Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pick Oscar Winners - Win Prizes!

I've been on a prize-giveaway kick lately. The first Thanks for Writing contest is wrapping up tonight and the first He Shot Cyrus OSCAR PICKS PARTY is starting right now. Here are the nominees. Leave a comment with your picks by this Sunday (before the ceremony begins). Whoever gets the most correct WINS PRIZES! Goddamnit, I LOVE PRIZES!

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"
George Clooney in "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth in "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman in "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker"

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon in "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson in "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci in "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds"

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side"
Helen Mirren in "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan in "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia"

Best Supporting Actress
Penélope Cruz in "Nine"
Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick in "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

Best Animated Feature Film
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The Princess and the Frog"
"The Secret of Kells"

Achievement in Art Direction
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
"Sherlock Holmes"
"The Young Victoria"

Achievement in Cinematography
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"The White Ribbon"

Achievement in Costume Design
"Bright Star"
"Coco before Chanel"
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
"The Young Victoria"

Achievement in Directing
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"Up in the Air"

Best Documentary Feature
"Burma VJ"
"The Cove"
"Food, Inc."
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"
"Which Way Home"

Best Documentary Short Subject
"China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province"
"The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner"
"The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant"
"Music by Prudence"
"Rabbit à la Berlin" (Deckert Distribution)

Achievement in Film Editing
"District 9"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
"Ajami"(Kino International)
"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"The Milk of Sorrow"
"Un Prophète" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"The White Ribbon" (Sony Pictures Classics)

Achievement in Makeup
"Il Divo"
"Star Trek"
"The Young Victoria"

Best Original Score
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Sherlock Holmes"

Best Original Song
"Almost There" from "The Princess and the Frog"
"Down in New Orleans" from "The Princess and the Frog"
"Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36"
"Take It All" from "Nine"
"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart"

Best Picture
"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

Best Animated Short Film
"French Roast"
"Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty"
"The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)"
"Logorama" (Autour de Minuit)
"A Matter of Loaf and Death" (Aardman Animations)

Best Live Action Short Film
"The Door"
"Instead of Abracadabra"
"Miracle Fish"
"The New Tenants"

Achievement in Sound Editing
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Star Trek"

Achievement in Sound Mixing
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Star Trek"
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
Achievement in Visual Effects
"District 9"
"Star Trek"

Adapted Screenplay
"District 9"
"An Education"
"In the Loop"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"Up in the Air"

Original Screenplay
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"The Messenger"
"A Serious Man"

Thanks for Writing Contest [February Ends Today!]

Hey uurrvrybody, today's February 28th and since it's not a Leap Year, the first Thanks for Writing contest ends at midnight. Tomorrow morning, I'll count up all the comments you've all left me, throw the names in a bag, and AWARD A PRIZE! Stay tuned for this month's winner!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Interesting Poll Results

Last week, I asked you this question:

and as you can see, 75% of poll voters would prefer the physical and brutally sexual rape from Danny Trejo who, if you can't place the name, looks like this:

over the figurative rape from Southwest Airlines (i.e. being asked to remove your fat self from their aircraft, which, if you can't place the name, looks like this:)

I don't know what this says about my readers but I could guess which one Kevin Smith would choose.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hollywood's Shittiest Months Guide: March 2010

Studios release their shittiest movies in March, April, and May.  Why?  So that they'll be forgotten by the time it's Oscar season.  With three months filled of the worst Hollywood has to offer, one has to navagate carefully through the garbage and look for the hidden gems. So, here's a guide to consider while you trek through Hollywood's shittiest months. [April and May guides -- coming soon.]

Alice in Wonderland (March 5th): Tim Burton teams up with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter to give his unique twist on an already twisted children's story. Most likely, you've seen the trailer for this. You've probably already decided whether or not you're going to see it. Well, I have too. Even if Burton's Chocolate Factory retelling left some of us wanting more, author Lewis Carroll's surreal Wonderland fits in much more closely to the director's visual style. A 3-D option doesn't hurt either.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: B+

Brooklyn's Finest (March 5th): This opened at Sundance to sold-out screenings and was purchased for about five million dollars before the week was through. Richard Gere plays a "one week away from his pension" cop while his supporting cast (Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes) play cops, criminals, and everything in between. Training Day director, Antoine Fuqua has put out some pretty awul movies in his day (Shooter, King Arthur, and Bait just to name a few) and I'd venture to say that Finest couldn't touch Training Day on it's best day.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: B-

Green Zone (March 12th): Matt Damon wears a scarf, looks hot, and does pretty much everything Jason Bourne does without being called "Jason Bourne." (See: Bruce Willis in Hostage (the real Die Hard 4)). Paul Greengrass (Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum) directs. The March release date probably tells us more about the movie than the trailer. If Universal doesn't trust it enough to give it a summer release, then it most likely isn't a summer-worthy flick.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: C+

She's Out of My League (March 12th): Why would a really hot girl date an underweight dorky dude? First time director, Jim Field Smith, spent months of his life trying to find out. Actually, he spent months of his life trying to make us care. It didn't work. The trailer is abysmal and the words "National Lampoon Presents:" seem to be missing from the title. Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, Fanboys) deserves better roles than this. But who knows, maybe the underweight dorky dude found it hard to turn down the chance to make out with
this girl. Plus, he got paid to do it.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: D-

Our Family Wedding (March 12th): A hispanic girl marries a black guy and their families struggle to get along. It's like Guess Who's Coming to the Rehersal Dinner? With names like Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera, and Carlos Mencia attached, it's surprising that this movie hasn't received more marketing efforts or press coverage. Then again...if you watch the's more surprising that these actors signed anything close to resembling contracts for this movie. "Everlasting Love?" Really? Way to be different.

He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: C

Remember Me (March 12th): Another Sundance release I skipped, this time because of the leading actor: Robert Pattinson (Twilight). I'm not convinced that anyone having anything to do with Twilight knows anything about acting. Maybe it was Adventureland. Maybe it was Taylor Lautner's hosting gig on SNL. Either way, I'm not watching this movie until it hits 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sometimes, it's nice to be your own boss. You can let everyone else take the bullets you know are coming. Also, I'm not impressed by the Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore poster rip-off.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: C

The Bounty Hunter (March 19th): Is there an emoticon for vomiting? This is exacly what's wrong with Hollywood. Take two big stars, shove them together, purchase a terrrrrrrrible script, and make it glossy. I'd rather watch All About Steve. At least that movie tried to do something different. Just read the poster's tagine. "It's just a job. It's isn't personal. Well, maybe a little..." Fuck this movie and the Hitch director it rode in on.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: D+

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (March 19th): Read my thoughts about this disappointment
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: D

Last Night (March 19th): Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington are married. On a business trip, Worthington considers getting it on with Eva Mendes. While he's gone, Knightley considers getting it on with Guillaume Canet. Who will get it on? Who won't? Who cares? Eh...I care a little. I trust Miramax, even with their family drama. But I must say, Sam Worthington is the most forgettable actor since Guy Pierce. And it's not that he isn't a talented actor, it's just that his face is so forgettable that during Avatar, they would cut back to him and I'd think he was a new character. And this happened multiple times. I hate this cast but am interested in the story.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: B

Repo Men (March 19th): So get this, in the future organ transplants are way better but way more expensive. Because of this increase in cost, the medical corporations hire repo men (like Forest Whitaker and Jude Law) to get their property back from delinquent payers. And in a page right out of Crank, Jude Law's character has to have a heart transplant which gets him into all sorts of trouble. Look here, I watched Surrogates and I enjoyed myself. I will watch this year's version: Repo Men. I'll probably enjoy myself again. In short, if this sounds cool to you, go see it. If it sounds like the most ridciulous waste of your time, it will be.

He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: B

The Runaways (March 19th): Lost of Sundance hype. Kirsten Stewart plays rocker Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning plays her bandmate/lover. Once again, and this appears to be trend with the movies I choose to see, I didn't watch this at the festival. Skipped it. Later, heard it was pretty good. I'll be watching this for Michael Shannon (a.k.a. the most underrated actor period) and hoping that the 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes will hold true. Plus, this poster is enough to make me forget about Twilight, Adventureland, or whatever other garbage she's done before.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: A-

Hot Tub Time Machine (March 26th): I have a feeling that this movie knows exactly what it is. Unlike Snakes on a Plane, which had to be told what it was and later suffered for it, Hot Tub Time Machine knew from Day One that they were going to make something fun with absolutely no depth. Fans of gimmick-heavy films (see: Weekend at Bernie', I mean it. SEE WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S!) will love it...everyone else will question how a movie like this could even be made. Ever.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: B-

How to Train Your Dragon (March 26th): Oh Dreamworks, bless you for still trying. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: Dragonheart minus Sean Connery, in lackluster animation, projected in 3-D (even though it wasn't originally created for that nifty third dimension that's all the rage with the kids now). Don't believe me, watch the trailer. This one, I'll be skipping.
He Shot Cyrus' Prolific Grade: C-

The Last Song (March 31th): Ask yourself three questions. 1. Was I born in the mid-1990s? 2. Am I a girl (or a boy with an unexplicable love for sappy girl books/movies)? 3. Did The Notebook or A Walk to Remember speak to you in a way that no other non-Nicholas Sparks adaptation ever had? If you answered 'yes' to at least two of these questions, then The Last Song is for you. I only answered 'yes' to one of them (I'll let you guess) so I learning how train dragons long before I watch (listen to?) The Last Song.
He Shot Cyrus Prolific Grade: C+

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shutter Island (2010)

A psychological thriller that takes place
on an island mental institution.
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Michelle Williams and Mark Ruffalo.
Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow.
Based on a New York Times Bestseller.

Big names, big budget, catchy concept.
Does Shutter Island pan out?

Shutter Island delivers payoffs. Patience is required, especially through an abundance of expository dialogue, but when the film's questions are answered, the trip was worth taking. Kalogridis' script (based on Lehane's novel) spins a labyrinthian tale of mystery, deceit, and paranoia. Scorsese's visuals compliment the writing through its complexity of the writing. Pay close attention to the visuals, and especially the editing, and you'll appreciate the film much more than those who don't. Jump cuts and purposeful errors in continutity place the viewer into the protagonist's shoes as he begins to question his mental state. Within the narrative, questions lead to more questions but rest assured that they'll all be answered.

The puzzle that U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) pieces together shifts between definitions, his motivations revealed layer after layer. It'd be cliche to remark on Daniels' psychological developments during his stay at the mental hospital but as the subplots continue to intertwine, the film results as a character study more than anything else. Set within a mystery plot, the film's dream sequences and flashbacks are multifaceted. Primarily serving as character development, these scenes also contain clues. Like any strong mystery, clues are everywhere but in Shutter Island they might as well be nowhere as the story's involution is heightened by the protaonist's involution. In other words, this is not Sherlock Holmes. Daniel's inner-conflicts weave within the mystery of the missing murderess (Mortimer) in a particular way that convolutes the entire detective work process. The upside to this weaving is that the story is strengthened instead of muddled.

Big names, big budget, catchy concept. Shutter Island does pan out. All of the questions are answered satisfactorily. The thrills are thrilling. The conflicts are gripping. The performances are effective. Shutter Island pays off. The visuals are stunning. The editing is extremely effective. All of the elements compliment each other with such strength that its original release date would have most likely proved to be a smart business move. There are rumors that Paramount released Island in early 2010 to mirror the success of Silence of the Lambs. While that paints of picture of faith around their film, it's clear that Island wasn't going to steal any Oscars from Avatar or The Hurt Locker and Paramount didn't feel like spending the money for a "loser." Who knows, maybe every release from March until December 2010 will be terrible?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gary Busey, 65, Becomes a Dad for the Third Time

True Grit Update: The New Mattie Ross

[I assume she's the one on the left.]

It's difficult to outshine a one-eyed, one-lunged cowboy legend. Depth perception and breath control help but you've got to have something special to attract that spotlight. Last week's 3 Best Friends screening of True Grit proved that it's possible to steal the show from a man named Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne). Rooster's gun-slinging was no match for the young Mattie Ross' (Kim Darby) tough talk. Mattie's a tough little daughter-of-a-bitch (that sounded awful, really offensive) that will talk your ass to death. To death!

And now that the Coen Brothers are remaking Grit, buzz continues to build as to who they're going to cast for Mattie. No one has argued for Darby's return (as she's now in her early 60s) and we at He Shot Cyrus agree. But if Darby won't be coming back, then who's it going to be? The answer: 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, whose previous credits include the titular character in a short film entitled Heather: A Fairy Tale and the non-titular character Talia in another short called She's a Fox which I can only hope is as literal as it sounds. In other words, they've cast an unknown. And I'm fine with that.

If Kim Darby could hold her own next to John Wayne then I'd bet that Hailee Steinfeld can hold her own next to The Dude. The real question is: will she be able to focus on her craft with the perennial handsomeness of Matt Damon sharing her scenes? Lord knows that what got me fired off of Invictus. I would have made a GREAT Nelson Mandela.

We'll keep you updated as details emerge.

He Shot Cyrus on FACEBOOK

He Shot Cyrus has an official Facebook Fan Page.  If you have a Facebook account, just search for "He Shot Cyrus" and we're the first page that pops up.  Inside, you'll find contest info, photo galleries, and links to the Best Of He Shot Cyrus.  You're already a fan, now prove it!

Look, Diane Lane's already a fan. Just look at how she looks at us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feelings I'm Feeling: Marlon Wayans to Play Pryor

Casting the Live-Action Beauty and the Beast Movie

Face it, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland remake is going to make at least $10,000 in theaters, maybe more! With that kind of draw, you know there's going to be more Disney cartoons being turned into live-action romps. Here's my take on the Beauty and the Beast remake that's bound to happen. And if it does, I want my cut.

Belle - Carey Mulligan: Amy Adams might have a lock on any Little Mermaid adaptations made in the next decade but the role of bookish Belle goes to Hollywood's latest darling. Look at those pictures. Millions of dollars went into creating the pretty princess-to-be. All it took to make the actress playing her was...well, you know... I may not believe in God but Carey Mulligan makes me believe in the power of genetics. And we have to support this casting decision because if Carey doesn't get the know who they'll pick.

Beast - Daniel Day-Lewis: I'm going to get a lot of hate for this but Ron Perlman wasn't even considered for this role. Here's why. Perlman probably didn't request that mane but we can't take the chance. My Beauty and the Beast vision doesn't include anyone looking like Great White's lead singer.

Beast needs to be crazy. Animalistic. Loud, and at times, incomprehensible. With The DDL, you get all of those and more. The DDL was the last Mohican. The DDL only needs his left foot to kick your ass. The DDL will drink your milkshake! You think the Beast needs more than one limb to kill you? You think there were Mohicans left after Beast? You don't think Beast likes milkshakes? Stop being ridiculous. Stop it.

Gaston - The Rock: You're supposed to hate Gaston. You probably hate The Rock. You probably even hate that he's even being suggested for the role. Don't underestimate The Rock's ability to make you hate him. Maybe it's the muscles. The catchphrases. Maybe it's how easily he can shit on your childhood memories. Whatever it is, no one in Hollywood posesses the pure hateability of the man who named himself after a "naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids."

Maurice - Richard Griffiths: There's nothing I love more than fantastic Fatstaches. And here, I give you two. Belle's father is a bit nicer than Harry Potter's uncle but they both share the same sort of ineffective parenting style that inexplicably turns their children into unstoppable heroes. Some use magic to revenge their parents' deaths while others marry well. In their own ways, each of these tormented children are heroes. What does this have to do with Griffith's casting? I don't know, but what I do know is that one mustn't just stand and wait for heroes to save the day but instead should hold onto the wings of the eagles while others watch as you all fly away.

Lefou - Nick Frost: Lefou was the most difficult role to cast. As it turns out, Hollywood produces actors who look like this almost on a daily basis. ABC's primetime lineup is chock-full of them, has been for years. Jimmy Kimmel almost took this job but only one thing stood in his way: his acting ability. This gap-toothed half-tard requires a professional ac-tor to capture his tongue-waggling nonsense. Nick Frost is best known for his dead-on gorilla impressions. The second I saw him pounding his chest and puffing out his cheeks like a lunatic, I knew I had my Lefou; a character less fit to live in public than the Frankenstein monster.

Mrs. Potts - Angela Lansbury: (If) Angela Lansbury is still alive, she'd still make a great teapot. Her voice is the most recognizable in the film and Mrs. Potts is the sort of role that only gets better with age. To recast her would be to shit on your own grandmother.

Chip - Freddie Highmore: Eh, this kid'll do.

Cogsworth - Tim Curry: Curry might not seem like a clear pick but he is. I'll prove it. Home Alone II: Lost in New York. Remember Mr. Hector the hotel employee who makes all sorts of trouble for Kevin? Sure, he was no match for Talkboy technology but he could switch between emotions with the best of the lower bourgeois. He was a suckup when he needed to be and an asshole when you pushed him. And if there's a better way to describe this clock, my ears are open. Someone stuck a stick up that clock's gears and if I had a Talkboy, I'd use it to get that annoying timepiece kicked out of the castle.

Lumiere - Vincent Cassel: If this guy looks familiar then you've probably seen La Haine. If he doesn't look familiar then you should watch La Haine. This rough-and-tumble Frenchman (is this a swear?) would make a good candle stick. He's smooth with the ladies (see: Monica Bellucci) can sing and dance (well, he can rap and breakdance). The only trouble the director (I'm thinking Harold Ramis) might have is Cassel's insistence to incorporate hip-hop into the film. But then again, a Dre-produced "Be Our Guest" remix might work. Let Lansbury lay down some tracks and you've got a Billboard hit.

Feather Duster - "Feather Duster": I'm gonna let this lady handle the role of Feather Duster as I didn't even remember this character existed until I started this post. She seems like she's got a good handle on what the job entails. If she owns the costume, even better.

Feedback: Who would you cast in a live-action
Beauty and the Beast movie?
How were my choices?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

BAFTA Results



Looks like I have some studying to do before the Oscars. I really should have chosen Firth for Best Actor. That one just makes sense. I didn't see The Hurt Locker taking home as many awards as it did but only because I don't have faith in award committees recognizing how much better it is than Avatar. What doesn't make sense to me is that Kristen Stewart wins the Rising Star award while her co-nominee wins Best Actress. Mulligan, Monique, and Waltz take home acting awards. I can't complain about that. So, there's the BAFTAs. Didn't know they were happening until this morning. 10 our of 23 might be a failing grade but when I didn't even know there was a test happening, I'll take what I can get.


Best Film
The Hurt Locker

Leading Actor
Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

Leading Actress
Carey Mulligan (An Education)

Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Supporting Actress
Mo'Nique (Precious)

Outstanding British Film
An Education

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Sam Taylor-Wood (Director – Nowhere Boy)

James Cameron (Avatar)

Original Screenplay
The Hangover (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore)

Adapted Screenplay
An Education (Nick Hornby)

Film not in the English Language
The White Ribbon

Animated Film

Crazy Heart (T-Bone Burnett, Stephen Bruton)



Production Design

Costume Design
The Young Victoria


Special Visual Effects

Makeup & Hair
The Young Victoria

Short Animation
The Gruffalo

Short Film

The Orange Rising Star Award (voted for by the public, nominations announced earlier this month)
Carey Mulligan

Saturday, February 20, 2010

3 Best Friends Marathon: Movies That Have Been Remade

Tonight, eight friends and I gathered around for a Saturday Night Mini Movie Marathon. The theme: MOVIES THAT HAVE BEEN REMADE. The first film up was Whitney's choice, True Grit. The remake is coming out on Christmas Day and when you see who's involved, you'll be as excited as I am. Coen Brothers + Jeff Bridges + Matt Damon + Josh Brolin. Sounds good, yeah? But don't count out the John Wayne original.

The only thing I knew about True Grit was the name "Rooster Cogburn." And that's all I needed to know. The violent western was a HIT! Everybody loved it. You can head over to Dear Jesus to read everyone's comments about it. John Wayne (four years after having an entire lung removed!) plays an overweight cowboy with an eyepatch. He's hired by a teenage girl to capture her father's killer. Another guy who's hunting down the murderer throws a wrench into the gears and conflict ensues. Oh boy, does it ensue! Watch as fingers get chopped off, necks get noosed, and horses foam at the mouth. I usually steer clear of giving actual "ratings" to movies but I have to give True Grit an A+.

The second movie was our friend Aaron's pick. He went with The Ladykillers, another movie that the Coen Bros. remade. A lot of us really liked this one. I even liked it more than the remake. Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers star in this one. Like in the remake, a gang holes up in an old woman's house to plot their heist. The unsuspecting old bitty has no idea what's going on until it's too late...for the criminals. It's then that the old woman proves to be too much for these bad guys to handle. If you enjoyed the Tom Hanks version, you'll probably like the original even more. But be forewarned, this one features way less Irritable Bowel Syndrome jokes. If you rent the 1955 version expecing the're going to be disappointed.

Wait...wait just a second now...which American comedy classic is actually a remake of a French film released just a year prior to the U.S. release? That's right Three Men and a Baby or, as it was originally called, Three Men and a Cradle. This one's pretty different than it's American counterpart. While the Tom Selleck/Ted Danson/The Gute vehicle is totally squeaky clean while the Giraud/Boujenah/Dussollier vehicle spends the first fifteen minutes following the titular three men take extraodinary sexual risks with a slew of ladyfriends. Then there's the drugs (cocaine) and the depression (sadness). The plot development is a bit rocky but by the end, the French film has a much stronger emotional impact (as least it did for me) than the American one. I'm glad I chose this one. It was a good pick (but not as good as Whitney's.)

Top 5 Most Anticipated Films of 2009

No, that's not a typo. My Top 10 of 2009 is incognito because I still must see some must-see movies. Here's my Top 5 movies from this year that I still have to watch.

1. Cold Souls - Whitney caught this at Sundance last year and loved it. Paul Giamatti is the bomb-diggity. In this movie, he plays his bomb-diggity self as he discovers a company that will allow him to remove his soul in order to act better. I'd always assumed that actors of that caliber (Giamatti, Bridges, Brando, Morita) had already sold their souls to the devil. How else can you explain the inexplicable quality of Sideways? The DVD for Souls doesn't come out for a couple more weeks so my Top 10 list might have to wait until then. Or not.

2. Moon - Not only did Whitney get to see this at Sundance but she got quoted on the motherfreakin' trailer! "A rare gem of the sci-fi genre" was her out-of-context ticket to fame. It's been months and months since she first told me how great this was and what's worse is that the DVD is sitting by our TV right now...and I still haven't watched it. I keep telling myself "this week," "okay, this week," "I'll definitely make time next week." And now, it's gotten to the point where I have to bear my sins onto the world and admit that I still haven't seen Sam Rockwell deliver two or three of the year's most unsung performances.

3. Black Dynamite - I don't see what I wouldn't like about Black Dynamite. It's a throwback to one America's most interesting film movements. It's got sex, drugs, and kung-fu. It's got $5,000 cars and $100 suits. Afros, honkies, and a guarantee to "put my ass in traction." I don't know what that means but I'm pretty sure I want it to happen to me. And if the advertised "Cinemaphonic Quadrovision" isn't available on the DVD, I'm going to have to plan a road trip to the nation's closest Cinemaphone Quadrovision-enabled megaplex.

4. Ponyo - I don't think Ponyo's going to make the list. Don't get me wrong, I respect the hell out of Hayao Miyazaki but my current list has Anvil: The Story of Anvil holding the Number Ten spot. I just don't see Japan's magic goldfish story knocking that great doc off the list. As far as the other movies mentioned here, we'll see. Cold Souls looks off the hook. Moon seems pretty fly itself. And Black Dynamite has made some guarantees regarding my ass. Anvil's chances are looking pretty slim but it probably won't be Ponyo that knocks it off. But I still really want to see this and based off of the director's other work, I shan't be disappointed.

5. The Fantastic Mr. Fox - Have you all seen the "Wes Anderson's Spider-Man" video?" Everything it parodies is exactly what I want to see in this movie. I know it's just like his other stuff. That's what I'll be paying for. Stop-motion animation, a Roald Dahl adaptation, and every Anderson cliche money can buy. I want the hip soundtrack, the dry humor, the all-star cast. If these are all there, then this is all I want.

What are YOUR TOP 5 STILL HAVEN'T SEEN IT movies of 2009?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

For those who haven't read the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, let me tell you, they're really funny. Their target demographic may be a bit younger than I but the jokes all land. Especially when they reference Shel Silverstein.

Currently, there are four DoaWK books with a fifth scheduled to come out this year. But that's not the only 2010 "Wimpy Kid" release. Twentieth Century Fox bought the rights to turn Jeff Kinney's series into a full-length feature film. And that's where my excitement really peaked. Then the trailer came out. And that's when I pretended my excitement didn't actually peak as high as it did.

Live-action: strike one. Casting some random pre-teen with cooler hair than mine to play the three-stranded loser with a hunch: strike two. Hiring four screenwriters to produce a script and thereby replacing Kinney's intelligent humor with the same Kids-Are-Stupid, dumbed down "jokes" that have plagued children's movies like Inspector Gadget and Snow Dogs: a huge strike three. I know this arguement's been completely beaten to death, but whatever happened to movies like The Sandlot? Or The Neverending Story? Who's making live-action films for kids that don't treat their audience like pre-natal tards? I enjoyed Snow Day and even Max Keeble's Big Move when they came out but this one just doesn't do a thing for me. Maybe I'm just getting too old for this.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Crazies Doesn't Look Terrible, Right?

I need some help. Please watch this trailer and let me know what you think.
Right now, I'm pretty damn excited for this movie. I've never seen Romero's original but it's headed towards my house as I type. There's a small part of me that thinks this remake could be really cool. I love the premise, the special effects don't appear too heavy-handed, and Timothy Olyphant is underrated in my book.

I understand that it's getting released in February, a month not usually known for it's Oscar contenders, and that it's directed by the guy responsible for Sahara but I'm willing to look past all that. I'm getting downright amped for The Crazies.

And that's why I need your help. If I'm way off-base here, please, let me know. If this movie's going to suck, please, let me know. I gotta get some feedback here. Otherwise, I'm headed straight for a letdown of The Village proportions.

But to be fair...

I did not see: Bride Wars, The Unborn, Hotel for Dogs, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Inkheart, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, New in Town, The Uninvited, He's Just Not That Into You, The Pink Panther 2, Push (not Precious), Confessions of a Shopaholic, The International, Fired Up, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, The Last House on the Left, Miss March, Race to Witch Mountain, Duplicity, 12 Rounds, Fast & Furious, Dragonball Evolution, Hannah Montana: The Movie, 17 Again, Fighting, Obsessed, The Informers, Battle for Terra, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Next Day Air, Angels & Demons, Management, Dance Flick, Land of the Lost, My Life in Ruins, Imagine That, Year One, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, My Sister's Keeper, Ice Age: Dawn of the Diosaurs, I Love You Beth Cooper, G-Force, The Ugly Truth, Aliens in the Attic, The Collector, Bandslam, The Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard, The Time Traveler's Wife, Post Grad, Shorts, Halloween II, All About Steve, Gamer, 9, Sorority Row, Whiteout, Jennifer's Body, Love Happens, Pandorum, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, The Stepfather, Janky Promoters, Amelia, Astro Boy, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assisstant, Saw VI, Motherhood, Gentlemen Broncos, The Box, A Christmas Carol, The Fourth Kind, The Blind Side, New Moon, Planet 51, Old Dogs, Transylmania, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, Nine, or Alvin and the Chipminks: The Squeakquel.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Top 5 Films That Wasted My Time in 2009

1. Terminator Salvation: When I heard McG had signed to the fourth Terminator installment, I found myself wishing for the Jonathan Mostow days. Those were simpler times. Just when everyone thought the series couldn't dive any lower, McG set out to prove us wrong. And prove us wrong, he did. There are some statements that I'd like to make. First, McG peaked with the Santeria video. Second, Charlie's Angels is a better film than Terminator Salvation. Third, Charlie's Angel's: Full Throttle is too. This movie was trash. The writing was abysmal, the performances were painful, and can we talk about CGArnold? Give me a goddamn break. And to think...I saw this in the theater. One last note, Sam Worthington is the most forgettable actor in Hollywood. Just ask that one guy in Avatar. What's his name, again?

2. Crank 2: High Voltage: The last Statham sequel worth watching is Snatch. The second Transporter film was one of the laziest movies ever made and this Crank sequel is even worse. I can forgive the ridiculous premise but this story did not deserve a retelling. I'd rather spend two hours catching up with Gigli's characters than sifting through this over-stylized eyesore for any sort of depth or charm.

3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: To be fair, I only watched this was because it was playing at my favorite movie theater/pub and I was in the mood for some fries. But I knew I was in trouble when my fries were gone and I still had an hour of movie-watching left. What's hurt the most about this one was that I was member of the target demographic. I was born in 1984. I'm a boy. As a child, I pretend to shoot bad guys with anything even remotely resembled a firearm. I should have loved this flick. But alas, I spent two hours wishing for anything that even remotely resembled a firearm. You hurt me, Stephen Sommers. Even worse, you hurt my inner-child.

4. Knowing: Sometimes you're in the mood for a bad movie. On those occasions, you see what TNT's got on, grab a random disc from Redbox, or head to the nearest Dollar Theater and tell them to "Bring it on!" Sometimes, you end up watching Bring it On. In May of last year, Whitney and I chose the Dollar Theater and slapped down two bucks to take a journey with Nicolas Cage, a popular pasttime in our home. Well, it was until we watching Knowing. Take one part A Beautiful Mind, one part Bible story, and two parts Nic Cage overacting and you've got one underwhelming afternoon. There is solace in knowing that, even though I wasted my time, at least I didn't waste my money.

5. The Answer Man: Originally titled Arlen Faber, this so-so piece of fluff belongs more on Hallmark Movie Channel than the Sundance lineup. To quote my Sundance review, The Answer Man "is a cute film without a lot of depth. It examines hot-button topics such as spirituality, religion, life, and death all without pressing any of those buttons. What [the director] has done is suck all of the controversy out of controversial issues. He’s taken the idea of a higher being and wrapped it in a fluffy romantic comedy. In short, moms who like going to church and watching PG-13 movies are going to like this one. This one’s for those who felt Henry Poole is Here was too much a downer and Passion of the Christ was just inappropriate." And since I'm not a church-going mom (even though my mom is), The Answer Man wasted ninety-five of my 2009 minutes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Southwest Airlines' Celebrity No-Fly List

Kevin Smith shouldn't feel too bad. He's not the only celeb who's been unjustifiably kicked off a Southwest flight. These scorned and weary travellers have all faced the shame of being asked to immaturely depart. These are their stories.

Samuel L. Jackson

On December 19th, 2008, Sam Jackson was booted from Southwest Flight 291 and subsequently arrested for attempting to get a game of "hot lava" going with the other passengers. An eyewitness account states that "[Jackson] just kept hopping from seat to seat--refusing to touch the floor. It was mildly entertaining."

Later, when airport security questioned the actor, it was revealed that the in-flight movie was 2007's Resurrecting the Champ in which Jackson starred. According to the Best Supporting Actor nominee, he "had had it with these [explicative] [explicative] [explicative] [explicative] on these [explicative] [explicative] planes." Jackson eventually cooperated with security when a fast-thinking stewardess laid down a trail of crushed Sprite cans, explaining that they would serve as stepping stones to protect his feet.

Flight 291 departed on schedule and Jackson was released later that evening. As for the in-flight movie, one passenger was overheard saying "It was mildly entertaining."

Danny Trejo

Southwest looks down on a lot of things. And while you'd think that 22 counts of rape would make that list, it wasn't until Danny Trejo's twenty-third sexual assault that the airline chose to make a formal objection. On September 3rd of last year, the Grindhouse actor forced 78-year-old Colorado native, Bettie LeForge, onto the drink cart and proceeded to "rape the everloving hell out of that old lady," said 79-year-old Colorado native Jim LeForge. According to a Southwest representative, Trejo had been repeatedly warned that his rape count was nearing the offical limit. When asked for his opinion on the airline's rape policy, Trejo simply replied, "I guess I'll be flying JetBlue."

Bruce Willis

9/11 was a difficult time for many Americans. For those unfortunate enough to own stakes in New York tourist traps such as Planet Hollywood, the days following the national tragedy meant a steady loss of revenue dollars. For Willis, things became even tighter after two of his films, Bandits and Hart's War, failed to perform at the box office. But things really bottomed out for the talented actor on January 22nd, 2002. As most of you probably remember, Willis had a press junket to attend in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida but a mix-up with his coach ticket forcing the actor to "McClaine his way" onto that plane.

Just minutes before the plane was schedule to take off, Willis knocked out one of the airline's baggage attendents, slipped into his clothes, and climbed up inside the plane. Armed with a handgun (although no one, to this day, knows why) and a determined spirit, the Die Hard actor slid through the narrow corridors and mechanical compartments, heading towards his seat in the back of the plane. As the media reported back then, everything was going well for him until his cellular phone began to ring. Alicia Keys' Fallin' echoed throughout the plane and Willis was quickly apprehended.

The widely publicized arrest led to Southwest dropping all charges, which originally included "Possession of a Firearm on an Airplane" and "Narrating the Film North." The airline, hoping to safe face in the midst of the Homeland Security insanity, made a public statement denying that anyone had snuck onto their aircraft and that their airplanes were the safest in the world. Rumors circled that Willis had plans to sue the airline but an undisclosed source told reporters that they settled out of court for a $100 dollar Southwest voucher (value = $45.00).

So, as you can see, Kevin Smith isn't alone. Southwest Airlines has been targeting celebrities, for reasons unknown, since at least 2001. So, we at He Shot Cyrus, would like to encourage you to boycott Southwest and travel with a different airline until this injustice ends. We at He Shot Cyrus would also like to encourage you to fly with someone other than JetBlue as they have just unveiled their "Unlimited Rape" package, starting at only 39.99 in select cities. Thank you.

Feelings I Will Feel: Sanda Bullock Winning the Oscar

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Goodnight Gary (2010)

Drew Danburry is one of my favorite musicians of all-time. He makes indie folk pop that makes my smile smile. To help Drew promote his new album, "Goodnight Gary," I decided to throw up some links on He Shot Cyrus.

The first is his website: where you can listen to the entire album from start to finish. He's got TONS of free songs to download as well.

The second is his Amazon page where you can buy the album:

The third is Drew's Facebook Fan Page: where you can stream the entire album.

So, give Drew a listen and if you like his music, buy the new album "Goodnight Gary."

Monday, February 8, 2010

The DVD Collection Keeps Growing

Quite a few of the Hollywood Videos around here are shutting down. They're selling their entire libraries for really cheap. Here are some of the DVDs I picked up the other day.

Old Joy - The first Mumblecore movie I ever saw. Two old friends take a roadtrip through Oregon. This has been on my Top 10 to Own list for a long time.

The Last Detail - The poster for this movie made me never want to see it. Randy Quaid didn't help either. But when I finally broke down and watched The Last Detail, I loved it!

Stuart Saves His Family - This is a terrible movie but I'm an SNL junkie. If they had had It's Pat I would have bought that too.

Coneheads - Like I said, SNL junkie. And Conehead is way funnier than you remember.

Festival Express - Buying this DVD was a personal victory. For six years, I've been waitng, biding my time until I found a copy that was less than ten bucks. Finding it for $3.99 was definitely worth the wait. If you haven't seen this great documentary yet, you should.

A Nous La Liberte [Criterion Collection] - They were selling Criterion Collection films for four dollars a piece! Whitney bought a ton of them. I bought this Rene Clair classic. Whitney bought Criterion films while I opted for Stuart Saves His Family. We're a great couple.

Adam - This played at Sundance last year but I didn't get to see it. But my mom rented the DVD and loved it so I bought her a copy.

The Wrestler - Most of my friends got copies of The Wrestler from me for Christmas. But I forgot to buy myself one.

Searching For Bobby Fischer - I can't tell you how many times I've seen Searching For Bobby Fischer. It was a mainstay in my house as I grew up. That and Sister Act, haha.

Planet B-Boy - Like Festival Express, I've been waiting to find a cheap enough copy. I'm just glad it turn less than six years to find one.

She's Gotta Have It - Spike Lee's first feature film for four dollars and the DVD looked brand new! No scratches. No fingerprints. I doubt that anyone had ever rented it. Great find.

Are the video stores in your area closing down? Maybe it's just a regional thing. Have you found any great DVD deals lately?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Scorsese's Posters [The Floating Heads Collection]

Congratulations to Whitney from Dear Jesus for guessing the theme for PART TWO of Scorsese's Posters: the dreaded FLOATING HEADS. She's earned an extra entry in February's Thanks for Writing contest.

Nothing screams "lazy art direction" like a floating head. But to keep things on an even keel, these seven posters will be ranked against one another. Sort of like the Special Olympics of posters.


Shutter Island: Whoever designed this poster must have had a list from the studio of things he had to include. 1. Leo 2. The island institution. 3. The title. 4. The tiny-type movie credits. Knowing that he had to include everything, he simply went down the list, checking off each one as he finished, and lined them down the center.

Leo, check.
Island, check.
Title, check.
Credits, check.

Whitney pointed out that, without the island, the poster would be much more dramatic and intriguing. All the poster needed was DiCaprio with the match lighting his face. The bulk of the poster would be pitch black and way more eerie. Also, we both love the simple tagline.
Poster Rating: B-

The Aviator: "Some men dream the future. He built it." And here, we have a giant, bulbous head to prove it. He looks determined, doesn't he? This poster is ludicrous. It's the worst poster of Scorsese's career. There's only one explaination for a poster this hideous: Miramax didn't trust their audience. Don't worry, I have a theory about that.

In 2004, Miramax found themselves in an unfortuate situation. They had just spent (a lot of) money on a Howard Hughes movie and then decided that no one would probably care about a Howard Hughes movie. They had just made a huge Christmas release about someone whose name people wouldn't recognize. But Miramax had a plan. Moviegoers might not recognize Howard Hughes but they would definitely recognize Leonardo DiCaprio. So that's how the decision was made to cover 2/3 of the poster with DiCap's big mug. I have a second theory. They put an airplane on the poster to help their "uncultured viewers" figure out what the word "aviator" meant.

Poster Rating: D- (only because I like the font used for the title).

Gangs of New York: The bottom three quarters of this poster is great. The ragged American flag forming the New York skyline is incredible. The tagline is badass. This is an example of a strong poster that's rendered almost ineffective by the floating heads. Just because you can't figure out a way to incorporate your characters into the poster's current design doesn't give you an excuse to just plop on their faces at random. And if you are going to use the floating heads, try to use photographs that don't make your lead actors look ridculous. Diaz is almost unrecognizable and Day-Lewis looks like some sort of JibJab creation.

Poster Rating: B

Casino: What do you think Sharon Stone's looking at? She's like a cat that just saw a laser beam. Other than the floating heads, the poster has a lot of strengths. First, I love the font. It's rare to see the word "casino" written with a classy, thin typeface. This casino doesn't have any flashing lights or neon letters. It conjours up a different set of imagery, doesn't it? The tagline makes sense and says a lot about the film's conflict. But the most impressive element of the entire poster is the tagline's spacing. It makes you read "No" and says that the fall is slow and absolute rather than a fast plummet.

Poster Rating: C

The Age of Innocence: Imagine this poster without Ryder's head. What's left is a strong image of a lovers embrace. The tagline shows that it's a forbidden love. The title, "The Age of Innocence," sharply contrasts against the lovers' actions. All in all, the poster works. The idea gets across. But then there's Ryder's head. She's placed in the foreground, in front of the lovers, which leads us to believe that she's more important than the people behind her. I'm convinced that the studio felt that Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer weren't enough to sell this movie. They added her pretty young face to the poster to sell more tickets. And that's all they did. She clearly didn't fit with the other people on the poster, you know, the ones entangled in one another's passionate embraces. So, how do they fit her in? They just crop her head off and plop it on anywhere with some blank space. And that's exactly what's wrong with the Floating Head art direction.

Poster Rating: C+

Cape Fear: Technically, this one features Floating Eyes rather than an entire head. As it turns out, stylistically, that makes all the difference. This poster is pretty damn cool. Sure, it's pretty dated (peep the Polaroid) and looks more like a grocery store paperback than a movie poster but there's something about it I like. Robert De Niro was the biggest star in Cape Fear and they felt comfortable only putting his eyes on the poster. That's gutsy. Look at every other De Niro poster. He's front and center (see below) and you always know who you're looking at.

Poster Rating: B-

Goodfellas: Compare the Goodfellas poster to the Casino poster. The pose makes all the difference, doesn't it? Instead of three unconnected Floating Heads, Liotta, De Niro, and Pesci are postioned with one another in a way that speaks about their characters' relationship both with one another and with the audience. Three tough men standing in the darkness. That's cool. Three Floating Heads with no reference to the other Heads surrounding them? That's lazy.

The complexity of the poster's bottom half compliments the simplicity of the top half. The sharp contrasts between the darkened bridge and the lit city buildings are beautiful. Overall, this is a really strong poster--even with the dreaded Floating Heads.

Poster Rating: A-