Archive for July, 2008

Ahead of the Pack #1

Posted in Ahead of the Pack with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by themoviecult

Superbad follows three friends over the course of one day at high school. They are invited to a small party by some ladies, and offer to get them some booze with a fake id. Things don’t go to plan, and they end up on a crazy adventure into the night – evading policemen, and trying to find alcohol.

Ask some of your friends whether they like Superbad. If they say no, chances are that they didn’t drink in high school. They can’t relate to the movie because they can’t understand the characters and the situations – they’ve never been scared shitless and underage in a liquor store, and they’ve never gone for one of those long, adventurous drunken walks. Superbad is a memory, a kickback to your high school days, when you were less mature, and your priorities were different. If you liked Superbad, it is probably because the main characters in the movie are similar to your high school friends, or at least people you knew around the schoolyard. Same interests, same sense of humour, same preoccupations.

There’s no relating to the main characters in many other teen movies. They’re mostly unrealistic and take themselves far too seriously. Many teen movies define the characters as nerds, or jocks, and leave no area for complexity and evolution.

The high school experience that the films portray is also wildly different from the typical high school experience. Aspects are warped and exaggerated to make the films more appealing, or to allow the themes to fit in. Most teen movie screenwriters also don’t seem to understand that love and the daily routine of life during teenage translate to trivial, boring films. Portrayal of teen angst is annoying, yet it seems to be the cornerstone of the genre. The screenwriters have tried to find a unique vantage point for teen movies, but have failed miserably.

Of course, this is generalisation. Some teen movies are heavy in one of the err departments, and light in others. At any rate, in terms of characters, realism, and humour, Superbad is superb, much better than the rest of the market.

Advertisements

This is what happens when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 16, 2008 by themoviecult

If I’m still writing this thing in five to ten years time, I will talk about Batman 2: The Dark Knight. I’m not going to go into too much detail here. This is out of the ordinary. I don’t usually talk about new films.

I don’t want to be a wanker – I’m not going to exaggerate and call the new Batman movie perfect… Perfection isn’t attainable.

I’m in love with Nolan. He’s amazing. I’ve watched his early work, and seen the talent. I’ve seen him get better and better with each film. The Dark Knight is a landmark film for Nolan in terms of characters, plot, dialogue, concepts and themes. The Joker was everything I hoped he would be, and none of my fears for him became an actuality. The connection between Batman and Joker, and the insight into the Joker’s mind is there, and it works so well. Almost everything else is great as well.

The wait, the hype, the anticipation. It was all worth it. Go out and see the movie.

Cult Scenes #2

Posted in Cult Scenes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2008 by themoviecult

The Devil\'s Advocate

The Movie
The Devil’s Advocate – Taylor Hackford’s 1997 adaptation of Andrew Neiderman’s novel; a tale of Good Vs Evil. Well-written, with the dialogue and camera angles almost completely tailored to the themes of the movie, including many little extra touches; enough to make re-watching enjoyable.

The Context
Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is a criminal defendant from Florida that never looses – even when he is representing a guilty party. He has been invited to work for a big law firm in New York because of his perfect record.

He has just won his first case with the firm – defending a man named Moyez, who was ritualistically sacrificing a goat. In the street, he talks to the head of the law firm, John Milton (Al Pacino). Kevin has no clue yet that his boss is Satan and he wants Kevin’s soul.

Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) and John Milton (Al Pacino)

Scene (Warning: Language)

EXT. CANAL STREET (CHINATOWN) – DAY

Milton (Al Pacino) and Kevin (Keanu Reeves) are standing at a food stall. Milton pays for Kevin’s food.

MILTON
Best street food in the world.
Try that. Tell me it isn’t great.
(as Kevin eats)
New York. What a scene, right?
Guy like Moyez living in that
subterranean shithole all the
time he’s running around with
fifteen million dollars in the
bank.

KEVIN
You gotta be kidding.

MILTON
What do you think? We’re giving
you away? He’s paying us in
goat’s blood? I’m billing you
out at four-hundred an hour, my
friend. I don’t see a whole lot
of pro bono work in your
immediate future.
(buzzing here)
Seriously, what I like, you got in
there with him. Inside the cage.
That’s instinct. Can’t be taught.
You gotta hear that on your own.
It’s gotta be in your blood. It’s
molecular. I bet I’ve got five
thousand lawyers working around
the planet. I couldn’t name
ten — couldn’t name three —
I’d trust with Moyez.

KEVIN
So what the hell are they doing?

MILTON
What are they doing? They’re
corporate lawyers, what do
you think they’re doing? They’re
busy reducing life and death to
the proper position of a semi-
colon. They’re doing needlepoint.
Push button battles. Push button
wars. Armies that get so fucking
far away from each other they
need satellites to tell them
who won. No pain. No sound.
No smell. One big, multinational
circle jerk. You, on the other
hand, you’re on the slaughterhouse
floor. You can’t help but smell
your clients.

KEVIN
I figure you came to court to
make sure I didn’t fuck this up.

MILTON
Maybe I did. But don’t get too
cocky. No matter how good you
are. Don’t let them see you
coming. That’s the gaff, my
friend — make yourself small.
Be the hick. The cripple. The
nerd. The leper. The shit-
kicking surfer. Look at me —
I’ve been underestimated from
day one. Do I look like a
master of the universe? That’s
your only weakness as far as I
can tell.

KEVIN
What’s that?

MILTON
The look. The Florida stud thing.
‘Scuse me, ma’am, did I leave my
boots under your bed?’

KEVIN
Never worked a jury didn’t have a
woman.

MILTON
You know what you’re missing?
What I have? This beautiful girl
she’s just fucked me every way
she knows how — we’re done —
she’s walking to the bathroom —
she turns — she looks —
It’s me. Not the trojan army that
just fucked her. Little old me
And she gets a look on her face,
like “How’d that just happen?”
Right there, from that moment on,
she’s got a secret. I’m the hand
up Mona Lisa’s skirt. I’m the
whisper in Nefertitti’s ear.
I’m a surprise. They never see
me coming. That’s what you’re
missing.

Milton and Kevin depart from the stall.

(This is just one of the many great monologues from John Milton in the film. If you’ve seen the film, or don’t care about spoilers, you can watch the final monologue, here – Warning: Language.)