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Hollywood has officially bottomed out. They quit trying to impress us faster than the fat chick next door quit Nutri System. Movies are not released to inspire awe and wonder anymore. Movies are a marketing tool used by clueless studio heads to sell merchandise and video games to a generation of lackluster teens.
If you can’t smell the stench of failure like a piss soaked gym towel in the back seat of your car than you are in desperate need of a wake up call. The disenchanted writers at Movie Monkey Shoot have compiled a list of the 6 Revealing reasons proving Hollywood has stopped trying for your reading pleasure. Hopefully this list inspires you to stop dropping a quarter of your paycheck every weekend supporting these swill merchants and use that money for something more productive. Like spending a coke fueled weekend in Vegas partying with 3 strippers and your best friends in the suite at the Bellagio. I’m just saying.
6. The unwelcome revival of the dark ages.
If you haven’t already read our list of the Top 20 Terrible remakes and sequels from the 80’s, read it here. For some inane reason, Hollywood has decided that the decade which brought us such disasters as Crack labs, Howard the Duck, Madonna and neon parachute pants is ripe for the picking. With such recent cinematic travesties as Conan the Barbarian, Nightmare on Elm Street and the upcoming Footloose reboot, Hollywood has proven that although generation X does not want to relive the dark ages, they are nevertheless going to cram it down our throats until we can taste nothing more than Alf’s taint.
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5. Ashton Kutcher still has a job.
Now the hilariously ironic thing about Ashton is that besides being the worst modern-day movie actor of our generation, he is also currently dragging his sack across the face of failed 80’s Brat Pack member #4 Demi Moore while watching St. Elmo’s Fire on constant repeat. This guy isn’t just a bad actor. He takes bad acting to an existential art form. The fact that he still gets a paycheck and cast in sub par rom-com’s proves that Hollywood doesn’t care the slightest bit to entertain us anymore. They figure that since Ashton can still hide his receding hairline beneath a mop of hair and is in somewhat semblance of good physical shape, millions of prepubescent girls will pay $12 bucks to see him fumble through his lines in the latest rom-com with Natalie Portman or Katherine Heigl. The perfect metaphor to Ashton’s movie career is that he is now performing sloppy seconds to a role made famous by Charlie Sheen on TV’s Two and a Half Men with Duckie as his sidekick.
Once upon a time there were actual screenwriters with storytelling talent that would spend countless hours punching away at a keyboard creating the next great American screenplay hoping that some Producer in Hollywood would finance their dream project. How else can you explain Pulp Fiction? Those days are long gone. In the 21st century film industry, films are decided first by a group of producers sitting in a hot tub smoking a blunt laced with cocaine. Then by a random focus group chosen from the outcasts of Maynardville, Tennessee whose only experience with the film industry is re-watching Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector to decide what intellectual media property from our past should be turned into a feature film.
3. Shaky Cam Handheld Shots.
One of the greatest inventions the French ever gave to us besides the blow job is the film technique called “Cinéma vérité” where a natural, documentary style of filmmaking makes you think you are part of the action. Now in the 21st century that technique has been replaced with some dude with a violent twitch holding a camcorder shaking it incessantly to create the illusion of good filmmaking. To try to confuse the audience into thinking they are watching a thrilling movie, the producers have decided that panning shots, tracking shots and graceful camera movements are only for those artsy European filmmakers. American audiences want their information much quicker and with constant explosions to keep your mind constantly titillated so you ignore the fact that what you are watching is utter nonsense.
2. Classic Board Game Movie Adaptations
Do you remember playing the board game Battleship when the gigantic water aliens would pop out of the plastic board after you sank the Submarine with an A5? Neither do we but apparently the focus group that came up with a Battleship Movie felt it was imperative to the story to include these for the purpose of clever storytelling. Hopefully for us the Monopoly Movie is just a joke and this film ends the board game movie trend.
Regardless of what James Cameron and the journalistic wunderkind at Entertainment Weekly will lead you to believe, 3D technology is not the cutting edge of 21st century cinema. 3D movies have been around since the 50’s and they sucked just as bad back then as they do now. The only reason why we have had such a recent upsurge in the amount of 3D garbage released into theaters the last 3 years is because some intern at the studio had the brilliant idea that releasing EVERY movie (regardless if it needs it or not) in 3D instead of the normal 2D would decrease the amount of movie piracy and further increase the opening weekend box office numbers for the movie. Now this mode of action has had a negative two-pronged effect. Firstly, not everyone enjoys being constantly bombarded by 3D images along with paying extra money to see them, further increasing the migraine you leave the theater with. Therefore theater attendance has been significantly decreasing since the beginning of the new 3D craze. Secondly, more people would rather buy an HD flat screen and surround sound system with an $8 subscription to Netflix and watch movies at home than have to go see another dumb ass movie that had a post production 3D transfer further decreasing theater attendance.
If Hollywood doesn’t do something about the above problems, Movie theaters will soon be as empty as a 24 Hour Fitness in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Inglourious Basterds (2009) Quentin Tarantino *****
Inglourious Basterds has become one of the most popular films depicting World War 2 without actually having any scenes depicting war. Only Quentin Tarantino could pull off such a grand scale epic war film without shooting as much as one battle scene and filling the 153 minutes of screen time with fascinating characters and sophisticated dialogue. In celebration of the 2 year anniversary of Tarantino’s latest masterpiece, the Movie Monkey has dug up 10 fascinating bits of trivia you may not know about this outstanding film.
1. Donny Donowitz aka “The Bear Jew” played by cult horror film director Eli Roth who directed the hits Cabin Fever and Hostel, is also the director of the film within a film “Nation’s Pride”. His method for getting into the mindset of such a violent character was his habit of wearing the historically accurate wool underwear that WW2 soldiers wore as well as listening to Hannah Montana music which reportedly made him very violent and ready to kill anything.
#2 Director Quentin Tarantino spent over a decade writing and preparing the shooting script and has called it some of the finest writing he has ever done and yet has never explained the comical misspelling of the title.
#3 The mysterious scar around Lt. Aldo Raine’s (Brad Pitt) neck is never explained but believed to be the result of a near tragic lynching incident back in his hometown of Maynardville, Tennessee where he was an illegal moonshiner.
#4 Christoph Waltz who plays the terrifying yet charismatic Nazi Col. Hans Landa aka “The Jew Hunter” was a German TV and Movie star for 30 years before making his American film début in this film in the process winning over 30 awards including the 2010 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
#5 Before Christoph Waltz took over the part, Leonardo DiCaprio was already planning on playing the infamous character and had met numerous times with Tarantino discussing the role.
#6 This is not the first time Sylvester Groth has played real life Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Groth first played Goebbels in the 2007 German Comedy My Führer – The Really Truest Truth about Adolf Hitler directed by Dani Levy.
#7 B.J. Novak who plays Pfc. Smithson Utivich is an Emmy award-winning writer/director of the hit TV Series The Office where he also plays the egotistical Ryan Howard.
#8 The reason Joseph Goebbels throws an unexplained tantrum at the mere mention of former Ufa actress Lillian Harvey is because Harvey was the biggest star of the German cinema during World War 2 who was also helping the persecuted Jews escape Germany much to the annoyance of the Nazi’s and was ultimately forced to leave Germany for the US.
#9 The fake name that Brad Pitt’s character uses “Enzo Girolami” is the real birth name of famed Italian Director Enzo G. Castellari who directed the original 1978 The Inglorious Bastards which is completely unrelated to this film other than the similar title. Castellari also has a small cameo in this film as a German soldier.
#10 Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender is no stranger to war films. His first big break came when he was cast in the critically acclaimed 2001 HBO mini-series Band of Brothers and later achieved wider recognition starring in the 2007 smash hit 300 as Stelios, a loyal Spartan soldier to King Leonidas. His first starring role was in this years widely popular X-Men: First Class starring as a young Magneto in the X-Men origin story.
As you and I both know, Tarantino is the friggin man! His movies have inspired thousands of aspiring film-makers to pick up a video camera and shoot something, anything, as long as it has slick dialogue, bad ass music and unrelenting violence.
With that said, here are three potential QT dream projects we hope to see in the near future.
#3 Django Unchained (2012)
At the time of this writing, this Movie Monkey has found out that Tarantino’s long-delayed pet project is finally a go and will be released around Christmas 2012. The story looks to be a highly controversial film dealing with slavery in the deep south with clever dialogue and brutal scenes of violence. Something that has never been explored due to most modern film-makers having absolutely no cojones.
The man who released such cinematic gems as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds is shooting a film dealing with a racist land owner (Dicaprio) in the deep south who supposedly pits his slaves (Foxx) against each other in brutal cage fight’s or something along those lines. Wow! That sounds truly bad ass and beyond controversial.
This film will probably not be his biggest film nor his most critically acclaimed simply because of the racy subject matter. Regardless, with the supposed casting of Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson, this film will surely be a very thought-provoking and well made film with an intriguing story that will surely offend some and excite others.
#2 The Vega Brothers (unknown)
The Movie Monkey actually dreamt this idea as soon as I finished watching Pulp Fiction for the first time back in 1994. Unfortunately this billion dollar idea for a film may possibly never see the light of day unless Tarantino decides to use completely new actors in the roles of Vincent and Vic Vega, the distant brothers who both played greasy haired gangsters in Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs respectively.
The fact that both John Travolta and Michael Madsen are both pushing 60 years old is the sure sign that this film will definitely NOT be made with these two. Not to mention both actors met a bloody demise at the end of both films ensuring they had absolutely no future.
If Tarantino were to film it as a prequel which is the only way to go about it, my choice for the two lead roles just off the top of my head would be James Franco as Vincent Vega and Andrew Garfield as Vic Vega. Both actors have tremendous range and could portray both characters as they work for Marcellus Wallace and Joe Cabot in the LA crime scene during their late 20’s.
#1 Kill Bill Vol. 3 (Unknown)
I just so happened to have stumbled upon this movie poster during a random Google search and was utterly surprised. Either this film is already in production or someone out there is good at Photoshop and enjoys messing with my emotions. Either way I am still excited.
Kill Bill Vol 3 has been on my mind since the scene at the beginning of Volume 1 where the bride warns Vernita Greens daughter Nikki that if she ever wants to seek revenge for her mothers death in the future, she will be waiting. That was a beautiful set up to a third sequel where a now adult Nikki has been training for the last 10 years in Kung-Fu and Samurai swords and is now on her way to seek vengeance against Beatrix Kiddo for the brutal murder of her mother.
Calling it Kill Bill Vol 3 would not make much sense since as we all know Bill was finally murdered at the end of Volume 2 by Beatrix.
An interesting title would be Kill Bea or Kill Beatrix, but who knows how the mad genius is going to lay this story out.
Possible plot points that could be explored in the third film include the return of the now fully blind Elle Driver helping young Nikki on her quest for revenge.
Bill could have had a long lost son that is now also seeking revenge for his father and uncle. His father Esteban could hire any surviving member of the Crazy 88 to begin a quest for Beatrix to avenge the death of Bill, Budd and O-Ren Ishii.
I am sure Tarantino has a few more aces up his sleeve and we will surely see a worthy follow-up to the Kill Bill saga.
QT surely will not disappoint.