer than we think. There was also a group of frat boys from South Carolina. They are now suing Cohen for how they were represented in the film. They aren't giving their names in the lawsuit but if you saw the movie you will remember their faces. They also used racial and sexist slurs and were on the whole pretty stupid. They are claiming the Mel Gibson defense that the film crew liquored them up and only through intoxication did they spew hate. Um, yeah I don't think this will stand up too well in court. Also there was a great bit in a Born Again Christian church that made Borat seem normal. They tried to exercise the demon inside Borat with the compelling power of Christ, funny yes and again equally disturbing.

Personally I loved Borat and his broken English and terrible faux pas. The only problem I had was again the naked wrestling. I won't go into great detail but--damn. It was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. It lasted at least ten minutes and it was the longest ten minutes of the entire movie. Sure it was funny if you were able to keep your eyes on the action but um, it was really disturbing. Have you ever seen that movie Women In Love, don't let the title deceive you there is a scene where Oliver Reed wrestles with this other dude naked on a bearskin rug, very gross. Yeah, so the Borat vs. Aramat naked fight was ten times worse. These dudes were hairier then--yeah we'll just stop there. So go and see Borat and remember to keep your eyes closed for the ten minute naked hairy beast wrestle. Trust me on this one you'll thank me later.

Grade: 4 Buckets

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CELEBRITY BUCKET 'O DUMB: Two'fer Kenny "Sticky Fingaz" Rogers and Kanye "Sore Loser" West

I know that the World Series is over but I have found myself reviewing some of the articles during and after and everyone seems to still be suspicious about the brown gunk on Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers' hand during game 2 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. I've seen the photos of his hand and of the Ump coming up to tell Kenny Rogers to wash it off. Seems harmless enough, but when they start saying words like cheating and pine tar, then things get interesting. Just for the record pine tar is a substance that pitchers use in practice to control their aim over the plate. It is illegal to use pine tar during a game. Apparently someone did this in the World Series in 1988 and was tossed from the game and then suspended for two more games. Mr. Sticky Fingaz claims that he just had dirt on his hand. Do you buy it? I don't know if I do. I mean this guy is pushing 40 his control has been better then it has ever been in his career. Not to mention that Detroit was only able to win this game in the entire series. So it does seem suspicious to me. This whole thing could have been wiped away clean if Kenny "Stupid" Rogers had said after the game that it was dirt, that the ump told him to clean it off, he did and then he continued to pitch a near perfect game afterwards. End of story. But he created all of this suspicion when he denied that the ump said anything to him about it in the first place.

If you watched the game you would have noticed the Ump coming over to the plate to speak with Rogers and to probably tell him to wash the gunk off. Why would he lie about that? Hell even his coach Jim Leyland admits that the ump told him to wash the shit off. The friggin ump told the media that he asked Rogers to wash the shit off. Not to mention that ESPN apparently went back to review past tapes of Rogers pitching against the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees and they noticed the brown gunk on his hand in those games as well. Curiouser and Curiouser. Since you're team lost the World Series I doubt anyone will be looking hard into this but, it sounds to me that you are definitely covering up something Mr. Kenny Rogers. A sticky secret that has given your old ass a much needed career boost, but because of your stupidity in bungling your cover story you have raised enough doubt about your credibility, and that my friend will stick to you for the rest of your career. So without much fanfare I present to you Kenny "Sticky Fingaz" Rogers the Celebrity Bucket O' Dumb. May you cherish it always.

Now for the second in line for a Bucket o' Dumb, Mr. Kanye West. A few days ago Mr. West was attending the MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kanye West won for Best Hip Hop Artist. But when he didn't win for best Music Video he went nuts he ran up on stage talking about how it cost a million dollars, that he quote "jumped canyons" and of course that Pamela Anderson was in it. I think he even said something about the credibility of the award show being questioned because he did not win this award. Then he apparently tried to grab the award from the real winners Justice and Simian. I mean okay, you feel like you were snubbed for an award I get it. You should feel free to mouth off I guess, it seems tacky and selfish, but okay. The thing that gets me is that it was for MTV in Europe. This isn't prime time MTV people. What kind of loser loses his junk on Euro-MTV? This is very sad, I really liked Kanye West but now, man he just seems really pathetic. For some reason when I think of this meltdown I think of the movie Zoolander when Zoolander loses the best male model award and he doesn't realize it he just goes up to receive it looking like a dumb ass. That image is now replaced by Kanye West. So--- don't worry Kanye my friend I have an award especially for you and you can put it on your mantle and admire it for the rest of your life. Well you might not admire it but it will help you to remember to keep your cool when things don't go your way. So without further delay I present this month's Celebrity Bucket O' Dumb to Kanye West. Congratulations! You've really earned it!

Monday, November 06, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: The Prestige

Hello all I'm back! I know it's been a while but it's been a crazy month. Just today I got a chance to see The Prestige starring Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman, Christian "Batman" Bale, Michael "Alfred" Caine and the lovely Scarlett Johansson. I did not realize, until the credits, that this film was based on a novel by Christopher Priest. The screenplay, however, was written by Jonathan Nolan. Director Christopher Nolan does what he does best with sleight of hand directing tricks and crisscrossing back-story to keep your eyes moving from one surprise to another. Very much in the vein of his first film and major hit Memento. I really want to see this one again because I definitely feel I have missed something important. The score is ominous and adds to the mystery of the story. Although I must admit in the end everything seems to be too simple and un-complicated, but you be the judge.

The film centers on two rival magicians Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) who try to one-up each other in order to become the single greatest magician in history. Their rivalry launches an obsession to learn how each of them performs their respective tricks. This story takes place at the turn of the century, where science and magic converge. Cutter (Michael Caine) uses science to create elaborate machines to help Angier perfect his illusion. He also utters the great tagline describing the three stages of a magic trick. The Pledge, The Turn and finally the Prestige. When Cutter can't take Angier where he feels he must go Angier enlists the help of Tesla (David Bowie), a magician who uses electricity in his act. The question is--Is it a trick or is it real magic?

The film jumps from mystery to suspense to drama back to suspense and to some degree becomes a murder mystery by the end of the film. Batman and Wolverine square off with each other as every encounter gets more and more dangerous. It's so fun watching them sneer at one another. There is a very casual cameo by real magician and actor Ricky Jay who appears and then vanishes from the film without much fanfare. Bowie as Tesla is used to his greatest advantage used sparingly and with an aura of mystery around him. A few months ago I saw the Illusionist, which is another film about magicians, and I said that I would try to compare the two to see which one was the best. Honestly I really loved them both. They are different from each other but they do have a commonality which I will not go into here because it may give too much away. All I'll say is the Turn is very important in both films. Chris Nolan has made an exceptional film and it is definitely one I will be buying once it's made it to DVD. But don't wait for it to come out for the small box, if you haven't seen it yet go now before the slew of Christmas flicks comes out, because if you haven't noticed, the box office for the film is dwindling fast and before long the turn will be without the Prestige.

Grade: 5 Buckets

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Movie Review: Borat:Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Troy's Bucket

So, I have been very MIA having only made a whopping one post on this blog.

And I hate to say that this post is not going to be anything special either. While I have been following the bloggings of my fellow compatriots I myself have been busy with work, and just being lazy about wanting to write anything of any real substance.

But tonight I saw a pre-screening of Sascha Baron Cohen's new movie, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Based off the character made infamous on Cohen's show Da Ali G Show.

The film is a documentary funded by the ministy of Khazakstahn. They send Borat to New York to learn about American culture so that they as a country can benefit and make improvements themselves. Along the way poor misguided Borat, his producer, and pet chicken end up on a cross country journey to try and make it to California. Because there lies a woman with whom Borat has fallen madly in love.

What can I say? I am not going to divulge anymore of this movie in fear of giving away fun. I will say that what you see in trailers, while being REALLY funny, is not the funniest parts of this movie. There is more, OH much more to be seen. I can honestly say I have not laughed so hard at a movie in a long long time. What Baron Cohen does in the name of comedy is not only above and beyond the call of duty, but also manages to cross just about every line possible. And it does so with a huge gaping smile.

So, this movie gets five buckets from me.

Also, I am still dying to see The none of you post anything about it yet. I'm hoping to catch it tomorrow.