Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hey, what happened to the other post???

Okay, at least I was honest. This is not my original post for the day. It was a review of Tuesday night's AMERICAN IDOL, which I confessed up front that I did not see. But since the show has become so formula I took a stab at it anyway. Only problem is, I thought it was Hollywood Week and it's not. So I'll save that for when it's more appropriate and instead offer this.
I rarely get to Blockbuster rentals but since I’m on vacation and the alternative is local Hawaiian news delivered by hard-hitting anchors in aloha shirts I thought I’d swing by and pick up a movie or two. Wow. For every release I had heard of there had to be at least three direct-to-video DVD’s I hadn’t. Here these gems never got major distribution I will never know. But here are a few of my favorites. Note: these are actual titles and tag lines. I’m not making any of this up.

FATHER OF THE KAMIKA – “Official Selection 1974 Geijyutsusa Arts Festival”.

HAROLD – about a teen with a receding hairline. Starring Oscar winner, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Nikki Blonsky.

INTERCEPTION – “A Clay Brothers Film”. Who????

IN THE GUTTER – with cover art featuring a guy coming out of a toilet.

I REALLY HATE MY JOB – starring Neve Campbell. So that’s what happened to her.

THE LAST KLEZMER -- most of the direct-to-video movies are action-thrillers so I have to assume this one is too.

LOWER LEARNING – starring Eva Longoria before she got famous. Heaven help any TV star who once had to pay the bills.

NINJA CHEERLEADERS – “Fight to Cheer Another Day

PIRATES OF THE SALT LAKES – “Pirate Talk so Salty, You Won’t Believe Your Buccaneers”

RAISING JEFFREY DAHMER

RIM SHOT – starring Mr. Magic

SHUT UP AND SHOOT – Featuring Gary Busey and Tom Sizemore. Their probation officers must now also be their agents.

SUNDAY SCHOOL MUSICAL

STRIPPER ACADEMY – “Higher Learning Just Got Hotter”

SUPERBADAZZ – “Gotta Dollar Bill Ya’ll?”

ZOMBIE STRIPPERS – featuring Jenna Jamison. “They’ll Dance for a Fee, But Devour You for Free”.

WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? -- “The Movie that Santa Doesn’t Want You to See.”

And finally…

KENNY – From what I understand a popular Australian comedy. But the movie that is my namesake is about a guy who cleans toilets. The tagline is – “He’s Number One with Your Number Two”. Class-eee. Oh well. At least one reviewer called it “the Citizen Kane of Romantic Comedies About Sewage”.

33 comments:

YEKIMI said...

WOW! I don't know how these movies managed to bypass my drive-in theater I run! Even if they went straight to DVD, we usually get the ones so bad that the film comapnies actually pay US to run them.

Dave said...

What's even sadder about these is that you took the time to write down all the cover copy.

(Verification word: "Peapigms." Breakfast cereal made out of peas for swine.)

geewits said...

Well I thought the local Hawaiian news was pretty interesting. After spending the afternoon seeing my husband's childhood home and taking pictures of it, the news that night featured a story of someone being shot for taking pictures of someone's house. Kinda creeped me out.

rickatnite said...

"The Last Klezmer" as you describe it: A group of homicidal musicians turns accordions into instruments of terror on the streets of Brooklyn.

As IMDB describes it: a movie about Leopold Kozlowski and his search for Poland's last Klezmer musicians. Hmm. I like the first one better.

I never see movies like this at Big Lots. What a shame.

sephim said...

Re: KENNY.

I am embarrassed for everybody from Australia who reads this blog.

I only saw the trailers for this monstrous waste of space, and the lead character's lisp got really fucking annoying - that's about 40 seconds, I couldn't imagine listening to that voice for 90 minutes.

In a small way it's a shame, the actor Shane Jacobson has guest starred on SPICKS & SPECKS (our ripoff of the UK's NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS) and has been quite amusing, the shame being that if it wasn't for this fucking movie, he probably wouldn't have been asked to be on it.

James said...

As an Australian, I felt an instinct to come to the defense of Kenny. However, seeing as I've never seen it and have no interest in ever doing so, I may have to concede this one. It was the most well recieved Australian movie in its year of release, but any claim like that doesn't really hold anything of worth given the state of the Australian film industry (there are serious debates as to whether said industry even exists).

Hell, at last years AFI awards, the award for best screenplay went to a guy who calls himself 'Jimmy the Exploder'. Upon accepting the award, Mr Exploder proceeded to tell a critic who gave his movie a negative review to get fucked. Seriously, he got up on stage, read out some of the review and then finished up by saying "Jim Schembri. Fuck you".

Tony said...

The trouble with "Kenny" is that before anybody sees it they automatically assume it'll be tedious, gross-out toilet humour. I know I did. Fortunately, your opinion will change if you actually watch the thing. It is an astutely observed and sweet CHARACTER comedy, more akin to The Office than stuff like Porkys or Shreck (hilariously breaking wind).

sephim said...

No Tony, just tedious. Isn't the point of a film trailer to make us want to see the film? Or at least make people want to download an illegal copy? If I wanted a movie where the main focus is a guy who deals with shit, I'll watch the behind the scenes documentary for MEET THE SPARTANS.

Alan Tomlinson said...

Kenny is crap.

Unfortunately, due to someone's recommendation, I watched this film. Pathetic, awful, and dismal are the words I would use to describe it. I suspect the majority of the American viewing public would adore this film and go to see it over and over again. There would probably be a grassroots movement to make sequel after sequel. I suspect this movie signals a renaissance in shit films. The Farelly idiots are probably working on a remake.

Cheers,

Alan Tomlinson

Jon Macqueen said...

I saw 'Kenny' on Sunday afternoon and throughly enjoyed it. Not a speck of fecal matter appears on the screen which, considering the subject, shows considerable restraint on behalf of the film-makers. It is a genuinely sweet and funny film about a blue-collar guy and the life he chooses to live.

If you've seen it and didn't like it then cool, but don't judge a film-maker's work on the basis of a marketer's tagline and trailer.

Paul said...

"Zombie Strippers" is actually quite hilarious, and intentionally so. My friend and I saw it in the theater (it only played at one: The Nuart Theatre on the Westside) and loved it. They knew they were making a stupid movie, so they had fun with it. It's definitely worth renting.

Jennifer said...

I'm kind of jealous that none of these are available at my local Blockbuster, except maybe Zombie Strippers.

Mike Bell said...

Yay! Pirates of The Great Salt Lake was written and directed by my good friend Eric Nelson. I worked with Eric at a production house here in Bakersfield. It was my assignment on his first day at work to take him on a shoot to show him how things were done.

The shoot was at a Chinese buffet. That meant free lunch at the end of the shoot.

At some point, after showering Eric with my "expertise" on TV production, Eric told me he'd gone to film school at BYU.

I told him, "Well the morning's not a total loss, at least your getting free lunch."

James said...

I concur with my fellow Aussies - do not let the subject matter of Kenny put you off. It's absolutely one of the sweetest movies I've seen in a long time - all poop is left offscreen.

Also, the "Zombie Strippers" tagline on the Australian DVD is "They'll devour your soul for free. Anything else will cost you."

Taglines are much less hokey when they don't rhyme, right?

SharoneRosen said...

Dave,

I love peapigms.. great for breakfast with a little maple syrup.


Zombie Strippers... almost redundant

Joe said...

The Last Klezmer? Would that it were, would that it were...

WVW: PSHINE - What psychologists and psychiatrists get when they polish things.

A. Buck Short said...

R U OK, Ken? Heard Oahu got “hammered” by a midwinter storm that “swept” across the nation. On second thought – you lucky bastard!

Greetings from Dallas, intl. HQ of the Blockbusters Corporation.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We’ve looked all over for Zombie Strippers and wondered why we couldn’t find it at the usual outlets. Our little house on the prairie is now our little house on the frozen tundra. Schools are closed, cars are slipping and sliding off the overpasses, but I’m heading over to Blockbusters after finally realizing you stand a shot at getting your wife to watch porn if you tell her it’s really a comedy, with a porn arc. On second thought, I don’t think I’m willing to put myself through another one o’ those “Cliff singing ‘Misty’ Diane stares.” It’s too icy already.

Now please tell us:
Are any of these available yet on Blue Ray?
There’s a drive in theater????
It was Nicky Blonsky with the receding hairline, from toxic Hairspray?
But did you get a chance to catch Busey and Sizemore in their “My Dinner with Andre” fight night dinner theater?
Can you get craft service coffee at BYU film school?

And finally, and actually a legitimate question I can’t remember if I’ve asked before.
Whatever happens at blockbusters to the old new releases? I don’t mean of the ilk herein profiled. As my wife would say, even though I keep telling her there’s no such expression, Blockbusters’ got those “up the kazoo.” In fact, amply categorized as comedy, drama, action, video games, often in almost alphabetical order.

Nooooooooo, Mr. Bill. What I’m talkin’ bout is the good -- possibly in fact even great-- new releases that you used to want to rent, but they were always rented out of them when they first hit the store, so you forgot about them for awhile, and then when you finally remembered again, they were nowhere to be seen in any of the old release sections. Just the same old old releases that have been in the same spots on the same shelves since BB was renting kines.

Of course that’s really not so much of a problem, now that there are other forms of rental etc. – unless 75% of the store’s total new release shelf space, more often than not, is just given over to a single title you’re not even interested in. So please tell me that it’s not something as simple as, the good old new releases are good enough that they can just sell all the pre-rented units at a greater margin, or even that if they did still keep any available for rent, it would just decrease the likelihood of actually selling all the others. Or do they just wear out from rental use?

Anonymous said...

Zombie Strippers was theatrically released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:

APRIL 18, 2008

NEW YORK AMC Empire
BOSTON LANDMARK Kendall Square
LOS ANGELES LANDMARK Nuart
SAN FRANCISCO LANDMARK Lumiere
LAS VEGAS BRE Palm
PHOENIX HAR Valley Art
CHICAGO AMC South Barrington
DALLAS CC Angelika 8
HOUSTON CC Angelika 8
MIAMI ESP Sunrise Cinemas - Intracoastal 8
MADISON Marcus Westgate 4

APRIL 25, 2008

ATLANTA LANDMARK Midtown 8
SEATTLE LANDMARK Midtown 8
PHILADELPHIA Ritz at the Bourse

Anonymous said...

All right, "Ninja Cheerleaders" (with George Tekkey as "Hiroshi") is on its way. Ain't the internet great?
I hope one of them is also a lesbian.

Is "Zombie Strippers" actual porn? I'm not really into this modern "artistic" porn that has special effects and plots with dialogs and "acting".. Especially with Jenna, she looks more suited to play a mummy rather than a zombie nowadays.

Barry in Portland said...

Hate to sound a serious note here, but 'The Last Klezmer' is a wonderful film.

Scott said...

Have to agree with some of the other Aussies on here, Kenny is agreat film. I loved it.

Ken, I just read a book written by a former FRASIER writer Joe Keenan. I had a couple of questions: What was it like working with him? Do you have any plans to write a book? And if you do, do you plan to put in as much gay sex as Joe did?

the-nic said...

Seriously , give Kenny a chance. It's a really well regarded mockumentary and Kenny is played with a huge amount of integrity. This is ironic as the character now hosts a commercial breakdown.

sephim said...

To all the people who are asking others to give KENNY a chance - do you know that it's okay to like something that other people don't? Do you think Oscar Schindler spent all his spare time telling Hitler "you know what? those Jews are fucking awesome!"?

AlaskaRay said...

>>I only saw the trailers for this monstrous waste of space, and the lead character's lisp got really fucking annoying - that's about 40 seconds, I couldn't imagine listening to that voice for 90 minutes.<<

OH MY GOD... he killed Kenny.

Ray

Horse said...

Sephim, you're an idiot. You admitted up front you've only seen the trailer. Which makes your opinion completely irrelevant vs people who are saying "forget the trailer, Kenny is actually a good film"!

Kenny is a really great film, in this Kiwi's opinion, and we're supposed to reflexively disagree with our Australian brothers. But as others have said, it's a great character study.

jbryant said...

Wow, I'm beginning to think that comedy is subjective or something.

Haven't seen Kenny, but it got a number of awards and nominations down under, its imdb rating is at a respectable 7.4, and all 18 of its Rotten Tomatoes reviews are "fresh." So it doesn't exactly seem heretical to like it.

sephim said...

So they've stopped using parts from a movie in its own trailers? I was watching completely new footage the whole time, I guess I will have to give KENNY a chance now.

the-nic said...

Horse, I'm a kiwi too. Is the name a footrot flats reference perchance?

Sirenyde said...

Yeah, Kenny is the shit.

Bob said...

There's a joke in here somewhere about this dreck going direct-to-video but "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" being the number one movie at the U.S. box office TWO WEEKS in a row, but I can't find it. I'm too busy being depressed that "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" was the number one movie at the box office TWO WEEKS in a row.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how much influence Shindler had over Hitler, but it probably wouldn't have hurt.

In any case, I agree, Kenny sucks. The writing is mediocre, the jokes are stale, and it just appeals to the lowest common denominator. And that australian movie is not that good either.

Andrew said...

I think Raising Jeffrey Dahmer was a documentary. I remembered hearing about it.

Personally, I have a local Hastings media store. I am always floored with films I sometimes heard about, but which did not make cinema release.

wcmartell said...

ZOMBIE STRIPPER is actually really good - got a great review in the LA Times and at one point was almost 100 on the Tomatometer. It's a rif on Eugene Ionesco's RHINOCEROS, except instead of turning into rhinos they turn into zombies... and the ones who don't pretend to in order to conform. Really clever, and works on several levels - as a horror flick, as a comedy, and as a commentary on society.

I also saw it at the NuArt.