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!


Friday Favorite


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
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?

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

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, 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. . ."

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...

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.

(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!

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?

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'.


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!


**-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!


Be Kind Rewind. Rewind? Not this one!

"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.


M. Fright Shyamalan? Not Today.

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" (

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 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.

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

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!"

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.


Magnificent Valor.

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. "


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.


Dark, yes. Thoughtless? No.


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.


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.


The REAL Modern Fairytale.

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

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.

Black Goo

"Spiderman 3" just made it to Starz. It debuted this Saturday and that is where I first saw it. Believe me, I wasn't about to give them a penny after the horror that was "Spiderman 2" in theaters. I think that might have been worse than my "Kingdom of Heaven" adventure, but don't get me started on that.

Sometimes, when you expect a movie to be really bad, it turns around and surprises you. You're expectations are so low, anything it does actually looks pretty good.
That was not the case with Spidey 3. Oh my gosh! It was worse than I could have ever imagined. A hodge-podge of special effects and spinning-out-of-control storylines that wove randomly in and out while M.J. and Peter stared at eachother. What did the bad guys want? What did our hero want?

It seems like a pretty basic formula to fill out. In fact. Let's try it.
First, with a pretty well-known superhero: Superman.
And yes, DC Comics are way better than Marvel anyday!

SUPERHERO POWER(s): Flight/Speed/X-Ray Vision
SUPERHERO WEAPON(s): Strength/Heat-Vision
GOAL: To keep Lois and Metropolis safe - while staying away from all things Kryptonite.

Pretty simple, eh? Let's try Spiderman.

SUPERHERO POWER(s): Climbs walls/shoots webby things/makes webby things/ climbs webby things/apparently randomly strong/can fall really far without getting hurt
SUPERHERO WEAPON(s): Webby things? Not really sure...
SUPERHERO WEAKNESS: Frogs? I don't really know. He seems to get his butt kicked pretty royally no matter who he faces.
GOAL: To be with Mary Jane except when she misunderstands something he says/does/doesn't do - and then he mustn't ever try to explain, in fact, a key goal of Spiderman's is to be silent and weird at all times. He also seems to be trying to keep his job as a freelance photographer while saving people as Spiderman - though the fact that he can't make more than 50 bucks a picture only goes further to show what a complete idiot he is.

How is a bad guy even supposed to enter that storyline? Spiderman is doing a fine job of screwing things up on his own. Lex Luthor may be a little goofy, but at least it's clear what he's doing. Sandman wanted to get money for his daughter, but then changes his mind and goes all Kill Bill on Peter. What was Sandman's weakness anyway? Water? Heat? Oh wait, that's right, it was the pumpkin bombs. But they didn't really kill him, they just made him sad and sentimental or something. And Venom? Only one of the coolest bad guys and they made him into Topher Grace? Could you imagine if halfway through "Scream" they badly imposed Skeet Ulrich's face on the front of the infamous mask? Even then, at least Skeet didn't spend 8 years jumping off a trampoline with Ashton Kutcher while being filmed with "Acid Cam".

The final thing I'll say about Spiderman is that, besides the diarrhea approach to writing, the chinless Tobey Maguire, the pouting M. J. and the ridiculously pointless amnesia sessions, what in the world was with the little parade down the street with crotch cam? The black goo apparently turned Peter Parker into some Pee Wee Herman/Quentin Tarantino homeless disco gay bar dancer. Is this supposed to tell us something about Peter? The goo turns Topher into kick-ass Venom, and Peter starts cutting a rug? It was one of the creepier things I've ever seen. The only thing that would have made it worse would be clowns. Slow motion clowns.

In other words, my worst nightmare.

I can't get this Black Goo out of my mind... More Wine!


Thanks for Reducing Our Brain's to Goo.


All right, so I don't know about the rest of you, but when I see a great movie, I remember everything about it. There's this rush of adrenaline afterwards where you know that you could sit there and watch the whole thing again and love every single second.
Although, on the same note when I watch a particularly awful movie, I unfortunately remember everything about it as well. There is no rush of adrenaline, but rather an intense anger in the fact that not only can I not get those couple hours of my life back, but that the movie itself is engrained in my brain for the rest of time. What is it about horrible movies that makes them just stick in your head for all of eternity? There is no escape!

Now, harping on the whole "so-bad-it-makes-you-want-to-gouge-your-eyes-out" thing, what I am about to say next is not an is an absolute fact. I don't care what you say and what your reasons are. Here goes...

Napoleon Dynamite is a disgrace to the film industry in all respects. It has particularly tarnished the indie film name. It is not funny, and it is in no way smart. It took no talent to write, act in, direct, produce, etc... It is a load of garbage that has severely reduced many an IQ.

Now, before all you ND fans come teepee my house, let me tell you why this senseless, talentless, thoughtless film makes me so angry....

You have actors like Johnny Depp, Gary Oldman, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, and Al Pacino (just to name a few) who pour everything they have into their range of characters. They show a level of emotion that is nothing short of genius. To be able to be a completely made up person and make it not only believable but identifiable is a skill that only few have.

Now, there are plenty of bad movies out why am I picking on Napoleon Dynamite? Well, because there is no plot, no character development, no depth (emotional or otherwise), no message, and no moral, yet this movie is the favorite of many.


This movie made a ton of money, and not only that, won awards! Yes, it actually won awards!

When an Indie film like this is made, liked, quoted, watched over and over, really makes me angry. There are people working night and day, coming up with original story ideas, practicing day in and day out to be as good as they can be. To be smart and subtle and funny and heart-wrenching, and to reach out to the audience and tap into real human emotion.

Then this senseless crap comes rolling in and everyone likes it because...because...because....

yea, still not sure why everyone likes it. The world may never know.

End Rant.


p.s.-If this post made you violently angry ...this blog is not for you.

A Simple Test

I am not here to impune a man's reputation, nor am I here to lash out with lots of insults and mockery (you should have read my first draft), I am simply going to propose a test.

I will present 6 pictures of Harrison Ford. You may look at them as long as you like. When you are ready, I will ask you to identify what character he is playing in each photograph. Sounds simple enough, eh? NOTE: If you use his wardrobe as a clue, you are only making my point.

Ready? Set? Go!
Now, for those out there who think that actors "can only change their faces so much" and that I'm being unfair because "not much can be told in a single frame", I offer you six pictures of another actor. A man named Gary Oldman.

The Magical Oldman

If you think I'm being selective in my photo choice, or that it took me a long time to set up this little test, I encourage you to do some searching on Google Images of Harrison and Gary.

A Little Story:
In 2002, Harrison Ford arrived on set for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" to promote his new movie "K-19: The Widowmaker". A few pleasantries passed between the two before Conan asked him a throw-away question about how amazing it was that Mr. Ford had spoken with a Russian accent throughout the entire film. Mr. Ford couldn't keep the confusion from his face as he smugly asked "Why do they have to be Russian?!" Had he somehow forgotten that the film he was promoting was based on a True Story? And a very tragic one at that. The character he portrayed was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for goodness sake!

Maybe a quote from our dear Keanu Reeves would be of some help to Mr. Ford:
"You've got smart people, and you've got dumb people. I just happen to be dumb."
Alright. I'm done. Goodnight all! And if you didn't enjoy this little post, Blame Fran! She egged me on with her Indiana Jones post, and somebody had to say it!


Fatty McGoo

And now! By Popular Demand! I present to you:
(Drum Roll Please)

The Fatty McGoo of the Week!
And the winner is? None other than Mr. Fatty McGoo himself: Lex Luthor!
Lex was the inspiration for the Fatty McGoo awards. It is given to those select few who forgo the Hollywood lifestyle of binge-and-purge/lemon skin/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!

And in all fairness, Rosie is a lot better looking with hair - and a fine good actor at that.

Tune in next week for a new McGoo!


Technorati Profile

Stargate SG-1? Come on!

I know I'm about 10 years too late with this, but... really? A TV show picking up after that movie that would NOT end? I might not be the ultimate authority granted I only watched 3/4 of the pilot, but I can't see how this is going to be anything more than:

1. Get new password for star-gate
2. Setup ridiculously tight mission window
3. Role out the stupid masks/helmets and gold spray paint
4. SG1 team gets caught and has to escape in a "clever" way (Col. Jack McGyver?)

I'm sure I can guess here and say wrap-up ending too.

Did I miss anything?


P.S. Anybody want the first season of Stargate SG1 at a rock bottom price?

The Sky Must Be Falling.

Those who know me know one thing: I am not a chick-flick-chick. Chick Flicks to me are the bottom of the barrel, and are usually so utterly predictable that it makes a writer want to get down on one knee and weep. That said, I just found one that I actually enjoyed. Pigs are flying, I know.

It's called "Martha meet Frank, Daniel and Lawrence" and it caught me off-guard. I originally clicked it on because it starred Rufus Sewell, a favorite here at Rogue, and I ended up watching the entire thing. Unlike most chicksters, the characters were some-what 3-dimensional; the morality wasn't a gray wash of 'rules' that every good boy and girl should know about the dating world (rules like 'keep him wanting more', 'have sex as soon as possible' and 'never, under any circumstances, show your real feelings until the final 3 minutes'); and the eccentric girl who's looking for love seemed like someone you could actually meet (and more importantly, actually like). These were characters who stumbled into the plot, not characters who were pre-molded to fit the plot.

It doesn't delve into anything very deep, but it doesn't float in that strange abstract humanoid world either. You know the place, where time stops and the cardboard characters wander around totally oblivious to money, thought and death. Don't get me wrong though, this movie is definitely contrived. But the characters are so shocked at how contrived it is that you can't help but enjoy it. It's almost like real people finding themselves in a Hollywood Chick-Flick. How would you respond?

Like most Romantic-Comedies I enjoy, this one is badly rated on IMDB (6.2). I guess I'll never figure it out...


P.S. Fran wanted me to put a PS, so here goes: It took me the entire movie to figure out that Lawrence was the guy from "Shakespeare in Love". That's how awesome I am.

Look Out James Dean!

People always recognize James Dean as the first “American Rebel”. Probably has something to do with his signature film “Rebel Without a Cause.”. But I am here to set the record straight. I realize that people arguing that Dean isn't the original are usually Brando fans (which believe me I am), but that's not the argument I'm making today. Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet the original “American Rebel”, Mr. John Garfield.

Garfield was making movies when Brando was still in his early teens, and Dean was a baby-faced 7-year-old. I know what you're thinking, “Yeah, Yeah. I know this guy. He's from 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'. He wasn't a Rebel! He was 33 years old in that movie, and certainly didn't share in the angst and culturally lost feelings of Dean and Brando!” But I'm not talking about “The Postman”, although it is a classic. The movie that earns Garfield his “American Rebel” rights was made almost 10 years earlier, when a 25-year-old Garfield made his big screen debut in a little film called “Four Daughters”. The writing and acting are just genius.

Please enjoy Garfield's first scene. You won't come upon snappy dialog like this anywhere in the past few decades.

A Forgotten Classic

Amazingly released in the year 1938, this film follows, quite obviously, four dauthers (made up of three real sisters and one more for good luck). They are everything you'd think a happy-go-lucky 1930's family would be like on the big screen: tightly knit, happy, starry-eyed and gay (in that 30's kinda way). Then comes Garfield. He plays lonesome, hard-up, sarcastic Mickey Borden, a talented musician who just can't see the world the way everyone else does. He's melancholy, lost, and hopelessly self-loathing. It's years ahead of “Rebel Without a Cause” and actually would have made a rather good 70's film (if you let the shots run for hours, took out the morality and cut out 3/4s of the dialog that make it watchable). This film is tragic, and actually contains a suicide which would have been controversial even in the late 60's.

Now, don't go running out to the local Barnes and Noble, cause you won't find it there. You can't even get this film on But, we here at Rogue won't let anything stop us from scouring the earth and finding you the greatest films ever made – and “Four Daughters” is one of them. You can occasionally catch it on TCM, but like many controversial movies (Streetcar Named Desire, etc...) they tend to leave it off the list. I found my copy on Ebay from a guy who taped it off TV. No matter how you get a-hold of it, get a-hold of it. Your collection will be naked without it. If you happen to have a working VHS player, feel free to enjoy it that way.

So here's to John Garfield.

The True Original of American Rebels.


Ya Look Good!

So, Indiana Jones and something about a Crystal Skull (yea, that's really how much I don't care) is the latest hit right now. They talked about it for weeks before it came out, they talked about it when it came out, and I'm sure they will be talking about it for weeks, months, even years to come. Lord help us! Let me just put my opinion out there right now just so we're clear... this movie is not "the biggest blockbuster hit of the summer!" nor is it "the best movie this year". In fact without even seeing more than the trailer to this movie I can already tell you that it is a bunch of complete nonsense.

I know all you Harrison Ford fans out there are screaming and cursing at me right now saying how great the movie was, and how great he is, and blah blah blah... Let's face it though, this movie was a final hoorah for Ford. A hoorah that was not only not well deserved, but is also so predictably his.

But that's not even what I'm going to talk about, although I'm sure there will be many a discussion, rant rather, here at Rogue about the, as Bernerd puts it, "cardboard cut-out" that is Harrison Ford.

What I'm tired of hearing though is how good Harrison Ford still looks, like that somehow makes up for the lack of substance in the movie. Every single person I've talked to has said about the movie after they saw it "They ruined Indiana Jones, but Harrison Ford still looks great so it was a great movie!" Wait! Back Up! Did you not just say that they ruined Indiana Jones? Or in other words, they butchered a "classic"? I know that's how they do things in the teeny bopper world, but come on! Since when, in the adult world, have people started basing the quality of the movie on an actor's looks? Have we lost all hope? Have we given up on plot depth, character depth, emotional depth? If so, this is a sad sad day for movie lovers everywhere.


p.s.- Even if you were to base talent on looks alone...Harrison Ford? He's in his 60's! And he wasn't all that good looking in his 20's!

"Cog" Film Tribute

The Cog in the Wheel. The Ghost in the Machine. It is a concept that has been written, talked, and thought about a lot. One could say we live the concept every day. With skilled labor falling to a minimum (consider that the employee turn-around at Walmart is something like 50% annually), and people feeling more and more like cogs in their own wheel every day, it's no wonder that many movies have been made discussing the subject. So, as we come to the end of another week in the rat race, I thought I would cover a few 'cogs' for your consideration. Maybe you can make a weekend of it.

!SPOILER ALERT! Some Secrets and Plot Points Revealed

The Matrix (1999)

Probably the most well-known of the “Cog” films. So well-known that I won't even bother writing a plot summary. The metaphors in this movie are in-your-face and, though sometimes a little ham-handed, the dialog makes for great mottoes you can use in everyday life. And no, “Guns, lots of Guns.” doesn't count – though it is fun to say.

BEST COG SCENE: Morpheus and Neo walk through the Agent training program. Morpheus gives his best speech, dressed to the nines in his chocolate brown suit, green tie and snazzy floor-length leather jacket (his mental projection of himself obviously has a gay wardrobe consultant), this scene makes all the previous over-acting worth it. Morpheus tells Neo about all the other ghosts who love the machine that imprisons them. This is a good thing to remember when you want to rattle off some anti-consumer-crazy-speak at work to the woman with the designer hand-bag.

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them
our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

Dark City (1998)

They built the city to see what makes us tick. Last night one of us went off.

The lesser known, but much better version of “The Matrix”. This movie delves into what it means to be human. What is a soul? Is it just a history of memories? Or is it something bigger?

PLOT: John Murdock awakes to find his memory is gone. A doctor phones and tells him that an experiment has gone wrong. What is the experiment? We are. The human mind and soul. John eventually discovers that he, and the hundreds of other humans that call Dark City their home, are subjects in an alien research facility. Every night, the entire population falls asleep, only to awake the next morning with an entirely different set of memories, and an entirely different life. The aliens need souls to be able to live forever, and just can't seem to figure out what they are. I'll leave the ending for you to discover.

BEST COG SCENE: My favorite scene would have to be when the clock strikes midnight and the entire world falls asleep. That is, everyone but John. John runs franticly through the city, screaming “Wake up!” at the sleeping people in streets. It reminds me of something I've always wanted to do in a room full of cubicles.

BONUS: The romance in Dark City between John and the woman who remembers him as her husband (the talented and dream-like Jennifer Connelly) is certainly better than the strange asexual relationship between Trinity and Neo.

I know this is gonna sound crazy, but what if we never knew each other before now... and everything you remember, and everything that I'm supposed to remember, never really happened, someone just wants us to think it did?
But how can that be true? I so vividly remember meeting you. I remember falling in love with you. I remember losing you. I love you John, you can't fake something like that.
No, you can't

Brazil (1985)

Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating.

The film for those “glass half empty” people who's office job has them wishing they were a 13th century blacksmith with rotting teeth and a lazy eye (there's got to be one of you out there).

PLOT: Sam Lowry is an average bureaucrat. He goes to work. He fills out the right forms. He eats at the right places. He ignores the right things. And then, one day, a typo convicts an innocent man (Buttle) instead of a terrorist (Tuttle), sucking Sam into a world of insane paperwork, complicated red-tape and rotting infrastructure. Director Terry Gilliam definitely knows how to twist you into a bitterly funny world where terrorist Tuttle turns out to be a plumber who wants to work without filling out paperwork and Sam ends up being hunted as a terrorist for trying to correct the mistake and free Mr. Buttle.

BEST COG SCENE: Tuttle (Played by Robert Deniro btw) is engulfed in a tornado of paper in one of the most painfully frustrating scenes I have ever witnessed. Sam tries to save him, but by the time he can pull away enough of the paper, he realizes, to his horror, that Tuttle is gone and all that remains are crumpled, useless, endless piles of paper. Warning: this scene will haunt you come tax time.

This is your receipt for your husband. And this is my receipt for your receipt.

Honorable Mention

12 Monkeys” Another Gilliam classic. Get it just to hear Brad Pitt scream “No More Monkey Business!”, you'll be saying it for days, trust me, I still haven't stopped and it's been 5 years.

“Serenity” follows the story of a spaceship crew who come upon a planet filled with dead people. How did they die? The answer is why it's part of the “Cog Film Tribute”.

Fight Club” This takes a different, more real-life approach, but we'll add it. It certainly speaks to the modern man and his consumer, technological-lifestyle.

"Blade Runner" Finally, someone casts Harrison Ford in a role he can play!

Equilibrium” is one that tried too hard, and came off very preachy and very rigid.