Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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MARCH 2, 2006

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


Jacob Zhivov

Parody movies aren't a new thing we've seen them before, Flying High and Naked Gun for example, but recently it seems we've been having one a year since Scary Movie was released in 2000. It was funny, had a vaguely coherent plot and warranted two sequels. 2001 we saw the parody on teen movies with Not Another Teen Movie, which didn't suck either. So there was no surprise that soon enough screen writers turned their eye on Date Movies or Romantic Comedies. In fact it was two of the six writers of Scary Movie who attacked this subject but did they do a good job? I guess you're gonna have to read on to find out if I think so.

Now if you can follow it, the story of Date Movie is about hopeless romantic Julia Jones (Alyson Hannigan), who has finally met the man of her dreams, the very British Grant Fonckyerdoder (Adam Campbell) and wants to get married but like all good romantic comedy date movies there are a whole bunch of obstacles in their way, including Julia's Greek/Indian/Japanese/Black/Jewish family and Grant's ex-girlfirend Andy (Australia's own Sophie Monk).

These type of movies can be quite funny and often more enjoyable than the films they are spoofing but on the other hand they can also majorly suck. Date Movie didn't majorly suck it only moderately sucked. Although, most of the time I started to wonder if only two of the six writers of Scary Movie wrote this film maybe they could have used the help of the other four to make it actually good. Date Movie felt like it was written as small skits and then they tried to put a story together after they filmed it.

I'm sure a lot of people will find this enjoyable, teenage boys especially will enjoy all the scenes featuring Sophie Monk as she's either in a bikini or some other scantily clad outfit, it even distracted my attention away from the suckiness of the film at times. It's got it's moments but most of those are in the trailer.

Starring: Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Eddie Griffin, Fred Willard, Sophie Monk
Rated: M
Run Time: 83 minutes
In Cinemas: Now


Evil Nakedfella

Made by people in an Asian country, Fists Of Cheese Say Hello! appears to be a parody of a certain type of Asian film I wouldn't understand anyway because I'm so culturally backward. It has meanings that zip straight over this round-eye's big fat white noggin.

A man with a name that changes during the movie (possibly due to bad dubbing, or perhaps for a perfectly logical reason that makes no sense to me thanks to my Western closedmindedness) goes on a quest to find what eventually turns out to be a book that looks like it's made out of chocolate. Whether this is a joke or not I can't tell you. At various points all the characters start laughing, but I don't know why.

I cannot in all honesty recommend this film because I have no taste and much prefer to watch The Transporter and American-ripoff-of-Asian shit like that. However, a shirtless fat man does appear a few times and is made fun of by all present, which is a type of comedy that transcends the language barrier.   *1/2   --EN


Jacob Zhivov

I once considered joining the army. I thought it would do two things for me. One; help me lose all this extra weight I've been carrying for some time and two; let me play with cool things like guns and tanks. Unfortunately I have an aversion to being shot or blown up and hence never joined up. Jarhead however gave a nice insight into what I've been missing.

Jarhead follows Anthony Swofford or Swoff (Jake Gyllenhaal), a third-generation enlistee, from his boot camp to active duty in Middle East during the first Gulf War. Swoff and his fellow Marines sustain themselves from the boredom of war on humor and camaraderie as they tread the blazing desert fields in a country they don't understand, against an enemy they can't see, for a cause they don't fully fathom.

Jarhead has a very interesting viewpoint, instead of telling a story and showing you every character's viewpoint you only get it from Swoff's. This is interesting as you only understand what he understands. However, at times it also confused me as in some scenes I wondered if I was meant to know what was going on or not.

This film does give you an interesting insight into the mind of those who go off to war but then again a lot people will find it really annoying. All I can say was I enjoyed it but then again I enjoy really bad movies as well.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, Lucas Black, Brian Geraghty
Rated: MA
Run Time: 122 minutes
In Cinemas: Now


Evil Nakedfella

If you have seen The Big Chill, you will want to murder its makers as much as I. It helped spawn the "bunch of young people doing little at a specific period in time" movie concept which keeps being reused over and over as an excuse to let hip young things sit around table and carparks and improvise hip young dialogue without a script in the hopes that all of the actors involved will become some kind of "new Brat Pack" and the soundtrack will sell millions of copies.

In this version, the new Brat Pack is made up of a girl from The OC, a boy from 7th Heaven who wanted to "shake up his image" and a couple of kids who you've seen in movies before but you won't remember them until you go back and watch those movies again and then you'll say, "Hey, that's that kid from LATE NIGHTS DREAMIN'. I don't remember him being in this; he's cute but underage here". Then you'll spend a hot, heavy night pleasuring yourself while thinking of him and the younger version of him dancing naked around a maypole together while you are serenaded by Boyz 2 Men, who are also naked.  **   --EN


Jacob Zhivov

Are petrol prices pissing you off? Are you remembering when it was below a dollar? Wanna see a film about oil? Sure you do, then Syriana is your friend.

From the same writer as Traffic, comes Syriana, but instead of a political thriller about the war on drugs in the US we get one about the global oil industry. Much like Traffic, Syriana has multiple storylines woven together to illustrate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power. It shifts from the players brokering back-room deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf to career CIA operative (George Clooney) who begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to, an up-and-coming oil broker (Matt Damon) who faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig). A corporate lawyer (Jeffrey Wright) faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies, while across the globe, a disenfranchised Pakistani teenager (Mazhar Munir) falls prey to the recruiting efforts of a charismatic cleric.

To say you need to really be awake and pretty alert to watch this film is an understatement. The story does jump and forth between all its character and if you get distracted you may not understand what's going on, then again you may not understand anyway.

Political films seem to be the cup of tea for film makers these days, maybe it has to do with the way America is running the world and this is the only way they can express their anger or just a good way to make some quick cash. Syriana much like traffic is an interesting insight into all that goes on in a world many of us don't really know about.

Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt
Rated: MA
Run Time: 127 minutes
In Cinemas: Now


Jacob Zhivov

Ooh another thriller about a guy who has an affair with a woman and then stuff goes horribly wrong but this time it stars Jennifer Aniston.

Advertising executive Charles Schine (Clive Owen) is just another Chicago commuter who regularly catches the 8:43 A.M. train to work. But the one day he misses his train and meets Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston), his life is changed forever. Despite the fact that each are married with children, their attraction to one another is magnetic. Lunch dates quickly become cocktails after work, and before long, Charles and Lucinda's infatuation leads them to a hotel room. Their seemingly perfect affair goes terribly awry when LaRoche (Vincent Cassel), a brutal stranger, breaks into their room and holds them at gunpoint. This once illicit liaison turns into a nightmare more dangerous and violent than either could have ever imagined. Charles' life soon becomes filled with deception, blackmail, violence and crime. Unable to confide in his wife or speak to the police, Charles finds himself trapped in a world he doesn't recognize, with no trace of the life he once knew.

There was huge "buzz" over this film when I was in the US because of Jennifer Aniston. Apparently, this is a daring new direction for her but I didn't really see it. I was more impressed with Clive Owen who is by far a better actor than this film lets him be. I hope he gets better roles like the one he played in Closer. The "buzz" gave me an over sensed impression this film will blow my fucking pants off with how good it is yet it didn't.

The other thing for me is that when it comes to thrillers I can usually pick what the twist will be or exactly what's going to happen next. What made things worse was that I picked what was going to happen about ten minutes in. Now this ruined the film for me when everything played out just as I saw it, I hope this doesn't happen to you.

Starring: Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Melissa George, Vincent Cassel, Xzibit
Rated: MA
Run Time: 107 minutes
In Cinemas: February 23rd


David Blumenstein

I try to see as many shithouse cop movies as I can. So I was pleased to catch this being shown on TV. Unable to watch it at the time (I was busy watching Law & Order: Criminal Intent followed by two episodes of Law & Order: SVU followed by a '70s Columbo), I taped it and watched it the next day.

Jim Brannigan (John Wayne) is a tough Dirty Harry-like Chicago cop being played by a big stiff actor of uncertain age. He says various things which are intended to sound sort of "street-smart" witty but aren't. Check out this exchange:


HIS SEXY BRITISH PARTNER WHO LATER PLAYED THE NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR ON MAD ABOUT YOU: The problem with you Yanks is: 'you're oversexed, overpaid and over here'.

JOHN WAYNE: I walked into that one, didn't I?


The reason this joke is funny because John Wayne is old and has trouble walking.

So Brannigan, tuff Chicago cop, gets sent to Enga-land to extradite the guy who played the Dean in Animal House. Interestingly, he gets called a "big Mick" and an "Irish bastard" about six times before he leaves Chicago, but nobody seems to bring it up much once he's in '70s England.

There's some bar brawling and a car chase, and I kind of stopped paying attention late in the movie when it became apparent his sexy British partner wasn't going to take her top off.

But overall it's amusingly dumb, John Wayne is good enough fun to watch, the British "sarge" character takes him to task for his big Yankee gun a few times and a toilet explodes. Tony Robinson (Baldrick off Blackadder) appears briefly, and Brannigan throws him into a river.




Not really. Sarge tries to take his gun but J.W. won't let him

I don't think so, but that could be because he's in Enga-land

Yes, partner

Yes, for no good reason


That makes this a three-star film! Not Action Jackson by any means, but still OK...


Jacob Zhivov

Another Woody Allen film about live, love and relationships but this time it is set amongst the English upper class will it make it less neurotic and more enjoyable? You must read on.

In this one Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is a former tennis pro, looking to find work as an instructor. He meets Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode), a well-off pretty boy. Tom's sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer) falls in love with Chris but Chris has his eyes on Tom's fiancée, the luscious Nola (Scarlett Johansson). Both Chris and Nola know it's wrong but what could be more right than love? Chris tries to juggle both women but at some point, he must choose between them.

I've always found Woody Allen films a kind of hit and miss affair, sometimes they're really funny and others they're just not. I found this somewhat engaging on a dramatic level with some minor very British dry jokes. The use of opera to express mood in the scenes plays really well and is a move away from his tradition of using jazz.

Match Point was indeed enjoyable but did lag on in parts. For some it will also be really good as Woody himself isn't in the film.

Starring: Brian Cox, Matthew Goode, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Rated: M
Run Time: 124 minutes
In Cinemas: March 2nd


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


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