I ate at a Canadian BBQ joint the other day and had a sandwich called the Gut-Buster that is one of the greatest things ever. Beef brisket, pulled pork, and half an andouille sausage in a hot dog bun covered in grilled onions, jalapenos, and cheese. Side order of hushpuppiesd with puire maple syrup for dipping. Yum.
It didn’t even come back to haunt me in any way later.
Been watching a movie or two on Canadian TV. First was THE FACULTY, which in hindsight has one of the greatest casts ever put together — Robert Rodriguez has skills that way. Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Patrick, Salma Hayek, Jon Stewart, Famke Janssen, Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Clea DuVall, Usher, Danny Masterson…it is insane how many familiar faces pop up. But I have a question. When I saw this movie in North Carolina, I distinctly recall being pissed off that when the hot blonde finally takes all her clothes off at the end, her naughty bits were shrouded in shadow. However, on this Canadian TV version, I could see pretty much everything. How does this jibe with everyone else’s memory?
And then last night I couldn’t sleep, so I watched THE POSTMAN, which wasn’t bad for the first two hours, but then kept going another hour, in which it becomes clear that it’s a weird Libertarian utopia fantasy, with Will Patton as an evil flag-burning commie and Kevin Costner as the new Geogrge Washington, with a bit of Hulk Hogan mixed in. During the final fight, Patton owns Costner’s ass, mainly because his character is a trained military guy and Costner has shown zero aptitude for action. But then he gets Costner in a chokehold, and says he’s gonna lose because he doesn’t fight for anything. This is the wrong move, as Costner goes “I fight…for the UNITED STATES…of AMERICA!” Then he hulks up and wins the fight.
Also Olivia Williams plays the hottest chick in post-apocalypese world, who’s married but throws herself at Kevin anyway because she wants to have his baby. And Tom Petty shows up in hour 3 playing himself. I shit you not. Costner asks him if he was famous once, and Petty says he sort of was. But then when Petty learns that Costner is THE POSTMAN, he goes “I heard of you! YOU’RE famous!”
To which Costner responds: “Well, I guess I am.” The movie ends with a bronze statue of Kevin Costner being unveiled.
Last festival review after the jump…
Written and directed by James Westby, this is the story of a video store clerk who is a geek to the max. Obsessively spouting off in a mildy effeminate monotone, he’s the kind of guy who’ll lecture unsuspecting customers on the difference between widescreen and full-frame, or tell sorority girls they need to watch Godard, or raise a ruckus when one of his fellow employees puts John Carpenter’s THE THING in the horror section when it is to his mind very clearly sci-fi. Played by Melik Malkasian with absolute commitment, Scotty is like the nightmare version of many people I know — and is perhaps a little close to home in many ways! He has a website nobody reads, full of essays like “Why Bunuel is AWESOME!”, and he never eats out or cooks for himself, surviving solely on cereal. Also, we see him masturbate quite a bit, always over the sink so he can clean up quickly.
During the course of the movie, Scotty loses his job, hopelessly flirts with a callous neighbor (Michelle Garner) whose dark secret he eventually learns, and finds a girl who might actually be able to tolerate him (Tyler Gannon), especially if it annoys her ex to be seen with such a nerd.
Scotty is a bit like Napoleon Dynamite in the sense that he’s totally unaware of how obnoxious he is. But Napoleon actually had hidden skills — all Scotty has is encyclopedic knowledge of film. And Napoleon had friends. It’s possible to sympathize with Scotty (there’s an inner Scotty in many of us, perhaps), but you wouldn’t want to hang out with him either. He’s not one of those nerds with a secretly cool and empathetic side.
That said, he is pretty damn funny to watch, and the very last shot of the movie is a real kick in the pants. For people who know their cinema, I recommend FILM GEEK not just as a comedy, but a cautionary tale. as well.
[Due to heavy spam, this entry is now CLOSED to comments. Original comments by actual readers have been reposted below]
I have a soft spot in my heart for the Postman… not liking it shows your commie-ness! Commie!
Posted by: David N. Scott at April 24, 2006 12:37 PM
How did all that meat fit in a hot dog bun??
You watched The Postman voluntarily? And it didn’t help you get to sleep even in hour 3?
Are you sure that sandwich didn’t come back to haunt you?
Posted by: Julie Scott at April 24, 2006 1:08 PM
Definate concurrence on the Faculty. I remember thinking that the awkwardness and dramatic inappropiateness of those shadows pretty much ruined the movie for me. I thought it was a requirement of the actress’s contract, since the movie was already rated R, but I guess they forgot to include that stipulation for international distibution.
Posted by: ReJeKt at April 24, 2006 1:11 PM
i remember when l.a. was full of billboards for the upcoming “the postman,” and i was very excited. the photo, with the lone man in the middle of a wasteland, spoke to the ragtag apocolypse survivor who lives in my chest. and then i saw it, and wanted to like it so very much, but it kept going and going, and it just wasn’t… good. needed more max in its endworld, more dirt or something.
tom petty is one of the film’s saving graces. just as he is one of this wasted, awful humanity’s saving graces.
[from the previous post] “when the lights came up nobody was in the room…” — somehow one of the saddest statements i have heard, apropos of nothing.
Posted by: justin stone at April 24, 2006 1:28 PM
On this so-called Gut-Buster…. “It didn’t even come back to haunt me in any way later.”
Don’t speak so soon!
Posted by: justin stone at April 24, 2006 1:30 PM
the postman had the distinction of being less interesting than waterworld, and it didn’t even have dennis hopper as the villian.
faculty was great, but i don’t remember full frontal nudity.
Posted by: sean (connery) at April 24, 2006 1:38 PM
I’m still pretty pissed that Costner stole the idea for the Postman from me, and ruined it quite thoroughly. Mine was called “The Mailman,” and it was going to star Rutger Hauer. Also, it was a musical.
Posted by: ReJeKt at April 24, 2006 2:15 PM
“the mailman” will go into production as soon as i win the lottery.
Posted by: justin stone at April 24, 2006 2:47 PM
Luke, the sandwich may not have affected YOU further, but I just shit in my pants reading your description of it. It’s like Feardotcom, or something… the ghost of the sandwich lives in your website, and it goes on to haunt other people who read about it.
I remember wondering while I was watching “The Faculty” if they had added shadows over Laura Harris’ naked body in post. It seemed silly.
Posted by: Ben B. at April 24, 2006 2:59 PM
Hmm… Google Image Search gave me this on your “Faculty” issue:
Seems about right.
Posted by: Ben B. at April 24, 2006 3:01 PM
Ben – not quite sure what the link is telling me — is it that boobs were blacked out in the movie, but appear on the DVD?
I’m thinking I want this DVD someday for many other reasons, but the boobage factor is of course significant. Anyone already own this on disc?
Posted by: LYT at April 24, 2006 4:56 PM
Hey that’s the chick from “24″ — the 2nd one I believe.
Posted by: Matthew at April 24, 2006 9:12 PM
the reason I like the film reviewers I read regularly over here in the UK is that they can be used as a good barometer, even when they don’t reflect my taste to the inch.
The Faculty was accurately and well reviewed – I went on to enjoy the movie like you did (though this incessant hooter obsession is getting very boring, and will definitely hinder any search for the real thing).
The Postman was universally slammed here, and judging from your TV review deserved it, Costner as self-congratulating hero is about as weak as it gets.
Posted by: offpat at April 26, 2006 6:55 AM
How was it a Libertarian fairy tale, anyway? The anarchic world descends into militant facism, only to be thrown off by the people given hope in the re-emergence of the Federal Govt, as shown by a postman delivering mail.
Posted by: David N. Scott at April 26, 2006 11:15 AM
Pat – my most consistent positive feedback has been from guys who know I’ll tell them if a movie promising nudity delivers. In the case of THE FACULTY, it seems rather mysterious that I can see it on TV with nakedness but not in theaters.
David – “The anarchic world descends into militant facism” Not quite. It seems to mostly form into Libertarian utopias that get quite upset when you burn the flag, and shut out outsiders; their peace only occasionally interrupted by a guy in a commie hat who hates democracy and freedom and tries to impose that on others. When they believe the government has restored the mail, all is perfect – they only want it to perform the very basic services and leave them be the rest of the time.
Note that even though STDs and sterilizing diseases are clearly a problem, no-one EVER suggests that now the government can help them take care of it. Or anything else. Just the mail.
Posted by: LYT at April 26, 2006 11:32 AM
The hooter obsession in this case is valid because what they did to that movie was a cinematic travesty. Similiar to the way they added digital cardboard people to the orgy scene at the end of Eyes Wide Shut in america, the overprocessed shadows at the end of the Faculty took what was supposed to be a dramatic surprise climax and turned it into an unintentional farce.
Posted by: ReJeKt at April 26, 2006 12:06 PM
Nahh, the last scene shows big ol’ buildings and statues. What libertarian government builds big buildings and statues?
Posted by: David N. Scott at April 26, 2006 9:39 PM