Saturday, September 26, 2015

So I Married an Axe Murderer

After numerous breakups over what his friends and family consider shallow and a way to avoid commitment, the hard-to-please aspiring poet Mike Myers finally finds himself the perfect match in Nancy Travis... there's only one flaw... she might be an axe murderer! Very Mike Myers humor with lots of buddy comedians in supporting roles or cameos, all taking place in a so-very-'90s San Francisco—this film only works because all the pieces fall into the right place. Surprisingly light-hearted given its title, only getting dark in the third act. Killer (pun?) soundtrack. Travis actually cut off the tip of her finger during a scene at the butcher shop.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Captain Ron

Panned 1992 family-adventure about middle-class family man Martin unexpectedly inheriting a boat, and instead of paying a boat mover to sail it from the Caribbean to Miami to sell it, he takes his wife (Place) and children (Salisbury and Sisto) on a "spontaneous adventure" led by an incompetent captain-for-hire (Russell in the title role). Viewers may be getting too hung up on the fact that it is Russell in the funny role and Martin in the serious one, but the latter is excellent as a dorky yuppy whose patience is being chiseled away by the former's family-unfriendly antics. If you sit back and roll with it, it's like letting the wind carry the sails, with its wonderful score by Pike and beautiful filming locations (mainly shot in Puerto Rico).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

One of Apatow's signatures is to really dig deep into his characters; which, for a comedy, sometimes ends up turning things unexpectedly serious and/or surprisingly heartwarming. For FUNNY PEOPLE and KNOCKED UP, toying with drastic genre shifts was tolerable because there was at least payoff with good jokes and interesting characters. However, in his 2005 outing about sweet but overly awkward Carell, there is a major lack of satisfaction when attempting to explore the root-causes of why our main character just can't (or won't) "get any". The jokes are few-and-far-between, but when they are finally delivered, it is so juvenile that actual 40-year-old virgin aren't even this desperate for a laugh. Its attempts at being funny are the painful reactions of getting waxed (hairy people don't get laid?) or that our maiden-man thinks breasts are hard (you have to feel them to know they're soft?).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

First Blood

Frustrated veteran reaches his breaking point after being harassed by a sheriff (Dennehy) and his deputies in the small town of Hope. Neat to see forests of the Pacific Northwest turned into a jungle of combat, but characters suddenly disappear from the story without explanation (Caruso and Mulkey, for example); and the ending is abrupt that the narrative arc almost seems absent, it feels like they just ran out of ideas and decided to stop. Stallone is great as Rambo, but his delivery is so bad that even a heartfelt monologue has to be deciphered through closed-captions and replays.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A book about "THE CORNFIELD PEOPLE" in stores now!

Some of you may remember several discussions regarding the supposedly "lost film" The Cornfield People, a low-budget thriller believed to have been filmed sometime around 1999–2001.  It's about a paranormal journalist who is doing a story on the Cornfield People, a cult that knows the meaning of life.

The movie is currently unavailable, and any footage uploaded to Google Video, YouTube or torrents have all been deleted.  This could be due to copyright issues, but author C. W. Schultz's website notes that there is no copyright registrations under The Cornfield People, and its two alternative titles Operation D-minor and The Phantom Film.

Its difficulty to obtain have led many people to conclude that The Cornfield People is nothing more than a hoax.  But Schultz began intense research into the legend of the film, and has just released A Book About a Film, where not only does he claim to have seen the movie, but that he has also received threats for trying to prove its existence.

Schultz is not the first person who has been "bullied" out of talking about The Cornfield People.  No cast or crew members have come forward (save one person detailed in A Book About a Film's appendix, who cannot be verified because he was a "masked extra"), nor has any distribution or production companies claimed any sort of involvement.  While this supports many people's theory that the film is only a hoax, it's a suggestion to others that the events contained within the movie may have actually happened.

Schultz had the pleasure of speaking to many professional and amateur filmmakers about their interpretation of The Cornfield People and how it influenced them in their daily lives.  All of their interviews are documented in A Book About a Film, and the release of the book became so intense that some of the interviewees backed out, resulting in Hillsbury Publishing having to redact some of their names.

A Book About a Film is a double story, per se; one acts as a novelization of The Cornfield People, while the other examines interpretations, symbolism, theories and its underground notoriety.

A Book About a Film was released on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.  I received my copy on September 10th, and am already 80% of the way through it.  Whether or not you've seen The Cornfield People, Schultz's A Book About a Film is complex, disorienting and hard to put down!

Kindle (not recommended) and paperback are available at Amazon, while hardcover copies can be purchase through Schultz's website by request.

I too have seen The Cornfield People.  Because there are no credits on the bootleg I saw, I often wondered if I actually saw this particular film or if it was some other underground flick.  Schultz's book details exactly what I saw in an unique narrative that's slightly more detailed than a screenplay but slight less detailed than a novel.  Read my review here.

A teaser trailer for A Book About a Film was released, which includes a few clips from The Cornfield People as well as other random establishing shots.  Watch it here, and hurry before it gets taken down too.