Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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DECEMBER 19, 2005

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Wherein two of our favourite writers talk about films they've seen in the last few months.


Evil Nakedfella

Trentino (Mark Wahlberg) is a disgruntled, dog-faced man working in the bakery. Kevin Spacey (Chucky P) is an arrogant actor appearing as a villain in this film for big money. Chucky P convinces Trentino to rob the bakery on Christmas Eve, but Trentino refuses -- unless he can use his ten black African-American friends as accomplices!

Laughs occur when Trentino and his friends, all of whom are played by rappers with "cube" in their names, must pretend they are Santa and his elves in order to avoid arrest. Some tepid comedy and a badly-staged action scene later, the boys are all vacationing with their loot in the Caribbean, while Kevin Spacey is locked up in prison for attempting to have sex with the film's cache of adorable moppets. Spacey's character, Chucky P, appears on Entertainment Tonight and becomes highly successful as Spacey's non-pedophilic acting replacement. Then I eat a large, tasty burrito. A happy ending for all!   ****   --EN


Jacob Zhivov

I love mindless action flicks because quite frankly all I have to do is watch people's arses get kicked and things blow up. Transporter 2 delivers this quite nicely.

In this sequel to the 2002 film The Transporter, professional driver Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is living in Miami, where he is temporarily filling in for a friend as the chauffeur for a government narcotics control policymaker and his family. But when the son of this family is targeted for kidnapping, Frank immediately becomes involved in protecting the child and exposing the kidnappers.

The plot isn't genius but do you really want a complicated plot in a film like this? Ofcourse you don't, that's why you're watching a film like this.

Much like the original film a lot of the action comes from some pretty cool car chases and stunt driving but this time I was more impressed by the arse kicking Jason Statham was handing out to people more than anything else. You also get some fun comic relief from François Berléand who reprises his role from the first movie as Inspector Tarconi, who's just happens to be on holiday and visiting Frank when all this goes down.

This film isn't going to be Shakespeare but you knew that already, plus if you wanted to see a film that was, you probably don't like films like the Transporter anyways. So if you're after some mindless action that won't require you to dissect the film afterwards go, sit and enjoy Transporter 2.


Evil Nakedfella

Often it is that experimental films do not meet the level of quality set by their imaginative titles. In Mince: Of A New Generation we see this statement confirmed. Or is it?

For Mince is, in fact, an experimental film about how experimental films often do not meet the level of quality set by their titles. Directed by Hollywood's favourite eccentric, Crispin Glover, Mince spends much of its 212 minute running time grappling with the experimental film ethos, and the mindset behind it. The inner battle of an experimental film director is represented by a 17 minute locked-off camera shot of a man peeling a potato -- in reverse. What is the truth of this scene? Are we to understand that the artistic process is all about making something (in this case a potato) out of nothing (in this case a potato without its skin)? Or am I reading far too much into the unrefined brain-spew of a self-indulgent actor/director with far too much time on his hands? A fair question. And the answer? "Potato".

For me, the real message of this artistic Pyrrhus is in a later vignette starring old vaudeville comedian "Rusty" Beltz and the dead Marlon Brando. Brando asks Beltz, "Didn't you ever want to slap a man silly for his truculence?" Beltz replies, "Sure I did, but why slap a man with all five of your fingers when your single cock is more than enough?" Now that, at least, is quality.   **1/2   --EN

Jacob Zhivov

A mockumentary is hard thing to do because unlike a documentary you need to write a story that keeps your audience interested in what you are showing them. Opposed to a documentary where often your story will appear before you as you capture it.

The Magician is a mockumentary by first time writer/director Scott Ryan. It tells the story of Melbourne hit-man Ray Shoesmith (Scott Ryan) who goes about his daily business while being trailed by Italian-accented doco filmmaker Max (Massimiliano Andrighetto), who is making a fly on the wall doco to be released in the event of Ray's early death.

For a budget of only $3000 this film does a pretty good job, it funny in parts and you get to see a very Australian look at crime. The mostly amateur acting cast get their performances in but I presume if Ryan had a more professional crop to choose from some of the scenes would have been better. It feels more like a glorified student film than an indie production but the use of the mockumentary style does help hide a lot of these problems.

This does have some funny moments but they do seem to be very localised to the Australian "yobbo" culture and therefore many of the jokes are hit and miss. The Magician may find its audience on the film festival circuit and in cult screenings but may not find itself appealing to those of the mainstream.


Evil Nakedfella

As I was stabbing an Australian Idol hopeful the other day, her final, blood-sodden words issued forth: "What was your favourite Australian film of 2005?" Naturally, I could whisper nought to her degraded corpse but, "Bosomy Fare".

Lenny (Paul Sutton) is an itinerant student with a fierce souvlaki habit. He spends his nights driving around Melbourne in his battered yellow Ford, fruitlessly looking for bottle shops and souvlaki joints which are still open at 1:30am.

One night, Lenny is stopped at a traffic light when an attractive blonde woman (Kimberly Davies) jumps into the back of his car and demands he drive her to Keysborough. Lenny tries to explain that he is not driving a taxicab, only a yellow sedan, but when the black-garbed temptress slips a 250 dollar bill into his shirt collar, he realises he has hit upon an ill-advised new career: driving mysterious strangers around and getting involved in their crazy, sexy adventures.

Sadly for Lenny, most of his bosomy fares turn out to be bosomy but boring, despite their being in possession of 250 dollar bills which may or may not be true legal tender. Thankfully, one day Lenny picks up a new fare on the mean streets of Caulfield South: the Glendinning brothers. Twin senior citizens with matching beanies and a taste for blood, they force Lenny into a disturbing new world of gang warfare, neo-Nazi rallies and plaid jumpers. Can Lenny stop their dangerous boss, Mr Camberwell (Mick Molloy)? And with the Bosomy Fares around, does he have the time?

I generally don't have any interest in recommending local productions to others, as they are often pointless vanity exercises by well-connected but talentless "Aussie auteurs", or badly written comedies by idiots who got the job by virtue of their hanging around the fringes of our so-called film industry for the required amount of time, bitching about funding decisions and nodding and laughing a lot when they talk to Steve Vizard. However, Bosomy Fare is truly a triumph for Australian film on a scale not seen since the Stan Longinides vehicle Trojan Warrior graced our theatre(/s?).
*****   --EN

Jacob Zhivov's and Evil Nakedfella's film reviews are available for syndication on YOUR soulless, corporate "entertainment portal" website! Contact McGinlay's for pricing.


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