What a Waste of Time...

FRAN REPORTS:
On September 12, 2008 a movie co-starring Al Pacino and Robert Deniro hit the big screen. Not unlike many movie goers, I was eagerly anticipating this release. I thought, what could be better than two of the greatest actors alive performing together once again? There was so much potential, so much to be hopeful for.

Then the movie came out...and the reviews, well they were nothing to brag about. But, being the objective person that I am -- and often someone who disagrees with the critics anyway -- I was still determined for a good outcome.
This is the point in my post where the carefully constructed and witty sentences stop. From this point forward, I am officially deeming this post a rant...

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!

Let's start with the writers of this horrible mess of a movie. Can anyone say plot depth? Because there was no trace of it whatsoever in this film. You don't care about the characters, you don't care about what they're doing, you don't care about right and wrong, you don't even care about what this paper thin storyline is...trust me, all you will be caring about is how many minutes, seconds, milliseconds you have to watch hell reincarnated on the massive screen in front of you.
Since I am avidly pleading with you all not to see this movie, I really don't feel guilty giving away the would be plot. The movie is about two cops (Pacino and Deniro, but I'm sure you knew that already...) who are determined to bring down the bad guys. At what cost? Well, apparently at the cost of planting evidence. Deniro plants a gun in the apartment of a child sex offender who got off. The guy didn't commit the crime he was charged for, but Deniro figured it was justified because he had committed a crime at some point in his life.
(quick side note: yes I will be using Deniro and Pacino's actual names. Two reasons: 1. I would like to keep you with me on this. 2. I honestly for the life of me can't remember their names in the movie)
After the evidence planting, things start to go "haywire". A series of murders start to occur, all the victims, interestingly enough, are felons themselves. In an act to appear clever, each new scene is complete with a little poem about how the person is going to die. They sound a little something like this...hem hem "I saw a cat. And then I hit you with a bat. You were wearing an orange hat. But then it was taken by a rat."
At first, they want you to think that some new serial killer is on the loose, not soon after though they want you to think that Deniro, in his self-righteous effort to bring the bad guys down, is committing the murders. Oh, and by the way, Deniro's girlfriend gets off on rough sex...just thought I'd throw that in there even though it really doesn't have anything to do with the story. Hmmm, maybe THEY should have thought about that!
At this point we are about 20 minutes into the movie and they are desperately pushing Deniro as the killer into our brains. Here's what I want to know, how stupid did they really think people were? Isn't the first rule of a murder mystery that the first real suspect is never the actual killer? It's too obvious, it's too blase! I would have even been a little bit impressed if Deniro actually had ended up being the killer, because by the way they were shoving it in your face he was so obviously NOT THE KILLER!
But, for some reason, they are very confident that this outcome will keep movie watchers satisfied, that people will actually sit there and go "Oh no! Deniro! How could you?!" and be totally baffled by the real outcome which is...dun Dun DUN!!!....PACINO IS THE REAL KILLER!

WHAT?! NO WAY?! DID YOU EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD SEE THAT COMING?!

And let's just wrap it all up with the attempt at a redemptive ending. Once you finally realize that Pacino is the killer there is an "intense" why-did-you-do-it conversation between the two main characters. His reason is because he lost faith in his partner, Deniro, when he planted the evidence. Yes that's right. This murderer starting killing because his partner planted a piece of evidence that sent a child sex offender to jail and he lost all faith in humanity. I know what your thinking, and yes you're right, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

So back to the writers. I am a writer myself, so I do not like to criticize other people's work to harshly since it had to be someone's brainchild. But come on! Who wrote that and then actually wanted to see it come to life? Who penned the last sentence, stared at it, and thought PURE GOLD!

And even worse? The producers! The Director! Everything that went into this movie! All the pre-production, production, post-production...no one thought to say "wait a minute, this movie sounds like a horribly cheap rip-off of a Boondock Saints-esque "vigilante justice" movie minus any substantial, beyond the surface meaning. Maybe we should stop."

Deniro, Pacino? WHY?!!! When you found out that 50 cent was your supporting role didn't you begin to question the quality of the production?

So to wrap it all up, I'm going to tell you how this should have played out. We will pretend that the writer of this film actually did like it. He sends it out, and, obviously, it gets turned down by every producer with a brain. Pacino and Deniro do not do the movie because it has zero substance and lacks emotional, character, and plot depth. The writer finally gets picked up. Yay for him! Lifetime channel wants to pick up his script for their next "Lifetime Original Movie" as long as he will concede to Deniro's character being utterly depressed and on medication, becoming addicted, and then having an affair with the Police Chiefs wife. The end.

Dragonball Comes to Life


BERNERD REPORTS:
So, the day has come. I knew it would someday. I had even hoped one day that I would be the one to do it. A live-action Dragonball movie made for U. S. audiences. I guess I join the ranks of comic book nerds around the world who shivered at the prospect of their heroes being jammed into a sellable 90-minute Hollywood flick. Don't get me wrong, I love movies, and I've always thought DBZ would make a great one (think more complex, Japanese version of Superman.). I just hope they don't lose the aspects of Dragonball that made it great.

They've already changed Goku from a young child to an older teen. I don't really mind the change (I realize it's hard to sell an action movie staring a 6-year-old alien with a monkey tail). The only thing I'm worried about them losing is Goku's innocence. It isn't just the innocence of a child, because Goku remains almost ignorant of evil his entire life - even becoming a child again in his old age, fighting for good with his granddaughter. Many may find Goku's attitude a little silly and stupid, and it kind of is on the surface, but it is through his innocence and humility that he is able to become the best fighter in the universe. He defeats many stronger and wiser enemies, who are finally brought down by their pride. Goku never judges anyone, but only stops those who harm others until they can be taught to be good. This is shown throughout the Dragonball series as many of Goku's arch-enemies become his allies later in life. His childhood enemy even going so far as to die for Goku's son.

On the surface, Dragonball may seem like a silly, odd and over-the-top Japanese soap opera, but there are deep story-lines of humility, forgiveness and good vs evil running underneath. These aren't your usual modern 'evil is inside us all' stories. In the Dragonball world, everyone has the chance to be good, and it is through their decisions and pride that they are made evil. It is my fear that these deeper storylines maybe ignored in the U. S. version, creating just another bad Martial Arts movie that will be forgotten as soon as the video game is released.

"The Lex Files" Come to a Close

BERNERD REPORTS:
Smallville: a fluffy teen-drama as shallow as they come with lots of "teen" problems and school crushes and entire episodes dedicated to prom - and stuck right smack dab in the middle? One of the most amazing performances of the human struggle between good and evil. Michael Rosenbaum has certainly been making his own show for the past seven years. A show much darker and human than anything else on television (or in film for that matter). Forget the moral dilemmas in the contrived FX drama The Shield, the story of Lex Luthor's childhood and branch into power holds some of most heart-wrenching scenes I have ever witnessed. If you didn't end up hating Clark and all the other bumbling "good people" in Smallville who let Lex slip through their fingers, then there is something wrong with you. I wish John Wayne was around to punch Jonathan Kent right in the face.

The W. B. or whatever initials they are now using, should release a version of Smallville that holds only the important Lex scenes. If edited well it could actually be formed into a very powerful movie. A movie that should win Mr. Rosenbaum a lot of awards. He certainly has my vote.

So, as Michael Rosenbaum leaves the show (now entering it's eighth season), I would just like to thank him for the years he put in. It was a sad and painful ride, but beautiful in it's perfection. Thank you.

Massive Rip-Off

BERNERD REPORTS:
Last night I watched a show about science, and how it is pushing into things previously termed "para-normal". Invisibility; teleportation; regeneration; cloning; mind-reading; all possible now in the hands a few quirky scientists who border on the insane while a street-smart law-officer helps propel them in the right direction. The title of this show? Eureka!

Did anyone else catch this blatant rip off? J. J. Abrams apparently spent his summer watching seasons one and two of the Sci-Fi series and thought to himself - "How can I take this clever, fun, new show and rub my stink all over it?" He takes out all the funny and replaces it with flat boring characters held in our memory only by the "secrets" they are hiding. Is anyone else prepared to join another Lost train, heading toward a bunch of questions with no answers? I don't know about you, but I canceled my Tivo subcription. Can't really take anymore of less-butch (and far less likable) Laura Prepon palling around with Fat Dawson's Creek and King Denethor. I think I'll just stick with Eureka.

Am I being too critical? Check out some comparisons:

Eureka's BIG corporate science company is called? Global Dynamics.
Fringe's BIG corporate sciene company is called? Massive Dynamics.

Eureka's scientists are? Delving into things previously considered impossible while putting the town in danger.
Fringe's scientist is? Delving into things previously considered impossible while putting the WORLD in danger.

Eureka's crazy scientists are held in check by? A street smart sheriff with a work ethic.
Fringe's crazy scientist is held in check by? A street smart FBI agent with a work ethic.

Eureka's problems are solved by? The dumb sheriff putting his trust in the science and being brave enough to actually do what the scientists just talk about.
Fringe's problems are solved by? The head strong FBI Agent putting her trust in the science and being brave enough to actually do what the scientist just talks about.

The only difference I can see is that Eureka would be classified as sci-fi comedy, while Fringe is more of a 'drama'. If your definition of drama is: A) a show lasting one hour in which no jokes are cracked - unless they are sarcastic ones driven by a character's disgust with the situation. B) characters are solemn and stressed C) the color palate is dark and bleak - rain and snow are encouraged and D) camera angles are rough and handheld.

This brings me to my second point, a realization I had last night while watching the never-ending pilot.

J. J. Abrams HATES People
He enjoys putting them in lonely, impossible situations and then watching as they struggle. He is more like a God to his characters than a friend. Who in the long running Lost does J. J. love? I think he enjoys being the unseen force that propels his characters toward one disaster after the next. Look at the difference between his characters and, say, Joss Whedon's characters. Joss may be Boss, but he certainly loves his characters - which in turn makes you love them. Who is Olivia Dunham J. J.? And why should I love her? I don't think he could answer that. . .

So save yourself the trouble and just watch Eureka. It's fun, smart and you'll definitely love it's characters. Good luck Fringe. I will throw-up if you last longer than Fire-fly.

My Weekend with Portal

BERNERD REPORTS:
Maybe it's because I'm more right-brained than left, but science has always bugged me. "What do you mean, Bernerd? How can 'science' bug you? Science tells us how the world works. It makes your car run, your pop-tarts toasty and it created this blog you are writing in right now!" Well, yes, all that is true but, it's not so much the result I have a problem with as much as the process (we can talk about the result at a different time.)

Science has taken over everything. From the way we do business to the way we play - and most importantly - to the way we think. With Science, the ends always justify the means. We're creating a better world, for those who will live in it when it comes. And to quote one of my favorite movies "So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?" The answer is 'yes'.

This reality was made all too clear to me this weekend while playing the Valve game "Portal". It never occurred to me that a game could be a medium for a story, but the guys at Valve proved me wrong. This short little game hits it's point-of-view out of the park with one of the most interesting characters I've met in a while. His name? The computer from Portal.

The game centers around a research facility where you are testing out a new device. I'm not going to try and explain the device, or the portals it creates, if you are interested in the specifics, feel free to watch the trailer or download the free trial (available from Steam). You are alone in your tests, accompanied only by the cute and sweet robotic voice of the computer, who helps you along and gives your pointers on how to complete tasks. That is, at first...

You soon realize the cute voice is kind of an asshole. He lies to you, constantly. He messes with your head, and then applauds you for not listening to him. He's pompous and strange, and you soon begin to feel very uncomfortable under the impersonal gaze of the security cameras. Are you testing the device or are they testing you?

The cute voice constantly refers to you as his friend, and promises you cake when you complete your tasks - a cake he apparently has made himself. When all the tasks are accomplished, he asks you to step onto a conveyor belt that will bring you to the party, and the cake. I was sitting there, happy with myself for having beaten the game, when I realized the conveyor belt wasn't bringing me to cake (even though there was a picture of one on the wall) but in fact was lowering me into a toxic sludge that will kill me. What's up cute voice?

I quickly looked around, and found my escape, much to the annoyance of cute voice. Although he didn't show his cards just yet. He continued to tell me that I was wrong in thinking he was going to kill me, and that in fact, the conveyor belt DID lead to the party. He instructed me to assume the "party position", which involved putting down my gun and lying face down on the floor. I didn't listen.

The next few hours involved me running through puzzling backrooms of the research facility, trying desperately to escape. Bloody messages were scrawled on the wall, apparently by previous 'test subjects'. Cute voice echoed through the halls after me, "Where are you?", "It was a joke, come back", "You're not even going the right way". If I wasn't so sure the gamers wouldn't have created the area I was running through if I wasn't supposed to go through it, I might have actually believed him.

In the end, you find the central location of Cute Voice and disassemble him - piece by piece. The entire time he is playing with my mind - "What do you think you're doing?" "This isn't bravery, this is murder", "No one likes you. It says so in your file."

Finally, he shuts up. But sadly, so do you. The final giant explosion that finishes off Cute Voice, also finishes off you. You lie on the pavement, finally outside, dead. The End. Or is it?

During the credit sequence, you find out that your escape, your fight, your death, his death - it was all part of the test, and in fact, you didn't kill him at all. You only killed one of him. One of the many. He's a computer afterall, not some flesh and blood enemy, and he wasn't even angry at you at all. You were just part of the fight for a better future, a future for the people who are still alive.

And finally, the credit song comes sweetly on. Sung by the infamous Cute Voice.



Science is creepy. . .

Comic Con and a Sci-Fi Binge

BERNERD REPORTS:
Oh, Comic Con! How I want to attend you! Why do you have to be on the other side of the country!

But seriously, I want to go. Or should I say, I WANTED to go. I could have seen "Dr. Horrible" on a big screen WITH Joss and Nathan Fillion! What? I know! Not to mention Joss was also giving two talks, there was a Browncoats meeting and Heroes and Smallville and Sunny and...

Alright, I'm hyperventilating. But still, all those idiots who only see the fat guy in the bad Chewbacca costume need to shut up! Comic Con rocks the Disco!

So, it's Saturday and I'm not planning on editing a single word of this. Stream of consciousness baby! It's been awhile since we've posted anything, but hey - who wanted to post when we had a picture of Roy Batty up? Hmm? I didn't think so.

So, I'm planning on going all out on a Sci-Fi binge this weekend. "Why Bernerd, what do you mean?" I hear you asking (and yes, auditory hallucinations ARE cool). Well, I'll tell you.

I purchased the first seasons of "Roswell" and "Dark Angel" as well as a 6-pack of awesomely bad Sci-Fi features including one that promises to be "the worst science fiction film since 'Plan 9'." Sweet!

I watched about 6 hours of "Roswell" last night and though I'm not usually into the whole 'teen drama' crap, I can swallow it because they're aliens! Aliens in highschool? I know, what could be more riveting. I was up until 2AM. By far the most interesting of the characters are the sub-characters of Maria and Michael. Max and Liz (who I have nicknamed 'Blah' and 'Blee') need to add at least ONE character quirk to their resume. And yes, I realize I'm critiqueing a show that has been off the air for six years.

I would also like to say that Max looks a whole lot like Ethan from "Lost," which makes me suspicious of him. I don't think he ever WAS on the U. F. O. - where's the manifest!?

Ethan's Son is an Alien!

Anyway. Enough blabbing for today. Enjoy your weekend people!

"Get Down on One Knee and Weep."

BERNERD REPORTS:
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time. Like tears in rain. Time to die."
- Roy Batty

There are moments in film-making history when people got so close to creating the perfect moment, the perfect story, the perfect world that it could make you cry for hours just thinking about the loss. It's happened for thousands with "Firefly," and happened to me this weekend watching the director's cut of "Blade Runner."

If you've seen "Blade Runner" chances are you remember liking it. You remember the clear-plastic raincoat, Pris' wild death and Rutger Hauer leaping around in bike shorts - but probably, if you're honest, you don't really remember it being remarkable; it isn't in your top 5; and although you may quote it, own it and love it...
There was something missing.

That something, ladies and gentlemen, was a leading performance. A performance supposedly given by Harrison Ford. While Rutger was bleaching his hair and writing his final words; while Darryl Hannah was creating her own look and choreographing fight scenes; while Sean Young spent hours on her hair and Edward James Olmos put stark blue contacts in his eyes; Pampered Harrison's contribution involved not wearing a hat (in the supposed acid rain let me remind you) and cutting his hair days before production began so that 'they couldn't change it unless they wanted to push production back long enough for it to grow out again."

The production value on this movie is unprecedented. Pre-production alone took 9 months. The wardrobe, lighting, sets and art design are like nothing you've ever seen. And standing in the middle of it all is a giant turd of an actor.
This wonderful face is what we get to see 85% of the film - when he's not over acting his brains out fighting replicants. Is he angry? Upset? Tired? Bored? Dead? You tell me...

"Blade Runner" will always be a classic. A stand-alone in the sci-fi universe. But it could have been something much better. It could have had a hero, a main character, a guiding light through the darkness of the near future. As it is? We're alone. Alone with Batty in a dying, smog filled city.

And P.S. If you didn't get the ending even Ridley Scott himself says you're a moron.

Entertainment?

BERNERD REPORTS:

I'm going to make this short and to the point. I will not be seeing “The Dark Knight” this summer. I may never see it. And yes, I suppose I'm here to ruin everyone's fun.

This film is not like other films. Like “The Crow” this film is so interwoven with the real lives behind it, that one cannot look at it apart from them. But, unlike “The Crow” – who's actor died in a freak accident during shooting – “The Dark Knight” is a culprit in the demise of it's young and talented prey.

Mental illness is often ignored. Probably because it's so easy to blame on other factors like 'personality', 'lifestyle' and the infamous 'drugs'. It's just easier to accept that the person did it to themselves than flipping it upside down and saying that those factors are influenced by the mental state of the person. It's easier to say that 'All Hollywood is fucked up' and therefore the fact that one of them died is only a matter of mathematical probability. It's easier than facing the truth: the Joker killed Heath Ledger.

I physically can't watch it. Even the trailers drag me down into a very dark place. To watch a man twisting his mind into such a state as to make him unable to sleep at night goes a little further than 'summer entertainment'. A film is a product of many lives, and to detach it from that is simply naive.

So, I'll finish by saying: please really look at what you're watching. Those are human beings on the screen. A human being who died bringing this to you. Was it worth his life? Were you entertained?

Requiem in Pacem

Dark Knight lives up to Hype.


FRAN REPORTS:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I ALWAYS have a quote or a scene from a movie stuck in my head so with that in mind, every Friday be prepared to be enlightened by Tyler Durden, Don Corleone, Lefty, Jigsaw, Col. Nathan Jessup, Rusty Ryan, William Wallace, Jack Skelington, Spledini, Patrick Bateman, and many more. So without further ado, here is, as always, the good, the bad, and the ugly...Friday Favorite!

Joker: "Why so serious?"

I know it's a short quote, but it's still sticking with me. I went to see The Dark Knight last night at midnight....I was so excited. You know those kinds of movies where you are so anxious to see them that you talk about it, think about it, eat, sleep, dream about it alllll the time, waiting to see it in it's absolute glory, but when you finally get to said movie it completely disappoints and you leave the theatre feeling, well, angry?

THIS WAS NOT THAT MOVIE! I am putting it out there right here, right now...I don't care if you hate it, I don't care if you think it was wrong for it to be shown, I don't care if you hate superhero movies, I don't care if you hate Christian Bale... I thought this movie was absolutely and positively perfectly executed in every way.

p.s.- There will probably be several posts on this movie, however, this post is merely the Friday favorite, combined with my added emphatic recommendation to see this movie!

"...people always ask me if I know Tyler Durden"


FRAN REPORTS:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I ALWAYS have a quote or a scene from a movie stuck in my head so with that in mind, every Friday be prepared to be enlightened by Tyler Durden, Don Corleone, Lefty, Jigsaw, Col. Nathan Jessup, Rusty Ryan, William Wallace, Jack Skelington, Spledini, Patrick Bateman, and many more. So without further ado, here is, as always, the good, the bad, and the ugly...Friday Favorite!

Tyler Durden: "Wouldn't do that... not unless you knew which wire's for what."
Narrator: "If you know then I know."
Tyler Durden: "OR! Maybe I knew you'd know, so I spent all day thinking about the wrong ones... ya think?... Oh, heaven's no not the green one, pull any one but the green one."

Fight Club (1999)
Director: David Fincher
Writers: Chuck Palahniuk (novel), Jim Uhls (screenplay)
Starring: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

I am not going to even try to summarize Fight Club in a few sentences...it would do it absolutely no justice. All I will say is that everyone should see this movie at least once in their lifetime. Go...right now...what are you waiting for?!

Fran

p.s.- we apologize for the lack of posts for the past week, things here at Rogue Indes have been quite hectic. We'll be back to full force soon!

"I'll Be Fat."

The Fatty McGoo of the Week!
And the winner is? Arnold!
The Fatty McGoo award is given to those select few who forgo the Hollywood lifestyle of binge-and-purge/lemon skin diet/liposuction and decide instead to age like a normal human being.

These Awards are in no way a call to diet!
We love our Fatty McGoos!

Previous winners include: Mr. Blimp, Marlon Brando, Lex Luthor, and Val Kilmer!

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR A NEW MCGOO!

You're my lawyer so I think you should know.

FRAN REPORTS:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I ALWAYS have a quote or a scene from a movie stuck in my head so with that in mind, every Friday be prepared to be enlightened by Tyler Durden, Don Corleone, Lefty, Jigsaw, Col. Nathan Jessup, Rusty Ryan, William Wallace, Jack Skelington, Spledini, Patrick Bateman, and many more. So without further ado, here is, as always, the good, the bad, and the ugly...Friday Favorite!

Patrick Bateman: "There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there."

American Psycho (2000)
Directed By: Mary Harron
Starring: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Reese Witherspoon, Willem Dafoe

American Psycho is not the kind of movie that you sit down to watch for a light and fluffy night. It is an intense movie, but absolutely wonderfully done. The movie represents our modern theology, a huge materialistic and superficial movement that began in the 80's(but that we have yet to pass). Patrick Bateman is a man who has a pretty face, a chiseled physique, a perfect tan, all the latest technology, a job that earns him the big bucks...he is seemingly perfect. However, in actuality Patrick Bateman is a serial killer.

This movie is all about the fact that nothing is what it seems. On the outside, Patrick Bateman is the epitome of the perfect man, but his lust for blood makes him nothing more than an animal.

Yes, Hancock does mean John Hancock

FRAN REPORTS:

Well, sadly to say, I went to see Hancock starring Will Smith today, and was severely dissapointed. The sad part is, though, that I really thought it was going to be bad to begin with. I'm going to try and keep this short and concise without many plot spoilers beings that it has just come out, but if your looking for entertainment, stray far from this movie. If you, however, are in need of making time stand still, this movie is exactly what you're looking for.

At only an hour and a half long, this movie tries to present a range of emotion and depth that falls so short, it's laughable. And that's exactly what I did, I laughed. Now, I hate saying this because I'm a writer and I see something like this, and it was obviously someone's brain child. It wasn't the kind of movie where you watch it and are like "wow, what was this person smoking?" It was just plain bad.

With an out of left field twist in the plot, and un-believable characters (both good and bad) this movie was just hard to sit through. I was either shaking my head or laughing. I don't consider Will Smith to be the best of the best, but I do like him and I did want to like this movie.

Like I said, I'm keeping this short and sweet, and awfully vague, I just don't want to give too much away just yet...plus it's 1 am. Anyways, we'll revisit the so-bad-it-lapped-good-and-went-back-to-bad-again Hancock at a later date....probably multiple times.

Fran

Actor Spotlight: Giovanni Ribisi

Giovanni Ribisi is one of those actors who always looks like he's making another movie. While Nicholas Cage hammed it up in the car chase film "Gone in 60 Seconds" knowing it was only a hopped up action flick, Ribisi really was Kip Raines, a messed up kid who got himself into an unbelievable amount of trouble - unbelievable as in truly fictional and over-the-top, but Kip didn't know that because he was locked inside the movie, it was his world and he took it as seriously as if it had been a drama going for an Oscar run.

Ribisi has been doing this with every film he's been in. I first saw him in an episode of The X Files. He took what could have been a cheesy and predictable part and turned it into a classic. His character D. P. O. is definitely one of the best in the show's history, along side Eugene Tombs. You believed D. P. O. existed long before Mulder and Scully ever happened upon him and his friend (a young Jack Black).

One day, Giovanni will happen upon a film that is headed in the same direction as he is, and the world will finally recognize what a truly odd, eccentric and brilliant actor he is.

Until then, he will remain an Indie favorite, and an enjoyment to the people here at Rogue.

Mr. Blonde to Mr. Blimp!

The Fatty McGoo of the Week!
And the winner is? Mr. Blimp himself, Michael Madsen!


The Fatty McGoo award is given to those select few who forgo the Hollywood lifestyle of binge-and-purge/lemon skin diet/liposuction and decide instead to age like a normal human being.

These Awards are in no way a call to diet!
We love our Fatty McGoos!

Previous winners include: Marlon Brando, Lex Luthor, and Val Kilmer!

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR A NEW MCGOO!

Friday Favorite


FRAN REPORTS:

You people are witnessing history here...the first Friday Favorite! I don't know about the rest of you, but I ALWAYS have a quote or a scene from a movie stuck in my head so with that in mind, every Friday be prepared to be enlightened by Tyler Durden, Don Corleone, Lefty, Jigsaw, Col. Nathan Jessup, Rusty Ryan, William Wallace, Jack Skelington, Splendini, Patrick Bateman, and many more. So without further ado, here is, as always, the good, the bad, and the ugly...Friday Favorite.

Ed Wood: Why if I had half a chance, I could make an entire movie using this stock footage. The story opens on these mysterious explosions. Nobody knows what's causing them, but it's upsetting all the buffalo. So, the military are called in to solve the mystery.
Editor on Studio Lot: You forgot the octopus.
Ed Wood: No, no. I'm saving that for my big underwater climax.

Ed Wood
(1994)
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Landau
The movie Ed Wood, is quite simply about the worst director to ever even consider making movies. This film highlights Ed Wood and his friends in a hilarious protrayal of the infamous and zany director. Cinematic genius and director Tim Burton truly captures his audience, as does Johnny Depp in this unforgettably witty film. The lines will be in your head for weeks!

I just got a new HDTV. . .

Must... Stop... Watching...

What happened to history?

MANNY REPORTS:
I was watching Dogfights on the history channel the other night, and was disturbed to see the channel I used to go to to relax from the mania of normal TV, be presenting a show depicting a historical air battle, much like other channels would present a show about how kick-ass the new modern weapons are. The first time they tell you something it is almost understandable through the rock music, but after a commercial break, they take the next five minutes to reset and re-tell you everything they already covered! All with the rock music in the background! Also, when they talk about a some plane shooting down another plane, instead of saying something like "the enemy plane was shot down", or "...which disabled the Zero...", they say "he blew him out of the sky!" All in all, they ruined the format of what was a great show just cater to a dumber audience, which is sad for those of us who have an attention span long enough to listen and comprehend what we are hearing.

But if your not like me, and liked the show, you can go play the game! It's everything the show should be!

I guess I'll go watch Modern Marvels... what is the new one about? Something about tooth picks? What's that? They ruined that too? Oh...

A Man after my own Heart

BERNERD REPORTS:
I know we're usually strictly film here at Rogue, but this artist really caught my ear and moved my soul, and since he will probably be filling out a lot of film scores soon, we might as well be the first to praise his ability! If you think about it, what are songs if not stories? And that's what we truly are about here - stories.

His name is Peter Conway. His first singles were released on the 23rd and believe me, it's worth the 5 bucks. Peter first got me with his song "Chains" (and when I say 'got me' I mean tears), and I've been a fan ever since. The only other artist I have ever heard reach such emotional levels would be Peter Gabriel with "Mercy Street". It speaks to your soul in a way that only music can.

You can get a taste for Peter Conway at his myspace, and then proceed right to the checkout. His songs are available on iTunes if you are in the UK, but for us Americans he is available at Bleep.com, where you will also find a free song called "Long Road".

Enjoy. This music deals with the modern plight of the 'self under-siege' and love and pain and all those things you can't get from a Miley Cyrus album.

"Hardy f*@kin' har. . ."

BERNERD REPORTS:
Anyone who's truly "into" independent film, will no doubt, at some point in their lives, go through a Tarantino-thing. I am here to say: please people, it's not necessary.

I was a big Tarantino nerd (and trust me, a nerd is all you'll ever be). I watched the movies religiously. I raved about the cinematography, the revolutionary material, the 'he changed the face of film' bull-crap, but, at some point, you wake up to the fact that the man being hailed as the 'new king of cool', is nothing but a sleazy film nerd who doesn't seem to own a shower.

The first thing you must realize when trying to cure Tarantinitis is that every scene you enjoyed is at it's core a rip-off of some B-movie little Quentin watched as a kid, or at his job at the video store years later. Kill Bill Vol. 1 was nothing more than an "ode" to Samurai movies, and Vol. 2 to the Spaghetti Westerns and other B-Westerns of his time. Samuel L. Jackson went so far as to say working with Quentin is nothing more than hearing old movies explained and pieced together - I don't remember his exact words, but it was something like: "You'll go from that shot in For a Few Dollars More where he picks up the watch, walking into a Bonnie and Clyde death in slow-motion thing".

My main problem with Tarantino is that, however talented he may be, he chooses to degrade the human being into such a slush of filth that at some point you have to stand back and say: "What the hell am I watching?". Is this cool? Or is this some disgusting guy who's made a living filming his own fetishes? You start to feel like you're spying on a guy in his basement, piecing together the very best violence for himself.

Quentin will always be the ugly step-sister of Inde-Film, but take it from a post-Tarantinite, just leave it alone. It's not a world you want to enter, no matter how many people tell you it's cool. I mean, just look at the guy who created it, and you tell me if it's cool or not...

BONUS FEATURE:
For those who can't stand it, and feel they must have the Tarantino lingo down in order to circulate at film parties, or to fit in with that 'cool guy' that quotes Pulp Fiction non-stop, here you go.

THE ALL-ACCESS TARANTINO KNOW-IT-ALL HANDBOOK
AKA: THE TARANTINO CONVERSATION GENERATOR
(decoder ring not included)

RESERVOIR DOGS: "Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?"
The Endless Dialoge. Oh, what genius! He shows us the truth about bad guys! Like Quentin says "Villians don't just sit around sharping their bullets", oh no, they sit around and talk about old Madonna songs.
Mr. Pink doesn't tip. This should be brought up at any restaurant setting. If someone else brings this up, be sure to slam them by saying "Nevermind what you normally do." This will hail you as the best Taraninite at the table.
They Walk in Slow-Motion. This, along with any other Tarantino opening, is to be remarked upon as being the best opening to any movie ever - of which, the Reservoir Dogs opening is the coolest.
The Choppy Time: This, like all of Tarantino's better known films, is not a linear story. It jumps forward and backward with title-screens and clever names, giving us 'insight' into the ending we see at the beginning. This is by far the most revolutionary and clever thing Tarantino has blessed the film community with. Though any film that in any way doesn't
run linearly is a giant rip-off and should be shunned and mocked immediately by those who know 'the truth'.
The Mr. Blonde Torture Scene. Tarantino is to be hailed as the father of torture on television and film (thanks a lot) and this scene is sure to go down
in history as one of the greatest ever filmed. Mr. Blonde cuts off a cop's ear and talks into, generating howls of laughter from any true Tarantino fan.
They all Die. Yep. Everyone, of course, except Mr. Pink, who gets away with the diamonds. The rest of the boys shoot each other at the same time in a big over-the-top ending. Freddy confesses to being a cop and Mr. White shoots him just as the police break down the door. Y
ay! No one lived! How awesome!

PULP FICTION:
Hamburger Jokes:
Again, bad guys don't talk about bad guy things, they talk about what Hamburgers are called in different countries. When eating a hamburger, be sure to say "Roy-el with Cheese" to spark lots of awed looks from Tarantino fans around the restaurant. You are so cool.
Samuel L. is a god! In no way is Tarantino's portrayal of a black man allowed to be looked at as racist - even if he does have a wallet that says "bad mother fucker" on it and talks a lot about religion. Samuel L. Jackson is the coolest cool person ever to walk the face of the earth, and memorizing his bible speech is a jewel in the crown of any Tarantino fan.
Twist Contest. Yeah, Travolta dances. What a shocker...
The Adrenaline Shot. This scene never ceases to be suspenseful an
d brilliant to a true Tarantinite. The arguing is also 'very realistic', as is the camera shot peering in through a crack in the door as Eric Stoltz searches for his booklet on 'how to give adrenaline shots to druggies'. You may feel the need to yell "Get the shot!" whenever anyone is looking for anything, or if you are simply bored.
Gay Sex. Enough said.
The Cleaner. Harvey is back, and he's here to talk Tarantino into letting him use his bedsheets. How riveting can it get?
Funny Names. Be sure to recognize "Lemon Pie" and "Pumpkin". Isn't he brilliant?
Cool Exit. Although Travolta dies during the course of the movie, we still get to see him and Samuel L. walk out of the diner to that cool surfer music in those hilarious clothes. Could life get better?

KILL BILL.
All you need to know about K
ill Bill I already stated. They are the best fan videos ever made, at the cost of a whopping 60 million dollars! Bravo, Quentin, Bravo.

'The Rock' will always be 'The Rock'.

FRAN REPORTS:

I'm going to break the traditional format of these things and do my p.s. first, that way the title makes sense right away...are you ready for this? I would just like to say that Dwayne Johnson cannot possibly think that after years of being called "The Rock" he can just switch to being called his actual name. Whether you like him or not, he was "The Rock" he is "The Rock" and he will always be "The Rock". Sorry Dwayne, you did it to yourself. Now onto the post that really has nothing to do with "The Rock".

All right, so let's take a pause from greatness for the day and move to fun. I saw Get Smart staring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson this weekend and let me tell you, I honestly enjoyed it.

Now, let's take a few factors into account here...I had never seen the original show, therefore there was nothing to ruin for me. I also went into the movie with low expectations since most "funny" movies today are anything but. And lastly, I must say, I have a weak spot for Steve Carell. However awful or great, annoying or funny you may think him, I have to say that I enjoy his acting when I'm looking for something funny to watch.

This movie was (surprisingly) not vulgar or dirty, it did not have an obscene amount of unnecessary language (which I find particularly awful in comedies. I mean it's one thing when you're about to get shot, or your chained inside a locked room with a dead man lying on the floor in front of you and no way out but to cut off your own foot** for you to be dropping the f-bomb every five seconds. But in general, people are happy in comedies and I don't know about you, but I find it a bit uneducated for people to talk like that day to day.)

Anyways, back to the topic at hand...this movie, while a "dumb" humor, kept me entertained through the whole thing. I walked out of the theatre feeling like I hadn't wasted my time. While there were a few parts I could have done without (though you will find that to be true in most movies) on a whole, I really did think it was funny.

For those who don't know, Get Smart involves two agents Agent 86(Carell, the main character) and Agent 99(Hathaway, his partner). Carell has been dreaming of being an agent for so long, but never got his break, but when the agency finally needs him out there, he is excited and ready to take the job. He is flaky and absent-minded, yet funny, endearing, and smart. His partner is tough, and a little rough around the edges, but you get to see her as an actual person as well, not just an agent, and she softens up.

All in all, this movie was light-hearted, funny, and fun! It's the kind of movie that you can watch with a bunch of people for a good time!

Fran



**-reference to Saw, for those unaware...

The True McGoo

The Fatty McGoo of the Week!
And the winner is? The first Fatty McGoo to come out of Hollywood: the magnificent Marlon Brando!
Unlike most critics out there, we love Brando fat or thin. He's still Brando to us!

The Fatty McGoo award is given to those select few who forgo the Hollywood lifestyle of binge-and-purge/lemon skin diet/liposuction and decide instead to age like a normal human being.

These Awards are in no way a call to diet!
We love our Fatty McGoos!

Previous winners include: Lex Luthor, and Val Kilmer!

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR A NEW MCGOO!

Be Kind Rewind. Rewind? Not this one!

MANNY REPORTS:
"A movie for people that like movies", how about "A movie for people that like to sniff glue"! With a far fetched plot, the biggest wrap-up ending ever, and Mos Def mumbling through the movie in a half stifled laugh, half apologetic voice, all between a whisper and a mumble, it is EASILY the WORST movie I have ever seen. Then there's Jack Black tooting his one note horn AGAIN! I used to like Jack Black, after he dumped Kyle Gass and before King Kong went WAY to his head! OK, we saw School of Rock, what else ya got? No? Just gonna stand there and play air bass some more? Well, I got better things to do.

Manny

M. Fright Shyamalan? Not Today.

FRAN REPORTS:
The director best known for "Sixth Sense" has a new movie out, "The Happening". This movie stars Mark Wahlberg and is "a paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity" (imdb.com).


Now, I am reserving judgement about this movie until I go and see it, which I will, probably this weekend. However, I do want to talk about the downward spiral that is M. Night Shyamalan. Here is my question...how in the world does someone go from the "Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" to "Signs", "The Village", and "Lady in the Water"(which I didn't actually see, but I'm not holding back on. A story about a mystical creature starring Paul Giamatti? Come on!)

The Sixth Sense is very widely known and liked, and I did like that movie. I thought it was very well done and I was actually surprised at the end. Unbreakable, however, is my favorite movie of his, and one of my favorite movies in general. Don't get me wrong, it's not in the top 10 or anything, but I really like the twist he put on Superheroes. It wasn't about some buff spandex wearing save-the-world-with-my-good-looks guy, nor was it about a punk, bad-ass who's attitude problem is only a result of the fact that he is vastly misunderstood. No, this is a story about a regular guy, who had lived a regular life and was finding out that he had some supernatural power. All in all, it was an interesting story, well played, well written, and I liked it a lot.

It's been 8 years now since Unbreakable came out, and 9 since the Sixth Sense. What happened to this man? Every other movie he has made has been a flaming pile of crap. What happened to the excitement? To the twists in the plot? What happened to sitting there at the end of the movie and honestly being able to say "I enjoyed that".

Again, his movies have never been my idea of "classic", but nonetheless I enjoyed them. And now, here we are, after having seen a rather pointless movie about aliens where in at the end of the movie they are shown looking quite disappointing. After a movie about a community that scares its people into a technologically retarded world by making them believe that a monster will get them if they try to leave, only to find out that the monster is none other than one of the townsfolk, in the middle of the movie no less. Yea, try and stay awake for the rest of that movie knowing that the plot for the movie was completely torn to shreds. Newsflash: you can't decide to change the plot of the movie halfway through the movie, especially after advertising it as a monster flick. And now what? The rest of the time she's trying to find a flower to heal her boyfriend? WHAT?!

Did I confuse you in the process of explaining it? If I did, believe me, it is not at all confusing, rather it is relentlessly redundant and boring.

The question is...should movie fans keep holding out for another worthwhile movie from Shyamalan? I want to. I want to believe that he can have a good comeback, that he will be able to throw a twist in there that I didn't see coming, that I won't feel like I wasted ten dollars....but it's been 8 years.

Lou... Diamond... Phillips.

MANNY REPORTS:
L.D.P. made another usually boring TV show worth watching again! I just caught a re-run of his latest appearance on "Numb3rs"! He's done the same thing with "The Triangle"! How DOES he do it? One minute your watching some crappy crank-out episode of a TV show, then, out of nowhere, a shining light in the darkness! It's L. D. P.! Here to make the rest of the episode worth watching. With all of his great reaction faces and witty lines! This trailer for "Striking Range" shows you what you get with L. D. P.. Isn't it great! I could watch that all day!

Am I kidding? You tell me? (comment)

Character Spotlight: Victor

BERNERD REPORTS:
There is a rare moment, when sitting down to watch your nightly TV, when you come across something with potential - and it's not the potential of sitting down to watch the latest blockbuster television debut - it's the quiet potential of a film that you've never heard of, with of cast of great lower-level actors, an interesting premise, and absolutely no reservations. I had this opportunity the other night when I came across a little film called "Even Money".

"Even Money" is a collage of different people and how living in Las Vegas, and gambling, effects each of them. From a writer (Kim Bassinger) who gambles away her families life saving on slot machines, to two loan sharks with stress issues
(Jay Mohr and an Irishman), to a gambler (Forest Whitaker) who gets his brother involved in fixing basketball games, to the cop who chases them all (Kelsey Grammar), the stories are complex and interwoven (the most moving, and highly depressing of which was of a has-been magician played by Danny DeVito).

But the performance that really stuck out was an oddity named Victor, played by a beloved actor here at Rogue - Tim Roth. Victor is a rich
pawn for the highly alluded to 'Ivan'. He spends hours talking to a large Cockatoo, plays pool with his glasses upside-down and has a large steam room in his house. I can honestly say I've never seen a character quite like him. Everything he did had me watching. While seemingly heading toward one character cliche, he would suddenly whip around and start down another road all together. Was he gay? He didn't over-play it. He was creepy and likable and petty and smart and eccentric and human and I'm sure Tim Roth had a blast playing him.

So if you're looking for something off the beaten path, "Even Money" holds one of the quirkiest characters I've seen in a long time. And I don't mean 'quirky' in that forced, 'she talks to her dead cat' quirky.

Enjoy. . .

"I'm the King of Absurd!"

BERNERD REPORTS:
Shhh! This is TOP SECRET!
Through a secret technology called CINEWARP, we are able to bring you movie news (pause for dramatic effect) from the future!

Don't ask us how we got it (cause again, it's TOP SECRET!) but here is an article from the year 2097. Enjoy. . .

BREAKING NEWS from the year 2097!
A diary was discovered in an old box today that might prove to be what people have suspected and debated about for years: The true reason that "Titanic" was a big hit at the turn of the millennium.

For those who aren't history buffs, the film "Titanic" won 11 Academy Awards (a big award show that aired on Television Sets naming the best films and actors of that year.) almost one hundred years ago. It won 'Best Picture', 'Best Director', and was nominated for 'Best Actress' and 'Best Supporting Actress'.

No one has ever been able to figure out why. Until now!

Here is an excerpt from the diary of an eleven-year-old girl, written in the year 1997:

"We are going to see Titanic again this weekend! I can't wait! I love Leo! I might get a dog. I'm going to name him Jack, for Jack Dawson. Talk to you tomorrow! Love, Mrs. DiCaprio."

That's right. It seems that a young actor named Leonardo DiCaprio - missing from the records as having much to do with the film - was the secret to the success. He was not nominated for any awards, and was left out of most recorded press coverage, but it seems this young man drew young girls and their families to the theaters over and over again. The writer of the diary went to see the film 5 times in theaters and new evidence is coming forward that projects some might have seen it 20 or 25 times.

Now 111-years-old, we reached the young girl for a comment. Here's what she had to say:

"I always thought it was sad that he didn't get any recognition for what he did for the film. They really threw him under the bus. But I never was a big fan of any of his other movies. He seemed to be chasing that Oscar the rest of his life."

An "Oscar" was another word for an "Academy Award" because the statue they won resembled a golden god named 'Oscar' that many people from West America worshiped.

So, there you have it, the secret your great-grandmother wouldn't own up to. The biggest blockbuster to date in 1997 was fueled by a baby-faced kid who got none of the credit.

McGoo Number Two

The Fatty McGoo of the Week!
And the winner is? Val Kilmer!
The Fatty McGoo award is given to those select few who forgo the Hollywood lifestyle of binge-and-purge/lemon skin diet/liposuction and decide instead to age like a normal human being.

These Awards are in no way a call to diet!
We love our Fatty McGoos!

Previous winners include: Lex Luthor.

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR A NEW MCGOO!

Magnificent Valor.

BERNERD REPORTS:
I don't know why I always forget what a great movie "The Man in the Iron Mask" is, but I do. I watched it on TV last night and boy, why don't I own this thing? For some reason, it always fades into my memory as a "kind of okay" movie. All I can say is the entire thing is worth it for the final scene. Watch it. It's beautiful.

"He is just what a young man ought to be. "


FRAN REPORTS:


All right, so I can be a sucker for romantic movies. Most of them are complete trash and are so shallow and superficial that you feel fake just watching them, but at the same time, a lot of them are just fun to watch when you're sick or you're cleaning or you have nothing better to do.

Believe me, I am very aware at the quality of most romantic movies compared to...well, all of the other movies that I like. However, there are some that just completely blow me away. That is to say, that some movies placed in the "romance" genre actually contain what romance should...or at least what it used to. There's chivalry, there's grace, there's poise.

Pride and Prejudice starring a stellar cast including Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFayden is one of these movies. In fact, I can say without a doubt that this is my all time favorite romantic movie. The imagery alone in this movie could make it great, the screen shots are fluid and weightless. They are beautiful and warm.

Don't get me wrong, there have been many botched attempts at the poised novels of Jane Austen, but this was nothing close. This movie did her story justice. It was beautiful. The actors were magnificent, the director was outstanding, and the writers kept true to the story.

What I love most about this movie, though, is it's lack of superficiality. Yes, it is set in older times, things were different then, but it seems that all romantic movies (and I wouldn't even limit it to just romantic ones) are about the physical act of sex and the raw informality of it. In this movie you only see the "lovers" kiss once at the end, however all throughout the movie you can see the tension, the desire for one another. But it isn't inappropriate or raunchy, it's sweet and loving because it isn't just about the physical aspects of each other, it's also about who they are, how they are different. In a world where many marriages were arranged and marrying for love was unheard of, these two manage to find it.

Every touch means something, as does every look, every glance. If you break it down in its simplicity it is what every other romance is about, the act of two people coming together, falling in love. And this movie clearly depicts this not only tastefully, but beautifully and fluidly as well.

Fran

Dark, yes. Thoughtless? No.


FRAN REPORTS:


So every once in awhile there is a movie that causes a difference of opinion here at Rogue. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street would be one of them. Bernerd has already stated that the lack of redemption in this movie was his biggest turn off. In no way was it a slam against the quality of the movie or it's creator's, more of a question of content. I agree that Tim Burton is my favorite director because of his redemptive qualities. There is always a moral, a message, something to give you hope. It's the kind of hope that actually makes you believe in something, not the cheesy hope you get from watching a Sandra Bullock flick. It's a hope that lasts for more than 10 minutes, one that puts a smile on your face because you know that at the end of the day all is not lost, there are still people out there who care, who feel, who love.

While Sweeney Todd did not have this glimmering hope, this light in the darkness, I think that it would be foolish to toss it aside as mindless. (NOTE: Many people claim this of Burton and his work, this, however, is not the case in regards to Bernerd. End Note.) While the musical is uncommonly dark and is definitely an exaggeration of general human behavior we must not forget that the bad guy does not prevail.

*SPOILER ALERT!!*

You see, many who watch Sweeney Todd will feel a heightened sense of justice for him and will find his obsession merited. Again, I will reiterate that Burton's story line is quite extreme, but nonetheless, when broken down it becomes clear that people will like Todd because they will identify with him.

We are human, we are sinful, there is no getting around it. All, at some point or another, have felt revenge. All have felt that it is their duty to bring wrongdoers to justice, not realizing in our fury that taking revenge is a sinful act in itself.

This is where the message or the moral comes in, and yes, in my opinion this movie really does have a moral. To outline it very simply Benjamin Barker is a Barber who has a beautiful wife and a lovely daughter. Judge Turpin, a judge in London, is an evil man who wants Barker's wife as his own. So he unjustly throws Barker in prison thus ensuring that his wife would have no one to care for her. Fifteen years later we meet up with Barker who is now called Sweeney Todd. He is angry, he has been paying a debt that he never should have had to pay in the first place while this dirty judge took everything that held meaning to him. Todd feels like it is his right, his privilege to take judge Turpin's life. After all those years, after all of his work, the man who took his life away would get what was coming to him.

However, fate should never lie in the hand's of a mortal. Death should not be determined looking through a man's eyes. It becomes an obsession. His lust for blood takes over him and he becomes so enthralled in what he is doing. He starts killing others, people that he had never set out to kill in the first place, however, I do not think this is random. I honestly think that Burton is trying to show a progression of insanity here; how once focused on something so intently, it becomes who you are. Sweeney Todd was in prison for 15 years, that's 15 years of mulling over the same injustice over and over again.

He eventually kills Judge Turpin in a short-lived moment of glory, for within the next couple of minutes he also kills his wife whom he thought had been dead for years. In his obsession, in his insanity, he ended up killing the one thing that he had wanted to protect all along. You see, the murder wasn't what he was doing anymore, it was who he had become...a murderer. It seems that his wife's cold dead body brings him back to reality, but only for a short moment, as Todd himself his killed at the hand of a child, by his own blade.

This movie is in no way redemptive, in fact it is actually quite hopeless. However, I can honestly say that I enjoyed this movie for what it was, a depiction of the sinfulness of human nature. If I had to sum up Burton's message in one sentence it would be that Sweeney Todd is about a man seeking the ultimate revenge, but as he travels further down this path of hatred and destruction he travels further into the darkness, not only ultimately costing him his own life, but the life of the one he cared for most.

Let us not forget that while hope is a wonderful belief that no one should ever lose sight of, this world is not perfect. Evil does exist and while depicted very darkly in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the good does win out in the end.

Fran

The REAL Modern Fairytale.

BERNERD REPORTS:
After watching “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, I couldn't help but realize how similar his experience was with a little man named Edward Scissorhands. It could almost be viewed as volume two in the scissorhand-series. Looks like Burton had a differnt end in mind after all. The true ending is that The Uncommonly Gentle Man buys into The Culture of Death.

So here, for the first time, is the complete story of that man: “Edward Scissorhands: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.

Once Upon a Time, there lived an inventor. He made many things I suppose. But he also created a man. He gave him insides. A heart. A brain. Everything. Well, almost everything. You see, the inventor was very old. He died before he got to finish the man he invented. So, the man was left by himself – incomplete and all alone. His name was Edward.

Edward lived for many years, all by himself. He worked in his garden. He enjoyed the sunshine. He was a kind man. An uncommonly gentle man. Then, one day, a woman arrived from the local development and brought Edward home.

There, Edward learned a lot of things. He learned about friendship. He learned about hard work. He learned about family. And, most importantly, he learned about love. He fell in-love with a girl named Kim. He protected her. He cared for her. He even created the snow for her. And when he was tricked into taking the fall for something he didn't do, he took the punishment gladly, because it was for her.

Kim: It must have been awful when they told you whose house it was.
Edward: I knew it was Jim's house.
Kim: You... you did?
Edward: Yes.
Kim: Well, then why'd you do it?
Edward: Because you asked me to.


But things were about to change. The people in the development did not understand Edward. They were afraid of him because he was different. In their ignorance, they drove Edward from their town, sending him back to his mansion on the hill. This is how Edward learned about hate. His love was taken away from him, and he spent the next 15 years in exile.

As the years past, the anger grew inside of him. Humanity was a stupid and barbaric race. Those who loved were na├»ve and stupid – as he had been. He and Kim had deserved to be smashed, to be destroyed and forsaken. Love had no place in a world so full of hate and ignorance. He reflected on his story with little pity.

There was a barber and his wife,
And she was beautiful.
A foolish barber and his wife.
She was his reason and his life,
And she was beautiful,
And she was virtuous,
And he was... naive.

So, Edward decided to have his revenge. Not only on the people who drove him away, but on every human being. No one was worthy of this life.

Welcome to the grave... I will have vengeance.
Not one man... No, nor ten men... Nor a hundred can assuage me.
I will have you! And I will get him back even as he gloats;
In the meantime I'll practice on less honorable throats.

Edward killed without mercy. He used his scissor hands to cut their throats. They spoke of beauty before they died, but what did they know? No human could look on beauty without defiling it. Even Edward himself.

There's a hole in the world like a great black pit
and it's filled with people who are filled with shit!
And the vermin of the world inhabit it.

And just to top it off, he devised the best part of his plan. He would feed them on their own. He created food from the dead and fed it to the living. What better way to prove his point?

For what's the sound of the world out there?
Those crunching noises pervading the air!
It's man devouring man, my dear!
And who am I to deny it in here?

He killed women. He killed children. He even killed Kim. And in the end, when one was faster than him, and it was his blood that graced the barbershop floor, he knew it was right. For all was wrong, and nothing was good. The world would be a better place if he never learned to love, and never discovered his hate. Because all love is hate. And all beauty, lust. And all dreams, illusions.

Afterall, the uncommonly gentle man was the biggest fool of them all.


NOTE: Tim Burton is a genius. There's no question about it. And I want to say upfront that this article in no way deals with the talent of the people involved or the quality of the film being discussed. That said, I am miserably disappointed at the message of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”. Especially coming from Mr. Burton, who has always been a shining light in the darkness – providing the world with not only exceptionally well-made films, but also some of the only films to portray a redemptive storyline in modern Hollywood.


I Want to Believe

BERNERD REPORTS:
I want to believe that I can go back to a time before "Californication" and "Evolution". Back to a time before the T-1000 became Scully, and a strange lesbo
became Mulder, and Scully became irrelevant. Back to before the show turned into a bad soap opera with more long reaction shots than "The Days of the Week". I want to believe that the stale basement office will still be there, and that Mulder will turn around with his geeky glasses on and smile. I want to believe that season 7 was more than David's goofy farewell party, and that seasons 8 & 9 didn't ruin any chance this new movie has. I want to believe that the mystery didn't fly off the rails; and that they didn't blow up a long-haired Smoking Man in an adobe hut while running away from a "Suppa Soldja"; and that they didn't randomly kill Krycek in a parking garage for no reason; and that they didn't really have a super baby that was half-Scully/half-Mulder/half-Alien that was then given away because no one could figure out what to do with it. I want to believe there is a point to all of it, and that the truth will triumph!

But I don't.

I will see it opening day. It will always be my favorite show.
R.I.P. May this movie bring you no more shame.